Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Guardian US’s Politics for Humans podcast: Immigration in Election 2016

Guardian US political reporter Sabrina Siddiqui examines the DNC and RNC perspectives on immigration. For the full podcast, check it out here.

Siddiqui is joined by three guests this week:

The three guests this week provide fascinating insights.  Check out Guardian US’s Politics for Humans podcast. 


August 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Impact of Interior Immigration Enforcement on Mixed-Citizenship Families by Michael J. Sullivan and Roger Enriquez


Roger Enriquez

The Impact of Interior Immigration Enforcement on Mixed-Citizenship Families by Michael J. Sullivan Saint Mary's University of San Antonio, and Roger Enriquez, University of Texas at San Antonio - College of Public Policy, March 2, 2016, Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice Volume 36, Issue 1 (2016)

Abstract: In this article we trace the expansion of interior immigration enforcement measures since the 1990s, focusing on the period after the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003. We consider the rationale for the escalation of enforcement during this period, as well as the expansion of enforcement to include local and state law enforcement agencies. Detailing in particular the role of local jails, private corrections corporations, and the communities that are financially dependent on the prison industry, the article also examines who benefits economically and politically from these changes. Throughout, we consider how the expansion of immigration enforcement has affected U.S. citizen children and spouses of unauthorized immigrants. We question whether U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is fulfilling its mandate to de-emphasize enforcement against parents, guardians, and children given that the number of detentions and removals in these categories continues to increase. We discuss how this is imposing unnecessary costs and burdens on ICE’s citizen stakeholders while benefiting private corrections corporations.


August 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

This Isn't An Onion Headline, Folks: Hundreds of Americans Arrive Illegally on Canadian Shores

From my new hometown paper: Hundreds of Americans wash up illegally in Canada after river party. Make that well over a thousand! The Americans were partying on the St. Clair River which separates Michigan from Ontario when bad weather swept them into Canadian territory.

Although the Americans weren't authorized to be in Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard stepped into help.

You've got to love this statement from their press officer: "They were terrified of entering another country without documentation. No one carries their passport or any ID, and a lot were drinking alcohol." Some Americans even tried to swim back! But they were rescued anyway.

Check out this pic from Reuters:


Thanks, Canada!


August 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is the Donald Softening on Immigration Enforcement Now, Enforcement Forever?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Law and Society Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Due Friday September 30 (for CRN 2); Due October 18 (for LSA)

The Law and Society Collaborative Research Network on Citizenship and Immigration seeks submissions for the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting Mexico City, Mexico, June 20 - 23, 2017.

You are invited to participate in the panels sponsored by the Citizenship and Immigration Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in 2017. The Citizenship and Immigration CRN seeks to bring together law and society scholars across a range of fields who are interested in immigration, broadly defined. In past years, we have been one of the largest and most prolific CRNs. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available here.

This year’s meeting is unique in that it brings us to the Global South, and invites us to explore the theme Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World. The locale and theme are particularly relevant to our CRN. We are interested in proposals that explore immigration both in the US and abroad, with a special interest in sessions engaging cross-border activities and migration in the Global South. All stages of production are welcome, as are papers from multiple disciplines and career stages – indeed, we encourage you to pair graduate students and junior faculty with senior faculty on panels. We are also interested in papers that will permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN, Feminist Legal Theory CRN, and other sections.

PANEL PROPOSALS: We strongly encourage you to submit completed panels and to affiliate them with the CRN during submission. A completed panel requires 4-6 papers, a chair, and a discussant (can be the same person). Completed panels tend to be the most coherent and have the best chance of being accepted by LSA. Associating your session with the CRN helps to avoid scheduling conflicts and builds interest across sessions through the linking of related topics. You might find it helpful to use the CRN email list to solicit participants and self-organize in the weeks leading up to the submission deadlines (crn02_citizenmig-l@eur.nl).

  • The duty of the presenter is to submit a paper approximately one month prior to the panel and to make a presentation at the conference. Papers must be in English, though presentations may be in Spanish given the international aspect of this year’s conference and Mexico City locale.
  • The duties of chairs are to organize the panel logistically; including registering it online with the LSA, and moderating the panel. Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before their deadline of October 18. This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned.
  • The duties of discussants are to read the papers assigned to them and to prepare a short commentary about the papers that discusses them individually and perhaps collectively.

INDIVIDUAL PAPER PROPOSALS: If you prefer to submit individual papers to the CRN, the Planning Committee will help you to group individual papers into panels based on subject. You can submit individual papers to LSA writ large, though again it is advantageous to submit as a CRN panel.

  • Following the LSA format, we will also assign a chair and one or two commentators/discussants for each panel.
  • In exchange for participating as a panelist, we urge you to consider serving as a chair and/or commentator/discussant for another panel or participant. If willing, please let us know of your areas of expertise and topic preferences.

OTHER FORMATS. In addition to the paper and panel format, we can also use some of the other formats that the LSA provides: the author meets readers sessions for books published in 2016 (multiple formats available, including the very successful CRN New Book Session to supplement the competitive solo-AMR session and salon-style AMR session option), salon paper session (2-3 participants, 1 facilitator), or roundtable discussion (4-8 participants, 1 chair). If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please let us know. Please note that for roundtables, organizers are now required to provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make.

Please note before making commitments to join a session that LSA rules limit you to participating only once as a paper panelist or roundtable participant. The CRN New Book Session does not count against your program participation. See LSA submissions guidelines for more details on this important rule.

CRN SUBMISSION DETAILS: Please send your proposal to the Citizenship and Immigration CRN Planning Committee (Ming Hsu Chen, Shannon Gleeson, Miranda Hallett – emails below):

  • An 1000 word abstract or summary,
  • Your name and a panel or paper title
  • Names of other interested participants and/or papers (if any)
  • A list of your areas of interest and expertise within immigration and citizenship

LSA SUBMISSION DETAILS: For more details about LSA proposals generally, click here.

Please submit all CRN proposals by Friday, September 30. This will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s anticipated deadline of October 18. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you ASAP so that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA.

2016-17 LSA Citizenship and Immigration CRN 2 Planning Committee

Ming Hsu Chen, University of Colorado Law School and Political Science Department (ming.h.chen@colorado.edu)

Shannon Gleeson, Cornell Department of Labor Relations, Law, and History and Sociology (smg338@cornell.edu)

Miranda Hallett, University of Dayton Sociology (mhallett1@udayton.edu)


August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Chicano Movement For Beginners By Maceo Montoya


Chicano Movement For Beginners By Maceo Montoya

Chicano Movement For Beginners captures the spirit, energy, and enduring legacy of the political and cultural movement that galvanized the Mexican American community from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. El Movimiento, as it was called, gave Chicano and Chicana youth a voice to combat prejudice and injustice, a new sense of cultural awareness, and an unprecedented level of ethnic identity and pride.

Beyond commemorating the past, this extraordinary work of graphic nonfiction reaffirms the goals and vitality of the Chicano Movement for the simple reason that many of the critical issues Mexican American activists first brought to the nation’s attention in the ‘60s and ’70s—educational disadvantage, endemic poverty, social bias, and political exclusion—remain pervasive almost a half-century later.


Writer, artist, and educator Maceo Montoya is an assistant professor of Chicano Studies at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches courses in Chicano Literature and the Chicana/o Mural Workshop. He is also the director of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amenecer (TANA), a community-based art center in Woodland, California. Professor Montoya is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Scoundrel and the Optimist (2010), The Deportation of Wopper Barraza: A Novel (2014), Letters to the Poet from His Brother (2014), and You Must Fight Them: A Novella and Stories (2015). His paintings, drawings, and prints have been widely exhibited and published.


August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Costa Rica Sees Record Numbers of Refugees

NPR's Morning Edition has the story of how Costa Rica is dealing with record numbers of migrants fleeing violence from elsewhere in Central America. The migration pressures existed even before the United States announced its efforts to temporarily resettle in Costa Rica those "pre-screened" individuals who opt to apply for asylum from their home countries.


For those who'd like a small geography refresher: here's a map of the region. As you can see, those desperate to flee violence are now migrating South as well as North.


August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 20th Anniversary of Welfare Reform -- Collateral Damage of "Ending Welfare as We Know It": Immigrants

In the Washington Post today ("20 years on, here’s how welfare reform held back immigrants’ children — in some states"), Professors Alexandra Filindra, Amber Wichowsky and Meghan Condon remind us of the negative impacts of 1996 welfare reform on immigrants.

Twenty years ago today, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reauthorization Act, promising famously to “end welfare as we know it.” 

The main achievement of “welfare reform,” as it was better known, was to end the program called Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and replace it with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). AFDC entitled families below the poverty line to income support for so long as they remained poor. All states had to follow the same federal rules, even though the amount of support differed by state based on local economic conditions.

 Much of the debate in the past 20 years has been over how to measure welfare reform’s overall effects. But because states had so much leeway in how to put TANF into place, welfare reform affected various racial and ethnic groups differently — in some cases, in ways that shored up racial and ethnic inequality.

Welfare reform was especially hard on ethnic groups with high proportions of immigrants   New research shows that legal immigrants — a group that includes large numbers of Latinos and Asians — were especially hurt by welfare reform. In particular, their children were less likely to graduate high school.

After 1996, many immigrants lost eligibility for benefits, because TANF removed federal subsidies during immigrants’ first five years  as legal permanent residents. (Undocumented immigrants were never eligible for these programs.)

A lot of the savings promised by welfare reform came from this exclusion. States were allowed to distribute TANF to immigrants during those years if they wished, but the money had to come from the state’s budget; by 2000, half the states were doing so.

The authors document further harms of welfare reform on immigrants.


Alexandra Filindra is assistant professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Amber Wichowsky is assistant professor of political science at Marquette University; Meghan Condon is assistant professor in the DePaul University School of Public Service.


August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ethiopian Silver Medal Winning Olympics Marathoner Protests Government


I was watching the finish of the Marathon in the Olympics yesterday and was not sure what the Silver Medal winner was trying to convey.  MSN explains that, when he crossed the Olympics marathon finish line, Feyisa Lilesa put his hands above his head in an "X." Lilesa was protesting the Ethiopian government's killing of hundreds of the country's Oromo people — an ethnic majority that has long complained about being marginalized by the country's government. The group has held protests this year over plans to reallocate Oromo land. Many of those protests ended in bloodshed.

According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 people have been killed since November. For months, the Oromo have been using the same "X" gesture that Lilesa, 26, used at the finish line.

Fearing for his life, Lilesa may not be returning to Ethiopia.


August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump to Soften his EXTREME Immigration Positions?


Donald Trump has made news for his extreme positions on immigration, including vilifying Mexican immigrants as criminals, calling for a "big beautiful wall" along the US/Mexico border, advocating "extreme vetting" of Muslim immigrants, and more.  Now, he may be moderating his tune.  Is he or isn't he?

Jay Solomon of the Wall Street Journal reports that Trump’s campaign suggested yesterday that the Republican presidential candidate is prepared to soften his stance on immigration. 

Trump has made a tough stand on immigration a signature issue of his campaign, pledging among other things to create a “deportation force” to rapidly remove some of the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. On Sunday, his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, dialed back on that pledge, suggesting the deportation force might not be set up after all. Asked on CNN if Mr. Trump would mobilize this deportation force in the White House, Ms. Conway responded: “To be determined.”

Stay tune to see if Trump pivots on immigration as the election nears.


August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nasty Note to Latina Server at Restaurant Goes Viral


fA customer left a nasty note for Sadie Karina Elledge at a Harrisonburg, Va., restaurant on Monday, saying, “We only tip citizens.” (Courtesy of John Elledge)

Cleve Wootson Jr. of the The Washington Post reported on a story about a message on a receipt that stung Sadie Karina Elledge.  Instead of leaving a tip, a couple eating at the Harrisonburg, Virginia restaurant wrote “We only tip citizens.”  Sadie, 18, was born in America (and thus is a U.S. citizen) and is of Honduran and Mexican descent.

Sadie's grandfather, John Elledge, who lists on his Facebook page that he attended Antonin Scalia School of Law (formerly George Mason), took a photo of the note left for his granddaughter and posted it on Facebook.  It has gotten lots of attention.  Elledge is white.  He told the Washington Post he’s particularly sensitive to slights directed at his multicultural family.

Here is a video featuring Sadie.



August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrtaion Article of the Day: Beyond Deportation: Understanding Immigration Prosecutorial Discretion and United States v. Texas by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia


Beyond Deportation: Understanding Immigration Prosecutorial Discretion and United States v. Texas by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law July 5, 2016 Immigration and Nationality Law Review

Abstract: This article places the Supreme Court case of United States v. Texas into a broader context by describing the history and legal authority for prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and highlighting the contents and recommendations in my book, Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases. Part I of this article offers a primer on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and also describes two related programs announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014 and the subject of litigation for nearly two years as of this writing. Part II provides a history and analysis of United States v. Texas, a lawsuit originally brought by the state of Texas and twenty-five other states and decided on June 23, 2016. This section offers highlights from the oral arguments held at the U.S. Supreme Court and my position on the winning arguments. Part III raises normative questions about the implementation, legitimacy, and continued enforcement of immigration law against “priorities” identified by the government. Part IV discusses my book Beyond Deportation, which includes a history about discretion, my efforts to obtain data about the individuals who receive discretion and recommendations moving forward.


August 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It’s Children Against Federal Lawyers in Immigration Court

Fernanda Santos of the New York Times writes:

"Every week in immigration courts around the country, thousands of children act as their own lawyers, pleading for asylum or other type of relief in a legal system they do not understand.

Suspected killers, kidnappers and others facing federal felony charges, no matter their ages, are entitled to court-appointed lawyers if they cannot afford them. But children accused of violating immigration laws, a civil offense, do not have the same right. In immigration court, people face charges from the government, but the government has no obligation to provide lawyers for poor children and adults, as it does in criminal cases, legal experts say.

Having a lawyer makes a difference. Between October 2004 and June of this year, more than half the children who did not have lawyers were deported. Only one in 10 children who had legal representation were sent back, according to federal data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group connected to Syracuse University."


August 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Popular Character on NBC Comedy Superstore is Undocumented

Via Define American:



August 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Behold the Dreamers: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue

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Behold the Dreamers: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

Named one of BuzzFeed’s “Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Summer”

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Imbolo Mbue is a native of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for over a decade, she lives in New York City.

BEHOLD THE DREAMERS is her first novel.  Here is a review in the Washington Post. NPR interviewed Mbue about the book.

August 21, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Day My Mexican Father Met Cesar Chavez

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Alvaro Huerta    Salomón Chavez Huerta

Professor Alvaro Huerta tells the story about how his Bracero father, Salomón Chavez Huerta, met the civil rights icon Cesar Chavez in this Huffiington Post piece.  Chavez and Dolores Huerta of course founded the United Farm Workers Union.  The story ends:

“Look at your name tag,” my father proudly recollected Cesar Chavez telling him, “your middle name ‘Chavez’ is like my last name and your last name ‘Huerta’ is like Dolores’ last name.”


August 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: David Hernández, Surrogates and Subcontractors: Flexibility and Obscurity in U.S. Immigrant Detention

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David Hernández. "Surrogates and Subcontractors: Flexibility and Obscurity in U.S. Immigrant Detention," in Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader, edited by Nada Elia, David Hernández, Jodi Kim, Shana Redmond, Dylan Rodriguez, Sarita See, Duke University Press, 2016.

This recent book chapter ( Download Surrogates and Subcontractors CES Reader) critically analyzes privatized federal immigrant detention.   Here is the conclusion to the introduction:

"This chapter briefly contextualizes contemporary securitization efforts providing examples of cumulative precedents and patterns in immigrant detention that help explain this regime's ongoing obscurity and challenge its exceptionalist foundation. I illuminate the continuities of racial criminalization by exploring the detention regime's historic reliance on surrogate partners domestically and internationally. I also problematize prevailing logics of reform and resistance to detention expansion such as the use of prosecutorial discretion to prioritize so-called criminals and grant relief to low-priority detainees1 often referred to as noncriminal or "innocent" noncitizens. Overall I seek to unmask the obscured discursive and institutional formations of immigrant detention in the United States1 checking its flexible and coercive technologies used to exercise state power and violence far beyond the control of undocumented migration."

Given the Department of Justice's recent decision to eliminate private contracting of prisons (but not immigrant detention), this chapter is timely.


August 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Daily Show Asks Trump Supporters About Extreme Vetting

I'll never understand why people sign releases to the Daily Show. This is a total cringe-fest. But this segment does a remarkable job of highlighting the contrast between Trump's call for ideological vetting (we want folks who believe in religious freedom,  equality for women, gay rights) and how some voters have interpreted those same topics.


August 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Editorial Cartoon by Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune

Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune titles this editorial cartoon "Trump proposes 'extreme vetting' for refugees."



August 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Finally, a True Elements Test by Rebecca A. Sharpless


Finally, a True Elements Test by Rebecca A. Sharpless, University of Miami - School of Law August 8, 2016 University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-34

Abstract: The fate of defendants facing lengthy federal sentence enhancements often turns on what the U.S. Supreme Court calls the categorical approach. The approach controls whether a federal defendant might face an additional decade or longer in prison based solely on having prior convictions of a certain type. At a time when many question the wisdom of the War on Crime started in the 1980s, the Court has taken great care to delimit the circumstances in which a federal sentencing judge can lengthen sentences based on recidivism. The categorical approach also governs most immigration cases involving deportation for a crime. As Congress has cut back deportation defenses for lawful permanent residents with criminal records, the Court has demanded that convictions used for deportation strictly correspond to a federal removal ground.

In both Descamps v. U.S. and Mathis v. U.S., recent Armed Career Criminal Act opinions authored by Justice Kagan, the Supreme Court interpreted the categorical approach as requiring a true elements test, declaring that at least two decades of the Court’s precedent required this result. Yet, Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg, two justices who had been in the majority in Descamps, dissented in Mathis.

This Essay analyzes the trajectory of the Court’s categorical approach decisions, using the Mathis dissent authored by Justice Breyer, and joined by Justice Ginsburg, to explain an ambiguity in the Court’s jurisprudence that Descamps and Mathis have now settled. While Justice Kagan’s penchant for hyperbole oversimplifies the relationship between the Court’s early and late decisions regarding the categorical approach, the holdings of Descamps and Mathis are not only correct. They are likely constitutionally mandated.

August 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)