Saturday, August 23, 2014
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series . While young children's rights have received considerable attention and have accordingly advanced over the last two decades, adolescent rights have been neglected, resulting in a serious rights lacuna. This manifests itself in pervasive gender-based violence, widespread youth disaffection and unemployment, concerning levels of self-abuse, violence and antisocial engagement, and serious mental and physical health deficits. The cost of inaction on these issues is likely to be dramatic in terms of human suffering, lost social and economic opportunities, and threats to global peace and security. Across the range of disciplines that make up contemporary human rights, from law and social advocacy, to global health, to history, economics, sociology, politics, and psychology, it is time for adolescent rights to occupy a coherent place of their own.
Human Rights and Adolescence presents a multifaceted inquiry into the global circumstances of adolescents, focused on the human rights challenges and socioeconomic obstacles young adults face. Contributors use new research to advance feasible solutions and timely recommendations for a wide range of issues spanning all continents, from relevant international legal norms to neuropsychological adolescent brain development, gender discrimination in Indian education to Colombian child soldier recruitment, stigmatization of Roma youth in Europe to economic disempowerment of Middle Eastern and South African adolescents. Taken together, the research emphasizes the importance of dedicated attention to adolescence as a distinctive and critical phase of development between childhood and adulthood, and outlines the task of building on the potential of adolescents while providing support for the challenges they experience.
Contributors: Theresa S. Betancourt, Jacqueline Bhabha, Krishna Bose, Neera Burra, Malcolm Bush, Jocelyn DeJong, Elizabeth Gibbons, Katrina Hann, Mary Kawar, Orla Kelly, David Mark, Margareta Matache, Clea McNeely, Glaudine Mtshali, Katie Naeve, Elizabeth A. Newnham, Victor Pineda, Irene Rizzini, Elena Rozzi, Christian Salazar Volkmann, Shantha Sinha, Laurence Steinberg, Kerry Thompson, Jean Zermatten, Moses Zombo.
Jacqueline Bhabha is Director of Research at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health.
Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration in the Supreme Court, 2009-13: A New Era of Immigration Law Unexceptionalism by Kevin R. Johnson
Immigration in the Supreme Court, 2009-13: A New Era of Immigration Law Unexceptionalism by Kevin R. Johnson, University of California, Davis - School of Law August 14, 2014 Oklahoma Law Review, Forthcoming UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 388
Abstract: This is a contribution to a forthcoming symposium in the Oklahoma Law Review on the 125th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Case.
With appropriate caution necessitated by the lessons of recent history, this Article posits that the Supreme Court’s contemporary immigration decisions suggest that the plenary power doctrine, the foundation of immigration exceptionalism, is again headed toward its ultimate demise. To test that thesis, this Article carefully scrutinizes the Supreme Court’s immigration decisions, as well as some other actions, such as certiorari denials in significant immigration cases, from 2009 to the present. This period coincides with the first five years of the Obama presidency, which has been a time during which the Executive Branch has seldomly relied on the plenary power doctrine in arguments to the Court.
The review of Supreme Court decisions reveals that, even though the Court now reviews considerably fewer cases than it once did, immigration matters regularly comprise a bread-and-butter part of its docket. Indeed the Court decided five immigration-related merits cases in one Term, an extraordinarily large number for a specialty substantive area of law. The fact that the Court frequently exercises its discretion to accept immigration cases for review suggests that the Justices – like the nation as a whole – consider immigration to be an important, at times contentious, national issue worthy of attention, raising many questions that go to the core of the modern administrative state. In light of the controversy surrounding some of the cases that have come before it, most notably the much-publicized constitutional challenge to Arizona’s SB 1070 and state and local efforts to push the federal government to more vigorously enforce the U.S. immigration laws, the Court could hardly help but be aware of that plain and simple truth.
What is perhaps most noteworthy from the review of immigration decisions of the Supreme Court of the last five Terms is that a conservative Court characterized as ideologically driven by some observers consistently has not taken an extreme approach to immigration law and its enforcement. The Roberts Court’s body of immigration decisions indeed is firmly and comfortably within the jurisprudential mainstream of its decisions in other areas of substantive law. The Court has applied ordinary, standard, and routine legal doctrines for the most part in ordinary, standard, and routine ways.
Analyzing the body of immigration decisions of the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts in the 2009-13 Terms, this Article concludes that the Court in effect has to a large extent continued to bring U.S. immigration law into the legal mainstream. It has interpreted statutes to avoid constitutional questions and avoided invoking the plenary power doctrine to shield vulnerable statutes from judicial review. Although not yet eliminating the doctrine, the Court has slowly but surely moved away from anything that might reasonably be characterized as immigration exceptionalism. The undeniable trend in the Court’s immigration jurisprudence is entirely consistent with its efforts over more than a decade to, whenever possible, interpret the immigration laws to avoid deciding serious constitutional questions, and find creative ways to ensure judicial review of removal orders in the face of stringent congressional restrictions that some might reasonably read as purporting to wholly eliminate judicial review.
In applying the U.S. immigration laws, both conservative and liberal Supreme Court Justices look first to the text of the Immigration and Nationality Act and spend considerable time debating the proper interpretation of the (often complex) statutory provision in question. In addition, the Justices occasionally differ about the application of conventional legal doctrines to immigration cases, but rarely debate whether generally applicable doctrines should apply to immigration cases.
Samantha Power is a member of President Obama’s Cabinet and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. As a journalist and author, with a focus on U.S. intervention in genocide and war, she won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. Power previously served as special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights at the National Security Council, as well as the head of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Madeleine Kunin served as the first female and first Jewish governor of Vermont, from 1985 to 1991. During her tenure, she erased the budget deficit, fostered economic growth, and created tough new environmental laws. In 1993, she was appointed Deputy Secretary of Education in the Clinton Administration, and afterward served as the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, from 1996 to 2000. She is the author of several books and is currently the James Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont.
Immigration Article of the Day: Invisible Spaces and Invisible Lives in Immigration Detention by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández
Invisible Spaces and Invisible Lives in Immigration Detention by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, Capital University Law School; University of Denver Sturm College of Law June 24, 2014 Howard Law Journal, Forthcoming U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-29
Abstract: The United States’ civil immigration detention system is characterized by an executive body, the Department of Homeland Security, which possesses substantial authority over the lives of migrants with limited oversight by Congress or the courts. Beginning with the “entry fiction” doctrine that concludes that some migrants who are physically present in the United States are not present for purposes of key constitutional protections, Congress and the courts have granted executive officials substantial flexibility in operating immigration detention sites. They have broad powers and impressive resources to detain migrants they suspect of having violated immigration laws. Migrants who seek release in the United States have a steep path to hew. Moreover, immigration detention centers are shielded from public scrutiny by a host of legislative and judicial decisions ranging from limitations on tort recovery to the inapplicability of transparency statutes. Immense resources and legal authority paired with a lack of penetrating legislative or judicial scrutiny has led to an immigration detention regime that is enormous and filled with abuse. Detainees frequently receive inadequate medical care, complaints about sexual abuse go unreported, and deaths are not uncommon. This Essay posits that the troubling state of immigration detention is a foreseeable — but not irreversible — consequence of these trends.
From the Bookshelves: Hidden Lives and Human Rights in the United States Understanding the Controversies and Tragedies of Undocumented Immigration by Lois Ann Lorentzen, Editor
The most comprehensive collection of essays on undocumented immigration to date, covering issues not generally found anywhere else on the subject. Three fascinating volumes feature the latest research from the country's top immigration scholars. In the United States, the crisis of undocumented immigrants draws strong opinions from both sides of the debate. For those who immigrate, concerns over safety, incorporation, and fair treatment arise upon arrival. For others, the perceived economic, political, and cultural impact of newcomers can feel threatening. In this informative three-volume set, top immigration scholars explain perspectives from every angle, examining facts and seeking solutions to counter the controversies often brought on by the current state of undocumented immigrant affairs. Immigration expert and set editor Lois Lorentzen leads a stellar team of contributors, laying out history, theories, and legislation in the first book; human rights, sexuality, and health in the second; and economics, politics, and morality in the final volume. From family separation, to human trafficking, to notions of citizenship, this provocative study captures the human costs associated with this type of immigration in the United States, questions policies intended to protect the "American way of life," and offers strategies for easing tensions between immigrants and natural-born citizens in everyday life.
Discusses topics rarely covered, including sexual migration, religion, values, and mental health
Features essays across disciplines in the fields of psychology, law, politics, social work, public policy, history, education, and health
Includes tables, maps, photos, and a bibliography for each volume to provide visual interest and additional learning opportunities
Probes the latest controversies centered on recent immigration legislation in Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama
Familiarizes readers with history, theories, and legislation related to undocumented migration in the United States.
Lois Ann Lorentzen, PhD, is professor in the theology and religious studies department and codirector of the Center for Latino/a Studies at the University of San Francisco. Her published works include Etica Ambiental; Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc.; and Religion at the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana: Politics, Identity, and Faith in New Migrant Communities. She received her doctorate in social ethics at the University of Southern California.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
The Boston University School of Law Immigrants' Rights Clinic and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law Center for Immigrants' Rights are pleased to release a practitioner toolkit on refugee and asylee adjustment. This toolkit was prepared for the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC). Below is a link to the press release and toolkit.
In another reminder of racial disparities in the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the overall unemployment rate for the United States in 2013 was 7.4 percent; however, the rate varied across race and ethnicity groups. The rates were highest for Blacks (13.1 percent) and for American Indians and Alaska Natives (12.8 percent) and lowest for Asians (5.2 percent) and for Whites (6.5 percent). The jobless rate was 9.1 percent for Hispanics, 10.2 percent for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and 11.0 percent for people of Two or More Races.
The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri reminds us that the nation has some serious issues of race and racism that need to be addressed. In that vein, AP reports that a Mississippi sheriff says a man was beaten and shot two weeks after calling authorities to report a cross burning in his yard, and investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was prompted by people being upset that the man was visited by his mixed-race grandchildren.
Bloomberg reportstht the Sweden Democrats, a nationalist party that targets deep cuts to immigration, is poised to double its support in elections next month. Polls show the party garnering more than 10 percent of votes, enough to ensure that neither the government of the Prime Minister nor the Social Democrat-led opposition can win a majority on Sept. 14. Both blocs have refused to collaborate with the Sweden Democrats. Support for the party, which came into being in the 1980s following a merger of political movements including a group called Keep Sweden Swedish, has swelled as the country absorbs a growing number of immigrants and asylum seekers from the Middle East. The development casts a shadow over Sweden’s reputation as an open society that has regularly topped United Nations rankings in accepting asylum seekers.
One of the leading constitutional authorities in the U.S., Laurence H. Tribe was born in Shanghai, China, in 1941 to Russian-Jewish parents and immigrated to the U.S. following the Second World War. After earning mathematics and law degrees from Harvard University, he joined the faculty at the law school in 1968. For his lifetime of work in academia, he has received many honorary doctorate degrees from universities such as Colgate University, Hebrew University, and New York University. He also serves as a mentor to President Obama, appointed as Senior Counselor for Access to Justice in the U.S. Justice Department in a position that, in part, seeks to improve legal services for the poor. Among his many writings, his 1978 treatise, American Constitutional Law, is a standard reference work in legal circles, and he is known as a defender of progressive causes and civil rights.
Immigrant Faith examines trends and patterns relating to religion in the lives of immigrants. The volume moves beyond specific studies of particular faiths in particular immigrant destinations to present the religious lives of immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Europe on a broad scale.
As faith communities in the United States grow increasingly more diverse, many churches are turning to the shared parish, a single church facility shared by distinct cultural groups who retain their own worship and ministries. The fastest growing and most common of these are Catholic parishes shared by Latinos and white Catholics. Shared parishes remain one of the few institutions in American society that allows cultural groups to maintain their own language and customs while still engaging in regular intercultural negotiations over the shared space. This book explores the shared parish through an in-depth ethnographic study of a Roman Catholic parish in a small Midwestern city demographically transformed by Mexican immigration in recent decades. Through its depiction of shared parish life, the book argues for new ways of imagining the U.S. Catholic parish as an organization. The parish, argues Brett C. Hoover, must be conceived as both a congregation and part of a centralized system, and as one piece in a complex social ecology. The Shared Parish also posits that the search for identity and adequate intercultural practice in such parishes might call for new approaches to cultural diversity in U.S. society, beyond assimilation or multiculturalism. We must imagine a religious organization that accommodates both the need for safe space within distinct groups and for social networks that connect these groups as they struggle to respectfully co-exist.
More than anywhere else in the Western world, religious attachments in America are quite flexible, with over 40 percent of U.S. citizens shifting their religious identification at least once in their lives. In Changing Faith, Darren E. Sherkat draws on empirical data from large-scale national studies to provide a comprehensive portrait of religious change and its consequences in the United States.
Immigration Article of the Day: Reconceiving Citizenship: Noncitizen Voting in New York City Municipal Elections as a Case Study in Immigrant Integration and Local Governance by Lauren Gilbert
Reconceiving Citizenship: Noncitizen Voting in New York City Municipal Elections as a Case Study in Immigrant Integration and Local Governance by Lauren Gilbert, St. Thomas University School of Law July 22, 2014
Abstract: In this paper, I use New York City’s consideration of an amendment to its Charter that would extend voting rights to noncitizens in municipal elections as a case study in immigrant integration and local governance. I argue that such a policy would be consistent with the different meanings of citizenship, national, state, and local, while addressing potential obstacles under federal and state law. I conclude that while neither federal criminal nor immigration law prevents state or local governments from extending the franchise to noncitizens in state or local matters, federal law imposes certain impediments that may deter some noncitizens from registering or that could carry serious immigration consequences for those who vote in violation of federal law.
I argue that New York City’s biggest challenge in moving this issue forward is dealing successfully with two related questions: 1.) why the City Council should be able to decide who "the People" are without approval from Albany and 2.) whether it should attempt to enact Intro 410 without a referendum. Part II examines the role of local government in regulating the lives of immigrants, contrasting enforcement-oriented strategies with those that are more integration-oriented, building on the work of Heather Gerken, Hiroshi Motomura, Cristina Rodríguez, and others. Part III spotlights federal law obstacles to noncitizen suffrage, looking at both federal criminal law and the immigration grounds of inadmissibility and deportability. Part IV focuses on state law obstacles, including New York’s Constitution, its state election law and its home rule provisions. Part V discusses other recent experiences with noncitizen suffrage, both in municipal and school board elections. Part VI provides some thoughts on best practices in moving the issue of noncitizen suffrage in New York City and other locales forward. I conclude that while New York law does not prevent the City Council from enacting Intro 410 without approval from Albany, that a city-wide referendum may be necessary, advisable, or, at the very least, that the City Council needs to engage the people of New York City directly such as through mini-town hall meetings in the 51 districts. New York law is ambiguous enough that good arguments can be made for why neither Albany’s approval nor a city-wide referendum is required. Nonetheless, given New York City’s historic relationship with Albany and the power the State legislature has to preempt local law on election matters, if the City Council attempts to expand the franchise to noncitizen voters without a referendum or comparable measure, it could trigger preemptive action in Albany or lengthy, divisive, and costly battles in the courts.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration Policy in France: Education, Employment, and Social Cohesion Initiatives
France is in the midst of reforming its immigrant integration policies, which are directed at new arrivals of immigrants to the country. In addition, the government is making new investments into targeted neighbourhood and workforce programmes that could have a significant, though indirect, benefit for the French population of immigrant background. This is a more significant development than it first appears.
A new Migration Policy Institute Europe report, authored by political scientist Angéline Escafré-Dublet, highlights that the task of reaching immigrants and their descendants with integration and other programming is complicated by French policy and history. The French population is recorded in the census solely by nationality, and public collection of data according to ethnicity is prohibited; with most children of immigrants born in France holding French citizenship, 'immigrant youth' are thus concealed from analysis, and it is often difficult to identify both positive and negative socioeconomic outcomes. Moreover, there is a general distrust of policies that target a particular group over others—a distrust that originates from the republican principle of equal treatment regardless of origin, religion, or race.
The report, Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration Policy in France: Education, Employment, and Social Cohesion Initiatives, examines education, employment, and social inclusion programmes that support the integration of immigrants and their descendants. Based on interviews with officials and experts across France and a review of the current literature, this report finds that, aside from targeted integration policies aimed at newcomers, policies to support integration have essentially been 'mainstreamed' by the government, and embedded into needs-based social programming and policies that address the overall population. This approach has been further bolstered under the Hollande administration, with a series of interventions, including a 5 billion euro investment into neighbourhoods where social disadvantage is significant.
This report, supported by a research grant from the Dutch Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment, is part of a comparative research project conducted in collaboration with the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford and Erasmus University in Rotterdam. It follows the publication of recent case studies of the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as an overview report offering principles of good practice in the design of mainstreaming strategies and initiatives. The project's final case study, focused on Denmark, will be released in the coming days. We invite you to read these papers and other MPI Europe research.
Ham Tran immigrated to the U.S. through the Orderly Departure Program when he was eight years old. His films explore and humanize the struggles of the victims and refugees of the Vietnam War. Receiving his MFA degree in film and television from UCLA, Tran’s short films have received numerous honors, with his thesis film, The Anniversary, becoming a semi-finalist for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. His first feature film, Journey from the Fall, which was financed entirely by the Vietnamese-American community, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and won numerous awards. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. His romantic comedy How to Fight in Six Inch Heels, which depicts the lives of modern, young Vietnamese-Americans, was released in 2013.
"This case concerns whether political ac tivity first undertaken in the United States amounts to `changed circumstances' for purposes of the asylum provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1158. Weinong Lin, a native and citizen of China who entered the United States as a non-immigrant in 1999, avows that he fled China because of his experience with “autocracy and corruption” there, Appellant’s Br. at 5, that he harbored private anti-communist political beliefs when he left China, but th at he did not publicly express those views until December 2007, when he joined the China Democratic Party World Union (“CDPWU”), wrote essays for the CD PWU website criticizing the Chinese Communist Party, and began attending group protests at the Chinese Consulate General’s Office in New York City and at the Chinese Embassy in Washington."
The court sought guidance from the Board of Immigration Appeals on the standards at play when a foreigner living in the United States seeks asylum based on political activities that occurred in this country. The Second Circuit sent the matter of Weinong Lin back to the Board of Immigration Appeals because of a legal error, but pleaded with the tribunal for a "careful precedential opinion" setting "some guidelines on how to judge similar cases in the future." For further anaylsis, click here.
Immigration Article of the Day: The Human Rights of Migrants in General International Law: From Minimum Standards to Fundamental Rights by Vincent Chetail
The Human Rights of Migrants in General International Law: From Minimum Standards to Fundamental Rights by Vincent Chetail Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI) July 22, 2014 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2013, pp. 225-255
Abstract: This article traces back the historical origins of migrants' rights and analyses their contemporary features under general international law. The systemic perspective proposed in the present article recalls that migrants’ rights are anchored in public international law and reflect its broader evolution. The first part of this article accordingly provides an historical account about the law of state responsibility for injuries committed to aliens. This was a typical question of classical international law which had been crystallised through the notion of international minimum standards at the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The second part demonstrates how this notion has been progressively encapsulated within international human rights law before constituting nowadays the primary source of protection. The last part then focuses on the principle of non-discrimination as the ultimate benchmark of migrants’ rights.
From the Bookshelves: Unsettled / Desasosiego Children in a World of Gangs/Los niños en un mundo de las pandillas By Donna De Cesare
Unsettled / Desasosiego Children in a World of Gangs/Los niños en un mundo de las pandillas By Donna De Cesare Foreword by Fred Ritchin Translation by Javier Auyero
Culminating thirty years of photographing gang members and their families and collecting images that have been featured in Aperture, Mother Jones, and other publications, award-winning photojournalist Donna De Cesare uncovers the effects of decades of war and gang violence on the lives of youths in Central America and in refugee communities in the United States in this bilingual book.
Central American nations have recently had the highest per capita homicide rates in the world—surpassing the per capita death toll even in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan—and gang violence has been the dominant explanation for this tragic state of affairs. But why has gang activity become endemic in the region? Photojournalist Donna De Cesare began covering Central America during the civil wars of the 1980s, focusing especially on the disrupted lives of children and youths, and continued her photography project in Central American refugee communities in the United States in the 1990s and postwar Central America in the 2000s. She documents a history of repression, violence, and trauma, in which gangs are as much a symptom as a cause of trauma, trapped as they are by social neglect.
With profound empathy for a reality that is too easily defined and dismissed as repugnant, Unsettled/Desasosiego takes us on a visual journey into the lives of children deeply affected by civil war and gang violence. De Cesare’s photographs and bilingual personal narrative trace the evolution and expansion of the notorious 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha gangs from the barrios of Los Angeles to the shanties of Central America. They show how decades of war and violence—as well as the illegal drug trade—have created a culture that allows gangs to flourish. At the same time, her photographs portray the humanity of gang members and their families, encouraging us to understand the lives of youths at the margins and to take responsibility for the consequences of political and social actions that have ruptured Central American society for generations.
Click here for a review by David Bacon.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
“RISKING IT ALL: CHILDREN AT THE BORDER” BY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST AND UNIVISION NEWS ANCHOR MARIA ELENA SALINAS
Award-winning journalist and Univision News anchor María Elena Salinas presents an in-depth report for Fusion, “Risking It All: Children at the Border.” Salinas takes an intimate look at the root of the crisis of unaccompanied minors from its very source: the three Central American countries from where thousands are flocking to the United States. Traveling to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, Salinas interviews key players in the humanitarian crisis, including presidents, immigration authorities, human rights advocates, crime specialists, human smugglers, gang members and of course the minors. She also visits some of the poorest and most dangerous areas in those countries to witness the deplorable conditions that drive so many to abandon their home in search of a better life, survival, or to reunite with their family members. The hard-hitting news special “Risking It All: Children at the Border” airs Thursday, August 21 at 10:00 p.m. on Fusion. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained by the U.S. Border Patrol since October 2013 and taken to several facilities inside the U.S. This special is the latest in Fusion’s on-going reporting on the border crisis. Fusion news anchor Jorge Ramos anchored a special edition of “Edge of a Crisis: An AMERICA Special” from the border last month. Watch here.
On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Mellouli v. Holder. The issue presented by the case is whether, to trigger deportability under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), which provides that a noncitizen may be removed if he has been convicted of violating “any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of Title 21) . . . ,” the government must prove the connection between a drug paraphernalia conviction and a substance listed in section 802 of the Controlled Substances Act.
The Eighth Circuit denied the petition to review the Board of Immigration Appeals's removal order.