Sunday, April 26, 2015

French Artist JR on American Immigration

French artist and "photograffeur" JR has been tackling immigration in America.

With "Unframed," JR has brought life to the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital in New York harbor. (For those who can't get to Ellis Island to see the installation in person, check out this NYT photo essay).

JR's latest project is "Globe Trotters." He's been taking photos of recent U.S. immigrants in his studio, creating over-sized prints, and photographing his subjects with their prints on the street of New York. As Dean Robinson so beautifully writes for the NYT:

To be an immigrant is to have moved; to be a New Yorker is to keep moving. As captured here by JR, these newest New Yorkers become portraits in motion, unstuck, peeled loose, set free in the city.


April 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is It Time for Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Go? Contempt Hearings in Civil Rights Lawsuit in a Nutshell

IMGP5704Photo courtesy of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

This week, ImmigrationProf has been offering daily coverage of the contempt hearings against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MSCO) in Melendres v. Arpaio, in which the district court (Judge Murray Snow) in a civil rights action had entered an injunction, among other things, halting the practices that had targeted Latinos, including U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants, in the MSCO's law enforcement efforts.

It was a week of surprises, with the violation of the injunction being perhaps the least surprising part of witness testimony.  Indeed,  before the hearing, Sheriff Arpaio admitted that the Sheriff's Office in numerous ways failed  to comply with the injunction.

The first big surprise was that one of Arpaio's attorneys, Tom Liddy, son of Gordon Liddy of Watergate fame, sought to withdraw from the case, citing a conflict of interest.  But that was just the beginning.  The admission in open court by Sheriff Arpaio that his attorney had retained a private investigator to investigate Judge Murray Snow’s wife unquestionably was the bombshell of the week.

The Arizona Republic recaps the hearings hereJude Joffe-Block at KJZZ Arizona has some excellent reports from the courtroom.  For our coverage, see


Day 1 

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4 

The contempt hearings are scheduled to resume in June.  One has to wonder whether Sheriff Arpaio can withstand the withering criticism of his leadership and failure to comply with a federal court order.  At this point, the only question before the court appears to be whether the violations of the court's order was intentional and what the appropriate sanctions for the violation should be.

By the way, it is ironic that the Arpaio contempt hearings occurred the same week as the fifth anniversary of immigration enforcement law known as Arizona's S.B. 1070, an anniversary that sparked protests in Phoenix.


April 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Immigration Clinic at South Texas College of Law


The Adjunct Law Prof Blog recently spread the word that South Texas College of Law is opening a new immigration clinic.  Here is the announcement.


April 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Day 4 of Sheriff Joe Arpaio Contempt Hearings

_MG_8593 re

As reported on ImmigrationProf this week, Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has had a tumultuous week of hearings in federal court on whether the Sheriff and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office were in contempt of court in violating the terms of an injunction in a civil rights action. 

Jude Joffe Block reports on the hearing on Friday.  Sheriff Arpaio's chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, took the stand. Sheridan, along with Arpaio, have admitted to violating the judge's orders. The question is whether it was willful.

ACLU attorney Cecillia Wang questioned Sheridan about his role in violating the court's May 2014 instructions for how to collect videos from deputies without giving them the opportunity to destroy evidence of potential misconduct.

At times the testimony was tense. "Be careful about calling me a liar," Sheridan told Wang at one moment when she tried to point to inconsistencies in his actions and previous statements.

Wang also played video clips in court in which Sheridan is seen in a training for deputies calling the court's 2013 racial profiling ruling "crap" and "ludicrous." "I have very few regrets in my entire life on this planet and this was probably my number one regret," Sheridan said.

Sheridan said he was attempting to raise deputies' morale given they were going to be facing new burdens as a result of the court ruling.

The contempt hearings are scheduled to resume in June.


April 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Maria Chavez: Immigration Reform and the Impacts on Undocumented Latino Youth


Yesterday, ImmigrationProf posted the Ted talk of Professor Maria Chavez on the de-Americanization of Latino youth.  Here is a follow-up blog post by Maria:


The decades-long lack of reasonable immigration reform by Congress has profound consequences on undocumented Latino youth.

First, there is the very real possibility of the destruction of their families by detention and deportations— more than 400,000 deportation in 2012 alone, over 5000 children being placed in foster care, and over 50,000 children missing either one or more parents due to deportations in what is referred to as “collateral damage.”

Second, despite Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), many obstacles remain.  Harvard professor Roberto G. Gonzales highlights some of these obstacles including difficulty completing college, as many undocumented youth still do not have access to federal financial aid, or being at a permanent disadvantage regarding work experience resulting in a type of stratified economic and social incorporation.  This is especially evident with Mexican-origin youth who so often lack greater resources.

Finally, there is the issue of having one’s identity stripped away in the process of what Bill Ong Hing terms “de-Americanization.” Here are some examples of this de-Americanization that my co-authors and I uncovered in our data of 101 in-depth interviews with undocumented Latino youth in four states:

 Samuel[1] who has been living in the United States since the age of 5, states:

“Mexican. . . well, like, I know I’m Mexican definitely but. . . I know I’m Mexican, but I definitely see myself as a little whitewashed. . . Mexican-American as well. I mean, I have, only my roots tie me to Mexico, I haven’t really visited, I don’t really know much, so. . . .”

Josefina who has been living in the U.S. since she was an infant, states:

A: I think I’m Mexican. . . . I mean, I don’t know, I’m like, because I’m not, like you know, how my parents are here, I guess, people are considered to be Mexican-American either because they’re born here and their parents are Mexican, or if your parents were born here and you. . . I don’t know, because I do feel myself as American, but then I do love being Mexican.

Q: Yeah.

A: Because I was born here and I kind of, I kind of feel this is my home.

Q: Born here?

A: [laughing] I’m not, I mean, not born here, but you know, like . . . I feel like I was born here, that’s why . . . I think I would say Mexican-American/Chicano.

Raquel who has been living in the United States since the age of 8, states:

“I guess, Mexican. . . I mean, I guess . . . it’s ’cause, like, I feel like, if I was to go to Mexico I feel like, I don’t even belong there . . . ’cause I was raised, like, American . . . so, but I, I’m not, I’m not Chicano ’cause I’m Mexican Mexican. So I guess Mexican.”

Bianca who has been living in the United States since the age of 8, states:

" That’s when it hits you that you realize that you’re in the system but they don’t really want you to contribute to it, ‘cause you don’t have that number, and you feel discouraged. Thrown out. Segregated. Like a leftover."

The long term effects of these three consequences--being torn apart from one’s families, being disadvantaged economically and socially, and being treated as an outsider in the country you grow up in can derail a person’s life in very damaging ways.  And this is all due to the lack of reasonable immigration policy leaving 5 million undocumented Latino youth feeling like “left overs.” Unwanted and disregarded by the only country that they know. De-Americanized in a nation of immigrants.  As Franklin D. Roosevelt once stated: “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

[1] The names used in our research are pseudonyms.


April 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Immigration Article of the Day: Humanitarian Protection for Children Fleeing Gang-Based Violence in the Americas by Elizabeth Carlson and Anna Marie Gallagher

Carlson Gallagher

Humanitarian Protection for Children Fleeing Gang-Based Violence in the Americas by Elizabeth Carlson and Anna Marie Gallagher, Maggio + Kattar

Violence perpetrated by gangs and other criminal organizations has contributed to the large numbers of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) migrating to the United States from Central America and Mexico since 2011. This article in the Journal of Migration and Human Security  describes the US government’s obligations to protect UAC upon arrival and good practices of other governments in providing humanitarian aid to migrant and refugee children. It also discusses Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum claims based on gang-related violence. It concludes with recommendations designed to bring the United States into compliance with domestic and international law. 


April 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

crImmigration Law Professor Interviewed on The RightsCast

The De-Americanization Of Latino Youth

My friend Professor Maria Chavez gave this great TED talk.


Maria was born and raised in Northern California. Her father's family and her mother's family, both from Mexico, emigrated to the U.S. during the Bracero guest worker program. She is the eldest of four children and the first person in her family to have graduated from college earning a B.A. (cum laude) and an M.A. from California State University, Chico. She earned my Ph.D. in political science from Washington State University.  She currently is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Pacific Lutheran University specializing in American government, public policy, and race and politics. She is the author of Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism (Rowman and Littlefield, Inc. 2011) and co-author of a new book Living the Dream-New Immigration Policies and The Experiences of Undocumented Latino Youth.


April 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bombshell in Day 3 of Sheriff Arpaio Contempt Hearing: Sheriff admits investigation of wife of federal judge in racial profiling case


Associated Press reports that Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had fought to avoid a contempt hearing for his office's alleged failure to comply with an injunction in a civil rights action, acknowledged in his testimony in the hearing that his former lawyer had hired a private investigator to look into the wife of the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit against the sheriff and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.  

Arpaio finished his testimony and Judge Murray Snow asked him questions, including whether the sheriff was investigating his family.  According to the AP report,

"Arpaio said he believed his former lawyer . . . had hired a private investigator to carry out the secret investigation of Snow's wife. The move stemmed from a purported comment that Snow's wife made about the judge not wanting Arpaio to get re-elected in 2012. Casey declined comment, citing attorney-client privilege, when The Associated Press reached him after the development in court."

Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

UPDATE (APRIL 24):  The Arizona Republic offers further details of Sheriff Arpaio's testimony: 

After questioning Arpaio on the contempt and immigration matters, Snow shifted his focus to some of the sheriff's more-unorthodox operations, namely involving the sheriff's investigations into public officials. Snow based his questions on allegations cited in a Phoenix New Times article.  The  testimony offered a glimpse into the Sheriff's Office, with Arpaio conceding that the agency employed unreliable informants, private investigators and an unknown amount of public funds to investigate Arpaio's political enemies. Arpaio said he had come into the possession of an e-mail from a tipster who claimed to have met Snow's wife at a restaurant, and that Snow's wife said the judge "wanted to do everything to make sure I'm not elected." Arpaio said his counsel then hired a private investigator to look into the matter. "Results confirmed that your wife was in that restaurant," Arpaio told Snow. "I guess (the investigator) talked to the witness, confirmed that that remark was made."

Arpaio further acknowledged that some time in 2013, county funds were used to conduct investigations into the Department of Justice.

For a radio report by Jude Joffe-Block and Steve Goldstein on the new development in Sheriff Arpaio's case, click here (and here).  Wonkette offers a lighter look at Sheriff Joe's private investigator woes.  Even without Sheriff Arpaio's stunning revelation, it appears that counsel for the plaintiffs Stanley Young , a partner at Covington and Burling LLP, has made the Sheriff's appearance on the witness stand a challenging experience. "Think To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch doing Jedi mind tricks on an addled Emperor Palpatine."

In the comments to the Arizona Republic article reporting on the developments in the contempt hearing, there currently (April 24, 3 p.m. PST) appear to be few defenders of Sheriff Arpaio's use of a private investigator to take a look at Judge Snow's wife.  In my experience, many of the comments to immigration articles are not very sympathetic to immigrants generally.  Perhaps there is a consensus that Sheriff Arpaio has crossed the line in this instance. 



April 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Media Representations of African Migrant Youth

This week's media focus on Mediterranean migration reminded me of a thoughtful post from the Youth Circulations blog - Interrogating the Wave: Media Representations of African Migrant Youth.

Stephanie Maher, a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Washington, is the author of the post/photo essay. She discusses the nexus between images of African migrants and policies towards them. It's focused on the 2006-2007 time frame.

She writes:

Though seemingly one-dimensional, photographs are not without substance or personality. And, as this essay argues, they are not without political consequence. ... [I]mages are not neutral; they are “actors.” They act on and within social relations, and take part in the dialectic process of knowledge production.

Maher's call, to think deeply about the messages sent by news media images, is an interesting one. And quite timely.


April 23, 2015 in Current Affairs, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General


BREAKING NEWS:  After a lengthy confirmation delays, the U.S. Senate today approved Loretta E. Lynch to be attorney general. She is the first African-American woman to hold the position.  The delay, which is explained in the article above, is the second longest delay in the confirmation of the Attorney General in U.S. history.

Lynch, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, was confirmed 56 to 43, with 10 Republicans voting for her. Her confirmation took longer than that for all but two other nominees for the office: Edwin Meese III, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan, and A. Mitchell Palmer, who was picked by President Woodrow Wilson.

Republicans longed to replace Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., and they agreed that Ms. Lynch was qualified for the job. But many opposed her because Lynch defended President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader, had held up the nomination until the Senate voted on a human trafficking bill, a process that lasted weeks. The Senate passed the bill yesterday by a vote of 99 to 0.

The Attorney General, of course, heads the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which includes both the immigration courts and Board of Immigration Appeals.


April 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

One Man's Response to the Mediterranean Crisis

photos Chris Cantrambone

Dying at Europe's Doorstep is a new Bloomberg Businessweek article that covers not only the migration crisis in the Mediterranean Sea but also the individual efforts of Chris Catrambone, a Louisiana native, to address that crisis.

In 2014, Catrambone and his family established a nonprofit: the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MAOS). They bought a trawler and launched their own search-and-rescue effort to help Mediterranean migrants in crisis.

Last year, they came to the aid of some 3,000 migrants, bringing 1,462 aboard their own ship for hours or days until loaded onto other, bigger ships, or taken to Italian detention centers as directed by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome.

Coming to the aid of migrant-packed ships is not without danger. As we saw this week, the migrant vessel that capsized near Sicily appears to have steered into and collided with would-be rescuers. Migrants also crowded to one side of the boat after the collision causing it to capsize. Only 28 men out of 850 migrants survived that journey.


April 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Day Two of Sheriff Arpaio Contempt Hearing -- Sheriff Joe Testifies


The Arizona Republic reports on the second day of Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's contempt hearing, which so far appears to be one-sided.  Yesterday, "Arpaio took the stand for the first time this week to answer allegations he violated a federal judge's orders stemming from a class-action racial-profiling suit. He told plaintiffs' attorney Stanley Young that he remembered hearing about the preliminary injunction when it was issued but said he didn't have knowledge of all the facts of the order."

Sheriff Arpaio has already admitted to contempt of court, so plaintiffs are using their time to convince federal District Court Judge G. Murray Snow that Arpaio's violations were intentional.

Click here for coverage of Arpaio's testimony in the Los Angeles Times. Jude Joffe-Block of KJZZ is providing excellent detailed radio coverage on the contempt hearing.   

Arpaio is scheduled to continue to testify today.


April 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: 'Jim Crowing' Plyler v. Doe: The Resegregation of Undocumented Students in American Higher Education Through Discriminatory State Tuition and Fee Legislation by David H.K. Nguyen and Zelide R. Martinez Hoy


'Jim Crowing' Plyler v. Doe: The Resegregation of Undocumented Students in American Higher Education Through Discriminatory State Tuition and Fee Legislation by David H.K. Nguyen, Indiana University-Bloomington, and Zelideh R. Martinez Hoy, Indiana University Bloomington April 9, 2015 Cleveland State Law Review, Vol. 63, No. 2, 2015

Abstract: This law review article examines the re-segregation of undocumented students in education, more specifically, re-segregation through state laws and policies impacting their attendance at American colleges and universities. Under no fault of their own, undocumented students are marginalized even further after graduating from high school, since they are not afforded the same benefits as their peers to attend college. This article explores the current landscape of these laws and policies after providing background on Plyler v. Doe and state and federal attempts to challenge education for undocumented students.


April 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HBO's VICE Looks at Immigration Reform Alabama Style


Friday's episode of VICE on HBO takes an in-depth look at the state of immigration reform in America. In 2011, Alabama passed one of the toughest anti-immigration laws in the nation's history. In Friday's episode, VICE on HBO Correspondent Thomas Morton travels to Albertville, Alabama to see firsthand the lasting ramifications of House Bill 56. Using Alabama as a case study, Thomas explores what happens to the economy when undocumented workers leave.

VICE airs on HBO on Fridays at 11:00pm EST.  View the trailer for the immigration episode here.


April 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Day One of Sheriff Arpaio Contempt Proceeding

Arpaio swat

Photo Courtesy of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office website

As blogged previously on ImmigrationProf, Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's contempt hearing began yesterday in federal court in Phoenix, ArizonaHere, here, and here are reports on the first of a scheduled four days of hearings.

Sheriff Arpaio's contempt proceeding opened with testimony by one of Arpaio's own sergeants, who told the court the Sheriff deliberately violated a judge's orders in the racial-profiling litigation. Sgt. Brett Palmer testified that Arpaio had instructed him to continue enforcing federal immigration law after Judge G. Murray Snow had prohibited the practice. The testimony  supports the claims that Arpaio's failure to abide by Snow's orders were deliberate. A finding of willful violations could result in sanctions, including a referral for criminal contempt proceedings.

In addition, Sheriff Arpaio's attorney, Tom Liddy of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, informed the court that he would be requesting to withdraw from the case.


April 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Social Group Semantics: The Evidentiary Requirements of 'Particularity' and 'Social Distinction' in Pro Se Asylum Adjudications by Nick Bednar

Social Group Semantics: The Evidentiary Requirements of 'Particularity' and 'Social Distinction' in Pro Se Asylum Adjudications by Nick Bednar, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, School of Law, Students April 2, 2015 Minnesota Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract: An applicant applying for asylum on the basis of membership in a particular social group must produce evidence showing that their particular social group (1) shares an immutable characteristic, (2) is defined with particularity, and (3) is socially distinct. On February 7, 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) clarified its definition of particularity and social distinction in Matter of M-E-V-G-. According to the BIA, particularity defines the “outer limits” of the group’s boundaries. Social distinction requires the particular social group to be “perceived as a group by society.” Despite the BIA’s supposed goal, M E V G- has done little to clarify the particular social group standard. This Note argues that a pro se asylum applicant cannot show both particularity and social distinction. If the applicant defines her group too discretely, the group may fail to satisfy the element of social distinction. But, an amorphous particular social group is certain to fail the requirement of particularity. It is unreasonable to expect a pro se applicant to play this game of semantics. Furthermore, social distinction requires the applicant to produce sociological evidence — mostly in the form of expert witnesses. This implicit requirement of sociological evidence prevents pro se applicants from defining a satisfactory particular social group. In order to protect pro se applicants, this Note proposes a system of precedential fact-finding — drawing upon the United Kingdom’s Country Guidance System — to alleviate some of the burdens of particularity and social distinction.


April 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Immigration Linked to Rural Economic Gains

A new Daily Yonder study shows that rural counties with more immigrants tend to be performing better economically. Rural America’s foreign-born residents may be moving to counties that have more jobs, but immigrants also create more economic opportunity when they get there, economists say.

For many rural counties, having more immigrants also goes along with having a better local economy, according to a new study commissioned by the Daily Yonder. “The results of this study contradict common perceptions regarding immigrants,” said Roberto Gallardo, Ph.D., the author of the study “We frequently hear that immigrants are a drain on the economy and resources. But this data shows a very different picture.” Gallardo looked at the percentage of a rural county’s population that was born beyond U.S. borders and correlated that information with some basic economic data. He found that, in general, as the proportion of the immigrant population grows in rural areas, positive economic indicators like per capita market income rise, as well. And negative economic indicators like the rate of poverty and unemployment go down.

Hat tip to Lisa Pruitt.


April 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sheriff Arpaio Contempt Hearing to Begin


Jacques Billeaud of the Associated Press offers the basics on Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's contempt hearing in federal court in Arizona, which begins today.  The hearing is scheduled for four days and  could result in fines and other penalties for admitted violations of the court's orders in a racial profiling case.

Sheriff Arpaio has acknowledged disobeying the judge's pretrial order that barred his immigration enforcement patrols. He also has accepted responsibility for his agency's failure to turn over traffic-stop videos and bungling a plan to gather such recordings from officers once some videos were discovered.

Sheriff Arpaio is among the nearly two dozen people on the witness list.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow will decide whether Arpaio and four aides should be held in contempt. The sheriff and his second-in-command, Jerry Sheridan, have acknowledged violating the order and being responsible for the agency's failure to turn over traffic-stop videos and bungling the subsequent plan to gather recordings from officers. Arpaio proposed offering a public apology and making a donation to a civil rights organization from his own pockets.

Judge Snow has said the $100,000 donation proposed by Arpaio and Sheridan was an adequate personal financial penalty but rejected their requests to call off the hearing because their proposal didn't comprehensively resolve the contempt case.

For more on this story from Arizona, click here.

The abuses of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office of Latino citizens and lawful immigrants in the name of immigration enforcement reveal some of the risks involved in enlisting state and local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws.


April 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Meet Oregonians For Immigration Reform


Anti-immigrant groups in the Southwest have gained considerable attention.  These groups are not limited to the border region, however.  Media Matters profiles Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), an anti-immigrant organization that has used local media campaigns with other nativist organizations to fight against legislation in Oregon aimed at supporting immigrants. Here is OFIR's Facebook page.

After successfully attacking licenses for undocumented immigrants, OFIR has launched a new campaign to lobby against a bill that would allow undocumented immigrant graduates from Oregon high schools to receive state funded, need-based college scholarships.


April 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)