Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Matthew Tully, political columnist for The Indianapolis Star, finds a silver lining to Donald Trump's hateful immigration rhetoric. Tully interviewed Terri Morris Downs, the head of one of Indiana's leading immigration advocacy organizations: The Immigrant Welcome Center.
Downs says this about Trump: "I am grateful that he is at least starting a conversation about immigration in the United States. And I hope this conversation will eventually drive Congress to look at our broken system and say, 'How do we fix it?'"
The Telegraph reports -- in a story that is going viral -- that 10,000 Icelanders have offered to welcome Syrian refugees into their homes, as part of a Facebook campaign launched by a prominent author after the government said it would take in only a handful. After the Icelandic government announced last month that it would only accept 50 humanitarian refugees from Syria, Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir encouraged fellow citizens to speak out in favor of those in need of asylum.
In the space of 24 hours, 10,000 Icelanders – the country’s population is 300,000 – took to Facebook to offer up their homes and urge their government to do more.
Immigration Article of the Day: Limiting Deterrence: Judicial Resistance to Detention of Asylum-Seekers in Israel and the United States by Michael Kagan
Limiting Deterrence: Judicial Resistance to Detention of Asylum-Seekers in Israel and the United States by Michael Kagan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law 2015 Texas International Law Journal, Vol. 51, Forthcoming UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper
Abstract: Governments have advanced the argument that asylum-seekers may be detained in order to deter other would-be asylum-seekers from coming. But in recent litigation in the United States and Israel, this justification for mass detention met with significant resistance from courts. This Essay looks at the way the American and Israeli courts dealt with the proposed deterrence rationale for asylum-seeker detention. It suggests that general deterrence raises three sequential questions: 1. Is deterrence ever legitimate as a stand alone justification for depriving people of liberty? 2. If deterrence is sometimes legitimate, is it valid as a general matter in migration control, or is it limited to certain exceptional circumstances? 3. If deterrence is a legitimate goal, is there any effective proportionality limit on the measures a government may take against asylum-seekers? The American and Israeli courts did not answer these questions in the same way, and they did not foreclose all potential future uses of deterrence by their respective governments. But they signaled considerable judicial resistance, which may make it more difficult for governments to justify mass detention in the future.
Monday, August 31, 2015
In a time when immigrants are being demonized in some quarters, the Vilcek Foundation seeks to show how the foreign-born population contributes to American research and development. “PhDs and Patents,” the first in an “Immigrant Nation, American Success” infographic series looks at the link between immigrants and innovation. For example, did you know that the majority of patents from America’s top 10 patent-producing universities listed at least one foreign-born inventor?
Many have always believed that immigrants are vital to American progress, but now we’ve got the numbers to back it up! The “Immigrant Nation, American Success” series summarize how the foreign-born fuel scientific and economic development in the U.S. The graphic, “PhDs and Patents,” shows the link between foreign-born graduate students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and innovation in American research and development. Studies by organizations such as the World Bank, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the bipartisan Partnership for a New American Economy have projected that the nation gains 62 patent applications for every 100 international students who receive science or engineering PhDs from American universities, and that, on average, 2.62 jobs are created for every foreign-born graduate with an advanced degree from a U.S. university who stays to work in a STEM field.
On August 30, 2015, Freedom University opened its doors for its fifth anniversary year, welcoming a new class of undocumented students for the Fall 2015 semester! The average class size is typically 25-30 students. This year, a record 75 students registered for class.
Despite the unexpected tripling of our class size, Freedom U staff and volunteers stepped up to meet the challenge: we prepared three times as many class binders, we coordinated three times as many volunteer drivers, we ordered three times as many pizzas, and we set up three times as many chairs, filling every inch of our classroom. The result was beautiful: students filed in by the dozen, each beaming with excitement as they felt the indescribable energy of being in a safe space where young people shape history.
In addition to the record number of students, this year’s class is also the most diverse: Freedom University students came to the United States from four continents, with countries of origin including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Ghana, and South Korea.
Based in Atlanta, Freedom University is inspired by the legacy of the Southern Freedom School tradition. It provides tuition-free education, college application and scholarship assistance, and tangible movement skillbuilding to undocumented students banned from public higher education in Georgia.
Donald Trump meet Wong Kim Ark, the Chinese American cook who is the father of ‘birthright citizenship’
Wong Kim Ark
For very interesting background about a cook named Wong Kim Ark, the "father of birthright citizenship," click here. His case United States v. Wong Kim Ark was "a `test case' brought by the United States government, egged on by a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment, in an effort to undermine the 14th Amendment `birthright' provision which made Wong a citizen . . . . "
Release date: September 1, 2015
A touching tale of parent-child separation and immigration, from a National Book Award finalist
After Saya's mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother's warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she’s in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother's tales and her father's attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good. With stirring illustrations, this tender tale shows the human side of immigration and imprisonment—and shows how every child has the power to make a difference.
Danticat was born in Haiti. When she was two, her father immigrated to New York, to be followed two years later by her mother Rose. This left Danticat and her younger brother to be raised by her aunt and uncle. Although her formal education in Haiti was in French, she spoke Haitian Creole at home. While in Haiti, Danticat began writing. At age 12, she moved to Brooklyn to join her parents in a heavily Haitian American neighborhood. Edwidge's disorientation to her new surroundings was a source of discomfort for her, and she turned to literature for solace.
PolitiFact has been busy verifying the presidential candidates' statements on immigration. It has fact-checked 10 misleading statements about immigration so far in the presidential race. The topics:
Deporting criminals: Bush said, "The federal government right now does not deport criminals." Last year, federal authorities deported about 86,000 illegal immigrants convicted of previous crimes.
Anchor babies: Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said "there’s 400,000" anchor babies born in the United States a year, which are "individuals coming to our country and having their children so their children can be U.S. citizens." The figure is actually 300,000, and while the practice happens, it's not possible to draw a broad single conclusion about why these mothers came to the United States.
Trump’s campaign: Trump said illegal immigration "wasn’t a subject that was on anybody’s mind until I brought it up at my announcement." Actually, immigration was a topic before Trump announced, and the issue came up just as often before he announced as after.
The Mexican government: Trump said, "The Mexican government ... they send the bad ones over." Setting aside the question of whether Mexicans who come to the United States are "bad" or not, we found no evidence of any Mexican policy that pushes people out of Mexico and into the United States. Instead, economic and family factors drive immigration.
The number of illegal immigrants: Trump said the number of illegal immigrants in the United States is "30 million, it could be 34 million." Federal officials say the number is about 11.4 million -- a number backed up by various groups that study immigration in depth.
Florida "sanctuary cities": Trump said Florida had five sanctuary cities while Bush was governor. We found one list on the Internet that claimed five Florida locations as current sanctuary cities, but the supporting evidence was virtually nonexistent. We rated this claim False.
Prisoners: Trump said "Hundreds of thousands of (illegal immigrants are) going to state and federal penitentiaries." In 2013, there were fewer than 100,000 noncitizens -- legal and undocumented -- in federal and state prisons.
Texas national guard: Perry said, "I deployed the Texas National Guard" to the Texas-Mexico border. "And the policy worked; apprehensions at the border declined 74 percent." His statistic holds up, but Perry didn’t provide, nor did we find proof, that the decrease resulted from the Texas surge. PolitiFact Texas rated this claim Mostly False.
The GOP field: Clinton said, "Not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one." She told voters who want a path to citizenship that there's no one on the Republican side who supports that issue. But there was one when we fact-checked this in May: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. She did have a point that the other dozen or so candidates either have never backed a path to citizenship or have sent mixed signals. We rated this claim Mostly False.
Obama at the border: Walker said that President Barack Obama has not gone to the Texas-Mexico border. Obama certainly hasn’t been a frequent visitor, but as president he did go to the border once, in May 2011 to give a speech on immigration reform.
Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal said Sunday the U.S. must insist that immigrants do a better job of assimilating into American culture to avoid problems facing Europe. "We need to insist people that want to come to our country should come legally, should learn English and adopt our values, roll up their sleeves, and get to work," Jindal, the Louisiana governor, said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation." "We need to insist on assimilation. You know, in Europe they're not doing that. They've got huge problems. Immigration without assimilation is invasion. That can weaken our country." "Let's forget this politically correct left notion that we're not a melting pot anymore," he added.
Judge for yourself.
LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom Immigration Law reports that the Obama administration in an amicus brief urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reject efforts by Arizona to deny licenses to drive to recipients of relief under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The brief argues that the federal government has exclusive authority to decide who can remain in the United States. That includes issuing Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) empowering those people to work in this country legally. What Arizona is doing is deciding that only the holders of some EADs meet the requirements of a 1996 Arizona law that allows licenses to be issued solely to those whose presence in this country is “authorized by federal law.” Specifically, the Department of Transportation is saying that EADs issued to those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals do not qualify.
A district court has enjoined Arizona's efforts to deny driver's license eligibility to DACA recipients and the case is on appeal.
It seems fair to say that Germany has a checkered history with respect to its treatment of asylum-seekers. So far, however, the nation is taking some positive steps to address the needs of refugees in the current crisis. Germany announced (and here) that it is allowing Syrians to remain in Germany and apply for asylum. An The Independent reports that a German couple have started a website to match refugees with roommates in Germany and Austria to create a “more human culture of welcoming refugees.”
Marieke Geiling and her boyfriend Jonas Kakoschke launched Refugees Welcome to match refugees and asylum seekers with shared flats or other “normal” housing situations so that migrants would not have to live in mass accommodation. After a shared flat or house signs up to the website, available in English and German, they will then be connected to a refugee organization who will put them in touch with a person who has fled to their city. Once a flatmate has been placed, Refugees Welcome with then help with financing rent costs.
“We are convinced that refugees should not be stigmatized and excluded by being housed in mass accommodations,” Refugees Welcome states on its homepage.
In 2014 Germany received around 200,000 asylum applications, up from 127,000 in 2013. Many of the migrants are from Muslim countries, fleeing conflicts such as Syria. The increasing number is putting a strain on refugee resources in the country, with many refugees staying in the mass accommodations of old schools and army barracks.
Marieke Geiling, 28, and her boyfriend Jonas Kakoschke, 31, launched Refugees Welcome to match refugees and asylum seekers with shared flats or other “normal” housing situations so that migrants would not have to live in mass accommodation.
After a shared flat or house signs up to the website, available in English and German, they will then be connected to a refugee organisation who will put them in touch with a person who has fled to their city.
In a recent study highlighted on blog emperor Paul Caron's TaxProf blog, immigration lawyers are the seventh most liberal lawyers among various practice areas. They are less liberal than entertainment, civil rights, personal injury, elder law, class action, and medical malpractice. Immigration lawyers are ranked slightly higher in terms of average liberality than criminal lawyers, environmental lawyers, and regulatory lawyers.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
As readers of this blog well know, Donald Trump has been in the news of late. To make sense of Trump';'s immigration appeal, I commend this New Yorker article by Evan Osnos, which looks at the radical white nationalist coalition that Trump is building. It is an incredibly thoughtful piece that includes such lines as this: "Trump takes an expansive view of reality." The concluding paragraph brings home the political gravity of the situation:
Trump’s candidacy has already left a durable mark, expanding the discourse of hate such that, in the midst of his feuds and provocations, we barely even registered that Senator Ted Cruz had called the sitting President “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism,” or that Senator Marco Rubio had redoubled his opposition to abortion in cases of rape, incest, or a mortal threat to the mother. Trump has bequeathed a concoction of celebrity, wealth, and alienation that is more potent than any we’ve seen before. If, as the Republican establishment hopes, the stargazers eventually defect, Trump will be left with the hardest core—the portion of the electorate that is drifting deeper into unreality, with no reconciliation in sight.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Today Chris Christie held a town hall event in New Hampshire where he said that, if elected president, he would track undocumented migrants like FedEx packages. "We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up," Christie said.
It's a Hunger Games approach to immigration! "This is just your tracker, Katniss. The stiller you are, the more efficiently I can place it."
Interestingly, CNN notes that Christie isn't the first politician to come up with the FedEx analogy. Earlier proponents include Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock and Newt Gingrich.
“The U.S. Immigration Agenda” was part of the 10th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute held by the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C.. The link above includes a CSPAN video of the discussion.
The participants included:
Gregory Z. Chen, Director American Immigration Lawyers Association Advocacy
Mary Giovagnoli, Deputy Assistant Secretary Department of Homeland Security Immigration Policy
Lynden Melmed, Chief Counsel (Former) Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The SuperDome housed local citizens who fled the flooding
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and literally destroyed large parts of the Southeast, including New Orleans. The ten year anniversary of this natural disaster has received considerable attention.
The government's response to Hurricane Katrina, including the response of President George W. Bush and the federal government, was harshly criticized. Criticism focused on mismanagement and lack of leadership in the relief efforts in response to the storm and its aftermath. More specifically, the criticism focused on the delayed response to the flooding of New Orleans, and the subsequent state of chaos in the city.
Hurricane Katrina also had immigration consequences, many of which were addressed in my lecture at the Houston University Law Center in 2007. The lecture was published in the Houston Law Review. (Raquel Aldana and Anna Shavers offered commentary on the lecture.). Here is an abstract of my lecture:
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina crippled the Gulf Coast. National and international television networks televised the widespread destruction virtually non-stop for days. Many observers identified failures by all levels of government, beginning with the failure to take adequate steps to prevent the flooding to the painfully slow reconstruction of the gulf region.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, race soon emerged at the center of a heated and often over-heated controversy. African Americans comprised a substantial number of the flood victims seen on television screens around the world. As the federal government slowly responded and nothing less than anarchy reigned on the streets of New Orleans, critics forcefully contended that the race of many of the victims contributed to the slowness and ineptitude of the response. Rap star Kanye West put it most bluntly: George Bush doesn't care about black people, a position with which nearly three-quarters of African Americans polled in September 2005 agreed. Evidently feeling it necessary to squarely address the charge, President Bush vigorously denied that the race of the victims in any way influenced the federal government's emergency response to the devastation wrought by the hurricane.
Another group an often invisible group suffered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Immigrants, including many from Latin America, were the silent victims of the deadly hurricane. Thousands of immigrants were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. However, most reports, while critical of the governmental response to the hurricane, failed to even mention, much less criticize, the widespread indifference to the plight of the many noncitizens displaced by the mass disaster.
The general public did not look sympathetically upon immigrants. Government's failure to provide relief failed to generate much of a public response, much less trigger any general expression of outrage. The denial of disaster relief to noncitizens, as well as aggressive enforcement of the immigration laws in the wake of the hurricane, was consistent with the times, which were filled with calls for increased immigration enforcement and the popular perception that immigrants especially undocumented ones constituted a serious social problem that must be addressed.
As the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast began, immigrant workers responded. Workers were in short supply; as efforts to return to some semblance of normalcy began, many businesses were hard-pressed to field a workforce. Rather than applaud the assistance of noncitizens in the resettlement and rebuilding efforts, politicians and the public expressed fear and apprehension about the possibility that new immigrants transform the racial identity of New Orleans as well as hurt the job prospects of U.S. especially African American citizens. Unlike others willing to help, immigrants were criticized and feared, not welcomed and lauded.
Indeed, local citizens and public officials demanded action to halt immigrants from taking American jobs and changing the racial identity of a major southern city. The African American mayor of New Orleans expressed fear about the city being overrun by Mexican workers. He later stated that it was nothing less than God's will for New Orleans to be a chocolate not a Mexican city, presumably expressing the hope that it would be reconstructed as the African American enclave that it had been. In the public discussion of the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, race was considered central to the city's past and future identity.
Although a fascinating story in and of itself, the plight of immigrants in the Hurricane Katrina disaster teaches deeper lessons about society's views of immigration and immigrants in the modern United States. First, despite their many contributions to U.S. society, immigrants generally, as a historical matter, have been deemed unworthy of public benefits whatever their personal circumstances. Welfare assumes an even worse name for immigrants than it does for citizens. The failure of government to provide relief to immigrants after Hurricane Katrina thus fits comfortably into a deep and enduring American tradition.
Second, immigrants especially undocumented ones who seek gainful employment in the United States often are characterized as economic parasites who take jobs from U.S. citizens. Throughout its history, this nation at various times has narrowed the immigration laws, ratcheted up border enforcement, and engaged in mass deportation campaigns, based on the unproven claim that immigrants from displacing American workers, which is a special concern in poor economic times. Time and time again, commentators and activists have contended that immigrant labor adversely affects African Americans in the job market.
Public opinion in the United States poses a most unfair Catch 22 to undocumented immigrants, who are characterized as both abusers of public benefit programs and as job takers who hurt U.S. citizens. Put simply, they either do not work and consume welfare or work and steal jobs. Much of this, of course, is old news to the most casual student of this nation's immigration history. However, even though a plethora of scholarship exists on the problems that riddle the immigration bureaucracy, there has been precious little analysis of the theoretical underpinnings of the regulation of immigration by administrative agencies. This is surprising given the great power, including the authority to remove noncitizens from the country, which such agencies possess over the lives and destinies of immigrants. Rather, immigration law, although administered and enforced through a complex and powerful administrative bureaucracy, is considered to be a specialty area outside the mainstream of administrative law.
A problem that has arisen in the U.S. government's response to immigrants in the Hurricane Katrina disaster is symptomatic of a more general failure of American democracy the lack of political accountability of the immigration bureaucracy to all persons affected by its actions. This Article critically considers the reasons for the lack of responsiveness of that bureaucracy to the needs of immigrant communities and analyzes a glaring political process defect. By so doing, I hope to encourage a sustained examination of the issue, which deeply afflicts the administration and enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws, a complex regulatory body of law filled with vast delegations of discretion to the bureaucracy.
Most generally, the frequent failure of the agencies that administer the immigration laws to fully consider the impacts of laws and regulations on noncitizens suggests a fundamental flaw in the conventional rationale for deference to administrative agencies. The Supreme Court, in perhaps the leading administrative law decision of the post-World War II period, Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., has emphasized that reviewing courts ordinarily should defer to the interpretations of statutes by administrative agencies because the Executive Branch, through election of the President, is politically accountable to the voters and that decisions properly delegated to agencies are necessarily political ones. The administration of the immigration laws thus poses a fundamental problem for the democratic rationale for deference: if we entrust agencies with making and enforcing the laws because of their political accountability, what should we do if a specific agency is only accountable to part of the people affected, directly or indirectly, by its decisions?
Both lawful and undocumented immigrants, barred from having any formal political input namely, the vote into the administrative state, are frequently injured by decisions of the bureaucracy. Citizens, whose interests often diverge from those of noncitizens, are indirectly affected by the decisions of the immigration bureaucracy but, whatever its limitations, have a full voice in the national political system through election of the President. Some citizens, of course, have family members and friends affected by immigration law and its enforcement and may advocate politically for pro-immigrant laws and policies. Still, immigrants lack the political capital of the ordinary citizen constituency of an administrative agency.
The lack of balance in political input between the affected communities can be expected to result in agency rulings and decisions on immigration matters that fail to fully consider the interests of immigrants. This fact helps explain why, especially in times of social stress, the rights of immigrants have been marginalized by the immigration agencies, as well as by Congress, throughout U.S. history. The politically powerful dominate, while the weak noncitizens have their interests under-valued and often suffer punishment.
Part I of this Article summarizes the context surrounding the Hurricane Katrina disaster and how the stage was set for a racially-charged debate over the government's actions in response to the disaster as well as the mistreatment of immigrants. Part II critically analyzes how government harshly treated immigrants in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and how political failure within administrative agencies contributed to this treatment, just as it has throughout U.S. history. This structural flaw further helps explain why we know so little about the silent suffering of immigrants in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and, more generally, in American social life. It also suggests deep problems with the lack of political accountability of the immigration bureaucracy to noncitizens.
As it turns out, Hurricane Katrina is symptomatic of a more general problem in the governance of the United States. A shadow population of millions of undocumented immigrants who are abused and exploited, live in the United States and lack any formal input into the political process. They, along with many lawful immigrants, hold second class status in U.S. social life and, more specifically, are part of a low wage caste of color. Although more diluted than the old racial caste in place in the days of Jim Crow, it is a racial caste no less, marked by a subordinated status and subject to exploitation. To make matters worse, the democratic problem identified in this article is not limited to the immigration bureaucracy, but is a more general problem of U.S. government.
As this news story reports, Latino immigrants who came to the New Orleans and the Southeast to assist in rebuilding efforts are establishing more permanent roots in the region. Many of those workers claim that they still have not been paid for their rebuilding work.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Excellent work, all!
From the Bookshelves: History of the Muslims of Regina, Saskatchewan, and Their Organizations by Naiyer Habib & Mahlaqa Naushaba Habib
Canada is home to immigrants from many cultures. Unlike times past, when newcomers from a foreign country seemed to want to blend in with their new culture as soon as possible, more recent immigrants want to become a part of their new home but retain some of the elements of their native cultures. This is a task that is often easier to talk about than to accomplish. History of the Muslims of Regina, Saskatchewan, and Their Organizations: Islamic Association, CCMW and MPJ represents the struggle and success of authors and editors Naiyer Habib and Mahlaqa Naushaba Habib. When they immigrated to Canada in 1973, they wanted to preserve their culture and religion for themselves as well as for future Muslim generations. The Culture in their new home was much different than theirs. It was the time when literature on Islam or Islamic culture was hard to find in English, so it was difficult for their new neighbors to learn about them. Through Islamic organizations begun by the Habibs and others in the Muslim community, whose stories are shared in this book, they introduced Islam and Muslims to Regina, while still holding on to their culture, but integrating with society at large. History of the Muslims of Regina, Saskatchewan, and Their Organizations: Islamic Association, CCMW and MPJ demonstrate it is not always easy to incorporate a familiar culture in a new home. But with hard work and willingness of all cultures involved to learn from each other, it can be done successfully.
Naiyer Habib was a respected Cardiologist, researcher and medical administrator in Regina, Saskatchewan, until 2004 before retiring in 2011 in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada where he leads semiretired life. Mahlaqa Naushaba Habib completed her Master’s degree in Political science. She became her husband’s office manager until their retirement. They have served the Muslim community for approximately three decades. They are currently working on their memoir.