Tuesday, January 27, 2015
California Attorney General Kamala Harris: Executive Immigration Initiatives a Boost to the U.S. Economy
An executive immigration plan unveiled by President Barack Obama last fall can tremendously grow California’s economy in the next decade, state Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a White House conference call Monday.Harris has entered the race for Senate in California to replace longtime Senator Barbara Boxer.
Officials predict the U.S. economy will grow between $90 to $210 billion over the next 10 years. Meanwhile, California’s gross domestic product will climb by nearly $12 billion to $27.5 billion as a result of the plan, according to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Download Cea_2014_economic_effects_of_immigration_executive_action
The aim of coordinated interagency adjudication is to employ the resources of multiple agencies to improve determinations of statutory violations or of administrative claims for benefits. However, coordinated administrative adjudication across agencies may have problematic consequences. For example, in the area of immigration, poorly administered coordination between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice caused gross violations of the rights of asylum seekers and mentally incompetent noncitizens. These events, in turn, led to two recent high-profile class action lawsuits against the government. Just as importantly, the phenomenon of coordinated interagency adjudication highlights broader questions concerning the reach of judicial review of administrative activity and the breadth of agencies’ authority to determine their own jurisdiction.
Despite the significance of interagency coordination to large swaths of administrative adjudication and the complications it has caused in the immigration context, scholars, the courts, and even the executive branch itself remain relatively unaware of it. This Article remedies this lack of awareness. It brings to light coordinated interagency adjudication processes by presenting instances of this phenomenon in a comprehensive typology involving a number of different executive branch agencies.
In addition, it argues that, because of the complexities of adjudication across agency boundaries, these processes escape the evaluation necessary to ensure their quality. Therefore, executive branch oversight is required both to prevent coordination fiascos such as those wrought in the immigration context and to ensure that agencies remain within reasonable jurisdictional bounds. As such, this Article proposes the establishment of context-specific, narrowly focused, ex ante executive branch oversight of coordinated adjudication processes.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Friday is Fred Korematsu Day to honor the life of the man who challenged the U.S. government's internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
Korematsu, a U.S. citizen born to immigrant parents, was just 23 when he refused to subject himself to internment. He was tried for and convicted of defying the internment order, and Korematsu appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. There, in one of history's most shameful Supreme Court decisions, he lost.
Actor and activist George Takei will be in San Francisco to honor the memory Korematsu. You can join Takei at the City Arts and Lectures-Nourse Theatre, 7:30 PM Friday, for this event. Tickets are available here.
Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, often featured on this blog for his immigration shenanigans, is featured in an electronic billboard overlooking Times Square in New York City welcoming Super Bowl visitors to Arizona.
Imagine being taken into a room. It is cold – very, very cold – and you shiver under the single layer of clothes that is all you are allowed to wear. The room is concrete and entirely bare: nothing on the walls, no furniture, no bedding of any sort other than the thin sheet you have been given. The only window allows guards to look in at you, but gives you no view of the world outside.
You sit in the room, huddled on the cold, hard floor, seeking warmth under the sheet. The room is lit by neon lights that are kept on 24 hours a day, and after a while you lose track of time. Is it day, is it night – you no longer know. Though there are many other people in the room with you, they are all strangers and no-one speaks to you. You are utterly alone.
And you are 7 years old.
You won't be able to stop reading.
There has been talk of the iconic -- maybe memorable is a better word -- Sarah Palin as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for President. It seems fair to say that her candidacy would add grist for pundits and commentators, including her discussion of immigration. Last November, for example, Palin offered an interesting twist on geography by saying that undcocumented immigrants from Mexico should be put on boats and sent back across the ocean to their home country.
I should have been clearer -- this is satire from the Daily Currant. Don't be fooled!
WRIT WRITER tells the story of a self-taught jailhouse lawyer named Fred Arispe Cruz who challenged the constitutionality of prison conditions in Texas in the 1960s, and launched the state’s prisoners’ rights movement. The film uses narration adapted from prison diaries, letters, legal pleadings, and courtroom testimony by writer Dagoberto Gilb (The Flowers, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna, The Magic of Blood, and Gritos) and performed in voice-over by actor Jesse Borrego (24, The New World, Blood In, Blood Out). Archival film footage is drawn from documentary films about Texas prisons and several large collections of still photography complement the motion picture. With recollections from Cruz’s friends and contemporaries - including ex-convicts, prisoners, and former wardens – further personalizing it, the film’s narrative spine and visual history creates an honest, unsentimental portrayal of Cruz. The music in the film was written and performed by Gabe Rhodes (Austin-based musician and producer), with additional compositions by composer and musician Joel Guzman using the traditional accordion sounds of Central and South Texas. WRIT WRITER recalls the prisoners’ rights movement of the Civil Rights era here in the U.S., and the conditions that inspired prisoners like Fred Cruz to speak out.
Immigration Article of the Day: Unauthorized Immigration and Electoral Outcomes by Nicole Baerg, Julie L. Hotchkiss, and Myriam Quispe-Agnoli
Unauthorized Immigration and Electoral Outcomes by Nicole Baerg (University of Mannheim), Julie L. Hotchkiss (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Georgia State University - Department of Economics), and Myriam Quispe-Agnoli (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta). December 1, 2014 Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 14-12
Abstract: Using a unique methodology for identifying undocumented workers across counties in the state of Georgia in the United States, we find a negative relationship between the share of unauthorized workers and the share of votes going to the Democrats in elections. Furthermore, we show that this effect is more pronounced for the presence of unauthorized immigrants than Hispanics; is stronger in counties with higher median household income; and is substantively larger in U.S. Congressional elections than Gubernatorial or Senatorial elections. We discuss which political economy theories are most consistent with this set of findings.
From the Bookshelves: William Frey, Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America.
At its optimistic best, America has embraced its identity as the world’s melting pot. Today it is on the cusp of becoming a country with no racial majority, and new minorities are poised to exert a profound impact on U.S. society, economy, and politics.
Through a compelling narrative and eye-catching charts and maps, eminent demographer William H. Frey interprets and expounds on the dramatic growth of minority populations in the United States. He finds that without these expanding groups, America could face a bleak future: this new generation of young minorities, who are having children at a faster rate than whites, is infusing our aging labor force with vitality and innovation.
Diversity Explosion shares the good news about diversity in the coming decades, and the more globalized, multiracial country that U.S. is becoming.
In this podcast about the book, Frey explains what he means by "diversity explosion"; why growing minority populations are so important for America; and what public officials, community leaders, and decision-makers need to understand about the importance of educating and training a new generation of workers.
William H. Frey, senior fellow in the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, is an internationally regarded demographer, known for his research on urban populations, migration, immigration, race, aging, political demographics and his expertise on the U.S. Census. He was the first to predict that 2011 would be the first year in which more minority babies than white were born.
For those of us who know and do not love the expedited removal statute - 8 U.S.C. 1225b - a new ruling showcases both the statute's shortcomings and how a judge with guts can expose and exploit those shortcomings for the sake of justice. Kabenga v. Holder (SD New York 2015) concerns an alien who had been living peaceably in the US for thirty years, twenty of them as an LPR, when he was convicted of an assault and deported in 2012. In July 2014, he landed at JFK, mistakenly assuming he'd served a proper banishment and would be welcomed back. Not so. He was put in front of an immigration judge who affirmed an expedited removal. Kabenga filed for a writ of habeas corpus, contending that his 2012 conviction should not have triggered deportation because the conviction was bogus. His original removal, thus, was bogus and he was still an LPR. And an LPR can not be removed via an expedited removal.
The incomparable Judge Shira Scheindlin made two important rulings. First, she granted Kabenga a stay of removal under the Nken factors, pointedly suggesting that after the Office of the Solicitor General's misrepresentations to the Nken court, she wasn't going to risk sending Kabenga out of the country to fight to stay in the country. She did so in spite of 1252(e)(1) which the government has cited again and again as a block to stays or any other "injunctive" relief after an expedited removal has been issued. Secondly, she directly addressed the absurd tension between the limited habeas review provision of 1252(e)(2)(C) and the prohibition on determination of admissibility that appears at 1252(e)(5). Scheindlin performed an exhaustive review of every expedited review case in existence and rightly decided that unlike garden variety cases involving aliens seeking an initial legal admission or favourable status, Kabenga had already been admitted to the United States. His admissibility wasn't in question. Before his 2012 removal, he had lived in the US for twenty years. If he was still an LPR, he couldn't and shouldn't be removed without proper judicial review and intervention.
Kabenga is a significant case because it enhances judicial review of expedited removals. Moreover, Scheindlin has affirmed the supremacy of Nken as potential relief in any kind of removal. Her ruling also cracks the door a bit wider for petitioners who either claim that they are not aliens - see 1252(e)(2)(A) - or resident aliens who feel they deserve a more involved proceeding than an expedited removal because they had previously been lawfully admitted to the United States. For Canadians and Mexicans who can be quickly hustled back across the border in a matter of minutes, securing detention long enough to file with a US district court for a stay should now be allowed. A note of caution, though. A citizenship claim in an expedited removal proceeding is risky business; you could well be charged with a false claim if you don't have evidence at hand or you could put in front of an immigration judge. If he or she denies your claim, further judicial review is prohibited by law and you get the bum's rush.
In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower: Undocumented Undergraduates and the Liminal State of Immigration Reform
Amidst the turbulent crosscurrents of immigration reform, nearly a quarter of a million undocumented undergraduates are struggling to find their way in higher education. Their liminal state calls for research to inform the unique needs and challenges of this growing student population. In this report from UndocuScholars, we shed light on the range and complexities of undocumented undergraduates experiences based on a sample of 909 participants across 34 states originating in 55 countries. The participants attended an array of postsecondary institutions including two-year and four-year public and private colleges that range in selectivity. In this report, we describe their demographic characteristics, experiences in college, as well as their aspirations and anxieties. Further, we make specific recommendations for what colleges should consider to better serve this population. Lastly, in light of executive actions in 2012 and 2014, this data can be used to extrapolate some of the issues that are likely to define this newly protected immigrant population moving forward.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
The Associated Press reports that immigrant rights advocates heckled Republican presidential prospects Rick Perry and Chris Christie over immigration policies during a conservative political forum in Iowa. The former governor of Texas was interrupted during his speech to the Iowa Freedom Forum by six people chanting, "If you become president, will you deport our families?"
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Earlier this week, a federal district court judge in Arizona permanently blocked a ban on drivers' licenses for immigrant youth ordered by Governor Jan Brewer. The ruling is the latest in a series of victories for DREAMers in Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer, a lawsuit brought by civil rights groups challenging the state's denial of licenses to immigrants who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under a federal program.
MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the ACLU of Arizona challenged the executive order and related policies in court, alleging that the ban violates DACA recipients' constitutional right to equal protection under the law as well as the principles of federal supremacy in the area of immigration policy and law.
The discriminatory policy was ordered by Governor Brewer in 2012 shortly after the Obama administration announced its DACA program. In July 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the policy was likely unconstitutional and that the group of young people-who have permission from the federal government to live and work in the U.S.-are seriously impaired by their inability to get drivers' licenses.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Arizona's motion to stay the Ninth Circuit decision. On December 22, 2014, Arizona began issuing driver's licenses to DREAMers for the first time. And, last night, an Arizona District Court reached its final resolution on the case-finding the policy violated the DREAMers' equal protection rights, and entered a permanent injunction of the discriminatory ban.
For a copy of the decision, click here.
As reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the University of California at Berkeley plans to open a global campus. Under the plan, partner universities from around the world would set up shop at a new outpost just 10 miles from Berkeley’s campus. The Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay, campus officials say, will offer a "global citizenship" curriculum—with a focus on topics like governance, ethics, health, and sustainability—for graduate students from the United States and abroad. By situating the campus nearby—an unusual move in an era when many American institutions are building abroad—Berkeley hopes to establish partnerships with universities from around the world while preserving full academic freedom for its faculty.
Friday, January 23, 2015
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that net international migration to the United States will become the primary driver of the nation’s population growth between 2027 and 2038. This brief examines current population trends among the foreign- and native-born at the county level, and highlights the role that immigrants play in contributing to population growth and slowing population loss. This analysis does not examine the merits of population change, but instead focuses on where it is occurring geographically.
Over the past 25 years, the total immigrant population has increased and spread across the country. In 1990, the foreign-born population was 19.7 million or 7.9 percent of the U.S. total, with nearly 3 out of 4 immigrants (73 percent) living in either California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, or Texas. By 2010, approximately 40 million immigrants made up 13 percent of the overall population, and the proportion of immigrants residing in the six leading states dropped to 65 percent. Over that same time, other states including Nevada, North Carolina, and Washington experienced large growth in their foreign-born populations.
An examination of county-level demographic data reveals how immigrants affected population change in specific regions of the country between 1990 and 2012. While the native- and foreign-born populations both grew across most of the United States during that period, there are some areas where the native-born population decreased. This brief illustrates how, in some places, an influx of foreign-born individuals slowed overall population loss and even reversed it. This is consistent with past research that has found that immigration continues to shape the country’s demography, particularly in newer immigrant destinations. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has shown that immigration has mitigated population loss in the Midwest at the state level and in metropolitan areas. Researchers reported in the journal Rural Sociology that immigrants reduced population loss in nonmetropolitan counties during the 1990s. This brief updates and expands on previous research by providing a county-level analysis of the entire nation over two decades and presenting the demographic context for future research on the impact of immigration on state and local economies and budgets.
We find four key trends.
- Immigrants have moved beyond traditional gateways. Map 1 illustrates how growth in the foreign-born population has extended beyond traditional gateways—such as California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas—into other areas of the United States, especially the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest.
- Native-born population has declined in Middle America. Map 2 shows that while the foreign-born population was increasing and dispersing, the native-born population was declining in certain areas of the country. This trend is most strongly observed in the middle of the United States.
- Immigration has driven population growth in the Sun Belt, Pacific Northwest, and Mountain States. Map 3 shows areas where the overall population has increased and how the foreign-born population has contributed to that growth. Increases in the number of immigrants have driven overall growth in many counties, particularly in the South and West.
- Immigration has slowed population declines in Middle America. Map 4 illustrates the changes in foreign- and native-born populations and highlights areas where the growth of the foreign-born population has slowed overall decline and sometimes has overcome native-born losses for a net population gain.
Immigration Article of the Day: On the Margins: Noncitizens Caught in Countries Experiencing Violence, Conflict and Disaster by Sanjula Weerasinghe, Abbie Taylor, Sarah Drury, Pitchaya Indravudh, Aaron Gregg, John Flanagan
On the Margins: Noncitizens Caught in Countries Experiencing Violence, Conflict and Disaster by Sanjula Weerasinghe, Abbie Taylor, Sarah Drury, Pitchaya Indravudh, Aaron Gregg, John Flanagan
Today, perhaps more than ever, humanitarian crises permeate the lives of millions, triggering increased human movement and repeatedly testing the international community’s capacity to respond. Stakeholders within the international community have recognized that existing legal and institutional frameworks for protecting forced migrants are inadequate to address the diversity of movements and needs. This article examines the situation of noncitizens who are caught in violence, conflict, and disaster, and asserts that they are an at-risk population requiring tailored responses.
Recent history has witnessed numerous humanitarian crises in which noncitizens have been among those most seriously affected. With more people than at any other point in history residing outside of their country of origin, the presence of new and sustained eruptions of violence and conflict, and the frequency and intensity of disasters predicted to increase, noncitizens will continue to be caught in countries experiencing crises. Destination countries, as well as origin countries whose citizens are caught in crisis situations abroad, must understand the challenges that noncitizens may encounter in accessing assistance and protection, and must formulate responses to ensure that their needs are adequately accommodated.
While both citizens and noncitizens may encounter difficulties in any given humanitarian crisis, research on five recent crises—the Libyan uprising, the Tohoku earthquake, the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, flooding in Thailand, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, and the on-going conflict in Syria—demonstrates that a range of factors create particular challenges for noncitizens. Factors related to the underlying environment in the country undergoing a crisis and the responses of different actors may exacerbate the vulnerability of noncitizens. Moreover, different groups of noncitizens manifest distinct protection needs due to specific attributes. In a given context, the interaction of these factors leads to varying levels of vulnerability for different groups, and the experiences of noncitizens in crisis situations implicate a range of fundamental human rights.
Promising practices which may reduce the vulnerabilities of noncitizens and their exposure to harm during crises include: limiting immigration enforcement activities in favor of dispensing life-saving assistance; communication of emergency and relief messages in multiple languages and modes; facilitating entry and re-entry; and providing targeted relief services. These practices are not limited to countries experiencing crises; origin countries have also displayed judicious actions, undertaking bi-lateral negotiations to address specific needs and seeking external assistance in order to protect their citizens who are caught in crisis situations.
This article seeks to inform ways to mitigate the vulnerabilities and address unmet assistance and protection needs of noncitizens caught in countries experiencing crises. It focuses primarily on vulnerabilities experienced during crises, acknowledging the importance of preventative action that targets the potential vulnerabilities and needs of noncitizens. It also acknowledges that assistance and protection needs often persist beyond the abatement of crises and warrant ongoing intervention. The observations presented in this paper are drawn from desk research on a limited number of situations, and therefore, the article is an introductory attempt to call attention to the issues at play when a crisis occurs, rather than an in-depth study of the subject. Nonetheless, it offers recommendations for alleviating the exposure of noncitizens, which include actions aimed at:
- addressing the underlying legal and policy landscape related to crises and relevant areas like immigration so as to account for the presence and needs of noncitizens;
- ensuring that all categories of noncitizens are able to access, understand and navigate information regarding emergency and relief assistance and are able to utilize them; and
- limiting the exposure of noncitizens to harm through targeted measures that address their particular needs and vulnerabilities.
Almost everyone knows what the acronym KISS stands for (Keep it simple stupid). It was originally coined as a design principle for Lockheed engineers working on jet aircraft for the United States Air Force—with no implicit meaning that an engineer was stupid—just the opposite. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated.
The best answers for Immigration Reform are the simplest, and these solutions are a perfect compromise for all involved.
The latest figures indicate that 75% of working undocumented immigrants already pay income taxes using other’s SSNs. This means that we currently have 2 million un-taxable, undocumented, working domestic and service workers.
Congress and the IRS created a flawed Amnesty in 1986 that, if left uncorrected, will doom meaningful future reforms. They didn’t know how to tax this smaller group of immigrants and, in frustration, consented to allow them toestimate their own incomes and file their tax returns as Independent Contractors, resulting in gross underreporting.
The ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) system allows undocumented immigrants to file taxes and get tax credits for their “children.” It has been reported repeatedly by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that this tax is gamed by immigrants in excess of $4.2 billion dollars annually.
Both political parties want tax reform. Why not start with immigrant taxes since they are not only dysfunctional on many levels, but also encourage tax fraud?
Logic and ethics tell us that taxing the poor isn’t beneficial. Immigrants typically don’t risk their lives getting here for our “retirement programs,” so why try to tax them for Social Security and Medicare, or unemployment insurance?
Let’s address American concerns. Our school program budgets are insufficient and we have large classroom sizes. Immigrants jam our emergency rooms and take our jobs. Making “citizenship” part of reform won’t help these issues.
Of course we have to work on our unsecured borders and restrict illegal immigration, but for those who are working here, we need a tax stratagem that will solve some of the current worries of the American public, stop deportations and offer benefits for immigrants.
An elegant tax is one with which taxpayers solve a problem related to their wellbeing—examples; a bridge tax for islanders or the gas tax designed to maintain our roads. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have an elegant immigrant tax where employers pay for the public services of their workers.
The report, A Fiscal and Social Model for Immigration Reform, details how if employers of the 2 million cash economy workers (home/restaurant owners, farmers) pay just a 10% labor tax it would create $30 billion over a 10-year period. This could provide enough money to build and staff medical clinics and supplement our school budgets. Compliance and enforcement details are found in the report.
If companies and corporations that hire the 6.5 million undocumented immigrants using false SSNs pay just a 5% tax on labor, another $70 billion would be collected. Page 9 of the report allocates this revenue to nearly two dozen areas of concern Americans have.
The full report may be read at www.immigranttaxgroup.org. Originally, the model was designed as a stand-alone project, but has now been revised as a transitional program, flexible enough to mold to current discussions.
Author Mark Jason, Director of ITIG (Immigrant Tax Inquiry Group), was formerly a Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service. He has served as a budget analyst to the Chancellor of the California State University System, and has been a consultant for the Mexican government, having lived and attended school there. He has developed a 100-acre honeydew melon farm near Puerta Vallarta, working with—and training—Mexican locals. His Immigration Project has been four years in the making. He currently resides in Malibu, California.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
While we would like to think of slavery as a relic of the past, we know that it is not. Today, millions of women, men, and children around the world are subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude, or the sex trade at the hands of human traffickers. What many do not know is that this crime occurs right here in the United States, in our own cities and towns.
By Presidential proclamation, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Sunday, January 11 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day. These powerful reminders that slavery endures in the United States compel us to work together to end human trafficking.
We as a Department do so much in the fight against human trafficking. We fight through law enforcement investigations, collaborations, and training; through public outreach and awareness; and through assistance for victims. We coordinate these efforts through the Blue Campaign, the Department’s unified voice to combat human trafficking.
I encourage you to watch this video to learn more about the work of the Blue Campaign, and how you can get involved in the fight against human trafficking.
The Blue Campaign recently launched a new, re-designed website with information and resources for federal, state, and local governments, non-governmental organizations, first responders, and the public.
All of us can increase our awareness of the crime of human trafficking so that each of us can be more vigilant where we live and work. Human trafficking is, after all, a tragedy that occurs not only internationally but also within our own borders and inside our own communities.
Let us renew our commitment to fight human trafficking, and let us do it together.
Here is a Department of Defense video about National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Immigration Article of the Day: Legally Present, But Not Yet Legal: The State Attorney General's Role in Securing Public Benefits for Childhood Arrivals by John Goodwin
Legally Present, But Not Yet Legal: The State Attorney General's Role in Securing Public Benefits for Childhood Arrivals by John Goodwin, Columbia Human Rights Law Review 2014 46 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 340 (2014)
Abstract: This article analyzes how six different states have responded to the Obama administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” policy, which grants qualified undocumented immigrants permission to stay in the United States for a renewable two-year period. While beneficiaries of this policy do not have legal citizenship status, they are considered “legally present” by the federal government, which prevents their deportation and allows them to obtain work authorization and a social security number. At the state level, legal presence is universally sufficient grounds to obtain a driver’s license, and often is sufficient to be eligible for in-state tuition rates at public colleges. Ultimately, this article argues that state attorneys general, as enforcers of the public interest, are uniquely situated to secure these public benefits for legally present individuals in states where other executive branch officials have attempted to deny them.