Saturday, November 18, 2017

You can't please everyone? ICE agents rebel, say Trump ‘betrayed’ them by leaving Obama’s people in place


With respect to immigration, critics have focused on the enforcement orientation of the Trump administration, as seen in the various immigration Executive Orders, dismantling of DACA, enforcement operations, public statements, etc.

But here is a new one.  The Washington Times reports that U.S. immigration enforcement officers launched a website earlier this week demanding President Trump do more to clean up U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying he’s left the Obama team in place and it’s stymieing his goal of enforcing the laws on the books.  I can almost hear the ICE officers saying, "We want more immigration enforcement!"  

National ICE Council President Chris Crane, in an open letter to Mr. Trump, posted on the site, said he finds himself regularly having to defend the president to ICE officers who backed Trump during the campaign but now feel “stab[bed] in the back” by the administration.  Crane said he gives President Trump the benefit of the doubt but that those around the president — whom he doesn’t name — appear to be trying to shield him from hearing about the continued struggles at ICE.

“While officers view the President’s position on enforcement as courageous, the Trump administration has left all of the Obama managers and leadership in place, a group that ICE Officers know after the last eight years to be completely incompetent, corrupt and anti-enforcement,” Mr. Crane wrote.

“While President Trump did create an uptick in morale at ICE through his support of enforcement operations, tensions are on the rise between Trump’s army of Obama holdovers and boots on the ground officers in the field, as behind the scenes Obama holdovers continue to undermine law enforcement operations and wage war against their own law enforcement officers.”


November 18, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant Who Had Prosthetic Leg Mocked by Trump Officials to Be Freed After 'Inhumane' Detention


Photo courtesy of United We Dream

Newsweek reported  that a 20-year-old disabled immigrant detained for more than a month without being charged was to be freed Friday, but he has been stripped of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.

After being detained by Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agents on October 11 as part of a human smuggling investigation, Felipe Abonza-Lopez of San Marcos, Texas, was granted a $7,500 bond and will be released sometime Friday, a legal assistant for Abonza-Lopez’s attorney told Newsweek Friday.

Abonza-Lopez has lost his DACA status, which had been set to expire in 2019. It was revoked October 12,  Abonza-Lopez’s detention at South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas, spurred a #FreeFelipe social media campaign demanding his release.

It has been widely reported that Felipe Abonza-López wrote a letter about his treatment in detention and that personnel  at the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas denied him medical attention and made crude jokes about his prosthetic leg.  “I went to the clinic, I believe it was October 22, 2017,” the letter alleges. “I had sharp pain in my leg. I have screws in my leg. The men who were at the clinic did not know I spoke English. I graduated [high school in 2016]. I have DACA status. The medical guy said in English, ‘This is the prosthetic guy, he doesn’t need any medicine.’ The guard that escorted me to the clinic started laughing and making fun of me, ‘You can put a broomstick in his leg and he can use [it to] sweep.'”


November 18, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Professors Submit Amici Curiae Brief in Fourth Circuit Travel Ban 3.0 Appeal


Professor Peter Margulies

A number of law professors have submitted an amici curiae brief in support of the plaintiffs-appellees in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a challenge to President Trump's third travel ban. Click here for a summary of the current litigation.  Download Brief

Law professor Peter Margulies and the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr authored the brief the brief, which was submitted on behalf of the following law professors:

Richard Boswell, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Gabriel J. Chin, University of California, Davis School of Law
Marisa S. Cianciarulo, Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
Maryellen Fullerton, Brooklyn Law School
Pratheepan Gulasekaram, Santa Clara University
Alan Hyde, Rutgers Law School
Daniel Kanstroom, Boston College Law School
Stephen Legomsky, Washington University School of Law
Matthew Lindsay, University of Baltimore School of Law
Peter Margulies, Roger Williams University School of Law

Michael A. Olivas, University of Houston Law Center
David Rubenstein, Washburn University School of Law
Bijal Shah, Arizona State University
Anita Sinha, American University, Washington College of Law
Shoba Wadhia, Penn State Law

The brief supports affirmance of the injunction entered by the district court:

"By indefinitely suspending immigration from designated countries, President Trump’s third iteration of his travel ban (the “Proclamation”) engages in precisely the kind of discrimination that Congress prohibited in the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) amendments of 1965 and runs roughshod over the carefully calibrated system of checks and balances Congress sought to impose on the President’s exercise of discretion in administering immigration law."


November 18, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Fixing Deference in Youth Crimmigration Cases by Esther Hong

Fixing Deference in Youth Crimmigration Cases by Esther Hong, New Mexico Law Review, Forthcoming 


This Article focuses on a type of judicial deference that uniquely appears in immigration cases of non-citizen minors and young adults who have adult-ish state offense findings: state adult convictions imposed while they were minors, and state youthful offender findings. Deference, as revealed in these immigration cases, is an independent analytical tool that the Board of Immigration Appeals and federal courts use to presumptively accept the judgment or law of the state or federal government, even if the act goes against the statutes or policies of the other. Specifically, in immigration cases involving state youthful offender findings, the BIA and federal courts defer to federal actors: the authority of the federal government is elevated over the state through the application of a federal non-immigration law, the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (“FJDA”), to determine whether these dispositions are juvenile delinquencies for immigration purposes, even if the outcome expressly goes against state action. Meanwhile, in cases where adult state convictions are imposed on minors, the BIA and federal courts defer to state actors: state authorities are elevated over federal authorities in order to find that these findings remain as convictions for immigration purposes, even if express provisions of the FJDA are violated.

The study of deference in youth crimmigration cases is significant for two main reasons. First, deference impacts whether these offense findings are interpreted as juvenile delinquency acts or convictions for immigration purposes, and this distinction carries life-altering consequences for non-citizen youth with or without lawful status. Specifically, the label of a juvenile delinquency disposition or conviction determines whether non-citizen youth are allowed to lawfully remain in the United States, apply for citizenship, seek immigration benefits, and remain in a juvenile-appropriate environment during immigration detention. Second, this study of deference adds a missing voice to the dialogue on immigration federalism – one that belongs to non-citizen youth who have been exposed to their state’s juvenile delinquency and criminal systems. The state and federal interests that are implicated for this specific population are different than typical adult non-citizens who have committed offenses that trigger immigration consequences.

In deciding how to fix deference so that it is consistently and properly applied, immigration officials must take into account both federal and state interests towards non-citizen youth. This is in addition to the usual federal interests of preserving supremacy over immigration, creating uniformity, and state interest of protecting its police power. In light of these interests, I ultimately propose that immigration officials should initially defer to the federal government by incorporating the FJDA or another prospective federal standard to determine the nature of these youth offenses for immigration purposes in all immigration cases that involve these youth offenses. However, state action should still carry weight, specifically when state authorities have clearly shown that they intended to not expose a non-citizen youth to a standard adult conviction. By implementing this change in deference, immigration officials will be able to advance the important goal of treating non-citizen youth in a uniform and fair manner across state lines, maintain federal plenary power over immigration, and better respect state and federal interests towards youth.


November 18, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 17, 2017

ICE Extreme Vetting Initiative: A Resource Page


The Brennan Center for Justice has created a resource page intended to provide journalists, policy-makers, and the public information about the ICE Extreme Vetting Initiative.

Background on the ICE Extreme Vetting Initiative:

What is the Extreme Vetting Initiative? 

  • President Trump’s January 2017 executive order known as the Muslim ban included a little-noticed provision calling for every traveler to the U.S. to be screened to determine if they would be “a positively contributing member of society” and “make contributions to the national interest” – and if they intended to commit a crime or terrorist act.
  • The Extreme Vetting Initiative is Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s plan to monitor much of the internet, including social media, to automatically flag people for deportation or visa denial based on those broad criteria.
  • ICE wants to award a company the contract to run the Extreme Vetting Initiative by September 2018. The launch may be accelerated, as Pres. Trump recently announced that he had ordered DHS to “step up” extreme vetting programs.

Click the link above to access more content on the page.


November 17, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Latest Asylum Denial Rates for Each Immigration Court Judge

TRAC has published the tenth in its long running series of reports covering each Immigration Judge's decisions on asylum cases. The latest report series consists of 293 separate reports and includes each Immigration Judge who decided at least 100 asylum cases at their court between FY 2012 and FY 2017.

Each individual report provides a short biography for that judge, along with details on the judge's overall denial rates during this six year period. Separate charts provide a time series view of the judge's decisions year-by-year, along with a comparison of the judge's denial rate as contrasted with the rate for the nation as a whole, along with a comparison with just those judges sitting on the same court.

Reasons for judge-to-judge differences in asylum denial rates are highlighted, including whether the asylum seeker was represented or not, and the countries from which these individuals came. This is contrasted with patterns for the United States as a whole. Information presented is current through the end of September 2017.

To view a particular judge's report, click here.



November 17, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Best Practices in Representing Asylum Seekers

Homeland Security's head of community outreach resigns over past controversial comments on black community, Islam


CNN reports that Rev. Jamie Johnson resigned yesterday as the head of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security after a CNN KFile report revealed inflammatory past comments he made about the black community and Islam.

In past radio appearances, Johnson had said the black community was responsible for turning major US cities into "slums" and argued that Islam's only contribution to society was "oil and dead bodies."
DHS Press secretary Tyler Houlton confirmed the resignation.

"Acting Secretary Duke has accepted Rev. Jamie Johnson's resignation as Director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at DHS. His comments made prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security clearly do not reflect the values of DHS and the administration. The Department thanks him for his recent work assisting disaster victims and the interfaith community," Houlton said.
Prior to his resignation, Johnson apologized for his comments, telling CNN earlier Thursday: "I regret the manner in which those thoughts were expressed in the past, but can say unequivocally that they do not represent my views personally or professionally."


November 17, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Jennings V. Rodriguez and the Future of Immigration Detention by Philip L. Torrey


Jennings V. Rodriguez and the Future of Immigration Detention by Philip L. Torrey, Harvard Latino Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 171, 2017


Immigration detention will likely play a central role in the Trump administration’s efforts to increase deportations Despite the President’s broad authority to detain, the U.S. Supreme Court will have an opportunity to limit that authority via a case that will be heard for a second time before the Court this year. In Jennings v. Rodriguez, the Court will consider both statutory and constitutional challenges to the government’s ability to detain certain individuals without providing them the opportunity to be released on bond. Not only does the Court’s decision in Jennings have the potential to restrict the government’s use of immigration detention, but it could simultaneously chip away at the plenary power doctrine, which traditionally accords Congress and the President broad authority to enact, administer, and enforce immigration law without judicial oversight.


November 17, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

From the Bookshelves: IMMIGRATION AND THE LAW: Race, Citizenship, and Social Control by Sofia Espinoza Alvarez & Martin Guevara

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Immigration and the Law: Race, Citizenship, and Social Control by Sofía Espinoza Álvarez & Martin Guevara Urbina Editors  (University of Arizona Press, 2018)

 the era of globalization, shifting political landscapes, and transnational criminal organizations, discourse around immigration is reaching unprecedented levels. Immigration and the Law is a timely and significant volume of essays that addresses the social, political, and economic contexts of migration in the United States. The contributors analyze the historical and contemporary landscapes of immigration laws, their enforcement, and the discourse surrounding these events, as well as the mechanisms, beliefs, and ideologies that govern them.
In today’s highly charged atmosphere, Immigration and the Law gives readers a grounded and broad overview of American immigration law in a single book. With shifting demographics, a changing criminal justice system, and volatile political climate, the book is critically significant for academic, political, legal, and social arenas.
The contributors offer sound evidence to expose the historical legacy of violence, brutality, manipulation, oppression, marginalization, prejudice, discrimination, power, and control. Demystifying the ways that current ideas of ethnicity, race, gender, and class govern immigration and uphold the functioning and legitimacy of the criminal justice system, Immigration and the Law presents a variety of studies and perspectives that offer a pathway toward addressing long-neglected but vital topics in the discourse on immigration and the law.
Steven W. Bender
Leo R. Chávez
Arnoldo De León
Daniel Justino Delgado
Roxanne Lynn Doty
Brenda I. Gill
Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz
Peter Laufer
Lupe S. Salinas
Claudio G. Vera Sánchez
Mary Cay Sengstock


November 16, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Revisiting Deference to Agencies in Criminal Deportation Cases

Alabama Senate Candidates on Immigration


GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore has been in the news concerning allegations about past relationships with minors.  For many, Moore's conduct is disqualifying for election to the Senate.

Moore's conservative views are getting much less attention than the current scandal.  Here are Moore's positions on immigration as posted on his campaign website:

"We must stop the flow of illegal aliens across both our northern and southern borders. Open borders are a threat to our national security and to our economy.

We must allow willing states (like Arizona) to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens, and use our own military to protect our border. If a wall is our only option, then we should build it immediately." 

This sounds similar to views expressed by President Trump.



Democratic candidate Doug Jones, who prosecuted two members of the Ku Klux Klan who murdered four black girls in a church bombing, has very different views on immigration.  Here is what he said about DACA:

"I support the DACA program and would support the DREAM Act or similar legislation to ensure young people brought here as children who have never known any other nation can remain in the United States. Children and young adults in the DACA program are contributing members of our society, serving in the military and owning businesses that employ Americans. More than 109,000 of the DACA participants served in the military and naturalized as citizens as of 2015. In 2016 alone, 359 DACA recipients enlisted in the U.S. Army. DACA participants must maintain clean records and pass background checks and are not threats - simply the product of their parents and grandparents seeking to give them a better life."


November 16, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: A Muslim Registry: The Precursor to Internment? by Sahar F. Aziz


A Muslim Registry: The Precursor to Internment? by Sahar F. AzizBrigham Young University Law Review, Forthcoming


Being political scapegoats in the indefinite ‘war on terror’ is the new normal for Muslims in America. With each federal election cycle or terrorist attack in a Western country comes a spike in Islamophobia. Candidates peddle tropes of Muslims as terrorists in campaign materials and political speeches to solicit votes. Government officials call for bold measures – extreme vetting, bans, and mass deportations – to regulate and exclude Muslim bodies from U.S. soil. The racial subtext is that Muslims in the United States are outsiders who do not belong to the political community. A case in point is the “Muslim Ban” issued by the Trump administration in 2017.

But as the Muslim Ban dominated the news cycle, another racialized counterterrorism policy lurks in the backdrop: a Muslim Registry. This Article explores the political and legal plausibility of a de jure or de facto Muslim Registry. Analyzing separately the case of nonimmigrants, immigrants, and U.S. citizens, the Article concludes that a special registration program explicitly based on religion regardless of the target’s immigration status is unlikely to pass constitutional muster under both the rational basis and strict scrutiny test. Likewise, special registration of U.S. citizen Muslims based on national origin is illegal absent Congressional action grounded in credible objective evidence that one’s ancestry causes her to become a terrorist. In contrast, a national origin based registration program targeting nonimmigrants would find support in laws and regulations authorizing past registration programs.

The lawfulness of a Muslim Registry of immigrants is likely to be the most contentious. The outcome will depend in large part on whether courts look to the Islamophobic political environment arising from Trump and his advisors’ anti-Muslim statements to question the government’s facially neutral national security justifications. The litigation surrounding the Muslim Ban indicates that heightened judicial deference granted to the executive in national security cases post-9/11 may finally be yielding to individual rights.


November 16, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

IDP Unveils New Statistics & Trends Detailing Statewide ICE Courthouse Arrests in 2017


The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) released new statistics & trends detailing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests and attempted arrests in courthouses across New York State from January 2017 to date. IDP compiled statistics from attorneys and advocates who work with immigrants and the family members of immigrants as part of their practice.

There have been 110 reports of ICE arrests and attempted arrests in courthouses this year, up from 11 reports in all of 2016. This nearly 900% increase from 2016 signifies a new era in aggressive ICE enforcement emboldened under the Trump administration.

 “The exponential increase in ICE courthouse arrests reflects a dangerous new era in enforcement and immigrant rights violations,” said Lee Wang, Staff Attorney at IDP. “Immigrants seeking justice in the criminal, family, and civil courts should not have to fear for their freedom when doing so. The alarming ICE trends we’re seeing in New York undermine the safety and promise of sanctuary.”

“These arrests plague our clients in every borough and deter immigrants and others from seeking services offered by the court that should always be accessible,” said Tina Luongo, Attorney-In-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “This report shows that courthouse arrests will only continue to proliferate under this Administration. We hope to work with Albany leaders and the Office of Court Administration next session on a legislative remedy that could address this injustice that’s now truly statewide.”

KEY STATISTICS & TRENDS:   The majority of ICE courthouse arrests are taking place in NYC.  Of the 110 reports, 78 of the incidents took place across all five counties of New York City. 67 were arrests; 11 were attempted arrests.

32 of the incidents took place in upstate New York and Long Island.  These incidents were spread across 16 counties including Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Ulster, Columbia, Putnam, Rockland, Onondaga, Albany, Saratoga, Monroe. 30 were arrests; 2 were attempted arrests. 

  • Both documented and undocumented immigrants are being arrested.  At least 15 of the immigrants targeted are documented. Of these, the vast majority are green card holders, while others are in the U.S. on valid visas. 
  • ICE has expanded arrests to target undocumented immigrants with NO prior criminal history. At least 20% of the immigrants ICE has targeted are undocumented with NO prior criminal history.  In many of these cases, individuals were facing a first time arrest for a traffic violation. And in some cases, charges were dismissed, but ICE still proceeded with the arrest. 
  • Most immigrants were reporting to court on low-level offenses. The majority of individuals who were arrested while attending criminal court were appearing to face low-level offenses including misdemeanors and violations. In 8 cases, individuals had only received desk appearance tickets. In another 10 cases, individuals were charged with violations, which are petty offenses such as public drunkenness, that are not considered criminal. 
  • Immigrants are being arrested in a broad range of courts—including criminal courts, family courts, traffic courts, and specialized courts that are designed as rehabilitation programs. ICE has arrested immigrants twice in family courts, once at a child support hearing, and another at a visitation hearing. They have also targeted immigrants in Youth Parts (designed to help provide rehabilitation to teenagers) and Community Courts (designed around a restorative justice model that emphasizes rehabilitation). 
  • ICE has targeted immigrants in particularly vulnerable groups.  Several of those arrested have documented mental health issues, and/or are survivors of family violence. ICE agents have also gone after immigrants in Human Trafficking Intervention Court, which is designed for victims of human trafficking who face prostitution-related charges.
  • In some cases, court staff have facilitated ICE arrests. In at least a dozen incidents, employees of the Office of Court Administration have reportedly assisted ICE agents. Assistance has included notifying ICE agents of an immigrant’s presence in the courtroom, delaying the calling of a case to facilitate an arrest, and physically assisting an arrest.

Advocates across the country are working with state court justices and legislators to identify and implement solutions to address ICE’s reckless disregard for public safety and access to justice. Given the complex entanglement of the criminal justice system with federal immigration law and deportation policies, many sanctuary cities often inadvertently feed the President’s deportation machine. State and local officials need to stop federal immigration agents from using the U.S. court system to trap immigrants for arrest, detention, and deportation.

For more information, please visit the Immigrant Defense Project at


November 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Trump administration rejected 4,000 “late” DACA renewals. Some were sitting in its mailbox at the deadline.


Good enough for government work?  Dara Lind on Vox reports that it is beginning to look like a lot of immigrants were denied one last renewal of their deportation protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — even though they made good-faith efforts to file their paperwork.

A mysterious mail slowdown, which the New York Times reported on last week, appears to have affected at least 74 DACA recipients in the New York City area and Chicago. But the problem may be much bigger than that.

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Trump administration (in a motion filed Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York and shared with Vox) allege that many more DACA renewal applications did arrive in a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mailbox on October 5 — and were rejected as late anyway.

In interviews with the plaintiffs and with other immigration lawyers, Vox has confirmed at least 19 cases, at two of the three mailboxes that USCIS used to accept DACA applications, where applications were placed in the mailbox in the late afternoon or evening of October 5 but marked as “received” on October 6.

UPDATE (November 16):  The New York Times reports that on the night of November 15, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reversed its position. In light of the delays, it agreed to allow those rejected because of mail delays to resubmit their renewals for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.


November 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Should a jury know a person’s immigration status? Washington’s Supreme Court says no

Photo courtesy of the Washington Supreme Court

of the Seattle Times reports on a new Rule of Evidence adopted by the Washinton Supreme Court.

After carpenter Alex Salas slipped from a ladder on a construction site about 15 years ago, suffering 10 fractures, he sued the site’s scaffolding subcontractor because the ladder did not meet code requirements.

A jury in 2006 decided the company was negligent, but did not award Salas any money. Nearly a decade later, after appeals, a new King County jury awarded Salas $2.6 million in the case.

The two juries heard the same case — with a critical difference. The first jury knew he was in the country illegally; the second did not.

In 2006, the defense admitted evidence about Salas’ immigration status. Years before his injuries, Salas’ visa had expired.  His lawyers believed that information prejudiced the jury and should not have been included.

The state Supreme Court agreed in 2010, saying the danger of unfair prejudice outweighed the evidence’s value, calling the lower court’s decision to admit the evidence “an abuse of discretion” and giving Salas the new trial that awarded him millions.

Last week, the Washington Supreme Court took a unique step that proponents believe would have prevented Salas’ difficulties receiving a fair trial.  The court approved a new Rule of Evidence that makes evidence about a person’s immigration status “generally inadmissible” in civil and criminal courts statewide unless lawyers establish a compelling reason to raise the issue. The rule will take effect statewide next September.  Washington is one of the first states in the nation to approve such a rule.   In 2016, the California legislature passed Evidence Code section 351.2, which provides that "In a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death, evidence of a person's immigration status shall not be admitted into evidence, nor shall discovery into a person's immigration status be permitted."

“It’s very, very progressive and somewhat radical in the sense that this is the first of its kind I’ve seen in this country,” said Ann Murphy, a Gonzaga University law professor who teaches evidence law. Murphy supported the change.

Proponents say the rule will remove barriers to justice for people without documentation, who might fear bringing a civil suit or testifying in a criminal case because of their immigration status.  It will also protect witnesses or litigants from prejudice by a jury, said Joe Morrison, an attorney with Columbia Legal Services, who helped propose the rule to the state Supreme Court.
David Martin, a King County deputy prosecuting attorney, said some victims of domestic violence and other crimes are often reluctant to participate as witnesses in criminal cases because a defense attorney could bring up their immigration status in public court.


November 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Building a Mosaic: The Evolution of Canada’s Approach to Immigrant Integration


Canada long has been looked to for having a rational approach to immigration.  Here is a look at the foundations for its immigrant success. 

Long one of the world’s most welcoming immigrant destinations, Canada is often held up as a model for how to craft sound immigration policy in a multicultural democracy, with more than one of every five Canadian residents foreign born. In 2016, it was home to 7.5 million immigrants, among the largest foreign-born populations in the world. Though economic considerations have largely driven Canada’s policy preference for highly skilled immigrant workers, the country has also recently become a leader in refugee resettlement. Nearly 47,000 refugees were resettled in 2016—the highest level in Canadian history.

The Canadian approach to immigration, settlement, citizenship, and multiculturalism did not happen by accident. Geography has played a role: Three oceans (one frozen most of the year) and a developed country to the south act as a buffer from large-scale uncontrolled migration. Furthermore, Canadian history—a complex and imperfect process of accommodation, entailing acceptance and compromise between indigenous peoples and French and British settlers—made the country more multinational in character from its start than a traditional nation-state.


November 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cuban Immigrants in the United States

Click here for information from the Migration Information Source about Cuban immigrants in the United States.  The Cuban diaspora in the United States is comprised of nearly 2.5 million individuals who were either born in Cuba or reported Cuban ancestry or race, according to tabulations from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 ACS.  



November 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: In Search of the Nation of Immigrants: Balancing the Federal State Divide by M. Isabel Medina


In Search of the Nation of Immigrants: Balancing the Federal State Divide by M. Isabel Medina

Harvard Latinx Law Review, Vol. 20, Spring 2017



Issues raising the role of immigration and immigrants and the relationship between the federal government and the states under our constitutional framework have dominated the national dialogue this past year, and promise to continue to challenge us in years to come. They are questions that tested us at the founding of this republic and that continue to challenge us today. Like conversations about religion, conversations about immigrants, refugees, undocumented aliens or noncitizens raise issues of national, cultural and individual identity; they raise a past that does not always reflect a happy history and that many find threatening. The idea of a nation of immigrants evoked by President John F. Kennedy in his book by that name is usually intended to communicate a positive good, but our history as a nation of immigrants is a complicated and troubled one. It is in the search for accuracy, for facts, for compassion and understanding of the role that immigrants and immigration have played in American society, in our understanding of the Constitution, in our understanding of race and how it operated and operates in American society, and the role that states and the federal government have played historically in the development of constitutional norms that govern immigration today, that I explore the subject. In doing so, I develop three ideas: first, the United States has one of the most generous formal immigration policies in the world today, working primarily to unite families and offering immigrants for the most part the promise of equality with U.S. citizens and a welcome to those who would become members of our society, regardless of their country of birth. Unfortunately, while generous by world standards, our immigration laws themselves create harsh inequities for would-be immigrants and for U.S. citizens or immigrants seeking to reunite with their families or pursue opportunities in the United States. Second, and a less comfortable narrative, I explore through facts the role that racial bias has played in the context of immigration. The welcome mat extended to immigrants is often double-edged, and sometimes turns into suspicion, hostility, even hatred, and casts those same individuals we welcomed into “aliens” we would push out. Whether cast as a matter of race, national origin, skin color or religion, we have not always treated groups perceived as “alien” or “different” from us, with a generous spirit. Last, I explore the challenges that issues of immigration pose for the United States in the twenty-first century and how constitutional norms, in particular, norms reflecting federalism concerns may guide our response to those challenges.


November 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CNN Report: People for sale at auctions in Libya


Photo courtesy of BBC

There long have been reports of the selling of human beings in Libya.  CNN has a jarring exclusive report on the auctioning off of migrants as slaves in Libya.

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November 14, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)