Monday, May 21, 2018

Supreme Court Delays Further in Deciding Certiorari Petition in Case Involving Abortion by Undocumented Teen


Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in four cases and also issued orders (denied cert, etc.) in a number of cases.  The press room, as it has been for so many weeks, was buzzing about the possible disposition of the U.S. government's cert petition in Azar v. Garza, a case involving the undocumented pregnant teenager. The government wants the Supreme Court to vacate the D.C. Circuit decision that cleared the way for her to get an abortion.  The Court did not act on the case this morning.



May 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Sign of the Times: A Border Patrol agent detained two U.S. citizens at a Montana gas station after hearing them speak Spanish


It seems that in the time of Trump, we are hearing many stories like this.  Here is one from last week about the video of a New York lawyer verbally attacking Spanish speakers in a Manhattan restaurant.  It seems that many people equate speaking languages other than English as foreign and "un-American."

Amy B. Wang for the Washington Post reports that a Montana woman said she plans to take legal action after a Border Patrol agent detained and questioned her and a friend — both U.S. citizens — when he overheard them speaking Spanish at a gas station. The incident occurred early Wednesday morning at a convenience store in a town in northern Montana, near the border with Canada.


May 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Leila Fajardo-Giles (Peru), Law School Graduate and Future Lawyer


Suffolk University Law School student Leila Fajardo-Giles, who helped a young woman obtain asylum status in the US. 

Our Immigrant of the Day recently graduated from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Her experience as an immigrant was the “driving force” for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient Leila Fajardo-Giles’ decision to study the law.  One of her most rewarding law school experiences was helping another young woman obtain asylum in the United States. “It was my proudest moment,” said the Suffolk University Law School student, Class of 2018. “I’ve always wanted to help advocate for those who may not have a voice in this country.”

Fajardo-Giles, who plans to take the Massachustts bar exam this summer, came to America from Peru 20 years ago and thus was eligible for DACA. She entered Suffolk Law as an evening division student four years ago. When she heard about an opportunity to become a student attorney in the Law School’s Immigration Clinic, Fajardo-Giles applied for the competitive position and was accepted a year ago. As a law student, she has seen much debate and controversy about the future of the DACA program.

A significant person in Fajardo-Giles life– in the classroom and as her Immigration Clinic supervisor – has been Clinical Professor of Law Ragini Shah.


May 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Enforcing Trump's immigration plan will be harder than he thinks

Nolan Rappaport for The Hill concludes that President Trump will find increasing immigration enforcement easier said that done due to, among other things, the huge backlogs of case in the immigration courts and the challenges in enforcing the prohibition on the employment of undocumented workers.

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May 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will Climate Change Cause More Migrants than Wars?

Daniel Gutman writes that climate change is one of the main drivers of migration and will be increasingly so. It will even have a more significant role in the displacement of people than armed conflicts, which today cause major refugee crises.

This was the warning sounded by Ovais Sarmad, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), who was in Buenos Aires to participate in a meeting of international representatives and senior Argentine government officials, on May 16 to analyse the impacts of this phenomenon.

“One example I use is that recently there was migration of refugees and migrants in Europe because of the Syrian conflict and other conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa. That is a big political issue,” Sarmad told IPS.

“In many countries around the world, farmers are the most affected by droughts and they will move. With their cattle, with their children or whatever… And then… they won’t have many places to go. We have only one planet and they can’t go to space.” -- Ovais Sarmad


“But the climate change impact will make one million look like a small number. Because a hundred or four hundred million people live in developing countries in low-lying areas, in cities which are very close to the sea. If sea level rises, then people will have to move.”



Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), spoke at a conference in Buenos Aires, during a meeting, T20 and Climate Change: Planning, Risk and Response Facing the Emergency, to study the emergencies caused by this phenomenon. Credit: Argentine Council on Foreign Relations Photo courtesy of Inter Press Service


May 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Enforcing Stereotypes: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of U.S. Immigration Enforcement by Katie Kelly


Enforcing Stereotypes: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of U.S. Immigration Enforcement by Katie Kelly, U.C. Davis School of Law, 2018

This Article considers the white supremacy perpetuated by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) through a critical analysis of relief from removal under Section 240A(b)(1) (cancellation of removal). Not only does this relief section show a disregard for immigrant families by normalizing their disposability, but it also shows how, even in its seemingly humanitarian efforts, the INA cannot escape its white supremacist roots and intentions. Drawing on the legislative history of this section, the national dialogue occurring during the amendments of the section, and its judicial implementation, this Article argues that the 240A hardship exception to deportation, like the more exclusion-focused sections of the INA, shapes the perception of Mexican immigrants in ways that perpetuate harmful cultural stereotypes within the United States at large.

Part I of this Article provides a brief history of the INA and the white supremacy embedded within it. Part II describes the historical context for the hardship exception itself, depicting how the exception plays out in courts. And finally, Part III provides a brief commentary about the future of immigration laws and the potential for deportation relief that would provide more than mere glimmers of hope.


May 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Confused About the Current Status of DACA? Here Is the Latest

Immigration Article of the Day: Israel’s Immigration Story: Winners and Losers by Assaf Razin


Israel’s Immigration Story: Winners and Losers  by Assaf Razin, Israel Economic Review, Vol. 15, No. 1


The exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s was a unique event. The immigration wave was distinctive for its large high skilled cohort, its quick integration into the domestic labor market, and its unprecedented election participation rate. The wave of immigration changed the entire economic landscape: It raised productivity, underpinned by the information technology surge, and had a significant impact on income inequality. The extraordinary experience of Israel, which absorbed three-quarters of a million immigrants from the Former Soviet Union within a short time, is also relevant for the current debate about winners and losers from immigration. This paper provides evidence and a rigorous political-economy explanation for a potential link between the immigration wave and the markedly changed level of redistribution in Israel’s welfare state.


May 20, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

TIME: Long-Lost Photos Reveal Life of Mexican Migrant Workers in 1950s America


Portrait of Mexican farm laborer, Rafael Tamayo, employed in the United States under the Bracero Program to harvest crop
Sid Avery—MPTV

TIME has a story with images of "Bracero" (guest)  workers from Mexico that have not been seen since they were published in the Saturday Evening Post in the 1950s.  The Bracero program brought guest workers from Mexico to the United States from World War II through the early 1960s.


May 19, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Precarity of Temporality: How Law Inhibits Immigrant Worker Claims by Kati L. Griffith and Shannon Gleeson

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The Precarity of Temporality: How Law Inhibits Immigrant Worker Claims by Kati L. Griffith and Shannon GleesonComparative Labor Law &Policy Journal, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2017


Employee claims against employers, rather than government-initiated investigations, are the motor of the workplace law enforcement regime in the U.S. Immigration status is a well-documented source of immigrant worker precarity that may inhibit some immigrant workers from making claims against their employers, even when faced with the most egregious violations of their basic protections in the workplace. But how does immigration status inhibit claimsmaking, and how might that be different for immigrant workers with different statuses under immigration law? We address these questions by looking at three types of immigrant workers who lack permanent status in the U.S: unauthorized workers, low-wage guest workers sponsored by employers, and workers with temporary reprieves from deportation and work authorization. We draw from our analysis of legal institutions, relevant secondary literature and a pilot study of workers in New York City with Temporary Protected Status. We propose that these different immigration status categories produce differing experiences with legal regimes, such as criminal, employment, and administrative law. In turn, these distinct legal institutional contexts affect how immigrants weigh the prospect of coming forward with a workplace law claim against their employers.



May 19, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Attorney General Moves to Force Immigration Courts to Decide Cases

330px-Jeff_Sessions _official_portrait

NPR reports on an important development in the nation's immigration courts.  Exercising the rarely-used power of referring a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ruling to the Attorney General, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the nation's immigration judges to end their practice of temporarily removing cases from their dockets without issuing decisions.  The immigration courts and the BIA are part of the Department of Justice.

Immigrant advocates say the move is part of a broader strategy to influence the immigration courts, which fall under the purview of the Department of Justice, in order to hasten the removal of some immigrants.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, the practice is known as "administrative closure."

"It's been a lifeline for tens of thousands of immigrants who are applying for visas or green cards, which can take years. So immigration judges will sometimes close their cases to let those applications play out, effectively putting deportations on hold.

"But critics say judges have allowed those immigrants to stay in the country longer than they should have."

Sessions is the most prominent critic of administrative closures. In January, he took the unusual action of directing the Board of Immigration Appeals to refer an immigration case to himself for review. That case is called the Matter of Castro-Tum and involves a Guatemalan citizen who failed to show up at five scheduled immigration hearings. The immigration judge ordered an administrative closure, in effect, delaying the case, because he concluded that the government's efforts to send hearing notices to the respondent's correct address were inadequate.

In an opinion and order issued late Thursday, Sessions said "the current practice of administrative closure lacks a valid legal foundation."

"Immigration judges and the Board have come to rely upon administrative closure without thoroughly explaining their authority to do so. Unlike the power to grant continuances, which the regulations expressly confer, immigration judges and the Board lack a general authority to grant administrative closure. No Attorney General has delegated such broad authority, and legal or policy arguments do not justify it. I therefore hold that immigration judges and the Board lack this authority except where a previous regulation or settlement agreement has expressly conferred it."

In his order, Sessions acknowledged that reactivating cases that are currently administratively closed "would likely overwhelm the immigration courts and undercut the administration of immigration laws." So he ordered all administratively closed cases to "remain closed unless DHS (Department of Homeland Security) or the respondent requests recalendaring."

As Reuters reports, administrative closures ramped up under the Obama administration to more than 200,000 cases. There was already a backlog of more than 650,000 cases in immigration courts as of January 2018.


May 18, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: How to End 'Illegal Immigration' by Kari E. Hong


How to End 'Illegal Immigration' by Kari E. Hong33 Md. J. of Int'l L 248 (2018) 26 Pages Posted: 11 May 2018


Since President Trump has taken office, it is clearer than ever that there are two ways to end “illegal immigration.” The first route — started by President Obama and ratcheted up by President Trump with relentless cruelty — is an actual effort to deport millions and exclude millions more.41 The second is to legalize those without status who have been, are, and will continue to contribute to America’s families, communities, and future.

This essay argues that the latter choice, restoring the paths to legalization that once were part of our nation’s laws, is the only realistic way forward to restore common sense to immigration law. This choice will stop excessive, wasteful, and expensive enforcement measures and invest in people who are making current and future contributions to families, work places, and communities.

Developing legal solutions, however, will not come until it is recognized how the term “illegal immigration” originated in popular culture and influenced immigration law with distortions over who merits protection and who does not. Part I then examines the operation of existing immigration law, surveys the origins and misuse of the term “illegal immigrant,” and offers that the term “pre-legal immigrant” is the more accurate descriptor of how people are given legal status. Once the false presumption of criminality in the term “illegal immigrant” is exposed, Part II ends with a call to restore needed paths to legalization, which benefit immigrant communities, the citizen family members and employers who rely on their contributions, and the U.S. economy as a whole. Once presumptions are replaced with facts, paths to common sense reform are found for both the short- and long-term.


May 18, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Calling immigrants ‘animals,’ Trump evokes an ugly history of dehumanization


VOX reports that President Donald Trump referred to some people deported from the United States as “animals” during a roundtable discussion about California’s “sanctuary” law on Wednesday. After a California sheriff commented that her county is unable to notify ICE when an MS-13 gang member is in jail for a minor crime, Trump launched into a riff about “people trying to come in” and being deported who are “not people. They’re animals.” It’s the latest in a series of statements stretching over Trump’s entire national political career that carelessly conflate immigration, criminality, and violence.

UPDATE (May 19):  Linda Qui for the New York Times "fact checks" President Trump's claims that state and local "sanctuary laws" allow immigrants convicted of serious crimes to remain in the United States.



May 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE worksite raids are back. Here’s what we know about them

Opinion: Jane Fonda and Karen Musalo -- Her Husband Beat Her and Raped Her. Jeff Sessions Might Deport Her.


In this op/ed in the New York Times, Jane Fonda and Karen Musalo draws attention to  the Attorney General’s intervention in the domestic violence asylum case Matter of A-B-. Attorney General Sessions is revisiting the protections currently available for domestic violence survivors and others fleeing persecution at the hands of non-state actors.


May 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Cato Instititute on the State of Immigration Enforcement

Blog_rev4Cato at Liberty

Alex Nowrasteh on Cato at Liberty notes that, although President Trump’s administration is ramping up immigration enforcement in the interior of the United States and along the border, "the near-half-century low in illegal border crossers, the longer-settled illegal immigrant population inside of the country, and resistance by state and local governments are hampering his administration’s efforts to boost deportation. Try as he might, his administration will not be able to ramp up removals to the level seen in the first term of the Obama administration."  Recall that President Obama removed in the neighborhood of 400,000 noncitizens a year in his first term.


May 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Breaking With Trump's GOP, Koch Brothers Praise Democrats On Immigration




NPR reports on the changing politics of immigration.  For years the political network funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch funded politicians on the right, laying the foundation for the libertarian causes the two support. Their support has gone almost exclusively to Republican candidates, with rare exception. But in the era of Trump, what it means to be on the 'right' is changing, and the Koch network's tactics are changing to reflect new realities. For the first time, the Libre Initiative — the Hispanic outreach arm of the Koch network — is putting money behind efforts to praise Democrats on the federal level, and doing so with control of Congress on the line in the midterm elections.

The Libre Initiative will send mailers to more than 100,000 homes, thanking Democrats and Republicans for their work on a legislative fix for DREAMers.

Democratic Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, as well as Democratic Reps. Raul Ruiz and Pete Aguilar of California will be the recipients of this political ad push, as will Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. Luján is the chairman of House Democrats' campaign committee.

Republicans still make up more than half of the beneficiaries of this ad blitz — six GOP House members and three GOP Senate lawmakers will get kudos from the Koch network. They have also already pledged to spend nearly $400 million in the 2018 campaign to defend conservative policy gains achieved by the Republican-controlled Congress.


May 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York lawyer's racist rant goes viral


ABC News reports that a man was caught on video in a Manhattan restaurant threatening to call in immigration officers after hearing fellow customers speaking to the staff in Spanish.

In the video, which was filmed Tuesday at a Fresh Kitchen restaurant in Midtown, the man threatens to call immigration authorities, telling one of the staff members, “My guess is they’re not documented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country.”

It was later reported that Aaron Schlossberg, a New York-based lawyer, was the person who made the racist rant that went viral. His firm, the Law Office of Aaron M. Schlossberg, has been flooded with one-star reviews on Yelp, with commenters calling him a "vile racist" and surfacing other incidents of disparaging remarks he's made in public toward minority groups.

So many reviews were flooding Schlossberg's page that Yelp jumped in to say the listing is undergoing an "active cleanup alert." According to Yelp, when a business attracts posts because it "made waves in the news," the company works to "remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer's personal consumer experience with the business."



May 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Swept up in the Sweep: The Impact of Gang Allegations on Immigrant New Yorkers.


The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic (INRC) at the CUNY School of Law today released a new report, Swept up in the Sweep: The Impact of Gang Allegations on Immigrant New Yorkers. The report details the Trump administration’s using supposed-gang enforcement to carry out punitive immigration policies. Through an extensive field study, the report shows how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with other federal agencies and law enforcement, uses arbitrary methods to profile immigrant youth of color to allege gang affiliation. As a result, immigrant youth are detained for prolonged periods, have had their visa applications denied, and have faced deportation without proper due process.
The NYIC is filing a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York to compel ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to disclose information regarding Operation Matador (more information below). ICE denied a previous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

May 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities by Marcella Alsan and Crystal Yang




We study the impact of deportation fear on the incomplete take-up of federal safety net programs in the United States. We exploit changes in deportation fear due to the roll-out and intensity of Secure Communities (SC), an immigration enforcement program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from 2008 to 2014. The SC program empowers the federal government to check the immigration status of anyone arrested by local law enforcement agencies and has led to the issuance of over two million detainers and the forcible removal of approximately 380,000 immigrants. We estimate the spillover effects of SC on Hispanic citizens, finding significant declines in ACA sign-ups and food stamp take-up, particularly among mixed-status households and areas where deportation fear is highest. In contrast, we find little response to SC among Hispanic households residing in sanctuary cities. Our results are most consistent with network effects that perpetuate fear rather than lack of benefit information or stigma.


May 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)