Wednesday, April 22, 2015
As blogged previously on ImmigrationProf, Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's contempt hearing began yesterday in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona. Here, here, and here are reports on the first of a scheduled four days of hearings.
Sheriff Arpaio's contempt proceeding opened with testimony by one of Arpaio's own sergeants, who told the court the Sheriff deliberately violated a judge's orders in the racial-profiling litigation. Sgt. Brett Palmer testified that Arpaio had instructed him to continue enforcing federal immigration law after Judge G. Murray Snow had prohibited the practice. The testimony supports the claims that Arpaio's failure to abide by Snow's orders were deliberate. A finding of willful violations could result in sanctions, including a referral for criminal contempt proceedings.
In addition, Sheriff Arpaio's attorney, Tom Liddy of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, informed the court that he would be requesting to withdraw from the case.
Immigration Article of the Day: Social Group Semantics: The Evidentiary Requirements of 'Particularity' and 'Social Distinction' in Pro Se Asylum Adjudications by Nick Bednar
Social Group Semantics: The Evidentiary Requirements of 'Particularity' and 'Social Distinction' in Pro Se Asylum Adjudications by Nick Bednar, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, School of Law, Students April 2, 2015 Minnesota Law Review, Forthcoming
Abstract: An applicant applying for asylum on the basis of membership in a particular social group must produce evidence showing that their particular social group (1) shares an immutable characteristic, (2) is defined with particularity, and (3) is socially distinct. On February 7, 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) clarified its definition of particularity and social distinction in Matter of M-E-V-G-. According to the BIA, particularity defines the “outer limits” of the group’s boundaries. Social distinction requires the particular social group to be “perceived as a group by society.” Despite the BIA’s supposed goal, M E V G- has done little to clarify the particular social group standard. This Note argues that a pro se asylum applicant cannot show both particularity and social distinction. If the applicant defines her group too discretely, the group may fail to satisfy the element of social distinction. But, an amorphous particular social group is certain to fail the requirement of particularity. It is unreasonable to expect a pro se applicant to play this game of semantics. Furthermore, social distinction requires the applicant to produce sociological evidence — mostly in the form of expert witnesses. This implicit requirement of sociological evidence prevents pro se applicants from defining a satisfactory particular social group. In order to protect pro se applicants, this Note proposes a system of precedential fact-finding — drawing upon the United Kingdom’s Country Guidance System — to alleviate some of the burdens of particularity and social distinction.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
A new Daily Yonder study shows that rural counties with more immigrants tend to be performing better economically. Rural America’s foreign-born residents may be moving to counties that have more jobs, but immigrants also create more economic opportunity when they get there, economists say.
For many rural counties, having more immigrants also goes along with having a better local economy, according to a new study commissioned by the Daily Yonder. “The results of this study contradict common perceptions regarding immigrants,” said Roberto Gallardo, Ph.D., the author of the study “We frequently hear that immigrants are a drain on the economy and resources. But this data shows a very different picture.” Gallardo looked at the percentage of a rural county’s population that was born beyond U.S. borders and correlated that information with some basic economic data. He found that, in general, as the proportion of the immigrant population grows in rural areas, positive economic indicators like per capita market income rise, as well. And negative economic indicators like the rate of poverty and unemployment go down.
Hat tip to Lisa Pruitt.
Jacques Billeaud of the Associated Press offers the basics on Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's contempt hearing in federal court in Arizona, which begins today. The hearing is scheduled for four days and could result in fines and other penalties for admitted violations of the court's orders in a racial profiling case.
Sheriff Arpaio has acknowledged disobeying the judge's pretrial order that barred his immigration enforcement patrols. He also has accepted responsibility for his agency's failure to turn over traffic-stop videos and bungling a plan to gather such recordings from officers once some videos were discovered.
Sheriff Arpaio is among the nearly two dozen people on the witness list.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow will decide whether Arpaio and four aides should be held in contempt. The sheriff and his second-in-command, Jerry Sheridan, have acknowledged violating the order and being responsible for the agency's failure to turn over traffic-stop videos and bungling the subsequent plan to gather recordings from officers. Arpaio proposed offering a public apology and making a donation to a civil rights organization from his own pockets.
Judge Snow has said the $100,000 donation proposed by Arpaio and Sheridan was an adequate personal financial penalty but rejected their requests to call off the hearing because their proposal didn't comprehensively resolve the contempt case.
For more on this story from Arizona, click here.
The abuses of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office of Latino citizens and lawful immigrants in the name of immigration enforcement reveal some of the risks involved in enlisting state and local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws.
Anti-immigrant groups in the Southwest have gained considerable attention. These groups are not limited to the border region, however. Media Matters profiles Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), an anti-immigrant organization that has used local media campaigns with other nativist organizations to fight against legislation in Oregon aimed at supporting immigrants. Here is OFIR's Facebook page.
After successfully attacking licenses for undocumented immigrants, OFIR has launched a new campaign to lobby against a bill that would allow undocumented immigrant graduates from Oregon high schools to receive state funded, need-based college scholarships.
Caravan of the Mutilated: The Hazards of the Journey from Honduras Through Mexico to the United States
This photo essay by Joseph Sorrentino looks at a group of 13 Honduran immigrants who lost limbs on the dangerous trip across Mexico and sought an audience with President Obama—but are instead facing deportation.
Each year about 400,000 Central American migrants ride through Mexico atop cargo trains, hoping to make it to the United States. Thirteen Honduran men who travelled across Mexico as part of La Caravana de los Mutilados (the caravan of the mutilated), entered the United States at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry on March 19. They were immediately detained by Border Patrol agents and taken to the South Texas Detention Facility, Texas, where they’ve been held since.
Immigration Article of the Day: A Dry Hate: White Supremacy and Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric in the Humanitarian Crisis on the U.S.-Mexico Border by Kristina M. Campbell
A Dry Hate: White Supremacy and Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric in the Humanitarian Crisis on the U.S.-Mexico Border by Kristina M. Campbell, University of the District of Columbia - David A. Clarke School of Law April 18, 2015 West Virginia Law Review, Forthcoming
Abstract: Beginning with the passage of its anti-immigrant “Show-Me-Your-Papers” law in April 2010, S.B. 1070, much has been written about the hostile political climate toward noncitizens in the State of Arizona specifically and the U.S.-Mexico border generally. However, the recent influx of refugees from Central America to the United States has seen a resurgence in the anti-immigrant rhetoric, which is particularly disturbing since a large percentage of the individuals fleeing violence and poverty are children. In this vein, one aspect of the genesis of S.B. 1070 and other anti-immigrant laws that have not received a great deal of attention is the significant presence – and the startling growth of – white supremacist and Neo-Nazi groups throughout Arizona and the Southwest in the years leading up to the introduction and passage of S.B. 1070 and its predecessor laws. While groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have monitored and documented the rise of anti-immigrant hate groups in the Southwest over the past decade, the correlation between the activities of these organizations, anti-immigrant activism, and the passage of state laws designed to intimidate, threaten, and harass noncitizens and other people of color living and working in Arizona and the American Southwest has not been fully explored in the mainstream political and legal media.
This Article examines the growth of the white supremacist movement in Arizona and other Southwestern states, and argues that the influence of these groups plays a significant role in the caustic rhetoric we are currently witnessing in the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border and in the flurry of anti-immigrant laws approved by the state legislature and the electorate since the early 2000s. Part I discusses some of the most prominent white supremacist and Neo-Nazi groups currently operating in Arizona and other states along the U.S.-Mexico border. Part II provides an overview of some of the prominent politicians and citizens in the Southwest who have been linked to extremist and racist groups, and how their affiliations impacted the spread of anti-immigrant rhetoric into the cultural mainstream, as well as the introduction and passage of state anti-immigrant laws and policies. Part III discusses the current humanitarian crisis on the border, and profiles some of the most notorious recent incidents of anti-immigrant sentiment tied to white supremacists – such as the murders of Raul and Brisenia Flores by border vigilantes in 2009 and the murderous rampage of Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready in 2011 – and examines how the anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric of these groups contribute to the ongoing violence against and scapegoating of migrants seeking refuge in the United States. The Article concludes with Part IV, in which I argue that unless and until the white supremacist roots of anti-immigrant rhetoric is acknowledged, the southern border of the United States will continue to be a flashpoint in which hate groups can continue to implement their extremist agenda against noncitizens and people of color.
Monday, April 20, 2015
"Arpaio fell back on his old-school, attention-diverting tricks last week. He brought in an aging Playboy playmate to tour the jail and talk about how cheaply he feeds his inmates. It was the same baloney. Arpaio cut short a press conference on vegetarian meals for prisoners when reporters asked about the real issue: racial profiling and the cost of implementing a court order that Arpaio admits defying. Sorry, Pamela Anderson. That's the real bombshell."
On Tuesday, a federal court judge will consider whether Sheriff Arpaio and others should be held in contempt for failing to abide by an injunction entered by the district court (and affirmed in large part by the Ninth Circuit last week) in a case in which the defendants in its law enforcement activities violated the constitutional rights of Latinos.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office under Sheriff Arpaio's leadership has come under considerable scrutiny and criticism.
A vocal group of advocates insists that the United States does not face a shortage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers. The advocates argue that high-skilled immigration is not only unnecessary but is actually harmful to American workers.
In this report, which was released today, the Information Technology & Information Foundation refutes 10 of the most common myths asserted to deny the existence of a STEM worker shortage and provides clear evidence that a STEM shortage hurts the American economy and workers.
Myth 1: Data disprove the STEM shortage.
Fact: Despite what advocates may claim, a rigorous examination of available data instead of anecdotal sampling supports the conclusion there is a STEM shortage.
Myth 2: American universities will supply enough computer science graduates to meet demand over the next 10 years.
Fact: By best estimates and current trends, there will be at least two new jobs in computer occupations for every U.S. computer science graduate over the next decade.
Myth 3: STEM students do not use their skills after graduation.
Fact: STEM graduates are more likely than other students to find and hold jobs closely related to their majors.
Myth 4: Previous claims of the STEM shortage never materialized.
Fact: Shortages were mitigated by increased STEM immigration, but the effects of the ongoing shortage are readily apparent in the U.S. economy.
Myth 5: IT wages are flat and low.
Fact: IT wages are 80 percent higher than average U.S. wages and are growing quickly.
Myth 6: More students would major in STEM fields if wages in these fields were higher.
Fact: Wages in IT and engineering are already very high, yet there are fewer computer science majors today than there were 10 years ago. In reality, frictions in the education system limit and delay students from acting on wage incentives.
Myth 7: U.S. companies can remain competitive without high-skilled immigration.
Fact: More manufacturing and traded services will go overseas if companies in the U.S. are denied access to skilled workers.
Myth 8: High-skilled immigrants are substitutes for native workers.
Fact: High-skilled guestworkers complement, not substitute for native workers. They create jobs in their industries by complementing native workers, create jobs in local service industries through the multiplier effect, and create other advanced jobs through high rates of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Myth 9: H-1B visas allow foreign companies to compete in American markets.
Fact: H-1B guest workers allow American companies to continue to operate in America without offshoring. The limits on H-1B visas force many companies to leave, costing Americans an estimated half million jobs each year.
Myth 10: Guestworkers are paid less than native workers.
Fact: H-1B wages are comparable if not slightly higher than prevailing wages in most IT and engineering occupations.
Immigration Article of the Day: Deferred Action, Supervised Enforcement Discretion, and the Litigation Over Administrative Action on Immigration by Anil Kalhan
Deferred Action, Supervised Enforcement Discretion, and the Litigation Over Administrative Action on Immigration by Anil Kalhan, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - School of Law, Center for the Study of Law and Society April 17, 2015
Abstract: In this Article, I analyze the decision enjoining the Obama administration’s November 2014 immigration actions by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, which highlights an erosion of the conventional lines between litigation, adjudication, and public discourse in politically salient cases. As mechanisms to channel the government’s scarce resources toward its enforcement priorities more efficiently and effectively, the Obama administration’s initiatives enable eligible noncitizens to obtain “deferred action,” a longstanding mechanism by which immigration authorities exercise prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action provides its recipients with nonbinding, revocable notification that officials have deprioritized their removal, and as such confers a highly tenuous form of quasi-legal recognition far short of legal immigration status. In his ruling, however, Judge Hanen elides these legal distinctions to repeatedly mischaracterize the initiatives as providing “legal status.”
With this false statement as a foundational premise, Judge Hanen then incorrectly flays the Obama administration for “circumvent[ing] immigration laws” and “total abdication” of immigration enforcement altogether. These basic factual and legal errors, along with a series of other flaws in the opinion, make the decision entirely continuous with the modes of argument that prevail in political discourse, giving rise to what I describe elsewhere as "judicial truthiness." Accordingly, Judge Hanen's ruling illustrates a broader set of tendencies in litigation involving politically salient issues, in which groups engage the judicial process using politically-oriented modes of argument—even when the gaps between those political arguments and applicable legal principles are considerable—and judges respond in kind by discarding the norms of reasoned adjudication and judicial fact-finding in favor of the contemporary norms of political discourse.
These distortions of the conventional norms of adjudication in turn also distorted Judge Hanen's substantive analysis, causing him to falter in his analysis of the complex issues arising from the government’s establishment of enforcement priorities and prosecutorial discretion guidelines in an era of mass deportation. Ultimately the Obama administration’s initiatives must be understood and evaluated not in abstract terms, but within the specific context of an expansive and fragmented decision-making regime, in which enforcement activities are conducted on a massive scale by a broad array of separate agencies, entities, and officials. As the scale of this enforcement regime has grown to such enormous levels—making the interrelated challenges of ensuring sufficiently uniform execution of the law and fidelity to enforcement priorities more formidable—the need for effective mechanisms to supervise and guide the discretion exercised in the field has only grown more important. However, Judge Hanen’s ruling effectively disables policymaking officials from implementing such mechanisms, requiring them instead to let the vagaries of the bureaucracy reign supreme. The decision therefore inhibits the agency’s ability not only to channel scarce resources toward its priorities more efficiently and effectively, but also its ability to ensure that in executing the immigration laws, the agency and its personnel heed important rule-of-law values such as uniformity, transparency, accountability, and nonarbitrariness.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Montana Highway Patrol troopers held Latinos stopped for traffic violations based on their appearance and accents, sometimes detaining them for hours, while waiting for federal agents to conduct immigration checks, according to evidence in a recently settled lawsuit. Despite Montana law banning racial profiling, troopers held Latino drivers and passengers and were instructed to arrest them for traffic offenses until federal agents could take suspected illegal immigrants into custody.
According to the article, the Chronicle examined hundreds of MHP internal emails and documents, dashboard camera videos and audio recordings obtained from the attorney who sued the patrol after the lawsuit settled.
A class action lawsuit had been filed by the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”) against the Montana Highway Patrol in October 2013. It alleged that Patrol officers had engaged in a practice of detaining Latino drivers and passengers for the purpose of checking into their immigration status:
On April 4, 2014, the Montana Department of Justice announced an agreement with plaintiffs to resolve a lawsuit that challenged the manner in which the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) handled traffic stops involving people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. The agreement was reached between Attorney General Tim Fox, MHP Colonel Tom Butler, and Attorneys Shahid Haque-Hausrath of the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C. and Brian Miller of Morrison, Sherwood, Wilson & Deola, PLLP, who represented the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.
As previously reported on April 3 on ImmigrationProf, a final judgment was entered by U.S. District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen, and can be downloaded here.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
As the media has reminded us, today is the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City. The domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building occurred on April 19, 1995. Carried out by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the bombing killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, causing at least an estimated $652 million worth of damage. Extensive rescue efforts were undertaken by local, state, federal, and worldwide agencies in the wake of the bombing.
Within 90 minutes of the explosion, McVeigh was stopped by an Oklahoma State Trooper for driving without a license plate and arrested for illegal weapons possession. Forensic evidence quickly linked McVeigh and Nichols to the attack; Nichols was arrested, and within days both were charged. McVeigh, an American militia movement sympathizer who was a Gulf War veteran, had detonated a Ryder rental truck full of explosives parked in front of the building. McVeigh's co-conspirator, Nichols, had assisted in the bomb preparation. Motivated by his hatred of the federal government and angered by its handling of the 1993 Waco siege and the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992, McVeigh timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deadly fire that ended the siege at Waco.
The bombers were tried and convicted in 1997. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison. Michael and Lori Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols; Michael was sentenced to 12 years in prison for failing to warn the United States government, and Lori received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.
As a result of the bombing, the U.S. Congress passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which included a number of immigration-reelated provisiuons, including limiting judicial review of various removal orders. Later in 1996, Congress built on the immigration provisions of AEDPA in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The Oklahoma City bombing thus had immigration law consequences even though the bomb plot was the work of U.S. citizens, not immigrants.
In April 2000, the Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing.
CNN reports on the latest immigration tragedy from that part of the world. A rescue operation is underway in the Mediterranean after a boat carrying possibly hundreds of migrants from Libya capsized overnight. Rescuers from Italy and Malta reportedly have seen scores of bodies in Libyan waters. Children are among the dead. They're have been 28 survivors so far, while 23 bodies were recovered in an area 73 miles north of Libya. Survivors said that 700 to 800 people had been on board the boat.
UPDATE (Apr. 20): As of Monday morning in the United States, three more ships of migrants reportedly were in distress in the Mediterranean.
UPDATE (Apr. 22): CNN relays the compelling stories of some migrants making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean in search of safe haven.
A number of candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio, have recently declared for the 2016 campaign for President. Who will be next? Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is one possibility. As this Vox article lays out, Senator Graham would be a most interesting candidate, especially when it comes to immigration: "A co-author of the Senate's 2013 immigration reform bill, Graham has faced heat from the right on immigration in the past. Creative conservatives have nicknamed him `Lindsey Grahamnesty' and `Lindsey Gomez.'"
For a full profile on Senator Graham and his possible run for the Presidency, click here.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015
I want to give a shout out to students in the UC Davis School of Law Humanitarian Aid Legal Organization (HALO) who traveled to San Antonio, Texas during spring break to provide support and assistance for immigrant women and children detained in the Karnes County Residential Center.
Fourteen King Hall students worked with the immigration assistance group Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) to observe court hearings, investigate allegations of abuse, and provide other services.
Founded in 2006, HALO is a student organization that assists and raises awareness of underserved communities. Each year, HALO raises funds for a spring break legal aid trip, in which UC Davis law students travel to provide aid to underserved groups in different parts of the country. Past trips have been to New Orleans, Biloxi, East St. Louis, and other cities. Participating in the 2015 trip to San Antonio were Dean Bubar '16, Max Calehuff '17, Laura Flores '15, Erin Gunter '17, Connor Karen '17, Jamie Knauer '17, Hope Kwiatkowski '17, Adam McIntyre '17, John Miller '17, Katie Rogers '17, Kelsey Santamaria '17, Holly Snead '17, Sarah Woolston '17, and Antonia Wong '16.
For further details, click here.
Here is a Los Angeles Times story about the advocates.
Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, a long-time champion of immigration reform, has shared a toolkit to prepare families and individuals for immigration executive action. This pamphlet can be printed double-sided as a resource to educate potential applicants on the requirements for expanded DACA and the new DAPA program announced by President Obama in November 2014.
While applications for expanded DACA and DAPA are not yet available, this pamphlet offers guidance on documents that can be gathered now to demonstrate eligibility. Many of these same documents can also be used to demonstrate that an individual should not be a priority for removal if they are put in deportation proceedings before applications are available.
Abstract: Open borders, in the sense of the abolition of policies restricting migration, would cause billions of people to migrate, and result in almost a doubling of world GDP. Based on a model that stresses human capital as a determinant of the wealth and poverty of nations, but which also has a spatial element and allows total factor productivity to differ across cities, two open borders scenarios are constructed. In the first, "pure market clearing" scenario, world GDP rises 91% as 82% of the world's population migrates, mostly to the West, and the living standards of unskilled workers worldwide rise to 26% of the US level. In the second scenario, with several adjustments made to favor greater realism at the expense of some arbitrariness, world GDP rises 85% as 58% of the world's population migrates, and the living standards of unskilled workers worldwide rise to 31% of the US level.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
In this Center for American Progress preview of Friday's arguments in Texas v. United States, Marshall Fitz and Professor Stephen Legomsky opine that "Judge Hanen’s rulings on both the standing and the APA issues — specifically, that DACA and DAPA are not discretionary and thus require notice and comment rulemaking under the APA — cannot be squared with either the evidence in the record or the governing legal principles. The 5th Circuit’s decision in Crane — a unanimous ruling by two Republican appointees and one Democratic appointee — exposes several of these flaws, vindicates the DHS deferred action programs, and should weigh heavily when the same court decides the pending appeal in the Texas case."