Thursday, August 27, 2015

Shocking Scope of the EU Migrant Crisis

This infographic from BBC News captures the almost unfathomable scale of the migrant crisis in Europe.


To put those numbers in context, the UNHCR estimates that the United States received 121, 200 asylum claims in 2014. Yet Germany is .04 times the size of the United States and has 1/4 of our population.

Last month, some 107,500 migrants crossed the EU's borders. Let's put that in perspective. 2014, the year of our national freak-out over unaccompanied minors coming from Central America, saw some 62,977 children were apprehended by CBP. That's 63,000 over an entire year. A third less than Europe has experience this month.

This is a crisis. And Europe doesn't currently have a coordinated response.


August 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Haiti



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Haiti’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months. The extended designation is effective Jan. 23, 2016, through July 22, 2017. Current TPS Haiti beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Aug. 25, 2015, through Oct. 26, 2015.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Aug. 25, 2015. The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS Haiti beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 22, 2017. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Haiti EADs bearing a Jan. 22, 2016, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through July 22, 2016.

Haiti was initially designated for TPS on Jan. 21, 2010, after a major earthquake devastated the country. Following consultations with other federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security has determined that current conditions in Haiti support extending the designation period for current TPS beneficiaries.


August 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jorge Ramos: Life under President Donald Trump


Read what Jorge Ramos of Univision has to say about the immigration consequences of a Donald Trump presidency.  Here is the lead in:

"`Trumpland' would feature a 1,954-mile-long wall along the US border with Mexico, to be constructed after the deportation of more than 11 million undocumented immigrants. Of course, Trump would ensure that the US-born children of these immigrants lose their right to American citizenship, so they’d be deported as well. As Trump sees it, with the border wall up and the immigrants out, the U.S. could be a great nation again.

Obviously, Trump believes that immigrants from Latin America are to blame for many of the country’s woes, and he’s trying to sell voters on his utopian vision. But the truth is that Trump’s vision is nonsense, better suited as the plot of a creepy sci-fi movie than as a political platform."


August 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Shannon Gleeson, ‘They come here to work’: an evaluation of the economic argument in favor of immigrant rights


Shannon Gleeson, ‘They come here to work’: an evaluation of the economic argument in favor of immigrant rights, Citizenship Studies, April 2015

Abstract: Advocates commonly highlight the exploitation that hard-working undocumented immigrants commonly suffer at the hands of employers, the important contribution they make to the US economy, and the fiscal folly of border militarization and enhanced immigration enforcement policies. In this paper, I unpack these economic rationales for expanding immigrant rights, and examine the nuanced ways in which advocates deploy this frame. To do so, I rely on statements issued by publicly present immigrant rights groups in six places: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington, DC. I also draw on interviews with immigrant advocates in San Jose, CA and Houston, TX, press releases from two alternative national immigrant rights organizations, and an ethnographic photo-documentation of immigrant rights mobilizations in 2012–2014. Economic rationales, I emphasize, can be found in each of these contexts, but are not mutually exclusive to other justifications, including narratives about civil, human, and family rights for immigrants. However, I argue that an economic framing of immigrant rights nonetheless runs the risk reifying work over conventional understandings of criminality, often relies on a narrow definition of economic worth, and could have negative consequences for coalition building.


August 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hidden Struggles of Undocumented Children Revealed in POV Documentary ‘Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie),’ Monday, Sept. 21, 2015 on PBS


Angy Rivera had two crucial secrets in her life.  The first was that she was an undocumented child living with her mother and siblings in New York City for 19 years. That secret was a constant source of fear: If her immigration status was discovered, she could be deported and her family shattered.

The second secret was more tragic: Rivera had been sexually abused by her stepfather from ages 4 to 8, a secret she eventually revealed and which, in the strange world of immigration law, helped her gain the visa she had always desired. Her poignant, inspiring odyssey is the subject of Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie), a new documentary premiering on the PBS series
POV (Point of View)
on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015 at 10 p.m. (check local listings). The film will stream online from Sept. 22, 2015 - Oct. 21, 2015.

Director Mikaela Shwer met Rivera, now 24, while the young woman was still undocumented. After the two developed a friendship, Shwer began filming Rivera’s quest to help others living in immigration’s “shadows” and to gain a visa for herself. The result was Shwer’s first full-length


August 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Death Match 2015: Graham on Trump: 'I'll beat his brains out' in South Carolina


CNN has an interesting interview of Senator Lindsey Graham's and his latest attacks on the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.  According to Graham, Donald Trump is a "complete idiot" and if the two face off in the Republican primary in Graham's home state of South Carolina, "I'll beat his brains out."

Graham chalked Trump's lead in the polls up to a "dark side of politics that Mr. Trump is appealing to." He said Trump is channeling the same Republican primary voters who believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim and was born in Kenya.

"Come to South Carolina and I'll beat his brains out," Graham said. "I know my state. This is a silly season in politics."

Graham launched the harshest attack yet of any of Trump's Republican opponents, calling him a "showman" whose "policy positions are complete gibberish." "He is shallow, he is ill-prepared to be commander-in-chief, he doesn't know what he is talking about in terms of how our laws work, he says the worst things possible about immigrants and women, and he's a complete idiot when it comes to Mideast policy," Graham said. "So I think over time, common sense will prevail."


August 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Republican Candidates and the Media: Ted Cruz Challenges Fox's Megan Kelly, Jorge Ramos Ejected from Trump News Conference

Previously, it was Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump having a run in with Megan Kelly of Fox News.  Now, Senator Ted Cruz is -- in a less caustic way -- attacked Kelley on the air.


Yesterday, Megyn Kelly repeatedly pressed Cruz to give a straight answer on whether he would deport an illegal immigrant family if the children were born in the United States. Cruz didn’t directly answer Kelly. So she said, “You’re dodging my question.” She asked, “Do American citizen children of two illegal immigrants… get deported under a President Cruz?” “I get that’s the question you want to ask,” Cruz responded. “That’s also the question every mainstream media journalist wants to ask.” Kelly kept at it, saying, “Why is it so hard? Why don’t you just say yes or no?”

The Republican candidates seem to be having a hard time with the media.  CNN reports that Jorge Ramos of Univision was ejected from a Donald Trump press conference.


August 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Evolving Contours of Immigration Federalism: The Case of Migrant Children by Elizabeth Keyes


Evolving Contours of Immigration Federalism: The Case of Migrant Children by Elizabeth Keyes, University of Baltimore - School of Law August 14, 2015

Abstract: In a unique corner of immigration law, a significant reallocation of power over immigration has been occurring with little fanfare. States play a dramatic immigration gatekeeping role in the process for providing protection to immigrant youth, like many of the Central American children who sought entry to the United States in the 2014 border “surge.” This article closely examines the history of this Special Immigrant Juvenile Status provision, enacted in 1990, which authorized a vital state role in providing access to an immigration benefit. The article traces the series of shifts in allocation of power between the federal government and state courts between 1990 and the present, often to the detriment of the children themselves. Through careful analysis of the changes in the law and changes in federal capacity since the law was originally enacted in 1990, the article shows the unintended ways that the state role diminishes the federal quality of immigration law. The geographic disparities, the access to justice problems that have intensified in recent years, and the availability of another institutional design option, all compel those concerned with improving the protection of children to consider whether it is time to rethink the state gatekeeping role entirely, and federalize the process for these migrant children.


August 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Confessions of an "Anchor Baby"

Presenting Scholarship

Last year, I received a copy of the Virginia Journal, featuring an in-depth profile on the scholarly work of immprof Kerry Abrams. You can find it on pages 11-34 of the linked .pdf.

It's exceedingly well done. It begins with an introduction to Abrams herself, how she got started on her scholarship path, a summary of her work, and how she views its importance. This introduction is followed by excerpts from her key articles as well as a bibliography.

I bring this piece to your attention not to highlight Abrams' work - although it is interesting. Rather, I encourage you to see it as a model for you or your school to follow in creating a summary of your own body of scholarship.

Just this month, I received a similar write-up about the work of Prawf (but not immprof) John Inazu of Washington University. Inazu's booklet was not produced by Wash U but by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture where he had been a visiting faculty member. Unfortunately, I could not find that booklet online, but I encourage you to contact John to see if he has extras to send your way. (He writes on the First Amendment's Assembly Clause, FYI, and we could all use the occasional break immigration readings.)

I look forward to the flurry of scholarship summaries that will hopefully come my way!


August 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA applauds California federal court ruling on immigration detention of children

Showing how out of touch the Obama administration's immigration enforcement positions are, American Bar Association President Paulette Brown on Tuesday commended the ruling by Judge Dolly Gee of by the federal district court for the Central District of California in Flores v. Lynch, which ruled that a 1997 settlement governing the treatment of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also applies to those children who are held and accompanied by a parent.

“This decision is a clear victory for the rights of children and provides ample recognition that children have particular needs and vulnerabilities that are severely hampered by even short periods of detention,” Brown said in a statement. Please click here to view Brown’s full statement.

The ABA released a report last week on the expansion of immigration detention, focusing on the government's response to the 2014 influx in arrivals of Central American mothers with young children to the southwestern U.S. border. The report concluded that the federal government’s use of family detention violated applicable laws and human rights norms; it is at odds with the presumption of liberty; and it impinges on the families' due process right to legal counsel.


August 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Germany condemns neo-Nazi violence outside asylum shelter




Ferment over immigration in Europe continues.  Al Jezeera reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out yesterday against violent protests against asylum seekers in the eastern German town of Heidenau over the weekend.  Hundreds of right-wing protesters attacked police in front of an asylum shelter near Dresden in the early hours of Saturday, many hurling bottles and stones, angry about the arrival of asylum seekers. At least 31 German police officers were hurt in scuffles when rioters blocked the shelter as about 600 asylum seekers were scheduled to move in.


August 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jeb on Trump on Immigration: "Catastrophic"

Immigration Article of the Day: The Cuban Rafter Crisis Revisited by Christina M. Frohock

Christina Frohock_crop

The Cuban Rafter Crisis Revisited by Christina M. Frohock,University of Miami - School of Law, April 20, 2015 CABA Briefs Magazine, pp. 16-21, Spring-Summer 2015 University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-10

Abstract: Published on the 20th anniversary of the 1994-95 Cuban rafter crisis in Guantánamo, this article analyzes the main case of CABA v. Christopher as both a public memory and a legal precedent for Guantánamo issues that continue to arise.


August 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

What was Arpaio v. Obama really about? by Vicky Yau

 As recently blogged by Professor Hing, the Court for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona and rejected challenges to DACA and DAPA. In Arpaio v. Obama, Sheriff Arpaio appealed the district court’s decision in his suit against the Department of Homeland Security. He argued that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and its progeny, Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs were unconstitutional. Sheriff Arpaio argued that DACA and DAPA, which allows undocumented immigrants who pass background checks and arrived in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2010 to defer their removal proceedings for up to 3 years. In that time, these immigrants may apply for work authorization. The DHS initiated these programs in light of the practical obstacles of removing the over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Currently, the DHS only has the means to remove about 400,000 of these immigrants per year. Thus, these programs would help the DHS prioritize the removal of more dangerous illegal immigrants.
In his suit, Sheriff Arpaio argued that these two policies directly harm him as Sheriff of Maricopa County, an area just a few miles from the U.S.-Mexican border. Arpaio challenged that these two policies would force him to increase spending in order to effectively police the county and its jails since the policies would essentially act as magnets, attracting more criminal immigrants to his county.
The Court of Appeals began its analysis by reviewing the rule of standing: the Sheriff must be able to allege that the harm he suffered is fairly traceable to the policies and that enjoining (eliminating) the policies would provide him relief from that harm. After analyzing Sheriff Arpaio’s arguments, the Court decided that Arpaio’s alleged injury of the policies attracting more criminal immigrants to his county, making it harder for him to perform his job, was not fairly traceable to the policies. The Sheriff’s alleged theory was too speculative as DACA/ DAPA would not apply to new immigrants; only those who came to the U.S. prior to 2010 stand to benefit from the policies. Moreover, beneficiaries would need to pass background checks. Those with criminal backgrounds would not be eligible for deferred removal.
The court also addressed the potential that perhaps the Sheriff’s magnet theory meant that more undocumented immigrants would enter the U.S. and his county in the hopes that perhaps these policies mean there’s high potential for future favorable policies towards them. But considering the dangers and difficulties with illegal immigration, the court found that it would be doubtful an undocumented immigrant would go through those challenges on a mere hope that they could benefit from a potential future policies.
Furthermore, the court distinguished this case from the recent case of Texas v. United States. in which Texas brought suit because DAPA would require the state to issue driver licenses to eligible beneficiaries. Since the state already loses $130.89 per license issued, the increase in the number of licenses the state would need to issue would directly harm the state. The harm would be a “direct and predictable effect” of the policies. On the other hand, the Sheriff is merely speculating that the policies would increase the number of undocumented immigrants, who would then come into his county, commit crimes, and become involved in the criminal justice system in a substantial manner, such that he would have to increase his police force or otherwise increase spending to maintain order in his county. This theory remains much too theoretical to give the Sheriff standing to bring the suit. As a result, the Court upheld the district court’s decision, ruling that Sheriff Arpaio lacked standing to challenge the DHS’s DACA/ DAPA programs.
Vicky Yau is a second year law student at UC Davis School of Law.

August 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jeb Bush: 'Chill Out' on Criticism of 'Anchor Baby' Term -- Its an Asian Thing


Carrie Dann on CNN continues to report on the Jeb Bush blow up over his use of the term "anchor babies." Bush says that it is "ludicrous" that he is being accused of using a term that insults immigrants. "Nothing about what I've said should be viewed as derogatory towards immigrants at all," the GOP presidential candidate said after meeting with local officials near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas. "And by the way, I think we need to take a step back and chill out a little bit as it relates to the political correctness that somehow you have to be scolded every time you say something."

Bush said that he used the term "anchor babies" specifically to refer to fraud -- sometimes called "birth tourism" -- in a "specific targeted kind of case" involving mothers who travel to the United States only to win citizenship for their unborn children. "Frankly it's more Asian people," he added.


August 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Meme Analysis: Bobby Jindal and Birthright Citizenship

On August 17, Republican Presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal tweeted:

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 2.50.16 PM

Nice. The internet responded with this meme:


The meme, however, has some problems.

First, as you can see from the tweet, Jindal didn't use the phrase "anchor babies." It distorts his words, which really don't need embellishment.

Next, the facts. Jindal's parents, Amar and Ray, did move to the United States four months before his birth. And they were noncitizens when he was born. But they were not "illegal immigrants," which is the population whose access to birthright citizenship Jindal would like to restrict.

Also, Jindal's parents could not have used Jindal's citizenship "to become Americans" because his mother became a citizen in 1986, five years after Jindal's birth, and his father became a citizen in 1986, when Jindal was just 15. As readers know, a USC must be 21 in order to sponsor noncitizen parents.

Perhaps the meme is meant in a less lawyerly, more loose context. Maybe the argument is that Jindal's birthright citizenship helped support his parents' applications for naturalization in some way. But I don't think that's the true message.

When there are such fertile legal and factual grounds to challenge a candidate's position on the issues, I hate to see folks get carried away.


August 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immprof Kari Hong on Deporting Noncitizen Criminals


Immprof Kari Hong tackles the thorny issue of deporting noncitizen criminals in an op-ed recently published by The Boston Globe.

She writes: "although deporting [noncitizens who have criminal records] may seem like a common sense solution, the way we do it is costly and misguided."

Kari highlights the fact that the civil detention of noncitizens with criminal records is expensive. And that the process captures "criminals" who are, it turns out, often not dangerous. She also notes that "the seriousness of an offense is based on crude categories rather than how criminal courts view the crime," leading to unjust deportation decisions.

The piece not only critiques the current system, it offers a solution. Kari suggests that every migrant who commits a crime should have a "meaningful hearing" before an immigration judge who could determine who merits a second chance "and whose conduct was serious enough to forfeit the right to remain here."


August 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Should "Birthright Citizenship" Be Abolished?

The Citizenship Structure of the Latino Population in the United States

 The National Institute for Latino Policy compiled this basic information to remind the nation that not all Latinos are subject to removal from the United States.


August 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)