Monday, November 17, 2014
The emerging field of crimmigration law explores the convergence of criminal law and immigration law. Once two distinct areas of law, the fields have become increasingly intertwined as a result of recent political, social, and legal developments. This transformation has created a dramatic shift in the interplay between courts and law enforcement with escalating consequences for immigrants. The Denver University Law Review’s 2015 Symposium, “CrImmigration: Crossing the Border Between Criminal Law and Immigration Law,” will examine the current issues found at the intersection of these two areas of practice. By providing a framework for the legal challenges the noncitizen faces, the Symposium will offer the opportunity for scholars and practitioners to advance our understanding of contemporary American crimmigration.
In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR), the American Bar Association has produced a commemorative video on the project and its role in helping immigrants and asylum-seekers detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement along the Texas border. ProBAR is an ABA project that provides legal information, pro se assistance and pro bono representation to thousands of immigrants and asylum-seekers detained in remote South Texas.
In the wake of Veterans Day, Immigration Impact reminds uis that "Just as immigrants have roots in communities across the country, they are also found throughout the ranks of the U.S. military, fighting on the front lines and shaping policy in the Pentagon."
"The stakes for the women and children in Artesia are very high, as are the stakes for U.S. lawmakers, public officials and citizens in our obligations to protect refugees seeking asylum on our borders.
Lawyers, law students, immigrant families, church congregations, nonprofits and community members are joining together to demand lawful and humane treatment for the women and children in immigration detention.
First, we seek humane psychosocial and material conditions of life for the moms and kids in Artesia.
Third, we seek closure of the Artesia detention center and an end to the federal policy of family detention. The jailing of youth migrants and their mothers flies in the face of our humanitarian obligation to protect individuals fleeing persecution in their native lands."
The National Day Labor Organizing Network last Friday released a video, Olmeca's "Browning of America" by Barni Qaasim and Puente Vision.
Latino Rebels debuted it on Friday saying, "What they created is a song that is sure to be a soundtrack for any march and a display of the beauty of a people who, as Olmeca explains, 'are changing the reality of the U.S. by simply existing.'”
The video features many of the people on the front lines of the fight in Arizona and families that Puente has fought to keep together as well as beautiful shots of Mt. Pleasant in Washington, DC.
Here is a brief description: Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it. But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’ s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.
The New York Times has reported that "after a new state law targeting Mexican-American studies courses that are perceived as antiwhite was upheld, it became illegal to teach `Mexican WhiteBoy' in Tucson’s classrooms. State officials cited the book as containing `critical race theory,' a violation under a provision that prohibits lessons `promoting racial resentment.'”
Sunday, November 16, 2014
President Obama appears poised to soon exercise his power to move forward on immigration reform. The headline of this New York Times story arguably plays into the claim that immigration reform is sought by big money interests, a claim often made by opponents of reform. Julia Preston reports that "[a] vital part of that expansion [of immigrant rights groups] has involved money: major donations from some of the nation’s wealthiest liberal foundations, including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations of the financier George Soros, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the past decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally."
In writing her novels and biographies, author Kati Marton draws on her experience as a journalist. She has reported for news outlets including NPR and ABC News, where she served as an overseas bureau chief, and is the recipient of a George Foster Peabody award for a documentary on China. Her 2009 memoir, Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, was a National Book Critics Circle finalist. She also works as a human rights advocate, and, from 2003 to 2008, chaired the International Women’s Health Coalition.
One book review describes "ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE IS A TOUR DE FORCE, an important work of history as it was lived, a narrative of multiple betrayals on both sides of the Cold War that ends with triumph and a new beginning in America. In this true-life thriller Kati Marton, an award-winning journalist, exposes the cruel mechanics of the Communist Terror State using the secret police files on her parents, as well as dozens of interviews that reveal how her family was spied on and betrayed by friends, colleagues, and even their children’s babysitter. In this moving and brave memoir, Marton searches for and finds her parents and love."
Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration Law's Catch-22: The Case for Removing the Three and Ten-Year Bars by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia
Immigration Law's Catch-22: The Case for Removing the Three and Ten-Year Bars by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Penn State Law November 3, 2014 Bender's Immigration Bulletin (2014, Forthcoming)
Abstract: Congress has made family immigration a priority in statute but the unlawful-presence bars, also known as the three and ten-year bars, create unique barriers for family reunification that prevent many immigrants from legalizing their status through the existing immigration system. The three and ten-year bars prevent immigrants who have overstayed their visas or entered unlawfully from earning a green card even if they are otherwise capable of legally acquiring it. Removing or reforming the unlawful presence bars would remove a major legislative catch-22 that impedes the legalization of many unauthorized immigrants. Take the example of Maria, a 23 year-old woman from Mexico who enters the United States without inspection and later marries the love her life, Mathew, a United States citizen. She can be separated from her husband for several years because of an unlawful-presence bar. In another example, Madthu, a 50 year old software engineer from India with a Master’s degree in engineering enters the United States lawfully but overstays his visa for one year. She can be banned from returning to the United States for ten years after she departs. This paper examines the background and consequences of the unlawful-presence bars, and explores possible policy changes that would mitigate its harmful impact on noncitizens and their families.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
In-Country Refugee/Parole Program for Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras With Parents Lawfully Present in the United States
On November 14, the U..S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE and U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY issued a Fact Sheet that begins:
"The United States is establishing an in-country refugee/parole program in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to provide a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States. This program will allow certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still in one of these three countries. Children who are found ineligible for refugee admission but still at risk of harm may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis. The refugee/parole program will not be a pathway for undocumented parents to bring their children to the United States, but instead, the program will provide certain vulnerable, at-risk children an opportunity to be reunited with parents lawfully resident in the United States."
Click here for the AP report on the new Central American refugee processing.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights briefing entitled Federal Civil Rights Engagement with Arab and Muslim Communities Post-9/11 includes the following important findings:
-- While the United States government has taken important steps to work with the American Muslim community, many American Muslims still feel their civil rights are violated through stereotyping, profiling and other forms of discrimination and are r eluctant to report civil rights and labor violations.
-- Ethnic, religious and racial profiling has led to the wide-spread singling out of Arabs and American Muslims by Customs and Border Patrol, the Transportation Safety Administration and the Federal Burea u of Investigation.
-- In the last ten years, the Muslim community has seen a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, anti - Muslim discrimination and policies that unfairly impact American Muslims. One example is the oftentimes secret placement of Muslim Americans on government watch lists.
Click the link above for further findings and details.
Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Ninth Circuit Ruling Invalidating Arizona Proposition 100's "No Bail for Undocumented Immigrants" Provision
Lyle Denniston on SCOTUSblog.com reports that the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block a federal appeals court ruling striking down an amendment to the Arizona constitution that prohibits the pretrial release of undocumented immigrants charged with serious crimes.
The Court was dealing at this point only with a plea by Arizona officials to delay the ruling at issue, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At issue in the case is the voter-approvcd “Proposition 100,” made a part of the Arizona constitution in November 2006. Passed by a margin of seventy-eight to twenty-two percent, the measure banned state courts from ordering the release on bail of any individual ruled to be in the country illegally, if he had been accused of a serious crime, proof of the crime was “evident,” and there were a “great presumption” that he was guilty.
The Supreme Court, by refusing the state’s request for a delay, allowed the decision by the en banc Ninth Circuit nullifying the bail ban to go into effect. That will mean that undocumented immigrants will now be able to seek bail from a judge while awaiting trial on criminal charges.
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, filed a separate statement, but it was not a dissent. They expressed regret that the Court does not have a strong inclination to grant review of lower court rulings striking down state laws, as it does when a federal law has been nullified by a lower court.
From the Bookshelves: Border Medicine A Transcultural History of Mexican American Curanderismo by Brett Hendrickson
Mexican American folk and religious healing, often referred to as curanderismo, has been a vital part of life in the Mexico-U.S. border region for centuries. A hybrid tradition made up primarily of indigenous and Iberian Catholic pharmacopeias, rituals, and notions of the self, curanderismo treats the sick person with a variety of healing modalities including herbal remedies, intercessory prayer, body massage, and energy manipulation. Curanderos, “healers,” embrace a holistic understanding of the patient, including body, soul, and community.
Border Medicine examines the ongoing evolution of Mexican American religious healing from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. Illuminating the ways in which curanderismo has had an impact not only on the health and culture of the borderlands but also far beyond, the book tracks its expansion from Mexican American communities to Anglo and multiethnic contexts. While many healers treat Mexican and Mexican American clientele, a significant number of curanderos have worked with patients from other ethnic groups as well, especially those involved in North American metaphysical religions like spiritualism, mesmerism, New Thought, New Age, and energy-based alternative medicines. Hendrickson explores this point of contact as an experience of transcultural exchange.
Drawing on historical archives, colonial-era medical texts and accounts, early ethnographies of the region, newspaper articles, memoirs, and contemporary healing guidebooks as well as interviews with contemporary healers, Border Medicine demonstrates the notable and ongoing influence of Mexican Americans on cultural and religious practices in the United States, especially in the American West.
Here is an update on a previous Immigrant of the Day, Kiki Vo, Vietnam. In 2010, the ImmigrationProf blog featured Kiki as the Immigrant of the Day. We reported that she had endured incredible hardships and remained in pursuit of nothing less than the American Dream. At the time, Kiki was finishing in Sacramento, had been accepted to the University of California, Berkeley, and had honored by local organizations for her volunteer work. Kiki also had been badly burned in a house fire that killed her mother and scarred two of her sisters nine years ago in Vietnam. A nonprofit organization paid for her father, Chu Vo, to take three of his daughters to a Shriners hospital in Boston. Chu and three of his daughters moved to Sacramento in 2004 to be seen at Shriners Hospitals for Children. Kiki and her two sisters underwent more than 60 surgeries, which Shriners hospital provided at no cost. Chu, who worked long hours doing odd jobs, stressed to his daughters the need to focus on their education. He tucked away as much money as he could so he could send the girls to college. Then Chu Vo got sick and died.
Out of the blue, I received this e-mail the other day:
Hello Mr Johnson,
Abstract: Human trafficking is an issue that has grabbed the attention of the world over the past 15 years. But meaningful progress and research are still held back by a number of debates between academics, policy makers, and activists. Agreeing upon a consistent definition and methods of measuring trafficking presents a challenge, as does the continued focus on the sex trafficking of women into prostitution to the exclusion of other types of trafficking and genders. Debates over what type of crime trafficking is and what drives it (organized crime, human rights, migration policies) have also had important impacts on the way that the phenomenon is conceptualized and dealt with at the national and international levels. This article outlines these debates and suggests directions for future research that can reveal the complexities of the phenomenon but also clarify our understandings of the lived experiences of people involved and the processes that drive it.
Friday, November 14, 2014
In this Ted talk, Hyeonseo Lee discusses her childhood in North Korea, escape to China, relocation in South Korea, and smuggling of her family out of North Korea through China and Laos. Grab some tissues and watch her powerful talk. It's a great vehicle for class discussion on open borders!
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Seung Min Kim on Politico reports that Republicans, including Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have indicated that immigration will be a large part of their line of questioning of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch in her confirmation hearings begin, which should be after the new Republican majority is seated in January. It appears that the questioning will center on the extent of the power of the President to issue executive orders on immigration, which (as recently as yesterday in China) he has promised to do in the near future.
Immigration may be an issue the other questioning of the nominee. The U.S. Department of Justice, headed by the Attorney General, houses the Exeecutive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the home of the immigration court system and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Among other things, the hearing process in the immigration courts for unaccompanied minors from Central America has been a topic of debate in recent months. In addition, high level officials in the EOIR have come under scrutiny for nepotism in the hiring of interns.
As a federal prosecutor, Lynch successfully prosecuted New York police officers accused of beating and sodomizing Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant. As the New York Times reported, "The officers were white, Mr. Louima black, and the harrowing episode rekindled racial tensions and anger at the police in New York City in 1997."
Among her professional experience, Lynch has worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which prosecuted high-profile suspects accused of committing genocide there in 1994.