Monday, September 26, 2016

The Immigration Question that Lester Holt Should Ask at the Presidential Debate

Lester Holt will moderate tonight's Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton Presidential Debate.  There has been exciting build-up with some trash talking about inviting Gennifer Flowers, who years ago allegedly had a relationship with Bill Clinton, in response to the Clinton campaign's invitation to businessman Mark Cuban to attend the debate.

Patrick Gleason in Forbes opines that Lester Holt or a moderator of one of the other two debates would do well to ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump where they stand on Utah’s state guest working program law, which has been awaiting a waiver from the White House for five years.  Responding to federal inaction on immigration reform, Utah state legislators passed a bill in 2011 creating a state guest worker permit program.  It runs against conventional wisdom, and may surprise many living on the coasts that a conservative state would pass such a bold and historic immigration reform measure.

More generally, one might wonder what the candidates think about the various state laws dealing with immigration, such as the Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina immigration enforcement laws, or the increasing numbers of states allowing undocumented immigrants to be eligible for driver's licenses, pay in-state fees at public universities, and like measures.


September 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mexico sees surge of migrants from Haiti, Africa and Asia


Irregular migrants heading for the United States wade across the Rio Suchiate between Tecún Umán, Guatemala and Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, Mexico. File photo: Keith Dannemiller / IOM 2014.

The Associated Press reports that Mexican immigration authorities have reported that they have experienced a surge of almost 5,000 Haitian, African and Asian migrants entering at the southern border in just a few days.  Recent experience suggests the 4,749 migrants entering through Mexico’s Tapachula immigration center on the Guatemalan border will soon try to reach the California border, with many expected to apply for asylum.  Recent trends suggest the majority are likely from Haiti.  That would mark a huge increase over the number seen so far this year. The institute said a total of 7,800 Haitian migrants entered Mexico through Guatemala between Jan. 1 and Sept. 21, as well as 1,701 migrants from Africa and 3,753 from various Asian nations.


September 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

RIP Jose Fernandez, Cuban American MLB Star



ESPN reports some very sad news from Major League BaseballMiami Marlins pitching ace Jose Fernández, just 24 years old, was killed in a boating accident in Florida early this morning. The U.S. Coast Guard said Fernandez was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach. 

Fernández was born in Cuba and made three unsuccessful attempts at defecting before he was successful. He was selected by the Marlins in the 2011 MLB draft. Fernández made his MLB debut with the Marlins on April 7, 2013. He was named to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game and was later named National League Rookie of the Year.

Fernández became the first pitcher in the modern era to win his first 17 career home decisions, as well as go 24-1 in his first 25 home decisions. He was one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball at the time of his death.

Fernández attempted to defect unsuccessfully three times; each failed defection attempt was followed by a prison term. Fernandez, along with his mother and sister, successfully defected in 2007. On that attempt, José's mother fell overboard and José had to dive into the water to save his mother's life.


September 25, 2016 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (1)

Immigration and the First Debate in the 2016 US Presidential Election

330px-Donald_Trump_March_2015 Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop

The preliminaries are over.  On to the Main Event!  Tomorrow night, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will engage in their first face-to-face debate.  All eyes will be watching, with many observers expecting fireworks.

Here is how the Council on Foreign Relations summarizes the candidates' positions on immigration and how the candidates might address the issue during the debate:

"The candidates will use discussion of immigration to reinforce both their foreign policy and domestic messages. Hillary Clinton has argued that an open and well-enforced immigration system benefits both the U.S. economy and national security, and reflects American values. She has generally favored efforts to increase the number of immigrants to the United States, provide a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented, and make deportation and detention policies more humane while improving screening and enforcement. Clinton has called immigration a “family issue” and argued that the influx of foreign workers brings important benefits to the U.S. economy. She also favors expanded U.S. acceptance of refugees from Syria. She told an audience at CFR in December 2015 that “we cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values and our humanitarian obligations,” and that “We should be doing more to ease this humanitarian crisis, not less.”

Trump’s discussion of immigration tends to emphasize what he sees as the security, economic, and cultural failures of the current system. He has called for policies that would make the immigration system much more restrictive, including mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, erecting a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States, and other restrictions on legal immigration. Many of these policies are aimed at particular minority groups. In an August 2016 speech on immigration, Trump stated that the United States should have an “ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values and love our people.” Trump also talks about immigration as an economic issue. He frequently highlights the cost of both illegal immigration and the immigration system more broadly, and has called for Mexico to pay for his proposed wall."



September 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will New Americans Tip the 2016 Elections?


In this Los Angeles Times op/ed, Professor Manuel Pastor suggests that the increasing numbers of naturalizations may tip the scales in the 2016 elections.  He points to the response in California to the passage of the ant-immigrant milestone, Proposition 187.  That initiative fueled Governor Pete Wilson's re-election. 

The question in my mind is whether the nation will see the response to Donald Trumps' attacks on immigrants in this election or future ones.


September 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Reminder that Immigrants (Including Undocumented Immigrants) Pay Taxes Too: I’ve Got ITINs on My Mind by Francine Lipman

Lipman Faculty_Lipman_Francine

At TheSurly Subgroup, a tax blog,  Francine J. Lipman reminds us that individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) holders pay over $45 billion annually in federal, state, and local taxes.  She writes that, among the many amazing opportunities she has had as a law professor is continuing her work with immigrants on their tax issues:

"As I have written about at length unauthorized immigrants pay many tens of billions of dollars a year in taxes including federal (about 4.4 million ITIN tax returns were filed in 2015 paying over $23 billion including $18.1 in federal income taxes and $5.5 in self-employment taxes), state, and local income, property, sales, excise, etc. ($12 billion annually), and payroll taxes (about $12 billion a year in net Social Security and Medicare taxes for which they currently receive no current or future benefit)."


September 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mass deportation isn’t just impractical. It’s very, very dangerous.

Danielle_Allen_photo Wilson%20360x450

Danielle Allen and Richard Ashby Wilson in this Washington Post op/ed questions the mass deportation stratgy endorsed by Preesidential canidate Donald Trump, suggesting that it is a typo of "ethnic cleansing" and has been seen at various times in U.S. history, including the Trail of Tears, repatriation of persons of Mexican ancestry during the Great Depression, and "Operation Wetback" in 1954:

"Currently, we are seeing net outflows of immigrants across the Mexican border, as has been the case since 2009. In other words, we do not have an immigration crisis. But even if we did, history has shown that crisis rhetoric, coupled with a racially tinged aspiration to mass deportations, has repeatedly led to episodes that harm some severely, perhaps even mortally, and is likely to bring shame on us all."


September 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama Administration Steps Up Removals of Haitians

The American Immigration Council's Immigration Impact questions the announcement of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it will step up the deportation of Haitian nationals following a recent uptick in their number of arrivals at the San Ysidro Port of Entry by San Diego. Deportations of Haitians had been scaled back significantly following a massive 7.0 earthquake that rocked Haiti in January of 2010 and resulted in the death of more than 200,000 Haitians.


After the 2010 earthquake, many Haitians reportedly fled to Brazil and other nations. However few see their native-Haiti as safe or stable enough to return to and are now leaving their temporary homes in South America to make the trip north to the United States. Since May of 2016, over 4,000 Haitians have arrived in San Diego and it is being reported that another 4,000 to 6,000 Haitians are currently on their way.

In the announcement, DHS Secretary Johnson stated that Haitians will now be subject to the rapid deportation process known as “expedited removal.” Secretary Johnson said that individuals who express a fear of return to Haiti will be screened by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for possible asylum status.

However, Haitians who have resided in the United States continuously since January 2011 and currently have Temporary Protective Status, which gives those individuals a temporary stay of removal and employment authorization to support themselves and their families, will not be impacted by this change.

Immigration advocates are frustrated by this aggressive move to quickly deport Haitians. The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) noted that the decision is “unconscionable” and “Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, is in no condition to receive people back. In fact, reports on the ground are that the country is worse off than before the earthquake; only last month, the United Nations finally took responsibility for a still-raging cholera epidemic.”

This announcement comes only days after President Obama’s speech before the United Nations where he encouraged other nations to do their part to those fleeing unstable and insecure nations. The New York Times noted, “The message to those Haitians from the Obama administration, however, seems clear: Turn around or go elsewhere.”

Sadly, once again, the Obama Administration appears to be responding to a humanitarian crisis with severe enforcement measures. This strategy has not worked with individuals fleeing violence in Central America and will not work when it comes to Haitian earthquake survivors. The Obama Administration needs to extend the same compassion the President called for at the United Nations this week to Haitians and end these aggressive attempts to send them back to a country in ruin.

Kirk Semple for the New York Times reviews the change in policy.  See here and here.


September 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The untold stories of Japanese war brides


After World War II, tens of thousands of Japanese women moved with their new husbands, American soldiers, and assimilated into American culture.  Photo courtesy of the Washington Post

Kathryn Tolbert, who co-directed the film, “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides,” has this interesting story in the Washington Post.

Many Japanese women married U.S. military men who occupied their country after World War II and came to the United States:

"And then? They disappeared into America. There were tens of thousands of them, yet they vanished from public awareness — Japanese women who were barely a blip in immigration history, who married into families of North Dakota farmers, Wisconsin loggers, Rhode Island general store owners.

They either tried, or were pressured, to give up their Japanese identities to become more fully American. A first step was often adopting the American nicknames given them when their Japanese names were deemed too hard to pronounce or remember. Chikako became Peggy; Kiyoko became Barbara. Not too much thought went into those choices, names sometimes imposed in an instant by a U.S. officer organizing his pool of typists. My mother, Hiroko Furukawa, became Susie."


September 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congressman John Lewis on the Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture


American hero John Lewis has posted this statement on the White House Blog:

I've been waiting to see this day for 15 years -- and in some ways, my whole life.

I've loved history ever since I was a little boy. Growing up in the oppressive shadow of Jim Crow, my teachers would ask me to cut out photographs I found in magazines and newspapers of Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, and other marchers for justice. I read about Booker T. Washington, reveled in the sounds of the Jubilee Singers, and prayed for a King to reach the mountaintop.

To me, history is the foundation of a powerful legacy, and it is important to tell the stories of the millions of black men and women, boys and girls, who labored and sacrificed, and continue the struggle, to build this great nation.

When I learned of the decades-long effort to establish a national museum dedicated to preserving that too often untold story, I readily joined the effort. Every session of Congress for 15 years, I introduced a bill to create this national museum.

While the journey has been long, today the history of African Americans will finally take its place on the National Mall next to the monuments to Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson -- exactly where it belongs.


It is important that the National Museum of African American History and Culture tells the unvarnished truth of America's history -- a story that speaks to the soul of our nation, but one few Americans know.

It's a reminder that 400 years of history can't be buried; its lessons must be learned. By bringing the uncomfortable parts of our past out of the shadows, we can better understand what divides us and seek to heal those problems through our unity.

If we look at the glass-topped casket that displayed the brutalized body of Emmett Till and hear his story, we may better understand the exasperation and anger Americans feel today over the deaths of Trayvon Martin or Tamir Rice.

If we see that an everyday leather wallet is what's left of Harry T. Moore -- a man who fought for the right to vote and died in a bombing meant to silence his activism on Christmas Day in 1951 -- perhaps we will see why so many are fighting to protect any encroachment on that most sacred right today.

And as we look at the exhibit dedicated to an African American who now leads the free world from a White House built by black slaves, we can better understand the unshakeable optimism that has defined his belief that -- with dedicated work and a little good trouble -- we can help create a society that is more fair and more just, which benefits all Americans.

This museum casts a light on some of the most inspiring -- and uniquely American -- heroes who were denied equal rights but often laid down their lives to defend this nation in every generation. Often they profited least from the struggle they were willing to die for because they believed that the promises of true democracy should belong to us all, equally and without question.

I hope you will join me and President Obama for the opening ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture today at 10:00 am ET.

When you hear about the heroes memorialized in its halls, you may discover the depths of the invincible American spirit. As we learn and confront this history together, we can begin to build one inclusive, and truly democratic family -- the American family.

Rep. John Lewis




September 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Say It Ain't So, Joe: Ted Cruz Announces Support for Donald Trump

At the Movies: Kingdom of Shadows (2015)


“Kingdom of Shadows,” a film that features U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Oscar Hagelsieb, and highlights the realities and consequences of drug trafficking along the United States-Mexican border made its national television premiere Monday, Sept. 19, on PBS. 


Here is aa description of the film:

The U.S.-Mexico drug war continues to rage, engulfing not only the border states of both countries but also entire regions of southern Mexico. It has claimed thousands of lives — 27,000 people have disappeared since 2007 — and devastated countless families.

Yet for most Americans the carnage is not top of mind. Bernardo Ruiz’s Kingdom of Shadows illuminates and humanizes the conflict by following the lives of three people — a U.S. drug enforcement agent on the border, an activist nun in violence-scarred Monterrey, Mexico, and a former Texas smuggler — who provide distinct but interlocking views of the crisis.

In Kingdom of Shadows, Ruiz, whose Emmy®-nominated 2013 POV documentary Reportero investigated the impact of drug-related violence on journalists, focuses on the lives of Sister Consuelo Morales, who advocates on behalf of families who have lost loved ones to dealers or security forces; Don Henry Ford Jr., a former smuggler; and undercover agent-turned-senior Homeland Security drug enforcement officer Oscar Hagelsieb, who grew up in a drug-ravaged borderlands neighborhood.

The film opens with a newscaster announcing the grim discovery of “49 mutilated bodies,” and that is soon followed by reports of a mass grave holding 6,000 remains of drug-war victims. The stage is set for the introduction of Sister Morales, who is based in the devastated city of Monterrey and is the embodiment of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

“Without prayer I wouldn’t be able to cope,” she says calmly. Stoic and unflappable, she is a tireless advocate for the families of people kidnapped — or “disappeared” — by drug cartels or the security forces that are often in collusion with the cartels. She quickly dismisses any praise for her efforts. “The important ones are the victims,” she says, adding that they are kidnapped “to terrorize us.”

“Sister Morales is really the heart of the film,” Ruiz says. “She’s this extraordinary person who helps families whose loved ones have gone missing. She pushes the state government to actually do something and get some kind of justice.”

This is dangerous work for both Sister Morales and the families who come forward to report missing relatives. Filing a report sometimes leads to the reporting parties being kidnapped. Few perpetrators are brought to justice. “Mexico has a very weak judicial system where 93 percent of all major crimes are never prosecuted,” Ruiz says. “Stepping out of the shadows to say, ‘We want justice’ is a really big deal.”

No one knows that better than Hagelsieb, who rides into the film on a Harley-Davidson. The heavily tattooed Homeland Security officer operating out of El Paso, Texas, knows first-hand the temptations presented by the drug cartels. Many young men in the borderlands, he says, have few opportunities. The prospect of quick money often proves irresistible. Peer pressure also plays a part. “If he’s doing it, why shouldn’t I do it?” Hagelsieb explains.

Former smuggler Ford was one person who found the lure of drug money irresistible in the 1980s. “I jumped in head first,” he says, though he adds that he usually restricted himself to smuggling loads of marijuana in the 200-pound range. “I wasn’t a big-time smuggler.” Yet he was eventually arrested and did five years in prison. “He started smuggling before widespread electronic surveillance,” Ruiz explains, “sometimes just transporting marijuana on the back of a mule. Of course it was dangerous, but by comparison it was a less violent and different type of trade back then.”

The trade, and violence, exploded with the emergence of the cartels, including Los Zetas, founded by an elite group of soldiers who defected from the Mexican military. Corrupt officials are also in on the action. “Today you have paramilitary groups and widespread collusion with the government,” says Ruiz.

The film includes beautiful landscape footage, which offers a stunning contrast to the constant human misery underway along the border, including beheadings and the incineration of victims’ bodies in “narco kitchens.” In the documentary’s most horrifying segment, a masked cartel member explains how it’s done. “Five gallons of diesel will disappear you off the face of this Earth.”

Yet there is hope. “Probably the most important point that we make in the film is that there are people like Sister Consuelo who labor invisibly in corners of Mexico, doing their work and pushing for reforms,” Ruiz says. Both Ruiz and Hagelsieb say America’s appetite for drugs fuels the crisis. Ford laments mandatory minimum sentences that fill federal prisons with nonviolent drug offenders. Drug legalization in some U.S. states lessens demand for Mexican marijuana, though the market for methamphetamine remains large.

One of the most profoundly moving segments in a film with no lack of emotional impact is a series of close-ups of women and men who have lost family members to kidnapping and murder. “The thing that hit me the hardest was when we filmed these women looking straight at the camera,” Ruiz says. “Those moments were heartbreaking, because you could see the pain written on their faces. But it’s also hopeful, because you sensed this defiance and pride and dignity. To me, that attitude is emblematic of what’s happening in Mexico right now: People are fed up. These women were willing to share their stories because they’re hoping for some kind of change.”


September 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Immigration Article of the Day: Not So Safe and Sound by Jamil Dakwar


Not So Safe and Sound by Jamil Dakwar, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) July 7, 2016 SUR 23 - v.13 n.23, 49 - 60, 2016

Abstract:      Despite its historical role as a refuge for people from all over the world seeking protection and a new life, in recent years, the United States of America (U.S.) has started to roll back its human rights protections for asylum seekers. Jamil Dakwar describes how, in response to the Paris attacks and other events in Europe and the U.S., which raised alarm over the threat of terrorism, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation known as the SAFE Act that specifically targets Syrian and Iraqi refugees and excludes them from protection in the U.S. Dakwar notes how the growing Islamophobic hysteria that has characterised much of the U.S. presidential cycle is threatening to dismantle critical human rights protections and the domestic civil rights not only of foreign-born refugees seeking assistance in the U.S., but also of minority communities already living in the country. These restrictive and discriminatory immigration policies have also targeted asylum-seekers arriving in the U.S. from Central America with devastating consequences for families and young children. In explicitly denying protections for Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing appalling danger, this article explores how the SAFE Act violates several fundamental human rights laws and principles.


September 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Center for Migration Studies Symposium


The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) announces its annual academic and policy symposium on October 26, 2016 from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the law offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (1 New York Plaza, New York, NY).

With the presidential election imminent, CMS is devoting this event to a global, comparative and forward-looking analysis of US immigration law and policy. The event will include panel and keynote discussions on:

  • Immigrant integration trajectories in the United States and Europe, and their implications for US policy development.
  • Analysis of the factors driving migration to the United States and how a reformed US immigration policy might anticipate and respond to these conditions.
  • Revisiting past blue ribbon commissions on immigration: their assumptions, findings and recommendations, and what has changed in the interim.
  • Addressing the substance of legislation and executive action for a 21st century immigration policy
  • Prospects for immigration reform:  a discussion of the opportunities and challenges ahead

Confirmed speakers include:

…and many others soon to be announced.

To register, visit here. The conference fee of $50 includes a breakfast, lunch and coffee/refreshments throughout the conference. However, discounts or fee waivers are available for qualifying registrants/organizations showing financial need. To apply, please contact

More information here.


September 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

HAPPENING Now -- Urban Institute: Immigration and Our Economic Future Webinar


The Urban Institute, in collaboration with the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, invites you to a discussion on the economic and fiscal impacts of US immigration. This event follows the release of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration, the first comprehensive examination of this issue since 1997. The event will feature several of the study’s coauthors as they discuss the major results and implications of the study. Other speakers will include national policymakers and local leaders discussing the implications of the study’s results for communities around the country.

Speakers include:

  • Cecilia Muñoz, assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council, the White House
  • Moises Denis, senator, State of Nevada; cochair, Task Force on Immigration, National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Jennifer Hunt, James Cullen professor of economics, Rutgers University
  • Sonia Lin, general counsel and policy director, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, New York City
  • Dowell Myers, professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy
  • Kim Rueben, senior fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
  • Audrey Singer, senior fellow, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute
  • Renata Soto, cofounder and executive director, Conexión Américas; board chair, National Council of La Raza
  • Roberto Suro, professor, journalism and Public Policy, University of Southern California


September 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ending Private Detention Would Turn System ‘Upside Down,’ Says Immigration Enforcement Chief


Hope has sprung eternal that, after some recent announcements, the U.S. government might get out of the business with "for profit" detention by private contractors.   Well, hold on.

Roque Planas on the Huffington Post reports that Shutting down for-profit detention facilities would hurt Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ability to do its job, agency director Sarah Saldaña said Thursday.

“It would pretty much turn our system upside down,” she said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, “because we are almost completely contractor-run with respect to our detention facilities.”  

Saldaña’s comments fly in the face of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s recent decision to review whether ICE should continue relying on private prison contractors to run its detention centers.

The Department of Justice announced that it would phase out most of its use of privatized prisons for long-term inmates.


September 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Election 2016: Alabama town mirrors US class divide on immigration

With Election 2016 on the horizon, this CNN report considers class divides on the issue of immigration and immigration enforcement and interviews some residents of Alabama.  A few years back, Alabama passed a strict immigration enforcement law, H.B. 56, which was struck down in large part in the courts for intruding on the federal power to regulate immigration.
A CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll (PDF) released this week reveals deep divides across the United States on immigration.
Working-class whites -- a group some analysts say could play a decisive role in the presidential election (recall Ronald Reagan) -- are far more likely than others to say that undocumented immigrants should be deported. More than half (55%) say that's something the government should attempt, compared with 27% of white college grads.

September 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

National Academies Report on The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published its long-awaited report examining the fiscal and economic impacts of immigration.  The editors of the report are Francine D. Blau and Christopher Mackie.  The report is viewed as one of the most reliable, impartial, and comprehensive studies of the economic impacts on immigration on the United States.

Here is the report abstract:

More than 40 million people living in the United States were born in other countries, and almost an equal number have at least one foreign-born parent. Together, the first generation (foreign-born) and second generation (children of the foreign-born) comprise almost one in four Americans. It comes as little surprise, then, that many U.S. residents view immigration as a major policy issue facing the nation. Not only does immigration affect the environment in which everyone lives, learns, and works, but it also interacts with nearly every policy area of concern, from jobs and the economy, education, and health care, to federal, state, and local government budgets.

The changing patterns of immigration and the evolving consequences for American society, institutions, and the economy continue to fuel public policy debate that plays out at the national, state, and local levels. The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration assesses the impact of dynamic immigration processes on economic and fiscal outcomes for the United States, a major destination of world population movements. This report will be a fundamental resource for policy makers and law makers at the federal, state, and local levels but extends to the general public, nongovernmental organizations, the business community, educational institutions, and the research community.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-xii  
Summary 1-10  
1 Introduction 11-22  
2 Immigration to the United States: Current Trends in Historical Perspective 23-64  
3 Socioeconomic Outcomes of Immigrants 65-122  
4 Employment and Wage Impacts of Immigration: Theory 123-148  
5 Employment and Wage Impacts of Immigration: Empirical Evidence 149-214  
6 Wider Production, Consumption ,and Economic Growth Impacts 215-246  
7 Estimating the Fiscal Impacts of Immigration - Conceptual Issues 247-276  
8 Past and Future Fiscal Impacts of Immigrants on the Nation 277-380  
9 State and Local Fiscal Effects of Immigration 381-442  
10 Research Directions and Data Recommendations 443-452  
Appendix A References 453-488  
Appendix B Biographical Sketches 489-496  

The report will likely generate a variety of responses.   Here are two contrasting news articles about the new report.  See NY Times , Washington Times, and Time (Immigration Doesn't Hurt Native Jobs or Wages, Report Finds)..


September 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Genius Award to Immigrant Rights Attorney Ahilan Arulanantham


A new MacArthur Fellow is an accomplished immigrant rights attorney.

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2016

Ahilan Arulanantham

Human Rights Lawyer

Director of Advocacy and Legal Director

American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

Ahilan Arulanantham is an attorney working to secure the right to due process for individuals facing deportation. Through advocacy and successful litigation of a series of landmark cases, Arulanantham has expanded immigrant detainees’ access to legal representation and limited the government’s power to detain them indefinitely. Courts have traditionally characterized deportation proceedings as civil cases, which means defendants do not have many of the rights guaranteed to criminal defendants, including the right to counsel and the right to ask for release on bond. As a result, immigrants going through deportation hearings often have to represent themselves in complex proceedings, during which they can be detained for months or even years.

Arulanantham worked with a group of human rights attorneys to challenge indefinite detentions in Nadarajah v Gonzales (2006) and the class action suit Rodriguez v Robbins. The 2013 Rodriguez ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit established that immigrants in pending removal proceedings have the right to ask for bond at a hearing if they have been detained for six months or longer. Hundreds of people in immigration proceedings, including asylum seekers and parents and spouses of U.S. citizens, were immediately given an opportunity to seek release to their families while waiting for their cases to be adjudicated. In 2016, the Supreme Court will consider whether to reverse the Rodriguez ruling or instead extend the right to ask for release on bond nationwide. For the class action suit Franco-Gonzalez v Holder, launched in 2010, Arulanantham led a coalition of attorneys and other advocates to secure the right to appointed counsel for immigrants with mental disabilities. The named plaintiff in the Franco-Gonzalez case had been languishing in detention for nearly five years without a bond hearing or an attorney. The 2013 ruling in the case was the first to entitle an entire class of non-citizens to legal representation.

Arulanantham is currently advocating for extending the right to counsel to another vulnerable population—children placed in deportation proceedings—in J.E.F.M. v Lynch. Through his incremental approach and careful selection of cases, Arulanantham works to demonstrate the human costs of denying due process to immigrants and to set vital precedents to expand the rights of non-citizens.

Ahilan Arulanantham received B.A. degrees from Georgetown University (1994) and the University of Oxford, Lincoln College (1996) and a J.D. (1999) from the Yale Law School. He was an Equal Justice Works fellow (2000–2002) with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, an assistant federal public defender (2002–2004) in El Paso, Texas, and lecturer in the University of Chicago Law School (2010) and the University of California, Irvine, School of Law (2015). In 2004, he returned to the ACLU, where he is currently director of advocacy and legal director of the ACLU of Southern California and affiliated with the Immigrants’ Rights Project (since 2012).

In 2012, immigration attorney and professor Margaret Stock won a MacArthur.  Margaret is now running for Senate in Alaska.


September 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Myth and Reason on the Mexican Border


After U.S. Border Patrol spots their raft, migrants speed back toward the Mexico side of the Rio Grande. (Dominic Bracco II)

For months there's been talk about building a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico. Renowned travel writer, Paul Theroux, traveled the 1,989-mile border, crossing frequently between the two countries, to get a firsthand look at life along this region. 

"These dozen crossings were a revelation to me, putting the entire border protection debate into perspective, giving a human face - or rather many faces. It is at once more heartening and more hopeless than I had imagined," Theroux writes in Living in No Man's Land, his feature story in the October issue of Smithsonian magazine.

Theroux discovered that people in the region have their own unique culture, distinct from Mexico's or the U.S. Tens of thousands cross the border daily - in both directions - to work or shop in the U.S. 

September 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)