Mount Vernon, New York native Alvin Queenwas recently notified that U.S. Homeland Security will not allow him to enter the United States to perform at a prestigious, long-planned concert in Washington. Click here for the story.
Mr. Queen, the former drummer for Oscar Peterson, whose career includes memorable collaborations with a veritable who’s who of music royalty, including Nina Simone, Horace Silver, George Benson, Ruth Brown, Buddy DeFranco, Wynton Marsalis, Billy Taylor, Wild Bill Davis, George Coleman, George Braith, Larry Young, Harry Sweets Edison and Johnny Griffin, was set to perform at a concert in Washington, DC on November 15th, 2017, at the behest of The French-American Cultural Foundation.
The evening, entitled “JAZZ MEETS FRANCE,” has Wynton Marsalis as its Honorary Chairman, and Dr. David Skorton , Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution , is Master of Ceremonies. The event marks the centenary of the US entry into WWI and specifically honors the Harlem Hellfighters . Ironically, these were the African-American soldiers who served in WWI, and who introduced jazz music to France and the rest of Europe, yet whom were never officially honored, until now.
Mr. Queen, who has held a Swiss passport for thirty years, was informed this week that, due to a run-in with the law as a youth, a half century ago, while a minor, he would have to apply for a Waiver from the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security, despite the fact he was born in the USA. This would take months, making it virtually impossible to participate, barring Presidential decree, and we know that’s unlikely. But this is not “fake news.”
“Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me one bit,” comments Mr. Queen, 67, from his home in Geneva. “I’ve spent months preparing for this concert. Dozens of others are also implicated in its planning. Funny thing, I gave up my U.S. passport to make life simpler at tax time. I never dreamed I would one day be denied entry, and with such ridiculous reasoning. I am frankly disgusted to be disrespected in this way, after a half century devoted to music.”
Mr. Queen, who until 2016 held dual citizenship with the United States and Switzerland, has previously worked numerous times for the US State Department as a Cultural Ambassador, and participated in numerous tours of Brazil, Africa and Japan. Queen also performed at the American International Jazz Day in Paris several years ago.
Mr. Queen has held a U.S. passport, and regularly worked under the auspices of the American government, for over fifty years of his life. Like many citizens, he’s had brushes with the law, but these have never impeded his ability to enter and exit his native country. A one-time DWI charge and a minor drug offense both resulted in not guilty charges.
For this occasion, the US State Dept had only to apply for an “O1B Work Visa” in order for Mr Queen to enter in the United States. This was done correctly, but after the process was completed, fingerprints matching a 1967 FBI file were dredged up and presented as a reason to prevent him from entering the USA. So now we can see that the infamous “travel ban” is not limited to citizens of Sudan, Syria, and Iran. It extends to a then 16-year-old drummer who once sat in with John Coltrane.
How can you process someone fifty years later for charges that occurred when they were a youth, a mere child? And why punish this now acclaimed adult, a leading light on the international jazz scene, who is now 67 years old? He obviously forged a path and created a fabulous life for himself. Adds Queen, “I feel this is more about racial profiling than anything. It’s all about trying to control everyone. I am not a criminal and in fact never was. When I became a Swiss citizen, I “became a criminal” again in the eyes of US law enforcement. If I was undesirable fifty years ago, why have I been issued a fresh passport every ten years for the past six decades?” Indeed, this is the question.
For now, those wanting to experience Alvin Queen’s jazz mastery will need to follow him to Montreal, Canada, where he is set to give a master class with pianist Wray Downes on Fri Nov 3 at 1:00 pm (free and open to the public) at Concordia University and then a full concert with his trio the following evening, at Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill , on Sat Nov 4, for two sets, at 7:30 and 9:45 pm.
Queen has the last word. “If someone wants to apologize to me and make this right, fine. But I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, I’ll bring my music, this American art form, to every other country in the world. I know they like me in Canada. I’ll start there.”
This coming week Alvin will be featured on The Jazz Network Worldwide with a sneak peek of two singles from his CD re-issues of "Mighty Long Way" and "I Ain't Looking' At You" slated for late fall 2017.
Elise Viebeck of the Washington Post reports that there just might be hope for the extension of DACA. President Trump will extend a March 5 deadline to end protections for young undocumented immigrants if Congress fails to act by then, according to a Republican senator who spoke directly with the president about the issue.
SenatorJames Lankford(R-Okla.) said Trump told him he was willing to “give it some more time” to allow lawmakers to find a solution for “dreamers,” unauthorized immigrants brought to this country as children, if Congress does not pass legislation extending protections before time is up.
“The president’s comment to me was that, ‘We put a six-month deadline out there. Let’s work it out. If we can’t get it worked out in six months, we’ll give it some more time, but we’ve got to get this worked out legislatively,’ ” Lankford said outside a town hall here Thursday night.
This article focuses on DOJ’s inclusion of waivers of immigration relief in plea agreements for noncitizen federal defendants, and proposes some challenges to these waivers. Federal district and appellate judges, immigration judges, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) members will find below legal grounds to decline to accept these waivers. Such tools are critical to combat this new federal immigration waiver propensity – which is especially disturbing in light of AG Sessions’ April 11, 2017 Memorandum requiring federal prosecutors to substantially broaden immigration prosecutions, and that limits discretion on whom not to deport. The government seeks waivers of critical rights without giving noncitizen defendants access to the tools and knowledge to make fully informed decisions.
In Part I, we review the language of immigration waivers, widely varying by jurisdiction, and include an appended chart tracking waivers from each U.S. Attorney's Office that presently requests waivers as part of their standard plea agreements. In Part II, we briefly describe how removal orders are imposed by immigration judges (“IJs”), Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) officers, and by federal district court judges, and describe the effect these waivers will have in those proceedings. We also include a discussion of the potential grounds of relief from removal such as asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture in conjunction with challenging the grounds for the deportation. Finally, we spend some time on renewed use of a 1994 judicial removal statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1228.
In Part III, we identify five methods for challenging these waivers. We first urge immigrants to demand hearings and to challenge the factual statements contained in the plea waivers. Next, we question the constitutionality of the judicial removal statute. Moving on, we suggest that defense attorneys who advise clients to sign these waivers may be providing ineffective assistance of counsel. Finally, we argue that public policy and international law obligations may prohibit enforcement of these waivers.
The heated immigration debate can be cooled by a simple proposal¾a thirdway between the two extremes of mass citizenship and mass deportation¾a plan that will detoxify the debate and bring humanitarian relief to millions who fear a knock on the door from ICE.
It’s a simple proposal¾and at the core is a 10-year work permit for unauthorized immigrants, many of whom have badly needed journeyman skills in infrastructure construction, farming and food processing.
We propose that these immigrants, men and women, be issued the work permits on condition that they pay the small amount of 5 percent of their wages, which will be matched by their employers; the funds to go to local services presently overburdened by policies that are not immigrant-, taxpayer-, or family-friendly.
These shared taxes would generate a whopping $210 billion in new revenue over 10 years; this revenue to be devoted to local communities on a prorated basis to mitigate the costs for education, healthcare, homeland security and legal systems. At present, these communities are overwhelmed under the immigrant load.
It’s time for sensible people to be heard on immigration policy and for respect, equality, accountability, and legality to be available to all.
AG Jeff Sessions gave prepared remarks at the EOIR today. You can read them in full here.
Allow me to give you some highlights:
A nation that cannot control its own borders is not a nation at all....
Today, it is estimated that over 11 million people in the United States are here illegally....
How did this happen? How did we get here?
Over the last 30 years, there have been many reasons for this failure. I’d like to talk about just one—the fraud and abuse in our asylum system.
... this system is currently subject to rampant abuse and fraud.
... Claims of fear to return have skyrocketed, and the percentage of claims that are genuinely meritorious are down.....
Saying a few simple words is now transforming a straightforward arrest and immediate return into a probable release and a hearing—if the alien shows for the hearing.
...half of those that pass that [credible fear] screening—the very people who say they came here seeking asylum—never even file an asylum application once they are in the United States. This suggests they knew their asylum claims lacked merit and that their claim of fear was simply a ruse to enter the country illegally.
Not surprisingly, many of those who are released into the United States after their credible fear determination from DHS simply disappear and never show up at their immigration hearings.
... The system is being gamed. The credible fear process was intended to be a lifeline for persons facing serious persecution. But it has become an easy ticket to illegal entry into the United States.
... We also have dirty immigration lawyers who are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process.
... There are almost no costs, but potentially many rewards, for filing a meritless asylum application.
... President Trump understands this is a crisis. And so do the American people.
... We can impose and enforce penalties for baseless or fraudulent asylum applications and expand the use of expedited removal. We can elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews. We can expand the ability to return asylum seekers to safe third countries. We can close loopholes and clarify our asylum laws to ensure that they help those they were intended to help.
We can turnaround this crisis under President Trump’s leadership.
Edited by Ayelet Shachar, Rainer Baubock, Irene Bloemraad, and Maarten Vink
Brings together the latest normative and empirical debates synthesized by leading experts in the field
Revisits classic questions of citizenship and lays out cutting-edge contemporary approaches
Analyzes citizenship from multiple disciplinary perspectives
Contrary to predictions that it would become increasingly redundant in a globalizing world, citizenship is back with a vengeance. The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship brings together leading experts in law, philosophy, political science, economics, sociology, and geography to provide a multidisciplinary, comparative discussion of different dimensions of citizenship: as legal status and political membership; as rights and obligations; as identity and belonging; as civic virtues and practices of engagement; and as a discourse of political and social equality or responsibility for a common good.
According to official estimates, the country will need more than 30 billion pesos (around US$2 billion) to rebuild. The resources required for Mexico’s recovery are almost double the country’s annual gross domestic product, according to World Bank figures.
Manpower, at least, has not been an issue. Search-and-rescue teams from several countries – including Chile, Colombia, Israel, Japan, Panama, the United States and Spain – arrived in the days after the earthquakes to dig survivors out of the rubble. Dozens of foreigners who reside in Mexico also joined the Mexican volunteers in their rescue efforts.
Among these international brigades was a group of undocumented Central American migrants who, interrupting their travel northward to the U.S., stayed in Mexico to help clean up debris and assist the victims.
The sacrifice of this migrant humanitarian aid team has earned them hero status in Mexico. Like other volunteers who dug their neighbors free from the rubble with their bare hands, they have been lauded on social media and interviewed by reporters. And for once, the legal status of a group of Central Americans was not the story.
"Representing the voices of people from Edmonds, Wash., to Garden City, Kan., as members of Congress from red and blue states, and as Americans who benefit from the tech and agricultural abilities that immigrants have brought to this country, it is our duty to put partisanship aside and continue this conversation.
It is time to reach across the aisle and to find a way to move forward in finally solving the problems facing our broken immigration system. Our constituents and our country demand it of us."
Past research has shown that vulnerable populations suffer more in natural disasters, as the Atlantic reported in 2015, often because they lack the resources necessary to rebuild homes, or aren’t aware of what aid programs are available to them.
With a spate of harvest-time wildfires raging across the Northern California Wine Country, the United Farm Workers reports on efforts to check with UFW members and growers at union contract-companies in the affected areas of Napa and Sonoma counties. Here is an update as of Tuesday afternoon from some companies under UFW contract.
CNN reportsthat, even as the Trump administration is asking Congress to approve a tough overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, the Department of Homeland Security is exploring ways it could transform the U.S. immigration system on its own.
The department has been examining a range of changes to immigration policies that could have major consequences, including limiting protections for unaccompanied minors who unlawfully come to the United States, expanding the use of speedy deportation proceedings, and tightening visa programs in ways that could limit legal immigration to the US, according to multiple sources familiar with the plans.
None of the policies being explored are finalized, according to the sources. Some of them are also included at least in part in the wish list of immigration priorities that President Donald Trump sent to Congress this week.
I admit that I likely think about international students more than the average immprof. I'm privileged here at UND to interact with international students on a daily basis - around 15% of our students are Canadian. I'm also currently working on a paper for the Lewis & Clark Law Review about international students - specifically the "Trump Effect" on international study in the US. It's an expansion on this post from 2016.
While I'm focused on the experience of international students in the US, I couldn't help but be grabbed by this WaPo article on Germany's changing approach to international students.
You may not be aware but tuition at German universities, like it's top-rankedLMU Munich (photographed above by digital cat), has historically been free - for Germans and international students alike. As LMU Munich itself explains: "Education is seen as a public good—a human right accessible to everyone. And international students are seen as a vital part of the German higher education system."
Some German states, however, are looking to charge tuition to non-Germans and those without EU citizenship. Sure, the fees won't be huge. As WaPo reports, one estimated fee is $3,500. That's still quite the bargain for U.S. matriculants. "But the change indicates a significant shift for Germany, which had been focusing on recruiting talent from abroad." And that's big news.
IOM, The UN Migration Agency has released the documentary, The Fable of the Lion and the Coyote, directed by Costa Rican filmmaker and producer, Miguel Gómez.
The film, divided into five chapters, tells the story of Talawa, a reggae band formed by Alonso Rojas, Gerardo Quirós, Bryan Chavarría, Francisco Barboza and Andrés Solano. The documentary is inspired by the life-threatening journey of the band and their sound engineer Juan Carlos Briceño, through Central America to the United States, without American visas, and motivated by the false expectations of a tour contract.
The documentary exhibits the risks that the group’s members faced during their two-week journey, from malnutrition to the theft of their musical instruments and death threats from a migrant smuggler. Additionally, the members describe how they almost lost their lives while trying to cross the Rio Grande River that divides Mexico and the US.
The reggae band Talawa was formed in 2006, and it released three records in ten years. This is the second part of a documentary that follows the band and their sound engineer during a journey across Central America and the United States motivated by the false expectations of a tour contract.
The problem of xenophobia has gained remarkable notoriety of late, and reports from around the world paint a chilling picture of its virulence, especially where refugees and other involuntary migrants are concerned. How should we understand this global picture of xenophobic contestation and its fallout, and specifically, how should we understand international law’s relationship to both?
The first contribution of this Article, is to introduce an emerging global framework intended by states and other international actors to improve global cooperation to combat the problem of xenophobia. This global anti-xenophobia framework (“the Framework”) is rooted in international human rights law, and in the global involuntary migration governance regime, which includes international refugee law. This Article traces the historical development of the Framework, outlines its architecture, and assesses the key debates among states regarding the status of global norms on xenophobia. Doing so illuminates the normative, doctrinal and institutional commitments of the Framework.
The second contribution of this Article, is to identify an untenable blind spot in the emerging Framework, which ignores various ways that features of the global governance of involuntary migration make the problem of xenophobia worse. This Article argues that the global involuntary migration governance regime has built-in gaps and incentive structures that increase opposition — including xenophobic opposition — to the admission and inclusion of involuntary migrants. The Article thus lays how specific features of international law and policy on involuntary migration are themselves seemingly part of the problem of xenophobia.
The final contribution of this Article is to offer concrete recommendations for how the Framework could be supplemented to include attention to the counterproductive effects that governance structures and state activity within them contribute to the problem of xenophobia.
The Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program threatens the safety, economic security, and well-being of tens of thousands of LGBT immigrants and places them in danger of deportation to countries where their lives are at risk.
A new analysis from the Center for American Progress of the largest survey of DACA recipients to date shows how the program has helped LGBT recipients make significant economic and educational gains. With DACA, LGBT people have been able to secure better paying jobs and pursue educational opportunities that were previously out of reach.
The move to eliminate DACA puts these gains in jeopardy. It not only puts their economic security at risk, but it also puts their physical safety and even their lives in danger. LGBT identities are criminalized in much of the world, making deportation a possible death sentence for LGBT immigrants.
The new data comes during a week that CAP is focusing on the people affected by the decision to end DACA. Highlights of the survey’s findings include:
DACA helped LGBT immigrants more fully participate in the workforce. Employment rates for LGBT survey respondents rose from 55.8 percent before DACA to 94.5 percent with DACA.
DACA allowed LGBT immigrants to secure better-paying jobs with benefits. The average hourly wages for LGBT survey respondents rose 73.7 percent, and 63.4 percent had jobs with health insurance or other benefits.
Because of DACA, 92.8 percent of LGBT immigrants currently in school reported that they are able to pursue educational opportunities they previously could not. The survey found 36.2 percent of LGBT respondents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and 49.2 percent are currently enrolled in school, with 77.6 percent of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Here is some good immigration news. The co-founder and executive director of United We Dream, a Washington-based advocacy group that helped put the cause of young undocumented immigrants on the national radar, Cristina Jiménez Moreta, recently learned that she was among the 24 winners of 2017 MacArthur Foundation fellowships — a recognition widely known as the “genius grants.”
The new class also includes a striking number of fellows whose work is tied to themes of global migration, the experiences of marginalized people and cultural drift across borders.
In addition to Jiménez Moreta, grants were awarded to Jason De León, a University of Michigan anthropologist who uses forensic science and archaeological methods to study the journeys of migrants from Latin America to the United States; Sunil Amrith, a Harvard historian studying migration and the consequences of colonization in South and Southeast Asia; and Greg Asbed of Florida, who has worked to improve working conditions for migrant farmhands.
Others include Rhiannon Giddens, a North Carolina singer-songwriter and founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops who highlights African American influences in folk and country music; and Rami Nashashibi, recognized for his work as co-founder of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network on Chicago’s South Side. Nguyen, the novelist, came to the United States from Vietnam as a child after the fall of Saigon, and has made the refugee experience central to his writing.
The Colorado law, passed in 2006, made it a felony to provide transportation in exchange for money, “for the purpose of assisting another person to enter, remain in, or travel through the United States or the state of Colorado in violation of immigration laws.”
In a 4-3 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court concluded that the federal immigration law should take precedence and blocked the state from implementing its own law seeking to regulate immigration.
Yesterday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area(LCCR) announced the appointment of Monika Kalra Varma to Executive Director, capitalizing on her management expertise in leading world-class social justice institutions. Varma will be leading a dynamic team focused on securing equal justice for all, in particular the inequities confronting African Americans, Latinos, and other communities of color. She will officially begin in her new position on November 1, 2017.
LCCR Board Chair Jake Sorensen offered, “Monika Kalra Varma has a proven ability to inspire and lead the organization through the difficult place in which our country finds itself. LCCR’s work in fighting for racial and economic justice is more important than ever, and Monika’s track record of taking on some of the most entrenched human rights violations globally and domestically will help us to join with and lead local and national movements in this area.”
The Lawyers’ Committee was founded in 1968 after the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, to enlist the private bar in the civil rights movement. The work to advance, protect and promote the legal rights of communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and low-income persons continues to be vital today.
“I am deeply honored to serve as the Executive Director of an organization that was born during the civil rights movement. My hope, nearly fifty years later, is that we can not only fight the constant assault on the communities we serve, but also envision and work towards the world we want to leave our children.”
Monika has dedicated her career to human rights and social justice work. A native Bay Area resident who spent fifteen years in Washington, D.C., Varma most recently served as the Executive Director of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, the largest provider of pro bono legal services in the District of Columbia serving 20,000 individuals, nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Monika also served as Director of the Center for Human Rights at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights which partnered with social movement leaders domestically and internationally, providing long-term advocacy, legal and direct programming support. At the RFK Center she tackled complex human rights issues, including ensuring a right to health in Haiti, ending untouchability in India, rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Katrina, increasing access to justice in Chad, and stopping modern-day slave labor conditions faced by migrant farm workers in Florida.
A respected civil rights organization, LCCR long has been dedicated to immigrants' rights. I was able to learn about immigration law through work on immigration and asylum issues on both impact and individual cases.
In response to the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, bipartisan mayors representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)have called on the President to continue the program and allow young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to continue to live, work and study in the U.S. and contribute to the nation’s economy.
USCM Latino Alliance ChairMayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Immigration Reform Task Force Co-Chairs Mayors Jorge Elorza of Providence, RI and Tom Tait of Anaheim, CA, and USCM Trustee Mayor John Giles of Mesa, AZ urged President Trump to keep the successful DACA program intact and give Dreamers the opportunity to continue to make invaluable contributions to our nation.
The mayors’ call coincided with Tuesday’s Mayors’ National DACA Day of Action – a day led by USCM and mayors across the country toshowcase broad support for DACA and urge continuity. At least 66 mayors across 29 states and the District of Columbia participated in the DACA National Day of Action.
Amy Howe on SCOTUSBlog reports on news from the Supreme Court from last night. One of the challenges to President Donald Trump’s March 6 "travel ban" executive order came to an end for now. In a brief order issued yesterday evening, the justices sent Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot – that is, no longer a live controversy. The justices did not act on Trump v. Hawaii, the challenge that it had agreed to review along with Trump v. IRAP. The likely explanation for the different treatment of the two cases is that the Hawaii case challenges a provision of the March 6 order that is still in effect, but will expire later this month. This means that the justices could also dismiss that case, but even if they do, they are probably not done with the issues at the heart of both cases – whether the Trump administration’s restrictions on entry into the United States violate the Constitution or exceed the president’s authority. Those questions are likely to return to the court soon, perhaps even this term.
The Court's order reads in its entirety:
"We granted certiorari in this case to resolve a challenge to “the temporary suspension of entry of aliens abroad under Section 2(c) of Executive Order No. 13,780.” Because that provision of the Order “expired by its own terms” on September 24, 2017, the appeal no longer presents a “live case or controversy.” Burke v. Barnes, 479 U. S. 361, 363 (1987). Following our established practice in such cases, the judgment is therefore vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss as moot the challenge to Executive Order No. 13,780. United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U. S. 36, 39 (1950). We express no view on the merits.
Justice Sotomayor dissents from the order vacating the judgment below and would dismiss the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted. "