Tuesday, December 5, 2017

From the Bookshelves: Migrant Longing: Letter Writing Across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by Miroslava Chávez-García

Migrant longing

Migrant Longing:  Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by Miroslava Chávez-García

Drawing upon a personal collection of more than 300 letters exchanged between her parents and other family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, Miroslava Chávez-García recreates and gives meaning to the hope, fear, and longing migrants experienced in their everyday lives both "here" and "there" (aqui y alla). As private sources of communication hidden from public consumption and historical research, the letters provide a rare glimpse into the deeply emotional, personal, and social lives of ordinary Mexican men and women as recorded in their immediate, firsthand accounts. Chávez-García demonstrates not only how migrants struggled to maintain their sense of humanity in el norte but also how those remaining at home made sense of their changing identities in response to the loss of loved ones who sometimes left for weeks, months, or years at a time, or simply never returned.

With this richly detailed account, ranging from the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s to the emergence of Silicon Valley in the late 1960s, Chávez-García opens a new window onto the social, economic, political, and cultural developments of the day and recovers the human agency of much maligned migrants in our society today.



December 5, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 4, 2017


New book


Revealing the very real human impact of deportation policies Mass deportation is at the forefront of political discourse in the United States. The Shadow of the Wall shows in tangible ways the migration experiences of hundreds of people, including their encounters with U.S. Border Patrol, car-tels, detention facilities, and the deportation process. Deportees reveal in their heartwrenching stories the power of family separation and reunification and the cost of criminalization, and they call into question assumptions about hu-man rights and federal policies.

Thee authors analyze data from the Migrant Border Crossing Study (MBCS), a mixed-methods, binational research project that offers socially relevant, rig-orous social science about migration, immigration enforcement, and violence on the border. Using information gathered from more than 1,600 post-depor-tation surveys, this volume examines the different faces of violence and mi-gration along the Arizona-Sonora border and shows that deportees are highly connected to the United States and will stop at nothing to return to their fam-ilies. e Shadow of the Wall underscores the unintended social consequences of increased border enforcement, immigrant criminalization, and deportation along the U.S.-Mexico border.

JEREMY SLACK is an assistant professor of geography in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.

DANIEL E. MARTÍNEZ is an assistant professor in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

SCOTT WHITEFORD is the director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Mexico Initiative and a professor emeritus at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona.


December 4, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Allows Travel Ban 3.0 to Go Into Effect

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s third travel ban to take effect, granting stays of preliminary injunctions in two cases just days before lower appeals courts are scheduled to hear oral arguments in those disputes. 

Here is the entire order for the Ninth Circuit case:

"The application for a stay presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is granted, and the District Court’s October 20, 2017 order granting a preliminary injunction is stayed pending disposition of the Government’s appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and disposition of the Government’s petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought. If a writ of certiorari is sought and the Court denies the petition, this order shall terminate automatically. If the Court grants the petition for a writ of certiorari, this order shall terminate when the Court enters its judgment.

In light of its decision to consider the case on an expedited basis, we expect that the Court of Appeals will render its decision with appropriate dispatch.

Justice Ginsburg and Justice Sotomayor would deny the application."

A similar order in the Fourth Circuit case is here. 

UPDATE (12/5):  Peter Margulies analyzes the latest developments in the odyssey of President Trump's travel ban on Lawfare.  Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia and others parses the Court's order on Medium.


December 4, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

African Graduates Return Home

Nairobi, photo by Ninara

African graduates from U.S. and European institutions of higher learning are increasingly returning to their home nations, reports Quartz. Studies show that between 70% and 90% of African graduate students abroad intend to return to Africa. 

This trend has some roots in the difficulties African graduates have in finding employment in the West.

But there is also an issue of "responsibility," a "genuine sense that if you're not going back to fix Africa, who is going to do it?"


December 4, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to intervene in DACA document dispute


for SCOTUSBlog provides the latest developments in the litigation challenge in the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided limited relief to undocumented youth.  

Last night, the U.S. government asked the Supreme Court to step into a dispute over documents related to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. In an emergency filing, the government asked the court to block a set of orders issued by a federal court in California that would require the U.S. government to review (and potentially turn over) “hundreds of thousands of documents.”

The orders came in litigation challenging the decision to terminate DACA. The district court ruled that the documents that the government submitted during discovery were not enough, and that the Trump administration should also have submitted documents from the White House and the Department of Justice, as well as additional documents from the Department of Homeland Security. The district court later instructed the government to “be ready to file” a complete set of documents by December 22.

In last night’s filing, the Trump administration emphasized that the lower court’s view of what records the government needs to provide is wrong. Moreover, it added, complying with the district court’s orders will “impair the performance of other essential DHS and DOJ functions.” “DHS estimates,” the government stressed, that “it would take at least 2,000 hours to respond to pending document requests alone.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles emergency requests from the 9th Circuit, called for a response to the government’s filing by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6.


December 4, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judge Harry Pregerson's Immigration Legacy


As previously reported here, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson died last week.  Judge Pregerson was a giant in immigration law.  

Law student Katie Kelly pulled together the following highlights from Judge Pregerson's immigration opinions. 

One of the highlights of Judge Pregerson’s immigration jurisprudence is also one of his most recent.  In Sanchez v. Sessions, 870 F.3d 901 (9th Cir. 2017), Judge Pregerson, writing for the court, held that the U.S. Coast Guard’s arrest of the petitioner based solely on his Latino ethnicity was an egregious Fourth Amendment violation. The Court held that the I-213 that subsequently was used in deportation proceedings against petitioner should have been excluded based on the improper detention. The Court remanded the case, instructing that Petitioner’s removal order be terminated.

Family unity

Judge Pregerson wrote forceful opinions, albeit usually dissents, urging to keep families together, particularly when U.S. citizen children are involved. This was seen in the often-quoted Cabrera-Alvarez v. Gonzales, 423 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2005). In a dissent, Judge Pregerson emphasized the unjust result on immigrant families of the onerous burden to show exceptional and extremely unusual hardship on a U.S. citizen child to grant cancellation of removal. He concluded with, perhaps, his most quoted line from his immigration decisions: “I pray that soon the good men and women in our Congress will ameliorate the plight of families like the Cabrera-Alvarezes and give us humane laws that will not cause the disintegration of such families.”

Judge Pregerson reiterated this prayer for compassion in deporting immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children in Memije v. Gonzales, 481 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 2007). In his dissent, he emphasized that by denying the cancellation of removal of undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children, the government was effectively deporting the children and denying them their birthrights.                           

Assistance of counsel in immigration proceedings:

 Judge Pregerson discussed the dangers of ineffective assistance of counsel and the failure to protect immigrant families. In an unpublished memorandum in Aguallo v. Holder, 425 Fed. Appx. 625 (9th Cir. 2011), he discussed both of these themes. There, he emphasized “the cruelty and coldness of our immigration laws and the suffering inflicted on innocents,” in his dissent of a denial of a cancellation of removal where, again, petitioner had U.S. citizen children. His dissent also discussed an ineffective assistance of counsel claim potentially available to petitioner due to the scant evidence brought during the initial cancellation of removal hearings.

The marriage of these themes for Judge Pregerson dated back at least a half a decade prior, in Angeles Castro v. Gonzales 176 Fed. Appx. 866 (9th Cir. 2006). In dissent, Judge Pregerson urged the courts to reject standards of representation that fail to meet the minimum standards of due process, arguing that, until courts do refuse insufficient representation, the immigration system will continue to prey on and tear apart immigrant families.

 More recently, Judge Pregerson argued that there is a due process right to counsel during expedited removal proceedings in United States v. Peralta-Sanchez, 847 F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 2017). There, he discussed the flaws of the expedited removal system and the benefits of providing a procedural safeguard in the form of a right to counsel during these proceedings. 


In his immigration opinions, Judge Pregerson focused on the real human impact of the law. He focused on the specific petitioner in each case and the minimum that justice would dictate for each person. 


December 4, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

As Immigration Enforcement Ramps up, Neighbors Sign up to Defend Immigrants


Melissa Cruz for the American Immigration Council reports that, in the face of heightened threats around immigration enforcement, communities are taking action to ensure due process for their undocumented community members. These rapid response efforts are being undertaken by a growing network of community members—from students to salesmen to social workers—who are volunteering to witness arrests conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

Known as “Migra Watch” teams, these groups are forming around the country, and include groups like the Immigration Liberation Movement, a coalition of organizers, immigration attorneys, impacted individuals, and allies. This particular group was formed in the fall of 2016 and includes Migra Watch, which dispatches moral and legal observers to immigration raid sites.

Poised to act at a moment’s notice, Migra Watch volunteers are trained to manage distress calls, provide support to children whose family members have been detained or deported, and show up where ICE is conducting roundups of their immigrant neighbors. Trainings typically take place at churches or community centers, where legal residents and citizens are taught to not interfere with ICE operations, but to document them.



December 3, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DREAMer Story-Sharing Marathon: December 4


On Monday, December 4, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and FWD.us are partnering to host a story-sharing marathon from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM ET behind the House Triangle on Capitol Hill. Leaders from the faith, business and advocacy communities will come together for a six-hour readout of Dreamer testimonials to highlight how the DACA program has been transformative for 800,000 young people who came to the United States as children.

The story-sharing marathon comes just days before Congress is slated to vote on a spending bill that could be used to fund the deportations of Dreamers whose protections will begin to expire starting on March 6. Without a permanent legislative solution in place, more than 1,700 Dreamers will lose work authorization every single work day between March and November 2018, making them a priority for deportation. Over the course of two years, roughly 800,000 hardworking young people could lose protections, be ripped away from their families and deported to countries they may not even remember, costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars.

Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund and FWD.us this Monday, December 4th at 10:00 AM ET behind the House Triangle on Capitol Hill to hear these leaders speak out and share the stories of why Dreamers need the Dream Act now. Members of the press can RSVP to Rafael Medina at rjmedina@americanprogress.org or Leezia Dhalla at press@fwd.us.


10:00 am: Program begins, CAP Action Fund, FWD.us

10:10 am: Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for external affairs, Center for American Progress Action Fund

10:25 am: Speaker TBD, National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association

10:40 am: Lorella Pareli, Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns, ACLU

10:55 am: Isabel J. Sanchez, Policy Advocate, CHIRLA

11:10 am: Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby

11:25 pm: Claudia Morera, Organizing Manger, Voto Latino

11:40 am: Speaker TBD, National Immigration Law Center

11:55 am: Speaker TBD, Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights

12:10 pm: Speaker TBD, MomsRising

12:25 pm: Lily Eskelsen García, President, National Education Association

12:40 pm: Beatriz Lopez, Immigration Hub

12:55 pm: Gabby Pacheco, DACA recipient, Program Director, TheDream.us

1:10 pm: Juan Escalate, Digital Campaign Manager, America’s Voice

1:25 pm: Speaker TBD, Friends Committee on National Legislation

1:40 pm: Speaker TBD, Georgetown Students and Faculty

2:00 pm: Janet Murguía, President, UnidosUS

2:15 pm: Speaker TBD, MALDEF

2:30 pm: DACA recipients, United We Dream

2:45 pm: DACAmented educators, Teach for America Alumni

3:00 pm: Speaker TBD, LULAC

3:15 pm: Anna Duncan, Campaign Organizer, We Belong Together, NDWA

3:30 pm: Speaker TBD, Southern Borders Coalition

3:45 pm: Final stories and closing remarks, CAP Action Fund, FWD.us

4:00 pm: Program concludes


Monday, December 6, 2017
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Area 10, behind the House Triangle, U.S. Capitol Hill

For more information, please contact Rafael Medina at rjmedina@americanprogress.org or Leezia Dhalla at press@fwd.us.


December 3, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

United States Ends Participation in Global Compact on Migration


Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Breaking news.  The Trump administration of President Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from a United Nations pact to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it "inconsistent" with its policies, the US mission to the global body announced yesterday.

In September 2016, the 193 members of the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a non-binding political declaration, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (and here), pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education and jobs.

Here is the official U.S. statement:

"Today, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations informed the UN Secretary-General that the United States is ending its participation in the Global Compact on Migration.

U.S. participation in the Compact process began in 2016, following the Obama Administration’s decision to join the UN’s New York Declaration on migration. The New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles. As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the Compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.

Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, issued the following statement:

“America is proud of our immigrant heritage and our long-standing moral leadership in providing support to migrant and refugee populations across the globe. No country has done more than the United States, and our generosity will continue. But our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”


December 3, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Megan Markle - A Citizenship Story

Megan Markle in 2013, photo by Genevieve

We have been remiss in covering the biggest immigration story of 2017 - American actress Megan Markle is engaged to marry Prince Harry of the UK. News enough on its own. But the fun for immprofs is that Markle intends to become a UK citizen after her marriage.

How will she do it? Helpfully, immprof Stella Burch Elias (Iowa) has a great article on point: Testing Citizenship, 96 Boston University Law Review 2017 (2016). Section II.C (Starting on page 2121) gives us the skinny on UK naturalization. Markle must have a period of residence in the UK as a permanent resident (this BBC article has great details on that point), be "of good character," demonstrate that she is "closely connected" to the UK, make a pledge and oath or affirmation of allegiance at the citizenship ceremony, have a sufficient knowledge of English, and, most challenging, she must achieve a passing score on the “Life in the U.K.” test (here's some fun reporting on that last bit).

Of course, becoming a UK citizen doesn't mean Markle automatically loses her US citizenship. And, remember, that'll take time to accomplish in any event.

In the meantime, as WaPo reports, Markle and Prince Harry will have some annoying tax issues to deal with as she'll continue to be taxed by the IRS on her worldwide income and have to make financial disclosures to U.S. authorities. I love this understated sentence from WaPo: "This sharing of financial information with the U.S. government would probably be undesirable for the royal family, which has long preferred that its finances remain opaque." You think?

Well, it'll be fun to watch from the sidelines. You bet those Spring semester students will sit up in their seats a little straighter when you bust out a Markle reference when covering citizenship.


December 3, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ninth Circuit to Hear Arguments in Challenge to Travel Ban 3.0 on December 6


On December 6 at 2 p.m. PST, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in Seattle in the latest travel ban challenge in State of Hawaii v. Trump.  The panel that will hear the case is Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould, and Richard Paez.  The panel previously affirmed an injunction of an earlier version of the travel ban.

As previously summarized on ImmigrationProfU.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii in this order partially blocked President Trump's third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries.   The U.S. government appeals the ruling. 

Like the two previous executive orders, the newest version of the travel ban was challenged in multiple courts. The ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson is one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president's efforts to limit travel to the United States.

In his ruling, Watson wrote that the third version of the ban, like those before it, "lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be 'detrimental to the interests of the United States,' " evidence that he says would be necessary for the ban to be enforceable under the statute.

As a result, he issued a temporary restraining order that will keep the ban from being enforced for six of the eight named countries — the six majority-Muslim nations. North Korea and Venezuela, which were added in the most recent version of the ban, are not affected by the ruling, and the restrictions on travel from those countries can go into effect.

The introduction to the ruling summarizes the court's reasoning and ruling:

"Professional athletes mirror the federal government in this respect: they operate within a set of rules, and when one among them forsakes those rules in favor of his own, problems ensue. And so it goes with EO-3. On June 12, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed this Court’s injunction of Sections 2 and 6 of Executive Order No. 13,780, 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar. 6, 2017), entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (“EO-2”). Hawaii v. Trump, 859 F.3d 741 (9th Cir. 2017). The Ninth Circuit did so because “the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress” in 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f). Hawaii, 859 F.3d at It further did so because EO-2 “runs afoul of other provisions of the [Immigration and Nationality Act (‘INA’), specifically 8 U.S.C. § 1152,] that prohibit nationality-based discrimination.” Hawaii, 859 F.3d at 756.

Enter EO-3.1 Ignoring the guidance afforded by the Ninth Circuit that at least this Court is obligated to follow, EO-3 suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries2 would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States,” a precondition that the Ninth Circuit determined must be satisfied before the Executive may properly invoke Section 1182(f). Hawaii, 859 F.3d at 774. And EO-3 plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the Ninth Circuit has found antithetical to both Section 1152(a) and the founding principles of this Nation. Hawaii, 859 F.3d at 776–79.  Accordingly, based on the record before it, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have met their burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their statutory claims, that irreparable injury is likely if the requested relief is not issued, and that the balance of the equities and public interest counsel in favor of granting the requested relief. Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 368) is GRANTED."


December 2, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Defense of Immigration Lawyers


Jennifer Minear, the Second Vice President for the American Immigration Lawyers Association for 2017-18 and a director at McCandlish Holton in Richmond, Virginia, offers a cogent defense of immigration laws in Think Immigration

"Apparently, it is now fashionable to blame immigration lawyers for the ills of the U.S. immigration system. It started in October when Attorney General Jeff Sessions, railed against the “dirty immigration lawyers,” baselessly charging that they are exploiting loopholes (also known as “the law”) to game our so-called “generous” asylum system.  More recently, law professor Benjamin Edwards opined [in a piece that relies on the arguments in his forthcoming law review article] along similar lines in the Wall Street Journal. Promoting an upcoming law review article in which he purportedly argues for mandatory disclosure of immigration lawyers’ wins and losses, Professor Edwards essentially argues that immigration lawyers who lose a large percentage of cases are either incompetent or “predatory” “scoundrels.”"

Her sensible conclusion:

"the last thing we need right now is baseless attacks and mudslinging. We need solutions. We all need to work toward a system that follows the basic rules that our Constitution requires. A system that provides due process and equality before the law. A system that respects the role of lawyers and judges in reaching the correct decision through zealous representation and thoughtful deliberations based on all the facts. I don’t think that is an impossible dream. Let’s work together to make it a reality."


December 2, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kennedy Center Honors Gloria Estefan



On December 3, 2017, the Kennedy Center will hold its 40th annual national celebration of the arts – The Kennedy Center Honors. The 2017 recipients include singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, whose family brought her to the United States from Cub when she was a young child.

As Karen Heller for the Washington Post writes in a profile on Estefan:

"Estefan stayed in the United States and went on to sell 100 million albums and amass seven Grammys. Her band, the Miami Sound Machine, became the exporter of a propulsive Cuban-infused rhythmic pop, a 1980s hit factory, many of the songs co-written by Estefan: Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” and “Conga.” She became a titan of Latin music, a godmother to younger performers, an emissary of the Cuban American dream, beloved.



December 2, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oxfam: Beyond "Fortress Europe" - Principles for a humane EU migration policy


In 2015, in response to the dramatic increase in the number of people crossing
the Mediterranean in search of safety and a better life, the European Commission published the European Agenda on Migration. The policy, also known as the Migration Agenda, was adopted by European heads of state and
government in the European Council meeting of 25–26 June 2015 and has
since formed the basis of European actions on migration.More than two years after the Migration Agenda
was adopted, it is clear that EU institutions and member states have not taken a balanced approach to
managing migration. Instead they have focused their efforts on reducing irregular migration and increasing border management, with very little attempt to increase options for safe and regular migration, and insufficient concernor the
human rights and living conditions of asylum seekers.
Oxfam has seen first -hand the devastating impact of some of the Migration Agenda measures and other recent European policies on people moving across borders, and is calling on European decision makers to adopt a migration policy
which is fair, protects human rights and is conducive to development. A better approach is both urgently needed, and possible. In the meantime, the current European approach is pushing people to take longer and more dangerous
routes, increasing the hardship and risks they face, with women and children at particular risk of violence and trafficking.

December 2, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 1, 2017

UC Irvine student creates first-of-its-kind scholarship program for refugees


UC Irvine student Iman Siddiqi spearheaded a first-of-its kind scholarship program for UC transfer students who either are asylum seekers or have refugee or asylum status. She organized a fundraiser last weekend that netted close to $100,000. The new Refugee Students Scholarship Program will kick off in the new school year. She is photographed on campus in Irvine on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)


December 1, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tens of Thousands in United States Face Uncertain Future, as Temporary Protected Status Deadlines Loom

2018 World Migration Report


The report, the ninth in International Organization for Migration's World Migration Report (WMR) series and the first since IOM became the UN Migration Agency, presents current migration issues in a two-part structure. It combines an overarching presentation of current migration dynamics with in-depth analyses of complex and emerging issues that have been shaping, and posing challenges to, human mobility. The report includes chapters that delve into themes such as transnational connectivity, media reporting on migrants and migration, and violent extremism and social exclusion.

Speaking at the launch, IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing highlighted the importance of providing a balanced, analytically rigorous and evidence-based account of the current migration realities in a time of information overload and widespread misconstrued ideas on migration. Increasing the understanding of human mobility is paramount given the volume of international migrants, which reached approximately 244 million in 2015. Accounting for 3.3 per cent of the world’s population, the number of international migrants is on the rise.

Addressing the IOM Council, Ambassador Maurizio Serra, Italy’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, commended DG Swing for “a report that urges readers to look forward by engaging with the migration challenges that lie ahead.” Ambassador Serra emphasised the importance of the new future-oriented approach in order to inform policymakers so that they can design effective policies rooted in evidence, contributing to migrants’ well-being, inclusion and development.

“The report is designed to increase the understanding of migration by compiling a wealth of data, information and analysis that draws on the organization’s 65 years of field experience and migration experts’ critical perspectives,” said Marie McAuliffe, Head of IOM’s Migration Policy Research Division and co-editor of WMR 2018 at the launch. “To capture the latest thinking on migration, the thematic chapters are authored by some of the leading scholars in the field and the report was co-edited with University of Oxford Professor Martin Ruhs. To ensure WMR provides a high-quality contribution as a major reference report on migration, the draft report was peer-reviewed by leading migration academics and IOM thematic specialists prior to finalization,” she added.

The co-editors told the conference that the report avoids duplicating work of describing and assessing policies, which is done elsewhere. Instead, it is a future-focused report that takes the middle ground on controversial migration issues by providing balanced accounts and reality checks on topical issues.

Chief takeaways from the report include the need to understand better and take more into consideration the geographic, demographic and geo-political variations that shape migration realities across the world. The largest chapter delves into regional dimensions and developments and explores key features, such as intra-regional migration, internal and international displacement, labour migration and remittances, migrant smuggling and human trafficking, integration and irregular migration.

The report also calls for greater recognition of the many interconnections in the analysis and policymaking on migration. “While the complex dynamics of migration can never be fully measured, understood and regulated, there is a continuously growing and improving body of data and evidence that can help make better sense of the basic features of migration in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world,” said McAuliffe.

The Report can be downloaded here in English.


December 1, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies: First They Killed My Father (2017)


First They Killed My Father  Released September 2017.  Based on a book by the same title.

In the 70's, a Cambodian middle-class girl sees the lives of her family and her turning upside-down when the Khmer Rouge invades the Cambodia. They leave their comfortable apartment and lifestyle to live in a primitive working camp. Her father, a former officer, is killed and the family splits to survive.

Director Angelina Jolie explains in this interview how she was mindful of the emotions that could be evoked by the scenes she was re-creating to film "First They Killed My Father" in Cambodia. 

Here is a review in Time.


December 1, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves:   The Cholo Tree by Daniel Chacón


The Cholo Tree by Daniel Chacón

Do you know what a stereotype you are?” Jessica asks her son. “You’re the existential Chicano.” Fourteen-year-old Victor has just been released from the hospital; his chest is wrapped in bandages and his arm is in a sling. He has barely survived being shot, and his mother accuses him of being a cholo, something he denies.

She’s not the only adult that thinks he’s a gangbanger. His sociology teacher once sent him to a teach-in on gang violence. Victor’s philosophy is that everyone is racist. “They see a brown kid, they see a banger.” Even other kids think he’s in a gang, maybe because of the clothes he wears. The truth is, he loves death (metal, that is), reading books, drawing, the cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and the Showtime series Weeds. He likes school and cooking. He knows what a double negative is!

But he can’t convince his mom that he’s not in a gang. And in spite of a genius girlfriend and an art teacher who mentors and encourages him to apply to art schools, Victor can’t seem to overcome society’s expectations for him.

In this compelling novel, renowned Chicano writer Daniel Chacón once again explores art, death, ethnicity and racism. Are Chicanos meant for meth houses instead of art schools? Are talented Chicanos never destined to study in Paris?

DANIEL CHACÓN is the author of Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms and Loops (Arte Público Press, 2013); Unending Rooms (Black Lawrence Press, 2008), winner of the Hudson Prize; and the shadows took him (Washington Square Press, 2005) and Chicano Chicanery (Arte Público Press, 2000). A professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, he is co-editor of The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Works of José Antonio Burciaga (University of Arizona Press, 2008).


December 1, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Migration and remittances: recent developments and outlook