Monday, January 26, 2015

From the Bookshelves: William Frey, Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America.



William Frey, Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America.

At its optimistic best, America has embraced its identity as the world’s melting pot. Today it is on the cusp of becoming a country with no racial majority, and new minorities are poised to exert a profound impact on U.S. society, economy, and politics.

Through a compelling narrative and eye-catching charts and maps, eminent demographer William H. Frey interprets and expounds on the dramatic growth of minority populations in the United States. He finds that without these expanding groups, America could face a bleak future: this new generation of young minorities, who are having children at a faster rate than whites, is infusing our aging labor force with vitality and innovation.

Diversity Explosion shares the good news about diversity in the coming decades, and the more globalized, multiracial country that U.S. is becoming.

 In this podcast about the book, Frey explains what he means by "diversity explosion"; why growing minority populations are so important for America; and what public officials, community leaders, and decision-makers need to understand about the importance of educating and training a new generation of workers.

William H. Frey, senior fellow in the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, is an internationally regarded demographer, known for his research on urban populations, migration, immigration, race, aging, political demographics and his expertise on the U.S. Census. He was the first to predict that 2011 would be the first year in which more minority babies than white were born.


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

Expedited Removals and Kabenga v. Holder


For those of us who know and do not love the expedited removal statute - 8 U.S.C. 1225b - a new ruling showcases both the statute's shortcomings and how a judge with guts can expose and exploit those shortcomings for the sake of justice. Kabenga v. Holder (SD New York 2015) concerns an alien who had been living peaceably in the US for thirty years, twenty of them as an LPR, when he was convicted of an assault and deported in 2012. In July 2014, he landed at JFK, mistakenly assuming he'd served a proper banishment and would be welcomed back. Not so. He was put in front of an immigration judge who affirmed an expedited removal. Kabenga filed for a writ of habeas corpus, contending that his 2012 conviction should not have triggered deportation because the conviction was bogus. His original removal, thus, was bogus and he was still an LPR. And an LPR can not be removed via an expedited removal.
    The incomparable Judge Shira Scheindlin made two important rulings. First, she granted Kabenga a stay of removal under the Nken factors, pointedly suggesting that after the Office of the Solicitor General's misrepresentations to the Nken court, she wasn't going to risk sending Kabenga out of the country to fight to stay in the country. She did so in spite of 1252(e)(1) which the government has cited again and again as a block to stays or any other "injunctive" relief after an expedited removal has been issued. Secondly, she directly addressed the absurd tension between the limited habeas review provision of 1252(e)(2)(C) and the prohibition on determination of admissibility that appears at 1252(e)(5). Scheindlin performed an exhaustive review of every expedited review case in existence and rightly decided that unlike garden variety cases involving aliens seeking an initial legal admission or favourable status, Kabenga had already been admitted to the United States. His admissibility wasn't in question. Before his 2012 removal, he had lived in the US for twenty years. If he was still an LPR, he couldn't and shouldn't be removed without proper judicial review and intervention.
     Kabenga is a significant case because it enhances judicial review of expedited removals. Moreover, Scheindlin has affirmed the supremacy of Nken as potential relief in any kind of removal. Her ruling also cracks the door a bit wider for petitioners who either claim that they are not aliens - see 1252(e)(2)(A) -  or resident aliens who feel they deserve a more involved proceeding than an expedited removal because they had previously been lawfully admitted to the United States. For Canadians and Mexicans who can be quickly hustled back across the border in a matter of minutes, securing detention long enough to file with a US district court for a stay should now be allowed. A note of caution, though. A citizenship claim in an expedited removal proceeding is risky business; you could well be charged with a false claim if you don't have evidence at hand or you could put in front of an immigration judge. If he or she denies your claim, further judicial review is prohibited by law and you get the bum's rush.

Timothy Dugdale, Ph.D.
Atomic Quill Media

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

In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower: Undocumented Undergraduates and the Liminal State of Immigration Reform


Amidst the turbulent crosscurrents of immigration reform, nearly a quarter of a million undocumented undergraduates are struggling to find their way in higher education. Their liminal state calls for research to inform the unique needs and challenges of this growing student population. In this report from UndocuScholars, we shed light on the range and complexities of undocumented undergraduates experiences based on a sample of 909 participants across 34 states originating in 55 countries. The participants attended an array of postsecondary institutions including two-year and four-year public and private colleges that range in selectivity. In this report, we describe their demographic characteristics, experiences in college, as well as their aspirations and anxieties. Further, we make specific recommendations for what colleges should consider to better serve this population. Lastly, in light of executive actions in 2012 and 2014, this data can be used to extrapolate some of the issues that are likely to define this newly protected immigrant population moving forward.



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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Immigrant Rights Adviocates Heckle Perry and Christie on Immigration Issues at Freedom Summit

Saturday, January 24, 2015



Earlier this week, a federal district court judge in Arizona permanently blocked a ban on drivers' licenses for immigrant youth ordered by Governor Jan Brewer. The ruling is the latest in a series of victories for DREAMers in Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer, a lawsuit brought by civil rights groups challenging the state's denial of licenses to immigrants who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under a federal program.

MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the ACLU of Arizona challenged the executive order and related policies in court, alleging that the ban violates DACA recipients' constitutional right to equal protection under the law as well as the principles of federal supremacy in the area of immigration policy and law.

The discriminatory policy was ordered by Governor Brewer in 2012 shortly after the Obama administration announced its DACA program. In July 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the policy was likely unconstitutional and that the group of young people-who have permission from the federal government to live and work in the U.S.-are seriously impaired by their inability to get drivers' licenses.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Arizona's motion to stay the Ninth Circuit decision. On December 22, 2014, Arizona began issuing driver's licenses to DREAMers for the first time. And, last night, an Arizona District Court reached its final resolution on the case-finding the policy violated the DREAMers' equal protection rights, and entered a permanent injunction of the discriminatory ban.
For a copy of the decision, click here.


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

UC Berkeley Plans to Build a Global Campus, 10 Miles From Home


As reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the University of California at Berkeley plans to open a global campus.  Under the plan, partner universities from around the world would set up shop at a new outpost just 10 miles from Berkeley’s campus. The Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay, campus officials say, will offer a "global citizenship" curriculum—with a focus on topics like governance, ethics, health, and sustainability—for graduate students from the United States and abroad. By situating the campus nearby—an unusual move in an era when many American institutions are building abroad—Berkeley hopes to establish partnerships with universities from around the world while preserving full academic freedom for its faculty.


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

Friday, January 23, 2015

Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that net international migration to the United States will become the primary driver of the nation’s population growth between 2027 and 2038. This brief examines current population trends among the foreign- and native-born at the county level, and highlights the role that immigrants play in contributing to population growth and slowing population loss. This analysis does not examine the merits of population change, but instead focuses on where it is occurring geographically. 

Over the past 25 years, the total immigrant population has increased and spread across the country. In 1990, the foreign-born population was 19.7 million or 7.9 percent of the U.S. total, with nearly 3 out of 4 immigrants (73 percent) living in either California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, or Texas. By 2010, approximately 40 million immigrants made up 13 percent of the overall population, and the proportion of immigrants residing in the six leading states dropped to 65 percent. Over that same time, other states including Nevada, North Carolina, and Washington experienced large growth in their foreign-born populations.

An examination of county-level demographic data reveals how immigrants affected population change in specific regions of the country between 1990 and 2012. While the native- and foreign-born populations both grew across most of the United States during that period, there are some areas where the native-born population decreased. This brief illustrates how, in some places, an influx of foreign-born individuals slowed overall population loss and even reversed it. This is consistent with past research that has found that immigration continues to shape the country’s demography, particularly in newer immigrant destinations. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has shown that immigration has mitigated population loss in the Midwest at the state level and in metropolitan areas. Researchers reported in the journal Rural Sociology that immigrants reduced population loss in nonmetropolitan counties during the 1990s. This brief updates and expands on previous research by providing a county-level analysis of the entire nation over two decades and presenting the demographic context for future research on the impact of immigration on state and local economies and budgets.

We find four key trends.

  1. Immigrants have moved beyond traditional gateways. Map 1 illustrates how growth in the foreign-born    population has extended beyond traditional gateways—such as California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New    York, and Texas—into other areas of the United States, especially the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest.
  2. Native-born population has declined in Middle America. Map 2 shows that while the foreign-born population    was increasing and dispersing, the native-born population was declining in certain areas of the country. This    trend is most strongly observed in the middle of the United States.
  3. Immigration has driven population growth in the Sun Belt, Pacific Northwest, and Mountain States. Map 3    shows areas where the overall population has increased and how the foreign-born population has contributed    to that growth. Increases in the number of immigrants have driven overall growth in many counties,    particularly in the South and West.
  4. Immigration has slowed population declines in Middle America. Map 4 illustrates the changes in foreign- and    native-born populations and highlights areas where the growth of the foreign-born population has slowed    overall decline and sometimes has overcome native-born losses for a net population gain.


January 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: On the Margins: Noncitizens Caught in Countries Experiencing Violence, Conflict and Disaster by Sanjula Weerasinghe, Abbie Taylor, Sarah Drury, Pitchaya Indravudh, Aaron Gregg, John Flanagan

On the Margins: Noncitizens Caught in Countries Experiencing Violence, Conflict and Disaster by Sanjula Weerasinghe, Abbie Taylor, Sarah Drury, Pitchaya Indravudh, Aaron Gregg, John Flanagan

Executive Summary

Today, perhaps more than ever, humanitarian crises permeate the lives of millions, triggering increased human movement and repeatedly testing the international community’s capacity to respond. Stakeholders within the international community have recognized that existing legal and institutional frameworks for protecting forced migrants are inadequate to address the diversity of movements and needs. This article examines the situation of noncitizens who are caught in violence, conflict, and disaster, and asserts that they are an at-risk population requiring tailored responses.

Recent history has witnessed numerous humanitarian crises in which noncitizens have been among those most seriously affected. With more people than at any other point in history residing outside of their country of origin, the presence of new and sustained eruptions of violence and conflict, and the frequency and intensity of disasters predicted to increase, noncitizens will continue to be caught in countries experiencing crises. Destination countries, as well as origin countries whose citizens are caught in crisis situations abroad, must understand the challenges that noncitizens may encounter in accessing assistance and protection, and must formulate responses to ensure that their needs are adequately accommodated.

While both citizens and noncitizens may encounter difficulties in any given humanitarian crisis, research on five recent crises—the Libyan uprising, the Tohoku earthquake, the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, flooding in Thailand, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, and the on-going conflict in Syria—demonstrates that a range of factors create particular challenges for noncitizens. Factors related to the underlying environment in the country undergoing a crisis and the responses of different actors may exacerbate the vulnerability of noncitizens. Moreover, different groups of noncitizens manifest distinct protection needs due to specific attributes. In a given context, the interaction of these factors leads to varying levels of vulnerability for different groups, and the experiences of noncitizens in crisis situations implicate a range of fundamental human rights.

Promising practices which may reduce the vulnerabilities of noncitizens and their exposure to harm during crises include: limiting immigration enforcement activities in favor of dispensing life-saving assistance; communication of emergency and relief messages in multiple languages and modes; facilitating entry and re-entry; and providing targeted relief services. These practices are not limited to countries experiencing crises; origin countries have also displayed judicious actions, undertaking bi-lateral negotiations to address specific needs and seeking external assistance in order to protect their citizens who are caught in crisis situations. 

This article seeks to inform ways to mitigate the vulnerabilities and address unmet assistance and protection needs of noncitizens caught in countries experiencing crises. It focuses primarily on vulnerabilities experienced during crises, acknowledging the importance of preventative action that targets the potential vulnerabilities and needs of noncitizens. It also acknowledges that assistance and protection needs often persist beyond the abatement of crises and warrant ongoing intervention. The observations presented in this paper are drawn from desk research on a limited number of situations, and therefore, the article is an introductory attempt to call attention to the issues at play when a crisis occurs, rather than an in-depth study of the subject. Nonetheless, it offers recommendations for alleviating the exposure of noncitizens, which include actions aimed at:

  • addressing the underlying legal and policy landscape related to crises and relevant areas like immigration so as to account for the presence and needs of noncitizens;
  • ensuring that all categories of noncitizens are able to access, understand and navigate information regarding emergency and relief assistance and are able to utilize them; and
  • limiting the exposure of noncitizens to harm through targeted measures that address their particular needs and vulnerabilities. 


January 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

KISS Immigration Solutions Hello by Mark Jason

Almost everyone knows what the acronym KISS stands for (Keep it simple stupid). It was originally coined as a design principle for Lockheed engineers working on jet aircraft for the United States Air Force—with no implicit meaning that an engineer was stupid—just the opposite. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. 

The best answers for Immigration Reform are the simplest, and these solutions are a perfect compromise for all involved.

The latest figures indicate that 75% of working undocumented immigrants already pay income taxes using other’s SSNs. This means that we currently have 2 million un-taxable, undocumented, working domestic and service workers.

Congress and the IRS created a flawed Amnesty in 1986 that, if left uncorrected, will doom meaningful future reforms. They didn’t know how to tax this smaller group of immigrants and, in frustration, consented to allow them toestimate their own incomes and file their tax returns as Independent Contractors, resulting in gross underreporting.

The ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) system allows undocumented immigrants to file taxes and get tax credits for their “children.” It has been reported repeatedly by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that this tax is gamed by immigrants in excess of $4.2 billion dollars annually.

Both political parties want tax reform. Why not start with immigrant taxes since they are not only dysfunctional on many levels, but also encourage tax fraud?

Logic and ethics tell us that taxing the poor isn’t beneficial. Immigrants typically don’t risk their lives getting here for our “retirement programs,” so why try to tax them for Social Security and Medicare, or unemployment insurance?

Let’s address American concerns. Our school program budgets are insufficient and we have large classroom sizes. Immigrants jam our emergency rooms and take our jobs. Making “citizenship” part of reform won’t help these issues.  

Of course we have to work on our unsecured borders and restrict illegal immigration, but for those who are working here, we need a tax stratagem that will solve some of the current worries of the American public, stop deportations and offer benefits for immigrants.

An elegant tax is one with which taxpayers solve a problem related to their wellbeing—examples; a bridge tax for islanders or the gas tax designed to maintain our roads. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have an elegant immigrant tax where employers pay for the public services of their workers.

The report, A Fiscal and Social Model for Immigration Reform, details how if employers of the 2 million cash economy workers (home/restaurant owners, farmers) pay just a 10% labor tax it would create $30 billion over a 10-year period. This could provide enough money to build and staff medical clinics and supplement our school budgets. Compliance and enforcement details are found in the report.

If companies and corporations that hire the 6.5 million undocumented immigrants using false SSNs pay just a 5% tax on labor, another $70 billion would be collected. Page 9 of the report allocates this revenue to nearly two dozen areas of concern Americans have.

 The full report may be read at Originally, the model was designed as a stand-alone project, but has now been revised as a transitional program, flexible enough to mold to current discussions.

 Author Mark Jason, Director of ITIG (Immigrant Tax Inquiry Group), was formerly a Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service. He has served as a budget analyst to the Chancellor of the California State University System, and has been a consultant for the Mexican government, having lived and attended school there. He has developed a 100-acre honeydew melon farm near Puerta Vallarta, working withand trainingMexican locals. His Immigration Project has been four years in the making. He currently resides in Malibu, California.

January 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 2015: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, posted this message on the DHS blog about National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:

While we would like to think of slavery as a relic of the past, we know that it is not. Today, millions of women, men, and children around the world are subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude, or the sex trade at the hands of human traffickers. What many do not know is that this crime occurs right here in the United States, in our own cities and towns.  

By Presidential proclamation, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  Sunday, January 11 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  These powerful reminders that slavery endures in the United States compel us to work together to end human trafficking. 

We as a Department do so much in the fight against human trafficking.  We fight through law enforcement investigations, collaborations, and training; through public outreach and awareness; and through assistance for victims. We coordinate these efforts through the Blue Campaign, the Department’s unified voice to combat human trafficking.

I encourage you to watch this video to learn more about the work of the Blue Campaign, and how you can get involved in the fight against human trafficking. 

The Blue Campaign recently launched a new, re-designed website with information and resources for federal, state, and local governments, non-governmental organizations, first responders, and the public.

All of us can increase our awareness of the crime of human trafficking so that each of us can be more vigilant where we live and work. Human trafficking is, after all, a tragedy that occurs not only internationally but also within our own borders and inside our own communities.

Let us renew our commitment to fight human trafficking, and let us do it together.


Here is a Department of Defense video about National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month



January 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Legally Present, But Not Yet Legal: The State Attorney General's Role in Securing Public Benefits for Childhood Arrivals by John Goodwin

Legally Present, But Not Yet Legal: The State Attorney General's Role in Securing Public Benefits for Childhood Arrivals by John Goodwin, Columbia Human Rights Law Review 2014 46 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 340 (2014)

Abstract: This article analyzes how six different states have responded to the Obama administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” policy, which grants qualified undocumented immigrants permission to stay in the United States for a renewable two-year period. While beneficiaries of this policy do not have legal citizenship status, they are considered “legally present” by the federal government, which prevents their deportation and allows them to obtain work authorization and a social security number. At the state level, legal presence is universally sufficient grounds to obtain a driver’s license, and often is sufficient to be eligible for in-state tuition rates at public colleges. Ultimately, this article argues that state attorneys general, as enforcers of the public interest, are uniquely situated to secure these public benefits for legally present individuals in states where other executive branch officials have attempted to deny them.


January 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Undocumented migrant children in the EU

This European Parlimentary Research Service report puts together legislative and practical experience in the European Union with reference to undocumented migrant children, including recommendations on how to improve the coherence between migration policies and moral issues. This guide provides an overview over undocumented migrant children’s “triple vulnerability”, as defined by the Council of Europe: ‘as migrants, as persons in an irregular situation and as children’. The paper explains the legal framework, provides definitions of terms and suggests strategies for improving the lives of undocumented migrant children.


January 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration a Footnote in State of the Union Speech


In the 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama surprisingly sounding as if the Democratic Party had been victorious in the midterm congressional elections challenged the nation to moved forward and build on the nation's economic recovery for a better future

As Kit Johnson has blogged, immigration was mentioned in the speech briefly, with a veiled threat from the President to veto  ("refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix" will be subject to a veto) any efforts to put a halt to the administration's executive actions on immigration and a recognition of the human impacts of immigration and immigration enforcement:

"Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants."


Some observers have criticized the attendance of one of the Obama's guests at the State of the Union Address.  As previously posted on ImmigrationProf blog, Ana Zamora, a recipent of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.  Because she has siblings who are U.S. citizens, her parents -- a small business owner and a construction worker -- are among the millions of people who are potentially eligible for the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program announced last November. Zamora plans on going after a masters degree in business administration while helping to mentor students in situations just like hers.  Zamora's presence at the State of the Union Address is a real life symbol of the human impact of the President's executive actions on immigration.

In the Republican response to the President's address, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who has advocated making English the national language, steered clear of immigration. Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) — who supports comprehensive immigration reform — was tapped to deliver the Ernst's speech in Spanish. While Ernst did not mention immigration, Curbelo's version of Ernst's speech called for “securing the border and modernizing our legal immigration system.”

In contrast to the downplaying of immigration by the President and the Republican responses , during the official Tea Party Express State of the Union response, Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL) played into age-old nativist fears and suggested that undocumented immigrants were to blame for the plight of unemployed Americans.  At the same time, he embraced legal immigration.  Clawson, who seemed to talk in more detail about his Purdue college basketball team than any of the substantive issues he mentioned, made a brief pitch in Spanish to Latino voters, including a call for increased border enforcement.



January 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

SOTU Recap

There was very little talk of immigration in last night's State of the Union. If you missed it, here's the transcript in full. 

Or, for just the immigration highlights, read on.

  • "We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix.  And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, it will earn my veto."
  • "Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants."
  • "In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date.  When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new.  Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.  And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo.  As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of “small steps.”  These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba.  And after years in prison, we’re overjoyed that Alan Gross is back where he belongs.  Welcome home, Alan."
  • "The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe."
  • "I want future generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen – man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino and Asian, immigrant and Native American, gay and straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability."



January 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Revoking Citizenship: Expatriation in America from the Colonial Era to the War on Terror by Ben Herzog

Revoking citizenship

Revoking Citizenship:  Expatriation in America from the Colonial Era to the War on Terror by Ben Herzog

Expatriation, or the stripping away citizenship and all the rights that come with it, is usually associated with despotic and totalitarian regimes. The imagery of mass expulsion of once integral members of the community is associated with civil wars, ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust, or other oppressive historical events. Yet these practices are not just a product of undemocratic events or extreme situations, but are standard clauses within the legal systems of most democratic states, including the United States. Witness, for example, Yaser Esam Hamdi, captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, sent to Guantánamo, transferred to a naval brig in South Carolina when it was revealed that he was a U.S. citizen, and held there without trial until 2004, when the Justice Department released Hamdi to Saudi Arabia without charge on the condition that he renounce his U.S. citizenship.

Hamdi’s story may be the best known expatriation story in recent memory, but in Revoking Citizenship, Ben Herzog reveals America’s long history of making both naturalized immigrants and native-born citizens un-American after their citizenship was stripped away. Tracing this history from the early republic through the Cold War, Herzog locates the sociological, political, legal, and historic meanings of revoking citizenship. Why, when, and with what justification do states take away citizenship from their subjects? Should loyalty be judged according to birthplace or actions? Using the history and policies of revoking citizenship as a lens, Revoking Citizenship examines, describes, and analyzes the complex relationships between citizenship, immigration, and national identity.


January 20, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

SOTU Guest Ana Zamora

Photo Ana Zamora

DREAMer Ana Zamora will be President Obama's guest at tonight's State of the Union. MSNBC has a nice profile of Zamora, who was born in Mexico and brought to the U.S. when she was one. This 21-year-old dynamo will be graduating from Northwood University in May with a degree in business administration and a minor in hospitality.

Zamora got on the president's radar after writing an extensive thank-you note to him for his executive action, DACA. (Note to my kids - see, this is why you write thank you notes.)

MSNBC quotes Zamara as saying:

“The program adds to who I am, yet it is not what defines me,” Ana said. “It’s truly life changing, it’s a blessing. I don’t have to worry on a daily basis what will happen to me for now.”


January 20, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Controversial Chicano activist Reies Lopez Tijerina dies at age 88


Photo circa 1966

The Associated Press reports that Reies Lopez Tijerina, known in some circles as a champion of Chicanos’ land-rights claims and the leader of a group that raided a northern New Mexico courthouse nearly 50 years ago, has died at age 88. He died Monday at an El Paso, Texas, hospital, of natural cases.

In 1967, Tijerina led a raid of the courthouse in Tierra Amarilla to attempt a citizen’s arrest of the district attorney after eight members of Tijerina’s group had been arrested over land grant protests. During the raid, the group shot and wounded a state police officer and jailer, beat a deputy, and took the sheriff and a reporter hostage before escaping.  The raid led to years of court battles around land grant claims.


January 20, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The state of immigration in America

Simon Rosenberg in this column on MSNBC looks at immigration as part of “The State of America,” an series leading up to President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

The United States is undergoing major change as a result of significant Hispanic migration. Consider: 

  • In 2014, the Hispanic unemployment rate dropped by a quarter in a single year, from 8.4% to 6.5%. One estimate suggests that fully one-third of all Hispanics without health insurance gained insurance in the first full year of President Obama’s health care reforms, dropping from 36% uninsured to just 23%. Over the past generation, the Hispanic dropout rate has seen similar, dramatic improvements, going from about 35% in the 1990s to 13% last year. 
  • Millions of undocumented Hispanics living in the U.S. will see dramatic socioeconomic gains through the president’s commonsense reforms to the immigration system. Early data from the two-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program show that even in its early days, DACA recipients saw significant gains in their income.
  • As the Mexican-American population has soared, trade between the U.S. and Mexico has taken off. Mexico is now the America’s third largest trading partner – reaching record levels in 2014 – and its second largest export market. As the Mexican economy has improved and modernized in the post-NAFTA period, the flow of Mexicans into the U.S. has dropped to record lows. What appears to be the end of the Great Mexican Diaspora has helped contribute to a very dramatic slowdown in the flow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. during Obama’s presidency.
  • A CBS News poll released last week showed that even after months of contentious debate and aggressive GOP counter-legislation, 69% of the country wants the 11 million undocumented immigrant population to remain in the US; 62% support the President’s actions and 55% want them to remain in place. It appears that the public is rejecting renewed, intense GOP efforts to force the millions undocumented immigrants living and working among us to leave.


January 20, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Plenary Power Showdown in Supreme Court in Kerry v. Din?

I have been reading the briefs in Kerry v. Din, which has oral arguments before the Supreme Court scheduled for February 23.  Last week, Respondent Fauzia Din's brief was submitted by counsel of record Mark E. Haddad of Sidley Austin LLP

The issues in Kerry v. Din are shaping up in an interesting way.  In my estimation, the case has the potential for being an important immigration decision -- going well beyond the number of immigration cases, including Mellouli v. Holder argued last week, taken by the Court in recent years dealing with issues of interpretation of the immigration statute and the appropriate deference afforded agency interpretation of the statute.

Kerry v. Din raises the doctrine of consular nonreviewability, i.e., the general rule that the visa decisions of U.S. State Department consular officers are not subject to judicial review.  That doctine is a corollary of the infamous plenary power doctrine, the bulwark of immigration exceptionalism and a legacy of The Chinese Exclusion Case, which historically has immunized from judicial review the subtantive immigration judgments of Congress and the Executive Branch.  It seems fair to say that law professors love to hate the plenary power doctrine. 

The main briefs of the Solicitor General and Din have focused on the application of the doctrine of consular nonreviewability, some jousting on the scope of the plenary power doctrine (including on the applicability of Cold War plenary power relics Knauff and Mezei), and the applicability of a case generally viewed as a limit on the plenary pwer doctrine, Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972).

I look forward to reading the amicus briefs and the reply brief of the United States, which have not yet been filed.  Stay tuned for a preview of the arguments on SCOTUSBlog, with links on ImmiigrationProf.


January 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Sadly, a few days ago, a restrictionist group released an ad invoking the legacy of Dr. King in an effort to build opposition among communities of color  to President Obama's executive actions on immigration.  I respectfully disagree that Dr. King would not side in teh fight for equality and freedom for immigrants.  As Jennifer Chacón has written in an important article on immigration, civil rights, and Dr. King,

"Dr. King's broad mind and inclusive agenda remind us that the fight for justice is not about picking battles. Instead, it is one battle against violence in its physical, political, social, and economic forms. The struggle of immigrants in our society -- and indeed, the struggle of the poor around the world -- was Dr. King's concern. Dr. King counseled that the struggle for social justice would not allow us to ignore the oppression of our `brother of the Third World;' we certainly cannot ignore that oppression when it takes place in our own country."






January 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)