Monday, May 18, 2015
Spare Parts is an inspirational movie about four undocumented high school students who take on an engineering contest. If, like me, you managed to miss this while it was in theaters - you're in luck. It is now available on DVD. And, bonus, it is being stocked by Redbox.
I watched the movie with my boys this weekend. It is a great family film - one that does a good job of highlighting the day-to-day challenges of being an undocumented teen as well as the challenges facing the family members and educators who try to support them.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
ImmigrationProf previously posted about "Fresh Off the Boat", the ABC sitcom based on celebrity chef' Eddie Huang's memoir. (Huang has been critical of the depiction of his life in the show.). It is the first network primetime show to feature an Asian-American family in 20 years.
The show is set in 1995 and 11-year-old hip-hop loving Eddie Huang has just moved with his family from Chinatown in Washington D.C. to suburban Orlando. They quickly discover things are very different there. Orlando doesn’t even have a Chinatown—unless you count the Huang house.
In Fresh Off The Boat's season finale, Jessica, the family matriarch, worries over whether or not she and her kids have assimilated too much, a common concern of immigrant parents.. For a further look at the finale on NPR, click here.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Here is the Freedom Project's latest report. When Kieu was 12, her mother asked her to take a job. But not just any job. Kieu was first examined by a doctor, who issued her a "certificate of virginity." She was then delivered to a hotel, where a man raped her for two days. In 2013, the Freedom Project went to Cambodia with Oscar-winning actress and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador against Human Trafficking, Mira Sorvino. The result was "Every Day in Cambodia: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary," which looked at child sex trafficking in the country.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known by as Selena, was an American singer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican American entertainers of the end of the 20th century. She was named the "top Latin artist of the '90s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard magazine.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Libya's Migrant Jails is a new three-part documentary from VICE News investigating the horrific, often fatal, journeys that migrants from Africa and the Middle East undertake to travel across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.
Part One of the documentary features chilling footage filmed by the Libyan coast guard, who must contend with the influx of migrants crossing the Mediterranean sea, and the drowned bodies they leave behind.
Watch Part One of Libya's Migrant Jails on VICE News here.
UPDATE (March 19) : Part Two of Libya's Migrant Jails
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Columbia Law School announced that Amal Clooney is its newest Human Rights Institute lecturer and senior fellow. Clooney represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and was senior adviser to diplomat Kofi Annan. The London-based barrister will teach courses in human rights, as well as working with students at the university’s human rights clinic.
Amal Clooney is married to George Clooney.
Monday, March 9, 2015
March 11, 2015, 6:00pm ET - 8:00pm ET
About This Center for American Progress Event
“Crossing Over” documents the sacrifices and triumphs of three transgender women who fled persecution in Mexico to seek asylum in the United States. Directed by Isabel Castro and produced by Katrina Sorrentino, the film follows Abigail, who choreographs quinceañaras to put herself through community college; Brenda, an HIV activist and community leader; and Francis, who works as a housekeeper to help support herself and her mother back in Mexico as she prepares for her immigration hearing. From violence and discrimination to living with HIV, the film highlights the challenges faced by people living in the shadows and shows that for transgender immigrants living at the intersection of being transgender and being undocumented, their fight for survival isn’t over when they cross the border.
Please join the Center for American Progress' Reel Progress series for a screening of “Crossing Over” and a conversation with the filmmakers and experts about the challenges faced by transgender immigrants.
Isabel Castro, Director, "Crossing Over"
Katrina Sorrentino, Producer, "Crossing Over"
Other panelists to be announced
Sharita Gruberg, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress
Sunday, March 8, 2015
An advocate of immigration reform in the United States, Grammy-winning Latina pop singer Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, on February 2, 1977. Her father is a Lebanese American immigrant and her mother a native of Colombia of Italian and Spanish descent. Shakira began her musical career at age 12 and quickly captured fans throughout Latin America.
Friday, March 6, 2015
As its moniker suggests, the ImmigrationProf blog focuses on immigration matters. Latinos as a group are concerned with immigration but, as this Media Matters report suggests, that is not the only issue about which the group cares deeply.
Media Matters analyzed discussions on seven English-language Sunday shows -- ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, NBC's Meet the Press, CNN's State of the Union, and MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry -- and the two most important Spanish-language Sunday shows -- Telemundo's Enfoque and Univision's Al Punto. The analysis covered 18 weeks of shows, which included the peak of the 2014 midterm election season and its aftermath. These shows affect the political agenda and policy conversations -- conversations that become increasingly important in election season.
This analysis highlights two symptoms of this single-issue syndrome on Hispanic inclusion. On English-language shows, Hispanic guests are treated as experts in only one subject, rarely invited to discuss issues other than immigration, and the Spanish-language shows prioritize immigration coverage over discussions of other issues that Latinos have identified as important to them.
In the film, "Animal House," Dean Wormer puts the Delta Chi fraternity on double secret probation. It seems now that the CBP may have something called "internal expedited removal," that could have been used on a U.S. native born citizen showcased in Olivas v. Whitford (SD California 2015). The petitioner tried to secure a visa for his wife. Because his mother was undocumented when she gave birth to him in LA in 1969, she waited five months to file for a birth certificate. The US Consulate in Cuidad Juarez asked to interview the mother and then coerced into signing a declaration that she had run a scam to secure a false birth certificate for her son, the petitioner for his wife's visa.
On August 23, 2011, CBP officers confiscated Plaintiff's birth certificate and Social Security card and removed him to Mexico. CBP officers gave Plaintiff a Notice to Appear which did not indicate a date or time for Plaintiff to appear for immigration proceedings. The officers instructed Plaintiff to call the immigration court system hotline to learn when his hearing would take place. Plaintiff diligently called the automated hotline twice a week for two years, but the response remained the same: either the case was not filed with the court or there is no match for the "Alien Number" that is listed on the Notice to Appear. Id. ¶ 23.
Things went from bad to worse for Mr. Olivas.
Plaintiff last visited the Calexico West Port of Entry on or around February 26, 2013. Plaintiff explained that he is a U.S. citizen and asked CBP officers when he would have a hearing in front of a judge and how he could obtain a copy of any removal order issued against him. "CBP Officer Frank Hernandez told [Plaintiff] that if he returned to the Port of Entry, CBP officers would interpret his presence there as an attempt to gain admission" and that he "would be arrested, detained for a period of time that would `not be brief,' and removed without seeing a judge." Id. ¶ 29. "[Plaintiff] has never been permitted to view a copy of the purported order of removal that was allegedly entered against him." Id. ¶ 30. "[Plaintiff] has never been informed of any date, time, or place to appear for any hearing before an immigration judge." Id. "CBP Defendants have failed to refer [Plaintiff's] matter to an immigration judge as required by law." Id.
Although government officials have never allowed Plaintiff to view the purported removal order that was allegedly issued against him, CBP officers may have executed an "Expedited Removal" order against him. If so, that order violated regulations that mandate a claimed status review hearing before an immigration judge for any person asserting U.S. citizenship. Id. ¶ 32.
Olivas struck back by filing this petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Moreover, he sued the cats who removed him, including John Kerry.
Plaintiff contends that he has properly invoked federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. section 1331 to plead claims for declaratory and injunctive relief for the violations of his constitutional rights by government officials. Plaintiff contends that 5 U.S.C. section 702 expressly waives "sovereign immunity in non-statutory review actions for nonmonetary relief brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1331." (ECF No. 31 at 4). Plaintiff contends that CBP or its predecessor agencies are subject to injunctive relief for violating constitutional rights and directly refutes Defendants' position that Plaintiff must invoke a waiver of sovereign immunity found in Title 8. Plaintiff further contends that cases cited by Defendants concern the substantive question of whether the government had, in fact, waived sovereign immunity over the claims in question and do not require Plaintiff to cite the statute waiving sovereign immunity in the Complaint.
Citing Ninth Circuit precedents, the judge agreed that sovereign immunity was properly waived. The government tried to scuttle Olivas' case on two other fronts. First, they suggested that he was barred from challenging the expedited removal statute and its procedures under 1252(e)(3) because he wasn't filing in the District Court for the District of Columbia. The judge was unimpressed with this reasoning. The expedited removal system is not under attack, he suggested, only the violation of the petitioner's due process rights. Indeed, if Olivas challenged that fact he only gets one shot at claiming citizenship in front of an IJ and was then barred from going into district and circuit court, then he would have been challenging the statute. All he wanted was that initial hearing with the IJ that he was due. "There is no allegation that a removal proceeding took place or that an order was issued. Plaintiff's challenge is not subject to 8 U.S.C. section 1252(e)(3) because it is not a challenge to the validity of expedited removal proceedings pursuant to section 1225(b)(1)."
The judge was equally blase about the government's contention that the Secretary of State could only be sued in DC as well. The judge reasoned that since the State Department's actions precipitated the actions of the petitioner's immediate custodians in Southern California, the case is on greased rails to speed ahead.
This case highlights the very weird synergy between border consulates and the border patrol and how craven actions by rogue elements of both operations can compound the trouble for a hapless soul whose life is lived on the border and happens into their clutches. This is a bleak story that rivals that of Mark Lyttle, a US citizen who got lost in the wilds of immigration enforcement madness.
Friday, February 27, 2015
Texas’ Death Valley
Matthew Campanella, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, says he wanted to help make a documentary about the conditions faced by immigrants in Texas because of what he learned about being “a man for others” as a member of a service organization. He walked the migrant trail across the U>S./Mexico border in Texas, where people die daily.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Refugees, asylees and caregivers share their stories to help professionals and volunteers understand the needs of the more than a million survivors of torture rebuilding lives in the US.
It's estimated that more than a million refugees, asylum-seekers and other immigrants to the United States have been victims of politically motivated torture. They come here from all parts of the world -- some legally, some undocumented, some with families and some very much alone. They live in major American cities and in small towns. Some survivors bear visible scars, but many more have been wounded in ways that remain hidden.
Advocates for torture survivors, dedicated healthcare and social service professionals, and hundreds of citizen volunteers have united to create programs throughout the country that provide care and support to survivors who have come here to make new lives.
This documentary highlights five treatment and support programs in Minneapolis, Atlanta, the Boston Area, and Washington, DC. Based on interviews with dozens of survivors and with the professionals and volunteers who are helping them to heal, this film is a tribute to their courage and dedication, and a call to action.
We've already covered Sean Penn's attempt at immigration humor, but there was much more to the Oscars this year.
Mexican-born director Alejandro González Iñárritu won three Oscars for his film Birdman: Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture for Birdman.
In accepting his award for Best Picture, Iñárritu said: "I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can build the government that we deserve. And the ones living in this country who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible nation."
Interestingly, last year's winner for Best Director was also Mexican: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity).
One of the highlights of the show was the performance of Glory, an original song composed for the movie Selma, by John Legend and Common, backed by a huge chorus. English-born David Oyelowo who played Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the movie was moved to tears by the performance. You will be, too.
For many Americans, watching the Academy Awards with family and friends is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday night. This year, a joke by Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn in giving the "Best Picture" Award for Birdman ended the show on a controversial note.
As described by the Associated Press, "Sean Penn's remark about Mexican-born Oscar-winner Alejandro Inarritu's immigration status at the end of Sunday's Academy Awards telecast struck many as an insult, but the director says it was nothing more than a brutal joke between old friends. In announcing the win for `Birdman,' Penn asked, `Who gave this son of a bitch his green card? Birdman.' The term `green card' refers to a document that confers permanent residency to immigrants in the United States."
Inarritu directed Penn in his 2003 film "21 Grams," and the pair are friends. The director won three Oscars.
Was Penn's jibe a joke between friends or a racist insult? Check out the judgments on Twitter here.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically-depressed town in California’s agricultural Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
Thanks to film guru Michael Olivas for pointing out the New York Times review of McFarland, USA.
The cable television series Better Call Saul premiered just a few weeks ago but it has lawyers talking about the "ethics" of Saul Goodman, a/k/a Jimmy McGill, the attorney who later hits it big in more ways than you can count in the cult classic Breaking Bad. ImmigrationProf recounted advocacy lessons from Goodman for immigration lawyers. Even the American Bar Association has joined in, with this ABA Journal's Question of the Week: "Have you met any lawyers like Saul Goodman?" You might be surprised by the responses.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
The Los Angeles Times reports that Movita Castaneda, a movie actress who married Marlon Brando in 1960 and had two children with him, has died in a Los Angeles. She was believed to be 98. Her death Thursday came after hospitalization for a neck injury. One of Castaneda's first films was "Mutiny on the Bounty", a 1935 classic with Clark Gable and Charles Laughton.
Born to Mexican parents on a train crossing the border into Nogales, Ariz., Maria Luisa Castaneda grew up in Los Angeles. Movita was a name coined for her by MGM executives who thought it sounded Polynesian.
Hat tip to Michael Olivas.
Monday, February 16, 2015
The SNL 40th anniversary is getting lots of play.
One skit on the SNL 40 website is "Immigrant Tale." Upon arriving in America in 1883, Cornelius Timberlake (Justin Timberlake) and Moishe Samberg (Andy Samberg) look to a bright future and talk about the opportunities this new country will provide their great, great grandsons. [Season 34, 2009]