Friday, September 5, 2014

Former ImmigrationProf Blogger Visiting at Harvard Law


Congratulations to ImmigrationProf blogger emeritus Jennifer Chacón, who is visiting at Harvard Law School for the  2014-15 academic year.   She is teaching Criminal Law this fall and Criminal Investigations/Police Practices: Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and Immigration Law, in the spring.   Chacón is Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

I must say that it is hard to see Professor Chacón teaching Criminal Law in a manner akin to the legendary Professor Kingsfield of the Paper Chase fame:

"Mister Hart, here is a dime. Call your mother. Tell her there is serious doubt about your becoming a lawyer." 


Still, she should know that the favorite place in Harvard Square for HLS students to eat an inexpensive (and filling) meal, with refreshments (of course), is Charlie's Kitchen.  Informed law students (and professors) know to stay away from the signature drinks (and popcorn) at the Hong Kong on Mass Ave.

  Paper chase


September 5, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Comedy Break: Family Guy Season 6 Episode 6 Padre de Familia



Courtesy of

Family Guy Season 6 Episode 6 Padre de Familia

Peter starts an anti-immigration group; however, he quickly changes his mind when he finds out that he was born in Mexico. Unable to prove his citizenship, pass the naturalization test or convince investigators that his marriage to Lois is for real, he ends up working for Carter as a landscaper, all the while fighting for immigration rights.

Watch here.



August 27, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Jhumpa Lahiri From England | Author


Jhumpa Lahiri From England | Author

Lahiri-Jhumpa Photo courtesy of Random House Acclaimed author Jhumpa Lahiri was raised in the U.S. while also spending time with her extended family in India. Her fiction draws from these experiences, depicting the lives and conflicts of immigrant families in America. Her first book, Interpreter of Maladies, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Heminway Award. Her second book, The Namesake, was a novel that was adapted into a film by Mira Nair in 2007. Her recent novel The Lowland was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize.


August 24, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Ham Tran From Vietnam | Film Director


Ham Tran From Vietnam | Film Director

Ham Tran immigrated to the U.S. through the Orderly Departure Program when he was eight years old. His films explore and humanize the struggles of the victims and refugees of the Vietnam War. Receiving his MFA degree in film and television from UCLA, Tran’s short films have received numerous honors, with his thesis film, The Anniversary, becoming a semi-finalist for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. His first feature film, Journey from the Fall, which was financed entirely by the Vietnamese-American community, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and won numerous awards. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. His romantic comedy How to Fight in Six Inch Heels, which depicts the lives of modern, young Vietnamese-Americans, was released in 2013.


August 20, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014



Award-winning journalist and Univision News anchor María Elena Salinas presents an in-depth report for Fusion, “Risking It All: Children at the Border.” Salinas takes an intimate look at the root of the crisis of unaccompanied minors from its very source: the three Central American countries from where thousands are flocking to the United States. Traveling to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, Salinas interviews key players in the humanitarian crisis, including presidents, immigration authorities, human rights advocates, crime specialists, human smugglers, gang members and of course the minors. She also visits some of the poorest and most dangerous areas in those countries to witness the deplorable conditions that drive so many to abandon their home in search of a better life, survival, or to reunite with their family members. The hard-hitting news special “Risking It All: Children at the Border” airs Thursday, August 21 at 10:00 p.m. on Fusion. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained by the U.S. Border Patrol since October 2013 and taken to several facilities inside the U.S. This special is the latest in Fusion’s on-going reporting on the border crisis. Fusion news anchor Jorge Ramos anchored a special edition of “Edge of a Crisis: An AMERICA Special” from the border last month. Watch here.


August 19, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Colbert Nation: Ellen Page Comes Out as "Openly Canadian"

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: JuJu Chang From South Korea | Journalist


Photo Courtesy of American Program Bureau

JuJu Chang From South Korea | Journalist

Broadcast journalist Juju Chang, born in 1965 in Seoul, South Korea, serves as co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline. She also appears regularly on that network’s Good Morning America and 20/20. She has covered stories including Hurricane Sandy, the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and the earthquake in Haiti, and has conducted investigative reports on anti-gay bullying, female inmates giving birth, and other social issues. Chang has won three Emmy Awards and two Gracie Awards.



August 14, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

RIP Lauren Bacall, Star of To Have and Have Not

To have and have not



Yesterday, Lauren Bacall, star of the silver screen, died.  Bacall starred in a famous movie touching on the migration issues in Europe during WWII.  

To Have and Have Not (1944) is a film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, and Lauren Bacall in her very first film.   The film is set in Fort-de-France, Martinique, under the Vichy regime in 1940, shortly after the fall of France. Fishing-boat captain Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) is urged to help the French Resistance smuggle some people onto the island. He refuses, until the client, Johnson (Walter Sande), is shot before paying him. The French police take him and several others for questioning and they take his passport and money. A hotel owner known as Frenchy (Marcel Dalio), asks Harry to rent him his boat for one night to transport some members of the resistance. Broke, Harry ends up smuggling Helene (Dolores Moran) and Paul de Bursac (Walter Surovy). Meanwhile, a romance develops between Harry and Marie ("Slim") Browning (Lauren Bacall), an American wanderer who has come to the island. After picking up his passengers, Harry is spotted by a patrol boat, but escapes. Harry is surprised to find that Marie has remained in Martinique to be with him.  The police recognized Harry's boat the previous night, and they reveal that they have Harry's drunk buddy, Eddie (Walter Brennan), in custody and will coerce him to tell the truth about the boat's cargo. With Slim's help, Harry turns the table on the police and at gunpoint, Harry forces Police Captain Renard (Dan Seymour) to arrange for Eddie's release and sign harbor passes, so that he can take the Bursacs away. Slim says goodbye to her piano-playing friend Cricket (Hoagy Carmichael). As soon as Eddie returns, he, Harry, and Marie leave Martinique.

Bacall later married Humphrey Bogart, who starred in in the classic refugee film Casablanca, released in 1942.  It also Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid; and features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War II, the film focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, "love and virtue." He must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Dean of the University of Toledo College of Law (and immigration law professor) Daniel J. Steinbock wrote a wonderful article on Casablanca from a refugee perspective.  See Refuge and Resistance: Casablanca's Lessons for Refugee Law, 7 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 649 (1993).



August 13, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP Robin Williams (AKA Vladimir Ivanoff, Mork)


The world is mourning the loss of actor/comedian Robin Williams.  In one of his first films (1984), Williams starred in Moscow on the Hudson,  a comedy-drama directed and co-written by Paul Mazursky. The film had an immigration angle with Williams playing a Soviet Russian circus musician (Vladimir Ivanoff) who defects while on a visit to the United States.  Williams's co-stars include Maria Concjita Alonso (in her American film debut), Elya Baskin as the circus clown, Savely Kramarov as one of two KGB apparatchiks, Alejandro Rey as the musician's immigration attorney, and Cleavant Derricks as his first American host and friend.


Recall also that Williams played an alien from planet Monk in the sitcom Mork & Mindy.



August 12, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 11, 2014


The Real Death Valley: Brooks County, Texas, The Weather Channel


The Real Death Valley: The Untold Story of Mass Graves and Migrant Deaths in South Texas from Weather Films

Why are hundreds of migrants dying each year as they attempt to cross the border to America? “The Real Death Valley” takes a hard look into this tragedy, in which hopeful souls cross through one of the most unforgiving weather environments in America – the punishing terrain of Brooks County, Texas.

Produced by The Weather Channel and Telemundo, in collaboration with with the Investigative Fund and Efran Films, this powerful investigative documentary examines this deeply controversial topic. Emmy Award-winning producers, Solly Granatstein and Shawn Efran, produced "The Real Death Valley" for Weather Films, a digital documentary unit of Weather Films is dedicated to investigating controversial issues where weather, public policy, and the environment collide.

Since its launch in 2013, Weather Films has garnered 30 industry awards, including Telly Awards, Digiday Media Awards, and Communicator Awards. In 2014, Weather Films was a four-time Webby Award honoree.


August 11, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 8, 2014

At the Movies: Which Way Home


The recent influx of undocumented children arriving in the United States has been called a humanitarian crisis but has divided communities. WHICH WAY HOME shows the personal side of immigration as child migrants from Central America risk everything to make it to the US riding atop a freight train they call "The Beast.”

WHICH WAY HOME is available in both an expurgated version and an Original Version that does not censor instances of coarse language.


August 8, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 4, 2014

U.C. Hastings Refugee and Human Rights Clinical Teaching Fellowship

The Refugee and Human Rights Clinic (RHRC), in collaboration with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS), at U.C. Hastings is seeking applications for a two-year teaching fellowship (July 2015 - June 2017). The fellowship provides the opportunity to learn how to teach law in a clinical setting. The fellow will work under the supervision of the RHRC Director, Karen Musalo, and will share in the full-range of responsibilities of teaching the RHRC, including co-teaching the clinic seminar, and supervising the clinic students’ work.

Requirements for candidates:

Experience in asylum and immigration law (experience in human rights law is a plus, but not required)

Excellent academic record

Two to five years minimum practice experience, including some direct representation

Admission to a State bar

Excellent analytical and writing skills

Aptitude for student supervision

Prior teaching experience is a plus; and

Bilingual ability in Spanish is desirable

Salary and benefits: The Fellow will receive a salary of $52,000 per year, with full benefits, which includes health, dental and vision care insurance plans.

To apply: Send a resume, law school transcript, writing sample, and a statement of interest. The statement should address: 1) why you are interested in this fellowship; 2) how your experiences make you particularly suitable to contribute to the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic; 3) your specific experience with asylum, or other immigration cases, and/or international human rights litigation or advocacy; 4) your professional goals and how this fellowship is related to your longer-term goals; 5) your understanding of the objectives of clinical teaching.

Address your application to: Clinical Fellowship, Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, U.C. Hastings, 200 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, and submit it electronically to Please write in the subject line: your last name, RHRC Fellowship Application. The resume, law school transcript, writing sample and statement of interest should be sent as attachments to your email.

Deadline for applications: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are submitted, with a deadline of November 1, 2014.


August 4, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Paulina Porizkova From Czech Republic | Fashion Model


Paulina Porizkova From Czech Republic | Fashion Model

Paulina Porizkova became the first woman from Eastern Europe to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. After appearing on covers of top magazines—and winning a contract of unprecedented value with Estée Lauder—American Photo named her “the model of the 1980s.” She has since branched out from modeling, appearing in several films, participating as a judge in America’s Next Top Model, and writing both a children’s book and a novel.

Porizkova holds dual U.S. and Swedish citizenship.  Born in Czechoslovakia, she was a toddler when her parents fled Czechoslovakia to Sweden to escape the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion. She was left in the care of her grandmother. Czechoslovakian authorities would not allow her parents to reclaim her, and the ensuing battle was widely publicized in the Swedish press, making Porizkova a cause célèbre. After a failed rescue attempt, in which her mother was detained by the national police, international political pressure caused the  government to allow the family to be reunited after seven years. Porizkova acquired Swedish citizenship.



August 1, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Immigrant America in the Dairy Industry: They Steal Our Jobs?


In "Immigrant America: They Steal Our Jobs?," Vice News reports on immigrants in the dairy industry:  "Milking cows is a dirty, monotonous job, and as we found out in our latest episode of Immigrant America, it's not a job many unemployed Americans are willing to do. But for some reason the government doesn't give dairy farms a way to recruit foreign workers legally, so most feel forced to hire illegal immigrants. This makes the farms and their workers easy targets for immigration authorities looking to fill deportation quotas. We went to upstate New York to try to understand the cat and mouse game going on between dairy farms and immigration authorities. We found a lot of wasted taxpayer money, racial profiling, and a broken system that unnecessarily treats family farmers and hardworking immigrants like criminals."


July 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Sara Ramirez (Mexico)


Sara Ramirez, a film and theater actress, was born in 1975 in Mazatlan, Mexico. Best known for her role as Dr. Callie Torres, on the popular television hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy, she has also appeared in films including You’ve Got Mail and Spiderman. She has won numerous awards for her stage work, including the 2005 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, for her performance in the Broadway show Spamalot.

Ramirez's father was Mexican and her mother was of half Mexican and half Irish-American descent. When Ramirez was eight years old, her mother took her to Tierrasanta, in San Diego, California, where they settled. After completing the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, California, Ramirez attended and graduated from the Juilliard School (B.F.A. '97, drama) in New York City, where she refined her skills as an actress. Ramirez speaks both Spanish and English fluently.


July 12, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 7, 2014

At the Movies: Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story


Throughout the 1930′s, an unimaginable evil tore through Europe, as Hitler’s Third Reich terrorized its way to domination. During these tumultuous times, a young Muslim woman living in Paris found her calling. Noor Inayat Khan grew up in a home that fostered faith and hope. Leading with her heart, she overcame her quiet nature and joined Winston Churchill’s covert operation to give the Allies a new chance at victory. This is her story.

This fall, millions of viewers will learn the riveting story of how an unlikely Muslim woman of mixed Indian and American parentage came to serve as a British spy in Paris during World War II, as PBS brings to television the exciting true story of Noor Inayat Khan on Tuesday, September 9. This remarkable story is being brought to the screen in the docudrama “Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story.”

In August of 1943, the last surviving clandestine radio operator in Paris desperately signaled London for additional weapons and supplies for the French underground. The Gestapo was closing in and she knew her time was limited. Everything depended on her. How did a Sorbonne educated musician, a student of child psychology, and an author of a book of fairy tales become a daring spy who died fighting the Nazis?

There are countless stories of heroism from World War II, with seemingly every angle and every point of view represented. What has rarely been told, however, are the stories about the contributions of Muslims of all nationalities. Noor Inayat Khan, a proud Muslim woman whose faith guided her in her journey, is the type of role model that young women across the world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have long sought out – a woman whose heroism was not defined by any other person but herself.

With an American mother and Indian Muslim father who was the founder of the Sufi Order in the West, Noor Inayat Khan was an extremely unusual British agent, and her life spent growing up in a Sufi center of learning in Paris seemed an unlikely preparation for the dangerous work to come. Yet, it was in this place of universal peace and contemplation that her remarkable courage was forged.

When the Nazis invaded France in 1940, she fled to England with her widowed mother and three younger siblings and could have waited out the war in relative safety. But, she felt compelled by the lessons of tolerance and inclusiveness of her upbringing and religion to take an active role in opposing the Nazis. She joined Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and was recruited as a wireless operator into Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive (SOE), secretly returning to Paris to support the French Underground as England prepared for the D-Day invasions.

After the penetration and arrest of her entire network by the Gestapo, Noor became the only surviving radio operator in Paris during four crucial months of the war, coordinating the air-drop of weapons, supplies and agents, and supporting the rescue of downed allied fliers. She was ultimately betrayed by a French collaborator and interrogated for months by the Gestapo. She never gave up any information, not even her real name, and she organized two breakouts from Gestapo headquarters. For this and the damage she did to the Nazi’s war efforts, she was executed in Dachau. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of her birth. Narrated by Academy Award winning actress Helen Mirren, the film’s Executive Producers Alex Kronemer and Michael Wolfe continue Unity Productions Foundation’s series of award-winning documentaries aimed at bringing less-known stories from the Muslim world to the greater public. The film was produced and directed by three-time Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominee Rob Gardner. With a team of international scholars and two of her surviving family members, the documentary is produced as docudrama in a cinematic style.

July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

At the Movies: The Stranger


“The Stranger” is a 45-minute documentary film commissioned by the Evangelical Immigration Table and produced by Emmy-award winning producer Linda Midgett. The Stranger profiles three immigrant stories and includes interviews with local and national Christian leaders. By highlighting biblical teaching related to immigrants, sharing compelling stories of immigrants who are also evangelical Christians, and addressing some common economic and political misconceptions, The Stranger seeks to mobilize evangelical Christians to respond to immigrants and to immigration policy in ways that are consistent with biblical principles.

The film will be released on June 4, 2014.

May 31, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

At the Movies: Detroit Unleaded


Detroit Unleaded.  A fresh take on boy-meets-girl comedy set in Detroit. Sami (E.J. Assi) runs his immigrant family's gas station with his cousin Mike (Mike Batayeh, “Breaking Bad”), a charismatic hustler with dreams of expanding into an unleaded empire. More than just a pit stop for late-night gas and rolling papers, their station is where a steady stream of unforgettable and often hilarious customers flow through. When a gorgeous "up-do girl" named Najlah (Nada Shouhayib) comes to deliver cheap long-distance phone cards, Sami quickly falls for her from behind the bulletproof glass. Afraid her overprotective brother Fadi (Steven Soro) will disapprove, Najlah begins an under-the-counter romance with Sami, making his shift anything but routine. ​ ​Made and cast in Detroit, the film stars first-time feature actors EJ Assi and Nada Shouhayib, along with Actor/Comedian Mike Batayeh (Breaking Bad, You Don't Mess with the Zohan), Mary Assel, Steven Soro, and Lebanese film and television Star Akram El-Ahmar.



May 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Film of the Day: How Democracy Works Now

During lunch at the Immigration Law Teachers Workshop 2014 today, where I am live blogging, there was  a discussion with documentary filmmakers Michael Camerini & Shari Robertson. Camerini and Robertson, who are known for their documentary, Well-Founded Fear, featured clips of their 2010 decomentary, How Democracy Works Now.

How Democracy Works Now tells the story of the fight for immigration reform between 2001 and 2007. It tells twelve stories - from the August 2001 negotiations for immigration reform pre-9/11 to Spring 2007 when Senator Ted Kennedy was advocating for reform - that seek to depict the struggles, compromises and strategies for changing immigration law. 


May 23, 2014 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

At the Movies: Cesar's Last Fast


Cesar's Last Fast

 In 1988, Cesar Chavez embarked on what would be his last act of protest in his remarkable life. Driven in part to pay penance for feeling he had not done enough, Chavez began his "Fast for Life," a 36-day water-only hunger strike, to draw attention to the horrific effects of unfettered pesticide use on farm workers, their families, and their communities. Using never-before-seen footage of Chavez during his fast and testimony from those closest to him, directors Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee weave together the larger story of Chavez's life, vision, and legacy. A deeply religious man, Chavez's moral clarity in organizing and standing with farmworkers at risk of his own life humbled his family, friends, and the world.


May 8, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)