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]
Sunday, February 15, 2015
The big news this week is that Jon Stewart, the comedian who has become a highly influential figure in American politics, is leaving The Daily Show sometime this year. We will miss Stewart and his critical analysis of immigration, which we have featured at various times on ImmigrationProf.
Guardian of the Amnesty
Friday, February 13, 2015
As everyone knows, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas, is expected to issue a ruling soon on an injunction requested by 26 states to prevent the Obama administration from going forward with recent executive actions on immigration as their lawsuit goes through the courts.
My prediction is that we receive a ruling today. Why do I say that? The new DAPA program is slated to go into effect on February 18 so we can expect a ruling before then. And, if one wanted to maximize the talk of a ruling, it makes sense to issue a ruling on Friday before a long three day weekend. It would make for interesting talk on Sunday on Face the Nation, Meet the Press, and many other news shows.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Robert Fojo, Principal at Fojo Dell'Orfano, P.L.L.C., and Co-founder and CEO of LSAT Freedom Follow, has a great article on 12 Things Every Lawyer Should Learn From Saul Goodman. Goodman (a/k/a Jimmy McGill) was the lawyer for meth manufacturer Walter White in the amazingly popular television series Breaking Bad. The prequel, Better Call Saul, premiered earlier this week to rave reviews.
Here are lawyering lessons from Saul Goodman:
1. Be a Zealous Advocate
SAUL GOODMAN: “I fight for YOU, Albuquerque!”
2. Plan ahead
SAUL GOODMAN: “Did you not plan for this contingency? I mean the Starship Enterprise had a self-destruct button. I’m just saying.”
3. Provide comfort
SAUL GOODMAN: “You’re now officially the cute one of the group. Paul, meet Ringo. Ringo, meet Paul.”
4. Be creative
Skyler White: “Do you even know Walt? I mean, how would he of all people buy a laser tag business? It doesn’t add up.”
Saul Goodman: “It adds up perfectly. Walt’s a scientist. Scientists love lasers. Plus, they got bumper boats, so . . .”
5. Provide value
SAUL GOODMAN: “Don’t drink and drive. But if you do, call me.”
6. Tell a compelling story
SAUL GOODMAN: “If you’re committed enough, you can make any story work. I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it.”
7. Get to know your client
SAUL GOODMAN [Talking to Skyler after Walt introduced his wife to Saul]: “Hello. Welcome. What a pleasure it is to have you. Just gonna call you Skyler if that’s OK. It’s a lovely name. It reminds me of the big, beautiful sky. Walter always told me how lucky he was, prior to recent unfortunate events. Clearly his taste in women is the same as his taste in lawyers: only the very best with just the right amount of dirty.”
8. Be candidly honest
SAUL GOODMAN: “Look, let’s start with some tough love, alright? Ready for this? Here it goes: you two suck at peddling meth. Period.”
9. Take on your client’s problems and solve them
SAUL GOODMAN: “As to your dead guy, occupational hazard. Drug dealer getting shot? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s been known to happen.”
10. Don’t be afraid to encourage your clients to do better
SAUL GOODMAN: “Alright, $16,000 laundered at 75 cents on the dollar, minus my fee, which is 17%, comes out to $9,960. Congratulations. You’ve just left your family a second hand Subaru.”
11. Incorporate flat fees into your business model
SAUL GOODMAN: [To a client who has been arrested] “I’m gonna get you a second phone call, OK? You’re gonna call your mommy or your daddy or your parish priest or your boy scout leader, and they’re gonna deliver me a check for $4,650. I’m gonna write that down on the back of my business card. Four, Six, Five, Zero. OK? And I need that in a cashiers check or a money order, doesn’t matter. Actually, ah, I want it in a money order and, ah, make it out to ‘Ice Station Zebra Associates.’ That’s my loan out. It’s totally legit. It’s done just for tax purposes. After that, we can discuss Visa or Mastercard, but definitely not American Express, so don’t even ask, alright? Any questions?”
12. Get out there and network
SAUL GOODMAN: “Better call Saul!”
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Photo via Fandango
I took my boys to see Paddington this weekend, and I can report that Paddington is something more. He is a child. And he doesn't travel to London because he wants to. He travels to London because he has to. In short, Paddington is an unaccompanied minor.
SPOILER ALERT - the next two paragraphs contains plot points from the first part of the movie.
Paddington is an orphan. The uncle who cared for him is dead, and his last remaining relative, an aunt, is too old to care for him anymore.
But it's the parting words of his aunt, sending him onwards to London because she can't think of how else to provide for him, that really hit home the UMC angle of this movie:
Long ago, people in England sent their children by train with labels around their necks, so they could be taken care of by complete strangers in the country side where it was safe. They will not have forgotten how to treat strangers.
It's that last bit that really gets me: They will not have forgotten how to treat strangers. I think, unfortunately, we have.
One musician award winner should not get lost in the shuffle. The Recording Academy also honored recipients of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, including Flaco Jiménez. Jiménez is a Conjunto, Norteño and Tejano music accordionist from San Antonio, Texas.
Jiménez began performing, at the age of seven, with his father, Santiago Jiménez Sr, who was a pioneer of conjunto music and began recording at age fifteen as a member of Los Caporales. He played in the San Antonio area for several years, and then began working with Douglas Sahm in the 1960s. Sahm, better known as the founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet, played with Jiménez for some time.
Flaco then went on to New York City and worked with Dr. John, David Lindley, Peter Rowan, Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan. He appeared on Cooder's world music album Chicken Skin Music and on the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge. This led to greater awareness of his music outside America and, after touring Europe with Ry Cooder, he returned to tour in America with his own band, and on a joint bill with Peter Rowan.Jiménez, Peter Rowan and Wally Drogos were the original members of a band called The Free Mexican Airforce.
Jiménez won a Grammy Award in 1986 for Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio, one of his father's songs. He was also a member of the Tejano fusion group Texas Tornados, with Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender. The Texas Tornados won a Grammy Award in 1990, and Jiménez earned one on his own in 1996, when his self-titled album Flaco Jiménez won the Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance. In 1999, Flaco earned another Grammy Award for Best Tejano Performance for Said and Done and one for Best Mexican-American Performance as a part of supergroup Los Super Seven.
Jiménez has also won a Best Video award at the Tejano Music Awards and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard Latin Magazine for "Streets of Bakersfield" with Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens.