Wednesday, September 21, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Rightlessness Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II by A. Naomi Paik



Rightlessness Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II by A. Naomi Paik

In this bold book, A. Naomi Paik grapples with the history of U.S. prison camps that have confined people outside the boundaries of legal and civil rights. Removed from the social and political communities that would guarantee fundamental legal protections, these detainees are effectively rightless, stripped of the right even to have rights. Rightless people thus expose an essential paradox: while the United States purports to champion inalienable rights at home and internationally, it has built its global power in part by creating a regime of imprisonment that places certain populations perceived as threats beyond rights. The United States' status as the guardian of rights coincides with, indeed depends on, its creation of rightlessness.

Yet rightless people are not silent. Drawing from an expansive testimonial archive of legal proceedings, truth commission records, poetry, and experimental video, Paik shows how rightless people use their imprisonment to protest U.S. state violence. She examines demands for redress by Japanese Americans interned during World War II, testimonies of HIV-positive Haitian refugees detained at Guantánamo in the early 1990s, and appeals by Guantánamo’s enemy combatants from the War on Terror. In doing so, she reveals a powerful ongoing contest over the nature and meaning of the law, over civil liberties and global human rights, and over the power of the state in people's lives.



September 21, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Refugee Behind Trump Junior's Skittles

The man who photographed the bowl of skittles now-infamously used by Trump Junior is, it turns out, himself a refugee. David Kittos is now a British citizen. But as a young child, Kittos, a Greek-Cypriot, fled his country of origin to escape the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.

Kittos posted the image of skittles-in-a-bowl to the photo sharing site flickr. He told the BBC that use of his photograph "was not done with my permission, I don't support his politics and I would never take his money to use it."

"I would like the Trump campaign to delete the image, but they are probably not interested in what I have to say," he told the BBC.


September 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Overall Number of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrants Holds Steady Since 2009

In a Pew Research Center report, Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn find that the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population – 11.1 million in 2014 – has stabilized since the end of the Great Recession, as the number from Mexico declined but the total from other regions of the world increased.

The report estimates based on government data. Among world regions, the number of unauthorized immigrants from Asia, Central America and sub-Saharan Africa rose between 2009 and 2014. The number from Mexico has steadily declined since 2007, the first year of the Great Recession, but Mexicans remain more than half (52%) of U.S. unauthorized immigrants. Across the United States, most states saw no statistically significant change in the size of their unauthorized immigrant populations from 2009 to 2014.

In the seven states where the unauthorized immigrant population declined, falling numbers of unauthorized Mexican immigrants were the key factor. Meanwhile, among the six states that had increases in their unauthorized immigrant populations, only one – Louisiana – could trace this to a rise in the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico. 

These are some of the key findings from the latest Pew Research Center estimates based mainly on U.S. Census Bureau data. Details concerning the source data and methods for calculating the estimates are available in the methodology. The recent relative stability in the estimated size of the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population is a contrast to previous periods. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. rose through the 1990s and early 2000s, peaking at 12.2 million in 2007. The number of unauthorized immigrants declined in 2008 and 2009.


Here are five important facts from the latest study.

1.  There were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.

2.  Mexicans made up 52% of all unauthorized immigrants in 2014, though their numbers had been declining in recent years.

3.  The number of unauthorized immigrants from nations other than Mexico grew by 325,000 since 2009, to an estimated 5.3 million in 2014.

4.  Six states accounted for 59% of unauthorized immigrants in 2014: California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

5.  A rising share of unauthorized immigrants have lived in the U.S. for at least a decade. About two-thirds (66%) of adults in 2014 had been in the U.S. at least that long, compared with 41% in 2005. 


September 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ninth Circuit Declines Jurisdiction Over Case Involving Child Immigrants' Right to Counsel


In J.E. F.M. v. Lynch, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Andrew J. Kleinfeld, M. Margaret McKeown, and Milan D. Smith, Jr.), in an opinion by Judge McKeown, affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s jurisdictional determinations in a class action brought by indigent minor immigrants alleging that they have due process and statutory rights to appointed counsel at government expense in immigration proceedings.

The panel affirmed the district court's dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of the minors' statutory claims for court-appointed counsel.  The panel held that because the right-to-counsel claims “arise from" removal proceedings, they must be raised through the administrative petition for review process pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252(b)(9) and 1252(a)(5).

The panel reversed the district court's determination that it had jurisdiction over the minors’ constitutional claims.  The court held that the district court erred in finding that an exception to the Immigration and Nationality Act’s exclusive review process provided jurisdiction over the due process right-to-counsel claims.  The panel held that the district court incorrectly found that the claims challenged a policy or practice collateral to the substance of removal proceedings, and that because an Immigration Judge was unlikely to conduct the requisite due process balancing the administrative record would not provide meaningful judicial review.

In this case, children, suing on behalf of themselves and a class, claimed a due process and statutory right to appointed counsel at government expense in immigration proceedings.  They claimed that, as minors, they “lack the intellectual and emotional capacity of adults,” yet are “force[d] . . . to appear unrepresented in complex, adversarial court proceedings against trained [government] attorneys.”  According to the complaint, this lack of representation “ensure[s] that [they and] thousands of children [are] deprived of a full and fair opportunity to identify defenses or seek relief for which they qualify” in immigration court.

In a concurrence, Judge McKeown wrote that

"Eventually, an appeal asserting a right to government-funded counsel will find its way from the immigration courts to a Court of Appeals through the petition for review process. It would be both inappropriate and premature to comment on the legal merits of such a claim.  But, no matter the ultimate outcome of such an appeal, Congress and the Executive should not simply wait for a judicial determination before taking up the `policy reasons and . . . moral obligation' to respond to the dilemma of the thousands of children left to serve as their own advocates in the immigration courts in the meantime.  The stakes are too high.  To give meaning to “Equal Justice Under Law,” the tag line engraved on the U.S. Supreme Court building, to ensure the fair and effective administration of our immigration system, and to protect the interests of children who must struggle through that system, the problem demands action now."

David Rogers analyzes the ruling on Politico.


September 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Massive Economic Impacts of a Mass Deportation Policy

Every day, immigrants in every state and in every industry across the United States contribute to the country’s economy. Immigrant labor and entrepreneurship are believed to be powerful forces of economic revitalization for communities struggling with population decline. With a level of granularity not achieved by any previous analyses, a new report from the Center for American Progress estimates that a policy of mass deportation would remove 7 million workers from the U.S. economy, reducing the total number of U.S. workers by nearly 5 percent; wiping a cumulative $4.7 trillion off of our nation’s gross domestic product, or GDP, over a decade; costing the federal government nearly $900 billion in lost revenue over 10 years; and reducing the workforce’s hard-hit industries such as agriculture, construction, and leisure by between 10 percent and 18 percent. To see how each state would be affected by losses in each industry, please see the interactive map that accompanies this report.

Using standard economic methods that incorporate literature by leading economists on all sides of the immigration debate, CAP’s report estimates national figures for lost GDP by each individual industry, lost revenue, and increased debt-to-GDP ratio, as well as state- and industry-specific figures.


The report’s findings include:

  • Mass deportation would ultimately reduce the nation’s GDP by 2.6 percent, or $4.7 trillion, over a decade. Removing the 7 million unauthorized workers would reduce national employment by an amount similar to that experienced during the Great Recession.
  • Mass deportation would cost the federal government nearly $900 billion in lost revenue over 10 years. Combined with interest payments, the United States would see a 6 percent increase in its debt-to-GDP ratio, a common measure of fiscal sustainability.
  • Hard-hit industries would see double-digit reductions of 10 percent to 18 percent or more in their workforces, since unauthorized workers are unevenly spread across industries, with the highest concentrations employed in agriculture, construction, and leisure and hospitality.
  • The largest declines in GDP would occur in the largest U.S. industries—financial activities, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade—not just in immigrant-heavy industries. Because industries also vary in size, losses in value added to the national GDP stemming from removal occur across many industries not usually associated with unauthorized labor. Annual long-run GDP losses in those industries would reach $54.3 billion, $73.8 billion, and $64.9 billion, respectively, the three largest effects among the 12 private-sector industries.
  • States with the most unauthorized workers—California, Texas, New York, and New Jersey—would experience the largest declines in state GDP, with effects spread across all states and all industries. For example, GDP in California would ultimately fall by $103 billion annually—roughly a 5 percent drop.

“Mass deportation is a policy of all loss and no gain,” said Tom Jawetz, CAP Vice President of Immigration Policy. “Poll after poll demonstrates that the American people support a practical approach to our outdated immigration system, one that increases the prosperity of all Americans and provides a path to legal status for unauthorized immigrants rather than a fiscally irresponsible policy focused on the removal of all unauthorized immigrants from the country. Aside from the enormous human and social costs of mass deportation, such a policy would have devastating economic and fiscal consequences that our states and our country cannot afford.”

Read the full report, “The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers: An Industry- and State-Level Analysis,” here.


September 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senator Lindsay Graham: Terrorist Suspect an "Enemy Combatant"


U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is making news with this statement on the apprehension of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, the suspect in the Manhattan and New Jersey bombings:

“First, I want to thank the brave men and women in law enforcement who apprehended the suspect. Job well done. I truly appreciate your service.

“Now, I hope the Obama Administration will consider holding Rahami as an enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes. The suspect, based upon his currently reported actions, clearly is a candidate for enemy combatant status.

“Right now, we should be focused on gathering intelligence from this suspect that can help our nation understand how these attacks were planned and carried out. Holding Rahami as an enemy combatant also allows us to question him about what attacks may follow in the future. That should be our focus, not a future domestic criminal trial that may take years to complete.

“Holding Rahami as an enemy combatant to determine whether he has ties to terrorist groups, whether he was working for or funded by them, and whether there are co-conspirators, and then trying him in our civilian system for his terrorist acts is the best way to protect our country first, and then achieve justice.

“As an American citizen, Rahami cannot be tried by a military commission. Any future trial at which he would be a defendant would take place in federal district court or state court.

“I have little confidence the Obama Administration will take the course of action I am proposing. Instead, they will read him Miranda Rights as soon as possible and continue to criminalize the war. Their actions will leave our nation less safe in the years to come.”



• American citizens who take up arms against our nation or collaborate with our enemies may be held as enemy combatants. (“There is no bar to this Nation’s holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.” -- Supreme Court decision Hamdi v Rumsfeld)

• Criminal domestic law is focused on solving a crime. The Law of War is focused on protecting our national security.

• An enemy combatant held under the Law of War is not entitled to Miranda rights or appointment of counsel.

• The questioning of an enemy combatant for national security purposes has far fewer limitations than questioning under criminal domestic law.

• An enemy combatant is entitled to a timely habeas hearing before a federal judge with appointment of a counsel.

• The focus of the habeas hearing would be whether there is evidence to justify the enemy combatant status determination, which would then allow continued confinement for intelligence gathering.

• As to any future trial, this suspect is an American citizen and he is NOT subject to military commission trial. This exclusion was authored by Senator Graham in the Military Commissions Act.

• Under the Law of War, the suspect must be humanely treated, consistent with the Detainee Treatment Act, other domestic law, and the Geneva Conventions.


Senator Graham several years ago asserted that the Boston Marathon bombing suspect could be classified as an "enemy combatant."




September 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

President of Mexico: Migration: A Crucial Force for Development and Global Integration



President Enrique Pena Nieto

President Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, writes in the Huffington Post

Migrants symbolize the force that moves humanity forward. Their culture, their traditions and their knowledge enrich the cultural heritage of the societies where they decide to settle, contributing to a merging of cultures and to building new vibrant and prosperous nations. Migrants also embody our resilience to overcome adversity since time immemorial.

Today, it is with great concern that we witness that migrants and refugees face rejection, discrimination and abuse. These threats are further aggravated by the stigmatization in their countries of destination, being easily targeted for the issues and challenges those countries face, because of ignorance, racism or mere political opportunism. That is why I am convinced that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has done well to promote a better protection of migrants rights and in policies that address the causes of migration.

Now more than ever, migrants, their dignity and well-being must be at the center of international support. The international community has an outstanding opportunity to tackle global migratory flows. Mexico, as a country of origin, transit, destination and return of migrants, is no stranger to this phenomenon.


This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post to mark the occasion of two critical conferences at the UN on the Refugee and Migrant crisis: the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants (Sept. 19th, a UN conference) and the Leaders Summit on Refugees (Sept. 20th, hosted by U.S. Pres. Barack Obama, at the UN). To see all the posts in the series, visit here. To follow the conversation on Twitter, see #UN4RefugeesMigrants.


September 21, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Law Professor and Accidental Historian: The Scholarship of Michael Olivas Edited by Ediberto Román


Law Professor and Accidental Historian The Scholarship of Michael Olivas Edited by Ediberto Román

The Accidental Historian is a timely and important reader addressing many of the most hotly debated domestic policy issues of our times---immigration policy, education law, and diversity. Specifically, this book examines the works of one of the country's leading scholars---Professor Michael A. Olivas. Many of the academy's most respected immigration, civil rights, legal history, and education law scholars agreed to partake in this important venture, and have contributed provocative and exquisite chapters covering these cutting edge issues. Each chapter interestingly demonstrates that Olivas' works were not only thoughtful, brilliantly written and thoroughly researched, but almost every Olivas article examined had an uncanny ability to predict issues that policy-makers failed to consider. Indeed, in several examples, the book highlights ongoing societal tumultuous struggles on issues Professor Olivas had warned of long before they came into being. Perhaps with this book, our nation's policy-makers will more readily read and listen closely to Olivas's sagacious advice and prophetic predictions?


September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fialho and Ruiz, in Forbes Magazine: The Case for Ending Private Prisons

Christinaf-e1351069205471 Grisel ruiz
(Christina Fialho)    (Grisel Ruiz)

Christina Fialho (co-founder/executive director of CIVIC, which promotes visitation programs for immigrant detainees) and Grisel Ruiz (staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and CIVIC board chair) make the case from a cost perspective in Forbes Magazine for ending private prisons, particularly in the immigration detention context.  The article draws attention to the lack of open market competition in the private prison industry, absence of meaningful standards and government regulation, and the costs of private immigration detention. The piece also discusses the Dignity Not Detention Act (SB 1289) in California, which California Government Jerry Brown has not yet signed, and that would end private detention facilities in the state.



September 20, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

George Soros to Invest $500 Million in Needs of Migrants & Refugees

If the comparison between Skittles and Syrian refugees have you a little depressed these days, here's a spot of encouraging news:

Philanthropist George Soros writes in the Wall Street Journal of his plans to allocate $500 million "for investments that specifically address the needs of migrants, refugees and host communities."  He explains:  "I will invest in startups, established companies, social-impact initiatives and businesses founded by migrants and refugees themselves. Although my main concern is to help migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, I will be looking for good investment ideas that will benefit migrants all over the world."


September 20, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

CRS Report: Criminal Alien Programs

The Congressional Research Service recently released a report on Interior Immigration Enforcement: Criminal Alien Programs.

The report begins by defining the criminal alien population. It also makes an effort to quantify the group using limited, publicly available, incarceration data.

Next, the report presents the most recent ICE enforcement priorities that emerged with the introduction of the Priority Enforcement Program in November 2014.

The report then describes the major ICE immigration enforcement programs that target criminal aliens (recognizing that "some... have been controversial"). Namely:

  • Criminal Alien Program (CAP) -  an umbrella program for marshaling the agency’s resources to identify and remove criminal and other removable aliens.
  • Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) - a set of enforcement priorities that describe which foreign nationals should be removed and in what priority order. PEP also comprises a data sharing infrastructure or “interoperability” between DHS and the Department of Justice that screens for immigration violations when individuals are booked into jails.
  • §287(g) program - allows DHS to delegate certain immigration enforcement functions to specially trained state and local law enforcement officers, under federal supervision.
  • National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP) pursues known at-large criminal aliens and fugitive aliens outside of controlled settings (i.e., administrative offices or custodial settings).

The final section discusses selected policy considerations for programs targeting criminal aliens including  discussion of current levels of enforcement and program appropriations, as well as state and local involvement in immigration enforcement.


September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Roma Gypsies Flee to California After Europe Turns More Hostile

Bloomberg reports on an interesting new immigration development. 

This year, almost 1,800 Romanians have been apprehended at the southern U.S. border, up from fewer than 400 in all of last year and just a few dozen in 2008. They are propelled by an anti-immigrant wave sweeping Europe and pushing the Roma across the Atlantic Ocean.

The traditionally itinerant group, persecuted for centuries, is facing less-tolerant governments as more than 1 million migrants and refugees from Syria and other countries overwhelm the region. A resurgence of neo-Nazism from Romania to Italy has seen their camps demolished, businesses firebombed, neighborhoods walled off and children beaten.

“People are getting desperate enough and trying to claim asylum here,” said Ethel Brooks, chairwoman of the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre and associate professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.


September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)


This little gem has been making its way around the internets. I couldn't resist posting it here.



September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Migration Enforcement in Mexico: New Report Reveals Asylum Requests are at a Record High while Apprehensions and Deportations Continue


In the context of the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis that the Mexican government is co-hosting, WOLA (the Washington Office on Latin America) is releasing a new joint report that reveals that 2016 is the year with the highest number of asylum requests on record in Mexico. Meanwhile migrant apprehensions and deportations dramatically increased in recent years and continue unabated.

The report finds that, despite the increase in apprehensions, Mexico has failed to strengthen its capacity to adequately screen migrants who might be eligible for protection, raising concerns about migrants’ rights and due process. The report is accompanied by a WOLA video series featuring Central American migrant children who describe why they left their home countries and their experiences being deported from Mexico. As the Mexican government tries to position itself as a global leader on refugee issues, it must first address the serious shortcomings in its attention to Central Americans seeking asylum and migrants victims of crime in the country.

The report, which was produced in collaboration with the Mexican organization Fundar: Centro de Análisis e Investigación and the Migrant Shelter “Frontera con Justicia,” in Saltillo, Coahuila, explores how the implementation in 2014 of Mexico’s “Southern Border program” resulted in a massive increase in migration enforcement along the border with Central America. Mexico’s apprehensions of migrants went from 86,298 in 2013 to 198,141 in 2015, and there have already been 99,768 apprehensions in the first seven months of 2016. At the same time, asylum requests are on the rise, growing from 1,296 in 2013 to 3,424 in 2015. In the first six months of 2016, Mexico has already received 3,486 requests, the highest on record. In 2015 and 2016, over 92 percent of the asylum requests came from Honduran, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran citizens.

Mexico keeps prioritizing deportations over protecting migrants who might be fleeing danger,” said Maureen Meyer, Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights at WOLA. “These hardline policies have proven ineffective at deterring migration, have violated human rights, and have exposed migrants to abuses, corruption, and violence.



September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Tammy Duckworth (Thailand), U.S. Congress, Vet


A member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tammy Duckworth is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 8th congressional district since 2013. A Democrat, she is the first Asian American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, the first disabled woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand.

Duckworth's father, an American, and her Thai Chinese mother, were working and living in Thailand when she was born. She grew up and studied languages in several places in Asia, and graduated from high school and university in Hawaii. She later studied in Washington, D.C. and Illinois. While a student, she joined the U.S. Army Reserve and trained as a helicopter pilot.

Duckworth has served as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and as the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

An Iraq War veteran, Duckworth served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm. She was the first female double amputee from the war. Duckworth continued to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

Duckworth retired from the army in October 2014, and was reelected to Congress in November.  She is a supporter of immigration reform.  See Duckworth's position on immigration reform on her congressional website

Duckworth is running for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

Duckworth really is not an "immigrant" as a technical matter.  Her father ws an American and presumably she was a U.S. citizen at birth. 


September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump defends racial profiling in wake of bombs, Trump Jr. Equates Syrian Refugees to Skittles


It did not take long for presidential candidate Donald Trump to try to capitalize on the arrest of suspected bomb suspect and violence in Minnesota

CNN reports that Trump reiterated his support for racial profiling by police to protect national security. "Our local police -- they know who a lot of these people are. They are afraid to do anything about it because they don't want to be accused of profiling," Trump pointed to how Israel used profiling and "done an unbelievable job."

On the same day, Donald Trump Jr., the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's son, tweeted a graphic on Tuesday that likened Syrian refugees to Skittles, which was swiftly met with criticism.  "This image says it all. Let's end the politically correct agenda that doesn't put America first. #trump2016," he tweeted, with a graphic that said: "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem."  The graphic had an official Trump logo that the Republican nominee shares with his running mate, Mike Pence.


UPDATE (9/21);  Zachary Crockett on VOX ("Donald Trump Jr.'s terrorist-Skittle analogy is completely wrong") identifies a fundamental error in Trump Jr.'s Skittles analogy:  "A report released last week by the Cato Institute measured the risk to Americans posed by refugees. The report found that an American’s chances of being killed by a refugee in a terrorist attack in any given year are 1 in 3.64 billion. America’s murder rate — at 4.5 per 100,000 capita — is about 163,800 times higher."


September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Americans' Misuse of "Internment" by Yoshinori H.T. Himel

Americans' Misuse of "Internment" by Yoshinori H.T. Himel, Seattle Journal for Social Justice: Vol. 14: Iss. 3, Article 12. 

Many Americans have used the word “internment” to denote World War II’s civil liberties calamity of mass, race-based, nonselective forced removal and incarceration of well over 110,000 Japanese American civilians, most of them American citizens. But the word “internment,” a term of art in the international law of war, does not describe that community-wide incarceration. Instead, it invokes an internationally agreed legal scheme  under which a warring country may incarcerate enemy soldiers and selected civilian subjects of an enemy power. As this paper reflects, under the law, alienage is basic to civilian internment. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) indeed selected and interned thousands of Issei aliens (members of the Japanese American community’s first or immigrant generation, aliens because they were statutorily barred from naturalization). Additionally, thousands of Nisei (members of the Japanese American community’s second generation, US citizens by birthright) renounced their US citizenship; DOJ then classified them as aliens and interned them. Although the precise numbers may be uncertain, well over 7,000 Issei from the mainland, Hawai’i, and Alaska, and well over 5,000 Nisei renunciants, involuntarily became DOJ internees. These Japanese American alien internments, the legal context surrounding them, and the human stories behind them are worthy of attention. Currently, the National Park Service and others are paying increased attention to the sites of Japanese alien internment and their histories in two ways. First, the park service recently has financially assisted nonfederal organizations in interpreting DOJ internment camps. These include the Santa Fe Internment Camp,8 Fort Abraham Lincoln, near Bismarck, North 

Dakota,9 Tuna Canyon, in southern California,10 Fort Missoula internment camp in Montana, and Crystal City Family Internment Camp in Crystal City, Texas. Second, as a federal land management agency the park service has begun to manage, research, and interpret national monument sites at Honouliuli, an army internment camp on Oahu, Hawai’i, and at Tule Lake, a concentration camp in northern California. Tule Lake briefly became a DOJ internment camp for newly created aliens in the Japanese American community in an extraordinary wartime transformation discussed below.

The problem this paper addresses—conflation of mass incarceration with internment—may stem in part from our relative lack of discussion of Japanese alien internment. University of Washington Professor Tetsuden Kashima says that most literature on the Japanese American imprisonment concentrates on mass incarceration, not alien internment (notable exceptions include the cited book itself). Kashima gives three reasons for the literature’s disproportional emphasis on the “assembly centers and relocation centers.” “First, they held the largest number of inmates. Second, these inmates were mostly American citizens, a fact that epitomizes the injustice of a government incarcerating its own citizens. Third, the most accessible government documents and other source materials pertain to these two types of centers.” This author hopes that scholars, like the park service and perhaps in cooperation with it, will develop further our nation’s awareness and discussion of its Japanese alien internment. More discussion of Japanese alien internment may multiply the occasions for confusion because the word’s misuse generates ambiguity. But more discussion of internment also offers reason and opportunity to prevent any such ambiguity. To stop misleading ourselves and the public, we as lawyers and Americans should take this opportunity to restrict “internment” to its correct legal meaning.


September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 19, 2016

OIG: Incomplete Fingerprint Data Means Potentially Inelliglble Folks Naturalized


Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S. Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records is the headline of the DHS/OIG September 8, 2016 report that has been garnering media attention today. (See, e.g., Fox, WaPo, CBS).

"USCIS granted U.S. citizenship to at least 858 individuals ordered deported or removed under another identity when, during the naturalization process, their digital fingerprint records were not available," the report starts. The report cites a failure to digitize older records.

This is certainly going to show up as a talking point for Trump, who loves to say, in connection with immigration, "we don't know who they are." In these cases, apparently, the U.S., in fact, did not.


September 19, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Urban Institute: Immigration and Our Economic Future

Immigration and Our Economic Future

Friday, September 23, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Light breakfast will be available at 8:30 a.m.

Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW, 5th floor Washington, DC 20037


The Urban Institute, in collaboration with the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, invites you to a discussion on the economic and fiscal impacts of US immigration. This event will follow the release of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration, the first comprehensive examination of this issue since 1997. The event will feature several of the study’s coauthors as they discuss the major results and implications of the study. Other speakers will include national policymakers and local leaders discussing the implications of the study’s results for communities around the country.




Registration is required to attend this event. 

Speakers include:

  • Cecilia Muñoz, assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council, the White House
  • Moises Denis, senator, State of Nevada; cochair, Task Force on Immigration, National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Jennifer Hunt, James Cullen professor of economics, Rutgers University
  • Sonia Lin, general counsel and policy director, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, New York City
  • Dowell Myers, professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy
  • Kim Rueben, senior fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
  • Audrey Singer, senior fellow, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute
  • Renata Soto, cofounder and executive director, Conexión Américas
  • Roberto Suro, professor, journalism and Public Policy, University of Southern California

The event will also be streamed live here

For inquiries regarding this event, please contact


September 19, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Terrorism Suspect Arrested, Naturalized US Citizen from Afghanistan


 A terrorism case will likely be a topic on the U.S. Presidential campaign trail and will likely renew concerns with the nation's immigration laws.

TPM reports that New York City police on Monday named Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized citizen from Afghanistan, as a suspect in two bombings this weekend in New Jersey and New York. He was arrested earlier today after a reported shoot out with police

Rahami was wanted as a person of interest in both the explosions in Chelsea, New York and Seaside Park, New Jersey, where a 5K charity run was scheduled for Saturday morning. Twenty-nine people were injured in New York, but no injuries were reported in Seaside Park.

Rahami is also reportedly wanted in connection with an incident in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where five explosive devices were found in a backpack near the train station last night.

Rahami is a naturalized American citizen who was born in Afghanistan. His last known address was in Elizabeth, New Jersey, about 15 miles from New York City. 

There is no doubt that Donald Trump will have lost to say about this latest news.


September 19, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)