Saturday, February 28, 2015

Congress Extends DHS Funding for a Week Until March 6

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Playing a dangerous game of brinksmanship, Congress as the midnight deadline approached finally acted to delay the closing of the Department of Homeland Security. As CNN reports, the House approved a one-week extension of funding for the Department of Homeland Security, avoiding a partial shutdown just hours before a Friday night deadline. President Obama signed the bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security until March 6.

Earlier in the day, the House had rejected a 20 day extension of DHS funding that had the support of the House leadership, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

KJ

February 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Central America: Information on Migration of Unaccompanied Children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

International

A February 2015 U.S. Government Accountability Office report ("Central America: Information on Migration of Unaccompanied Children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras") looks at recent flows of migration from Central America and concludes that

"Department of State (State), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials stationed in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras most commonly identified crime and violence and economic concerns as causes primarily responsible for the recent rapid increase in migration to the United States by unaccompanied alien children (UAC). These causes were followed by educational concerns, the desire for family reunification, and the role of smuggling networks, among others. . . . The officials reported that agencies had developed new programs and modified existing programs to address the rapid increase in UAC migration in each of the three countries. They noted that most of these programs are specifically targeted to address identified causes of migration, such as crime and violence, lack of economic opportunities, and criminal networks that smuggle unaccompanied children. For example, DHS officials reported that the department had implemented Operation Coyote, an initiative active in all three countries to combat criminal organizations involved in UAC smuggling. According to agency officials, new and modified programs ranged in location from specific communities or cities to border areas to nation-wide or region-wide initiatives. State and USAID officials also noted that some of their efforts and strategic objectives that had been in place prior to the rapid increase in UAC migration focused on related issues such as economic development and crime reduction. Officials reported that they have undertaken various efforts to plan their responses to the increase in migration, including coordinating among U.S. agencies and with host governments. For example, agency officials from all three countries reported participating in UAC interagency working groups at each embassy. In addition, State and USAID officials said they have used DHS data on the location of origins of UAC to inform their efforts."

KJ

February 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Removing the Distraction of Delay by Jill E. Family

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Removing the Distraction of Delay by Jill Family, Widener University - School of Law February 18, 2015 Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 64, No. 99, 2014 Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-04

Abstract: Immigration adjudication is in an awkward position. There is an intricate system to adjudicate immigration removal (deportation) cases, but that system is hindered by restrictions, and the threat of further restrictions, that reflect distaste for providing process to foreign nationals facing removal. There is a push and pull phenomenon, with immigration adjudication stretched uncomfortably in between two forces. On the one side, there is a push to apply concepts of procedural justice in immigration cases as in any other context. On the other side, there is a pull away from those common conceptions and a belief that less process is not only acceptable, but also preferable. One often stated justification for cutting back on access to justice in the immigration removal context is that providing access to justice gives foreign nationals means to delay removal. This stated concern about delay places the blame on individual foreign nationals, and their attorneys, for accessing justice. It promotes the idea that foreign nationals seek review for less than honorable reasons, and that therefore court access must be curtailed. This Article argues that the delay rationale is window dressing for a much deeper disagreement about the role of individual rights in immigration law. The delay rationale rests upon, and promotes, a conception of national sovereignty that places the will of the national government above all else in the context of immigration law. Once the disagreement about individual rights is revealed, this Article asserts, there is a need to eliminate the delay distraction. The debate should be held along the terms of the role of individual rights in immigration law, rather than placing the blame on foreign nationals and their attorneys for seeking access to justice. The debate about the role of individual rights is essential, but the experience of the United Kingdom shows that formal legal resolution of the question is not enough to ease immigration adjudication from its awkward position. The experience of the United Kingdom reveals that it is also necessary to change public perception of what government power should be in immigration law. The United Kingdom has incorporated into its domestic law international obligations that recognize a more modern notion of sovereignty that respects the individual. In the United Kingdom, however, there is still a fierce battle about immigration adjudication. Arguments about delay are still raised to promote limits on process. The lack of a cultural progression, despite formal legal acknowledgement, has left immigration adjudication in the United Kingdom still subject to efforts to restrict access to justice. The lesson for the United States is that a cultural shift must accompany any formal legal resolution.

KJ

February 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 27, 2015

A View from Texas' Death Valley

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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.

KJ

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Next Great Migration? African Americans Leaving the United States

Thomas Chatterton Williams in "The Next Great Migration" studies the interesting possibility that, in light of, among other things, the treatment of African Americans by law enforcement in cities across the United States, Blacks should consider migrating to other countries where they will be better treated.  Put differently, should African Americans vote with their feet -- like many other immigrant groups do?

KJ

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Political Assimilation of Immigrants and Their Descendants

Sam Wilson and Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, a free market-oriented advocacy group, conclude that, despite consistent claims to the contrary by those who seek to restrict immigration, immigrants in fact assimilate into the mainstream fabric of the United States.  And they are not all politically to the left (thus making it hard to accept the claim of some Republicans that immigration is used by Democrats to gain long-term political advantage, i.e., votes.).

Many skeptics of immigration reform claim that immigrants and their descendants will not politically assimilate and will consistently vote for bigger government for generations. Political survey data suggest that this fear is unwarranted, as the political differences between immigrants and native-born Americans are small and, in most cases, so small that they are statistically insignificant. In the cases where the differences are significant, the descendants of immigrants rapidly assimilate into America’s political culture by adopting mainstream ideologies, political party identifications, and policy positions held by longer-settled Americans. The policy and political views of immigrants and their descendants are mostly indistinguishable from Americans whose families have been here for at least four generations. As a result of these small differences in opinion and the subsequent rapid assimilation of immigrants, they and their descendants are unlikely to alter America’s aggregate political attitudes.

KJ

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Johann Morri: Judicial Review of Administrative Visa Denials in France

ImmigrationProf and other blogs have analyzed in depth  the issues before the U.S. Supreme Court in Kerry v. Din, which was argued before the Court last Monday with the Office of the Solicitor General vigorously defending the doctrine of consular nonreviewability as an absolute bar to judicial review of consular officer visa decisions.  Johann Morri, an administrative law judge in France who earned a L.LM. degree in the United States,  discusses how judicial review of such decisions is possible in France and a change in the law in 1986 has not had major adverse consequences (namely, there has not been much litigation over visa denials) .

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In France, the doctrine of consular non-reviewability of the visa denials by consular officers was given up in 1986 (Conseil d’Etat,  Feb. 28, 1986, Ngako Jeuga, Leb. p. 49).

Visa denials can currently be appealed and reviewed according to the following procedural steps.

First, the visa applicant must submit a claim before a specialized administrative board of appeals, the CRRV (Commission de recours contre les refus de visa). The board of appeals (CRRV) finds for the agency in more than 90% of cases (and its decisions are not binding on the ministry). For this reason, the CRRV has been heavily criticized by immigration advocacy groups, who mainly view it as a waste of time and a useless step on the road to judicial review.

If the board upholds the visa denial, doesn’t answer the claim within two months, or if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the equivalent of the State Department) maintains its visa denial despite the advice of the board, the applicant (or its spouse or relative) can seek judicial review of the denial.

The judicial review of the denial takes place before the administrative tribunal of Nantes (NB: although the name of the court is “tribunal administratif”, it’s the equivalent of an article III court in the USA, since the court is totally independent from the government and its decisions are binding on the agency). Plaintiffs do not need to be represented by an attorney.

The standard of review and the amount of deference to the agency’s decision vary depending on the type of visa and of the nature of the right asserted by the plaintiff (generally, the standard of review is high when it comes to family reunification/spouses visas ; it’s more deferential when family life is not at stake). The decision of the “tribunal administratif” may be appealed before the Conseil d’Etat (French highest public law court). (Nota : Before 2010 the visa denial could be challenged directly before the Conseil d’Etat, because no other court had territorial jurisdiction to hear those cases, since the decisions were taken outside of the metropolitan French territory. The Conseil advocated – successfully -- for the instauration of a more traditional two-tiered system of court review, and the litigation was transferred to the Administrative court of Nantes).

Upon showing of a particular emergency and of a “serious doubt” regarding the validity of the consular denial (the “refere” procedure), the applicant may also apply for a stay of the visa denial –which, in practice, often puts an end to the litigation, since the applicant is allowed to travel to France.

According to the official statistics published by the French government (official immigration report of the government to the congress, published every year : Les etrangers en France. Dixieme rapport au Parlement en application de l’article L. 111-10 du code de l’entrée et du sejour des etrangers – 2012 edition, p. 37, 4 and 49), the number of denials actually litigated before the courts is limited :

 

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Visa applications

2.350 millions

2.336 millions

2.1 millions

2.24 millions

2.43 millions

2.6 millions

Visa denials

240 235

224 991

224 053

217 331

221 147

247 255

Rate of denial

10.40%

9.80%

10.80%

9.80%

9.30%

9.60%

Appeals to the CRRV

3867

4328

691

5269

13369

17663

Claims filed before the courts

500

897

1154

1909

2431

2173

Percentage of visa denials cancelled by the courts

13%

15%

12%

22%

21%

20%

Percentage of moot cases (the visa is delivered before the court’s decision)

24%

39%

44%

31%

27%

19%

 Even if, in absolute numbers, the amount of cases brought to court every year is important (more than two thousand in 2012, the last year with official data available), the percentage of visa denials actually litigated before the courts is very low. The litigation rate has increased over the years, but remains low (about 2100 court cases for about 2,6 millions visa denials in 2012 : less than one per a thousand).

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Update on American Samoa Birthright Citizenship Case: Tuaua v. United States

We have previously blogged (here and here) about Tuaua v. United States, the case involving American Samoan individuals who claim that they acquired U.S. citizenship at birth by virtue of being born in American Samoa, a U.S. territory.  In particular, they argue that the plain meaning/ text of the Fourteenth Amendment, congressional intent and case law, particularly United States v. Wong Kim Ark, support their constitutional claim.

Relying primarily on the Insular Cases, Judge Richard Leon of district court for the District of Columbia rejected their claim. In particular, the Insular Cases created a distinction between incorporated territories (territories destined for statehood) and unincorporated territories and provided that only "fundamental" constitutional rights apply in unincorporated territories.  In Tuaua v. United States, 951 F. Supp. 2d 88, 95-97 (D.D.C. June 26, 2013), the court explained that citizenship is not a "fundamental" right in the unincorporated territory of American Samoa.

The case is now before the D.C. Circuit and was argued on February 9, 2015. Here's the link  to the oral argument. 

(Disclosure: I was one of the citizenship law scholars who filed an amicus brief and was represented by Gibson Dunn.  I am also writing a law review article about non-citizen nationals, the abstract of which is available here).

Those interested in birthright citizenship law would find the oral arguments fascinating. Cases mentioned (in addition to the Insular Cases) were United States v. Wong Kim Ark and Elk v. Wilkins.  For me, at least three points/questions stood out:

1) In a conflict between the Citizenship Clause and Congress's power over the territories, which one prevails?

2) The role that cases involving Filipinos' (failed) claims to birthright citizenship are playing in this case. (See, e.g., Nolos v. Holder, 611 F.3d 279 (5th Cir. 2010); Lacap v. INS, 138 F.3d 518 (3d Cir. 1998); Valmonte v. INS, 136 F3d 914 (2d Cir 1998). Indeed, the first question asked by the panel was “What about all those cases in the Philippines [in] various circuits”? Counsel for Tuaua sought to distinguish those cases by contending that the cases were "brought decades years after the Philippines were no longer part of the United States," to which the court noted that the question is "whether at the time of birth, person was entitled to birthright citizenship."

3) Whether citizenship may be rejected. That is, here,  the American Samoan government is opposed to citizenship and prefers national status for its people. By contrast, individual American Samoans desire U.S. citizenship.

I will post more about the above next week. 

RCV

 

February 27, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Laura Murrray-Tjan Shows Us, Yet Again, that Immigration Law is Hard


Laura Murray-Tjan

Immprof Laura Murray-Tjan's latest post for HuffPo is: Whoops! The Department of Justice Admits That It Misunderstood U.S. Citizenship Law.

In her piece, Murray-Tjan covers the DOJ's Feb 12, 2015 decision in which the government admits that it had been misreading the legal requirements for legitimation (relevant to derivative citizenship for out-of-wedlock children of USC dads) since 2008.

If you haven't yet read Murray-Tjan's prior post on the 9th Circuit's confusion between COR Part A and COR Part B - you really should. I use that one in class to show that confusion about immigration law isn't just a student issue.

Murray-Tjan's posts remind me of the quote by appellate lawyer John Elwood: “It’s well known that prolonged exposure to the hyper-reticulated Immigration and Nationality Act can actually cause your brain to melt.”

Keep an eye out for future posts by Murray-Tjan. We need someone on the lookout for brainmelt as it happens.

-KitJ

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Timothy Dugdale: The Constitution and Noncitizens in Two District Court Decisions

Two interesting cases have been decided in the past week at the district court level. In one, L.I. L-R v. Johnson (DC District), James Boasberg takes ICE to task for using detention as a warning advertisement to Central America that there is no open door to the United States. Particularly vexing for Boasberg was the fact that some woman were being detained even after they had successful "credible fear" interviews that removed them from the dreaded Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 235 track of expedited removal and shunted them on the golden INA § 240 rails that pass in front of an immigration judge (IJ), the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and perhaps even a court of appeals. Boasberg begins his ruling by discussing the notorious 2014 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memorandum that set up the detention strategy he found so failing. One would think that if the DHS is tinkering with the expedited removal system, that system would be open to judicial review regardless of AILA v. Reno (DC Circuit 1999).

The second case, Maca v. U.S. Attorney, illuminates why the expedited removal statute as it's written is pretty diabolical. Mr. Maca lived continuously, albeit illegally, in the United States for 16 years. He made a trip to Mexico and tried to get back into the country using a fraudulent identification. He was rewarded with an expedited removal. Unfazed, he quickly snuck back into the States and resumed his life with four US citizen children. Years later, he was found out when he went to inquire about securing a work permit. Maca filed a writ of mandamus demanding that DHS adjudicate a cancellation of removal petition. He contended he met all the requirements for such relief.

The judge was unconvinced. "…the placement of the cancellation provisions within § 1229 suggests that Congress likely intended to make cancellation relief available only to those aliens receiving the full procedural protections of a formal removal proceeding, while aliens subject to expedited removal receive only those protections afforded them in § 1225—which severely restricts procedural safeguards and limits the judicial review of expedited removal determinations."

It should be noted that any alien apprehended inside the US who can prove he or she has been continuously present for two years receives an INA §§ 240/1229 proceeding. At the border, Maca was assimilated as an "arriving alien" and he had no game on any of the three prongs found at INA §§ 1252(e)(2)(A-C). 1252(e)(5) bars judicial inquiry into whether he was eligible for relief although in Kabenga v. Holder (SD New York 2015), the judge stomped all over Section 1252(e)(5) so she could determine if the petitioner was in fact admissible. Judge Gordon delves deeper into the Kafka-esque dilemma.

8 C.F.R. § 1240.20(a) provides that an application for cancellation of removal shall be submitted on Form EOIR-42, "Application for Cancellation of Removal." Because Maca would apply for cancellation as a nonpermanent resident, the form he must use is Form EOIR-42B.40 The form provides that an applicant is eligible for cancellation only if "[p]rior to the service of the Notice to Appear, [he has] maintained continuous physical presence in the United States for ten (10) years or more."41 A Notice to Appear is filed in order to commence formal removal proceedings before an IJ.42 An alien subject to expedited removal never receives a Notice to Appear. As a result, an alien subject to expedited removal would never qualify for cancellation based on the application form required by the Secretary of Homeland Security's regulations because he could never calculate the period of his physical presence in the United States with reference to the date of service of his Notice to Appear.

If Boumediene and the functional approach to alien rights articulated by Justice Kennedy are now the supreme control over habeas, including the immigration context, this case illustrates why the expedited system is unconstitutional. Maca did not get the due process he was due because the system as it's cravenly built won't let him get it.

"Without any right to cancellation, Maca cannot make a showing as to any of the standing elements, including injury, causation, or redressibility.43 Accordingly, he has failed to establish that he has standing to bring claims premised on defendants' alleged failure to adjudicate his application for cancellation."

Timothy Dugdale, Ph.D., Atomic Quill Media

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Jennifer J. Lee, Outsiders Looking in: Advancing the Immigrant Worker Movement Through Strategic Mainstreaming

Lee

Jenifer J. Lee (Temple), Outside Looking in: Advancing the Immigrant Worker Movement Through Strategic MainstreamingUtah Law Review

ABSTRACT:  The immigrant worker movement faces the age-old problem of social movements: whether change should be pursued from the inside or outside. Shaped by dominant cultural norms, the current legal framework generally disadvantages immigrant workers. They suffer from workplace exploitation, anti-immigrant hostility, and exclusion. By examining the interplay between law and culture, this Article offers a unique perspective on how immigrant workers have the power to change law through cultural narratives.

Change pursued from the inside by immigrant workers, community advocates, and public interest attorneys has more immediately provided positive results for immigrant workers. They have done so by mainstreaming immigrant workers with cultural narratives that emphasize their identity as workers who contribute to society and as victims of criminal employers. Such mainstreaming, however, is potentially fraught with well-known perils, which can include the creation of stereotypes and classes of outsiders while obscuring the need for fundamental change. On the other hand, while a transformative or even more radical narrative of universal rights and global citizenship might provide for a more normative ideal, it can be excessively utopian or antagonistic. Presented with this dilemma, the immigrant worker movement must determine how to best advance its agenda.

I suggest that the use of “strategic mainstreaming” – mainstream cultural narratives that are owned, shaped, and cleverly deployed by immigrant workers – can best promote the legal rights of immigrant workers and their inclusion into society. This approach corresponds to a vision of advocacy that respects the voice of subordinated individuals and communities, which maximizes empowerment and solidarity while minimizing the damage created by aligning with dominant elites. At the same time, it offers a way that immigrant workers can achieve success, often through the use of multifaceted advocacy with local mainstream institutions. Over time, the hope is that strategic mainstreaming will not only create increased familiarity with immigrants as societal members but also increase their political power.

KJ

 

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will DHS Shut Down?


Congress remains working on a Department of Homeland Security appropriations measure. 

UPDATE (Feb. 27 4:34 PST)):  As the midnight  deadline approaches, The House has failed to act to keep the DHS in business in March.  The House failed to pass a 20-day stopgap bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security Friday, hurtling the agency toward a midnight shutdown deadline with no clear resolution in sight.

KJ

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

New H4 Regs in Meme Format

Yesterday, I posted about the new H4 regs, which will grant work authorization to certain spouses of H1B holders.

Today, I bring you the meme response:

H4Meme

Thank you, internet.

-KitJ

February 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Matthew Kolken reports: ICE not honoring prosecutorial discretion

Cute baby meme below notwithstanding, immigration attorney Matthew Kolken reports that ICE is no longer honoring the government's November 20, 2014 memos on prosecutorial discretion when making detention decisions. Kolken quotes a circulation from the AILA Carolinas Chapter that: "ICE has been given the instructions NOT to take into consideration DACA or DAPA eligibility in... detention decisions."

If this is true, it's very troubling. It would be one thing to not take into account DAPA eligibility at this time. Judge Hansen's injunction puts that program on hold for the time being. Although, a generous approach would be to put DAPA cases in a holding pattern, until the courts decide the final outcome of the case.

DACA is a different thing altogether. "Original" DACA has not been challenged. If ICE is failing to consider DACA issues in making detention decisions, that seems to be in contravention of the prior stated policy.

The bottom line is this: Hansen's decision doesn't just affect people in the shadows who cannot come forward to obtain relief. It's having an effect on people already in the system who may have been flagged as eligible for potential relief but who are now facing detention.

Discretion

-KitJ

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

Immigration Article of the Day: Divided We Stand: Constitutionalizing Executive Immigration Reform Through Subfederal Regulation by Bianca M Figueroa-Santana

Divided We Stand: Constitutionalizing Executive Immigration Reform Through Subfederal Regulation by Bianca M Figueroa-Santana, Columbia University Law School,  Columbia Law Review, 2015

Abstract: The narrative is by now familiar: Faced with congressional deadlock and a “Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws,” states have taken up the reins of immigration regulation. Yet, state action tells only half the story behind our current immigration landscape. In the past decade, while states busily legislated, President Barack Obama muscularly deployed executive power to reorient national immigration policy by implementing Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

While the constitutionality of Obamian immigration reform has garnered considerable scholarly interest, less attention has been paid its human implications. For DACA beneficiaries and their allies, erudite curiosity about DACA’s doctrinal standing is crucial only insofar as it sheds light on the fate of millions of noncitizens who have come to rely on DACA for their dignity, livelihood, future, and freedom. Accordingly, this Note assesses the likelihood that noncitizen DACA beneficiaries will continue to enjoy the benefits and entitlements of deferred action after the Obama Administration cedes power. It argues that Obama’s deferred-action strategy has whittled a vital entrée for states into the world of immigration policy such that state power must be considered in assessing the durability and constitutionality of DACA and its attendant benefits and presents a strategy for incorporating state power into traditional analyses of presidential power.

Part I opens with a brief history of immigration federalism. Part I.A.1 traces fluctuations in state and federal immigration power from the preconstitutional era to the present and problematizes the myth of federal exclusivity. Part I.A.2 describes the momentous shift in constitutional immigration power to the subfederal level that has taken place during the Obama administration. Part II argues that a return to subfederal immigration reform is preferable to renewed federal dominance and possible under the Supreme Court’s most recent immigration jurisprudence and reveals ways in which integrationist states can use their newfound power to entrench policies such as DACA. Part III locates Obamian immigration reform, and deferred action in particular, within the traditional Youngstown framework, incorporating federalist principles into the Youngstown schema as a means of weighing state power in the constitutional balance. Ultimately, this Note argues that subfederal political support, if carefully cultivated and deftly maneuvered, can succeed in ratifying Obamian immigration reform, both within the Youngstown framework and as a matter of popular constitutionalism.

KJ

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Immigrant of the Day: Julissa Arce (Mexico) -- From Undocumented Immigrant to Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe

This Bloomberg Business article ("How an Undocumented Immigrant From Mexico Became a Star at Goldman Sachs") profiles our Immigrant of the Day, Julissa Arce who went from selling funnel cakes in Texas to derivatives at Wall Street’s most profitable securities firm

KJ

February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Towards Alternate Approaches for Assessing Domestic Violence Asylum Claims by Alvin Santos

Towards Alternate Approaches for Assessing Domestic Violence Asylum Claims by Alvin Santos South Texas College of Law December 17, 2014

Abstract: This paper is divided into three main sections. The first section will briefly describe the elements for establishing an asylum claim. The second section will then layout the difficulties of recognizing domestic violence asylum claims and highlight current proposals in the academic literature for addressing the problem of inconsistencies in the application of the law, and offer a critique of those proposals. The final section will put forward two ideas of alternate approaches for assessing domestic violence asylum claims. One is to regard domestic violence as the same as involuntary sterilization and the other, is to see domestic violence as persecution as a matter of binding customary international law.

KJ

February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Intersecting Inequalities: Research to Reduce Inequality for Immigrant-Origin Children and Youth

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As the proportion of our nation’s children of immigrant origins increases, new research is essential to understand and intervene in shifting patterns of disparity.

Over 40 million (approximately 12.5 percent) of people residing in this country are foreign born, and 25 percent of children under the age of 18, a total of 18.7 million children, have an immigrant parent. And while many immigrant-origin youth successfully acclimate to their new land, faring as well as or even better than their native same-ethnicity peers, others face significant challenges in their educational and psychosocial adaptation. Most at risk are youth at the intersection of multiple types of disadvantage, namely low parent education and employment, poverty, newcomer status, language barriers, racialization, and undocumented status.

In “Intersecting Inequalities: Research to Reduce Inequality for Immigrant-Origin Children and Youth,” Carola Suárez-Orozco and colleagues explore how inequality plays out along these six dimensions of disadvantage particular to immigrant-origin families, outline how developments in educational and family contexts can alleviate unequal outcomes and opportunities, and introduce four broad areas of future research that may inform policies, programs, and practices to reduce inequality for immigrant-origin children and youth.

KJ

February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The conservative case for DACA: The intriguing legal theory you won’t hear on Fox News

Faculty_MichaelKagan_web

Michael Kagan in Salon poses a challenges to liberals defending the President's expanded deferred action program:

"Herein lies an opportunity to defend DACA and DAPA by taking a page from the conservative playbook. President Obama’s immigration actions should be understood as sensible measures to move power out of the hands of unaccountable civil servants, and return it to democratically elected officials. They are justifiable efforts to prevent a public sector union from hijacking public policy."

KJ

February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Regs Out to End the "Curse" of the H4

In May 2014, the Obama Administration announced a plan to allow spouses of H1-B holders to work while living in the US. We've been watching the Obama administration's progress towards ameliorating the "cursed" status of H4 spouses.

Now the regs out out! Starting May 26, 2015, certain H4 spouses will be eligible to work.

H4 work authorization is tied to whether the H1B spouse is seeking LPR status and has either: (i) an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140), or (ii)  H1B status under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act.

The goals of the new program are to:

reduce personal and economic burdens faced by H-1B nonimmigrants and eligible H-4 dependent spouses during the transition from nonimmigrant to LPR status. The final rule will also support the goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers and minimizing the disruption to U.S. businesses resulting from H-1B nonimmigrants who choose not to pursue LPR status in the United States. By providing the possibility of employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses, the rule will ameliorate certain disincentives for talented H-1B nonimmigrants to permanently remain in the United States and continue contributing to the U.S. economy as LPRs. This is an important goal considering the contributions such individuals make to entrepreneurship and research and development, which are highly correlated with overall economic growth and job creation. The rule also will bring U.S. immigration policies concerning this class of highly skilled workers more in line with those of other countries that are also competing to attract and retain similar highly skilled workers.

For a less rosy look at H4 spouses (and the family violence that can result from their "tied" immigrant status - something these regs do not change), do check out immprof Sabrina Balgamwalla's article Bride and Prejudice.

-KitJ

February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)