Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065

This new Pew Research Center report looks at the future of U.S. immigration.  Fifty years after passage of the landmark law that rewrote U.S. immigration policy, nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the United States, pushing the country’s foreign-born share to a near record 14%. For the past half-century, these modern-era immigrants and their descendants have accounted for just over half the nation’s population growth and have reshaped its racial and ethnic composition.

This report provides a 100-year look at the impact of immigration on the nation’s demographics since passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. It explores how the nation’s population has changed since the law was enacted and includes new Pew Research Center population projections through 2065. These projections are included for the nation as a whole as well for its immigrant generations and its racial and ethnic groups. The new projections are based on detailed assumptions about births, deaths and immigration levels—the three key components of population change. All these assumptions are built on recent trends, but it is important to note that these trends can change. As a result, all population projections have inherent uncertainties, especially for years further in the future, since they can be affected by changes in behavior, new immigration policies or other events.

Looking ahead, new Pew Research Center U.S. population projections show that if current demographic trends continue, future immigrants and their descendants will be an even bigger source of population growth. Between 2015 and 2065, they are projected to account for 88% of the U.S. population increase, or 103 million people, as the nation grows to 441 million.


September 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Migration Emerges as the Centerpiece of the 70th United Nations General Assembly


The International Organization of Migration reports that migration has emerged as the centerpiece of the 70th United Nations General Assembly with numerous world leaders, among them the Pope, Barack Obama and Ban Ki Moon, making direct reference to the need for concerted global leadership. Against that background, the UN Secretary General today convened the first high level meeting on migration. With half a million migrants already crossed into to Europe in 2015 and with 3,000 deaths so far this year, IOM's William Lacy Swing described the high level meeting as "welcome and urgent". The overarching aim of this meeting is to elevate the issue of migration and refugees to a high level with member states. The meeting aims to discuss the issues behind the current migration emergencies as well as highlighting the complexities and development aspects that underpin people's desire to migrate. A further aim of the session is to encourage enhanced cooperation and collective action in dealing with the problems and challenges of migration and human mobility, including mixed movements - those involving migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees. Facilitating safe, orderly and responsible mobility is also a key component of the post-2015 development agenda, which requires coordinated action not only among States, but also at all levels of government, and with a series of non-governmental stakeholders.


September 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ruben Navarrette, Jr.: At Our Border, Better to Be Syrian Than Mexican

From the Bookshelves: This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror by Moustafa Bayoum


Muslim life

This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror by Moustafa Bayoum

Over the last few years, Moustafa Bayoumi has been an extra in Sex and the City 2 playing a generic Arab, a terrorist suspect (or at least his namesake “Mustafa Bayoumi” was) in a detective novel, the subject of a trumped-up controversy because a book he had written was seen by right-wing media as pushing an “anti-American, pro-Islam” agenda, and was asked by a U.S. citizenship officer to drop his middle name of Mohamed. Others have endured far worse fates. Sweeping arrests following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 led to the incarceration and deportation of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, based almost solely on their national origin and immigration status. The NYPD, with help from the CIA, has aggressively spied on Muslims in the New York area as they go about their ordinary lives, from noting where they get their hair cut to eavesdropping on conversations in cafés.

In This Muslim American Life, Moustafa Bayoumi reveals what the War on Terror looks like from the vantage point of Muslim Americans, highlighting the profound effect this surveillance has had on how they live their lives. To be a Muslim American today often means to exist in an absurd space between exotic and dangerous, victim and villain, simply because of the assumptions people carry about you. In gripping essays, Bayoumi exposes how contemporary politics, movies, novels, media experts and more have together produced a culture of fear and suspicion that not only willfully forgets the Muslim-American past, but also threatens all of our civil liberties in the present.

Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, which won an American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award for Nonfiction. He is the editor of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara and co-editor of The Edward Said Reader. He is Professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY).

For a radio interview of the author, click here.


September 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ninth Circuit Remands Philippines Coup Plotter Case

Yesterday, in Zumel v. Lynch, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Ikuta and joined by Judge O'Scannlain and District Judge Teilborg (sitting by designation), held

"that the [Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)] correctly found that an attempted coup against the Philippine government in 1989 was unlawful under Philippine law, and that Zumel “engaged” in the coup by planning it. For purposes of this appeal, the panel assumed that the question of coup participants’ “intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals” under § 1182(a)(3)(B)(iii)(V)(b) is a factual question, and held that the BIA erred in failing to apply the clear error standard of review to the Immigration Judge’s finding that the coup participants lacked such intent. The panel remanded for the BIA to review the IJ’s factual findings regarding intent for clear error."



Ferdinand Marcos

The facts central to the case arose during a period of political instability in the Philippines in the 1980s. In 1986, Jose Zumel was serving as a general in the Philippine Air Force. President Ferdinand Marcos held elections. Despite allegations of fraud, the Philippine Congress adopted a resolution declaring that Marcos won. Demonstrations in support for Marcos’s opponent, Corazon Aquino, followed.  Marcos later fled to the United States and Aquino assumed power. Zumel then became a leader of an opposition group known as Alyansang Tapat sa Sambayanan (ALTAS), a faction of the military that believed Marcos was the legitimate elected leader of the Philippines.  In January 1987, ALTAS staged a coup against the Aquino government. Zumel participated in planning the coup. The coup, and later attempts, failed.

Zumel later sought entry as a lawful permanent resident to the United States.  He petitioned for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ruling that he is inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(i)(I) for having engaged in terrorist activity, and dismissing his appeal from the Immigration Judge’s order of removal.


Carrie Rosenbaum, attorney for the petitioner in the case, wrote this about the Zumel case:

The Ninth Circuit came to the correct legal conclusion in accordance with the regulations, and precedent, that the Board of Immigration Appeals cannot disregard an immigration judge’s factual findings. The significance of this ruling is that the Court held the immigration agency to the standard intended by Congress requiring someone to have intent to cause physical injury that to be a terrorist. Because the terrorism definition is so broad, without the requirement of intent to cause harm, people resisting violent oppressive dictators, with no intent to cause harm, would be terrorists and unable to remain here, because their acts would be unlawful under the laws of that country’s dictator. Because the Court recognized that the immigration judge found that he did not intend to harm anyone, Mr. Zumel should be allowed to live out the remainder of his years in the United States with his U.S. citizen grandchildren and other family members.


September 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Essays Provide Accurate and Reliable Data on the Undocumented Population in the United States


The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) announces the release of three essays that offer important and timely data on the US undocumented population.  Authored by Robert Warren, CMS Senior Visiting Fellow and Former Director of the Statistics Division for the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), these CMS essays provide an evidence base to evaluate claims by public officials and to develop effective and informed immigration policies.  

In the first of the series, “A New Upsurge in Unauthorized Immigration from Mexico Not Likely,” Mr. Warren debunks the assumption that Mexican migration to the United States has been significantly increasing.  Examining the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), he finds that a surge of Mexican immigrants to the United States since 2013 is highly improbable.

In the second essay, “The Estimated Undocumented Population is 11 Million. How Do We Know?,” Mr.Warren disputes claims made in the Republication presidential campaign that the US undocumented population is between 30 and 34 million.  Using calculations derived from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), Mr. Warren estimates that the number of US undocumented immigrants is 11 million, as reported by CMS and several other research institutions.

In the final essay, “US-born Children of Undocumented Residents: Number and Characteristics in 2013,”Mr. Warren provides important and detailed information about the US-born children of undocumented residents.  Relying again on ACS data, he offers details about the state of residence of these children, their parents’ area of origin, and selected social and demographic characteristics.


September 29, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

America’s Potential: The Next 50 Years of the 1965 Immigration Act


America’s Potential: The Next 50 Years of the 1965 Immigration Act

To mark 50 years since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 became law, the National Immigration Forum held a conversation with distinguished speakers to discuss the law’s continuing impact and what the future holds. For those that were unable to join us live, watch and share the event video.

Panelists: Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio correspondent and Author, A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story

Mary C. Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

Mee Moua, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)

Fernand Amandi, Principal, Bendixen and Amandi International

Moderator: Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO, Voto Latino

Opening remarks: Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum


September 29, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chris Brown's Visa Woes


Australia has issued a "notice of intention to consider refusal" of Chris Brown's request for a visa to perform in Australia. Australia is none too pleased with Brown's domestic violence record.

Brown had planned on touring the land down under this December, but the tour may not happen.

Brown has a few weeks to appeal the decision. According to TMZ, Brown is already attempting to take his appeal to the court of public opinion. No word yet on how that's working out for him.

This isn't Australia's first bout with denying a visa to a well-known DV offender. Boxer Floyd Mayweather's application for a visa was denied in February.

BBC reports that "New Zealand has already ruled that Brown is unsuitable for entry into the country."


September 29, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Call for Papers from Clinical Law Review on Rebellious Lawyering

The  Board of the Clinical Law Review -- a peer-edited journal jointly sponsored by NYU Law School, the American Association of Law Schools, and the Clinical Legal Education Association -- has a issued Call for Papers (CFP) for a special Spring, 2017 symposium volume of journal.  The symposium issue, Rebellious Lawyering at Twenty-Five, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of the influential book Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano’s Vision of Progressive Legal Practice (1992).  Drafts of papers accepted for the symposium volume will be presented at a live symposium workshop to be held on May 1, 2016 during the annual AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Baltimore, Maryland. 

As described in more detail in the attached CFP, the Clinical Law Review is seeking articles, essays, short comments, or other kinds of writings that connect the book's meaning to clinical practice and to public interest law practice.  The deadline for submitting an abstract of a proposed paper for acceptance into the symposium is October 30, 2015.  Abstracts should be emailed to  

If you have any questions, please contact Professor Sameer Ashar, Chair of the CLR Board's Symposium Committee, or any other CLR Symposium Committee members listed below.

CLR Symposium Committee  

Amna Akbar,

Sameer Ashar,

Phyllis Goldfarb,

Brenda Smith,

September 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

John Oliver on Migrants and Refugees


You must, must, stick it out to the final 2 minutes when John does something "admittedly very small" for one refugee. I hate to be a tease, but I just can't ruin the moment for you.


September 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

First Member of OU's Class of 2020 is the Daughter of Immigrants

Gregoria “Goya” Arredondo was the first student admitted to the University of Oklahoma's Class of 2020. Her parents are immigrants from Mexico who came to the United States for a better life.


I admit it. This is OU propaganda. But it's amazing. I dare you to watch that video without tearing up.

And Goya, if you see this, come talk to me sometime about law school. Boomer Sooner!


September 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Securing Our Borders: What is the Price of Human Life?

Guest blogger: Sara Bushman, second-year law student, University of San Francisco

Every four years in this country we are faced with the daunting decision of choosing a new presidential candidate. Over the past twenty years, although the times have changed and society has evolved, one platform remains the same: immigration. After the recent GOP debate, it became clear that the slogan for the 2016 Presidential Election is: “we need to secure our borders.” As advantageous, and topical as this assertion may be, the question that needs to follow is: what is the cost of “securing our borders”?

Operation Gatekeeper (California 1994), Operation Hold the Line (Texas 1993), and Operation Safeguard (Arizona 2003) were a series of initiatives designed by state legislatures to halt the illegal immigration coming from Mexico. The goal was to erect fences and barriers along the Southwest border of the United States. Without blinking an eye, millions of dollars and tons of resources were dumped into the projects. The budget of the Border Patrol increased in unprecedented amounts and the force nearly doubled since 2001.

Many proponents behind Operation Gatekeeper, Operation Hold the Line and Operation Safeguard claim that illegal immigration has decreased as a direct result of the fences. For instance, in El Paso, Texas after the implementation of Operation Hold the Line between the fiscal years of 1994-1997, it was estimated that roughly 537,000 fewer undocumented immigrants crossed the border. However, did the fences really prevent immigration? Despite the fact that in many known illegal crossing areas the numbers of immigrants crossing were down nearly 18%, the Border Patrol was not accounting for the new routes and points that were being created in response to the fences and walls that were being constructed. As proponents hastily cheered for their victory, staunch opponents realized the actual cost of these fences: the cost to human life.

Since 1995 there has been a steady increase in the amount of migrant deaths at the border, with yearly deaths doubling since 1995. In 2004 the Board Patrol estimated that 1,954 children and parents alike have died as a result of crossing the border since the year 1998. In 2009 alone, it was estimated that 417 people died at the border. However, what is most devastating about these numbers is that the deaths reported are only the number of known deaths. Hundreds, if not thousands, more immigrants die at the border each year without Border Patrol knowing.

Instead of halting at the sight of a fence, or turning the other way because of bright lights, immigrants are finding new, more dangerous paths to cross. Often times they face exposure and hypothermia because these new routes are longer and through untraveled terrain. Coyotes and smugglers are more prevalent, despite the fact that they often take advantage of and cause more harm to those immigrants who are desperate to make the journey across the border; without the coyotes and smugglers there often is no other way to escape the atrocities these individuals face at home.

Instead of pointing the finger at Mexico and declaring that “they” are the problem, the United States needs to explore new avenues for “securing our borders”. The best option at this point is to knock down the fences and put an end to Operation Gatekeeper, Operation Hold the line, and Operation Safeguard (as well as any future Operations with the fence building goal in line). Instead, immigration reform would best be served by allowing migrants into the country. Instead of holding onto our xenophobic sentiments, and treating migrants as subhuman, the focus should be on giving migrants a place within society. Give them a place to pay taxes. Give them a place to feel safe.

The amount of money that has been dedicated to Operation Gatekeeper, Operation Hold the Line and Operation Safeguard is public knowledge. The amount of deaths that have resulted in direct relation to the fences erected is also public knowledge. Yet somehow every four years and every presidential election the phrase: “we need to secure our borders,” is sung loud and proud without mention of the expense these operations and fences have on humanity: the cost to human life.


September 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Democratic Candidate for President That Nobody Has Ever Heard of: Martin O'Malley

From the Bookshelves: The New Immigration Federalism by Pratheepan Gulasekaram and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan

New immigration federalism



The New Immigration Federalism by Pratheepan Gulasekaram and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan

Since 2004, the United States has seen a flurry of state and local laws dealing with unauthorized immigrants. Though initially restrictionist, these laws have recently undergone a dramatic shift toward promoting integration. How are we to make sense of this new immigration federalism? What are its causes? And what are its consequences for the federal-state balance of power? In The New Immigration Federalism, Professors Pratheepan Gulasekaram and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan provide answers to these questions using a mix of quantitative, historical, and doctrinal legal analysis. In so doing they refute the popular “demographic necessity” argument put forward by anti-immigrant activists and politicians. Instead, they posit that immigration federalism is rooted in a political process that connects both federal and subfederal actors: the Polarized Change Model. Their model captures not only the spread of restrictionist legislation but also its abrupt turnaround in 2012, projecting valuable insights for the future.

--  A historical overview of US immigration law provides essential context for current policy patterns

--  An empirical 'Polarized Change Model' provides a new model for understanding the interaction of state and national policies

--  Discredits the popular conservative argument that demographic factors drive anti-immigration laws


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

Five Myths About Refugees

The Washington Post explains Five Myths about Refugees.

1. This is a migrant crisis, not a refu­gee crisis.

2. The migrants and refugees present a security threat.

3. Overly generous rescue operations encourage more refugees and migrants.

4. Europe is hostile to the migrants and refugees.

5. Wealthy Persian Gulf states have not been doing their part.

Click the link above for details.


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

The 50th Anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965


On October 3, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965 into law in a special ceremony steps from the Statue of Liberty. News reports are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the act, which transformed American immigration law. We also are seeing a number of conferences (here, here, here) on the 1965 Act.

A new book analyzing the Immigration Act of 1965 in detail will be released in October.  The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 Legislating a New America edited by my colleagues Gabriel J. Chin and Rose Cuison Villazor includes contributions by Cruz Reynoso, Gabriel J. Chin, Rose Cuison Villazor, Bill Ong Hing, Kevin R. Johnson, Brian Soucek, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Cerissa Salazar Parreñas, Atticus Lee, Valerie Francisco, Robyn Rodriguez, Leticia M. Saucedo, Jeannette Money, Kristina Victor, and Giovanni Peri.


Here is an abstract of the book:

Along with the civil rights and voting rights acts, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 is one of the most important bills of the civil rights era. The Act's political, legal, and demographic impact continues to be felt, yet its legacy is controversial. The 1965 Act was groundbreaking in eliminating the white America immigration policy in place since 1790, ending Asian exclusion, and limiting discrimination against Eastern European Catholics and Jews. At the same time, the Act discriminated against gay men and lesbians, tied refugee status to Cold War political interests, and shattered traditional patterns of Mexican migration, setting the stage for current immigration politics. Drawing from studies in law, political science, anthropology, and economics, this book will be an essential tool for any scholar or student interested in immigration law.

-- The first book devoted to the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments

--  Contributions by scholars in law, political science, cultural studies, and economics reflect the modern interdisciplinary approach to immigration studies

--  Places current-day immigration debates in context and provides historically informed policy suggestions


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

At the Movies: 120 Days


120 Days to Say Goodbye: Immigration Gets Personal

The immigration debate gets personal with the debut feature-length documentary for award-winning filmmaker Ted Roach. Mr. Roach follows family man and undocumented immigrant Miguel Cortes who has been ordered to “voluntarily” leave the country within 120 days by an immigration judge. The film crew joined the Cortes family from the first day in court through Miguel's last official day in the United States, revealing a hidden side of an undocumented society that few Americans ever get to see.

The impassioned filmmaker premiered 120 Days at the Austin Film Festival and was subsequently selected for over 20 festivals, winning 10 awards and garnering 4 nominations and counting.  The film will hold its DC Theatrical Premiere the weekend of October 22-25, with featured screenings in the American University’s Human Rights Film Series, and the Greater Washington Immigration Film Festival. The film will also screen at the Napa Valley Film Festival in November.




September 28, 2015 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New EOIR Rules on Legal Representation


This week, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced changes to the regulations governing legal representation in immigration court and at the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Every year, thousands of immigrants are forced to represent themselves in immigration court. The changes are intended to increase representation of immigrants who are facing deportation – especially those immigrants who are in immigration detention. Immigration Impact explains the new rules here.


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

Could the Next House Speaker Do More on Immigration Reform?

Water bill floor speech

Bloomberg reports on the possibilities of immigration reform with a new Speaker of the House of Representatives.  With Speaker John Boehner's imminent retirement, the conventional wisdom is that House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), will take his place. "

McCarthy would seem to have an interest in moving forward with immigration reform. His district, based in Bakersfield, California, is 35 percent Latino and heavily dependent on migrant labor for agriculture. But McCarthy has voted against the DREAM Act, voted to defund President Obama's deferred action programs, and voted to end "sanctuary cities."  However, at one point, McCarthy reportedly expressed support for a path to legalization for eligible undocumented immigrants.

McCarthy's official House website says the following on immigration:

"As a nation founded by immigrants, we should to continue embrace the individuals who wait in line and come to the United States legally to work hard and contribute to our society. However, we should not provide any amnesty that would benefit those who defy our laws and enter the United States illegally. In order to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in our country, we must enforce the laws that already exist. In order to do this, we must secure our border by using both physical as well as electronic barriers. We should also ensure that illegal immigrants are not receiving any of the benefits that are reserved for American Citizens."

The Washington Post looks at McCarthy's record and chances for ascendancy to the Speaker post here.

 One of the more interesting tidbits about McCarthy is unrelated to immigration.  New York Magazine reports that Kevin Spacey studied McCarthy while preparing for his role in House of Cards. When Spacey was preparing for the first season of House of Cards, his character, Frank Underwood, was still just a lowly House majority whip — as was Kevin McCarthy. So to put himself into the head of a career politician, Spacey followed McCarthy around the Capitol for several days.



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

HONY Covers Syrian Refugees

Humans of New York is one of my favorite social media sites. Brandon Stanton takes beautiful photos and has a knack for getting his subjects to share riveting stories.

Immigration tales abound on HONY, but for the next 10 days, they will be front and center. Stanton will be sharing stories from refugees making their way across Europe and will be highlighting some of the people working to facilitate their migration.



September 27, 2015 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)