Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Federal Government Sued to Release Data on Racial Profiling in Immigration Enforcement

Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) filed a federal lawsuit yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia demanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) release data and documents about the use of racial profiling in the controversial immigration enforcement program known as the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), formerly Secure Communities.
The government has refused to release the Secure Communities Statistical Monitoring reports and other documents that ICE and DHS’s Office of Civil Right and Civil Liberties (CRCL) created as part of its efforts to monitor for potential racial profiling within the enforcement program. DHS rebranded the enforcement program as PEP in November 2014, but the racial profiling monitoring requirements remained the same. NIJC requested the records through a Freedom of Information Act request in March 2014.
Under the Secure Communities/PEP program, when state and local law enforcement officers arrest and book an individual into custody, they fingerprint him or her and send the fingerprints to the FBI. The FBI automatically runs the fingerprints (including those of U.S. citizens) against a DHS immigration database, which alerts ICE agents to immediately investigate the individual in custody. Based on the database alert, DHS may issue a detainer, requesting that local law enforcement hold the individual for up to 48 hours until ICE can assume custody.
The reporting requirements were imposed as part of an independent government task force’s recommendations to hold DHS accountable for preventing civil rights and civil liberties violations within the enforcement program. In response, ICE and CRCL hired a criminologist to conduct quarterly analyses of racial profiling data from law enforcement agencies nationwide. Neither ICE nor CRCL has released the reports to the public, or taken remedial measures to address identified incidences of racial profiling within the Secure Communities/PEP enforcement program.

February 9, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Coherent EU Refugee Policy is Needed

From the Economist:

A European problem demands a common, coherent EU policy. Let refugees in, but regulate the flow, says the Economist.

Refugees are reasonable people in desperate circumstances. Life for many of the 1 million-odd asylum-seekers who have fled Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries for Europe in the past year has become intolerable. Europe is peaceful, rich and accessible. Most people would rather not abandon their homes and start again among strangers. But when the alternative is the threat of death from barrel-bombs and sabre-wielding fanatics, they make the only rational choice.

The flow of refugees would have been manageable if European Union countries had worked together, as Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has always wished (and The Economist urged). Instead Germany and Sweden have been left to cope alone. Today their willingness to do so is exhausted. Unless Europe soon restores order, political pressure will force Mrs Merkel to clamp down unilaterally, starting a wave of border closures (see article). More worrying, the migrant crisis is feeding xenophobia and political populism. The divisive forces of right-wing nationalism have already taken hold in parts of eastern Europe. If they spread westward into Germany, France and Italy then the EU could tear itself apart.

The situation today is a mess.


February 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Deferred Action: Considering What Is Lost by Elizabeth Keyes


Deferred Action: Considering What Is Lost by Elizabeth Keyes, University of Baltimore - School of Law January 22, 2016 Washburn Law Journal, Forthcoming

Abstract: This Essay focuses on the cost that comes from the loss of a different kind of discretion in immigration law, where residual discretionary authority can act as a corrective measure at the edges of rules. Such discretion at the law's margins constitutes a vital means to correct the errors that inevitably happen when even the best rules do an imperfect job of capturing the world's complexity. The essay explores who is left in the limbo between DACA and DAPA on the one side, and carefully defined enforcement priorities on the other. This essay also points to the troubling trend that even where discretion remains in these programs and priorities, the discretion exists only to limit the relief available to immigrants: the enforcement box may, as a matter of discretion, expand, but the benefit box may, as a matter of discretion, shrink. The Essay concludes that advocates and scholars can and should celebrate what these programs do accomplish, but we must ultimately demand something much better than the deal we are getting: immigration reform and the restoration of some degree of discretion at the points in the law where well-defined rules meet the individuals who show those rules' limitations.


February 8, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DAPA’s Unlawful Presence Problem by Michael Kagan


The commentary on United States v. Texas keeps coming.  Here is Michael Kagan's latest in Notice & Comment, the Yale Journal of Regulation blog.  In encapsulates his argument as follows: 

"Like many immigration law professors, I have long thought that President Obama’s deferred action programs are within the Executive’s statutory and constitutional authority. But as I re-read the Fifth Circuit opinion and the briefs in US v. Texas, I am becoming persuaded that the states challenging DAPA may have a valid point about one aspect of the program.

In short, deferred action is a well-established form of prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement that the Court has long accepted. But DAPA may go a step too far by declaring that beneficiaries of prosecutorial discretion should be considered `lawfully present' in the United States even though they are removable according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Texas’ strongest arguments against DAPA are about this lawful presence provision, not about deferred action."


February 8, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Immigration Law Administrative Law?: A Symposium


The first post in a week-long online symposium entitled “Is Immigration Law Administrative Law?” is now available.  Jill Family provides the introduction today.  As she emphasizes,

"As this series will illustrate, Texas v. United States is a catalyst for immigration law scholars’ endeavors to better understand administrative law. Not only do immigration law scholars need to engage with administrative law, but there is also plenty of space for administrative law scholars to embrace immigration law." 

Look for other posts this week from David Rubenstein, Chris Walker, Shoba Wadhia, and Bijal Shah.

This online symposium builds on the program by the same name ay the 2016 Association of American Law Schools Annual meeting.


February 8, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Detroit Mercy Law Review Celebrates 100 Years: Centennial Symposium

In celebration of the Detroit Mercy Law Review’s 100th year, this Symposium will showcase and discuss the past, present, and future legal issues facing the City of Detroit.

Detroit’s Deputy Mayor, Isaiah “Ike” McKinnon, will give the keynote address.

The Honorable Gerald E. Rosen, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, will discuss his service as the chief mediator in negotiations between the City of Detroit and its creditors, and how the grand bargain they reached helped resolve Detroit’s recent bankruptcy. Detroit Mercy Law alumnus Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr. (’67) will join Judge Rosen in this discussion.

Additional speakers and topics include: Roy Finkenbine (1863 Riot), Tom Stanton (The Black Legion), and Greg Sumner (Race Relations and WWII) of University of Detroit Mercy; Brian Frye of University of Kentucky College of Law (DIA and Bankruptcy); Shaakirrah Sanders of University of Idaho College of Law (Impact of “Ag-Gag” Legislation on the Urban Farmer); Timothy Dugdale of Atomic Quill Media in Windsor, Ontario (Pioneer Visas); and Andrea Boyack of Washburn University School of Law (The New American Dream in Detroit).

Dugdae, an occasional contributor to the ImmigrationProf blog, I will a paper, Snyder's Pioneer Visas. The paper discusses Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's proposal to secure work visas for foreign "pioneers" anxious to live in Detroit and launch a business.



February 8, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

First Installment of SCOTUSBlog Symposium on United States v. Texas


SCOTUSBlog.com today has begun posting in an on-line symposium on the pending Supreme Court case of United States v. Texas.  The first installment is "Constitutional limits of presidential power – changing the law or enforcing it," by Jay Sekulow,  Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) law. The ACLJ is planning to file an amicus brief in United States v. Texas.  Here is the punch line of Sekulow's post:

"The orders, opinions, and rationale of the lower courts make clear: The president believes he has virtually limitless authority, and his administration is unrestrained by notions of candor to the court . . . . And while the concept that a president would exceed his constitutional powers is not novel, neither is the concept that the judiciary will stand in his way."


February 8, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

College-Educated Immigrants in the United States

Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova have a report in Migration Information Source on college-educated immigrants in the United States.

In 2014, 10.5 million immigrants had a college degree or higher, representing about 29 percent of the total 36.7 million U.S. foreign-born population ages 25 and over. The Immigration Act of 1990 and other legislation passed in the last two decades have facilitated the immigration of college-educated individuals to the United States by creating temporary visa programs for high-skilled workers and attracting international students to higher education institutions, especially those in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

The number of immigrants with higher education has grown at more than twice the rate of the same population among the U.S. born. Between 1990 and 2000, the college-educated immigrant population increased 89 percent from 3.1 million to 5.9 million, and a further 78 percent between 2000 and 2014 (from 5.9 million to 10.5 million. The native-born college-educated population grew over the same periods by 32 percent and 39 percent, respectively. Given the faster rate of growth, the foreign-born share of the total college-educated population also increased over the last two and a half decades: from 10 percent in 1990 to 16 percent in 2014.






February 8, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Superbowl Half-Time, Katrina, Black Lives Matter and Beyonce's Formation

Just in case some of our readers haven't yet seen Beyonce's Formation video (released yesterday), and are gearing up to watch the Superbowl with family and friends but are less interested in actually watching football and more inclined towards issues like race, inequality, law enforcement, marginalization, and the Black Lives Matter movement:



February 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dreamers and the Presidential Campaigns

Andiola Praelli Dreamersfortrump

The New York Times reported earlier this week on the role of certain Dreamer activists in the campaigns of the Democratic nominees.  Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas (who was sworn into the New York bar this week) are playing leading roles in Bernie Sanders’ campaign, for instance, while Lorella Praeli has taken on a similar role for Hillary Clinton. Gabby Pacheco had endorsed former candidate Martin O’Malley before he dropped out of the race.  The prominent role of these individuals highlights the broader reality of DACA recipients’ increased integration and  empowerment as well as the political clout of the Dreamer movement (“Although Dreamers can’t vote or donate to candidates, thousands are knocking on doors, working the phones and battling on social media to promote their candidates”). 

The recruitment of so-called “high-profile Dreamers” has also generated criticism from within the immigrant rights community.  Luis Serrano, Social/Media Communicatios director of the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, asserts in the Huffington Post that the endorsement of Presidential candidates by certain Dreamers dilutes the central goals of the movement:  “Endorsing and standing by those who are most vulnerable--those who are being criminalized, abused, deported, and physically/mentally mistreated should be key into building and opening the doors toward power and real solidarity,” writes Serrano, leading him to conclude that “[n]o politician deserves the praise that is being given to them through these endorsements.”

The media attention surrounding individuals like Andiola, Vargas and Praeli has also given rise to satirical bits of humor on the internet.  (See, for instance, Buzzfeed’s “Are you a Low-Profile Dreamer?,” or the Trump t-shirt above).


February 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Secretary Johnson Highlights Super Bowl 50 Security Operations


Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson looks at the field for Super Bowl 50

It is Super Sunday and steps have been taken to ensure that Super Bowl 50 is safe and sane.  Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced that he met earlier this week with local law enforcement officials and the National Football League (NFL) security team to oversee the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) security operations that will help ensure the safety and security of employees, players and fans during Super Bowl 50.

“Dozens of federal agencies and components, including multiple components of the Department of Homeland Security, are contributing to security measures seen and unseen in connection with the Super Bowl,” said Secretary Johnson. “Within the Department of Homeland Security itself, TSA, CBP, ICE, Coast Guard, the Secret Service, FEMA, our Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and our National Protection and Programs Directorate are contributing to the security of this event. The public has a role to play too. “If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” is more than a slogan. Public vigilance and public awareness contributes to a safe and secure event.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has seized large amounts of counterfeit sports-related products sold in connection with the Super Bowl.





February 7, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anti-refugee, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim tensions flare in Europe



USA Today reports that anti-immigration and anti-Muslim groups from across Europe demonstrated Saturday as migrants fleeing a renewed offensive by the Syrian government surged along Turkey's border. In Dresden, thousands of members of Germany's Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident, or PEGIDA, participated in a rally to demonstrate Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal policies directed at migrants. Many in the crowd chanted "Merkel must go" and held signs comparing the German leader to a dictator. The chancellor's popularity ratings have tumbled. Siegfried Däbritz, a PEGIDA leader, said in an address that he doubted those granted asylum in Germany could integrate into the nation's culture. He called for "resistance to immigration from the Islamic area."


February 7, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Republican Candidates Debate Immigration Etc. in New Hampshire


Photo courtesy of ABC.com

Immigration was a topic of the discussion in the Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire last night.  Governor John Kasich seemed moderate and emphasized the impossibility of mass removals of 11-plus million undocumented immigrants.  Senator Ted Cruz would build a fence, add Border Patrol officers, and deport persons in the country unlawfully (apparently whatever the impact on their families).  Senator Marco Rubio said that the American public would not accept comprehensive immigration reform until the Executive Branch showed a commitment to immigration enforcement.  Nothing too surprising came up.  Here is the Wall Street Journal two minute version.  The immigration portion of the debate was clipped on YouTube.com:



February 7, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Donald Trump Announces Sheriff Joe Arpaio As His Vice Presidential Running Mate -- NOT!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Beyond Deportation Event at American Univ. WCL: February 24

Calling all DC area immprofs. Head to the new American University WCL campus on February 24 to hear about Shoba S. Wadhia's new book - with bonus discussion of US v. Texas.

US v Texas flyer-page-001


February 6, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Classifying Aliens

It's Saturday. You've got work to do but you're checking out the blog. That's cool. We're here for you.

Try your hand at this great exercise in distraction that my son brought home from school - Classification of Aliens. You've got this!

Aliens_Classifications copy-page-002

Aliens_Classifications copy-page-001

If only the INA was as easy to figure out.


February 6, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

White Supremacists Back the Donald


CNN offers some disturbing news from the political front lines.  New Hampshire voters are receiving many robocalls asking for their vote; one is from white nationalists with a simple message:

"We don't need Muslims. We need smart, educated, white people," according to the male voice on the calls, which urges New Hampshire voters to vote for Donald Trump.

Three white nationalist leaders have banded together to form their own super PAC in support of Trump, even though Trump claims that he does not want their support.  The American National Super PAC is funding the robocall effort, which is organized under a separate group called the American Freedom Party.

Here is the platform of the American Freedom Party:

"White Americans should select a party that advocates for issues and concerns affecting European Americans! Change your party allegiance to the American Freedom Party. A Nationalist party that shares the customs and heritage of the European American people. We need a Nationalist Party interested in defending our borders, preserving our language and promoting our culture. The American Freedom Party is not beholden to foreign governments, special interest groups, nor Wall Street. The American Freedom Party is for America First!"




February 6, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Policing Sex, Policing Immigrants: What Crimmigration's Past Can Tell Us About Its Present and Its Future by Rachel E. Rosenbloom


Policing Sex, Policing Immigrants: What Crimmigration's Past Can Tell Us About Its Present and Its Future by Rachel E. Rosenbloom, Northeastern University - School of Law 2016 California Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract: The flow of information from local police to federal immigration officials forms a central element of the contemporary phenomenon known as “crimmigration” — the convergence of immigration enforcement and criminal law enforcement. This Essay provides the first historical account of the early roots of this information flow and a new perspective on its contemporary significance.

Previous scholarship locates crimmigration’s origins in the 1980s and ’90s. Drawing on extensive archival research on day-to-day interactions between local police and federal immigration officials, this Essay explores a lost chapter in the development of crimmigration: the pipeline that brought men arrested by vice squads in gay cruising areas into the deportation system in the 1950s and ’60s. This history demonstrates that the contemporary crimmigration system is best understood not as the merging of two enforcement systems that were formerly separate, but rather as the product of shifts within both policing and the deportation systems that have rendered many more people vulnerable to the intersection of the two. Drawing parallels between the use of vice squad arrest records by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the 1950s and the use of police data by the Department of Homeland Security today, this Essay argues that a symbiotic relationship has developed in recent years between “broken windows” policing and the deportation system. The deportation system has come to depend on the existence of an expansive criminal justice system that subjects low-income communities of color to regular monitoring through frequent stops and arrests for minor offenses. At the same time, programs that promote police-immigration cooperation have themselves become drivers of over-policing.


February 6, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Why we must protect Central American mothers and children fleeing violence

The Foreign Born Players in Super Bowl 50

This Caribbean Today story identifies tow "foreign born" players who will play in Super Bowl 50.


On the Carolina Panthers’ side is Star Lotulelei, who moved to the United States at the age of 9 from the Pacific Islands of Tonga.



Running back Juwan Thompson, 23, is on the Denver Broncos. Thompson was born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, an insular U.S. territory.  U.S. Virgin Island residents are U.S. citizens so Thompson technically is not "foreign-born." 


February 5, 2016 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)