Friday, May 26, 2017

E4FC's Invest in the Dream Initiative: Scholarships and Support for Undocumented Students


A new report entitled "E4FC's Invest in the Dream Initiative: Scholarships and Support for Undocumented Students" is available here.

Invest in the Dream is a competitive grant program that E4FC launched in 2014. By offering challenge grants to nonprofit scholarship organizations nationwide, Invest in the Dream encourages those organizations to create or expand scholarship programs that support undocumented students pursuing higher education.

With generous support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Grove Foundation and other funders, E4FC has awarded $750,000 in matching grants to nonprofit scholarship providers in 16 states. These grants have leveraged an additional $750,000 in matching funds from local donors and other sources, for a total of $1.5 million in new scholarship support for over 200 undocumented students. In addition,
Invest in the Dream has created and nurtured a national learning community of scholarship professionals and volunteers, many of whom are working in very challenging political environments. Find out more about our grantees here.

After three years of work, we thought it was important to conduct an in-depth review of
Invest in the Dream, including its key accomplishments, challenges and lessons learned. Jay Sherwin, Co-Director of Invest in the Dream, conducted that review, relying on his years of experience as a grantmaker and consultant to foundations and other nonprofit clients.

The report includes comments and insights from twenty informants, including thirteen grantee representatives, four scholarship recipients and three allies and funding partners. It also includes brief profiles of four students and two matching grant donors.

The report reaches these key conclusions:

  • Invest in the Dream scholarships have positively affected 200 undocumented students and their families.
  • Scholarships have been “game-changers” for many students, convincing some that college was possible and allowing others to attend college full-time.
  • The Invest in the Dream learning community has become a highly valued source of advice and support for participating scholarship providers, offering information and affirmation to organizations that often operate in isolation and/or confront significant local opposition.
  • Grantees gained credibility in their local communities from being selected to participate in a national initiative, even if community leaders were not already familiar with E4FC.
  • While Invest in the Dream broke new ground as a national initiative, it is a relatively modest response to a much larger national need. Scholarships are powerful tools but they are also expensive investments on a per-student basisKJ

May 26, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Save the Date: 2008 Biennial Immigration Law Scholars and Teachers Workshop


The next biennial Immigration Law Scholars and Teachers Workshop will be held at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia on May 24-26, 2018—one year from now, the Thursday through Saturday leading into Memorial Day weekend. As with the past several conferences, a clinical workshop will be held on Thursday, and the full conference will end on Saturday.

Anil Kalhan will be providing more information in the future about  lodging, logistics, and programming. 


May 26, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Segmentation and the Role of Labor Standards Enforcement in Immigration Reform by Janice Fine and Gregory Lyon



Segmentation and the Role of Labor Standards Enforcement in Immigration Reform by Janice Fine (Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations) and Gregory Lyon (Rutgers University)

Despite the fact that many low-wage, violation-ridden industries are disproportionately occupied by immigrants, labor standards and immigration reform have largely been treated as separate pieces of an otherwise interrelated puzzle. Not only is this view misguided, but this paper argues that strengthening labor standards enforcement would ensure that standards are upheld for all workers, immigrant and others. In addition, labor standards enforcement is instrumental to the erosion of sub-standard conditions in certain sectors, often referred to as the “secondary” labor market, that are associated with advanced market economies. Ensuring labor standards are upheld diminishes the incentive for employers to undercut wages by exploiting vulnerable workers, many of whom are immigrants. As this paper argues, strengthening enforcement must include not only “vertical” mechanisms, including strategic enforcement and penalizing and criminalizing egregious and repeated labor violators, but also “lateral” mechanisms, such as co-enforcement by workers and through worker and community organizations. The article illustrates the role of co-enforcement in labor standards through two case studies.

Download the PDF of the article


May 26, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

4th Circuit Upholds Injunction Against EO Travel Ban

Photo by Masha George

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld an injunction against President Trump's executive order banning travel from several Muslim-majority nations. It's a 205 page opinion (albeit double-spaced) that you can read at this link.

Many are praising Chief Judge Gregory's opening words:

The question for this Court, distilled to its essential form, is whether the Constitution, as the Supreme Court declared in Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 120 (1866), remains “a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace.” And if so, whether it protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.

Too tired to slog your way through the whole opinion tonight? I hear you. Check out immprof Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia's favorite quotes over at Medium.


May 25, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Big Business: Humans in a Box


Guest post by Marie Sutton, rising 3L at Chapman University's Dale E. Fowler School of Law

The double fencing and barbed wire encircling the concrete cube presented the image of a prison. Yet during our tour of the Otay Mesa Detention Facility in San Diego, our guides took care – albeit with some slip ups – to refer to the residents as detainees, not inmates. The slip ups were easy to understand given that this private facility has a contract not only with ICE but also with the U.S. Marshals Service. Bold lettering on the back of the prison uniforms identified members of these two groups as either “detainees” or “inmates.” These groups are kept separate within the facility, as are several subgroups of detainees. The color coding of their prison uniforms presented a human rainbow – and this rainbow most certainly has a pot of gold.

The Otay Mesa Detention Facility was completed in 2015 and has a capacity for 1482 adult males and females. The facility is owned by CoreCivic, Inc., formerly the Corrections Corporation of America, and its publicly-traded stock is doing well. Inside, the place was immaculate and everything seemed to run smoothly. The talk and tour were led by ICE facility managers and we met immigration court attorneys, a judge, and clerks within the facility. Everyone was very hospitable and generous with their time, answering the tour group’s many questions. I truly appreciated the opportunity to interact with them and to tour the facility. However, nothing could detract from the core fact that this is a business that grows and profits from detaining more and more people, the longer the better.

It troubles me to see caged primates in zoos. It troubled me even more to see caged humans. At a zoo, I look into the eyes of the primates, seeking a distant yet common connection. At the detention facility, I felt I couldn’t look into the eyes of the detainees because I knew I would recognize fellow humanity. Is it really the best option to “detain” all these people? Don’t statistics support the fact that most detainees released on bond do appear at their scheduled court hearings? Aren’t there effective alternatives to detention such as ankle bracelets and phone in checks?

Human detention of migrants is big business, but is this the best we can do for members of our own species?

-posted by KitJ on behalf of Marie Sutton

May 25, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Indefinite Sentence

Guest post by Cecilia Anguiano, rising 3L at Lewis & Clark Law School.

The red, white, and blue of the American flag stands boldly next to the Department of Justice Seal. Similarly, the front wall of the room is painted blue while the rest of the walls are white. The red of his jumpsuit completes the color sequence.

Judge Partida inquires whether the detainee’s background check on file is the most recent. It is not. It will take several weeks to run a new background check so a new hearing on the merits of the case will be scheduled.

His custody hearing is also scheduled for today. His defense attorney states she is prepared to present evidence to advocate for his release while his case is pending. This is news for the Assistant Chief Counsel as this detail wasn’t noted on the docket. She has the burden of proof of proving that the detainee is a danger to society and if not, must prove that he is a flight risk. She asks that she be able to submit her evidence at the merits hearing set for over a month from now. Defense counsel interjects,“Your honor, my client has now been sitting in detention for 1,126 days. If the government is not ready they are not ready. I ask that we proceed.”

This isn’t criminal court. He isn’t being sentenced for a crime. This is immigration court inside of the Otay Mesa Detention Center.

This proceeding is unusual. In fact, this detainee is lucky. He has a zealous advocate sitting next to him from the ABA Immigration Justice Project. On average seventy percent of detainees at this Detention Center won’t have legal representation.

Immigration Judge Partida takes a fifteen minute recess to allow the Assistance Chief Counsel to prepare her hearing documents. The man in the red jumpsuit asks to use the restroom. A guard in the back of the room speaks into his handheld radio and motions for him. The detainee passes the three wooden pews and exits not knowing if he will be getting out or if he will be ordered removed.


-posted by KitJ on behalf of Cecilia Anguiano

May 25, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Overturning the Missed Opportunity of Title VII Under Espinoza v. Farah by Maria Linda Ontiveros


Overturning the Missed Opportunity of Title VII Under Espinoza v. Farah by Maria Linda Ontiveros, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, ForthcomingUniversity of San Francisco - School of Law, Date, May 8, 2017


This essay argues the Supreme Court decision Espinoza v. Farah Mfg. Co. should be overturned because of its incorrect definition of national origin discrimination under Title VII. The essay argues that Espinoza v. Farah's holding that discrimination based on citizenship status, immigration status or migrant status is not national origin discrimination under Title VII's disparate impact or disparate treatment theories is incorrect from both theoretical and doctrinal standpoints. To bolster its analysis, the essay presents a social and political history of discrimination against Latinos at the time of the decision, as well as the litigation strategy behind Espinoza to illustrate how discrimination based on citizenship status, migrant status and immigration status is discrimination based on national origin. It then shows how two lines of cases — Title VII discrimination cases brought by H1B guest workers on the basis of national origin discrimination and EEOC trafficking cases alleging discrimination based on national origin and/or sex — have begun to erode the analysis underlying Espinoza. It concludes with an argument, based on current Supreme Court standards, that Espinoza should be overturned.


May 25, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mi Casa Es Su Casa


Guest post by Demi Jacques, rising 3L from Lewis & Clark Law School

After touring the castle on a hill that is the US embassy in Tijuana, complete with fancy soaps, striking artwork, and marine security “coming soon,” la Casa del Migrante stood in sharp contrast. My class rolled up in our giant, air conditioned bus, inviting stares and questions from men on the street. “Where are you from??” “Los estados unidos,” I mutter, though we mostly ignore them. I sense some heightened vigilance in our group; we are no longer among smiling diplomatic Americans in a shining new facility. Barbed wire and iron fences loom above the unmarked street, a small cross rising behind them does not quite emanate invitation. Perhaps the stories about Tijuana happen in places like this, we don’t really know.

La Casa del Migrante is a shelter for recently deported people and refugees. They’ve seen an influx of refugees in recent years, first from Haiti and now from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The refugees flee violence to be scolded and denied refugee status for not having proper paperwork. La Casa tries to help them with that. They also have a psychologist and resources for people recovering from the shock of deportation, trauma, and their heightened risk of substance abuse. Additionally, they have a job office. Call centers hold the sought-after jobs. I wonder what it’s like to be kicked out of the US or denied entry and then take angry phone calls from outraged Americans who want to yell at a human, not a machine. That irony is not lost on me.

“Today is a good day,” our guide proclaimed. A worn dry erase board by the dining hall announces “74 Migrantes, 5 Refugiados, 79 total.” She said they have space for 140, but can squeeze in 200. They’ve had trouble with the space, she explained, but today was good. Seventy-nine people are not on the street tonight in Tijuana. As I return to my comfortable loft bedroom in my La Jolla hotel, I think about the people about 30 miles from here who couldn’t get into La Casa or another shelter. I also think about my classmates agreeing that they wouldn’t want to be on that street at night. Finally, I think about the little signs that Americans like to decorate their houses with, sometimes with phrases like “Mi casa es su casa.”

-posted by KitJ on behalf of Demi Jacques

May 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies -- Cannes 2017: Virtual Reality Film Carne y Arena Tells of Border Crossing Experience




The Los Angeles Times reports on the this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where organizers for the first time included a virtual reality project in its Official Selection.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s ”Carne y Arena,” by the Oscar-winning director of Birdman and “The Revenant,” is a multi-platform experience that includes a VR film.

"Carne y Arena” tells the story of Latin American immigrants attempting to cross into the United States through the Arizona desert when they are caught by U.S. authorities. Iñárritu and his frequent cinematography collaborator Emmanuel Lubezki located real people who suffered the torturous journey and had them reenact it on camera; they then shot their stories with VR's 360-degree sweep and in-your-face urgency.


May 24, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Consular Efficiency


Guest post by Jade Stocks, rising 2L from Chapman University, Fowler School of Law

The American consulate in Tijuana stands atop a hill on the outskirts of town, overlooking the rest of the city.  The grounds – updated from lush grass to drought friendly succulents and rocks several years ago – are beautiful and meticulously maintained.  Every aesthetic element inside and out is designed to project a positive image of America- clean, simple, elegant and efficient. 

But efficiency is the theme that runs through the entire consulate, not just the landscaping.  With officers conducting between 400 and 1,000 appointments for non-immigrant visas each day (111,000 so far this year), streamlining is key.  Interviews are generally finished in 90 seconds to two minutes – five minutes for the most complicated cases.  Each applicant is initially treated with the presumption that they intend to immigrate to the United States.  They have these 90 seconds to meet the burden of proof required to show otherwise. 

Officers are given broad discretion over what questions to ask to determine whether to approve a visa request, but a supervisor reviews 20% of decisions at random to make sure her staff’s decisions are consistent with each other – they don’t want two people in the same situation to be given two different decisions.  Generally, however, the line of questioning involves determining what their travel plans are and whether they have strong ties in Mexico that would indicate the likelihood of them returning home. 

All of this in aid of the most efficient visa processing possible.

-posted by KitJ on behalf of Jade Stocks

May 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cole Porter's Pro-Immigration Ballet Gets A Trump-Era Revival



NPR has a fascinating story about American composer Cole Porter

In the early 1920s, before he became an icon of the American songbook, composer Cole Porter wrote the score for a protest ballet. The production, called Within the Quota, criticized restrictive immigration laws that had been passed by Congress. According to Princeton music professor Simon Morrison, who rediscovered the score two years ago in Yale's Porter archives, the show opened in New York at a time of fearful backlash against Polish, Greek and Australian immigrants arriving in the U.S. after World War I.

Now, to protest President Trump's anti-immigrant stance, the Princeton University Ballet is reviving the production. Morrison, who produced the show, says after the election, "[I] looked again at the score and thought about its context and thought, Oh my God, this is actually what it was about. These things were real and actually we're feeling them again now."


May 24, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Justice budget targets immigration


on Politico reports on immigration and the proposed federal budget.

President Trump is proposing to cut the Justice Department’s budget while boosting the funding for a crackdown on illegal immigration.

The Trump administration is proposing a $27.7 billion for the Justice Department in fiscal 2018, down $1.1 billion, or about 4 percent, from last year.

But the administration proposed nearly $145 million in additional funding for immigration enforcement, adding 75 immigration judges along with about 375 support personnel, 70 new assistant U.S. attorneys focused on immigration and border crime, 40 deputy marshals, and new funds for space to detain more illegal immigrants.

“With this budget we are also implementing the president’s promise to secure our borders and restore a lawful immigration system,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters at a Justice Department briefing Tuesday. “While dramatic progress has been made at the border in recent months, much remains to be done, and it’s critical that we focus on increased enforcement of our criminal immigration laws and that we enforce all immigration laws efficiently.”


May 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Anti-Chinese Racism at Berkeley: The Case for Renaming Boalt Hall by Charles Reichmann


Anti-Chinese Racism at Berkeley: The Case for Renaming Boalt Hall by Charles Reichmann

Date Written: May 8, 2017


Those familiar with UC Berkeley School of Law know its traditional name and the name of its primary classroom building - Boalt Hall. Yet few know much about the man who gave the law school its name. A close look at John Boalt’s legacy, however, calls out for a reexamination of the law school’s continued association with Boalt, given the contrast between UC Berkeley’s stated values and Boalt’s influential views that the Chinese were an unassimilable race that ought to be excluded from the United States. Boalt's racial theories were identical to John C. Calhoun's, whose name Yale University recently removed from a residential college on the grounds that Calhoun's principles and legacy are at odds with Yale's mission and values. Through his widely-circulated and virulently racist 1877 address "The Chinese Question" and his proposal for a plebiscite on further immigration, Boalt was instrumental in catalyzing support for the Chinese Exclusion Act.


May 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Border Patrol Challenges


Guest post by Sarah Jensen, a rising 2L at the University of North Dakota School of Law.

With dark tint glasses and his hands tucked into the bullet resistant vest of his green uniform, the Border Patrol agent declared, “It’s the Russian hackers!”. The computer in the division headquarters’ press room refused to comply. Add it to the list of resources the agents would like to see funneled their way. Critically understaffed, the agents see their time and resources spread thin over the immense border territory that they are tasked with patrolling. Facing an ever evolving and sophisticated adversary, dead set on bringing narcotics and people into the United States, the agent refers to his patrol location as a “different kind of animal”. There he relies upon his tracking skills to identify the path of the drug smugglers or migrants. An overturned stone. A freshly broken stick not yet bleached by the sun. Clues to him that someone had been through the area within the past week. One man alone, miles from backup, he speaks of the underestimated danger of the job.

Standing between the border fences the sound of cockerels floats up from what appears a sleepy Mexican town. Discarded trash hurled over the first fence shares the space between with the agents. But there are spotters watching right at this moment, the agent tells us. Watching and recording the Border Patrol’s movement. Waiting for that perfect opportunity. The tall metal fence suggests many have tried to take that opportunity. Battered and scarred, thousands of wounds dot the imposing barrier. Under the ever-present glare of the cameras and infrared monitors, hands equipped with cutting tools attempt to make their way through the metal. Do they make it, or are they just testing the response? A distracted border agent here, may mean another’s success further along the border.

It’s hard to deny the task of securing the borders is impossibly difficult for Border Patrol. What would be their answer to the challenges? More agents. “With people comes money,” the agent tells us. Money for the necessary resources, and intelligent resources such as drones. Maybe even a new computer for the press room.

-posted by KitJ on behalf of Sarah Jensen

May 23, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Reporting From The Border


This week, I am at the U.S.-Mexico border with a group of 21 law students from around the country. I am leading Hofstra Law's one week summer course Immigration Law and Border Enforcement.

Over the next few days, I'll be posting reports from the border written by these students. They'll bring you updates and insights from their meetings with individuals who work and live on the Southern border.


May 23, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Denver approves local sentencing changes aimed at helping immigrants avoid deportation

Jon Murray of the Denver Post reports that the Denver City Council has approved reform of low-level city court sentences by lessening some maximum penalties in a way that could help immigrants avoid deportation.

Some immigrant advocates had pushed for the council to take further steps to more fully insulate immigrants from federal immigration enforcement efforts because of the violation of local ordinances. One way would be to make the maximum penalty for all local violations 364 days.  A number of council members supported alterations but could not win enough support. 


Mayor Michael B. Hancock released the following statement regarding Denver City Council's unanimous vote to pass sentencing reform.

“I want to thank Denver City Council for their vote tonight on our sentencing reform ordinance.

"This ordinance takes two critical steps. One, it helps to keep families together by ensuring low level offenses, like park curfew, are not a deportation tool. With this ordinance, we will ensure punishment fits the severity of the offense -- not just for our immigrant communities but for all our people including those experiencing homelessness. Two, for the first time in Denver’s history, the city will be able to act swiftly to prosecute those who commit hate crimes. Together, we are sending a clear message that we will not sacrifice our values or bend to a broken immigration system.

"Over the past four months, the White House has issued a series of executive orders that have exacerbated our broken immigration system and have had a real impact on our community. I have heard from many who are rightfully concerned. Denver is committed to taking actions that will protect our people’s rights and keep our city safe, welcoming and open.

"This is not about shielding violent people and I will not play political games with the safety of our community. This is about protecting the rights and livelihoods of our people and I will make every effort to take well-thought actions to protect all our people and their families – that will always include immigrants and refugees in Denver, Colorado.”


May 23, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DOJ Defends Sanctuary Cities Order With New Interpretation

Jeff_Sessions _official_portrait

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

At the end of April, U.S. District Judge William Orrick entered a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of Section 9(a) -- the anti-sanctuary provisions -- of the January 25 Interior Enforcement Executive OrderMelissa Daniels for Law 360 reports on recent developments in that case.  The injunction was based on claims that the provisions threatened to withhold federal funding violate the separation of powers doctrine and deprive local governments of their Tenth and Fifth Amendment rights

Yesterday, the Trump administration asked Judge Orrick to reconsider a decision blocking its executive order over withholding funding from so-called sanctuary cities in the wake of a new interpretation that narrows any affected grants to those from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, saying the new guidance erases constitutional concerns.

A memo issued yesterday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions provided a new interpretation of the order and said any withheld funds will only apply to grants from the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. Department of Homeland Securities. Then the DOJ filed a motion asking Judge Orrick to reconsider the preliminary injunction in light of Sessions’ new binding guidance, which it argued alleviates multiple constitutional concerns that the court partly based on nonbinding press statements and public speeches.  The Sessions' memo concludes:

"The provisions of the Executive Order quoted above address only 8 U.S.C. § 1373. Separate and apart from the Executive Order, statutes may authorize the Department to tailor grants or to impose additional conditions on grantees to advance the Department's law enforcement priorities. Consistent with this authority, over the years, the Department has tailored grants to focus on, among other things, homeland security, violent crime (including drug and gang activity), and domestic violence. Going forward, the Department, where authorized, may seek to tailor grants to promote a lawful system of immigration.?

“Many of the court’s determinations regarding plaintiff’s likelihood of success on the merits are based on a reading of the executive order that is inconsistent with the position set forth in the [Sessions] memorandum,” the Justice Department's motion said. “Under the conclusive interpretation of the executive order set forth in the memorandum, plaintiff cannot establish a likelihood of success on any of its claims. “

The broadly-written executive order signed early on in Trump’s administration directs the withholding of federal funds from sanctuary cities, or municipalities that limit local cooperation with federal immigration agents’ enforcement activity, such as detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Multiple cities challenged the order, citing millions and even billions of dollars at risk in their local budgets. The California case includes related challenges from San Francisco, Santa Clara County and Richmond, Calif., while Seattle has filed a separate challenge in Washington federal court.

Monday’s memo from Sessions says the goal of the executive order was to instruct DOJ and DHS officials to take certain action within the bounds of their authority — not expand it. It also defined “sanctuary jurisdiction” as local governments that don’t comply with a section of immigration law  — section 1373 — that prohibits state and local laws limiting communication with federal immigration authorities.

It further says any threats to grant funding are limited to those administered by the DOJ and DHS, and that the DOJ will ask grant applicants to certify their compliance with section 1373.

The DOJ’s subsequent motion for reconsideration, filed in the Santa Clara County case, said the memo addresses separation of powers concerns because agencies like the DOJ have previously used their congressionally delegated authorities to tailor grants to advance their priorities. It also alleviates the court’s concerns over the spending clause, Tenth Amendment, due process clause and the Fifth amendment vagueness doctrine, the motion said.

Santa Clara County Counsel James Williams on Monday issued a statement saying the Sessions memo does nothing to address the constitutional concerns behind the order.

Some jurisdictions have ramped up efforts to create so-called sanctuary laws since Trump’s executive order was ordered, including Hawaii and Oakland, Calif. And in late March, Maryland’s House of Delegates approved a bill to limit state law enforcement officials' cooperation with federal immigration enforcement activity, a measure similar to existing laws in New York and San Francisco.

The cases are County of Santa Clara v. Trump et al., case number 3:17-cv-00574; City and County of San Francisco v. Trump et al., case number 3:17-cv-00485; and City of Richmond v. Trump et al., case number 3:17-cv-01535, all in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


May 23, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Chronicles of Immigration Law by Steven W. Bender


The Chronicles of Immigration Law by Steven W. Bender, Seattle University School of Law

A book chapter in Law Professor and Accidental Historian: The Scholarship of Michael A. Olivas (Ediberto Román ed.), Carolina Academic Press (2017)


In early 2017, Carolina Academic Press published an anthology of excerpts of the scholarship of Michael Olivas, along with accompanying essays from about 20 notable U.S. legal scholars, titled Law Professor and Accidental Historian: The Scholarship of Michael A. Olivas (ed. Ediberto Román). Given Michael's influence in the field of immigration law and policy, I reflected on his article The Chronicles, My Grandfather’s Stories, and Immigration Law: The Slave Traders Chronicle as Racial History,” St. Louis University L.J. 34 (1990). As one of the first legal writers on the Latina/o experience, Olivas in that article responded to Derrick Bell’s much-discussed chronicle of the space traders. As Olivas posited, Derrick Bell’s seemingly “fantastic” vision of a trade for the once-enslaved U.S. black population was neither fantastic nor unlikely to occur. Rather, it had already occurred throughout our sorry racial history with targets across the color line. In my essay, I examine and suggest a number of current groups the U.S. might readily bargain away, some even without the demand for valuable consideration in return. Sadly, should Bell’s alien spaceships arrive on U.S shores today, no doubt they might have several vulnerable groups to barter for their undisclosed needs for mass deportation. And perhaps a U.S. leader anxious to make that despicable bargain.


May 23, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 22, 2017

EO First Responders, Airport Lawyers, Under Attack

Photo via The National Advocates

Remember when President Trump issued his executive orders in January and lawyers flocked to airports to help passengers caught up in the upheaval? Well, some of those lawyers are now in hot water.

From the Nation:

Four weeks ago, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)—a respected nonprofit in Seattle that represents immigrants in deportation proceedings—received a “cease and desist” letter from the DOJ threatening disciplinary action. The letter demanded that NWIRP drop representation of its clients and close down its asylum-advisory program.

Why? Because NWIRP used "force multipliers" (to steal a government enforcement term) to maximize its representation of individuals in airports. Specifically, NWIRP worked to "leverage the volunteer work of lawyers at big law firms, who represent children and refugees in immigration and asylum proceedings for free" to aid in the emergency response taking place in airports.

The Department of Justice argues this is a problem because "NWIRP provides advice and assistance to people in immigration proceedings without committing to full representation." And that, the DOJ argues, is a violation of rules meant to prohibit the exploitation of migrants by those unauthorized to practice law (think: notarios).

NWIRP may be the first entity facing such a legal challenge, but it's unlikely to be the last. The DOJ's approach is, in every sense of the word, chilling.

For more information, check out NWIRP's litigation page. Hat tip to Anil Kalhan for bringing this story to our attention.


May 22, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration at the U2 Joshua Tree Tour Concert

Irish rock band U2 is currently on tour in the United States.  The Joshua Tree Tour hit Los Angeles this past weekend, playing two nights at the Pasadena Rose Bowl to sold-out crowds. As a lifelong U2 fan (think 6th grade binder covered in pictures of Bono and The Edge), I was there and was - as always with this band - deeply inspired, entertained and moved. 

Of possible interest to blog readers were the references to immigration at various junctures during the concert. The band has long highlighted broader social justice themes, and so it was no surprise to see excerpts of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous, "I Have a Dream" speech on the screen early in the evening:


Later on, the screen featured a dubbed-over Western cowboy video clip that included references to Trump and the wall, as well as video footage of a Syrian teenage girl and scenes from a Jordanian refugee camp:

U23 U22

The LA Times also reviewed the concert in this article. Photos above were taken from my phone. The band heads to Texas next -- it will be interesting to see how the crowds there react.


May 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)