Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hollywood Goes DACA


Huffington Post reports that, since President Trump’s September decision to end DACA, Hollywood actor Bambadjan Bamba has been preparing for his coming out.

The actor had not publicly revealed his immigration status, but yesterday he joined a campaign to legalize immigrants like him, becoming the public face of DACA recipients working in Hollywood. Known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program granted temporary resident status to an estimated 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

November 30, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Casebook by Hing, Chacón, and Johnson: Immigration Law and Social Justice

We are happy to announce the publication of our new casebook: Immigration Law and Social Justice, published by Wolters Kluwer, Aspen Publishers.

We are presenting this casebook on immigration law and policy from a social justice perspective. We believe that most law students interested in taking a course on immigration law have a social justice/public interest motivation. We think you are interested in representing immigrants facing deportation or who may fear deportation to their home country for social, economic, or political reasons. You also likely have a strong interest in the public policy debate over immigration visa reform, enforcement, or legalization because of the injustices you sense in current policies. Many instructors who teach immigration law (regular faculty members and adjunct professors) also come from a pro-immigrant perspective that regards the practice of immigration law squarely within social justice/public interest practice. We hope this casebook provides materials and a format that will enhance the classroom experience for students and instructors who approach the topic from that perspective.

The content and organization (outlined in the table of contents) is broad and contains new topics such as detention, public interest/rebellious lawyering theories, lessons for public interest lawyers, and background on migration, globalization, criminalization, and racialization of immigration law. Our goal is to inspire our public interest students, while providing a solid way to analyze immigration law through a political and social lens and the foundation to practice effectively. Our pedagogy combines standard cases, but also stories of the lives of immigrants, transcripts, training manuals, academic articles, news articles, and other tools that social justice lawyers use. Our rationale in editing cases is to hone in on the parts of the cases that are necessary for an understanding of the court’s rationale and some aspects of important dissenting opinions.

We know that most of you come to the course already inspired to do good, socially-inspired work. Much of what has evolved within the world of U.S. immigration law and policy will disappoint and leave you upset. But hopefully, we have asked the right questions and pointed in particular directions that can help us takes some steps forward in achieving justice for immigrants, refugees, and their families.

You can download a detailed outline of the book's contents and the introductory chapter here.

The book can be ordered here.

Thank you.

Bill Ong Hing, Professor of Law and Migration Studies, University of San Francisco
Jennifer M. Chacón, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and
Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Davis

November 30, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Asylum Representation Rates Have Fallen Amid Rising Denial Rates

TRAC reports that recent Immigration Court records reveal that during FY 2017 asylum decisions were up sharply. A total of 30,179 cases were decided by judges last year, a marked increase from 22,312 cases in FY 2016. This is the largest number of asylum cases decided in any one year since FY 2005. While asylum grants increased, denials grew even faster. This pushed the percent who were denied asylum to 61.8 percent. This is the fifth year in a row that denial rates have risen. Five years ago the denial rate was just 44.5 percent.

The proportion of asylum seekers who are unable to obtain representation has risen markedly. Ten years ago during FY 2007, only 13.6 percent were unrepresented. Five years ago (FY 2012), 15.8 percent were unrepresented. In FY 2017 the unrepresented figure was 20.6 percent. However, the proportion was even higher during FY 2014 when asylum seekers without attorneys suddenly jumped to 23.2 percent. Since then the rate has slowly subsided. However, the proportion of asylum seekers who were unrepresented last year remained significantly higher than levels prior to the 2014 jump. 

These figures reflect in part the inadequacy of the supply of attorneys to keep up with increases in demand which occurred over this period. Recent efforts to increase the availability of attorneys through ramped up pro bono efforts and government-funded programs have sought to increase this supply. However, given the court's backlog, it may take some time before these newly represented cases are decided and the full impact of these programs will be felt.



November 30, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Poland's Rising Right

Independence Day Poland 2015, photo Maja Ruszpel

As we've noted before, the far-right movements in both Germany and Austria have made significant political gains in the last few months. (See here, here.)

Those aren't the only countries in Europe seeing a rise in anti-immigrant nationalism.

Earlier this month, Poland celebrated its independence day and tens of thousands of young people turned out to march in Warsaw. As the WSJ reports, the march was organized by the National Radical Camp - a "nationalist youth movement that seeks an ethnically pure Poland with fewer Jews or Muslims." The event wasn't so much historical as a call to action. Banners on display read "White Europe" and "Europe Will Be White".

As one protestor told the WSJ: “We want a Poland that will be for Polish people.”


November 29, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Donald Trump Paid $1.4 Million in a Dispute Over Undocumented Workers. Read the Newly Unsealed Legal Papers

Immigration Article of the Day:   Protected, Not Removable: Foreign National Trafficking Victims and the Immigration Policies of the Trump Administration by Caroline Fish


Protected, Not Removable: Foreign National Trafficking Victims and the Immigration Policies of the Trump Administration by Caroline Fish, The National Law Review (2017)


This article looks at the issue of foreign national trafficking victims who have been charged with crimes in connection with their being trafficked, in relation to the current immigration policies of the Trump administration, which encourage immigration agents to detain, with the aim of removal, those foreign nationals who are charged with criminal offenses in the U.S. The article proposes that, even under the immigration policies of the Trump administration, the advancement of protection for foreign national trafficking victims is possible and critical.

Part I provides a background on the issue of human trafficking and illustrates, in particular, the circumstances in which foreign national trafficking victims may become criminal defendants in the justice system. Part II discusses the legal protections and mechanisms currently in place to protect foreign national trafficking victims and to divert defendant-victims toward services. Part III discusses the implications of the new immigration policies of the Executive Branch and argues that these policies do not change the protections in place for foreign national trafficking victims, even those who may become criminal defendants. This Part also proposes three ways to counter the negative impact of the current immigration policies for foreign national trafficking victims. This article concludes that maintenance and expansion of protections for all trafficking victims is essential to the global fight against trafficking, and this fight is one that should not slacken with a change of national administration.


November 29, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pope Francis and the Rohingya

Pope Francis in 2014, Photo via

Back in August, Pope Francis expressed his concern for the Rohingya of Myanmar:

"Sad news has reached us about the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters, a religious minority. I would like to express my full closeness to them – and let all of us ask the Lord to save them, and to raise up men and women of good will to help them, who shall give them their full rights."

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in Myanmar. And they've faced extreme persecution at the hands of the Myanmar military in recent months.

Today, Pope Francis visited Myanmar. And he while he spoke about the need for "peace" in that nation, he did not mention the Rohingya by name nor their current plight. That's because "'Rohingya' is a highly polarized word in Myanmar," as the NYT puts it. There was concern among the pope's advisors that using the term would inflame the situation in Myanmar with negative consequences for the Rohingya themselves as well as the small Christian population of Myanmar.


November 28, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Giving Tuesday

Yesterday was all about finding the best online gifts for the holiday season. Today is about feeling guilty about that cash you spent over the last four days and realizing you should counterbalance it all with some charitable donations! Welcome to Giving Tuesday.

There are a LOT of wonderful immigration-related 501(3)(c) organizations that you might consider donating to today. Here are just a few:

Have more ideas? Post them in the comments.

Also - don't forget the 501(c)(3) closest to you. I'm sure your home institution as well as your alma mater would appreciate a donation today.


November 28, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday for Immprofs

It's Cyber Monday - the biggest online shopping days of the year. Here are a few ideas for that special immprof in your life (or hints you can pass along to those looking for good gifts for you).

Your immprof coffee lover might enjoy an I Stand With Dreamers mug (etsy, 11$).

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 8.34.20 AM

How about a necklace engraved with the words of Emma Lazarus? (etsy, 44$)

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 8.37.14 AM

Pins are a nice gift - you can pop one your on backpack, purse, jacket, or office bulletin board. Check out this Made by Immigrants pin. (etsy, $12)

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 8.39.58 AM

And don't forget your Dirty Immigration Lawyers shirt, designed by immprof Sarah Rogerson!


November 27, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Reforms in Spending Bill?


Senator Dick Durbin

330px-Lindsey_Graham _Official_Portrait_2006

Senator Lindsey Graham

CNN reports that Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham said they believe the Senate can reach a consensus on immigration policy, possibly as part of a year-end government funding bill.

Durbin, D-Illinois, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he believes Graham could be a part of a bipartisan coalition to pass legislation that would increase border security and legalize the immigration status of individuals who came into the United States illegally as children.
"I can tell you, when it comes to border security, we have signed up for that," Durbin said. "Sen. (Chuck) Schumer said that months ago. We believe that there are aspects of border security that Democrats and Republicans can agree on."
And Graham, R-South Carolina, suggested an agreement on border security and so-called "DREAMers" could be tacked onto a government spending bill.

November 27, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE’s Courthouse Arrests Undercut Democracy

"With no change to federal policy in sight, it is up to cities and states to push back. Elected officials must take seriously their legal obligation to keep courthouses accessible. In addition, the cities and states that own and operate most courthouses and ensure that no one uses their courts in a way that halts judicial business — protesters can’t block the doorway, bail bondsmen aren’t allowed to set up shop in the lobby — should do the same here for immigration agents.

November 27, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

RIP U.S. Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson (1923-2017)


Harry Pregerson (1923–2017) passed away this weekend.  He was a senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Pregerson was appointed to the Ninth Circuit in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and assumed senior status on December 11, 2015. He previously had been appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson.

He was a graduate of UCLA (1947), and the UC Berkeley School of Law (1950). Judge Pregerson also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as First Lieutenant in World War II and was severely wounded in the Battle of Okinawa.

The Los Angeles Times story by Maura Dolan on Judge Pregerson's death stated that he "was one of the most liberal federal appeals court judges in the nation. . . . Dubbed a `thug for the Lord' by one attorney, Pregerson was relentless in his efforts away from the bench to help the poor in Los Angeles. . . . He worked to establish several homeless shelters and volunteered at one each Thanksgiving."

"My conscience is a product of the Ten Commandments, the Bill of Rights, the Boy Scout Oath and the Marine Corps Hymn," Judge Pregerson said during his Senate confirmation hearing. "If I had to follow my conscience or the law, I would follow my conscience."

A public square, a freeway interchange and a child-care center in L.A. bear Pregerson's name.

In response to a lawsuit when he was a lower court judge, Pregerson prevented construction of the 105 Freeway until construction jobs were set aside for women and minorities and a training program was in place to give them the needed skills.  The settlement he helped write also ensured that affordable housing was built for residents displaced by the project.

Harry Pregerson's immigration decisions were memorable and he often sided with the immigrants and keeping families together.  See here, here.  As I summarized when Judge Pregerson assumed senior status, he

"has earned a reputation as a champion of immigrants.  He has fairly regularly criticized (and here, here) the `cruelty' of the immigration laws.  Just this past summer, Judge Pregerson made the news for comments in oral argument in a case in which the state of Arizona defended the state’s refusal to issue driver's licenses to recipients of relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Pregerson asked why Arizona continued to try to deny licenses to the DACA recipients. “Does it come down to racism? Does it come down to discrimination against these people? What else does it come down to?” he asked."

RIP Harry Pregerson.


November 27, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

10 ways Hispanics are redefining American Catholicism in the 21st century

Saint_Peter's_Basilica_facade _Rome _Italy

Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

This article ("10 ways Hispanics are redefining American Catholicism in the 21st century") by Hosffman Ospino in America:  The Jesuit Review offers some interesting thoughts about the transformation of the Catholic Church in the United States due to the growth in the Latina/o population (in no small part due to immigration). 

"The Immigrant City. This is how many know Lawrence, Mass., a town in New England with a population of about 80,000. Perhaps the most appropriate name for Lawrence is The Catholic Immigrant City. Not long ago it had 15 Catholic churches, none of which was established to serve Hispanics. Today, the three Catholic parishes left celebrate several Masses in Spanish every week. The transformation took place in about 50 years." 

Ospino lists the ten ways that Latina/os are changing the American Catholic Church:

  1. Hispanics are forming a new geographic center for U.S. Catholicism.
  2. Hispanics are at the heart of the church’s growth.
  3. Hispanics are transforming how we communicate with each other.
  4. Two-thirds of Hispanic Catholics in the United States were born here.
  5. A majority of U.S. Catholics under 18 are Hispanic.
  6. About one in four Hispanics is a former Catholic.
  7. Hispanics are underrepresented in Catholic education.
  8. There is room for growth in the number of Hispanic ministers in the church.
  9. Hispanic Catholics draw from deep U.S. Latino and Latin American foundations.
  10. Hispanic Catholics offer innovative approaches to evangelization.


Hosffman Ospino, Boston College


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

Fear of Trump crackdown haunts undocumented immigrants


Matt Vizer of the Boston Globe vividly describes the fear instilled in immigrant commuunities by President Trump's immigration enforcement policies.  The beginning paragraphs of the article:

"The crying starts when Anayeli Cruz talks about the new troubles in her life, the impact on her US-born children, about the changes in the country she has called home for 12 years.

When the sobs come, as they often do, her 2-year-old daughter climbs into her lap and tries to wipe away the tears.

Cruz attempts a smile, but her round, bubbly face crumples again as she describes details of her daily struggles: Fearful of who might call authorities and report her as an undocumented immigrant, she forbade her kids from trick-or-treating for Halloween. She tells the children they must play on the backyard swing set instead of at the public playground. She denied her son a birthday party because, as she put it, “You never know what can happen.”

It appears almost irrational from the outside, but the 28-year-old Mexican immigrant’s fear is undeniable. She is afraid of certain neighbors. She is afraid to leave her home. She is afraid, above all, of President Trump and his immigration crackdown."

News stories like these have become all-too-common (here, here, here).




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

Immigrant of the Day: Actress Eiza Gonzalez (Mexico)


Born in Mexico, Eiza González Reyna is an actress and singer. In 2007, she gained popularity for her debut role as "Lola" in the Mexican teen-oriented musical telenovela Lola...Érase una vez. She currently plays Santanico Pandemonium on the television show From Dusk till Dawn: The Series

Gonzalez appeared as "Darling" in the action film Baby Driver, released in 2017.


González moved to Los Angeles, California in 2013 to further pursue her acting career.


November 26, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 25, 2017


From Alex Mensing of the University of San Francisco Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic:

Hello friends and fellow social justice warriors! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving with your families.
#GiveMateoBack TWITTERSTORM SATURDAY 11/25!! Simple instructions below.
As many of you have heard, one of the members of the most recent Refugee Caravan was separated from his one-year-old son by ICE & CBP after crossing the border to request asylum. José, the dad, is now in Otay Mesa alongside three other fathers who were separated from their kids. Carlos' 12-year-old son, Eric's 3-year-old son, and Walter's 5-year-old daughter were taken from them and sent to ORR.

We CANNOT stand for this. Our message to Central Americans fleeing violence cannot be "if you come here we will destroy your families." It must be "we will stand with you as you pursue your dream of safety, dignity, and life."

Help us spread the word and keep the pressure up, demanding that they reunite all the families NOW and liberate them immediately! As José told us yesterday: 
“on this Thanksgiving Day, I can only say: Equality, Reunification, and Freedom!”

#GiveMateoBack TWITTERSTORM!!!

Saturday, 11/25, 1pm-2pm PST / 4pm - 5pm EST

Use hashtag: #GiveMateoBack

Use link to petition:

Use link to video:

Tweet at: @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov & whoever else you want!

Follow #GiveMateoBack and RT everyone else!

Have fun!

Tip: Go to and search for #GiveMateoBack and set the view to “Latest” instead of “Top” and you will see all the tweets by everyone else on our team, so you can retweet them. It helps to Quote the tweet and start conversations, tweeting back and forth at each other

Sample Tweets:

Learn about Jose, the refugee whose 1-y/o son was taken away from him by @ICE_gov. Video: NOW sign the petition to make them #GiveMateoBack @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov

Help free Salvadoran refugee Jose and get his 1-year-old son Mateo back! Sign petition: & watch amazing video by @netargv: #GiveMateoBack @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov

ICE took this man’s 1-y/o infant and put his dad in immigration prison! #GiveMateoBack! VIDEO: PETITION: @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov


November 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Agreement to Return Rohingya Refugees to Myanmar is Questioned

Two days ago, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding for the return home of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled to the neighboring country to escape an army crackdown. Read here. 

However, Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development, University of Reading, is critical of this agreement:

"Many Rohingya people who have fled the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar are now living as refugees in Bangladesh. And now, the two countries have reportedly struck a deal to return them home. Returning Rohingya people to the hands of their persecutors not only violates international law, but raises fundamental questions about how the world protects those fleeing the most heinous crimes and abuses.

"This deal comes just days after Ratko Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the Srebrenica massacre, which took place in Bosnia even as news cameras broadcast footage around the world – in much the same way as they have documented this latest crisis of ethnic cleansing.

"As far as Myanmar is concerned, the deal will ease the increasing pressure it faces from both the United Nations and its Asian neighbours. The Myanmar government has no interest in welcoming Rohingya refugees home with open arms; those Rohingya who remain in Myanmar are treated as an alien people, denied citizenship and basic rights, and systematically persecuted. The Myanmar government maintains that the recent spike in violence did not amount to ethnic cleansing, that it was not state-sponsored, sanctioned or condoned, and that the Rohingya are safe to return. But those words are empty.

"Abundant first-hand reports and documentary footage all point to the same thing: ethnic cleansing conducted by state actors. Top UN officials have been using the term “ethnic cleansing” for some time, and the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is now using it too.

"Given that Myanmar is refusing to take responsibility for the atrocities, let alone to provide guarantees of protection and justice for the Rohingya, it beggars belief not just that the country is asking those refugees to return, but that Bangladesh would provide its support.

"Under international law, refugees who flee atrocities are afforded fundamental protections. Above all, they are protected by the principles of offering asylum and of non-refoulement – protection against return to a country where a person has reason to fear persecution.

"Bangladesh will of course insist that Myanmar wants these people to return, and that only those choosing to do so voluntarily will be returned. But that ignores the facts on the ground. Rohingya refugees’ options are bleak: remain in the squalid camps, somehow escape into Bangladeshi society with no formal documentation or status, or return home and face persecution.

"Bleak future

"Bangladesh has not acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol. The country has no law to regulate the administration of refugee affairs or guarantee refugees’ rights. And despite many decades of persecution and abuses in Myanmar, Bangladesh has never allowed the Rohingya to claim asylum. Those who make it to Bangladesh are placed in overcrowded camps without basic provisions, and there they remain unless they choose to return to Myanmar.

"The idea of voluntary return stems from a 1993 agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar, under which those Rohingya who can prove their identity must fill in forms with the names of family members, their previous address in Myanmar, their date of birth, and a disclaimer that they are returning voluntarily. But those who do choose to return will face extortion, arbitrary taxation, and restrictions on freedom of movement. Many will be required to undertake forced labour, and some will face state-sponsored violence and extrajudicial killings.

"Those who remain in Bangladesh, on the other hand, face a lifetime in camps where human rights abuses are rife, with insufficient and inadequate food, water, housing or healthcare. Fleeing these camps leaves them undocumented and vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

"Whatever individual Rohingya people in Bangladesh might decide to do, their future is bleak. And that’s not good enough. The international community has long known about the systematic persecution of this people. The international community has long ignored the atrocities perpetrated against them. And the international community has long tolerated the cover-ups and excuses from the government of Myanmar. This time it needs to be different.

"Bangladesh should step up and provide refuge to those who have been seeking it for 25 years. Myanmar’s neighbouring states and allies should help properly resettle the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, and Myanmar itself should be held to account for the atrocities it commits. There’s no point saying “never again” unless action is taken."


November 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Victor Moses: From Asylum-Seeking Orphan to Soccer Star

From BBC Sport: 

Moses was just 11 when he arrived in England as an asylum seeker after both his mother and father were killed during religious clashes in Nigeria in 2002.

The 26-year-old was playing football in the streets when his parents lost their lives. Just a week later, his remaining family had cobbled together enough money to send him away from his homeland.
. . .
"As a young boy in a new country, you had to make new friends and that was really difficult. When I first came, I couldn't even speak the language."

Having been placed with foster parents, Moses was sent to school in South Norwood, which was close to an asylum support and immigration centre in Croydon.
. . .
"At 13 it was my first contact with organised football and when they saw the way I was playing with the other kids and around the park, they knew I had talent," said Moses.
. . .
Moses was thrust into Chelsea's starting line-up for the first time in three years, at Hull in the league in October 2016. He adapted to the unfamiliar role so well that not only was he named man-of-the-match, but his performance kick-started a run of 22 Premier League appearances in a row (halted only briefly when injury struck in April).

Rory Jennings, of CFC Fan TV, is under no illusions about the significance of Moses' development at wing-back.

"Moses played a huge role in Chelsea's success last season," he told BBC Sport. "His brilliance allowed us to amend our formation and play a system that nobody else in the Premier League could cope with."

Moses calls winning the title one of the happiest days in his life. He has also celebrated World Cup qualification this year with Nigeria, the country he opted to represent despite having played extensively for England at youth level. Read more....



November 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

President Trump Offered Time's Man of the Year Honors?



Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!


Time denies the President's claim.


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

Trump Is Sending America's Immigration Problem to Canada? Officials Brace for an Influx of Haitians


Photo courtesy of  The Intercept

Newsweek reports on the fallout of President Trump's decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Haitians.  

Canada is bracing for an influx of Haitian refugees rejected by the U.S. Canadian officials in Lacolle, Quebec, just across the border near upstate New York, have dispatched a fleet of heated trailers with beds and showers to assist primarily Haitian border crossers from the U.S., according to The Intercept.

Canadian immigration officials anticipate a spike in Haitian border crossers following the Trump administration’s decision this week to end deportation protection to nearly 60,000 Haitian refugees in the U.S. The administration will no longer offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to 59,000 Haitians, whose protections are set to expire January 22. They have 18 months to leave the United States.



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