Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dreamers Confront Presidential Candidates in Iowa

Check out the Des Moines Register for videos of DREAMer Monica Reyes questioning presidential hopefuls about the future of DACA and DAPA.

Jeb Bush, notably, interacts with Ms. Reyes en Español. He says that DREAMers should be allowed to obtain citizenship status, but "por la ley no por decreto" (by the law, not decree).

Hillary Clinton responds to Ms. Reyes questions with "we can't stop ever working."

Bernie Sanders: "Should he [President Obama] do more with executive action? Yes, I think he should."


August 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee

 The Making of Asian America The Making of Asian America

The Making of Asian America:   A History by Erika Lee

The definitive history of Asian Americans by one of the nation’s preeminent scholars on the subject.In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day.

An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States: sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500s; indentured “coolies” who worked alongside African slaves in the Caribbean; and Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Asian immigrants who were recruited to work in the United States only to face massive racial discrimination, Asian exclusion laws, and for Japanese Americans, incarceration during World War II.  Over the past fifty years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. No longer a “despised minority,” Asian Americans are now held up as America’s “model minorities” in ways that reveal the complicated role that race still plays in the United States.

Published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the United States’ Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that has remade our “nation of immigrants,” this is a new and definitive history of Asian Americans. But more than that, it is a new way of understanding America itself, its complicated histories of race and immigration, and its place in the world today.


August 18, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Would It Cost to Deport 11.3 Million Unauthorized Immigrants? $114 BILLION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Sock Removal Case Continues: Mellouli v. Lynch and Compliance with the Supreme Court’s Mandate

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court provided Moones Mellouli, a lawful permanent resident who had been ordered removed from the United States, with a victory in his efforts to reverse a removal order. The Court held that “[f]ederal law ([8 U.S.C.] 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) . . . did not authorize Mellouli’s removal.” It did not remand the case to the court of appeals or the Board of Immigration Appeals for further proceedings, thereby suggesting that the case had come to an end. Nonetheless, there now is a squabble between Mellouli and the U.S. government over just how big Mellouli’s victory was.  For the rest of this post on SCOTUSBlog, click here.

UPDATE (Aug. 28):  The Supreme Court granted the stay.  Final action on this matter by the Court is not expected until the new Term begins in October.


August 18, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bloodlines and Belonging: Time to Abandon Ius Sanguinis?

Donald Trump's Antics -- ahh, Campaign -- Continue: Immigration Plan, Heidi Klum, Etc.

As reported on ImmigrationProf, Donald Trump initially verbally attacked Mexican immigrants and a few weeks later outlined an immigration policy plan, with a heavy emphasis on enforcement and some legal tinkering, such as eliminating birthright citizenshipTrump has challenged Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg on immigration.  The tilt of the plan should not be a surprise given that immigration hawk Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) helped Trump craft it.   And the Trump continues in attack mode.  The latest -- contending that supermodel Heidi Klum is no longer a "10."  Klum has responded with a video.



Photo courtesy of wikipedia

Trump must be doing something right.  The latest polls have Trump as the frontrunner among the Republican candidates.


August 18, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Putting States Out of the Immigration Law Enforcement Business by Kevin J. Fandl


Putting States Out of the Immigration Law Enforcement Business by Kevin J. FandlHarvard Law & Policy Review.

Abstract:  This article contends that states should exercise caution when considering legislation on immigration law enforcement. Rather, most enforcement powers should remain with the federal government, which is not only legally empowered to manage immigration enforcement, but is also the logical locus of authority over an issue that affects the nation as a whole.

This article explains the key historical aspects of the debate between state and federal control over immigration law enforcement. It highlights the preemption aspects of the recent significant federal cases challenging state and local enforcement laws. Finally, the article suggests that the trend in federal courts has increasingly been toward more federal control of immigration law and an unwillingness to allow states to take immigration enforcement into their own hands. These recent decisions reaffirm the federal government’s supremacy over immigration enforcement decisions and clarify the minimal role that states should play in enacting their own immigration regulations.


August 18, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Homegrown Pitchers Dominate MLB


Last week, ImmigrationProf listed the top hitters in Major League Baseball.  The list showed that, despite the publicity surrounding the Latinoization of the game, homegrown ballplayers continue to excel.  Here is a look at the top pitchers, which also is dominated by U.S.- born players..

National League

1.   Madison Bumgarner SF                  14 wins             Place of Birth:   Hickory, North Carolina

1.    Jake Arrieta CHC                               14                                                    Framington, Missouri 

1.    Gerrit Cole PIT                                    14                                                    Newport Beach, California 

1.    Michael Wacha STL                          14                                                     Iowa City, Iowa  

5.    Zack Greinke LAD                             13                                                     Orlando, Florida


American League

1.   Felix Hernandez SEA                          14 wins         Place of Birth:       Valencia, Venezuela

1.   Dallas Keuchel HOU                            14                                                    Tulsa, Oklahoma 

3.   Mark Buehrle TOR                               13                                                    St. Charles, Missouri 

3.   Colby Lewis TEX                                    13                                                    Bakersfield, California   

3.   Collin McHugh HOU                             13                                                   Naperville, Indiana


Note that only one of the ten top pitchers in the MLB was born outside the United States. 


August 17, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Donald Trump on Face the Nation

Immigration Article of the Day: Plenary Power Is Dead! Long Live Plenary Power! by Michael Kagan


Plenary Power Is Dead! Long Live Plenary Power!  by Michael Kagan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law 2015 Michigan Law Review First Impressions, 2015, Forthcoming UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper

Abstract: For decades, scholars of immigration law have anticipated the demise of the plenary power doctrine. The Supreme Court could have accomplished this in its recent decision in Kerry v. Din, or it could have re-affirmed plenary power. Instead, the Court produced a splintered decision that did neither. This essay examines the long process of attrition that has significantly gutted the traditional plenary power doctrine with regard to procedural due process, while leaving it largely intact with regard to substantive constitutional rights.

Professor Kagan has blogged about Kerry v. Din on ImmigrationProf.


August 17, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Outlaw Ocean: Continued


Photo Courtesy of the New York Times

Here are two new installments of Ian Urbina's "The Outlaw Ocean" series.  In this series on lawlessness on the high seas, Urbina reveals that crime and violence in international waters often goes unpunished.  ImmigrationProf has blogged on previous installments.

The most recent piece is in this week’s Sunday Review which covers  a distinct conundrum: what should countries do with thousands of offshore oil and gas drilling rigs built during a boom in the 1980s that will soon reach retirement age and require decommissioning? Among the ideas being considered: sinking, removing or repurposing them in a variety of ways including offshore
super-max prisons, scuba hotels, marine science schools, fish farm hubs, wind, solar or tidal power stations.

The second piece was also recently in  the Sunday Review. It explained that on the high seas — which cover more than  40 percent of the planet’s surface — there is no legal framework for creating
protected areas. Even if they wanted to, countries have no formal process for setting aside protected marine parks in international waters. Over the next two years, the United Nations intends to change that.

There is also an interesting side element, here, about proposals to create prisons at sea. 


August 16, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

State Department to Dominican Republic: Avoid Mass Deportations of Haitians?


Map courtesy of Google

It has been reported that the U.S. government on Friday urged the Dominican Republic Friday to work to avoid mass deportations and to act transparently following a controversial registration process that has left thousands of people facing deportation. The statement follows news reports that the Dominican government had resumed detaining and deporting migrants Friday, as thousands of migrants continue to leave the country for neighboring Haiti. The Dominican Republic had given undocumented migrants, the vast majority of which are Haitian, until June 17 to register with authorities or face deportation.

The State Department also urged Dominican authorities to allow groups such as the International Organization for Migration and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to observe deportations to ensure against discrimination and limit the risk of statelessness.


August 16, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Could black people in the U.S. qualify as refugees?

Trump's Immigration Policy Paper

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Today, presidential hopeful Donald Trump released a policy paper on immigration.

He starts with three "core principles":

1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Those may be his core principles but they are not his only ideas. Trump would like to:

  • Make Mexico pay for a wall along our Southern border
  • Triple the number of ICE officers
  • Have nationwide e-verify
  • Return all criminal aliens, without exception
  • Make it a crime to commit a crime while in the U.S. without authorization
  • Detain, not return, unauthorized aliens
  • Defund sanctuary cities
  • Enhance penalties for visa overstays
  • Increase ICE's working with local drug and gang task forces
  • End birthright citizenship
  • Increase the prevailing wage for H1Bs
  • Require Americans to be hired before H1Bs
  • End welfare abuse
  • Terminate J1 visa jobs for foreign youth
  • Save money from "expensive" refugee programs and put them toward American children
  • Take an immigration "pause"

That's a lot to digest on a Sunday morning!


August 16, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. Consular Official Sentenced to Jail for Receiving Bribes

Michael T. Sestak, photo via The Times Union

Michael T. Sestak, a former U.S. consular official, has been sentenced to a little over 5 years for receiving more than $3 million in bribes to process nonimmigrant visas.

Sestak pled guilty back in November 2013 (after a May 2013 arrest) but has only now been sentenced. He's been in custody all this time, cooperating with the government's investigation of co-conspirators.

Sestak had been the Nonimmigrant Visa Chief for the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Between August 2010 to September 2012, Sestak approved nonimmigrant visas in exchange for payments of between $15,000 and $70,000. Sestak used his portions of the profits to purchase real estate in Thailand.

Interestingly, Sestake was a former Albany police officer and Navy intelligence officer.


August 16, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Officials Arrest 50 Suspected Of Human Rights Violations


NPR reported on an immigration enforcement operation, which unlike others, is not being criticized. 

Fifty foreign nationals have been arrested in several cities across the U.S. in raids this week by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on suspicion of human rights violations.

ICE says the "Operation No Safe Haven II" involved arrests in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, St. Paul and Washington. All the individuals taken into custody have outstanding removal orders and are subject to deportation, the agency says. It says 10 of them are also convicted criminals.

ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. These individuals may use fraudulent identities to enter the country and attempt to blend into communities in the United States.

According to ICE, those arrested across the country included:

  • an individual from South America who assisted for many years in interrogations involving electric shock torture and who beat prisoners;
  • an individual from Central America—an aggravated felon convicted of multiple U.S. drug-related charges—who served as a military police officer for several years and turned over victims to a regime perpetrating documented human rights violations;
  • an individual from East Africa who engaged in torture as an intelligence officer in a specific government regime known to perpetrate torture, murder, and other human rights violations;
  • an individual from the former Yugoslavia who arrested and interrogated victims on behalf of a paramilitary organization dedicated to ethnic cleansing;
  • an individual from Asia who performed forced sterilizations upon several female victim patients and supervised dozens of  other forced sterilizations and/or forced abortions upon other victim patients.


August 16, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Top Ten States with the Highest Percentages of Latinos

The U.S. Census Bureau provides these Latino population estimates for each state and Puerto Rico. The states/places with the largest percentages of Latinos are: 
1. Puerto Rico 3,512,913            99.0 percent of its population
2.  New Mexico 994,151             47.7 percent
3.  California 14,988,768           38.6 percent
4.  Texas 10,411,340                    38.6 percent
5.  Arizona 2,056,455                  30.5 percent
6. Nevada 790,034                       27.8 percent
7. Florida 4,788,869                    24.1 percent
8. Colorado 1,135,109                  21.2 percent
9. New Jersey 1,729,172              19.3 percent
10. New York 3,672,791              18.6 percent

August 16, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Immigrant of the Day: Jirayut Latthivongskorn (Thailand), Med Student


Here is a "feel good" story for our readers.  Jirayut Latthivongskorn, now a medical student, left his native country of Thailand at the age of nine with his family to pursue the American dream. “For my parents, moving to America was the best and only choice.” Once they were in America, Latthivongskorn’s parents worked in restaurants to make ends meet and they encouraged him to pursue an education. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular and cell biology.  Latthivongskorn was one of the founders of a nonprofit called Pre-Health Dreamers, which helps other undocumented students who were pursuing a higher education in the medical field. Three and a half years later, Pre-Health Dreamers’ network now consists of 450 undocumented students, one third of them in the Bay Area.


August 15, 2015 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vicky Yau: Response to Professor Kofas’ remarks on the relationship between undocumented immigrants and the economy

Professor Jon Kofas, a retired Indiana University professor, recently posted an essay entitled Immigrants, Xenophobia and Racism in America, which stems from his interview with “The Daily Journalist”. Professor Kofas also posted his replies to the interview questions on his personal blog, "World Events, Culture, and Civilization."
 His interview and essay contained some highly interesting remarks on how the rise and fall of the U.S. economy throughout history reflects upon the country’s attitude towards undocumented immigrants (and likely, immigrants in general). The United States went from a country with open borders to a country with increasingly constricting immigration policies that dramatically reduced the number of green cards offered and increasingly restricted their requirements for visa seekers. And through this time, we have seen the young U.S. economy (as compared to economies around the world) rise, fall (along with many other economies during the years of the Great Depression), and peak post-WWII in the 1950’s and 60’s. As Professor Kofas notes, in those years, when the economy expanded with fervor, no one really paid much attention to immigration issues. But after the 60’s, when the U.S. economy stopped expanding as it once had, suddenly, these problems started to be pinned on immigrants. In the words of Professor Kofas, native-born Americans were looking for a scapegoat. And who better to act as one than these “foreigners” who were not present during the glory years, but showed up once the country was in economic decline?
As I briefly mentioned in my post entitled “Has Germany Replaced the United States as the Land of Opportunity for Immigrants, a few economies around the world are poised to potentially overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. Moreover, Professor Kofas’ post points out that China has already overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest economy by certain measures. And most recently, China’s recent devaluation of its currency places the U.S. exporting business in even more peril than its current less-than-great status. Perhaps the unwelcoming words by people like Donald Trump reflects this fear, that the U.S. economy’s worse days have actually not yet arrived, and in order to distract from the real cause of the decline, they pin the problems on immigrants. But, as my post The Economic Impact of Immigrants in North Carolina () demonstrates, the idea that immigrants hurt the U.S. economy is unfounded; studies have demonstrated, in no qualified terms, that immigrants do not compete with native-born Americans and they improve economically distressed areas. If immigrants can help an economically flailing local economy, perhaps on a larger scale, immigrants can help an economically flailing national economy.
             These xenophobic and racist attitudes towards immigrants, and illegal immigrants in particular, have been propelled by politicians who combine the post-9/11 terrorism fears and illegal immigration, two completely separate issues, into one. To give an example of this kind of “bundling”, Professor Kofas describes how politicians have taken advantage of the public’s fear of another event like 9/11 to elicit support for erecting a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The construction of this structure, which seems like the western hemisphere’s version of the Great Wall of China, would cost billions of tax payer dollars, yet of course, by playing on the taxpayers’ fears, even the most conservative taxpayers could see the “necessity” of spending that money. But the question is, how many terrorists even come through the U.S.-Mexican border? The vast majority of people trying to enter the U.S. through that channel are workers, looking for a means to support themselves and/or their family. Considering the state of the U.S. economy and the pessimistic forecast, perhaps those dollars can be used more effectively elsewhere.
Vicky Yau is a second year law student at UC Davis School of Law.

August 15, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Anti-Trafficking Symposium Marks 20th Anniversary of El Monte Garment Slavery Case



On Aug. 3, 1995, the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC), along with state and federal agencies, helped liberate 72 Thai nationals from the first case of modern-day slavery in the country.

As a California State Senator representing El Monte at that time, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis took up this issue as the California State Senate convened on hearings on the plight of these workers. Thai CDC went on to pursue justice for the workers, bringing them redress and restitution. This case led to an anti-trafficking movement that led to the founding of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking in 1998 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act by Congress in 2006..

This symposium honored 20 years of work combatting human trafficking and the El Monte Thai garment workers’ spirit of human resiliency. nd the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act by Congress in 2000.


August 14, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)