Friday, October 7, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Nationality and Statelessness in the International Law of Refugee Status by Eric Fripp

Refugee status book

Nationality and Statelessness in the International Law of Refugee Status

Eric Fripp

International refugee law anticipates state conduct in relation to nationality, statelessness, and protection. Refugee status under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and regional and domestic instruments referring to it can be fully understood only against the background of international laws regarding nationality, statelessness, and the consequences of national status or the lack of it.  In this significant addition to the literature a leading practitioner in these fields examines, in the light of international law, key issues regarding refugee status including identification of 'the country of his nationality', concepts of 'effective nationality', and the inclusion within 'persecution' of a range of acts or omissions focused on nationality.

Eric Fripp is a barrister specialising in public, immigration and asylum law at Lamb Building, Temple.

September 2016   |   9781782259213   |   416pp   |   Hardback   |   RSP: £70  

 Discount Price: £56


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

Modern Immigration Stories Might Be TV's Next Trend

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Vanity Fair has a story on a possible new television trend -- immigration stories on television. 

Diane Guerrero , who has had supporting roles in Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, will star in an upcoming drama about immigration on CBS. The show is based on Guerrero's memoir, In the Country We Love, which details her immigration experiences. When she was 14, Guerrero's parents were deported to Colombia. Guerrero, who was born in the United States, remained here and was raised by friends and family. Now she is an outspoken advocate for immigration reform

The television show will revolve around a corporate attorney with a similar past who decides to start handling pro-bono cases for undocumented immigrants, Deadline reports.




October 7, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: 'Within Its Jurisdiction': Moving Boundaries, People, and the Law of Migration by Judith Resnik


 'Within Its Jurisdiction': Moving Boundaries, People, and the Law of Migration by Judith Resnik, Yale University - Law School September 28, 2016

Abstract:  The sense that migration systems are deeply flawed is shared around the world and across the political spectrum, albeit with very different views about how to respond. In this brief essay focused on the United States, I map the transformation in the twentieth century of human movement into a crime and explore the relevance of U.S. constitutional commitments to this country’s law of the border. For the title, I have borrowed the phrase “within its jurisdiction” from the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment to invite reflection not only on the meaning of its promise that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” but also on the role that territory plays in thinking through this country’s assertions of power over and its responsibilities toward migrants.

I begin by sketching how unnatural borders are, in the sense that they are artifacts of law rather than of land. Indeed, law makes relevant different physical boundaries, as the legal import of border crossing changes. For example, entering the United States without authorization was not a federal crime until 1929, and the federal government prosecuted relatively few individuals until the 1990s. Moreover, in the early 1940s, the U.S. Supreme Court inveighed against a Pennsylvania statute mandating the public registration of “aliens” as an anathema to the country’s commitment to liberty. Today reporting requirements — imposed on employers as well as aliens — have become commonplace. The increase in the criminalization of migration is part of a broader array of techniques to stigmatize migrants.

The movement of people across territories provides one template for border analyses. But borders are constructed and transversed within law itself, and a second border site that I explore here is the permeability of legal categories. Criminal law was once thought to be discrete from immigration law; today a set of practices are aptly labeled “crim-imm,” as migrants gain the valence of criminals (“illegals”) and criminal infractions become the trigger for deportation. Likewise, the boundary between the rights of citizens and of aliens narrows; the normalization of oversight and stigmatization of aliens makes more legally plausible forms of control over citizens.

Yet a third border that some are eager to maintain is a line between U.S. constitutional interpretation and “foreign law.” But just as this country has its roots in and derives ongoing vitality from migrants, so too does U.S. law draw from and domesticate foreign sources. The ports of entry for non-U.S. law in this federation include all the branches of both the state and federal systems.

I close by sketching the profound liberalization of a fourth border, which is not often the subject of discussion: the unfettered movement of objects through the mail. Letters and packages once took circuitous routes and had to be paid for on delivery. But in 1874, 21 countries created what became the Universal Postal Union (UPU) — and thereby launched the second oldest international organization of governments in the world. Through modifying what were then understood to be the prerogatives of sovereignty, the founders of the UPU sought to forge a “single unit for the exchange of postal correspondence, standardized and simplified postal rates and procedures.” This effort reflected the interdependent utilities that mail can have in transforming economies and interpersonal relationships. Although the mail is not often seen to be a site of politics, the UPU and national delivery systems created egalitarian and subsidized opportunities for generally uncensored interactions.

In short, depending on where one trains one’s eye, it is apparent that some borders are being erased while others are being put into place. My purpose in linking these domains is not to equate them but to clarify the role that law and political imagination play in border construction. I show how reliant on border crossings we are, detail the harms of the criminalization of human movement, and argue the uselessness of using any single nation-state as the unit of analysis when thinking about the migration of people, law, or objects.


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

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?


This episode of NPR's Code Switch ("Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?") looks at the dichotomy between "good" and "bad" immigrants and how it is used not just by Donald Trump, but by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

You might call "Dreamers" the most sympathetic characters in the immigration reform drama. But what happens when advocates try to champion an undocumented immigrant who's a felon? Adrian and Shereen explore how advocates are challenging the narrative of the "good" and "bad" immigrant.

CrImmigration blog's Cesar Garcia offers insightful commentary on this NPR segment. 


Elizabeth Keyes has an excellent article that considers the good immigrant/bad immigrant dichotomy.



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

From the Bookshelves: City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York by Tyler Anbinder


City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York by Tyler Anbinder (2016)

A defining American story, never before told with such breadth of scope, lavish research, and resounding spirit

With more than three million foreign-born residents today, New York has been America’s defining port of entry for nearly four centuries, a magnet for transplants from all over the globe. These migrants have brought their hundreds of languages and distinct cultures to the city, and from there to the entire country. More immigrants have come to New York than all other entry points combined. 
City of Dreams is peopled with memorable characters both beloved and unfamiliar, whose lives unfold in rich detail: the young man from the Caribbean who passed through New York on his way to becoming a Founding Father; the ten-year-old Angelo Siciliano, from Calabria, who transformed into Charles Atlas, bodybuilder; Dominican-born Oscar de la Renta, whose couture designs have dressed first ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. Tyler Anbinder’s story is one of innovators and artists, revolutionaries and rioters, staggering deprivation and soaring triumphs, all playing out against the powerful backdrop of New York City, at once ever-changing and profoundly, permanently itself. City of Dreams provides a vivid sense of what New York looked like, sounded like, smelled like, and felt like over the centuries of its development and maturation into the city we know today.

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

Immigration Article of the Day: Draft: Glocalizing Women's Health and Safety: Migration, Work and Labor by Berta E. Hernández-Truyol


Draft: Glocalizing Women's Health and Safety: Migration, Work and Labor by Berta E. Hernández-Truyol, University of Florida Levin College of Law 2016

Abstract:      The foundational premise of this essay is that because migration, work, and labor – interconnected spheres in which health and human well-being are central concerns – are human rights issues, they are properly located within the human rights paradigm. Significantly, this work suggests a paradigmatic shift in the way governments, health care and related institutions, and civil society evaluate and engage migration. It urges that, rather than continue with the current version that treats fragile persons as disposable people, we embrace a worldwide model of migration analysis that pursues a human rights vision centering on human well-being.


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

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Update on Martin Greenfield, Presidential Tailor


We introduced you to Martin Greenfield in September. A survivor of Buchenwald, Greenfield came to the U.S. from the Czech Republic in 1947. His started work in the U.S. as a "floor boy" for a Brooklyn garment factory. From there, he became a tailor. By the 1970s, he owned his own factory. And today, he's best known for making suits for presidents. Nearly every suit President Obama wears was made by Greenfield. (Don't hold it against him but he also makes suits for would-be presidents, including the Donald.)

NBC Nightly News profiled Greenfield this week. And herein lies the update.

In the segment, Greenfield points out that he employs 120 people from 17 countries in his Brooklyn shop. "They're all refugees, like me," Greenfield says.


Greenfield notes that while all his past Presidential clients have been men, he's fully capable of making excellent suits for women. Here's hoping he gets the chance.


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

The Nation Endorses Hillary Clinton

The Nation endorses Hillary Clinton for president and believes that a substantial victory by her in November is essential to advance the progressive issues we have long championed. We supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, and we remain concerned about Clinton's approach to politics and governing. But Clinton isn't running against Sanders anymore.

The first case for Clinton can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. In the contest between hope and cynicism, justice and prejudice, solidarity and selfishness, we can be absolutely certain that Trump is not on our side. Given the perils facing our country and our planet, we believe that Trump's election would be a catastrophe for the United States-and for the world. We also believe our best chance right now to advance the cause of justice, rather than spend the next four years on the defensive, is to elect Clinton-and give her coattails long enough to elect a Congress committed to turning the progressive rhetoric of the Democratic Party platform into concrete legislation.

Trump's manipulation of racism and xenophobia, his attacks on the press and the judiciary, his demonization of his opponents and gleeful encouragement of violence by his supporters, may not fit the dictionary definition of fascism, but they pose a clear and present danger to our Republic. Taken at his word, Trump's America would be a country where the forces of hatred, fear, and division animate the body politic-and are in turn amplified by the mechanisms of state power. Mass deportations would victimize millions of our neighbors while molding America into a society of stool pigeons and informants. A
national stop-and-frisk program would turn our cities into racial combat zones.

Trump would repeal the Affordable Care Act and close off, perhaps forever, the route to universal health care. Far from expressing remorse over his own tax evasion, Trump boasts that it was "smart." His tax plan would lock in this grotesque favoritism toward the ultrarich at the expense of the poor and middle class by cutting the corporate tax rate by more than half while shredding the social safety net. In Trump's America, workers would see their rights rolled back, their unions hobbled, their pensions looted, and their wages-which Trump says are "too high"-cut. Women would see their reproductive rights attacked, including the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and their claim to equal pay for equal work dismissed. Hard-won victories in the fight for gay rights would be endangered. And Trump's energy policy-one that denies climate change, doubles down on fossil fuels, strangles incentives for renewable energy, and guts the regulations that protect our air and water-would flood our coasts, burn our forests, parch our cities, and leave the whole planet a smoldering wasteland.

On foreign policy, Trump's at-times-incisive criticism of trade deals, disregard for the Cold War consensus, and skeptical approach to nation-building must be balanced against a daily torrent of ignorant, offensive, and alarming views. How can someone who routinely demeans Latinos and Muslims expect to conduct effective diplomacy with Latin America or the Muslim world? How can someone who views the revelations of Abu Ghraib not as an indelible stain on America, but as a model-"We're going to have to do things that are unthinkable"-exercise any claim to global leadership? Trump's repeated calls to bar Muslims from entering the United States underscore not only his disdain for international law and basic human rights, but his alarming ignorance of our country's historic rejection of religious tests for citizenship.

A Trump administration would target the families of suspected terrorists, making the murder of innocent women and children official policy. He promises to keep Guantánamo open and load it up with "bad dudes." He wants to sharply increase US military spending, expand the use of drones in overseas conflicts, renege on the normalization of US-Cuban relations, ramp up confrontation with China, and unravel the nuclear deal with Iran. While we desperately need an alternative foreign policy, Trump's cavalier approach to nuclear proliferation and his willingness to treat our allies like chumps in a global protection racket would make the world a far more dangerous place.

The perils of Trumpism go beyond one man. Trump leads a party that has sought to normalize a cruel and unusual politics that rivals that of the European right-wing. Throughout the election, Trump has insulted women, questioned the patriotism of Mexican and Muslim Americans, incited hatred of refugees, mocked a disabled journalist, and depicted the lives of African Americans as "a total catastrophe." While it's tempting to cast this rampant disregard of social norms as novel, Trump's crude and demeaning conduct in fact emanates directly from the Fox News and alt-right power brokers that he has empowered to lead his campaign. Likewise, his repeated warnings that this election will be "rigged" is not just an effort to delegitimize his opponent and disempower those groups, such as African-American voters, who have been most loyal to Clinton; it is an assault on the very basis of democratic governance itself, a tendency that has bloomed on the right since the election of Barack Obama.

Finally, the next president will also determine the balance of the Supreme Court. As president, Trump would be able to fulfill his promise to appoint a new justice "as close to [Antonin Scalia] as I can find"-thus tipping the balance of a currently divided court back toward reaction, with several more nominees potentially to come. The Supreme Court alone should motivate progressives in our determination to keep Trump out of the White House. And, make no mistake, the only sure vote to keep Trump out of the White House is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

But there is also a positive case to be made for Hillary Clinton-and not solely because of the historic opportunity to elect our first woman president. Over the course of her public career, Clinton has more than demonstrated her intelligence, tenacity, ferocious work ethic, and seriousness of purpose. As a law student, she went undercover as a "tester" to expose racial discrimination in Alabama's private schools. She has championed the rights of women and girls on the global stage for more than 20 years. And while we may disagree with some of her solutions, Clinton has been a forceful advocate of health-care reform since her husband's administration. She has also-most recently on the debate stage-repeatedly displayed the quality that Ernest Hemingway invoked as a definition of courage: "grace under pressure."

Clinton showed grace in refusing to be deflected by Trump's posturing and prevarications. But she has also shown grace in the way she's responded to the pressure that Sanders and the movements that powered his campaign created. Clinton has long been an advocate for women, children, and the disabled. But now she seeks the presidency as a supporter of action to address climate change, criminal-justice reform, LGBTQ equality, respect for immigrants, debt-free public higher education, the expansion of Social Security, a public option to challenge health-care profiteering, and a great big hike in the minimum wage. Thanks to a populist wave-and her willingness to listen to it-Clinton is running on the most progressive platform in the modern history of the Democratic Party. We want to see that platform put into action.

That's why we believe Clinton needs not just to defeat Trump, but to demolish him. If she doesn't win big, and if the Democrats don't make significant advances in Congress, obstruction will remain the order of the day, and progress will be stymied at a time when America is desperately in need of-and genuinely ready for-radical renewal. On the other hand, a big win would empower a progressive bloc of newcomers in Congress like Zephyr Teachout, Jamie Raskin, and Pramila Jayapal, and give progressive champions like Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Russ Feingold-who is campaigning to return to the Senate-real authority to shape legislation, expose inequality, rein in Wall Street, and make government work on behalf of those who need it most.

We also believe that the new social movements-whether born out of Occupy Wall Street, climate justice, and the Fight for $15, or rising in response to the epidemic of police violence in communities of color-must be encouraged and heeded, not placated and patronized. Clinton isn't a perfect ally here-we worry about her inclination to triangulate and compromise-but throughout the campaign, she has proved herself a skilled politician, willing to take the measure of those movements and the pulse of her party and respond in kind. As Sanders put it recently in The Nation, "I'm not going to sit here and say to you that Hillary Clinton is going to be great on all these issues with absolute confidence.... I'm saying that on many, many issues, her views are progressive. In many areas, they are awesome. Where they're not progressive, we've got to push her."

We agree with Bernie. On almost every issue you can think of, Clinton is so much better than Trump that comparison seems like a meaningless exercise. This does not constitute a blank check or a wholesale endorsement. Clinton's enduring ties to Wall Street and corporate CEOs mean that progressives will have to continue to push her on trade, financial regulation, taxation, and public investment. The Nation also stands ready to support Warren and others in making sure Clinton's cabinet officials and economic advisers are subjected to a searching scrutiny.

Clinton's hawkish foreign-policy reflexes also raise grave concerns. She has frequently embraced positions to the right of President Obama, and has been embraced in turn by a rogues' gallery of neoconservative and liberal- hawk advisers who together personify a failed bipartisan foreign-policy consensus. She's backed regime change from Honduras to Libya to Syria, upholding the view that America is the "indispensable nation" entitled to police the world. Her blinkered view of Israel and Palestine offers no comfort to those who long for a just peace in the Middle East. Instead of seeking to engage Russia-an essential partner in resolving the crisis in Syria and the conflict in Ukraine, as well as combating nuclear proliferation and addressing climate change-Clinton seems intent on deepening a new Cold War. Even as we endorse her, we understand that it will be incumbent on us to challenge President Clinton to break her hawkish habits and move toward a new and progressive realism.

What about Jill Stein? In Europe, the Greens have emerged as an effective voice-and conscience-for the environmental left. We would still like to see Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson included in the presidential debates, and we respect the challenge that both have raised to a frequently dysfunctional two-party system. But we cannot agree with Johnson's penchant for privatization and survival-of-the-fittest economics. And while we share many of the views that Stein has advanced, her cause has not been helped by the Green Party's reluctance, or inability, to seek, share, and build power, with all the messy compromise this often entails. Instead of the patient-and Sisyphean-task of building an authentic grassroots alternative, the Greens offer a top-down vehicle for protest.

If this were an ordinary election, there would be little reason to depart from the practice of strategic voting, which requires only swing-state voters to choose between the lesser of two evils. But 2016 is not an ordinary election. We know that some readers will find it hard to vote for Clinton; we ask them to think again. Not just about forgoing the advances that a Clinton administration could achieve if progressives were empowered: stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership; overturning Citizens United; debt-free college; a path to citizenship for immigrants; paid family leave; the biggest investment in jobs since World War II; and an administration that looks like America today. But also to reconsider the balance between expressing their own disgust and diminishing the size of Trump's repudiation.

Without question, a Trump victory would represent much more than a temporary setback. At best, it would throw movements that have made enormous strides in the past year on the defensive. At worst, that tremendous reservoir of movement energy might well dissipate-or evaporate in the heat of despair, amid recriminations about opportunities missed. And for millennial voters, many of whom were inspired by Sanders to engage electoral politics for the first time, a Trump presidency would spell a generation of ecological and economic ruin. We cannot risk that fate.

Over the past eight years, progressives have learned the hard way that voting for hope and change doesn't always deliver hope or change. So while voting for Clinton may be necessary, it is hardly sufficient. Clinton now stands with progressives on a host of issues, from health care to climate change. On criminal justice and trade policy, she's moved left even when that involved renouncing her husband's legacy. On foreign policy, we still have much work to do. All the more reason, then, to stay mobilized. For progressives, a Clinton victory should be cause for organization, not celebration. Unless we stay right on top of her administration-watching, protesting, demanding-she may abandon her newfound progressive positions. What we don't know-and won't ever know, unless she's elected-is how far we might push her. As Frederick Douglass noted, "Power concedes nothing without a demand." How much might an administration that relies on our votes, but is far from certain of getting them, accomplish at our demand? There is only one result in November that will give us the chance to find out.


October 5, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hate Crimes Against Muslims Spike Across the United States


In recent months, there has been very harsh language directed at Muslims in the United States.  Donald Trump has made a variety of policy proposals, including the "extreme vetting" of Muslims who want to enter the United States.  It may well be that the harsh national discussion is having consequences.  In Special Status Report: Hate Crime in the United States: 20 State Compilation of Official Data, the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino (Sept. 2016) finds that

“Hate crimes against American Muslims have soared to their highest levels since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to data compiled by researchers, an increase apparently fueled by terrorist attacks in the United States and by divisive language on the campaign trail.

The trend has alarmed hate crime scholars and law-enforcement officials, who have documented hundreds of attacks — including arsons at mosques, assaults, shootings and threats of violence — … since the beginning of 2015.

While the most current hate crime statistics from the F.B.I. are not expected until November, new data from researchers at California State University, San Bernardino found that hate crimes against American Muslims were up 78% over the course of 2015. Attacks on those perceived as Arabs rose even more sharply.”

New York Times, Sep. 17, 2016.


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

Immigration Article of the Day: Asylum Crisis Italian Style: The Dublin Regulation Collides With European Human Rights Law by Maryellen Fullerton


Asylum Crisis Italian Style: The Dublin Regulation Collides With European Human Rights Law by Maryellen Fullerton, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Download Asylum Crisis Italian Style

Using the Italian asylum system as a case study, this article lays bare the current impasse in European asylum policy and underscores the injustice and inefficiencies caused by the European Union (EU) Dublin Regulation. Deficiencies in the asylum systems in EU states on the southern and eastern borders encourage asylum seekers to flee from the EU states they enter first.  In recognition of the dire conditions in some asylum systems, the European Court of Human Rights has forbidden states to rely on the Dublin Regulation to send asylum seekers back to the first state for a decision on the asylum application. Instead, states that apprehend asylum seekers must provide the applicants an opportunity to contest their return by presenting evidence that the first EU state they entered has a deficient asylum system. This creates opportunities for satellite litigation. It also creates perverse incentives for member states to respond to the Dublin Regulation proceedings by offering individualized relief to the litigants rather than remedying system-wide deficits. This cumbersome procedure is inefficient and imposes great human costs on individual asylum seekers ensnared in the European system.

A bolder and simpler approach is necessary. In light of the massive refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, the vastly uneven situations of asylum seekers in different EU states, and the evolving European human rights norms, the current Dublin Regulation should be suspended. More precisely, EU member states should examine asylum applications with a presumption that the state with custody of the asylum seekers will decide the asylum claim. Transfers pursuant to the Dublin Regulation should be limited to exceptional cases involving family unity or other compelling humanitarian reasons.

This reworking of the Dublin Regulation would instantly diminish the workload on the EU asylum system. In recent years, close to twenty percent of asylum applications filed in Europe have led to transfer requests under the Dublin Regulation, but very few actual transfers take place. Thus, most of the Dublin process is wasted effort. Of the Dublin transfers that occur, many take place between states that send and receive asylum seekers from one another.  These states should decide the substance of the applications rather than engage in an elaborate process of swapping asylum seekers.

Suspending most Dublin transfers would allow asylum officials to redeploy their resources to focus on the merits of the claims.  It would benefit individual asylum seekers who would experience shorter periods of uncertainty about their status. Moreover, suspending the Dublin Regulation could lead to the increased sharing of responsibility among EU states for receiving asylum seekers.


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

From the Bookshelves: Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move by Reece Jones


Mexicans meet separated family members at the US-Mexico border fence in Tijuana. Photo: John Moore / Getty Images

The Guardian excerpts Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move by Reece Jones (2016).  Here is an abstract of the book:

A major new exploration of the refugee crisis, focusing on how borders are formed and policed

Forty thousand people died trying to cross international borders in the past decade, with the high-profile deaths along the shores of Europe only accounting for half of the grisly total.

Reece Jones argues that these deaths are not exceptional, but rather the result of state attempts to contain populations and control access to resources and opportunities. “We may live in an era of globalization,” he writes, “but much of the world is increasingly focused on limiting the free movement of people.”

In Violent Borders, Jones crosses the migrant trails of the world, documenting the billions of dollars spent on border security projects and their dire consequences for countless millions. While the poor are restricted by the lottery of birth to slum dwellings in the aftershocks of decolonization, the wealthy travel without constraint, exploiting pools of cheap labor and lax environmental regulations. With the growth of borders and resource enclosures, the deaths of migrants in search of a better life are intimately connected to climate change, environmental degradation, and the growth of global wealth inequality.



October 5, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

More than half of the world’s 21 million refugees live in these 10 countries


Children at the Souda camp on the Greek island of Chios watch a movie. Over 60,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece after Balkan and EU states shut their borders this year. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP / Getty Images.

Developed nations are shirking their responsibility to refugees and exacerbating the global crisis, according to a report released earlier this week by Amnesty International, writes Ann M. Simmons for the Los Angeles Times.

The report,Tackling the global refugee crisis: From shirking to sharing responsibility”  calls on some nations to increase the number of refugees they host so that no single country is overwhelmed.  According to the report, the nations hosting the bulk of refugees are:

1.   Jordan

2.  Turkey

3.  Pakistan

4.  Lebanon

5.  Iran

6.  Ethiopia

7.  Chad

8.  Uganda

9. Kenya

10.  Democratic Republic of Congo

The human rights organization said more than half of the world’s 21 million refugees live in those countries. But those nations account for less than 2.5% of the world’s GDP, creating a situation that is “inherently unsustainable.”

The report found that about 30 countries offer some kind of refugee resettlement program.


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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vice President Candidates Spar on Immigration, Refugees -- PENCE: "Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing again."


Photo courtesy of CNN (Tim Kaine and Mike Pence)

GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and Democratic VP candidate Tim Kaine had their one and only debate tonight.  There was more discussion of immigration and refugees than in the first debate between Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

When the topic of immigration came up, Tim Kaine emphasized that, although the Republican ticket supported a "Deportation Nation" --  just how this blog described Trump's immigration plan, the Democratic ticket supported comprehensive immigration reform.  They sparred on this topic for a while.  The moderator Elaine Quijano mentioned the "extreme vetting" of Muslims proposed by Donald Trump and asked what the Republican ticket would do to combat homegrown terrorism.  Not really responding to the question, Pence used that as an opportunity to focus on the screening of Syrian refugees and how he sought to limit the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana.  Kaine pointed out that Trump had demonized all Mexicans as terrorists and all Muslims as terrorists.  Kaine further highlighted that a conservative panel of the Seventh Circuit rejected the Indiana Governor's efforts to limit resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana.

One immigration-related exchange drew some attention:

KAINE: When Donald Trump says women should be punished or Mexicans are rapists and criminals...

PENCE: I'm telling you...

KAINE: ... or John McCain is not a hero, he is showing you who he is.

PENCE: Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing again. He -- look...

KAINE: Can you defend it?

PENCE: There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally who are perpetrating violence and taking American lives.

KAINE: You want to -- you want to use a big broad brush against Mexicans on that?

PENCE: He also said and many of them are good people. You keep leaving that out of your quote. And if you want me to go there, I'll go there.

CNN has a blog stream on the debate.  The debate was somewhat shrill in tone, with Kaine defending Hillary Clinton and Mike Pence defending Donald Trump.  Interruptions were commonplace.  The moderator clearly had her hands full throughout.

Here is an annotated transcript to the debate. 


October 4, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

NYT on Immigration Judge Training to Address Bias

Caitlin Dickerson of the New York Times reports today on a training attended by Immigration Judges last August to address bias in decisionmaking.  According to the article, the mandatory training was attended by approximately 250 Immigration Judges, and there are plans to require the training for 28,000 employees (presumably USCIS and other immigration adjudicators) in the future. The article also discusses the systemic factors -- high caseloads, few resources, fact-intensive cases based on credibility assessments -- that make the immigration court setting particularly ripe for judges' personal biases to influence decisionmaking.

From the article:  "The simplest and most effective way to combat bias, however, is to avoid rushing and take breaks, Ms. [Kelly] Tait [who led the training] said. But with more than 500,000 cases pending, immigration judges say that slowing down is not an option.

Instead, they will have to resign themselves to cutting corners to get through their work, according to Judge [Eliza] Klein [who has retired from the bench], as she had to do during her career.

“Over time, I think you just get used to those pressures,” she said. “So then the quality of justice erodes over time as well.”"


October 4, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunstein: Hostility to Hispanics and Muslims Drives Anti-Immigration Sentiment

Photo via AP/Daily Beast

Prawf (but not immprof) Cass Sunstein has written a short piece for Bloomberg on The Real Reason So Many Americans Oppose Immigration.

Sunstein offers an overview of an empirical study published in Political Psychology (Immigration Opposition Among U.S. Whites: General Ethnocentrism or Media Priming of Attitudes About Latinos?). The central finding of that study was that "whites’ attitudes toward other groups have a 'statistically enormous effect on negative views of the cultural and economic impact of immigration.'"

Social scientists don’t ordinarily use the word “enormous,” so what we have here is a really dramatic effect: As whites show more negative attitudes toward blacks, Asians and Hispanics, their negative feelings toward immigration skyrocket.

What's more, the study determined that "essentially all of the movement came from negative attitudes toward Hispanics."

Sunstein ties this data to that found in another study (How economic, humanitarian, and religious concerns shape European attitudes toward asylum seekers) which indicates that anti-Muslim sentiment drives anti-asylee attitudes in Europe.

He concludes: "Anti-immigration sentiment has become widespread, and if you’re looking to explain it, you’d do well to start with hostility to Latinos and to Muslims."


October 4, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Latinos for Trump? Like Chickens for Colonel Sanders!

Latinos for trump

Photo courtesy of the Daily Beast

As only he could, Ruben Navarrette Jr.  on the Daily Beast questions how any Latina/o could support Donald Trump for President.  The punch line:

"No self-respecting Latino could support [Trump], unless they were doing so not because of policy or principles, but for their own self-interest. And for many Latinos for Trump, that seems to be the idea. 

For this, these people deserve to have their names remembered and their reputations ruined. 

What was that Mexican proverb that Clinton seized upon a while back? “Dime con quien andas y the dire quien eres.” Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who are.

Latinos for Trump are walking down a dark road indeed, and we know exactly who—and what—they are." (emphasis added).


October 4, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Republican VP Nominee Mike Pence Pounded by Conservative Seventh Circuit Panel


Republican Vice Presidentialnominee Mike Pence tonight debates Democratic VP hopeful Tim Kaine.  As Governor of Indiana, Pence has vocally resisted the resettlement in the Hoosier State.  In an opinion by Judge Richard Posner, joined by Judges Frank Easterbrook and Diane Sykes, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected Indiana's position in a case involving the resettlement of Syrian refugees.

As Chris Guidner on Buzzfeed describes the case:

"A federal appeals court on Monday harshly criticized Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s attempt to stop payments to a nonprofit organization that assists with resettlement of Syrian refugees.

A unanimous — and conservative — three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a preliminary injunction entered against the Indiana governor forbidding him from banning payments to the nonprofit."

See also Above the Law (Judge Posner Benchslaps Governor Mike Pence On Syrian Refugee Opposition).


October 4, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Report of the DHS Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers

Report of the DHS Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers (and here).  An advisory committee, formed in response to the controversy over family immigrant detention, prepared this report, with recommendations.  This passage from the beginning o fth ereport is telling:

"The detention of migrant children and families by the U.S. government has been controversial since its inception. Child and family detention has been the subject of a number of federal lawsuits – most notably, the Flores litigation (currently captioned Flores v. Lynch), filed in 1985 and still in active litigation. Since its inception, many reports by government agencies (including the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and various subunits of DHS), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the American Bar Association (ABA), and advocacy organizations have made similar and negative findings. In this report, the ACFRC adds our voice to those prior critiques. We offer numerous recommendations to improve detention management and conditions. But these should be understood in light of our basic conclusion and first recommendation, which is repeated and discussed in depth in Part I, below:

Recommendation 1-1: DHS’s immigration enforcement practices should operationalize the presumption that detention is generally neither appropriate nor necessary for families – and that detention or the separation of families for purposes of immigration enforcement or management, or detention is never in the best interest of children. DHS should discontinue the general use of family detention, reserving it for rare cases when necessary following an individualized assessment of the need to detain because of danger or flight risk that cannot be mitigated by conditions of release. ..."


October 3, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine, by Jennifer Lee Koh

  Koh Website Profile Photo

 Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine, Jennifer Lee Koh, Western State College of Law, 2016 Wisconsin Law Review __ (forthcoming, 2016)


Since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Johnson v. United States, a federal sentencing decision holding that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act was void for vagueness, the vagueness doctrine has quietly and quickly exploded in the legal landscape governing the immigration consequences of crime. On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Lynch v. Dimaya, an immigration case in which the Court will resolve a circuit split addressing whether part of the federal definition of a “crime of violence”—a classification that triggers nearly automatic deportation and immigration detention – is unconstitutionally vague.

This Article argues in favor of applying the void vagueness doctrine to various statutory provisions that lie at the crossroads of immigration and criminal law, including the provision before the Court in Dimaya. The vision of vagueness articulated in this Article complements the Supreme Court’s recent jurisprudence with respect to the categorical approach, the methodology for assessing the immigration consequences of crime, and is consistent the Court’s decision in Johnson as well as the values animating the vagueness doctrine. Those twin values — providing reasonable notice, and preventing arbitrary or discriminatory law enforcement practices — apply with exceptional force in immigration, an area of law in which the liberty stakes of the crime-based removal grounds are high, notice is critical, and the risk of arbitrariness and discrimination by government actors at multiple levels is acute.


October 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Refuses to Reconsider United States v. Texas