Thursday, June 16, 2016

Trump: Blacks v. Mexicans and Muslims

Julianne Hing writes for The Nation:

Two weeks ago, Donald Trump was busy bashing a Latino judge. This week, following the massacre of 49 mostly young, queer Latinos at an Orlando nightclub, his contribution to the national tragedy was to expand on his call for a blanket ban on Muslims entering the country. In between those two assaults on his favorite imagined enemies—Mexicans and Muslims—Donald Trump took out a bit of time to let it be known that he likes black people. Or at the very least, that he sees them as expedient political allies.

Last week Trump, temporarily neutered, was convinced to read from a teleprompter for two public addresses. At the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference on June 10, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee swapped out his usual bluster in favor of stock political phrases and numbered bullet points. But he also made a far more intriguing general election pivot. He took up the concerns of African-American voters, pitting them against those of immigrants and refugees. Read more...


June 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Anna O. Law Review of MAKING FOREIGNERS: IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP LAW IN AMERICA, 1600-2000 by Kunal M. Parker

Anna O. Law reviews MAKING FOREIGNERS: IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP LAW IN AMERICA, 1600-2000, by Kunal M. Parker in Law and Politics Review.  She concludes:

"One may have quibbles with how Parker makes his arguments, but one cannot contest that the book lays out a provocative new thesis that deserves serious discussion and engagement. In light of MAKING FOREIGNERS, Emma Lazarus’ “New Colossus” poem sounds downright mawkish. The borders were never open to all. And even for those born in the USA, they were not automatically insiders, and worse yet, one could at some point in one’s lifetime lose one’s insider status. Ultimately the book is a rebuke to the still persistent myth that circulates even among scholars today, not to mention the general public, that in the days of yore, this nation of immigrants had open borders, and once “in,” you were home free."

Making Foreigners is previewed here.



June 16, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday to Plyler v. Doe!


Michael Olivas reminded the Immigration Law Professors listserve that that yesterday was the anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark 1982 decision in Plyer v. Doe.  That decision has ensured that undocumented children have access to a public K-12 education for the last 44 years!  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which celebrated its fourth anniversary, was announced on Plyler vv. Doe's 40th birthday.



June 16, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vietnamese Immigrants in the United States

Vietnamese Immigrants in the United States :   Now comprising the sixth largest foreign-born group in the country, the Vietnamese immigrant population in the United States has grown significantly since the end of the Vietnam War. Learn more about this population with the latest data in this Migration Information Source Spotlight article.


An entranceway to Little Saigon in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. The San Francisco metropolitan area is home to the fourth largest Vietnamese population in the country. (Photo: Jeremy Brooks).


June 16, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law & Society Flashback: New Frames in Immigration Law


The LSA panel New Frames in Immigration Law took place at 8:15AM on a Saturday. It's a miracle that the audience was larger than the panel. But it was.

Joe Landau (Fordham) spoke about his observation that an "anti-animus principle" has been used by courts in a wide range of constitutional rulings as a means to suppress actions by the political branches that are driven by "hysteria, panic and immoderation." The anti-animus principle functions to enforce a "foundational requirement of deliberation" that can be lacking in "panic-fueled legislation."

I talked about the value of flexibility in law generally (think "reasonable person") and it's surprising absence from immigration law, which is largely characterized by extreme inflexibility. I argued that we should seek to imbue flexibility into the decisionmaking surrounding immigration law.

Eleanor Brown (GW) discussed her fascinating work on the success of West Indian-Americans, who generally own and rent higher quality housing than African-Americans. It's a phenomenon that owes much to the history of West Indian land ownership in their countries of emigration.

Rose Cuison-Villazor (Davis) addressed her work on "interstitial citizenship," which is the phrase she has coined to address American national status. These nationals have some indices of U.S. citizenship - unlike "aliens" they carry U.S. passports and cannot be deported - yet they lack access to other key  features of citizenship - including voting, jury service, and USC-specific jobs.

Finally, sociologist Katherine Abbott (New Hampshire) talked about her in depth analysis of editorial cartoons regarding the Syrian and UAC crises. Happily, she had a powerpoint presentation so that she could share some of the images she analyzed with us.

A great big thank you to Hiroshi Motomura (UCLA) for his insightful comments and questions.


June 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Refugees Show High Levels of Integration


Abdi Said works at an L.L. Bean factory in Lewiston, Maine, on January 26, 2016.

Today, in conjunction with an event on the same topic, the Center for American Progress and the Fiscal Policy Institute released a report that analyzes how four key refugee groups—Bosnians, Burmese, Hmong, and Somalis—in the United States are doing on key indicators of integration, such as wages, labor market participation, business ownership, English language ability, and citizenship. As the United States and other countries wrestle with how to handle the sharp rise in the number of people around the globe displaced by conflict and persecution, the long-term experiences of the four groups studied in this report should provide grounds for encouragement.

The methodology developed for this report allows for a rare analysis of how refugee groups integrate in the long run. The report finds that over time, refugees integrate well into their new communities. For example, after being in the United States for 10 years, refugees are in many regards similar to their U.S.-born neighbors, with similar rates of labor force participation and business ownership; the large majority have learned to speak English after being in the country for 10 years and have become naturalized U.S. citizens after being in the country for 20 years.

“Refugees have experienced some of the most horrific of circumstances imaginable. Yet as they establish themselves in America, they get jobs, start businesses, buy homes, learn English, and become citizens,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Immigration Research Initiative at the Fiscal Policy Institute and principal author of the report. “Economic growth is not the primary reason refugees are resettled, but it is a positive byproduct of giving people with nowhere to turn a new place to call home. Doing the right thing is not only good for refugees—it’s also good for American communities.”

The report’s major findings, based on an analysis of 2014 American Community Survey 5-year data looking at Somali, Burmese, Hmong, and Bosnian refugees, include:

  • Refugee groups are gaining a foothold in the labor market, with labor force participation rates of men in the Somali, Burmese, Hmong, and Bosnian refugee communities often exceeding those of U.S.-born men and with rates for women catching up after 10 years to about as high as or sometimes higher than those of U.S.-born women.
  • Refugees see substantial wage gains as they gradually improve their footing in the American economy, with some starting their own businesses and many shifting to occupations better suited to their abilities as they find ways to get certification for their existing skills and learn new ones.
  • Refugees integrate into American society over time, with a large majority of refugees having learned English and becoming homeowners by the time they have been in the United States for 10 years and with three-quarters or more having become naturalized U.S. citizens after 20 years.
  • Somali, Burmese, Hmong, and Bosnian refugees are part of the economic revitalization of metropolitan areas around the country: From Minneapolis and St. Paul to St. Louis and from Fargo, North Dakota, to Columbus, Ohio, political leaders have welcomed the contributions of refugees to the local economies and to the expanded vibrancy of their cities.

As the report mentions, 1 in 12 immigrants in the United States came as a refugee or was granted asylum. And of around 3 million refugees, about 500,000—or 1 in 5—are Somali, Burmese, Hmong, or Bosnian refugees.

“The United States has a great track record of welcoming thousands of refugees each year and helping them find a safe place to call home. As this report confirms, refugees, who come from diverse backgrounds and humble beginnings, end up doing very well in the United States,” said Silva Mathema, Senior Policy Analyst for the Immigration team at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the report. “Now is not the time for the United States to pull back on welcoming refugees. Rather, given the global refugee crises currently confronting us, now is the time to welcome and invest in programs and policies that help to integrate them.”

Read the full report, “Refugee Integration in the United States.”

RSVP to the 12 p.m. ET event, “A Look at How Refugees are Integrating in the United States,” or watch the live stream here.


June 16, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symposium on the 20th Anniversary of the Supreme Court's Decision in Whren v. United States


The Case Western Law Review has published a symposium on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision in Whren v. United States (1996).   As myself (and here) and many others have argued, the Whren decision has contributed to the prevalence of racial profiling in contemporary criminal law enforcement in the United States. 

Here is the table of contents to the symposium issue.

Lewis R. Katz

PDF Arbitrary Law Enforcement is Unreasonable: Whren's Failure to Hold Police Accountable for Traffic Enforcement Policies
Jonathan Witmer-Rich


My contribution to the symposium focuses on the immigration removal consequences of the racial profiling that has come in the wake of Whren v. United State.

PDF Doubling Down on Racial Discrimination: The Racially Disparate Impacts of Crime-Based Removals
Kevin R. Johnson

Abstract:  Racially-charged encounters with the police regularly make the national news. Local law enforcement officers also have at various times victimized immigrants of color. For example, New York City Department (NYPD) officers in 1999 killed Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from Guinea, in a hail of gunfire; two years earlier, officers had tortured Haitian immigrant Abner Louima at a NYPD police station. Both victims were Black, which no doubt contributed to the violence. In less spectacular fashion, police on the beat by many accounts regularly engage in racial profiling in traffic stops of U.S. citizens and noncitizens of color.

Removals of “criminal aliens” have been the cornerstone of the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement strategy. Well-publicized increases in the number of removals of immigrants also have been the centerpiece of President Obama’s political efforts to persuade Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package. The hope behind the aggressive enforcement strategy has been to convince Congress that this is the time to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

In the last few years, a body of what has been denominated “crimmigration” scholarship has emerged that critically examines the growing confluence of the criminal justice system and the immigration removal machinery in the United States. That body of work tends to direct attention to the unfairness to immigrants, as well as their families, of the increasing criminalization of immigration law and its enforcement. This Essay agrees with the general thrust of the crimmigration criticism, but contends that it does not go far enough. Namely, the emerging scholarship in this genre fails to critically assess the dominant role that race plays in modern law enforcement and how its racial impacts are exacerbated by the operation of a federal immigration removal process that consciously targets “criminal aliens.”

Part I of this Essay considers parallel developments in the law: (1) the Supreme Court’s implicit sanctioning of race-conscious law enforcement in the United States, with the centerpiece of this symposium, Whren v. United States, the most well-known example; and (2) the trend over at least the last twenty years toward increased cooperation between state and local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration authorities. Part II specifically demonstrates how criminal prosecutions influenced by police reliance on race necessarily lead to the racially disparate removal rates experienced in the modern United States. Part III discusses how some state and local governments have pushed back on cooperation with federal immigration authorities, with effective community police practices being an important policy rationale invoked by local law enforcement for that resistance. Part III of this Essay further contends that more attention should be paid to the racially disparate impacts of linking immigration removals to the outcomes of a racially-tainted criminal justice system. It further sketches some modest reforms to the U.S. immigration laws that might tend to blunt, rather than magnify, some of these racial impacts.


June 16, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mothers Targeted by DHS Enforcement Actions Shows Disturbing Due Process Concerns

As always, Bender's Immigration Bulletin has the latest:

CLINIC and CARA Pro Bono Family Detention Project, June 15, 2016- "The stories of Central American mothers who were picked up for deportation in the latest round of federal enforcement actions shows a pattern of targeted scrutiny towards individuals who have viable asylum claims, states CLINIC and its partners in the CARA Pro Bono Family Detention project in a new report.  Among the findings of the Update on Recent ICE Enforcement Actions Targeting Central American Families Report, released June 15, are details of various deportation enforcement actions against this vulnerable population.  The report is located here.  In confirming plans for a month-long enforcement push beginning in May, administration officials stated the targets would be people who have exhausted their chances for legal protection.  CARA's report, based upon interviews with women who have been processed through the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, shows otherwise.  For example, the report discusses the case of Yesenia* a domestic violence survivor from Guatemala who never received notice of her court hearing because the address ICE had on file for her did not even include a street name.  Yesenia never had an attorney.  The first time Yesenia learned that the immigration court had ordered her removed in absentia (in her absence) was when ICE arrested her at her home in South Carolina with her 6-year-old son.  Yesenia’s story is one of many outlined in the report, which shows the inadequate access to counsel in addition to other mistreatment.

*The name of this mother has been changed to a pseudonym to protect confidentiality.  



June 15, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Officials Agree to Give Immigrant Detainees Fighting Deportation Reliable Access to Phones

In a class action settlement, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has agreed to change its policies in four Northern California detention centers, ending severe restrictions on telephone use that make placing outgoing calls nearly impossible and prevent many immigrants from obtaining legal representation and gathering documents to fight deportation. The settlement with plaintiffs represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the ACLU’s National Prison Project, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale will give immigrant detainees direct calling options that are free of charge on private telephones.

In 2013, the ACLU and co-counsel filed a lawsuit against ICE charging that inadequate telephone access violates the rights of ICE detainees to a full and fair hearing under federal law and the Constitution.

Every day, ICE holds an estimated 34,000 immigrants in some 250 ICE facilities around the country, with nearly one thousand in the four California facilities covered by the settlement. These detainees face civil charges as they try to obtain legal counsel or represent themselves, fighting to stay in their adopted country.

I.P., a 49-year-old man who came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 5, was detained after being pulled over for a traffic violation. He spent months locked up because he could not access legal help, largely due to the inadequate phones. The phone system had a series of complex instructions and codes for dialing that rarely worked. It also disconnected when a caller reached any kind of automated message or prompt. I.P. wrote letters to 15 attorneys and attempted to make dozens of calls before he was finally able to find a lawyer.

“Making phone calls was expensive, difficult, and frustrating. Each week, I’d see people give up and sign their deportation papers because they couldn’t reach anyone,” said I.P., who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of his ongoing case. “Many of the men in detention had families and couldn’t afford to wait the weeks it took to make phone calls, so they just surrendered.”

ICE has one year to make the changes in the settlement and has agreed to modify its inspection forms used nationwide so that phone access will be subject to greater oversight in all of its facilities.

ICE will:

  • Provide speed dials to make free, direct, unmonitored calls to government offices and immigration attorneys who provide pro bono services
  • Install 40 phone booths, distributed among the four facilities, for private calls during waking hours, as well as private phone rooms for legal calls
  • Allow legal calls to family, friends, and other people to obtain testimony, documents, and other support for immigration cases
  • Extend the time permitted for a call before a phone automatically cuts off, from 20 minutes to 40 minutes and from 15 minutes to 60 minutes for existing ICE speed-dials to certain nonprofit organizations, consulates, and federal offices
  • Provide facilitators who will process phone requests and ensure timely access to phone rooms
  • Offer phone credit or other accommodations for those who can’t afford to pay for calls
  • Revise forms used nationwide to inspect for violations of telephone access standards.

The settlement applies to county jails with ICE contracts in Contra Costa, Sacramento, and Yuba Counties and to the privately-run Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield.

For the settlement and more information about Lyon v. ICE, visit here.


June 15, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fourth Anniversary of DACA

From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

Dear Friends

Four years ago today, while Republicans’ obstruction perpetuated a cruel and broken immigration system, President Obama used the authority conferred to him by Congress to take action.  With DACA, we honored our values as a nation and stopped deporting the bright young DREAMers who embody the best of America.  

Sadly, in vote after vote, House Republicans have tried to end DACA and deport the DREAMers.  They have embraced Donald Trump’s hateful agenda of discrimination that calls for building walls and tearing apart families.  This very week, Republicans are pushing an amendment that would ban these patriotic young immigrants from serving in our armed forces – young men and women who are willing to give their lives in the name of defending our country.

Immigration has always been the reinvigoration of America, and the courage and determination of DREAMers and their families makes America more American.  Democrats will continue to stand behind our young DREAMers, and we will continue to fight for the comprehensive immigration reform our nation so urgently needs. 

Please feel free to forward this information to your family and friends. To learn more about these efforts, express your views, or sign up for email updates, please visit my website.


best regards,


June 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Marine Vet Saved Lives in Orlando

Hero 2

Photo courtesy of the Marine Corps Times

Here is a positive story from Orlando.  A Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan is being hailed as a hero for helping dozens of people escape from inside Pulse Nightclub. His name is Imran Yousuf, a 24-year-old, who served as a U.S. Marine and now is a bouncer at Pulse Nightclub. He is Hindu.  Yousuf heard gunfire and told CBS News that he recognized it immediately. “You could just tell it was a high caliber,” said Yousuf, a former sergeant who left the Marine Corps last month. He ran toward a locked door that people had huddled around, too terrified to move.

“The initial one was three or four (shots). That was a shock. Three of four shots go off and you could tell it was a high caliber,” he said. “Everyone froze. I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway . . . .” Yousuf knew just beyond that pack of panicked people there was a door that would lead to safety. But someone had to unlatch it. “And I’m screaming ‘Open the door! Open the door!’ And no one is moving because they are scared,” he explained. “There was only one choice. Either we all stay there and we all die, or I could take the chance, and I jumped over to open that latch a we got everyone that we can out of there.”

Yusuf told CBS that a lot of people were able to get thorough. “Probably over 60, 70. As soon as people found that door was open they kept pouring out and after that we just ran,” he explained. “I wish I could have saved more to be honest,” he said through tears. “There are a lot of people that are dead …there are a lot of people that are dead.”


June 15, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Breaking: 11th Circuit Deepens Circuit Split on Prolonged Detention Bond Hearings


Today, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued Sopo v. US Attorney General, No. 14-11421 (11th Cir. June 15, 2016), a case addressing the constitutional limits of the mandatory detention statute.  In a lengthy decision, it joined a number of other circuits holding that the mandatory detention of noncitizens with certain prior convictions under 8 USC sec. 1226(c)  is only constitutional for a "reasonable period of time," and that "at some point" those individuals "become entitled to an individualized bond hearing."  (Slip Op. at 3).  The Eleventh Circuit's decision deepened a circuit split on when and how such bond hearings should take place.  The Second and Ninth Circuit have adopted a bright-line rule, in which detention becomes presumptively unreasonable after six months, at which point the government provides an automatic bond hearing before an immigration judge.  But under the "case by case" approach adopted by the First, Third, and Sixth Circuits, the courts look to "whether detention... has become unreasonable, " depending "on the factual circumstances of the case." (Slip Op. at 31) Pursuant to this approach, as the Eleventh Circuit explains it,  noncitizens -- who have no right to government-appointed counsel -- should first file a habeas petition in federal district court to review the circumstances of the case and then, if the federal court finds that the individual facts warrant a finding that further detention would be unreasonable, to direct the government "to provide an opportunity for the alien to obtain bond" (Slip Op. at 33), through a bond hearing before an immigration judge.  Each of the circuits adopting the case-by-case approach seem to have slightly different requirements, but the point is that an automatic right to a bond hearing is not triggered by six months or more of immigration detention.  (Note:  as a practical matter, this blog post does not take a position on whether filing a habeas petition will be required in every case in those circuits, and this post -- as with any other Immprof blog post, or really any other blog post for that matter -- should not be relied upon as legal advice).  In Sopo, the Eleventh Circuit adopts the case-by-case approach.

In recognizing the constitutional problems associated with prolonged immigration detention, the majority opinion notes the "realities of immigration detention and how the entire process of removal proceedings has lengthened."  Citing Mark Noferi's law review article, Cascading Constitutional Deprivation:  The Right to Appointed Counsel for Mandatorily Detained Immigrants Pending Removal Proceedings, 18 Mich. J. Race & L. 63 (2012), the opinion states that "in 2012 the average amount of time an alien with a criminal conviction spent in removal proceedings (and likely in detention) was 455 days."  (Slip Op. at 28). 

Judge Jill Pryor issued a separate opinion, concurring on the existence of a constitutional limit on prolonged detention but dissenting with the majority - and agreeing with the Second and Ninth Circuits - on whether detention becomes unreasonable after six months.  Judge Pryor's opinion cites Farrin Anello's law review article addressing the emerging circuit split and arguing that courts should adopt a bright-line rule of providing bond hearings at the six month mark, Due Process and Temporal Limits on Mandatory Detention, 65 Hastings L. J. 363 (2014).  (Slip Op. at 57).


June 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

DACA Turns 4 Today!

The National Immigration Law Center reminds us that, today, June 15, 2016, is the fourth anniversary of the day that President Obama announced DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Over 728,200 people have received DACA since the program began in 2012.

The Campos family in Sacramento, California, lives with many of the same hopes and fears as millions of other families in this country. In the video below, Antonio Campos speaks with great pride about his DACA-recipient daughter Diana. Antonio, who would be eligible for DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents), the program announced by President Obama in 2014 that currently is blocked by a court order, expresses his hope that DAPA will eventually allow parents like himself and his wife the same opportunity that DACA has afforded Diana: a chance to fight for their own futures. 


Much more information about DACA is available from on the NILC DACA webpage.


June 15, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Human Trafficking, Immigration Regulation and Sub-Federal Criminalization by Jennifer M. Chacón


Human Trafficking, Immigration Regulation and Sub-Federal Criminalization by Jennifer M. Chacón, University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies June 7, 2016 New Criminal Law Review, 2016, Forthcoming UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-36

Abstract: In less than two decades, the issue of human trafficking has evolved from a relatively obscure concept to a widely discussed international social problem that has engendered a host of interventions at the international, national, and sub-national level. The purpose of this article is to shed light on how anti-trafficking efforts have been instantiated at the local level. This article assesses the record of sub-federal anti-trafficking efforts in the United States by looking at state anti-trafficking legislation, newspaper coverage of anti-trafficking efforts within states, and published cases involving state trafficking prosecutions in nine different states in the United States in the period from 2004-2014. These states’ anti-trafficking laws have varied histories. Some state legislators appear to have been motivated primarily by concerns about migration control, others by concerns about the need to further criminalize sexual exploitation. This article discusses these histories and then analyzes the implementation of anti-trafficking laws at the state level by looking at criminal prosecutions brought under these state trafficking laws. This analysis reveals that while trafficking law functions discursively as an important component of state-level migration control efforts in some jurisdictions, by and large state prosecutors in all jurisdictions have largely tended to target citizens, not noncitizens, for their trafficking prosecutions. Most state prosecutors have used state level anti-trafficking statutes to charge members of racial minority groups – largely, but not exclusively, men – for trafficking in connection with commercial sex offenses. The final section of the article explores some of the implications of these findings, and offer suggestions for future research. Anti-trafficking laws have brought needed attention to wide-ranging problems of human exploitation. Like prior iterations of criminal vice regulation, however, the deployment of state criminal laws to achieve anti-trafficking goals can also work in ways that perpetuate racially discriminatory policing and migrant criminalization.


June 15, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration May Play A Big Role In Next Week's 'Brexit' Vote

Trump: All My Judges Will Be 'Picked By The Federalist Society'


Check this out from Right Wing Watch

Trump accused the “jealous” and “pathetic” Mitt Romney and others of trying to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.

“Even though I’m going to appoint great judges, you know, we could have as many as five judges, and she’s going to appoint super radical liberals and I’m appointing, you know, you saw the 11 names I gave, and we’re going to have great judges, conservative, all picked by the Federalist Society,” he said.

Last month, Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees crafted by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society.



June 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Undocumented victims of Orlando shooting face unique challenges and fears


It is generally known that last Saturday night was "Latin Night" at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Many Latina/os were among the victims, something that Tony Varona has emphasized should not be erased. reports that there were at least two undocumented victims.  Victor is recovering in an Orlando hospital room after being shot twice during the massacre last Saturday night. The 24-year-old Salvadoran is being consoled by three friends at his bedside, but as an undocumented man with no relatives nearby and no idea when his injuries will allow him to return to work, he’s worried about how he’s going to pay for the hospital bills—and what will happen to him if he can’t.

Victor, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is one of two undocumented immigrants who were shot and survived during the nightclub attack. The other, a 33-year-old Mexican named Javier, is recovering in the hospital and reportedly in stable condition despite taking a bullet to the abdomen.


June 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

What a Trump Win Could Mean For Courts


Tom Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF in the National Law Journal has an op/ed on Donald Trump's attacks Judge Gonzalo Curiel.  It begins:

"In an electoral year characterized by its unexpected and unusual developments, this week's introduction of one candidate's private business litigation into the presidential campaign still stands out as extraordinary. It is even more peculiar that the candidate who is the subject of the litigation himself, rather than any opponent, chose to interject the business matter into the campaign.

Donald Trump's public smearing at a campaign rally of the federal judge presiding over one of many current lawsuits involving his businesses has created an ongoing political stir for the candidate and his high-profile supporters. Recalling the controversial initial announcement of his presidential candidacy, Trump's use of Judge Gonzalo Curiel's Mexican heritage as the basis for accusing him of bias has understandably led many to raise ­questions about the candidate's own possible biases."


Read more:

June 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nigerian Refugee Seeking Olympic Gold for Canada

From OZY:

The final freestyle wrestling match is about to begin, and to set the stage at this particular Summer Olympics, a CBC broadcaster explains that no Canadian wrestler has ever won gold. “If you don’t know the story of Daniel Igali,” he says. “He came to Canada back in 1994 to wrestle in the Commonwealth Games for Nigeria. He finished 13th that year. There was unrest in his country. He decided to stay.”

The one word the announcer doesn’t use during the six-minute match? Refugee.

Plenty of ink has been spilled recently about whether countries should admit more refugees. And this summer, in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee plans to let some refugee athletes compete on a special team. No such team existed when Igali was growing up in Nigeria in the ’80s and ’90s — a time of military coups and a shaky transition to civilian rule. Universities didn’t really support or encourage students to pursue athletics professionally, Igali says, so even though he was the African National Champion in wrestling at age 20, he felt he had to choose between school and his sport.



June 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

11 Year Old (Immigrant) Dreams of Being President, Wants to Change Constitution


Alena Mulhern (left) and her Uncle (courtesy of People)

Diane Herbst in People tells an interesting story of an immigrant dreaming of being President of the United States.   

Alena Mulhern, 11, dreams of running for president in 2040, the first year she could legally serve as Commander in Chief. But she can't as a matter of U.S. constitutional law.

The Constitution allows only natural born citizens to be President.  The fifth grader from Kingston, Massachusetts, and her lawmaker uncle are working to change that.

Born in China and adopted at 10 months old, Alena is a U.S. citizen but not a natural born citizen, which the Constitution requires for those seeking the presidency.

June 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)