Tuesday, February 7, 2017

MPI Launches Series Assessing Trump Administration Executive Order Changes to Prior Policy; 1st Brief Examines Travel, Refugee Ban

Amid widespread public attention—in the United States and internationally—on the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” executive order signed by President Trump on January 27, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) today released a brief that outlines the major provisions of the executive order and compares them to current and prior policy regarding admission of refugees and noncitizens from its seven designated countries. The brief, Trump Executive Order on Refugees and Travel Ban: A Brief Review, represents the first in a series that will examine key provisions of the immigration-related executive orders signed to date. In addition to the executive order suspending the U.S. refugee resettlement program and pausing admission of noncitizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, President Trump also has signed executive orders dealing with immigration enforcement at the U.S. border and in the U.S. interior.

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that indefinitely suspends the resettlement of Syrian refugees, pauses the overall refugee resettlement program, and temporarily bars noncitizens from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States. The “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” executive order has been the subject of numerous legal challenges.

This fact sheet, presented in an easy-to-reference side-by-side chart, outlines the key provisions in the executive order and compares them to current and prior policy and practice, providing context where relevant.


February 7, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

84 Lumber Joins Budweiser in Making Immigration a Super Bowl Sunday Story: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”

ImmigrationProf previously highlighted the Budweiser pro-immigrant story told by commercial during the Super Bowl, which saw an amazing comeback by a Trump-backed team known as the Patriots. 



84 Lumber's Super Bowl ad centers on a mother and daughter traveling through Mexico. This is the full ad, which includes the portion Fox deemed too controversial to air during the Super Bowl. 84 Lumber's Super Bowl ad centers on a mother and daughter traveling through Mexico. This is the full ad, which includes the portion that the Fox network deemed too controversial to air during the Super Bowl. (84 Lumber)

Thomas Heath in the Washington Post explains how building supplies company 84 Lumber sparked controversy with its Super Bowl ad featuring a Mexican mother and daughter embarking on a difficult journey north.  It ends with the written words: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”  The Super Bowl ad asked viewers to visit the 84 Lumber website if they wanted to find out how the journey ended. The website version included a five-minute “director’s cut” version that concludes with the pair entering the United States through a door in the border wall, which looks more ominous and foreboding than beautiful. I found the ending to be powerful and moving.  84 Lumber’s site was overwhelmed by the traffic.

February 7, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA urges President Trump to withdraw order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries

Yesterday, the American Bar Association urged President Donald Trump today to withdraw the executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which restricts immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the entry of Syrian refugees.

By voice vote, the ABA House of Delegates, the association’s policy-making body, adopted resolution 10C calling on the executive branch to ensure full, prompt, and uniform compliance with court orders addressing the executive order.

The House––made up of 589 members representing state and local bar associations, ABA entities and ABA-affiliated organizations––also urged the administration to take care that all executive orders regarding border security, immigration enforcement and terrorism:

  • respect the bounds of the U.S. Constitution and due process rights;

  • not use religion or nationality as a basis for barring an otherwise eligible individual from admission to the United States;

  • adhere to the U.S.’s international law obligations relating to the status of refugees and to the principle of non-refoulement; and

  • facilitate a transparent, accessible, fair and efficient system of administering the immigration laws and policies of the United States and ensure protection for refugees, asylum seekers, torture victims and others deserving of humanitarian refuge;

In Resolution 10B, the House also reaffirmed the ABA’s support of legal protection for refugees, asylum seekers, torture victims, and others deserving of humanitarian refuge. It urged Congress to adopt additional legislation to appropriate funds for refugee applications and processing, and mandate that refugees receive an appropriate individualized assessment in a timely fashion that excludes national origin and religion as the basis for making such determination.


February 7, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

History shows Trump will face legal challenges to​ detaining immigrants


President Trump's January 25, 2017 Executive Order on "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements" identifies increased immigrant detention as one of the "immigration enforcement improvements" to be pursued by the Trump administration.  I look briefly at the use of immigrant detention and the legal challenges to immigrant detention in this post on The Conversation.



February 7, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Washington v. Trump: Oral Argument Tomorrow Afternoon

University of Minnesota Law School Receives $25 million to Fund James H. Binger Center for New Americans and Clinical Faculty Professorship


Today, the University of Minnesota Law School announced a transformational $25 million gift from the Robina Foundation. The grant—the single largest philanthropic gift in the Law School’s history—will fund the newly named James H. Binger Center for New Americans, establish a James H. Binger Professorship in Clinical Law, and provide Law School student scholarship support.

The gift will provide permanent financial support to the University of Minnesota Law School for the ongoing operations of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans. The Center brings about transformative change by creating a national model for the provision of comprehensive and cohesive legal services for immigrant communities through a variety of means, including improving federal immigration law and policy through impact litigation; protecting detainee rights and improving access to legal representation for refugees and immigrants; educating noncitizens about their legal rights; creating dynamic and comprehensive immigration clinics for students; and collaborating with others on immigration issues. During its four-year pilot program—supported by the Robina Foundation—the Center won a landmark case at the U.S. Supreme Court; won political asylum for clients from around the world; and won release for detained immigrants in Minnesota.


February 6, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

IKEA's award-winning flat-pack refugee shelter


The Design Museum in London has awarded IKEA the Beazley Design of the Year for its new, flat-pack refugee shelter. The shelter is made of recycled plastic and can assembled in as few as four hours. It can house a family of five and includes a solar panel to power lights and charge devices. Thousands of units have been produced and the map below shows where they are being put to use.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 3.12.17 PM


February 6, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

MoMA Showcases Art from Banned Countries

While the validity of Trump's executive order restricting entry of migrants from seven predominantly-Muslim countries is being evaluated in courts, NYC's Museum of Modern Art has already taken a stand against the ban. The MoMA has:

reconfigured its fifth-floor permanent-collection galleries — interrupting its narrative of Western Modernism, from Cézanne through World War II — to showcase contemporary art from Iran, Iraq and Sudan[.]

Each piece of art is accompanied by the following notice:

“This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum, as they are to the United States.”


February 6, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Iran changes its mind, says it will allow U.S. wrestlers after judge blocks Trump travel ban

The Los Angeles Times reports that, after a federal judge temporarily blocked President Trump’s ban on Iranians traveling to the United States, the government of Iran has announced that a U.S. wrestling team would be granted visas to compete at a prestigious international tournament in Iran this month. The move was aimed at deescalating tensions with the Trump administration, which had put Iran “on notice” and imposed fresh sanctions after the Islamic republic conducted a ballistic missile test last weekend.Iranian news agencies had reported Friday that Americans would be denied visas to compete in the Freestyle World Cup Feb. 16-17 in Kermanshah, Iran. Arena-2

February 6, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Irony of President Trump's Immigration Executive Orders: He Campaigned Against President Obama's More Modest Executive Actions

Does it seem ironic to anyone that President Trump is now embroiled in controversy over his executive actions on immigration when he campaigned in part challenging President Obama's allegedly unconstitutional executive action on immigration?  President Obama's last two years in office were marked by legal challenges to the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, with a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas allowing a lower court injunction barring the President from putting DAPA into effect.


In his first month in office, President Trump has issued three executive orders on immigration that have caused a firestorm of controversy.  The Executive Orders generated a great many legal challenges, with the travel ban on nationals from seven predominately nations has been put on hold, at least for the time being.  It seems to me that the constitutional challenges to Trump's executive orders are more substantial and formidable than those leveled at DAPA.



February 6, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

American Universities Respond to Trump's Executive Order (aka "the Muslim Ban")


Professor Sahar F. Aziz on the Race and the Law Prof Blog has posted a non-exhaustive list of links to formal statements by various American universities in response to President Trump's Executive Order (also known as "the Muslim Ban") targeting noncitizens from Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen.   


February 6, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

LA Times Estimates 8 Million Could be Deportation Priorities

In "Not Just 'Bad Hombres': Trump is Targeting up to 8 Million People for Deportation," the LA Times estimates that the recent immigration executive orders (as well as an EO that is under consideration but not yet signed) may treat as many as 8 million persons as deportation priorities under the new Regime Administration.

From the article:

"In late January, Trump’s immigration policy experts gave a 20-page document to top Homeland Security officials that lays out how to ramp up immigration enforcement, according to two people familiar with the memo. A list of steps included nearly doubling the number of people held in immigration detention to 80,000 per day, as well as clamping down on programs that allow people to leave immigration custody and check in with federal agents or wear an ankle monitor while their cases play out in immigration court.

The instructions also propose allowing Border Patrol agents to provide translation assistance to local law enforcement, a practice that was stopped in 2012 over concerns that it was contributing to racial profiling.

In addition, Homeland Security officials have circulated an 11-page memo on how to enact Trump’s order. Among other steps, that document suggests expanding the use of a deportation process that bypasses immigration courts and allows officers to expel foreigners immediately upon capture. The process, called expedited removal, now applies only to immigrants who are arrested within 100 miles of the border and within two weeks of illegally crossing over and who don’t express a credible fear of persecution back home. The program could be expanded farther from the border and target those who have lived in the U.S. illegally for up to two years."



February 5, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Centennial of the Immigration Act of 1917: Historical Foundations and Modern Incarnations


Asiatic Barred Zone

On February 5 1917, 100 years ago to the day, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which imposed the literacy test on all incoming immigrants and expanded the Chinese exclusion laws to exclude all noncitizens from the "Asiatic Barred Zone."  The 1917 law was a precursor to the Immigration Act of 1924, which created the discriminatory national origins quotas system.  Congress passed the law with an overwhelming majority, overriding President Woodrow Wilson's veto.

In addition, the 1917 Act added to and consolidated the list of undesirables banned from entering the country t o include "alcoholics", "anarchists", "contract laborers", "criminals and convicts", "epileptics", "feebleminded persons", "idiots", "illiterates", "imbeciles", "insane persons", "paupers", "persons afflicted with contagious disease", "persons being mentally or physically defective", "persons with constitutional psychopathic inferiority", "political radicals", "polygamists", "prostitutes" and "vagrants."

Groups such as  the Immigration Restriction League had supported literacy as a prerequisite for immigration for many years. In 1895, Henry Cabot Lodge introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate to impose a literacy test, which would have required prospective immigrants to read five lines from the Constitution. Congress passed the bill but President Grover Cleveland vetoed it. A literacy test was later passed by Congress and vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson

Anxiety over the fragmentation of American cultural identity, anti-immigrant, and anti-Asian sentiment, led to the Immigration Act of 1917.

Almost immediately after its passage, the Immigration Act of 1917 was challenged by Southwestern businesses. US entry into World War I, a few months after the law's passage, prompted a waiver of the Act's provisions on Mexican agricultural workers. It was soon extended to include Mexicans working in the mining and railroad industries.

Ray Sanchez on CCN conisders looks at the Immigration Act of 1917 and draws paralleles with President Trump's three immigration executive orders.


February 5, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wheaton College Announces Full Scholarship for Refugees from Countries Named in Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban


Wheaton College has announced a full scholarship to be awarded to a student refugee fleeing Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen—the seven nations named in President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

A release last week states that

"The current executive order on immigration, which was signed on Friday, January 27, endangers the broadly diverse learning environment that is essential to our mission.  This new policy implies that international students are neither needed nor wanted. This is false, and we must counter that divisive message.

To promote our mission, we announce today our intention to offer a full scholarship to a student refugee from a war-torn country with a special preference from one of the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

At the same time, we urge our country’s leaders to end swiftly the ban on welcoming refugees and foreign nationals to sustain the productive exchange of ideas and viewpoints that make our institutions of higher learning such fertile ground for expanding knowledge and hope.

We call on our colleagues at institutions of higher education across the country to join us in making a clear statement about the importance of diversity and openness on our campuses. By providing scholarship support to refugees from these countries, we extend the hand of opportunity and friendship to those who need it most and offer a model to our nation for more constructive engagement with the world.

“By providing scholarship support to refugees from these countries, we extend the hand of opportunity and friendship to those who need it most and offer a model to our nation for more constructive engagement with the world.”

Wheaton is a private liberal arts college in Norton, Massachusetts.


February 5, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Breaking News: Ninth Circuit Denies U.S. Government's Request for an Emergency Stay of TRO in Muslim Ban Case


The New York Times reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit early this morning denied a request by the U.S. Justice Department to immediately restore President Trump’s Executive Order travel ban.  Judges William Canby and Michelle Friedland  of the  Ninth Circuit ordered as follows:

"The court has received appellants’ emergency motion (Docket Entry No. 14).  Appellants’ request for an immediate administrative stay pending full consideration of the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied. 

Appellees’ opposition to the emergency motion is due Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PST.  Appellants’ reply in support of the emergency motion is due Monday, February 6, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. PST."  

The ruling means that refugees and travelers from seven nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — who were barred by an executive order signed by President Trump on Jan. 27 would, for now, continue to be able to enter the country.

The Justice Department's brief filed in the Ninth Circuit makes an argument for expansive presidential powers:

"The district court’s sweeping injunction should be stayed pending appeal.  It conflicts with the basic principle that `an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application, for the power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign prerogative.'  Landon v. Plasencia, 459 U.S. 21, 32 (1982).  It also contravenes the considered judgment of Congress that the President should have the unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens.  The district court did not confront those authorities; indeed, it gave no explanation why the State of Washington has a high likelihood of success on the merits of its claims.  And it entered the injunction at the behest of a party that is not itself subject to the Executive Order; lacks Article III standing or any right to challenge the denial of entry or visas to third-party aliens; and brings a disfavored facial challenge.  The injunction is also vastly overbroad—it is untethered to Washington’s particular claims; extends even to aliens abroad who currently have no visas; and applies nationwide, effectively overriding the judgment  of another district court that sustained the Executive Order against parallel challenges."


February 5, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Getting Up to Speed on Muslim Ban Litigation? See Marty Lederman 's Post at Just Security


Marty Lederman has posted an analysis - with helpful links - at the Just Security blog of the litigation challenging the entry ban targeting nationals of seven countries.


February 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Julia Preston at the Marshall Project on Deportations, Detentions under Immigration EOs

Julia preston

Former NYT journalist Julia Preston has published her first piece at the Marshall Project, and highlights the deportation/detention aspects of the executive order addressing interior enforcement.  Check it out here


February 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICYMI: Samantha Bee's Interview w/Lee Gelernt, ACLU


ICYMI - Full Frontal's Samantha Bee and her interview with Lee Gelernt of the ACLU. If only we could all earn the badge of America's sweetheart ACLU lawyer!


February 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NYT Magazine on the "Parachute Generation"


(Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux, for the NYT)

This weekend's New York Times Magazine contains a fascinating feature article entitled, "The Parachute Generation," which explores the experience of Chinese students who came to the U.S. to enroll a public high school in Oxford, Michigan in an effort to prepare themselves for enrollment in college in the U.S., which was supported by the principal of the U.S. school. 

The piece ties together a number of related themes: the competitive educational system in China that many Chinese parents believe stifles individualism and creativity, the challenges of assimilation, the responses of a largely white community to a small community of Chinese students, the anxiety caused by the threat of China, and the American school's efforts to interpret the F-1 visa requirements to permit the students to study for two years (rather than one). 

DHS eventually determined that the students' use of the F-1 visa for two years (which the U.S. school approached by having the students simultaneously enroll in a college-level program) was not permissible, and the exchange program ended. The broader themes, of course, persist.


February 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Impact: Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch on Immigration


ImmigrationProf has previously reported that Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee is not as wedded to Chevron deference, an issue that comes up on virtually any immigration appeal, as Justice ScaliaImmigration Impact looks at the immigration record of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and reviews his opinions on immigration matters as a court of appeals judge.  The conclusion:  "Judge Gorsuch’s record indicates that he is neither a staunch defender nor a harsh critic of immigrants’ rights. In his time on the bench, Judge Gorsuch has dealt with only a handful of prominent immigration law cases. Of those, he has ruled in favor of the immigrant slightly less than half of the time."


February 4, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)