Saturday, February 15, 2014
The Immigrant Justice Network and CAMBIO are excited to share a new resource in English and Spanish for community based organizations, activists, and all those fighting for fair and just immigration reforms at the federal and local levels.
Learn, Share, Fight Back:
The Short Immigration Guide to How Arrests and Convictions Separate Families
This illustrated guide breaks down how arrests and convictions affect immigrants who have status and those who hope to get it, discusses the impact of current immigration reform proposals, and provides stories and tools for communities to fight back.
The guides can be downloaded here.
We hope this resource will be shared far and wide and be used by community based organizations, activists, and others in efforts to fight for fair and just immigration reform for all immigrants.
While states like California are extending driver's license eligibility to the undocumented, there is a push in the opposiite direction in New Mexico. Immigration Impact reports that for the fifth time in four years, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is trying to persuade the legislature to repeal the 2003 law making all drivers, regardless of their immigration status, eligible for a license. Even though the chances of repeal seem slim, the call for rescinding the driver’s license law is grist for the governor’s fundraising mill. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the governor’s December 2013 fundraising pitch claimed, “Now, our opponents want us to give up. They are organized and well financed so I am asking you to join me by contributing whatever you can to help make sure we go into the session prepared to fight.”
William A. Kandel has prepared a briefing on "U.S. Naturalization Policy" for the Congressional Research Service. The summary states that
"Congress is currently considering extensive reforms to U.S. immigration laws, which could affect naturalization policy and the number of persons who naturalize each year. Although concerns regarding U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) petition processing capabilities sometimes arise when large numbers of foreign nationals petition for immigration benefits, the agency’s capacity and recent modernization efforts have minimized excessive processing delays.
Several issues for Congress center on facilitating naturalization. Immigrant advocacy organizations contend that the current level of naturalization fees discourages immigrants from seeking U.S. citizenship. Other immigration policy observers argue that current fees recover the full cost of a process that is intended to be self-financing. Some in Congress have repeatedly expressed interest in facilitating language and civics instruction as a means to promote naturalization. Others argue that English language proficiency as well as civics education is the responsibility of immigrants and not the federal government. Recent efforts have focused on further streamlining and expediting naturalizatio ns for military personnel and in providing immigration benefits for their relatives. Proposals have also been introduced that would revise the naturalization oath to place greater emphasis on allegiance to the United States."
Thursday, February 13, 2014
This blog post shows once again how technology can impact the immigration laws. TRANSMISSION OF AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP THROUGH ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY - AN UPDATE By Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta.
This Center of Migration Studies analyzes the latest immigrant detention data. In FY 2012, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detained a record 477,523 adult noncitizens. Since the Obama Administration announced its detention reform initiative in 2009, the number of noncitizens DHS detains yearly has increased by nearly 25 percent. Since passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIIRIRA) in 1996, it has expanded over fivefold. The increase in detention seems to stem, in part, from an even greater rise in use of summary removal processes applied to non-citizens, including asylum-seekers. In addition, looking behind the numbers suggests that persons in normal removal proceedings (before an Immigration Judge) face ever longer periods in detention.
Since passage of IIRIRA, DHS has widely implemented three types of summary removals: “expedited removal” for noncitizens who encounter immigration authorities at or near a US border with insufficient or fraudulent documents;“reinstatement of removal” for noncitizens who unlawfully reenter after a prior removal order; and “administrative removal,” for noncitizens without lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, but with a prior criminal conviction which is considered an “aggravated felony” under US immigration laws. All impose mandatory detention during the summary removal processes (with some limited exceptions, described below).
Removals under these summary processes now constitute the vast majority of U.S. removals in FY 2012. Nearly three-quarters of removals are via “expedited removal” (39 percent) or “reinstatement of removal” (35.6 percent), not including “administrative removals” which DHS does not report. These two forms of summary removal increased from 56.2 percent of all removals in FY 2009 to nearly 75 percent in FY 2012. Meanwhile, while detention has also increased since FY 2009—24.5 percent in numeric terms—total removals have remained flatter, only increasing 6.5 percent since FY 2009. The increase in summary removals tracks the increase in detention.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The New York Immigration Coalition and the Center for Community and Ethnic Media present:
How Community and Ethnic Media Reports on Immigration
How do ethnic and local media report on immigration and local immigrant issues in New York?
The New York Immigration Coalition and The Center for Community and Ethnic Media at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism team up to host a panel featuring members of ethnic and local media to discuss what goes into crafting a story, what kinds of stories work and don't work, and how to further relationships between journalists and advocates. Advocates, community members, and journalists are invited to attend a targeted discussion and Q&A to further relationships between journalists and advocates.
CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
219 West 40th Street (Room 308)
New York, NY 10018
When: Thursday, February 13th
Time: 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Erica Gonzalez, executive editor, El Diario La Prensa
Erica Pearson, reporter, Daily News
Rong Xiaoqing, reporter, Sing Tao Daily
Click HERE to RSVP
A federal judge issued a ruling earlier this week that will enable Connecticut and Massachusetts residents and others held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to challenge the lengthy detention of persons who pose no danger to the community. In his ruling, U.S. Judge Michael Ponsor rejected the government’s “dubious interpretation” of immigration statutes and certified a class of all immigrant detainees held six months or longer in Massachusetts. Judge Ponsor characterized the government’s arguments as “irrelevant,” “ultimately flawed,” and unable to “withstand scrutiny.” The representative plaintiff for the class is Mark Reid, a lawful permanent resident from New Haven, Connecticut and veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve. Reid is currently detained by ICE in Massachusetts. Reid and class are represented by students from the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) and the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, part of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School.
FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST: "Residents of a small Nebraska city have reaffirmed their desire to take on illegal immigration. Nearly 60 percent of Fremont voters decided Tuesday to keep an ordinance that requires all renters to swear they have legal permission to live in the U.S. " The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit last year rejected a constitutional challenge to the Fremont immigration enforcement ordinance.
Immigration Article of the Day: Laura Murray-Tjan, Immigration Law: Raise Your Hand If You Understand It
Laura Murray-Tjan in Immigration Law: Raise Your Hand If You Understand It reminds us of just how complex and perplexing the Immigration and Nationality Act is.
The Toronto Star has a very nice article about our Immigrant of the Day, Kwame Dougan, a refugee from Ghana who grew up in poverty in "Toronto community housing, where he and his mother counted on Goodwill for clothes and Sally Ann for food. . . . Now, almost 25 years after he and his mother . . . sought asylum in Canada, Dougan . . . is a Wall Street corporate lawyer specializing in securities and commercial litigation for Shearman & Sterling LLP."
New York City may soon become the largest city in the country to offer residents, including undocumented immigrants, an identification card, making it easier to, for example, open up bank accounts.
“We will protect the almost half-million undocumented New Yorkers, whose voices too often go unheard. We will reach out to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status -- issuing municipal ID cards available to all New Yorkers this year -- so that no daughter or son of our city goes without bank accounts, leases, library cards…simply because they lack identification.
To all of my fellow New Yorkers who are undocumented, I say: New York City is your home too, and we will not force ANY of our residents to live their lives in the shadows.
La ciudad de Nueva York es el hogar de todos los que vivimos aqui. No dejaremos que ninguno de nuestros residentes viva en las sombras."
The proposal would need to be approved by the City Council. The Council's first Hispanic president, Melissa Mark-Viverito, has expressed her support for this kind of measure in the past.
A previous ImmigrationProf Imnmigrant of the Day,Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard has announced that she is retiring from the California Supreme Court. She is the court's longest-serving justice, with a 25-year tenure. Justice Kennard is well-known for her independent approach to the issues and her laser-like questioning during oral arguments.
Justice Kennard's life story is a compelling one. She was born in Indonesia and confined in an internment camp during the Japanese occupation of the region. When she was a teenager, a tumor required doctors to amputate her right leg above the knee. She walks with a prosthesis and a cane.
"As an immigrant who came to this country at age 20 in 1961 with just the rudiments of an education, any success I achieved could have happened only in America, a land that encourages impossible dreams, a land where one can succeed against all odds," Kennard reportedly told Governor Brown in the letter announcing her retirement. "I never felt that America owed me anything. I am indebted to America for letting me in." Kennard, a voracious worker, said in an interview that she wanted time for other pursuits. "While my health is still good, I would like to spend time doing things with friends," she said.
Maura Dolan of the Los Angeles Times writes that Governor Jerry "Brown is likely to face strong pressure to replace Kennard with a Latino. Some Latino groups reacted furiously in 2011 when Brown chose Justice Goodwin Liu, a former UC Berkeley law professor, over Latino candidates. The seven-member court has no Latino or African American member, and Liu, a liberal, is its only Democratic appointee."
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
CLINIC has released its newly updated Toolkit for Naturalization Workshops. The workshop is an essential tool for efficiently and effectively providing naturalization assistance to large numbers of people. The success of the workshop model depends on careful planning, thorough training of staff and volunteers, and high quality services. The purpose of this toolkit is to help charitable immigration programs achieve a successful workshop. The updated version contains a number of new resources, including a compilation of best practices and innovations for workshops; additional webinar trainings related to workshops; updated sample forms collected from local service providers; and a link to the previous version of the Form N-400, which will be accepted by USCIS until May 5, 2014.
Apple Insider and other media outlets have reported on U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh's denial of motions last Friday in the landmark Apple v. Samsung patent trial. In the order, Judge Koh denied both parties' motions, including Samsung's request for new trial on the November retrial for damages. In the 2013 retrial, Apple was awarded $290 million, which brings the total damages amount from the original Apple v. Samsung trial up to over $900 million. Each side argued, however, that the jury got it wrong. Apple pushed for a larger award of damages, while Samsung sought to reduce the damage award and a new trial.
Judge Koh quickly dismissed the entirety of Apple's motion and did much the same with Samsung's arguments. Samsung made a number of arguments for a retrial, but the most interesting was the claim that Apple counsel im[prermissibly appealed to to racial, national origin, and ethnic prejudice. Judge Koh found at least part of Apple's closing statement "troubling."
Samsung cited the following excerpt of Apple's closing argument as an appeal to prejudice:
"We are extremely fortunate to live in what I'll call the Greater Bay Area. Not only is it beautiful, but we live in the center of one of the most vibrant economies in the world. Intel, Yahoo, Oracle, Facebook, eBay, and hundreds and hundreds of other companies, including Google, and including Apple, and these companies attract talented employees at every level. Even, we heard, Samsung has opened a research center here so that they can take advantage of the talent in this area.
The companies provide jobs. They create technology that improves the way people work. And the company — and this economy supports an education system that is second to none in the world, Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose State, U.S. [sic] Santa Cruz, even Santa Clara where I went to school.
These educational institutions interact with this economy, interact with these companies and create a place that the whole world knows as Silicon Valley.
But let's be equally clear about one thing. Our vibrant economy absolutely depends on fair competition. It depends on a patent system that encourages inventors to invent, it encourages investors to invest, and it encourages employers to hire.
If we allow that system of law to decay, investors will not invest, people will not take risks, and our economy will disappear.
When I was young, I used to watch television on televisions that were manufactured in the United States. Magnavox, Motorola, RCA. These were real companies. They were well known and they were famous. They were creators. They were inventors. They were like the Apple and Google today.
But they didn't protect their intellectual property. They couldn't protect their ideas. And you all know the result. There are no American television manufacturers today."
From the Bookshelves: Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America Edited by Kimberly Jade Norwood
Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America Edited by Kimberly Jade Norwood. Routledge – 2014
In the United States, as in many parts of the world, people are discriminated against based on the color of their skin. This type of skin tone bias, or colorism, is both related to and distinct from discrimination on the basis of race, with which it is often conflated. Preferential treatment of lighter skin tones over darker occurs within racial and ethnic groups as well as between them. While America has made progress in issues of race over the past decades, discrimination on the basis of color continues to be a constant and often unremarked part of life.
In Color Matters, Kimberly Jade Norwood has collected the most up-to-date research on this insidious form of discrimination, including perspectives from the disciplines of history, law, sociology, and psychology. Anchored with historical chapters that show how the influence and legacy of slavery have shaped the treatment of skin color in American society, the contributors to this volume bring to light the ways in which colorism affects us all--influencing what we wear, who we see on television, and even which child we might pick to adopt.
Sure to be an eye-opening collection for anyone curious about how race and color continue to affect society, Color Matters provides students of race in America with wide-ranging overview of a crucial topic.
Here is the contents of the volume:
Introduction Kimberly Norwood
1. The Ubiquitousness of Colorism: Then and Now, Kimberly Norwood and Violeta Foreman
2. The Origins of Colorism in Early American Law, Paul Finkelman
3. The Rise and Fall of the One-Drop Rule: How the Importance of Color Came to Eclipse Race, Kevin D. Brown
4. A Darker Shade of Pale Revisited: Disaggregated Blackness and Colorism in the "Postracial" Obama Era, Taunya Banks
5. Interracial Intimacy in the Context of Colorism: How Skin Color Matters, Kellina Craig-Henderson
6. Fragmented Identity: Psychological Insecurity and Colorism among African Americans, Vetta Sanders Thompson
7. Colorism and Blackthink: A Modern Augmentation of Double Consciousness, Kimberly Jade Norwood
8. The Implications of Skin Color vis-à-vis Discrimination: Revisiting Affirmative Action, Ronald Hall and Adrienne Johnson
9. A New Way Forward: The Development and Preliminary Validation of Two Colorism Scales, Richard D. Harvey, Kira Hudson Banks, and Rachel E. Tennial
Greetings from the Library of Congress.
The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress wishes to notify you and extend an invitation to you and your colleagues to join us for a conversation on “World Christianity, Immigration and the U.S.,” to be held on Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. at the Library of Congress.
Four religion scholars from across the country will convene to discuss the effect that religion, particularly the diverse practices of Christian immigrants, are having on American society and religion. The focus raises a dimension of the discussion on immigration that so far is barely noticed in the Washington, D.C. context. Hosted by The John W. Kluge Center, the discussion will be moderated by Laurie Goodstein, National Religion Correspondent for The New York Times.
We thought you may find this program of interest and relevance to your staff and your work. Full information can be found below and on our website: http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/news/worldchristianity-2013.html.
Regards from Washington,
World Christianity, Immigration, and the U.S.: The Non-Western Church Comes to America
Moderated by Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times
Wednesday, February 26, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Room LJ-119, 1st Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
On Twitter: #WorldChris
Free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.
Immigration reform advocates are done playing nice with House Republicans.
After holding their fire for years at the urging of the Obama administration, several immigration reform groups now plan to unleash their anger at the right.
A new, more aggressive campaign kicks off Tuesday, when these groups say they will begin confronting Republican lawmakers at public appearances, congressional hearings and events back in home districts. The goal: Shame Republicans in swing districts into taking up the issue — or make them pay at the ballot box in November.
It’s unclear if the strategy will truly damage Republicans with their constituents. Or worse, whether it might backfire and oust some of the movement’s best potential allies across the aisle.
Still, the groups believe it’s time to try something new. The movement embraced a distinctly positive message when Barack Obama took office in 2009 and stuck with it publicly even until last month, when the groups applauded House Republican leaders for releasing a set of immigration reform principles at a GOP winter retreat.
But things changed last week when Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dashed hopes that a major immigration overhaul could happen this year — leaving immigration groups to say enough is enough.
“Obviously, persuasion only got us so far,” Kica Matos, a spokeswoman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, said Monday. “What we are now doing is to switch tactics from persuasion to punishment.” Read more....
From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
On February 4, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced changes to the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. This form has doubled in length, and is now 21 pages. The increase in length is due in part to additional questions related to determinations about good moral character and national security.
Beginning on May 5, 2014, USCIS will only accept the new (09/13/13) edition. We anticipate these changes will make it more challenging for applicants and advocates assisting applicants with naturalization, particularly those participating in group processing workshops.
The ILRC is in the process of developing an annotated version of the new N-400 with comments to help advocates and applicants when filling out the new form. For more information, contact Aidin Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The President's Enforcement Power by Kate Andrias, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - University of Michigan Law School August 29, 2013 New York University Law Review, Vol. 88, No. 4, p. 101, October 2013
Abstract: Enforcement of law is at the core of the President’s constitutional duty to “take Care” that the laws are faithfully executed, and it is a primary mechanism for effecting national regulatory policy. Yet questions about how presidents oversee agency enforcement activity have received surprisingly little scholarly attention. This Article provides a positive account of the President’s role in administrative enforcement, explores why presidential enforcement has taken the shape it has, and examines the bounds of the President’s enforcement power. It demonstrates that presidential involvement in agency enforcement, though extensive, has been ad hoc, crisis-driven, and frequently opaque. The Article thus reveals the need for institutional design reforms — namely more coordination across agencies and greater disclosure of enforcement policy. The seeds for such reforms can be found in several recent efforts that have yet to be made systematic. Concerns about politicization of law enforcement should not override the considerable benefits that would derive. Rather, by acknowledging the President’s role in, and responsibility for, enforcement, we can better ensure the structure and transparency that promote appropriate presidential influence.
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, the George Polk Award for International Reporting, and the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States. The book won the 2011 Williams College Book Award Program, the 2006 California Book Award, Silver Medal in non-fiction, and the 2006 Christopher Book Award. It has been translated into eight languages, chosen by 66 universities and scores of high schools nationwide as a common or freshman read, and selected by 11 cities as a "One City" read.
At a time when America is embroiled in a national debate on immigration that will shape the country’s future, Sonia Nazario argues that we urgently need a different approach. Instead of continuing the same three ineffectual strategies--greater border enforcement (costing $18 billion a year), temporary guest worker programs, and pathways to citizenship--she calls for a new approach that addresses key “push” factors that propel migrants, especially women and children, to leave their homelands. She argues that instead of spending billions on walls that don’t work, the U.S. must improve conditions in four countries that send 74% of migrants who come to the U.S. illegally by increasing aide to help improve education for girls, lowering birthrates; promoting micro-loans to help women start job-generating businesses; and gear trade policies to give clear preference to goods from these four countries. As the Latino electorate is felt more acutely at the polls and businesses demand more immigrant workers as the economy grows, political leaders are increasingly confronting the immigration issue. House Republican leaders on January 30th proposed changes that include tougher border enforcement, a better system for temporary workers, more visas for high skilled workers, and a path to legalization for children, but not necessarily for half of the 11.7 million in the U.S. illegally.
A revised and updated version of Enrique's Journey was published today by Random House! The new edition truly re-works the original with an updated, compelling epilogue about the family, chapter on immigration, never before seen photos of Enrique and his family, as well as a Q & A with the author.