Monday, November 10, 2014
Last January, the California Supreme Court ruled that Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant waiting for 20 years for an immigrant visa, was eligible to practice law in the state. Here is an update on his new law practice.
Garcia has opened an office as a is a civil litigation lawyer who represents clients in car accidents. He does not practice immigration law. After being sworn in as a lawyer, Garcia rented an office in the rural Northern California college town of Chico, hired a secretary, hung his law degree on the wall, dressed in suits appropriate for an attorney, and began airing commercials on Spanish-language television and radio. He also works as a motivational speaker, talking about his experience growing up in the U.S. and Mexico and of achieving his dream to practice law.
Garcia arrived with his parents in California when he was an infant. He lives in the Chico area where his father — a naturalized U.S. citizen — operates a successful beekeeping business. Garcia applied for a green card in 1994 and is hopeful he will finally receive one soons. After graduating from a public high school, Garcia earned a paralegal certificate from Chico State University. He attended California Northern School of Law in Chico at night, graduating in 2009. He passed the California bar exam on his first attempt.
This Saturday, Rockwall, Texas made the news as the city saw police in riot gear standing guard as white supremacists rallied on the steps of the county courthouse against illegal immigration. One resident reportedly said that seeing Ku Klux Klan members flying neo-Nazi flags was a first for her.
In "THE FATE OF EXECUTIVE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION AFTER THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS," Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta offer the political case -- for Reublicans and Democrats -- for President Obama to exercise forceful leadership and take executive action on immigration.
The NYT has produced a new video on the 1980 murder of Maryknoll nuns in El Salvador: A Search for Justice. You can watch it below. The video is accompanied by an article Laying Out a Case for Deporting Human Rights Abusers, which tackles the question of whether individuals complicit in human rights violations should be deported despite long term residence in the US.
On March 30, 1942, Fumiko Hayashida and 226 other Japanese Americans were removed from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and forced into internment camps. A news photographer snapped her photo as she held her 13 month old daughter in her arms.
Fumiko survived internment and lived to the incredible age of 103. She died this past week in Seattle.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Richard Gonzales on NPR reports on the public discussions over immigration that have taken place in the wake of the killing of two Sacramento area sheriff's deputies by a Mexican national (who has given his name as Luis Enrique Monroy Bracamontes), who previously had been deported twice and had many relatively minor brushes with the law while living in the United States without authorization.
I stand by my comments in the story: "It's a tragic event that's really an exception as opposed to the rule. And people who are trying to capitalize on it for their own political ends should be ashamed of themselves.'
The U.S. immigration courts are again in the news. The Washington Post reports that federal investigators found rampant nepotism in recent years within the Executive Office for Immigration Review, including three top officials who used their positions to help relatives land paid internships. In a report, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said about 16 percent of the interns hired between 2007 and 2012 for the Executive Office of Immigration Review’s Student Temporary Employment Program were family members of employees. The high-level officials involved in the behavior included Immigration Review Director Juan Osuna, Chief Immigration Judge Brian O’Leary and Board of Immigration Appeals Chair David Neal, all of whom violated federal nepotism laws by helping relatives obtain positions with the internship program, according to investigators.
Once again, the state of Arisona is in the news with respect to immigration and once again has been told by a federal court that its efforts to facilitate enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws have gone to far.
A U.S. district court on Friday struck down the state's 2005 immigrant smuggling law that, like many state immigration enforcement statutes, because it conflicted with the federal government's power to regulate immigration. Here is Judge Susan Bolton's opinion in United States v. Arizona. As she succinctly concluded, "The Ninth Circuit’s holding in Valle del Sol Inc. v. Whiting dictates that federal law preempts A.R.S. § 13-2319 on both field and conflict preemption grounds."
The Arizona law empowered local law enforcement authorities to prosecute smugglers who brought people across the U.S./Mexico border into Arizona, and carried stiff penalties for traffickers who coerced immigrants into labor or prostitution.
The Phoenix New Times lamented that "The ruling comes nine years too late to prevent the turmoil and wasted resources that came from the 2005 law's use and abuse as a political tool by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio." The Sheriff's Office, which has a curious "Mugshot of the Day" feature on its website, has been the subject of many court orders seeking to end discriminatory enforcement of the law (including an order last month that Sheriff Arpaio take the same training as his deputies on racial profiling).
Generally speaking, the courts after the Supreme Court's decision in Arizona v. United States in 2012 have struck down in large part many state and local immigration enforcement schemes, including those passed by Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The same has happened to many local ordinances of this type, including those passed in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Farmer's Branch, Texas. The Supreme Court to this point has refused to review the decisions in those cases and, at least for now, has said its piece on the lawfulness of such laws, i.e., that they intrude on the federal power to regulate immigration.
Click here for the New York Times report on the most recent federal court ruling on Arizona's efforts to regulate immigration.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
In Honduran Youth Finds Welcome Mat at Oakland School Designed for Immigrants, the New York Times chronicles the story of Lester. At 14, Lester came to the United States from Honduras to join his mother and siblings.
Having survived the journey (marked by train rides, smugglers, and lack of food), Lester now attends Oakland International High School. The mission of this unique Bay Area school is "to provide quality alternative education for recently arrived immigrant students in English language acquisition and in preparation for college." In operation since August 2007, The Oakland International High School has just 100 students per grade. It provides students with rigorous academic content while simulateously working on improving their reading, writing, and speaking in English.
Be sure to check out the photo essay accompanying the NYT article: "Building a New Life."
General Stanley Gorenc is Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa, responsible for Air Force activities in 105 countries as well as the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. He has commanded a fighter squadron, an operations group, two wings, the Air Force District Washington, and a component Numbered Air Force. He previously served as the Air Staff’s assistant vice chief of staff and director, in Washington, D.C.
General Gorenc was born in Brezovica, Yugoslavia, present day Slovenia. Stanley immigrated with his parents to the United States from the former Yugoslavia in 1962. After arriving in America, their father worked as a tailor and their mother served as a factory machine operator.
Immigration Article of the Day: Delgado's Darkroom: Critical Reflections on Land Titles and Latino Legal Education by Richard Delgado
Delgado's Darkroom: Critical Reflections on Land Titles and Latino Legal Education by Richard Delgado, University of Alabama - School of Law October 31, 2014 New Mexico Law Review, 2014 U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2517429
Abstract: Delgado's Darkroom grew out of a talk -- the annual Senator Dennis Chavez Lecture -- that he gave at University of New Mexico. In it, he makes a number of points about the failure of legal education to equip minority lawyers to carry out serious law-reform work, especially in the area of land titles and claims.
In this Washington Post piece, Vivek Wadhwa blames the Democrats for the failure to promote the immigration of skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs to the United States. He sees the Republican election victory as a promising sign for immigration reform.
Friday, November 7, 2014
David Rogers at Politco reports that newly released government data shows that many child migrants – many under 14 and with no grasp of English — are still without attorneys to represent them in immigration court removal proceedings. The fast pace of arraignments has been quite extraordinary, with 11,392 master calendar hearings held from July 18 to October 21 or more than 800 a week. Of the 1542 removal orders issued in the same time period, 94 percent fell on children having no counsel.
Eric A. Posner and Glen Weyl in the New Republic offer an intriguing possibility for reducing economic inequality: "the most powerful force to reduce inequality worldwide has gone largely unrecognized by the West, even though their value has been proven in the Gulf nations: open migration laws that are coupled, paradoxically, with caste systems."
Here is the summary to this Congressional Research Service report:
The pool of people who are eligible to immigr ate to the United States as legal permanent residents (LPRs) each year typically exceeds the worldwide level set by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In an effort to process the demand for LPR visas fairly and in the national interest, LPR admissions are subject to a complex set of numerical limits and preference categories that give priority for admission on the basis of family relationships, needed skills, and geographic diversity. The INA further specifies that each year, countries are held to a numerical limit of 7% of the worldwide level of U.S. immigrant admissions, known as per-country limits or country caps.
In FY2013, just under 1 million aliens became U.S. legal permanent residents (LPRs). Of this total, 65.6% entered the United States on the basis of family ties. Other major categories of LPRs were employment-based (16.3%), refugees and asylees (12.1%), and diversity migrants (4.6%). In FY2013, Mexico was the source country of 13.6% of LPRs who were admitted or who adjusted status. Other top countries were China (7.2%), India (6.9%), the Philippines (5.5%), and the Dominican Republic (4.2%). Rather than newly arriving from abroad, 53.6% (530,802) were adjusting to LPR status from a temporary (i.e., nonimmigrant) status within the United States.
There were 4.4 million approved LPR visa petitions pending with the National Visa Center at the end of FY2013 because of the numerical limits in the INA, most of which are family-based petitions. These data do not constitute a backlog of petitions to be processed; rather, these data represent persons who have been approved for visas that are not yet available due to the numerical limits in the INA. Visas are generally available for unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens who filed in FY2006, but there are even l onger waits for unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens from Mexico and the Philippines. Prospective family-sponsored immigrants from the Philippines have the most substantial waiting times before a visa is scheduled to become available to them; consular officers are now considering the petitions of the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines who filed almost 24 years ago.
Most agree that revision of the system of permanent legal immigration should be one of the major components of a comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) proposal, along with increased border security and enforcement of immigration laws within the U.S. interior, reform of temporary worker visas, and options to address the millions of unauthorized aliens residing in the country. Congress is considering proposals to alter the legal immigration system—either in the form of CIR or in the form of incremental revisions aimed at strategic changes.
Some are advocating for a significant reallocation of the visa categories or a substantial increase in legal immigration to satisfy the desire of U.S. families to reunite with their relatives abroad and to meet the labor force needs of employers hiri ng foreign workers. Yet, proponents of family- based migration maintain that any proposal to increase immigration should also include the option of additional family-based visas to reduce waiting times—currently up to years or decades—for those already “in the queue.” Arguing against these competing priorities for increased immigration are those who favor reduced immigration, including proposals to limit family-based LPRs to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, to confine employment-based LPRs to highly skilled workers, and to eliminate the diversity visas.
Here is the top 10, some of which may surprise you:
1. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
2. Austin-Round Rock, TX
3. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
6. Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA
8. Knoxville, TN
9. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
10. Raleigh, NC
Where does the NYT come out? They write: "Now the election is over, and the only thing to say to the president is: Do it. Take executive action. Make it big."
Immigration Article of the Day: Human Trafficking: Identifying Forced Labor in Multinational Corporations & The Implications of Liability by Tara Marie Parente
Human Trafficking: Identifying Forced Labor in Multinational Corporations & The Implications of Liability by Tara Marie Parente, Barry University - Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law December 14, 2013 Brazilian Journal of International Law, Forthcoming
Abstract: This paper explores multinational corporations and use of human trafficking. More specifically, the type of human trafficking depicted in this paper deals with the use of forced labor. Multinational corporate involvement within the use of forced labor is explored and the depth regarding criminal and civil modes of corporate liability is explained. The main purpose of the paper is to exemplify how multinational corporations contribute to the increase of human trafficking practices and how difficult it is to assess liability or punishment for these violations. Unfortunately, the human trafficking industry is consistently increasing, due to its prevalence in the corporate world. There are laws and acts that have been created that prohibit the use of human trafficking, yet due to jurisdictional implications, regarding foreign-based corporations and extenuating costly litigation, the laws do not become effective for assigning liability. The ambiguities and lack of transparency in corporate structures along with the narrow reach of U.S. laws, creates an inability for victims to seek appropriate justice. The fight against human trafficking diminishes when multinational corporations use forced labor practices within business models.