Friday, July 11, 2014
In light of President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that he has requested recommendations from Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to help fix the nation’s immigration system, CAP experts have outlined the reasons why establishing a deferred-action program for undocumented immigrants would help American workers.
The most significant step President Obama can take toward fixing our immigration system would enable eligible undocumented immigrants to register with the government, request temporary protection from deportation, and apply for a work permit. Bringing undocumented immigrants into the folds of our society and economy would benefit all Americans.
The benefits of a deferred-action program for American workers are:
• Immigrants with temporary status would contribute more in tax revenues.
• Undocumented immigrants who can work legally would improve the productivity of our labor market.
• A deferred-action program would create jobs as undocumented immigrants spend more money in their communities.
• Granting temporary status would increase the wages of American workers.
• Giving legal status to unauthorized workers would improve employment protections for all workers.
While expanding temporary protection from deportation to certain undocumented immigrants clearly benefits American workers and the economy as a whole, experts point out that these gains are only a partial fix to the system as a whole.
“The benefits will be much deeper and wider once Congress overcomes its paralysis and passes comprehensive immigration reform,” said Marshall Fitz, CAP Director of Immigration Policy and co-author of the analysis. “As American workers wait for Congress to pass immigration reform, they would be wise to welcome the president extending temporary status to undocumented immigrants.”
It's The Law, Stupid, Now Obey It! Protecting the Human Rights of Unaccompanied Youth at the Border By Nativo Vigil Lopez©
How many times have we heard politicians declare continually that this is a nation of laws, especially as this pertains to immigration? How many times have they repeatedly howled about the RULE OF LAW? Well, this is exactly the retort to those who complain about the unaccompanied minors reaching the U.S. border seeking refugee from the orgy of violence prevalent in their countries of origin.
The reference is to H.R. 7311, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 introduced by former Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA-28), which became Public Law No: 110-457 on December 23, 2008. It was signed by President George W. Bush prior to leaving office. This is a comprehensive law, which amended previous statutes related to combating international trafficking in persons, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2000 and 1961, and has legal implications both within and without the U.S.
For the rest of this article, and a summary of the provisions governing the treatment of unaccompanied minors in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, click here.
Mediating Human Rights: Culture, Media and the Human Rights Act by Lieve Gies Routledge – 2015
Drawing on social-legal, cultural and media theory, this book is one of the first to examine the media politics of human rights. It examines how the media construct the story of human rights, investigating what lies behind the apparent media hostility to human rights and what has become of the original ambition to establish a human rights culture. The human rights regime has been high on the political agenda ever since the Human Rights Act 1998 was enacted. Often maligned in sections of the press, the legislation has entered popular folklore as shorthand for an overbearing government, an overzealous judiciary and exploitative claimants. This book examines a range of significant factors in the mediation of human rights, including: Euroscepticism, the war on terror, the digital reordering of the media landscape, press concerns about an emerging privacy law and civil liberties.
Mediating Human Rights is a timely exploration of the relationship between law, politics and media. It will be of immense interest to those studying and researching across Law, Media Studies, Human Rights, and Politics.
Lieve Gies is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester. Her main research interests are in the area of media representations of the law.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Leon Rodriguez was sworn in today as the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a ceremony at USCIS headquarters. Rodriguez, born in Brooklyn, and raised in Miami, comes to USCIS with a broad legal background and will lead the nearly 18,000 employee agency charged with administering the nation’s immigration and naturalization system.
“This is both an exciting and challenging time for USCIS,” Rodriguez said. “Our role in administering our nation’s immigration and naturalization laws has never been more important. I look forward to working with the entire USCIS family, including our partners and constituents, to ensure that our mission is carried out with fairness and integrity.”
Leon Rodriguez was confirmed by the Senate in June 2014 as the director of USCIS. He previously served as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held from 2011 to 2014. From 2010 to 2011, he served as chief of staff and deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Previously, Mr. Rodriguez was county attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland from 2007 to 2010. He was a principal at Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver in Washington, D.C. from 2001 to 2007. He served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001, first as chief of the White Collar Crimes Section from 1998 to 1999 and then as first assistant U.S. Attorney until his departure. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rodriguez was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division at DOJ from 1994 to 1997 and a senior assistant district attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in New York from 1988 to 1994. He received a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.
As of the end of June 2014, the number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts has climbed to an all time high of 375,503 -- an increase of more than 50,000 since the start of FY 2013 -- according to very timely government enforcement data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. California has the largest backlog (77,400 cases), followed by Texas (62,143) and then New York (55,010).
Wait times have also lengthened: the average time a pending case has been waiting in the Immigration Courts of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is now up to 587 days. For each pending case, many more days are likely to elapse before a hearing takes place and an Immigration Judge can determine whether the individual can be deported.
Preliminary figures indicate that the number of cases involving juveniles has climbed to 41,640, with more arriving daily. As of the end of June 2014, the court backlog for juveniles from Guatemala is the largest with 12,841 cases, closely followed by Honduras (12,696) and El Salvador (12,162).
To view annual backlog trends as well as the ten states with the largest backlog as of the end of June 2014, see the latest TRAC snapshot report.
For more details by location and by nationality, including average wait times, use TRAC's immigration backlog tool.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) will host a media tour of the unoccupied portions of the new temporary facility for adults with children in expedited removal on the campus of the FLETC facility in Artesia, New Mexico.
The purpose of this tour is to show members of the press the interior of the facility and explain ICE’s responsibilities for the care and custody of adults with children who are pending completion of their immigration cases. For privacy reasons, the tour is being limited to the unoccupied portion of the facility.
Who: Barbara Gonzalez, Press Secretary
U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Event: Media tour of the new temporary adults with children residential facility (unoccupied portions) in Artesia, New Mexico.
Date: Friday, July 11 at 11:30 a.m.
Location: Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, 1300 W. Richey Ave., Artesia, N.M.
Note to editors and reporters: Media representatives with press credentials should arrive at the facility no later than 10:30 a.m. Please allot appropriate time for parking and security screening.
Credentialed media planning to participate must RSVP by sending an email to: Bryan.D.Cox@ice.dhs.gov
Phone: 305-970-1294, or
From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
Addressing the Unaccompanied Minor Surge:
Best Practices for Screening & Representing Children
As the U.S. experiences an unprecedented surge of unaccompanied children migrating from Central America, there is an increased need for legal service providers to assist them. Many of these children, because of their unaccompanied status and their personal histories, may be eligible for legal relief. However, to screen and identify legal options for these children most effectively and represent them successfully, practitioners need to familiarize themselves with child related immigration procedures and laws and child sensitive practices. Two legal practitioners and a social worker, who have extensive experience working with children, will cover the following topics:
· An overview of the deportation system for children – how children are apprehended, processed, and released;
· How to conceptualize the attorney-client relationship with a child and ethical considerations in that relationship;
· How to work with children, and in particular, unaccompanied minors who have experienced trauma, in a way that is productive and sensitive to their needs;
· Best practices for screening children; and
· Potential legal relief options that these children may be eligible for, with a particular emphasis on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum.
Hayley Upshaw, Senior Attorney - Legal Services for Children
Kristen Jackson, Senior Attorney - Public Counsel
Erin Maxwell, Social Worker - Legal Services for Children
Moderated by: Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney – Immigrant Legal Resource Center
July 15, 2014
1:00 – 2:30 pm PT / 4:00 – 5:30 pm ET
To register for this FREE webinar, click here and complete the online form.
Today, the American Immigration Council released Children in Danger: A Guide to the Humanitarian Challenge at the Border, to provide basic information about the situation the U.S. is facing as thousands of young migrants show up at our southern border.
The guide seeks to answer common questions about the child migrants, including who they are and why they are coming, what basic protections the law entitles them to, and what the U.S. government has done so far. Consolidating data, government regulations, and media reports, it addresses a complex situation that President Obama declared an “urgent humanitarian situation” along the southwest border. The federal government’s coordinated response by several agencies has ignited a vigorous debate between advocates for refugees and unaccompanied minors and the government. This guide aims to help those engaging in the debate to understand the key concepts and America’s laws and obligations related to unaccompanied children.
Here is the 2013 official naturalization data. In 2013, a total of 779,929 persons naturalized. The leading countries of birth of new citizens were Mexico (99,385), India (49,897), the Philippines (43,489), the Dominican Republic (39,590), and the People’s Republic of China (35,387). The largest number of persons naturalizing lived in California (164,792), New York (107,330), and Florida (101,773).
Ben Casselman writes that migration from Latin America, and especially Mexico, is falling and has been overtaken by immigration from Asia. Those trends are driving a major shift in the broader U.S. Latino population. The Latino population is growing quickly. More than 54 million U.S. residents identified as Hispanic in 2013, up 15 percent from five years earlier. Hispanics now make up 17 percent of the population, up from 15 percent in 2008.
Xavier Best opn Counterpunch identifies U.S. foreign policy as contributing significantly to the stream of migration from Central America to the United States. In so doing, he responds to President Obama's placing of blame on irresponsible parents for allowing their children to make the dangerous journey.
CNN reports that President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday in Texas about the immigration crisis, urging Congress to approve his request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending. "The problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem. The challenge ... is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done?" Obama asked during a stop in Dallas. The trip to Texas included Democratic Party fundraising events a meeting with Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
When asked by a reporter to address those who say he should visit the border to witness the immigration crisis firsthand, the President said he wasn't interested in photo ops. The refusal to visit the border generated criticizm.
The recent influx of Central American immigrants to the United States is not the first time that nation has decided it was necessary to respond to increased migration from Central America. In this piece, Susan Gzesh discusses how 1980 marked the opening of a decade of public controversy over U.S. refugee policy unprecedented since World War II. Large-scale migration to the United States from Central America began, as hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans fled north from civil war, repression, and economic devastation. The U.S. government, immigrant rights lawyers, and activists skirmished for more than a decade over how the nation would treat the Central Americans.
As the lawsuit filed yesterday suggests, we can expect litigation to be a necessary tool to protect the right sof the new migrants. One especially important (and successful) piece of litigation challenging the U.S. government's detention and efforts to encourage "voluntary departure" was Orantes-Hernandez v. Thornburg (9th Cir. 1990); the court enjoined some of the most extreme violations of the law. Recall that the Reagan administration employed detention (including detention in remote areas where few pro bono counsel were available to represent the detainees), fast deportation hearings, and active encouragement to facilitate the removal of large numbers of Central Americans. Sound at all familiar?
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Immigration Article of the Day: Governors! Seize the Law: A Call to Expand the Use of Pardons to Provide Relief from Deportation by Stacy Caplow
Abstract: An obscure provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows an immigrant convicted of a wide range of crimes that are grounds for deportation to avoid this fate if pardoned by a chief executive. In the current era of expansion of the categories of crimes that constitute grounds for deportation and the shrinkage of equitable forms of relief, a pardon presents a vehicle for ameliorating these harsh effects. But few presidents or governors take advantage of this opportunity, even when the individual facing deportation is a long-term lawful resident whose transgression occurred long ago. During a few months in 2010, New York Governor David A. Patterson broke this trend to establish a pardon panel specifically to consider applications from immigrants. This article argues that Governor Patterson's resolute and courageous, but ephemeral example presents a model for governors in all states to exercise discretion on behalf of individuals who deserve the exercise of mercy and justice that a full and unconditional pardon confers, particularly when the permanent exile they face far exceeds their wronging and is disproportionate to their well-established character.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) today congratulated Julian Castro on confirmation to serve as the next U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development:
“We congratulate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on his confirmation to serve as the nation’s next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and third Latino member of President Obama’s second-term cabinet. A third-term mayor of the nation’s seventh largest city, Castro will bring bold leadership and a wealth of economic expansion and community development experience to this critical position.
“During his three terms in office, Mayor Castro has implemented groundbreaking initiatives to attract higher paying 21st century jobs and spur urban core revitalization within the City of San Antonio. As part of these efforts, Mayor Castro worked to attract businesses and residents back to the city’s center through a campaign known as the “Decade of Downtown”. Two years after Mayor Castro launched the initiative, more than 2,400 housing units representing a total investment of $349.8 million have been slated for construction by the end of 2014 in San Antonio's center city.
“A rising star within the nation’s deep bench of talented Latino elected officials on both sides of the aisle, Mayor Castro has built an extraordinary record of accomplishment in the five short years he has led the City of San Antonio. Under his leadership, the City of San Antonio was named one of seven “enterprising cities” in America by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its success in building a culture of business (2013), as well as the honor of being one of only five cities nationwide to receive a federal Promise Zone grant to help spark community revitalization in the area.
“As the next U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mayor Castro will bring his ‘can do’ attitude and visionary leadership to Washington D.C. for the benefit of the President and all Americans. Our organization stands ready to work side-by-side with Mayor Castro on issues of importance to the Latino community in this new position and to help identify other qualified Latino candidates with the unique talent and expertise required to serve the nation at all levels of the Administration.”
From the Bookshelves: The Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers, Second Edition by Robert J McWhirter
The Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers, Second Edition by Robert J McWhirter
This concise guide focuses on the criminal lawyer's most common questions about immigration law and representing noncitizens. The answers are clear and carefully focused and in most instances direct you to specific cases or more in-depth resources.
I understand that voting continues on the last spots on the Major League Baseball All Star teams. Still, the final results of the foreign-born compositions of the teams will change little.
Foreign Born 22 (33%)
U.S. Born (including Puerto Rico) 44 (67%)
American League Starters Country of Birth
C Matt Wieters, Orioles United States
1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers Venezuela
2B Robinson Canó, Mariners Dominican Republic
SS Derek Jeter, Yankees United States
3B Josh Donaldson, Athletics United States
DH Nelson Cruz, Orioles Dominican Republic
OF José Bautista, Blue Jays Dominican Republic
OF Mike Trout, Angels United States
OF Adam Jones, Orioles United States
C Salvador Pérez, Royals Venezuela
C Derek Norris, Athletics United States
C Kurt Suzuki, Twins United States
1B José Abreu, White Sox Cuba
1B Víctor Martínez, Tigers Venezuela
1B Edwin Encarnación, Blue Jays Dominican Republic
1B/OF Brandon Moss, Athletics United States
2B José Altuve, Astros Venezuela
SS Alexei Ramírez, White Sox Cuba
3B Adrián Beltré, Rangers Dominican Republic
3B Kyle Seager, Mariners United States
OF Yoenis Céspedes, Athletics Cuba
OF Alex Gordon, Royals United States
OF Michael Brantley, Indians United States
RHP Yu Darvish, Rangers Japan
RHP Max Scherzer, Tigers United States
RHP Félix Hernández, Mariners Venezuela
RHP Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees Japan
LHP Jon Lester, Red Sox United States
LHP David Price, Rays United States
LHP Scott Kazmir, Athletics United States
LHP Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays United States
LHP Sean Doolittle, Athletics United States
RHP Greg Holland, Royals United States
LHP Glen Perkins, Twins United States
RHP Dellin Betances, Yankees United States
National League Starters
C Yadier Molina, Cardinals Puerto Rico
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks United States
2B Chase Utley, Phillies United States
SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies United States
3B Aramis Ramírez, Brewers Dominican Republic
OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates United States
OF Carlos Gómez, Brewers Dominican Republic
OF Yasiel Puig, Dodgers Cuba
C Jonathan Lucroy, United States
C Devin Mesoraco, Reds United States
1B Freddie Freeman, Braves United States
2B Dee Gordon, Dodgers United States
2B Daniel Murphy, Mets United States
SS Starlin Castro, Cubs Dominican Republic
3B Todd Frazier, Reds United States
3B Matt Carpenter, Cardinals United States
IF/OF Josh Harrison, Pirates United States
OF Charlie Blackmon, Rockies United States
OF Hunter Pence, Giants United States
OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins -- starting DH United States
RHP Johnny Cueto, Reds Dominican Republic
LHP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers United States
RHP Zack Greinke, Dodgers United States
LHP Madison Bumgarner, Giants United States
RHP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals United States
RHP Tyson Ross, Padres United States
RHP Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals United States
RHP Julio Teherán, Braves Colombia
RHP Craig Kimbrel, Braves United States
LHP Aroldis Chapman, Reds Cuba
RHP Francisco Rodríguez, Brewers Venezuela
LHP Tony Watson, Pirates United States
RHP Pat Neshek, Cardinals United States
Thanks to UC Davis undergraduate Arden Gabor for pulling this information together.
The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP today filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of children who are challenging the federal government's failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them.
Each year, the government initiates immigration court proceedings against thousands of children. Some of these youth grew up in the United States and have lived in the country for years, and many have fled violence and persecution in their home countries. The Obama Administration even recently called an influx of children coming across the Southern border a "humanitarian situation." And yet, thousands of children required to appear in immigration court each year do so without an attorney. This case seeks to remedy this unacceptable practice.
The plaintiffs in this case include:
• A 10-year-old boy, his 13-year-old brother, and 15-year-old sister from El Salvador, whose father was murdered in front of their eyes. The father was targeted because he and the mother ran a rehabilitation center for people trying to leave gangs.
• A 14-year-old girl who had been living with her grandparents, but was forced to flee El Salvador after being threatened and then attacked by gang members.
• A 15-year-old boy who was abandoned and abused in Guatemala, and came to the United States without any family or friends.
• A 16-year-old boy born in Mexico who has lived here since he was 1 year old and has had lawful status since June 2010.
• A 16-year-old boy with limited communication skills and special education issues who escaped brutal violence exacted on his family in Honduras, and who has lived in Southern California since he was 8 years old.
• A 17-year-old boy who fled gang violence and recruitment in Guatemala and now lives with his lawful permanent resident father in Los Angeles.
All are scheduled to appear at deportation hearings without any legal representation and face a very real risk of being sent back into the perilous circumstances they left.
While the Obama Administration recently announced a limited program to provide legal assistance to some youth facing deportation hearings, this proposal does not come close to meeting the urgent need for legal representation for all children whom the government wants to deport. And there is no guarantee that additional funding proposed by the administration yesterday will materialize or meet the overwhelming need. In the meantime, children continue to appear alone in court every day.
The complaint charges the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services, Executive Office for Immigration Review, and Office of Refugee Resettlement with violating the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause and the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provisions requiring a "full and fair hearing" before an immigration judge. Itseeks to require the government to provide children with legal repesentation in removal proceedings.
The case, J.E.F.M. v. Holder, was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington. The Complaint is available here.
More information about this case is available here.
Everyday our families and communities are torn apart due to mass incarceration, immigration detention and deportation. Black and brown people, citizens and immigrants alike, are being demonized, criminalized and locked up in prisons and detention centers at unprecedented rates. This “New Jim Crow” is a conscious government policy of social control that has become a normal part of our society. We at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration have just released this short video to challenge #TheRealCrime of mass criminalization of our communities.
8 REASONS U.S. TRADE AND IMMIGRATION POLICIES--NOT "LAX IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT"--HAVE CAUSED MIGRATION FROM CENTRAL AMERICA
David Bacon explains that U.S. foreign and immigration policy is responsible for much of the pressure causing this flow of people from Central America. Importantly, the migration of children and families didn╒t just start recently. It has been going on for a long time, although the numbers are increasing. The tide of migration from Central America goes back to wars that the U.S. promoted in the 1980s, in which we armed the forces, governments or contras, who were most opposed to progressive social change. Two million Salvadorans alone came to the U.S. during the late 1970s and 80s, to say nothing of Guatemalans and Nicaraguans. Whole families migrated, but so did parts of families, leaving loved ones behind with the hope that some day they'd be reunited.
The recent increase in the numbers of migrants is not just a response to gang violence, although this is virtually the only reason given in U.S. media coverage. Growing migration is as much or more a consequence of the increasing economic crisis for rural people in Central America and Mexico, as well as the failure of those economies to produce jobs. People are leaving because they can't survive where they are.
The failure of Central America's economies is mostly due to the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements and their accompanying economic changes, including privatization of businesses, the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and cuts in the social budget. The treaties allowed huge U.S. corporations to dump corn and other agricultural products in Mexico and Central America, forcing rural families off their lands when they could not compete.