Monday, July 7, 2014

Ninth Circuit: Arizona Cannot Deny Driver's Licenses to DACA Recipients


The state of Arizona must grant drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants granted relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled today. As was previously reported, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had refused to allow allow Arizona authorities to grant licenses to DACA recipients.

In American Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer, Judge Harry Pregerson wrote for the court:  "We remand for entry of a preliminary injunction prohibiting Defendants from enforcing its policy by which the Arizona Department of Transportation refuses to accept Plaintiffs’ Employment Authorization Documents, issued to Plaintiffs under DACA, for purposes of obtaining an Arizona driver’s license."  The court concluded that the plaintiffs had shown that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their equal protection claim. The panel held that even applying a rational basis of review, it could identify no legitimate state interest that was rationally related to the State's decision to treat DACA recipients disparately from other noncitizens who were permitted to use their Employment Authorization Documents as proof of their authorized presence in the United States when applying for driver’s licenses.


July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies: Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story


Throughout the 1930′s, an unimaginable evil tore through Europe, as Hitler’s Third Reich terrorized its way to domination. During these tumultuous times, a young Muslim woman living in Paris found her calling. Noor Inayat Khan grew up in a home that fostered faith and hope. Leading with her heart, she overcame her quiet nature and joined Winston Churchill’s covert operation to give the Allies a new chance at victory. This is her story.

This fall, millions of viewers will learn the riveting story of how an unlikely Muslim woman of mixed Indian and American parentage came to serve as a British spy in Paris during World War II, as PBS brings to television the exciting true story of Noor Inayat Khan on Tuesday, September 9. This remarkable story is being brought to the screen in the docudrama “Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story.”

In August of 1943, the last surviving clandestine radio operator in Paris desperately signaled London for additional weapons and supplies for the French underground. The Gestapo was closing in and she knew her time was limited. Everything depended on her. How did a Sorbonne educated musician, a student of child psychology, and an author of a book of fairy tales become a daring spy who died fighting the Nazis?

There are countless stories of heroism from World War II, with seemingly every angle and every point of view represented. What has rarely been told, however, are the stories about the contributions of Muslims of all nationalities. Noor Inayat Khan, a proud Muslim woman whose faith guided her in her journey, is the type of role model that young women across the world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have long sought out – a woman whose heroism was not defined by any other person but herself.

With an American mother and Indian Muslim father who was the founder of the Sufi Order in the West, Noor Inayat Khan was an extremely unusual British agent, and her life spent growing up in a Sufi center of learning in Paris seemed an unlikely preparation for the dangerous work to come. Yet, it was in this place of universal peace and contemplation that her remarkable courage was forged.

When the Nazis invaded France in 1940, she fled to England with her widowed mother and three younger siblings and could have waited out the war in relative safety. But, she felt compelled by the lessons of tolerance and inclusiveness of her upbringing and religion to take an active role in opposing the Nazis. She joined Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and was recruited as a wireless operator into Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive (SOE), secretly returning to Paris to support the French Underground as England prepared for the D-Day invasions.

After the penetration and arrest of her entire network by the Gestapo, Noor became the only surviving radio operator in Paris during four crucial months of the war, coordinating the air-drop of weapons, supplies and agents, and supporting the rescue of downed allied fliers. She was ultimately betrayed by a French collaborator and interrogated for months by the Gestapo. She never gave up any information, not even her real name, and she organized two breakouts from Gestapo headquarters. For this and the damage she did to the Nazi’s war efforts, she was executed in Dachau. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of her birth. Narrated by Academy Award winning actress Helen Mirren, the film’s Executive Producers Alex Kronemer and Michael Wolfe continue Unity Productions Foundation’s series of award-winning documentaries aimed at bringing less-known stories from the Muslim world to the greater public. The film was produced and directed by three-time Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominee Rob Gardner. With a team of international scholars and two of her surviving family members, the documentary is produced as docudrama in a cinematic style.

July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

5 Face ‘Lynching’ Accusation After Murrieta Immigration ‘Riot’

Official City Song

Things seem to have gotten out of hand in Murrieta, California, a southern California city that has emerged at the center of the debate over how to treat the recent increase in Central American migrants, including many children.  According to news reports, four people remained jailed Saturday for allegedly trying to prevent Murrieta police from arresting a person at the immigration protests near the Murrieta Border Patrol Station. Five people were initially arrested for “lynching,” a rarely-invoked California Penal Code section defined as “the taking by means of a riot of any person in the lawful custody of any police officer.”  The arrests were made on Friday as the suspects and others waited for a trio of buses carrying detainees that never arrived in Murrieta.  Police said a protester jumped on the back of a police officer who was trying to arrest someone linked to a reported assault.

Intrestingly, the Murrieta city webpage states that Juan Murrietta brought 100,000 sheep to the valley where it is located in 1873.  His brother, Esequial, bought the land because it reminded him of his native county (Spain). 


July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jeh Johnson Noncommittal on Child Migrants: Homeland Secretary Wouldn't Say Whether Minors in U.S. Illegally Will Be Deported


The Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security Jeh Johnson declined on the Sunday news show circuit to say whether most of the children who have arrived in the United States in a recent increase in border crossings by Central American migrants likely would be deported. For the Wall Street Journal account, click here.

The truth of the matter is that it is extremely difficult to answer the question.  As matters currently stand, the migrants are entitled to individual removal hearings with different outcomes depending on the circumstances of the individual cases.  If Secretary Johnson were definitive one way or the other about what  would happen to "most" of the child migrants, the U.S. government could be accused of prejudging the outcomes of individual cases.


July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Central American Children are Fleeing Their Homes


The American Immigration Council thoughtfully explains why so many Central American children are making the dangerous journey to teh United States.  Here are some bullet points:

Organized crime, gangs and violence are driving children from their homes

In rural areas, extreme poverty motivates some to seek work

Only 1 in 3 children cites family reunification as a primary reason for leaving home

Leaving their country is often a last resort

Children and their families do not trust the Salvadoran government to help them

Those who are returned from the U.S. face additional threats of violence


July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dan Kowalski: The Refugee Option Obama Will Ignore

On Huffington Post, Dan Kowalski offers a policy proposal to the Obama administration on the unaccompanied minors coming to teh United States from Central America:

"Under existing law, with the stroke of a pen, President Obama could solve the current crisis of the Central American children coming to America without visas. He could, and should, declare most or all of them to be refugees under Section 207(b) of the Immigration & Nationality Act, 8 U.S. Code Sec.1157(b).

That statute gives any president the power to determine that an "emergency refugee situation is justified by grave humanitarian concerns" and to admit a limited number of refugees per year.

We've done this before: "From December 1960 to October 1962, more than fourteen thousand Cuban youths arrived alone in the United States. What is now known as Operation Pedro Pan was the largest recorded exodus of Unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere." Most of the children were granted visa waivers by the State Department, at the request of Father Bryan Walsh, Director of Miami's Catholic Welfare Bureau."


July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Global Business Immigration Practice Guide, 2014 Edition


Global Business Immigration Practice Guide, 2014 Edition Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers. Publisher:  Matthew Bender

This new Practice Guide is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in immigration hotspots around the world. Written and edited by a global team of expert attorney members of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL), this comprehensive guide is designed to be used by:

· Human resources professionals and in-house attorneys who need to instruct, understand, and liaise with immigration lawyers licensed in other countries

· Business immigration attorneys who regularly work with multinational corporations and their employees and HR professionals, and

· Attorneys interested in expanding their practice to include global business immigration services.

This publication provides:

· An overview of the immigration law requirements and procedures for over twenty countries

· Practical information and tips for obtaining visas, work permits, resident status, naturalization, and other nonimmigrant and immigrant pathways to conducting business, investing, and working in those countries

· A general overview of the appropriate options for a particular employee

· Information on how an employee can obtain and maintain authorization to work in a target country

Each chapter follows a similar format, making it easy to compare practices and procedures from country to country. Useful links to additional resources and forms are included. Collected in this Practice Guide, the expertise of ABIL's attorney members across the globe will serve as an ideal starting point in your research into global business immigration issues.

AUTHORS Stephen Yale-Loehr, General Editor, Miller Mayer, Ithaca, NY Nancy Lorena Acevedo, Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, Los Angeles, CA; Enrique Arellano, Enrique Arellano Rincon Abogados, S.C., Mexico; Mariana Alfaro, Cordero & Cordero Abogados, Costa Rica; Jacqueline Bart, Jacqueline Bart & Associates, Canada; Timur Beslangurov, VISTA Foreign Business Support, Russia; Ursina Brack, VISCHER Ltd., Switzerland; David Cantrell, Eugene F. Collins, Ireland; Bernard Caris, Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick, Belgium; Maria Lianides Celebi, Bener Law Office, Turkey; Zhu (June) Cheng, Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis, MN; Eugene Chow, Chow King & Associates, China; Steven A. Clark, Flynn & Clark, P.C., Cambridge, MA; Esther Contreras, Masuda Funai, Schaumburg, IL; Arnold Conyer, Diamon Conway, Australia; Ricardo Cordero, Cordero & Cordero Abogados, Costa Rica; Laura Danielson, Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis, MN; Laura Devine, Laura Devine Solicitors, UK; Mareza I. Estevez, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Teaneck, NJ; Rami Fakhoury, Fakhoury Law Group, P.C., Troy, MI; Avi Friedman, Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, Los Angeles, CA; Bryan Funai, Masuda Funai, Chicago, IL; Steven H. Garfinkel, Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm, Charlotte, NC; Avi Gomberg, Gomberg Dalfen, Canada; Urs Haegi, VISCHER Ltd., Switzerland; Kenneth Ing, Porta Immigration, Canada; Mark Ivener, Ivener & Fullmer LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Jelle Kroes, Kroes Advocaten Immigration Lawyers, Netherlands; Mark Levey, Fakhoury Law Group, Troy, MI; Daniela Lima, EMDOC, Brazil; Hannah Little, Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm, Charlotte, NC; Edward R. Litwin, Litwin & Associates, San Francisco, CA; Robert F. Loughran, FosterQuan, Austin, TX; Ramya Mahesh, Little & Co., India; Katie Malyon, Katie Malyon & Associates, Lawyers, Australia; Gunther Mävers, Mütze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, Germany; Marco Mazzeschi, Mazzeschi s.r.l., Italy; Cyrus D. Mehta, Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates, New York, NY; Ryoko Mestecky, AURORA Translation & Legal Services, Japan; Matthew Meyer, Laura Devine Solicitors, New York, NY; Lisa Middlemiss, Gomberg Dalfen, Canada; Sarah E. Murphy, Serotte, Reich & Wilson, LLP, Buffalo, NY; Angelo Paparelli, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Nicolas Rollason, Kingsley Napley, UK; Peter T. Schiron, Jr., Deloitte LLP, New York, NY; Aki Tanaka, Kitahama Partners, Japan; Alfonso Venegas, Venegas Gutierrez y Asociados, S.C., Mexico; Karl Waheed, Karl Waheed Avocats, France; Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, Los Angeles, CA; Paul J. Zambie, FosterQuan, Austin, TX; Brian D. Zuccaro, Serotte Reich & Wilson, LLP, Buffalo, NY


July 7, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Petition for Rehearing Filed in Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio: Decision Based on Fundamental Mistake

The Respondents in Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio who were unsuccessful in convincing the Supreme Court to reject the Board of Immigration Appeals' interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act's provisions addressing family visas for "aged out" children have filed a Petition for Rehearing based on a mistaken understanding of the law by the Court. 

The "Grounds for Rehearing" are outlined as follows:

"The plurality’s decision in this case was based on a mistake that cuts to the heart of its analysis.

The plurality acknowledged that if an aged-out child could retain his original priority date without automatic conversion then the BIA “would have been required to” make priority date retention available to “every aged-out beneficiary of a family preference petition.” Slip op. 21; see also id. at 22 (identifying this as an “independent reason[]” “to overturn the Board’s judgment”). According to the plurality, however, “context compels” the conclusion that priority date retention and automatic conversion “work in tandem.” Id. at 29. In particular, the plurality pointed to its belief that, “[a]s far as we know, immigration law nowhere else allows an alien to keep in his pocket a priority date untethered to any existing valid petition.” Id. at 30.

Respondents’ merits brief, however, cited a major statutory provision that allows exactly that. The Western Hemisphere Savings Clause permits an alien formerly classified as a Western Hemisphere immigrant to retain his “previously established” priority date for use with “[a]ny petition” later filed on his behalf. Immigrant and Nationality Act Amendments of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-571, § 9(b), 90 Stat. 2703, 2707 (emphasis added), cited and quoted in Resp. Br. 45; see also U.S. Department of State, 9 Foreign Affairs Manual, ch. 42.53 n.4.1 (a Western Hemisphere immigrant “retains” his priority date and “may use that priority date for the purpose of any preference petition subsequently filed in his or her behalf.” (emphasis added)). Such an alien may, in other words, “keep in his pocket a priority date untethered to any existing valid petition.” Slip op. 30.

The Western Hemisphere Savings Clause grants exactly the sort of “open-ended, free-floating entitlement” that the plurality believed did not exist. Slip op. 30 & n.16. To this day, Western Hemisphere immigrants may rely on the provision to retain priority dates obtained prior to January 1, 1977—nearly 40 years ago. See 9 Foreign Affairs Manual, ch. 42.53 & n.4.1.

This provision is, moreover, no minor feature of immigration law: When enacting the Clause, Congress knew that it was granting priority date retention to approximately 300,000 visa applicants. See H.R. Rep. No. 94-1553, at 6 (1976). And, as noted, the government continues to administer the benefit today. See 9 Foreign Affairs Manual, ch. 42.53 & n.4.1.

Because the Western Hemisphere Savings Clause calls the plurality’s analysis into question, Respondents respectfully submit that rehearing is warranted."


July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Change.Org Petition on Protect Arriving Refugees at Our Southern Border

Please join us in asking President Obama for immediate protections for the refugees arriving at the southern border of the US. Most are young mothers, children and teenagers, and many are fleeing the drug wars in Central America and Mexico.

As set forth in our petition, we are asking for temporary protected status for these refugees, and for all unaccompanied minors to be provided with lawyers. No child should be subjected to expedited removal to a dangerous homeland. To deport an unrepresented and at-risk child, without full proceedings, is unconscionable.

Please sign and share with as many friends as possible.

July 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Would the Murrieta Blockaders Have the U.S. Government Do?

The Washington Post has an informative article about the competing groups of protesters in Murrieta, California with different views about the U.S. government's efforts to bring undocumented immigrants by bus for detention there.

It is uncertain to me what precisely the blockaders want except to keep the undocumented immigrants out of their community (even if they only will be in detention there).  The U.S. Constitution and the immigration laws have a process and procedure to be followed before the migrants can be removed from the United States.  Due Process of Law must be followed befor removal can be secured.  The Obama administration must comply with those laws or risk being sued.  The administration has decided to detain many of the migrants while their process is pending, which is designed to ensure that they do not fail to appear for hearings. 

Would the blockaders prefer that the administration immediately deport in violation of the law all of the migrants, including uinaccompanied minors?  Release the migrants while their cases proceed through the immigration system?  I am not sure that I have heard a rational and reasoned policy proposal from the those seeking to block the buses in Murrieta.  The comments from Murrieta sympathizers on news stories (see, for example, here) make me concerned about the possibility of reasoned discourse on the issue.


July 6, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boehner: Why we must now sue the President

09-18-13 at 10-30-37

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Speaker of the House of Representatives, lays out in a CNN op/ed why Congress must sue President Obama.  It begins:

"Every member of Congress swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So did President Barack Obama.

But too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold -- at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him."

Speaker Boehner proceeds to offer a little more specificity:

"In the end, the Constitution makes it clear that the President's job is to faithfully execute the laws. And, in my view, the President has not faithfully executed the laws when it comes to a range of issues, including his health care law, energy regulations, foreign policy and education." (emphasis added).

Given that immigration has been so much in the news in recent weeks, with the much-publicized detention of Central American unaccompanied minors, as well as the claim that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is responsible for increasing the flow of migrants, it is surprising that Speaker Boehner does not mention immigration as an area where the administration is not enforcing the law.  Many Republicans frequently claim that the Obama administration is not enforcing the immigration laws (even though the administration is removing close to 400,000 noncitizens a year). 

It would seem that, at least for now, Speaker Boehnor has made a political judgment not to include immigration in his political and legal campaign against President Obama.


July 6, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Deported Veterans of America


Vice News reports on soldiers and marines who have served the United States even though they were not born in the country. Some of them entered the US by crossing the border illegally, but after being promised citizenship in exchange for their service, they enlisted. Some of them have risked their lives on the front lines in wars like Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today they find themselves deported to Mexico after having committed a crime, like cashing checks without funds, shooting a firearm or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after having served the United States on the ground and have, since their deportation, lost the right to receive medical attention.


July 5, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sheriff Arpaio Calls for Military Action to Address Border Crisis



July 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)


Click here for the lyrics.


July 4, 2014 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)




It is no small irony that the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, whose primary purpose is to protect potential torture victims from deportation to countries where they are likely to be tortured, defines torture in such a narrow way that victims are unlikely to gain the protection promised. The United States has interpreted the definition of torture differently from the more than 153 other signatories of the Convention, adding a requirement that torture be “specifically intended.” Moreover, the Board of Immigration Appeals and several federal courts have interpreted the specific intent requirement even more narrowly than initially intended. This article outlines the havoc that this tortured definition of torture creates for immigrants facing deportation to potentially torturing countries, and offers possible solutions to the problem, including invoking a robust principle of Immigration Lenity.


July 4, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: Two Reports Reveal Need for Stronger Voting Rights Protections and Enforcement in California

NCVR Voting Rights Report

As we enjoy the Fourth of July holiday weekend and celebrate the nation’s independence, we are reminded of the adage “Freedom isn’t Free”. History has demonstrated that the cost to protect, promote and advance civil rights can be exorbitant. Emblematic of independence and civil rights is the right to vote. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for the San Francisco Bay Area, in coalition with many civil rights allies, is leading efforts to protect these rights in California. To that end, we have informed key efforts to strengthen existing voting rights laws, and we continue to advocate for stronger legal protections to ensure that California’s growing and diverse new majority has equal access to the vote.

This year alone, our work has contributed to two reports on voting rights. Voting Rights Barriers & Discrimination in Twenty-First Century California, which we produced in March 2014, and the recently released National Commission on Voting Rights (NCVR) report, Protecting Equal Access in a Diverse Democracy: Voting Rights in the Golden State.


July 4, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy July 4th


 Check out the Fourth of July at the White House.  A live-stream of all of the July 4 events -- including a naturalization ceremony for service members and civilians, remarks from the President on the South Lawn, and the fireworks on the National Mall tomorrow night -- can be found right here

The President speaks at a naturalization ceremony for active-duty service members and civilians at 8 A.M. PST.  There are a number of July 4 naturalization ceremonies across the United States.


July 4, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Refusing sanctuary to children in need

Another piece of commentary on the Obama administration's efforts to remove unaccompanied minors from the United States


July 3, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Patriots Debate, Second Edition


Patriots Debate, Second Edition

The newest book in the Patriots Debate series, this book covers three general areas: The War on Terrorism; Data, Technology, and Privacy; and Legal Frameworks for Projecting Force.

Discussing some of today's "hot" issues in national security, the book provides a balanced view including:

What authority should be accorded to the President in exercising his war powers?

An exploration of terrorism interrogations

National security letters -- the need for reform

The government as internet protector

Targeted killing -- lawful if conducted in accordance with the rule of law

Law and cyber war -- the lessons of history

The future of military detention

And much more!


July 3, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Kids aren’t political fodder"