Friday, December 30, 2016

Will State and Local Law Enforcement Support Trump's Immigration Plans?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Washington Post's Most Memorable Photos of 2016: Migrants and Refugees

Two of the Washington Post's Most Memorable Photos of 2016 involve immigration:


“It’s a stark reminder that the migrants lost in the Mediterranean are not the only ones who face death to escape war, tyranny and economic despair. Along the southwestern border of the United States an ocean of arid land claims lives as surely as the sea between Europe and Africa. Often just as anonymously and leaving families forever wondering about missing loved ones. Ricky Carioti captured the discovery of a skull in a way akin to a macabre Renaissance painting, disturbing and troubling, a reminder that death awaits.” — Mark Miller


“I had seen many heartbreaking images of refugees crammed in boats, dying, trying to escape the horrors happening in Syria — but none moved me quite the way this photo did. The photo of Eritrean refugees swimming to a rescue boat off the coast of Libya made the crisis very real for me. Photographer Emilio Morenatti captured their desperation and struggle as they swam for their lives. At that moment, it felt as if they were swimming to me.” — Dee Swann


December 28, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Seantor Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas): Fix Immigration. It’s What Voters Want.


In an op/ed in the New York Times, Sentor Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) plays on populist themes in arguing that the Trump administration should reduce legal and undocumented immigration:

"No doubt automation and globalization have also affected wages, but mass immigration accelerates these trends with surplus labor, which of course decreases wages. Little wonder, then, that these Americans voted for the candidate who promised higher wages and less immigration instead of all the candidates — Republicans and Democrats alike — who promised essentially more of the same on immigration."



December 28, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)


We are pleased to introduce our newest educational resource: E4FC's ITIN Guide.




The purpose of this guide is to provide information, updates, and answers to frequently asked questions about the Internal Revenue Service’s Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).


This guide is for individuals who are not eligible to obtain a SSN and, therefore, are eligible to apply for an ITIN. DACA recipients will also find this guide useful because it includes information specific to DACA recipients who obtained an ITIN in the past and/or are determining whether they might need to renew or obtain one in the future.


For anyone who does not have a SSN, the ITIN is essential to earning a living as an independent contractor or entrepreneur. A separate guide discussing these possibilities is currently being written by E4FC and will be released in January.


It is important to understand the role of ITINs given the implications of potential changes to immigration policy and programs with the new administration. We encourage you to stay informed and connect with us to get the latest updates.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to making this guide: Iliana G. Perez, the National Immigration Law Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. 


December 28, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A lot depends on Trump's definition of ‘criminal’ and ‘immigrant’


This story considers questions raised by Donald Trump's pledge to deport "criminal immigrants." Carrie Rosenbaum, among others, is quoted in the story:  “Most immigrants are NOT criminals, but they've been painted out to be criminals in the public imagination through racism and fear,” Rosenbaum said via email. “Most immigrants deported as ‘criminals’ are not criminals in the way most people think of criminals.”

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post debunks many of the myths about immigration floating around among Trump and his supporters. She specifically observes that "Contrary to President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric, the focus has been on violent criminals. (`“In fiscal year 2015, 91 percent of people removed from inside the U.S. were previously convicted of a crime.')"


December 28, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Exodus on "Front Line": First-Person Accounts of Refugees



“Exodus,” a two-hour FRONTLINE special, tells the first-person stories of refugees and migrants fleeing war, persecution and hardship — drawing on footage filmed by the families themselves as they leave their homes on dangerous journeys in search of safety and refuge in Europe. “Exodus” premieres Tues., Dec. 27, 2016 at a special time — 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST.

Meredith Blake for the Los Angeles Times reviews the show.


December 27, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Student Fears of Increased Immigration Enforcement under President Trump


There is lots of discussion of what might happen in terms of immigration in a Trump administration. 

Donna St. George of the Washington Post reports on "growing efforts by school districts to reassure immigrant communities ahead of President-elect Donald Trump taking office in January. Many are scared that Trump — who put illegal immigration at the center of his campaign — will ramp up deportation efforts, already significant during the Obama administration."

In my small college town of Davis, California, students have expressed fear of immigration enforcement,  The school superintendent made a public statement emphasizing that the Davis schools were open to all.



Some universities have joined in the efforts to calm fears in immigrant communities.  The University of California on Nov. 30 announced that it will vigorously protect the privacy and civil rights of the undocumented members of the UC community and will direct its police departments not to undertake joint efforts with any government agencies to enforce federal immigration law.


December 27, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

South Texas College of Law Houston Student, Former Undocumented Immigrant Receives 'Law Student Pro Bono Award'


Maria Ivanez, left, and South Texas College of Law Houston President and Dean Donald J. Guter celebrate her recognition as the Texas Access to Justice (ATJ) Commission’s 2016 “Law Student Pro Bono Award” recipient at the State Bar of Texas’ recent New Lawyer Induction Ceremony in Austin.   Photo courtesy of Texas Lawyer

The Texas Lawyer reports on this pupbeat immigration story.  When she was a kid, law student Maria Ivañez was afraid of deportation.  Her family moved from Venezuela when Ivañez was a child, and for ten years, she lived as an undocumented immigrant. When it came time to graduate from high school, she needed her legal status to qualify for in-state college tuition at the University of Houston.

Then 18, Ivañez filed her immigration case alone because she could not afford a lawyer. As a law student at South Texas College of Law Houston, where she graduated this month, she made sure that other undocumented children would not go through that without representation.

Ivañez recently received the Law Student Pro Bono Award and a $2,000 stipend from the Texas Access to Justice Commission for her dedication and commitment to pro bono services for low-income and underserved people.

She took a course that required her to work in the school's Immigration Clinic, and then kept volunteering after her class ended.


December 27, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Oral Argument Set in Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch


Last week, the Supreme Court announced that oral argument in Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch will be held on February 27.  That case presents the question whether a California conviction for consensual sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old, when the defendant was 20 and 21, constitutes "sexual abuse of a minor," and thus an “aggravated felony,” for purposes of immigration law. The conduct would not have been criminal in more than 40 states -- but was in California.   The case raises Chevron deference and other interesting issues. I will be doing a preview of the oral arguments for SCOTUSBlog and will cross-link it here.


December 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Naturalization (and Other) Fees Going Up!


USCIS announced that naturalization petition (N-400) fees went up to $640, from $595) on December 23.  Fees for other immigration petitions went up as well.  For details, click here and here.






December 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

You Say You're An American, But What If You Had To Prove It Or Be Deported?


Jaqueline Stevens (Northwestern)

This NPR story looks at U.S. citizens held in immigration detention.  It is unlawful for U.S. immigration authorities to hold Americans in detention.  However, an NPR analysis of government data shows that hundreds of American citizens each year find themselves in a situation where they have to prove their citizenship. From 2007 through July of last year, 693 U.S. citizens were held in local jails on federal detainers — in other words, at the request of immigration officials. And 818 more Americans were held in immigration detention centers during that same time frame, according to government data obtained by Northwestern University professor Jacqueline Stevens and analyzed by NPR.

To be sure, the numbers represent a tiny percentage of all the cases reviewed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but advocates say holding even a single U.S. citizen should not be tolerated.


December 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our dear readers a very Merry Christmas. I'll leave you with the greatest Christmas song of all time. It doesn't have anything to do with immigration but you'll be smiling by the end for sure.


December 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 24, 2016


In 2017, the WZB Berlin Social Science Research Center is establishing a new research group, “Global Citizenship Law: International Migration and Constitutional Identity,” which will be led by Professor Liav Orgad, connected to the Research Area Migration and Diversity (headed by Professor Ruud Koopmans) and in collaboration with the Center for Global Constitutionalism (headed by Professor Mattias Kumm).

The project, funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, is jointly hosted by the WZB and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, providing the PhD candidate with a unique opportunity to benefit from Europe’s two leading research institutes in the fields of constitutional identity, citizenship theory, and international migration.

The doctoral degree will be awarded in cooperation with one of the Berlin Universities (typically, Free University of Berlin or Humboldt University of Berlin); the call is also open to PhD students at other universities in Germany or abroad who are willing to relocate to Berlin for the duration of the contract. The position is at 65% of the regular working hours (currently 25.35 hours per week), preferably starting on September 1, 2017, for the duration of four years. Salary level is E 13 TVöD (in accordance with German public service collective agreement).

For details, see Download PhD-1-WZB


December 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump's First 100 Days: Immigration

Friday, December 23, 2016

Erwin Chemerinsky, Annie Lai and Seth Davis: Trump Can't Force Sanctuary Cities to Enforce Deportation Plans


[Erwin Chemerinsky]


[Annie Lai]


[Seth Davis]

In this Washington Post op-ed, UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Professors Annie Lai and Seth Davis address President-Elect Trump's threats to eliminate federal funding for states and localities that enact so-called "sanctuary" policies that prohibit state or local resources from being used in connection with federal immigration enforcement.

"Trump insists that he can force states and cities to participate in his plan to deport undocumented immigrants. But this ignores the 10th Amendment, which the Supreme Court has repeatedly interpreted to prevent the federal government from “commandeering” state and local governments by requiring them to enforce federal mandates."  The op-ed discusses the Supreme Court's decisions in Printz v. United States and NFIB v. Sebelius.

In addition, other limitations on Congressional power over funding for states and localities exists.  "Congress must give clear, advanced notice to states of the terms of federal grants, and any conditions imposed on a grant must be reasonably related to the federal interest animating the grant program. Congress likely could not, for example, condition the receipt of a grant for economic development on cooperation with immigration enforcement. Also, funding conditions cannot themselves be used to induce states to violate the Constitution, for example by unlawfully detaining people on immigration detainers without a judicial determination of probable cause."


December 23, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE's 2016 in Review


Here is ICE's 2016 Year in Review, replete with arrests, weapons, etc.


December 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

All I Want for Christmas Is to Get Out of Immigration Detention


The Davis Vanguard tells some very sad holiday stories about children in immigrant detention over the holidays:

"Families are not supposed to be in immigration detention at all — and certainly not for more than a few days — but these children have been locked up with their mothers for more than a year. They are fleeing violence in Central America and asked for asylum in the United States. They got caught in legal limbo while their lawyers press for the Supreme Court to hear their case.

The youngest have spent almost half their lives locked up and don’t have a single  memory formed outside the confines of the Berks County detention facility. But they do believe in Santa and wrote letters to him saying what they want for Christmas. Even the youngest kids ask Santa, more than anything else, to give them their freedom."





December 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

‘Go Back Wherever the F–k You Came From’

A woman who believed other shoppers had cut in line ahead of her at a JC Penney in Louisville, KY decided to respond by verbally accosting them about their immigration status. It was caught on tape. The ranter appears to be white. The recipients of her tirade appear to be Latina.

"Go Back Wherever the F–k You Came From," the ranter said.

The mall is trying to identify the ranter so she can be banned from the premises.


December 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Missing in Action: Practice, Paralegality, and the Nature of Immigration Enforcement by INÉS VALDEZ, MATHEW COLEMAN, AMNA A. AKBAR







Missing in Action: Practice, Paralegality, and the Nature of Immigration Enforcement  by INÉS VALDEZ (Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science), MATHEW COLEMAN (Ohio State University (OSU)), AMNA A. AKBAR (Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law), Citizenship Studies (forthcoming)

U.S. immigration control is typically understood in terms of enforcement practices undertaken by federal officers guided by legislation and court decisions. While legislation and court opinions are important components of the immigration control apparatus, they do not adequately account for immigration control ‘on the ground.’ To explore this problem, we advance the concept of paralegality, the practices and operations that constitute a dynamic system of actions and relationships that are not simply linear applications of legislation or judicial decisions but may in fact extend or counter these texts. We illustrate the importance of paralegality by reconstructing the evolution of the §287(g) and Secure Communities programs, both of which have shapeshifted dramatically since their inception. Our account of immigration control highlights the problem practice poses for law, proposes a theoretical alternative to textual-law-centric research on immigration and law enforcement, and contributes to scholarship on everyday citizenship.


December 23, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

RIP? The End of NSEERS

"Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a regulation in the Federal Register called a final rule ending a dormant and discriminatory regulation known as special registration. Special Registration or NSEERS (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System) was developed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 and continued to operate for nearly a decade with detrimental effects. Though NSEERS was discontinued in 2011, the regulatory structure remained on the books until today. Today’s decision comes on the heels of diverse voices who advocated for rescission for years, including former DHS officials; members of Congress; civil and human rights organizations; and the immigration lawyers and Muslim, Arab and South Asian organizations who work(ed) with families and individuals impacted by NSEERS. By ending NSEERS, DHS has closed the curtain on one of the darkest chapters of American history."

For a New York Times story on the end of special registration, click here.  Will the Trump administration bring the program back or introduce something worse? 


December 22, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)