Thursday, February 22, 2018

Survey on Northern Triangle Asylum Cases


Jaya Ramji-Nogales forwarded this message to me from her students:


We are Temple Law students seeking your feedback on a project we are working on with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) to support asylum claims from the Northern Triangle.  We aim to provide asylum lawyers with country conditions information tailored to specific issues that arise commonly in cases from the Northern Triangle but lack sufficient easily accessible factual support. 


This is where you come in.  We need your advice to determine which issues and countries we should prioritize in our efforts.  To that end, we’d be grateful if you could complete this survey, which should take approximately 5 minutes of your time:  We’d appreciate your feedback at your earliest convenience, and ideally by February 25.


Please contact us at with any questions about this survey.  Thank you very much for your assistance!






February 22, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Immigrant of the Day: Actor Bambadjan Bamba (Ivory Coast)

mmigrant of the Day:   

Actor Bambadjan Bamba has made an effort to show the humanity of Dreamers everywhere by announcing his status as a DACA recipient and opening up about his experiences being an undocumented immigrant in America. Bamba, who stars in the hit film 'Black Panther,' is originally from the Ivory Coast. He has worked as an actor in America for the last 10 years and now, at 36, he has made a bold decision to openly share his journey.


February 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Big Brother is Following Immigrants

Guest blogger: Katherine Abalos, University of San Francisco law student:

Technological advances have provided Americans with a number of conveniences and luxuries while also posing a number of security concerns, a fact that most are aware of.  As we allow Alexa to take the reins on small tasks around the home, many worry of the listening power of organizations that could use that data to manipulate us without our knowledge. For some, the government overhearing our nightly debate over what to have for dinner seems trivial but for others, such an intrusion can have a detrimental impact on their life and presence in the United States.

A company that collects, and sells data regarding license plate information recorded in real time, called Vigilant Solutions (“Vigilant”), has partnered with law enforcement agencies to crack down on threats to public safety. According to the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC), the database is utilized by some 3,000 law enforcement agencies across the country. Over 2 billion license plates have been recorded by the company to date, with 80-100 million records being updated each month. The database provides details that make drivers easy to find and easy to trap if placed in the wrong hands.

Enter ICE.

In January, ICE signed a contract with Vigilant, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported that the agency can use the database to drill down into the data for a single license plate to find where the person has lived, worked, gone to church, ran errands, and took their kids to school for the past five years. ICE can also add a license plate to a hotlist which then sends immediate sightings in real time directly to ICE. ICE has already made it clear, according to ACLU-NC, that it intends to use the database to “identify, arrest, and remove aliens from the United States.”

The agency would be unable to possess a database like this on their own, because it clearly creates public concern for privacy. A database such as this, typically, would be rejected by Congress; but, since the database is accessed by way of a private contract with a third-party, apparently ICE does not need Congress’s approval to utilize it. Such technology expands the reach that ICE has in monitoring immigrants. The Verge reported that it would be nearly impossible for someone on the hotlist to stay unnoticed, posing a significant threat to immigrants in the United States without documentation who pose no threat to public safety.

Currently, law enforcement must produce sufficient evidence to a judge that tracking a person’s car would not violate the Fourth Amendment to obtain a warrant. However, with Vigilant’s database, law enforcement needs no warrant to gain access of years of tracking records. Vigilant argues that their product does not serve as a GPS tracker, according to The Atlantic, yet the data recorded provides law enforcement with the same if not better information about an individual’s whereabouts.

There are a few of limitations that ICE has implemented to regulate their use of the database, such as audit logs and a one year limit to plates that can be registered on the hotlist; however, for many organizations and cities, these limitations do not do enough to protect immigrant communities. Last week, Alameda County reviewed a $500,000 contract with Vigilant as activists urged city council members to protect the safety of their community. The members voted against signing the contract listing Vigilant’s business with ICE as a reason.

Other representatives have been working to pass legislation like S.B. 712 which would provide a small defense for people in California. The bill was intended to allow drivers to cover their license plates while their vehicle is parked. Currently, drivers are allowed to cover their license plates only if they cover their entire car while it is parked. S.B. 712 was intended to make it legal for drivers to cover their license plate without the need for covering their entire car. Unfortunately, this bill failed to pass the California State Senate—a defeat for a small shield to a giant threat. Our communities have a lot of work to do to ensure the protection of our privacy especially for our immigrant community members.


February 21, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Operation Sojourner: The Government Infiltration of the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s and Its Legacy on the Modern Central American Refugee Crisis by Kristina M. Campbell


Operation Sojourner: The Government Infiltration of the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s and Its Legacy on the Modern Central American Refugee Crisis by Kristina M. Campbell, 13 U. ST. THOMAS L.J 474 (2017)

Abstract This Article will discuss “Operation Sojourner,” the federal government’s covert infiltration, and subsequent criminal prosecution, of persons involved in the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s, as well as its impact on the modern Sanctuary Movement in Arizona and the Southwest occurring in response to the current Central American refugee crisis. Part I will provide an overview of the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s, and the general religious beliefs and philosophies of those involved in the movement. Part II will discuss the genesis of Operation Sojourner by the former Immigration and Nationality Service (INS) in the early 1980s, and the criminal prosecutions of members of the Sanctuary Movement in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Part III will discuss one of the most high-profile cases that resulted from Operation Sojourner, United States v. Maria del Socorro Pardo de Aguilar, et al., and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding the defendants’ convictions for conspiracy and harboring and transporting aliens. Part IV will discuss the current Central American refugee crisis and the litigation that has been filed on their behalf challenging the Obama Administration’s current policy of detaining families seeking asylum on the U.S.-Mexico border. Finally, the Article will conclude with Part V, which makes an argument about the need for a revitalized Sanctuary Movement in churches, homes, and schools in response to the government’s overzealous enforcement of immigration law now and in the new administration of President Donald Trump.

This article is part of a Sanctuary Cities symposium.


February 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

UCI Law Position Opening: Visiting Clinical Professor, Immigrant Rights Clinic



THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for a full-time Visiting Clinical Professor to co-teach in the Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Immigrant Rights Clinic is a one-semester, six credit course in which students provide direct representation to individual and group clients on matters ranging from bond representation, complex removal defense and post-conviction advocacy to combatting workplace exploitation and protecting the civil and constitutional rights of immigrants. IRC also provides legal support to grassroots organizations on policy initiatives and campaigns. IRC acts in accordance with the foundational insight that the community is best served when lawyers can help empower individuals and marginalized groups to advocate for themselves. It models high quality, holistic and transformative lawyering.


Founded just nine years ago, the UC Irvine School of Law is a visionary new law school focused on training talented and passionate lawyers and driven by professional excellence, intellectual rigor, and a commitment to enrich our communities through public service. In keeping with this mission, the Law School has a dynamic and innovative clinical program. The cornerstone of the clinical program is a core clinical course required of every student. Students may enroll in their core clinic for additional semesters. In the six years since the creation of the first core clinics, the number has grown from three to the current eight: Appellate Litigation; Community and Economic Development; Criminal Justice; Domestic Violence; Environmental Law; Immigrant Rights; Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology; and International Justice.  Each core clinic is taught by one or more full-time faculty and one or more adjunct faculty. The Law School also currently has six elective clinics in the areas of Fair Employment and Housing; Civil Rights Litigation; Cyber Victims Defense; International Human Rights; Reproductive Justice; and Startup and Small Business.


The UC Irvine School of Law is the newest public law school in California in nearly 50 years and currently is ranked 28th nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The clinical training program is ranked 15th.  The School of Law also ranks in the top 14 for student diversity and is tied with Yale at 3rd for best student/faculty ratio. The School of Law aims to prepare students for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession, combining the best of a large and renowned academic institution with a collegial, supportive and friendly environment. For more information, visit

Applicants for this position should have at least 7-10 years of legal practice and/or teaching experience in Immigrant Rights. They must hold a J.D. degree or equivalent from an accredited institution and be a member of a state bar. In addition, they must have demonstrated potential for outstanding clinical teaching. Spanish proficiency is helpful, though not required. The person selected will be appointed as a Visiting Clinical Professor or Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor, depending on experience.  Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

Inquiries regarding this position should be directed to Professor Carrie Hempel, Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Service Learning at UC Irvine School of Law:


Candidates who wish to be considered for the position should send a cover letter and updated CV, a list of references and a statement of past and/or potential contributions to diversity (see UCI's Commitment to Inclusive Excellence) by e-mail to

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, applications and supporting material should be received by March 5, 2018. 

The University of California Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. A recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity, UCI is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, supports work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is dedicated to broadening participation in higher education.


February 20, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Fails to Grant Cert in DACA Case -- For Now


Amy Howe on SCOTUSBlog failed to grant cert in the DACA case today (in which the district court granted an injunction barring the rescission of the program) .  We will see whether the Court accepts review later in the month.


February 20, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Worries from the Heartland: Why Employers In Georgia Are Watching The Immigration Debate Closely


NPR reports on the concerns with the lack of skilled labor by employers in Dalton, Georgia, the home of many carpet manufacturers. in addition, President Trump's threats to deport large numbers of undocumented immigrants has employers worried as well, as many businesses have undocumented workers in key positions.


February 20, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Immigrant of the Day: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), professional basketball player


Giannis Antetokounmpo plays professional basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 2016–17, he led the Bucks in all five major statistical categories and became the first player in NBA history to finish a regular season in the top 20 in total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He is nicknamed the "Greek Freak."

Antetokounmpo was born in Athens, Greece on December 6, 1994, the son of immigrants from Nigeria. Three years earlier, his parents had moved from Lagos.  Even though Antetokounmpo and three of his four brothers were born in Greece, they did not automatically qualify to receive full Greek citizenship. For the first 18 years of his life, Antetokounmpo had no papers from Nigeria or Greece.

The New York Times reported: "Like many other immigrants to Greece, his parents struggled to find work. Antetokounmpo and his older brother, Thanasis, helped out by hawking items such as watches, bags and sunglasses." In 2007, Antetokounmpo started playing basketball and by 2009 was playing competitively for the youth squad of Filathlitikos.  Now he is an NBA star.

Antetokounmpo had a great game yesterday in a losing effort in the NBA All-Star Game.  




February 19, 2018 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Presidents' Day!

Lyle Denniston: The Supreme Court’s options on DACA


The Trump administration has asked for immediate review of a district court injunction of the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  The Supreme Court has not announced a ruling on the request and time is running out for the 2017 Term, which ends in June.

Supreme Court guru Lyle Denniston on Constitution Daily (The Supreme Court’s options on DACA) looks at what might be going on at the Court and the Court's various options in the DACA case at this point.

Stay tuned!  


February 19, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 2018 Winter Olympics: An Immigrant Story



Immigration Impact tells the story of immigrants at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Roughly 6 percent—or 178 Olympians—of all athletes in in this year’s games are competing for a country they weren’t born in. In fact, 12 countries are represented by athletes that are exclusively foreign-born, including Nigeria, Tonga, Bermuda, and Thailand. One of these athletes is Maame Biney, who immigrated to the United States from Ghana at age five. She is the first black woman on the U.S. Olympic speedskating team and has stunned viewers with her agility on the ice. 

Another early favorite on the American team, snowboarding gold medalist Chloe Kim, whose story we have relayed previously, has an immigrant background. Her father immigrated from South Korea in 1982, bringing only $300 and a Korean-English dictionary to the United States. He spoke little English and didn’t have a college degree, but wanted to pursue a better life for himself and ultimately his family. After winning her first gold medal on Monday, Kim acknowledged the hardship her father faced coming to the United States: “Leaving your life behind and chasing your dream because your kid is passionate about this sport. I think today I did it for my family, and I am so grateful to them.”

Ironically, many of the U.S. athletes—whom are either children of immigrants or immigrants themselves—would have likely been barred from entering the United States under the merit-based system proposed by President Trump. 

Here is more on immigrants in the Olympics.


February 19, 2018 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Immigration Law & Border Enforcement: A One Week Summer Program for Law Students

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 1.18.19 PM

Hofstra Law is once again offering its Immigration Law and Border Enforcement Program. This one-week 3-credit class for law students runs from Sunday May 20 to Sunday May 27, 2018.

It will be held in San Diego, California, and is co-sponsored by UC San Diego's Center for Comparative Immigration Studies.

The course is open to law students around the country. The course involves not just reading and lectures, but field trips to the border, a consulate, a shelter for deportees, a detention center, immigration court, a port of entry, and federal court. Students will have the opportunity to meet with CBP officers, ICE lawyers, Department of State consular officials, and EOIR judges, as well as immigration attorneys and advocates.

Please help spread the word about this course! Interested students should apply by March 16, 2018.


February 18, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The Free Movement of Labor" @ NYU Feb. 27, 11:15AM


Calling all NYC-area immprofs. If you're free on Tuesday, February 27, consider heading over to NYU's Greenberg Lounge in Vanderbilt Hall. The NYU Journal of Law & Liberty is holding a one day conference on Freedom versus Fairness: The Tension Between Free Market and Populist Ideals in Labor.

The first session is a non-immigration panel on "Janus and ‘Fair Share’ Fees," but the second session (starting at 11:15 a.m.) is about "The Free Movement of Labor." I'll be there along with immprof Lori A. Nessel as well as prawfs Ilya Somin and Michael LeRoy.

You can find details, and an RSVP link, here.


February 18, 2018 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Professorial Health

Health, photo by

Penn State professor of education-policy studies Katerina Bodovski has a truly remarkable article in The Chronicle of Higher Education: Why I Collapsed on the Job. Bodovski writes about how her "inhumane" workload left her bedridden for weeks after her body refused to recover from an infection.

I know this paragraph will ring true for many of our readers:

But the benefits of such freedom and flexibility in academe come at the cost of disappearing boundaries between work and life. We are so free to work whenever we want that many of us end up working all the time, not having full weekends and rarely taking off more than just a few days, despite popular perceptions to the contrary. We bring our work home or anywhere we go — on flights or long drives, to vacations or family reunions. We are constantly checking email, responding to colleagues and students. What Richard Swenson wrote about in his 2004 book, Margin, has become reality: We live our lives without a margin.

We have become, as Bodovski names it, "silent workaholics." And we all have to find a way to do better. Our health demands it.


P.S. Bonus fun-fact - Bodovski is an immigrant twice-over. She left Russia for Israel at 20, and later later pursued a Ph.D. in the United States. 

February 16, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Diversity Immigrants’ Regions and Countries of Origin: Fact Sheet

From the Congressional Research Service:

"In FY1995, foreign nationals from Europe garnered the most diversity visas (47%) and maintained a plurality share until FY2001. In the early 2000s, the number of DV immigrants from Africa was on par with those from Europe. But since 2006, Africa has maintained the largest proportion, garnering as much as 50% of diversity visas in FY2009, while Europe’s share fell to a low of 18% in FY2009 and FY2011. Meanwhile, the share of DV immigrants from Asia grew steadily over time, surpassing Europe’s share in FY2008 and remaining second to then. South America, Oceania, and North America combined accounted for less than 8% each year. In total, from FY1995-FY2016 immigrants from Africa accounted for 39% of DV immigrants, Europeans 31%, and Asians 24%.5 Africa sincethen. South America, Oceania, and North America combined accounted for less than 8% each year. In total, from FY1995-FY2016 immigrants from Africa accounted for 39% of DV immigrants, Europeans 31%, and Asians 24%." (emphasis added).


February 16, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

No News: Immigration Stalemate in Congress Continues


It is hard keeping up with what is going on in Congress in discussing immigration reform. 

of intense negotiations for a bipartisan deal on immigration collapsed in Congress on Thursday, leaving hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants facing possible deportation. The rejection of four proposals in the Senate, coupled with a lack of consensus in the House, underscored the immense political pressures on Republicans and Democrats alike.


February 16, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Valentine's Day from Northeastern Law!

V day

Stefanie Gonzales and Ienna Dela Torre, two students in the new Immigrant Justice Clinic at Northeastern, gave their classmates Valentine's in celebration of Valentine's Day earlier this week.  Professors Rachel Rosenbloom and Hemanth Gundavaram co-direct the clinic.  By the way, Professor Jaya Ramji-Nogales (Temple) was visting that day.  

February 16, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Olympic Watch: Akwasi Frimpong

Photo by Akwasi Frimpong

Here's another fascinating immigration story from the Olympics in Pyeongchang. Akwasi Frimpong left Ghana for the Netherlands when he was just eight. He found tremendous success as a track athlete in his adopted country, but he wasn't able to compete internationally under a Dutch flag because, as it turned out, he was an irregular migrant.

In 2008, Frimpong finally received a Dutch passport and the freedom to compete on the international stage. But an injury meant that competition would not be on the field. Instead, Frimpong headed to the ice. He started as a bobsled brakeman and then found his way to the sport of skeleton.

At Pyeongchang, Frimpong is competing not as a Dutchman but as a Ghanaian. He told CNN: "I hope I can motivate kids in Ghana to chase their dreams."


February 15, 2018 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fourth Circuit Rejects Trump Travel Ban 3.0


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, joining the Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Chief Judge Roger Gregory, has invalidated the third iteration of President Trump's travel ban.   The injunction, however, is stayed pending Supreme Court review of the case.

Here is Peter Margulies' analysis of the decision on Lawfare.


February 15, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Border Patrol Termination Rates: Discipline and Performance Problems Signal Need for Reform by Alex Nowrasteh


Border Patrol Termination Rates: Discipline and Performance Problems Signal Need for Reform by Alex Nowrasteh Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity


The Trump administration wants to increase the size of the U.S. Border Patrol by hiring 5,000 more agents beyond the approximately 20,000 current agents, in addition to filling roughly 1,500 job vacancies. Congress will likely lower the hiring standards for some applicants to help reach the president’s staffing goals. Reports allege that corruption and misconduct are serious personnel problems at Border Patrol, but little direct evidence is available to evaluate the extent of such problems.

However, data from the Office of Personnel Management reveal that Border Patrol agents are more likely to be terminated for discipline or performance reasons than officers in other large federal law enforcement agencies (those with 5,000 or more officers). From 2006 to 2016, Border Patrol agents were twice as likely to be terminated for disciplinary infractions or poor performance as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and 49 percent more likely than Customs and Border Protection officers who work in the Office of Field Operations. Border Patrol agents were 54 percent more likely than guards at the Bureau of Prisons to be terminated for disciplinary infractions or poor performance, 6 times as likely as Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, 7.1 times as likely as Drug Enforcement Administration agents, and 12.9 times as likely as Secret Service agents.


February 15, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)