February 20, 2013
Private Prison/Immigrant Detention Giant Name Florida Atlantic Football Stadium
The N.Y. Times reported yesterday on a very interesting development in sports philanthrophy. Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, has renamed its football stadium after the GEO Group for a $6 million gift. GEO Group is a private prison corporation. One critic compared the naming to "calling something Blackwater Stadium. This is a company whose record is marred by human rights abuses, by lawsuits, by unnecessary deaths of people in their custody and a whole series of incidents that really draw into question their ability to successfully manage a prison facility.”
Accoring to the Times, GEO Group's "income is generated mostly from state and federal prisons and detention centers for illegal immigrants. The company owns or runs more than 100 properties that operate more than 73,000 beds in sites across the world. . . . The company has been opposed by civil liberty and human rights groups and immigrant rights organizations. It has been cited by state and federal regulators and lost a series of high-profile lawsuits."
February 15, 2013
Cal Hoopster Bak Bak Lives the Dream
ImmigrationProf previously profiled Cal basketball player Bak Bak, a refugee from the Sudan. A reserve forward on the red hot Cal Bear basketball team (with victories over Oregon, Arizona, and UCLA in the last two weeks), Bak has an amazing immigrant story. He talks to his mother every night on the telephone and hopes to bring his younger brother and sister to the United States to care for them. Bak was attracted to Cal because of its many international students.
Bak did not play but Cal beat UCLA last night.
December 13, 2012
Top 10 Immigration News Stories of 2012
Each year, ImmigrationProf lists its top 10 immigration stories of the year. Below are the top stories for 2012, many of which are directly related to the Top 10 Stories for 2011.
1. Reelection of President Obama and the Return of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
With overwhelming support from Latino voters, President Barack Obama was reelected as President of the United States. After the election, Republicans in Congress expressed greater willingness to consider enactment of comprehensive immigration reform, and the possibility of reform in the next Congress appears to be a distinct possibility.
There were also some interesting footnotes to the Presidential campaign, including Bruce Springsteen campaigning for the President in the days leading up to the election and a DREAMER addressing the Democratic National Convention.
2. Arizona v. United States
In its biggest immigration decision in many years, the Supreme Court in June in Arizona v. United States invalidated three of four provisions of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 on federal preemption grounds. The Court, however, upheld Section 2(B), perhaps the most controversial provision, which requires police to verify the immigration status of any person who the officers have “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country unlawfully.
Also in 2012, lower federal courts invalidated significant portions of the immigration enforcement laws of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The number of pieces of state immigration legislation has been dropping.
The Supreme Court decided a number of other immigration cases in 2011-12, applying ordinary rules of statutory construction and agency deference with the immigrant winning in a number of the cases.
3. Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals Announced by the Obama administration
in June, the Obama administration made the blockbuster announcement that it would create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which would allow for deferred action and temporary work authorization for eligible undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors. It was one of the big immigration news items – and to many surprises – of 2012.
The continued pressure of the DREAMers on the administration should be given at least some credit for the new program. The DREAMers continued their political activism and organized a “No Papers, No Fear” bus trip to the Democratic National Convention.
DACA also created new controversies. While California decided to allow DACA recipients to be eligible for driver’s licenses, Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona quickly made it clear that Arizona would not issue licenses to DACA recipients.
4. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Remains Embroiled in Controversy -- and Wins Relection
America’s Toughest Sheriff, Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff, Joe Arpaio remained in the news in 2012. Standing trial this summer for alleged civil rights violations of immigrants and Latinos, Arpaio testified in his defense.
After an investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office engaged in widespread violations of the civil rights of immigrants and Latinos.
Although it is not sure why the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has jurisdiction over anything to do with the birther controversy, Sheriff Arpaio also made the news when his office investigated and finding that there just might be something to the claims of the birthers that President Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen.
Despite all the controversy, voters relected Sheriff Arpaio in November.
5. Mass Murder in Wisconsin In Wisconsin
6. Apologies for Past Immigration Wrongs
2012 was a year of immigration apologies. The U.S. of Representatives adopted a resolution (H. Res. 683, 112th Cong. (2012)) apologizing for the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred the admission to the U.S. of nearly all Chinese until 1943. The House sponsor was Judy Chu (D.-CA.), the first Chinese-American Congresswoman. The House’s 18 resolution follows the adoption of a companion resolution in the Senate in October 2011.
Some 80 years ago, tens of thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in L.A. County were forced aboard trains and taken to Mexico. In February 2012, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors formally -- and finally -- apologized.
7. 30th Anniversary of Plyler v. Doe
June 15, 2012 was the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's pathbreaking decision in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), which protects the rights of undocumented students to a public elementary and secondary school education.
8. The California Supreme Court Considers the Admission of Undocumented Immigrant to Practice Law
Born in Mexico, Sergio Garcia was first brought to the United States by his parents when he was 17 months old. After graduating from California State University, Chico in rural California, Garcia attended California Northern Law School, an unaccredited law school, and subsequently passed the California bar examination. He disclosed his immigration status in his bar application and, after an interview, satisfied the California State Bar that he possessed the “good moral character” necessary for the practice of law. After receiving the California State Bar’s recommendation of Garcia's admission, the California Supreme Court issued an order to show cause on why the motion for the admission of Sergio Garcia by the California bar should be granted. Briefs were filed in support of Garcia’s admission including by the California Attorney General, immigration law professors, bar associations, law school deans, and others; three briefs opposed the licensing of Garcia, one of them by the U.S. government. The U.S. government contended that 8 U.S.C. § 1621(c), which precludes the issuance of any professional license provided “by appropriated funds of a State or local government,” bars Garcia’s licensing as an attorney by the independent California state bar and California Supreme Court.
The California Supreme Court has yet to issue a decision in the case.
9. The Race for the Immigration Bottom in the Republican Presidential Primaries
In a Republican presidential debates in Arizona -- the Duel in the Desert, four Republican Presidential candidates, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul, debated immigration. There were no real surprises -- support for the border fence, agreement with Arizona's approach to immigration enforcement, criticism of the Obama administration, etc.
The Republican debate in Florida was a bit toned down, likely because of the different Hispanic demographic there.
All in all, the tough talk on immigration in the Republican primaries, including by Mitt Romney, may well have contributed to the landslide of Latino support for President Obama and his relection. See Item 1 above.
10. Immigrants Help Team USA in London Olympics
November 13, 2012
U.S. Citizen of the Day: NY Yankees Slugger Robinson Canó
Good news from the Big Apple! NY Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano, a native of the Dominican Republic, has had a big week. After winning the American League Silver Slugger award last week for being the top offensive player at his position for the third straight year, Cano also became a U.S. citizen.
November 11, 2012
Pro Boxer Released from U.S. Immigration Detention, Wins Impressive First Round KO in LA
After spending months of 2012 in U.S. immigration detention, professional boxer Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo returned to the ring in ferecious fashion with a first round knock out last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Angulo had some undisclosed "immigration issues" (and here) that took some time to work out.
October 31, 2012
Sergio Romo, SF World Series Champ, Declares: ‘I Just Look Illegal’
Photo courtesy of Latino Rebels
August 15, 2012
Boxer Released from Immigration Detention
Professional boxer Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo, who has fought in some exciting bouts, reportedly has been released from immigration detention in El Centro, California. ImmigrationProf previously reported that Angulo, who is represented by Golden Boy Promotions, had been in custody since January 2012. His attorney states that Angulo's immigration problems in the United States are being worked out.
August 11, 2012
UC Davis Lawyer Helps "Stateless" Marathoner Compete in Olympics
ImmigrationProf previously posted about the “stateless” South Sudanese marathoner Guor Marial, who is competing under the Olympic flag in the Olympic marathon on Sunday. Yesterday, I learned that Marial's friend and advocate is Brad Poore, a UC Davis School of Law alum, lawyer, and elite runner in his own right. Poore advocated for Marial to compete in the Olympics as an independent athlete.
I remember Brad as a sincere law student and always was impressed with his dedication to law and the sport of running.
UPDATE (AUG. 12): Marial finished 47th in the Marathon with a time of 2:19:32.
August 10, 2012
Immigrants on Team USA in London Olympics
As the world knows, the London Olympics have been in the news. Dozens of foreign-born athletes who immigrated to the United States have represented Team USA. Here are some of the top Americans who came from other lands:
Lopez Lomong, the Sudan 'Lost Boy'. One of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, he came to the United States at the age of 16, fleeing civil war and life in a refugee camp. Event -- 5,000-meter run. Lomong qualified for the 5000 meter finals.
Danell Leyva, Gymnast Whose Family Fled Cuba. Leyva's mother brought him to Miami from Cuba as an infant in 1993. His stepfather and coach, Yin Alvarez, defected from Cuba by swimming across the Rio Grande River into the United States while the Cuban national team was competing in Mexico.
Foluke Akinradewo, Volleyball Player. Akinradewo, U.S. middle blocker, was born in London, Ontario, Canada in 1987 and is a citizen of three countries: Canada, Nigeria and the U.S.
Photo Courtesy of Leo Manzano.com
Leo Manzano, Son of an Undocumented Migrant Worker. Born in Mexico, Leo Manzano moved with his family to Texas at the age of 4 where he soon began running. His father had supported the family as a migrant worker, frequently crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally to find jobs. Leo became a U.S. citizen in 2004. Manzano won a silver medal in a thrilling 1500 meter final.
Liezel Huber, Tennis. At age 15, Liezel Huber moved to the United States from South Africa to attend the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy in Hilton Head, S.C. She has lived in the United States since 1992. She married Tony Huber, an U.S. citizen, in February 2000 and became a U.S. citizen.
Bernard Lagat, Distance Runner. Growing up on the family farm in Kapsabet, Kenya, Bernard Lagat would run 1.5 miles to school in the morning and then run home in the afternoon. Lagat, 37, has lived in the United States since 1996 and graduated from Washington State University. He became a U.S. citizen and started competing for the United States.
Mariya Koroleva, Synchronized Swimmer From Russia. Born in Yaroslavl, Russia in 1990, Mariya Koroleva grew up in Concord, California, after the family immigrated to the United States.
For more about immigrant athletes on Team USA, click here.
July 27, 2012
New Americans Represent US at London Games
Lopez Lomong (Men’s 5000M), born in southern Sudan
Khatuna Lorig (Archery), former Soviet Union
Meb Keflezighi (Marathon), Eritrea
Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (Women’s 10,000M), Kenya
Nick Delpopolo (Judo), Montenegro
Pro Boxer Alfredo Angulo in Immigration Lockup
ImmigrationProf previously has reported on the U.S. immigration woes of the exciting professional boxer Alfredo Angulo, whose last fight was an exciting 2011 technical knockout loss to James Kirkland.
Gabriel Montoya on MaxBoxing reports that Angulo has been in immigration detention in El Centro, California since January 2012. His attorneys reportedly hope to clear things up in immigration court soon.
July 22, 2012
Olympic Refugee Story: South Sudan refugee to run marathon in Olympics
The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has approved a request to allow marathon runner Guor Marial to compete in the London 2012 Games as an Independent Olympic Athlete under the Olympic flag. Marial was born in what is now South Sudan, which does not currently have a recognized National Olympic Committee. Marial, who does not hold a passport from any country, is a lawful permanent resident but is not a U.S. citizen and cannot compete for the United States, South Sudan or Sudan. He now lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Guor Marial thus will run in the London 2012 Olympics but not wearing the flag of the newly-independent country.
The 28-year-old athlete fled to the United States during Sudan’s two-decade civil war, which in 2005 led to a peace accord allowing the southern part of the country to secede last year. South Sudan has not yet formed a National Olympic Committee, so it cannot send a team to the Games. The Sudanese team had invited him to join them but Marial who lost 28 members of his family in the war, turned down the offer.
Marial was one of millions of people who died or were displaced by the conflict in Sudan. He is a graduate of the Iowa State University, haveing earned a degree in Chemistry.
June 26, 2012
Sports News: Former Professional Boxer Andrew Golota Facing Deportation
Former professional boxer Andrew Golota, an immigrant to the United States from Poland, reportedly is facing deportation for two brushes with the law, one involving firearms and the other for impersonating a police officer. Nicknamed "Foul Pole," Golota won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and is a four-time world heavyweight title challenger. He earned his nickname for two well-publicized disqualifications for repeatedly hitting former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe below the belt.
June 04, 2012
Immigrant of the Day: Mickael Pietrus, Boston Celtics (Guadaloupe)
Mickael Pietrus currently plays for the Boston Celtics, which knocked off the Miami Heat last night to tie the NBA semi-final series at two games apiece. Pietrus grabbed some key rebounds in the last minute to help seal the victory.
May 11, 2012
Anchor Baby of the Day: John "Hondo" Havlicek, Boston Celtic
It is NBA playoff time again. And so-called "anchor babies" continue to take it on the chin. So, our inaugural "Anchor Baby of the Day" is 13-time NBA All Star, John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics. Born in Ohio, Havlichek is the son of Czechoslovakian immigrants.
March 12, 2012
A's Yoenis Cespedes a refugee of Cuban baseball politics
February 20, 2012
An American Dreamer: Cal Basketball Star Jorge Gutierrez
Gutierrez, last year's Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as well as a member of the conference's All-Academic team, is a contender for this year's conference Player of the Year. On Saturday night before a raucous crowd (including his parents from Mexico) celebrating Jorge and his achievements, Gutierrez helped lead the team to victory against the Oregon State Beavers to stay atop the Pac-12 standings.
On the verge of a possible NBA career, Gutierrez came to the United States just a few years ago from Chihuahua, Mexico and had to learn to speak and write English. He will graduate from Cal this June.
February 15, 2012
ImmIgrants of the Day: NBA Star Jeremy Lin's Parents (Taiwan)
Courtesy of NBA.Com
ImmigrationProf has decided to contribute to the media sensation -- dubbed "Lin-Sanity" -- over new NBA star Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks. As we have heard, Lin was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Palo Alto, and went to Harvard. His parents, Gie-Ming and Shirley, immigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the mid-1970s. His paternal family comes from Beidou, Changhua in Taiwan (his great-grandfather immigrated to Taiwan from Zhangpu County, Fujian in mainland China, while his maternal grandmother is from Pinghu, Zhejiang in mainland China.
Watch Lin beat the Toronto Raptors on Valentine's Day 2012.
February 14, 2012
Immigrant of the Day: The Oakland A's New Centerfielder Yoenis Cespedes (Cuba)
ImmigrationProf's Immigrant of the Day is Yoenis Cespedes, the the Oakland A's new centerfielder. Yesterday, Oakland signed the 26-year old Cuban outfielder to a four-year, $36 million deal. The contract will not be official until Cespedes, who defected from Cuba obtains a visa, and takes a physical. Cespedes will earn $6.5 million in 2012, $8.5 million next season and $10.5 million in each of the final two years of the deal. Read more.
February 09, 2012
It is Almost Baseball Season! Cheering for the Criminal Alien
Professor César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández (Professor Capital) discusses the recent arrest in the Dominican Republic of Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona for allegedly lying about his name and age to get signed as a baseball player. His take on the arrest, and its possible immigration consequences in seeking to return to the United States, in “Cheering for the Criminal Alien” is interesting.