Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Tohono O'Odham Nation's Border Wall Opposition

The Tohono O'Odham nation straddles the U.S.-Mexico border and includes portions of Arizona and Sonora. Should President's Trump vision of an uninterrupted wall between the United States and Mexico ever come to pass, it would cut this nation in two. And it would end the free passage that the Tohono O'Odham currently enjoy when traveling within their boundaries.

The tribe has posted a video outlining their opposition to the wall:

For an even shorter clip - check out this coverage by CBS evening news:

Both clips are great additions for coursework about the border. (For readers - here's the NYT coverage).

And if you're looking for a more in depth examination of the problems facing the Tohono O'Odham pre-wall, check out this piece from one of my former OU students: Sara Daly, Bordering on Discrimination: Effects of Immigration Policies/Legislation on Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Mexico, 38 Am. Indian L. Rev. 157 (2013).


April 26, 2017 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Syrian Child Describes Refugee Camp

More here from the BBC.


April 22, 2017 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Your Playlist: Running


Stumbled across this gem featuring Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Gregory Porter and Oscar-winning hip-hop artist Common. It's going to kick of my class today.

NPR has an interview with the song's composers that's worth checking out.


March 28, 2017 in Music, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Call for Papers: Lewis & Clark Law Review Immigration Symposium

The Lewis and Clark Law Review is seeking submissions for it's symposium issue - Volume 23, Issue 2. The symposium's focus is on the current administration's immigration policies -- from specific litigation over and effects of Trump's Executive Orders, to the general immigration power of the federal government, the roles of state and local governments, and 'antagonistic federalism.'

The symposium is currently slated to be a paper symposium, but they have the goal to secure funding for a live symposium that would occur in early 2018.

Submissions or abstract proposals can be sent to the Editor in Chief, Elizabeth Schmitt, at Final drafts from the author will be due the first week of January 2018.


March 27, 2017 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Prision Policy Initiative Sheds Light On Immigration Incarceration and Detention

Check out this report from the Prison Policy Initiative. It offers a comprehensive image of mass incarceration in the United States.


You'll see that immigration pops up twice. It's most obvious in the bar to the right - that grey block represents the 41,000 individuals in immigration detention. It's a little trickier to find immigration in the pie on the left. Look at the yellow slice regarding federal prisons. At the top, you'll see 16,000 slots for folks incarcerated for immigration crimes.


March 14, 2017 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mem Fox: "In that moment I loathed America"

Mem Fox is a children's author. If you have a little one, or need a good gift for a little one, my all-time favorite book of hers is Time For Bed. It is, above all, gentle. ("It's time for bed, little calf, little calf. What happened today that made you laugh?") I just pulled a copy off my kiddo's shelf and was hit with a wage of nostalgia for his little toddler body in my arms as I read him a good-night story.


As Kevin noted earlier this week, Mem Fox was subject to intense secondary screening during a recent visit to the United States. She has now published a first-person account of her ordeal with The Guardian. It's a chilling read, and I strongly commend it to you.

Her account is rich with detail about the room she was sent to for secondary screening, the fellow migrants waiting for questioning, and their treatment by CBP. "[T]his is not the way to win friends," she writes.

They made me feel like such a crushed, mashed, hopeless old lady and I am a feisty, strong, articulated English speaker. I kept thinking that if this were happening to me, a person who is white, articulate, educated and fluent in English, what on earth is happening to people who don’t have my power?

It would be excellent reading for a segment on admission procedure.


March 1, 2017 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immprof Maureen Sweeney - The Guest Lecturer You Need

Immprof Maureen Sweeney (Univ. of Maryland) is the guest lecturer you need for teaching the categorical and modified categorial approaches to analyzing whether criminal convictions qualify as aggravated felonies or crimes of moral turpitude with deportation consequences.

You might be thinking that you don't have the money to fly Maureen out to speak to your class. I didn't either. But I still brought her into class with her two excellent youtube videos on these topics. And while I've mentioned these before (here, here), it really bears repeating. These are incredibly complex topics that she miraculously makes understandable.

While we're talking about the categorical approach, let me also recommend Kevin Johnson's article Racial Profiling in the War on Drugs Meets the Immigration Removal Process: The Case of Moncrieffe v. Holder. The article offers a lot of background information about the Moncrieffe arrest - what the arresting officer was searching for that night, what he found with Moncrieffe, and his reasoning behind the arrest. The article gives immprofs a great way to talk about the connections between race, likelihood of arrest, quality of representation when accused, and how all those factors will disparately impact immigrants of color in the United States.

Bring Maureen and Kevin to class. Your students will appreciate it.


March 1, 2017 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Teaching Employment-Based Migration

With all the drama over the president's EOs, lawful employment-based migration may be the furthest thing from your mind. But you'll still have to teach it. So let me offer a few thoughts on the subject.

Your students will want to see the most recent visa bulletin. And you'll want to pair that with data about LPRs employment-based admissions and nonimmigrant employment-based admissions.

On the LPR front - I like to spend time with students on EB-5 visas. If you do too, don't forget the NEW regulations proposed by DHS on January 13 which just might have slid off your radar with everything else we dealt with in January. DHS has proposed increasing the required financial contributions for EB-5 investors from $1 million to $1.8 million. For regional investors, the contribution will go from $500K to $1.35 million. That's a big change. If you like stats and charts, this link will give you some colorful ones to add to your discussion of EB-5.

As you might imagine, I have a hard time reigning myself in when it comes to nonimmigrant employment-based migration. I talk about H1B3 models (and have my students do a legislative exercise on the topic). I talk about Disney. And when it comes to J-visa holders, I like to bring in a little Aziz Ansari:


February 11, 2017 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Teaching Family-Based Immigration

This past week, I taught family-based immigration. I debated whether to teach Adams v. Howerton. After all, an optimistic person might question the case's continued relevance post-Windsor and Obergerfell. Ultimately, I decided that I am not an optimistic person. And the post-Windsor USCIS same-sex marriage regulations (which I assigned) were not fait accompli given that Adams was a pre-DOMA case.

If you, like me, are continuing to teach Adams, I suggest these materials:

I paired the Adams case with a discussion of Kerry v. Din, although I did not assign that decision as reading. I thought it was important to bookend the discussion of spouses by noting that even those who clearly fall within the statutory definition are not guaranteed entry to the US. The NY Times has a photo of Fauzia Din and Kanishka Berashk.

In teaching marriage fraud, I utilized numerous resources including:

And, of course, there's the DHS Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, Table 6! Happy teaching.


January 25, 2017 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Teaching Chae Chan Ping

I taught Chae Chan Ping this morning. I continue to find the case compelling reading. The arguments regarding "vast hordes of ... people crowding in upon us" who "will not assimilate" resonate as strongly with today's political rhetoric as they did in the 1880s.

But this post is about teaching The Chinese Exclusion Case.

Specifically, I want to point our dear readers to images, freely available on the interwebs, that you might share with students while teaching this case.

If you have other images that you use, please share!


January 12, 2017 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Detention Nation, An Art Exhibit

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 8.33.49 AM

Detention Nation, like States of Incarceration (discussed yesterday), is a multi-media exhibition that sheds light on immigration detention. It showed at Houston's Station Museum of Contemporary Art in early 2015.

Detention Nation is the project of the art-activist collective Sin Huellas (Without Fingerprints or Without a Trace), a group that takes it name from the practice of removing fingerprints with acid in an effort to avoid the consequences of a prior deportation.

The Texas Observer met with collective members Orlando Lara and Deyadira Arrellano, who spoke about their own experiences with immigration detention.

It's interesting to hear how some things are universal. Lara talks about the lack of medicine in detention and how treating nurses consistently suggest that detainees "drink water." There's a strikingly similar scene in the musical Allegiance where interned Japanese are denied medicine and told to drink water.

I encourage you to check out the Facebook page, which has numerous photos of the exhibit. Any and all would be great additions to the classroom.

And for those of you at big fancy institutions who just might have an on-campus art museum, I'd consider contacting Sin Huellas to see about bringing the exhibit to your campus. It would be a powerful teaching tool.


January 4, 2017 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

States of Incarceration

Sarah Lopez is a professor in the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. Her work focuses on architectural history within the context of migration.

Of late, Lopez has been examining the architecture of immigrant detention facilities in Texas. It's not an easy project. As Lopez told the Texas Observer, “Studying the architecture of detention is hard... Unless you’re incarcerated or detained, or a warden or a food provider or medical assistant, basically, they don’t want you there.”

Lopez and her UT students participated in a nationwide project of the Humanities Action Lab called States of Incarceration. For their part of this project, they:

mapped the locations of detention centers throughout the state and used Google Earth to create silhouettes of each building’s footprint. The researchers even gained hard-won access to one county-run detention center and built a 3-D model from sketches. Their work marks an important step forward in understanding the physical reality of a clandestine and growing carceral system that prefers to exist just out of reach of the American imagination.

Her class contribution to the exhibition is titled Spatial Stories of Migration and Detention.

Check out this drawing of the La Salle Detention Center by Katie Slusher:

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Her drawing is accompanying by these notes:

This layout is drafted from quick sketches and notations created during a tour of La Salle detention center. From an architectural point of view, the detainee living quarters, medical ward, segregation units, and outdoor space were particularly arresting. Aside from outdoor recreation time and voluntary work shifts (for which detainees earn 1 dollar per day), the remainder of a detainee’s average day is spent in a group cell. People with gang affiliations and/or individuals with disabilities are typically placed in smaller capacity or single occupancy rooms. The group cell has exposed bathrooms. Up to 48 men witness each-others’ every move throughout the day. The medical facilities within the detention center contain quarantine cells and a suicide watch room. The suicide watch room is particularly depressing, simply because such a room is necessary. Although used to detain migrants, La Salle has segregation units otherwise known as solitary confinement. Outdoor time for detainees in solitary is restricted to one of the three roof-less rooms extending off the segregation unit cellblock. The segregation unit is equal in size and quality of construction to the suicide watch room, and it is not unlikely that a person may be moved from one to the other.

For all detainees, time spent outside is limited to the federally mandated minimum of one hour per day. Massive barbed wire walls enclose the otherwise barren space.

An excellent project, and a great teaching resource for those of us who are geographically removed from immigration detention facilities.


January 3, 2017 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fellowship Opportunity: Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program


The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program is currently accepting applications for the Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellowship. The fellowship provides an opportunity to work on direct representation of individuals applying for asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection, starting in the summer of 2017. The Fellow, who will be housed at Harvard Law School, will assist with the supervision of clinical students and will work closely with experienced attorneys and clinicians at Harvard Law School and Greater Boston Legal Services during the 2017-2018 academic year. The Fellowship will provide teaching opportunities in the form of select lectures in a diverse range of courses; independent writing and scholarship are encouraged. Apologies for duplicative announcements. Interested candidates should apply through the Harvard University Human Resources’ system here.


December 12, 2016 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

CNN on Family Detention feat. Immprof Denise Gilman

The fight over family detention centers  is a short (5:30) CNN report that could be used in class to spark conversation about family detention. It helpfully includes still shots of a family detention center (inside and out), closeups of ankle monitoring devices, and video from a community shelter for refugees.

Immprof Denise Gilman (UT) was interviewed by CNN and appears prominently in the video. In the written version of the report, she offers this excellent quote: "Under US asylum law, the way you seek refugee status is to come to the US... That is provided for in the law. That is not law breaking." In the video, she argues that the current carceral setting is not appropriate for "traumatized women and children."

I've got it flagged for my Spring class!


November 5, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Allegiance Musical on Big Screens Nationwide Dec 13

Back in January, I urged you to go and see the Japanese internment musical Allegiance on Broadway. (Yes, you read that right - A musical. About internment).

Well, now the musical is coming to you. On Tuesday December 13, it will be aired on big screens (aka in movie theaters) around the nation. Tickets are on sale now.

Here's a clip to whet your appetite. It's called Paradise, and it's a satire about the benefits of living in the Heart Mountain internment camp and the gall of being asked to complete questionnaires designed to suss out the residents' true allegiances.


If you watch the clip, you'll hear them mention Tule Lake (around 1:20). It's where they sent detainees who were determined to be national security threats. Do read the Maurice Roberts piece on his work as a post-war Tule Lake adjudicator. It will really frame the musical for you.

Happy theatering!


October 28, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

D List Actress Admits To Marriage Fraud on Conan


An actress I've never heard of, Nicole Byer, went on Conan and admitted engaging in marriage fraud. Check out the video.

Nicole says she was young (20) and 30K in debt; he was a "teeny tiny little Indian man who wanted to stay in America." They "went on interviews" and "took pictures together."

The audience laughs throughout the entire interview.

At the end, Conan says: "You're going to be arrested right after this thing now." Sadly, that's unlikely. Remember Oregon's "first lady" Cylvia Hayes who admitted to marriage fraud? What happened to her? Nothing. As Kevin pointed out then, any prosecution was time barred. And any claim under 18 USC § 1001 would also be time barred.

So, Nicole gets to go on national television and tell an amusing anecdote without repercussions. What are the odds that the man she married is walking away scot-free from this admission? Not great.

Color me appalled.


September 14, 2016 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fun With Derivative Citizenship

Ireland from space, courtesy of NASA

BBC reporter Simon Maybin recently set out to discover just how many how many Britons might be entitled to Irish citizenship. He'd heard estimates as high as 1-in-4 but, as it turns out, that number tracks a Guinness pool about whether folks had any Irish ancestry or saw themselves as Irish. Since everyone sees themselves as a little bit Irish after a Guinness or two, that wasn't the most accurate assessment of citizenship.

So Maybin called Ireland's Citizens Information service. He learned that he himself was qualified for Irish citizenship because his mother was born in Ireland - despite the fact that she never held an Irish passport herself. Her very birth in Ireland made her a citizen. Maybin further found that "The same rules apply if you have a grandparent born on the island of Ireland." Though, he qualified: "There are a few other subtleties to the rules on getting Irish citizenship, including a change for people born after 2005."

With this broad legal knowledge under his belt, Maybin set out to estimate how many Britons had a parent or grandparent born in Ireland. Some maths later, Maybin concluded that nearly 6.7 million people in the UK might quality for Irish citizenship. That's well in excess of Ireland's 4.6 million population and nearly 10% of Brits.

It's an in-class problem on steroids! Super fun.


September 13, 2016 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

First Day Reading: Psalm by Wisława Szymborska

It can be hard to decide what to assign for your first day of class reading. I humbly submit the following proposal - Psalm by Polish poet Wisława Szymborska.

Oh, the leaky boundaries of man-made states!
How many clouds float past them with impunity;
how much desert sand sifts from one land to another;
how many mountain pebbles tumble onto foreign soil
in provocative hops!

Need I mention every single bird that flies in the face of frontiers
or alights on the roadblock at the border?
A humble robin - still, its tail resides abroad
while its beak stays home. If that weren't enough, it won't stop bobbing!

Among innumerable insects, I'll single out only the ant
between the border guard's left and right boots
blithely ignoring the questions "Where from?" and "Where to?"

Oh, to register in detail, at a glance, the chaos
prevailing on every continent!
Isn't that a privet on the far bank
smuggling its hundred-thousandth leaf across the river?
And who but the octopus, with impudent long arms,
would disrupt the sacred bounds of territorial waters?

And how can we talk of order overall?
when the very placement of the stars
leaves out doubting just what shines for whom?

Not to speak of the fog's reprehensible drifting!
And dust blowing all over the steppes
as if they hadn't been partitioned!
And the voices coasting on obliging airwaves,
that conspiratorial squeaking, those indecipherable mutters!

Only what is human can truly be foreign.
The rest is mixed vegetation, subversive moles, and wind.


August 16, 2016 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Internal Migration Restrictions in Beijing

Beijing Night by Jeremy Rover

People are guaranteed freedom of movement within the United States pursuant to the privileges and immunities clause of our national constitution. That's not the case everywhere.

As the South China Morning Post reports, China's capitol city of Beijing recently enacted migration rules to keep its exploding population in check.

[A] migrant will be graded according to their contributions to the city and qualifications such as education or age. He or she cannot obtain permanent residency, which is tied to a series of social benefits that migrants do not get, without gaining enough grades.

"Grades" can be achieved by working and paying into social security, having a clean criminal record, having a high educational background, and being under the age of retirement. Benefits from permanent residency include access to better educational opportunities.

Beijing's new rules offer "extra grades" to those willing to move to relocate both work and home to the suburbs.

This article is a keeper for any immprof looking for a comparative perspective on the regulation of internal migration.


August 11, 2016 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Brexit and Immigration

Check out this ad from the U.K. Independence Party, which favors the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union (-aka- Brexit).


The Atlantic has thoughtful discussion of the poster and the immigration battle at the heart of Brexit.


June 20, 2016 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)