Thursday, October 11, 2018

Real Housewives of New Jersey Shed Light on Deportation

Joe and Teresa Giudice, photo via CNN

Let's be real. Nothing appeals to students more than reality TV. I asked my 1Ls at the beginning of the year about their hobbies, a solid 50% said theirs was reality T.V., "but don't tell anyone."

Let's harness that guilty pleasure for learning.

Yesterday, IJ Ellington ordered Joe Giudice, the husband of Real Wives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, to be deported when he is released from prison next year.

What's he in prison for? Bankruptcy fraud and failure to pay 200K in taxes.

Joe Giudice came to the U.S. as an infant. He's an LPR who never became a USC and is now facing the consequences of his criminal conviction.

At the moment, it appears Teresa and her four daughters will not relocate to Italy after the deportation.

Now this is a story bound to get students talking.


October 11, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Immprofs at SALT on Teaching Empathy (Without Students Realizing It)

Mariela Olivares (Howard), moi, Kristina Campbell (UDC)

I'm reporting from Penn State Law in University Park, PA, this year's home for the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) conference.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel with Mariela Olivares (Howard) and Kristina Campbell (UDC) about "Bringing Humanity into the Classroom: Using Experiential Techniques in Doctrinal Courses to Prepare the Well-Rounded Lawyer in an Era of Social Change."

Our launching point for conversation was a comment from Deborah Merritt (Ohio State) during the opening panel of the day: "Should we and can we teaching students empathy?" Questions that Debbie responded to with a resounding yes. We agree. But students don't need to know that's what we are doing!

I spoke in praise of field trips - taking students out of the classroom to get a different perspective on the  material. I spoke about touring county jail with Criminal Law students (and hopefully Crimmigration students this Spring!), the port of entry with Immigration students, and sites along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego with students on the one-week Hofstra summer program (coming again this May!).

Mariela spoke about creating opportunities for students to engage in outside-the-classroom activity - creating time for students to go on solo forays to immigration court. She shared the sorts of questions that she asks students to contemplate, including: How many people had lawyers? Did it seem to matter? What was the quality of the lawyers? How you do you think the experience was for pro se individuals? What did "due process" look like? What would you wish to change and why? What aspects struck you positively and why? She also spoke about her numerous in-class exercises prompting students to think about litigation objectives and the students' own assumptions about controversial material.

Kristina spoke about Service Learning at UDC and how to bring the experience of working in family detention facilities into the classroom for those unable to participate in such an intense off-site program. She gives students facts, an NTA, and questions for credible/reasonable fear interviews. The exercise gives students a flavor of what it's like to help at a family detention facility.

I'm thoroughly inspired to try new things in my classes next year!


October 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Making The Case for Asylum: Duterte Edition

Rodrigo Duterte photo by The Republic of Korea

I spoke with someone a while back who was worried about President Trump's determination to deport all noncitizens with criminal convictions. A relative of this person had a drug conviction -- an old one, but a conviction nonetheless. And the person I was speaking with was worried about their family member being deported because that would mean returning to the Philippines which, since 2016, has been engaged in a war on drugs that Human Rights Watch believes has resulted "in the killing of more than 12,000 drug suspects."

At the time, I thought about the prospects of this relative applying for asylum, withholding of removal, or CAT. And I thought about how one might go about gathering evidence to support such a case.

In late September, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte himself provided significant evidence in support of these claims. As the NYT rerports, Duterte spoke to members of his government and challenged his military to overthrow him if not satisfied with his leadership. Then, and here's the kicker, Duterte said "I told the military, what is my fault? Did I steal even one peso? ... My only sin is the extrajudicial killings."

I don't know about you, but I spend some time exploring in class the idea of how to prove what the government did or did not intend to do vis-a-vis persecution. Proof like that sure doesn't get easier than a presidential statement. Something to keep in mind when you come to this material.


October 4, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Index of American Cities by Welcomeness to Migrants


New American Economy is a self-described "a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans."

The group recently released a Cities Index, evaluating "immigrant integration by measuring local policies and socioeconomic outcomes across the 100 largest cities in the United States."

It's a fascinating tool. I found out that my current hometown (broad defined), Oklahoma City, is pretty low down - 89th out of 100 on the integration scale. Dallas, to the south, wasn't a whole lot higher at #87. (Not one North Dakota city makes the list.) Heck, folks in Miami were surprised to find themselves out-performed by St. Petersberg.

It's an interesting tool to play around with, with data points that students might enjoy exploring.


September 18, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

HONY: Falun Gong Asylee

Photo by HONY

As I've mentioned before, I like using the documentary Well Founded Fear when teaching asylum. I give my students clips from the film and ask them to gauge the veracity of the applicants.

One of the clips that I use involves an asylum officer describing an individual coming to him with a "textbook Falun Gong" case who turns out to be a Catholic priest (with a genuine as opposed to fraudulent asylum claim). Given the emphasis in the movie about the falsity of Falun Gong cases, I've often wondered about legitimate cases.

Imagine, therefore, my surprise to see this interview by HONY:

“My grandmother was the first in our family to discover it. One day she joined a meditation in the park. She was taking so many medications at the time, but she threw them all away and never took another trip to the hospital. That was before the crackdown. At one time were one hundred million followers of Falun Gong in China. It’s a peaceful religion. But the following grew too big. Our teacher seemed like a threat to the government. They said crazy things on state media. They called it a cult. They said we’re terrorists and that we kill our parents. They began to arrest us. They even harvested our organs. I know it sounds crazy, but you can Google it. We tried to resist. We practiced inside our home. We secretly handed out fliers to push back against the propaganda. But they caught me on camera. Everywhere there are cameras. They followed me to my home. They shoved me in their car. For eight months I was in detention. The first thing they did was take a sample of my blood. For hours every day they put us in a room and forced us to watch television about how to be a good citizen. If anyone looked away, the whole group was punished. Eventually my family bribed the court with huge money and they let me go. But for three years I had to write a letter every month saying that I am a guilty person. When my probation ended, I left the country.”

This could be an excellent addition to your discussion of Well Founded Fear or be used as an asylum real-o-thetical on its own.


September 11, 2018 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Deported for Racism?

Kenyan Masai Mara National Reserve, photo by Wajahat Mahmood

A Chinese man working as a motorcycle trader in Kenya, Liu Jiaqi, was caught on camera saying the African country "smells bad" and its people are "poor, foolish and black". He went on to say that "all the Kenyans" are "like a monkey," including the nation's president. Unfortunately for him, this racist rant went viral.

As the BBC reports, Kenyan authorities announced on Twitter that Liu Jiaqi had been "arrested due to his RACISM remarks" and "has been DEPORTED."

I think it's nice to include some comparative law when talking about deportability grounds. It's an opportunity to say "we've talked about what behavior in the United States may trigger deportation; other countries around the world may have different ideas regarding deportability." This Kenyan example is a good one.

My all time favorite comparative example, and one I end on every year, is the removal of Omar Borkan Al Gala from Saudi Arabia. The man was just too hot!


September 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Migration to Europe - in Charts!

I don't just love charts. I charts. So imagine my thrill to come across this set of charts about migration to Europe created by the BBC. Check it out - migrants to Europe by year:


You can really see how much of a drop there has been since the highs of 2015. Lower numbers of migrants has meant lower numbers of migrant deaths:


Other charts include information on where migrants are coming from (Syria leads the back) and where they are heading to (Germany leads the pack).


August 18, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Laura Ingraham's Inflamatory Immigration Comments

The interwebs are atwitter with commentary about these remarks from Laura Ingraham:

Yes. She actually said that in "some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they're changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like.... Much of this is related to both illegal and, in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love."

CNN called the segment out with this headline: "White anxiety finds a home at Fox."

It's an excellent clip for a class on race and migration. It might even pair well with discussion of Chae Chan Ping and the "vast hordes... crowding in upon us."


August 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Short Video Features Border Rancher on Drug Smuggling, Wall

This short (2:57) video from the BBC is a great addition to class discussion about the border. It features a border rancher who talks about the ease of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on his ranch and the evidence he's collected of drug smugglers on his property. That evidence includes surreptitious video (included) as well as detritus in the form of "booties" worn by smugglers to thwart tracking efforts by Border Patrol.

In my own talks with Border Patrol agents, I've heard them discuss how migrants wrap their feet in carpet but this was the first time I'd seen carpet-bottomed booties.

Personally, I'd recommend playing only until 2:04 (stopping after "I was thrilled") which would focus discussion on the border, drug smuggling, and the wall. After 2:04, the featured rancher starts talking about the separation of migrant families at the border.


July 29, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Trevor Noah on the Africanness of French Soccer Team

When France won the world cup, Trevor Noah congratulated Africa. (See Kevin's post about the team here.) The French Ambassador wrote to Trevor to challenge this assertion. Trevor responds to that criticism in the clip below, thinking about what it means to be both African and French. It's a thought-provoking few minutes that might be good for those Critical Race profs out there - or those looking for a new way to tackle discussion of race, assimilation, and identity-hyphenation in their immigration courses.


July 22, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 6, 2018

INA / USC Code Converter

Ever find yourself reading an INA-filled article/brief/case/blog on your computer with nary an INA supplement in sight? You'd like to look up the code on the internet but the easiest site, Cornell's Legal Information Institute, is keyed to the USC not the INA.

Messing Law Offices, P.L.C. has the answer for you: an INA to USC code converter. I've now got that baby bookmarked. Sweet.


July 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pro Publica's Audio of Children Separated from Parents at Border

Pro Publica has published this audio recording of children separated from their parents at the border. It's a hard listen. I can only just imagine playing the entire 7:47 in class and just having students absorb it.

As Pro Publica explains, the recording was made last week. It's of kids estimated to be between 4 and 10 who had been detained less than 24 hours, "so their distress at having been separated from their parents was still raw. Consulate officials tried to comfort them with snacks and toys. But the children were inconsolable."

The provenance of the recording is secret. An unidentified individual "devastated" by the scene recorded the sounds, gave the audio to civil rights attorney Jennifer Harbury, who in turn provided it to ProPublica.


June 19, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 15, 2018

HONY: Diversity Visa

Humans of New York recently interviewed this young man from Benin:


Here's what he had to say:

“I’m from a small country in Africa called Benin. I won the visa lottery to come here. I didn’t even know I was eligible. My brother entered my name and didn’t even tell me. I was studying to be a psychiatrist at the time. I assumed that I’d be able to continue with medical school. But when I arrived here, I found out that none of my credits would transfer. I had a choice: either go home and become a doctor, or start from the bottom. I didn’t speak any English. I didn’t have any money. But I knew if I could somehow make it here, my degree would be much more valuable. So I made the choice to stay. I began practicing English with my young nieces. The first thing I learned was: ‘I’m going to kick you.’ I got a job with a catering company and learned how to say ‘I’m here to deliver your food.’ I studied as many YouTube videos as I could during my free time. It’s been three years now. I’m almost finished with my bachelor’s degree. Just two classes left. At nights I work as a behavioral specialist in a mental health facility. I’m going to take the MCAT in September. My friends back home have all become doctors already, but I try not to think about them. I don’t want to lose my focus. I haven’t made it yet, but I’m making it.”

This kind of first-person story-telling might be a great addition to your discussion of the diversity visa.


June 15, 2018 in Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

"We Have to Love Our Law Students"


David B. Jaffe, Associate Dean of Student Affairs at American University Washington College of Law, recently penned an article of interest: The Key to Law Student Well-Being? We Have to Love Our Law Students.

Jaffe's article is about the health and well-being of law students, focusing on mental health and addiction. He offers concrete ideas for faculty, staff, and students at law schools to address student well-being holistically, including:

  • Deans: modeling, assessing, and prioritizing student well-being
  • Admissions: drawing attention to at-risk students
  • Orientation: acknowledging and addressing mental health and substance abuse
  • Faculty: opening the door to conversation, being aware of key deadlines, leading meditation
  • Attendance: signalling problems with well-being
  • Peers: utilizing student peer support networks
  • Counseling: offering on-site or making it readily-accessible
  • Alcohol: scaling back at school events
  • Alumni: raising  voices in support of student well-being

It's a thoughtful and heart-felt article.


May 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Looking to enter the U.S.? First, answer a few questions...

This bit is from Foil Arms and Hog, an Irish sketch comedy group.

Nicely played, gentlemen. Nicely played.


May 8, 2018 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Field Trip Fun: Touring the Pembina POE


I love field trips. They allow us to bring students to the physical spaces that they read about in class and to meet with people doing on-the-ground work. It's why I'm so passionate about teaching Hofstra's border class.

Living close to the northern border means that I don't have to limit my field trips to once a year in San Diego with Hofstra. I can bring my UND students to the border.

On Friday, I did just that. A group of my Immigration Law students took the 3 hour round-trip ride to the Pembina Port of Entry, the busiest POE on a stretch including all of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. On a particularly busy day, the port screens between 2,500 and 3,000 passenger vehicles and 800-1,000 commercial trucks.

My students met with a senior CBP Officer who answered every question imaginable about life on the northern border - from the training CBP officers undertake, the hiring process (and pay scale!), and the frequent immigration issues that they see (inadmissibility being tops).

Beyond answering questions, we were able to tour the facility - checking out the on-site firing range, the truck inspection garage (with its cage for locking up confiscated goods), the passenger vehicle inspection garage, and the holding cells.

The students were also taken to a car in the inspection garage and instructed us to look for contraband. Our group discovered (with some guidance), guns, a knife, money, drugs and drug paraphernalia. It was a wonderful learning experience.


April 19, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immprof 2018: Hotel Rooms Still Available!

Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law is located in Philadelphia, PA

The 2018 Immigration Law Scholars and Teachers Workshop will take place at Drexel Law School from May 24-26, 2018. This year's theme is: Immigration Law In, Through, and Beyond Moments of Distress.

Registration is open at this link. Sure, you missed out on the early-bird registration rate, but you know you still want to come and hang out with all your favorite immprofs. Plus, you haven't yet missed out on the special rate at the Loews hotel. The deadline for making hotel reservations, which you can do at this link, is April 25.

Come and participate in media training (separate registration, $30), the clinical workshop, and the general plenary and breakout sessions. Talk about your difficult teaching moments. Get ideas from your peers. Pack your mobile music-maker and SING ALONG WITH FRIENDS. It's going to be a blast.




April 19, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Teaching Asylum: Well-Founded Fear

As I've mentioned before, I like to use the documentary Well-Founded Fear when teaching asylum. I play a series of clips from the film, give students a copy of the USCIS Fraud Referral Sheet, and ask them to evaluate the merits of the applicants, taking into account the factors stated in the sheet. We discuss how their impressions of these migrants changed over time, what changed, and why. We talk about the role of lawyers in preparing clients and cases for the USCIS.

I'm thrilled to report that the entire documentary is now available online:


April 11, 2018 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Immprof 2018: Immigration Law In, Through, and Beyond Moments of Distress

Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law is located in Philadelphia, PA

The 2018 Immigration Law Scholars and Teachers Workshop will take place at Drexel Law School from May 24-26, 2018. This year's theme is: Immigration Law In, Through, and Beyond Moments of Distress.

Registration is now open at this link. Register by April 15 to secure the early-bird rate!

The conference has a slew of fabulous opportunities:

  • Media training (separate registration, $30)
  • Clinical Workshop -- including discussion of Law Clinics in a Time of Crisis, Clinic Expansion and Fundraising, Responding to Urgency and Emergency, The Clinic Seminar, Scholarship, Your Hardest Supervision Moments: A Reflection and Debrief Session, and Our Roles as Educators Beyond the Clinic.
  • Additional plenary sessions on making research relevant; immigration history; local/regional perspectives; race, exclusion, and national security in the age of Trump; and teaching immigration law in a time of “crisis”
  • More breakout sessions: Addressing and Supporting Students Facing Personal/Family Trauma; Teaching During Divisive Times; International and Comparative Perspectives
  • Music Making
  • Meals
  • Fun

Register today!



April 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Using Dr. Seuss To Explore Refugee/Asylum Politics

Dr. Seuss actually drew this cartoon. (It's snopes confirmed.)


You may already be talking about the doomed voyage of the the S.S. St. Louis in discussing U.S. apathy towards refugees during WW2. This Dr. Seuss cartoon is a wonderful addition to that discussion, and it has the added benefit of being made current again with the message on the mom's shirt: America First.


March 31, 2018 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)