Friday, December 1, 2023

AALS 2024 Immigration Section Sessions

These are the Immigration Section's events at the upcoming AALS conference in Washington DC (Jan. 3-6). We hope to see many of you there!
Thursday, Jan. 4 , 3-4pm: "Immigrants Defending Democracy and Resisting Dictatorship"
Panelists: Dina Haynes (New England Law), Jennifer Koh (Pepperdine),  S. Priya Morley (UCLA), Huyen Pham (Texas A&M, moderator), Oren Sellstrom (Lawyers for Civil Rights)
Friday, Jan. 5, 12-1:40: New Voices in Immigration Law
Papers by Matthew Boaz (discussant Daniel Morales), Shane Ellison (discussant Jaya Ramji-Nogales), Valeria Gomez (discussant Shruti Rana), David Hausman (discussant Jenny-Brooke Condon), Jenny Kim (discussant Rose Cuison-Villazor), and Joel Sati (discussant Cori Alonso-Yoder).  Please RSVP for this session with the Google Form to select a breakout group and receive papers ahead of the conference.  Paper titles and details below.

    Group 1: 

  • Rescuing Noncitizen Veterans From the "Zone of Death," by Jenny Kim.
  • The Toll Paid When Adjudicators Err: Reforming Appellate Review Standards for Refugees, by Shane Ellison
  • The Migration of Abolition Theory, by Matthew Boaz

    Group 2:

  • When Jurisdiction Stripping Raises Factual Questions, by David Hausman
  • The New Dobbs Border for Immigrant Women, by Valeria Gomez
  • Privacy and the Impossibility of Borders, by Joel Sati 
Saturday, Jan. 6, 10-11:40: Teaching Critical Mobilization 
Panelists: Sameer Ashar, Laila Hlass, Kathleen Kim 
MHC (on behalf of executive committee Fatma Marouf, Carolina Nunez, Michael Kagan, Kathleen Kim, Ming H. Chen)

December 1, 2023 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Improving Lawyers & Lives: How Immigrant Justice Corps Built a Model for Quality Representation While Empowering Recent Law School and College Graduates and the Immigrant Communities Whom They Serve by Jojo Annobil & Eliz

Improving Lawyers & Lives: How Immigrant Justice Corps Built a Model for Quality Representation While Empowering Recent Law School and College Graduates and the Immigrant Communities Whom They Serve by Jojo Annobil & Elizabeth Gibson, Fordham Law Review (2023)


The late Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit formed a study group in 2008 called the Study Group on Immigrant Representation to assess the scope of the problem and find a solution.  The study group determined that the representation crisis was an issue “of both quality and quantity” and that the two most important variables for a successful outcome in a case were having counsel and not being detained.  To address this need, the study group established two innovative programs:  the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first public defender program to provide universal representation to detained New Yorkers; and Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC), the first and only fellowship program exclusively dedicated to increasing representation to low-income immigrants and improving the immigration bar.

IJC, launched in 2014, recruits, trains, and mentors talented Justice Fellows (recent law graduates and law clerks) and exceptional Community Fellows (college graduates who become federally accredited legal representatives).  IJC then deploys the Justice and Community Fellows (together, the “Fellows”) in the immigration field to assist low-income immigrants in defending against deportation, seeking lawful status, or applying for citizenship.  The Fellows—the great majority of whom are bilingual or multilingual with lived experience of the immigration system—come from top law schools and colleges, and many have developed litigation skills in their schools’ immigration clinics, giving them a head start in mastering the law.

This Essay focuses on the work of IJC and discusses Judge Katzmann and the Study Group on Immigrant Representation’s efforts to find solutions to the representation crisis by developing innovative programs and tackling challenges along the way.


December 1, 2023 in Data and Research, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kate Jastram Named Sergio Vieira de Mello Chair

Kate Jastram

Kate Jastram, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies has been named the first Sergio Vieira de Mello Chair in the United States. In this role, Jastram will lead efforts at the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (UC Law SF) to conduct research and promote understanding of how best to protect people displaced across borders by the adverse effects of climate change.


December 1, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis brawl over crime, immigration, schools and everything else


Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom sparred (and here) in a debate of sorts last night.  Among other topics, crime, immigration, and comparative out-migration from Florida and California were topics of discussion. California and Florida have headed in very different directions when it comes to immigration and migrants.



December 1, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Safe?: A Capstone Video For Your Immigration Course

Today was my last class of the semester. In addition to answer questions about the format of the upcoming exam, and clarifying points of substantive doctrine, we watched the documentary Safe? from immprof Lynn Marcus (Arizona).

Kevin told y'all about Safe? back in August. Here it is on Vimeo:

The movie (minus credits) takes only 19 minutes of class time. And it made a WONDERFUL capstone for the semester. Things we were able to discuss:

  • Asylum. We asked: How could an individual who was forced to join the Guatemalan military and watched his father tortured lose his asylum case? Now, this question isn't answered by the movie. But it gave us a chance to talk about the 5 protected grounds, make an educated guess about eliminating three (race, religion, nationality), identify potential problem with one (political opinion, Elias-Zacarias review), and remember the 5th ground (PSG, which we didn't discuss).
  • U Visas. We reviewed the grounds, how it allows for derivative beneficiaries, and how it's one of 2 nonimmigrant visas that can lead to LPR status.
  • Criminal Records. I don't cover much in the way of consequences for noncitizens with criminal convictions in my podium immigration course because I teach an entire course on Crimmigration. We talked about criminal records as (a) not always an indicator of danger to the community and (b) as a segue to...
  • Prosecutorial Discretion. This comes up multiple times in the movie. Particularly helpful is how the topic comes up across administrations--from the problems of Obama's "felons, not families" to Trump's hard line attitude.We reviewed common issues regarding equities, and the particular focus many administrations place on children with disabilities. We also talked about the benefits of taking a job working for the federal government (pension, medical, dental) and how one can "bore from within."
  • Relationships with opposing counsel. We talked about how to have a good relationship with opposing counsel (if you can) and how it can benefit your client.  
  • Precarity and time. We talked about how long the couple featured in the movie fought for immigration status in the U.S. -- 23 years! There's a wonderful segment of film from the wife talking about all of the family's dreams and when they thought they were realized (U visa grant) vs. when they were actually realized (LPR grant).
  • Employment Authorization. The film gave us a chance to review the principle that it's not illegal to work in the U.S. without authorization, it's illegal to hire someone who doesn't have an EAD.
  • Citizenship. We could review the principle of jus soli--kids of noncitzens born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens at birth.

I can't recommend this beauty enough. Just a really fabulous teaching tool.


November 30, 2023 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Republicans demand border changes in exchange for foreign aid

U.S. Capitol Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A dispute in Congress over immigration has become central to the consideration of a U.S. aid package to Ukraine and Israel.  The Associated Press reports on the latest.  "Congress is scrambling in a few short weeks for a deal that would greatly restrict the asylum and humanitarian parole process used by thousands to temporarily stay in the U.S. while their claims are being processed in the backlogged system. . . . Pushed to the negotiating table by Republicans, the Biden administration is considering the long-shot effort as the price to be paid for the president’s $106 billion year-end request for Ukraine, Israel and national security needs."


November 30, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Harsh "Pop Up" Immigrant Detention Camps in Southern California


I have previously blogged about "pop up" detention camps near the border with Mexico in Southern California.    Controversy over the detention continues.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jacumba Hot Springs, about halfway between San Diego and Calexico, has become a makeshift detention site for a growing number of migrants seeking asylum. The population in the open-air desert camp has roughly doubled over the last few months.

U.S. Border Patrol agents monitor the camp but they don’t officially run it. Agents provide the migrants wristbands with their arrival date and order them to stay until they can be transferred to an official processing facility.

Melissa Gomez wrote about the unofficial camps in a story Times published this week. The story described the harsh conditions that migrants face when they arrive at one of the three camps.  Many refugees arrived from countries including Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru. A growing number of people are Chinese migrants.

A senior Customs and Border Protection official who spoke with Gomez on background said agents are providing migrants essential provisions, including water, but it’s been the bare minimum. The official said the agency is not equipped to handle the surge in migrants crossing the border in San Diego County.

Local volunteers from immigrant rights groups have stepped in to help feed, clothe and provide tents.


November 29, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

New study finds that 1.2 million in Latin America displaced by disasters

A new report from Mexico'sUniversity of the Americas Pueblasays that climate disasters displaced more than 1 million people from the Caribbean and Latin America in 2021 alone, reports Russell Contreras of Axios. The report suggests that the World Bank might be low in its estimate that climate change could displace more than 216 million people worldwide by 2050, including 17 million from Latin American countries. Environment-related migration is on the docket at COP28(2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference), which starts tomorrow, as the International Organization for Migration notes


November 29, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justices Set to Rule in Favor of Judicial Review of Hardship Determination in Cancellation of Removal Cases

As Ingrid Eagly blogged yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in a cancellation of removal case yesterday.  Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson for Bloomberg thinks that the noncitizen will win on the judicial review issue:

"Immigrants seeking another shot to prove their deportations would cause unusual hardship for their family appear likely to prevail at the US Supreme Court.

At issue in the case heard Tuesday is whether federal courts can review an immigration judge’s decision that an individual isn’t eligible for a “hardship exception” from deportation.

. . . .

The case involves Situ Wilkinson, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago who overstayed his tourist visa and has been living in the US without authorization since approximately 2003. He claimed his young son, a US citizen, would experience `exceptional and extremely unusual hardship' if he’s deported.

An immigration judge disagreed that deportation would cause unusual hardship . . .

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit said it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because cancellation of removal based on hardship is left to the discretion of the attorney general, and isn’t a question of law.

Other federal appellate courts have determined that they do have jurisdiction to review hardship decisions.

The justices appeared likely to side with Wilkinson, finding it hard to distinguish his case from a divided 2020 ruling in which the court broadened the scope of judicial review over deportation decisions."

The C-SPAN audio to oral argument in Wilkinson v. Garland is here.  I listened to the argument and thought that the attorney for the Solicitor General's office did not respiond particularly well to the questions from the justices, which included conservatives as well as liberals.

UPDATE (11/30):



This week, SCOTUSblog introduced a new feature: Videos in which lawyers arguing before the Supreme Court discuss their cases and their argument preparation. The series kicks off with an interview with Jaime Santos of Goodwin Proctor, who argued the case of the noncitizen in Wilkinson v. Garland.



November 29, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Practice Advisory: Common Tools of Statutory Construction for Criminal Removal Grounds

The American  Immigration Council and the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans, University of Minnesota Law School have released a new practice advisory, Common Tools of Statutory Construction for Criminal Removal Grounds. The advisory synthesizes and describes some of the common tools of statutory construction to assist practitioners in advocating for narrow definitions of criminal removal grounds before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the U.S. courts of appeals.


November 29, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

From the Bookshelves: NYT Best California Books List features immigrant and refugee experieces

As we move into December, the "best of" lists are being compiled. The New York Times' Top 10 California books of the year, include several nonfiction books with immigrant stories.

Daughter of the Dragon, by Yunte Huang is a biography of Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American movie star. Their author feature for Yunte Huang indicates that this is his third book in a trio about Americans icons in popular culture (the others were Chralie Chan and Eng & Chung Bunker) and one of several tributes to Wong, in film and fiction, this year. An excerpt from the NYT book review says:

“Hollywood was obsessed with the exoticism of Chinatown, yet roles for Asian actors were exceedingly few; it’s therefore all the more remarkable that Wong, who was born in her father’s Los Angeles laundry in 1905, was as productive as she was.”

A Man of Two Faces, by Viet Thanh Nguyen is a memoir of the author, who left Vietnam as a refugee at age 4 and settled in San Jose, California. Nguyen is also a USC professor, winner of the Pulitzer Price (for The Sympathizer, which was also made into a TV series) and winner of the MacArthur Genius Award. An excerpt from the NYT book review:

“In the relative comfort of San Jose, where Nguyen has ‘everything I need but almost nothing I want,’ he learns that the secret to surviving a bifurcated upbringing is … keeping secrets, including his high school girlfriend, J, a Filipina refugee who lives three hours away and drains his comic book collection in long-distance phone bills. ‘In Ba Ma’s house,’ he writes, ‘you are an American spying on them. Outside their house, you are a Vietnamese spying on Americans and their strange ways and customs.’”
Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and The Meanings oand Myths of Latino, by Hectir Tobar, is a personal memoir blended with a social history of 21st century Latino communities. Tobar migrated from Guatemala. He now teaches at UC Irvine and has won a Pultizer Prize for reporting on immigration, culture, and Latin America at the LA Times; he has also written a three novels and two other nonfiction books about the Latinx experience. From the NYT book review:
Tobar is unpreoccupied with settling on a fixed definition of ‘Latino.’ Instead, like a sculptor chipping away at a mass of stone, he is interested in revealing a human shape within it.”

November 28, 2023 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)


*updated 5:00PM Central*

It's Giving Tuesday, time to assuage the guilt of yesterday's Cyber Monday sprees with some charitable contributions.

There are a LOT of wonderful immigration-related 501(3)(c) organizations that you might consider donating to today. Here are just a few that we've noted in years' past:

Have even more ideas? Post them in the comments. Or shoot me an e-mail and I'll update this list.


November 28, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today the U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Wilkinson v. Garland

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a key immigration law case, Wilkinson v. Garland, Attorney General, No. 22-666, addressing eligibility for cancellation of removal, one of the most important forms of relief from removal.

As we have previously posted on the blog, in Wilkinson v. Garland the Court will review a decision of the Third Circuit regarding when an immigration judge's decision on "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" may be reviewed on appeal.

Specifically, the question presented is: 

Whether an agency determination that a given set of established facts does not rise to the statutory standard of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” is a mixed question of law and fact reviewable under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D), or whether this determination is a discretionary judgment call unreviewable under Section 1252(a)(2)(B)(i).

The briefs filed in the case are available here.

For those interested in listening to the live oral argument audio, the Court will convene at 10 a.m. and the Wilkinson case is second on the calendar.


November 28, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Florida grand jury calls for new tax to curb immigration crime

Governor DeSantis

Gary Fineout for Politico reports on a grand jury in Florida impaneled by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to investigate crime-related immigration trafficking and related issues called on the states to impose restrictions on immigration and immigrants, including a tax on all wire transfers of money overseas.  The grand jury that the states could not rely on the U.S. government for immigration enforcement.

The grand jury report calls for a “modest” fee charged to customers similar to one imposed by the state of Oklahoma that could be around 1.5 percent per wire transfer. The grand jury claims that such a fee could generate tens of millions that could pay for enforcement, education, and support for unaccompanied migrant children.

In a 146-page report released yesterday, the grand jury also urged lawmakers to require all employers to check the names of prospective employees through a federal immigration database. DeSantis got legislators to pass a E-Verify mandate earlier this year, but it only applied to private companies with 25 or more employees.


November 28, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 27, 2023

Why ICE Needs to Be Abolished Now

Guest blogger: Ramya Sinha, law student, University of San Francisco

Did you know that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the only federal agency required by statute to detain at least 34,000 individuals daily?[1] [The figure was raised to 40,500 in 2018, and establishes an informal quota for enforcement activity—Republican lawmakers typically push for as many beds as possible and encourage ICE officials to fill them with potential deportees.] No other law enforcement agency is subject to a statutory quota for the number of individuals it must detain. The negative impact of ICE's actions is not limited to immigrants alone. US-born citizens are also affected and may be wrongfully detained and even deported to countries they have never been to. This happens because ICE prioritizes meeting statutory quotas over respecting human rights. I hope this horrifies you as much as it horrifies me.

Each day, thousands of people are taken into ICE detention facilities which have the most deplorable, unsanitary, and inhumane conditions. These facilities were not built to safely hold 34,000 plus people, yet the detention quota has not ended and neither has the dehumanization of immigrants. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has an agreement under the CBP National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search (“TEDS Manual”) which lays out the standards that should be followed regarding the living conditions in the detention centers. Although ICE agents are legally required to follow this manual, they typically do not and face no consequences for doing so.

Many detainees are not given enough food, and when they do it is typically inedible. Under the CBP’s standard, clean drinking water must always be available to detainees.  However, many detainees have no access to clean drinking water and are forced to drink visibly dirty water given to them in dirty glasses. Sometimes one glass is shared amongst a room of people. Under CBP’s standards, they are required to provide personal hygiene items to detainees and clean every holding room to ensure that everyone has a clean space to sleep. However, detainees are forced to share one overcrowded bathroom with over 50 people, depriving them of privacy. Detainees are forced to sleep on cold and dirty concrete floors with an aluminum sheet to keep them warm. Many people end up sharing the aluminum sheets with their children and loved ones to prevent hypothermia. There is no access to soap, toothbrushes, clean bedding, pillows, blankets, toiletries, proper medical care, or anything that all human beings should have access to. There are some people who show up with wet and dirty clothes from crossing rivers and are not given a fresh change of clothes.

Under CBP’s standards, ICE agents must maintain room temperature with a reasonable and comfortable range suitable for all. However, ICE agents intentionally keep rooms cold and use low temperatures as punishment for requests to adjust them. Nobody has a bed or a blanket and everyone is miserable. As more people are cramped into these detention centers, the conditions worsen, and temperatures drop even more making it a crowded and deathly ice box. Conditions in these facilities are so bad that some people even die. Seventy-one individuals died while in ICE detention between 2011 and 2018, and twenty- one individuals died in the year of 2020 alone. Suicide by hanging accounted for 25.7% of deaths and lack of access to proper medical care accounted for 74.3% of deaths. The statistics reveal that the only cause of death in ICE detention centers is the inhumane conditions that prevent detainees from receiving the necessary medical treatment and resources. ICE agents show no concern for their well-being and make no efforts to ensure that they have access to adequate medical care and other essential items for survival.

In the case Flores v. Sessions, the plaintiffs were individuals who had been detained and were forced to stay in deplorable conditions exactly like the horrible conditions stated above. The plaintiffs filed suit to enforce the settlement agreement that the parties had agreed upon before the lawsuit, to ensure safe and sanitary living conditions. The plaintiffs also asked the court to appoint an independent monitor to ensure that ICE agents are following their guidelines and providing safe and sanitary living conditions. The court responded to this request by stating that detention facilities should have an internal monitor, even though the court has never seen CBP fill this internal monitor position. Although the plaintiffs presented ample evidence to prove the cruel living conditions they were subjected to and the lack of internal oversight by ICE to ensure humane conditions, the court still decided to give ICE a chance to rectify their mistakes. This statement highlights that the plaintiffs in the case, as well as all other immigrants who are detained, are subjected to living in inhumane and life-threatening conditions. It also emphasizes that there seems to be nothing they can do, as both the government and the courts appear to be indifferent to the plight of immigrants and their basic human rights.

ICE agents are given way too much power to make crucial decisions that impact the lives of many people, not only in detention centers but virtually everywhere they go. ICE agents and immigration judges are allowed to detain immigrants without bond if they decide that the individual poses a danger to the community or is a flight risk, and they are not required to provide evidence confirming that the individual poses any risks. ICE agents and immigration judges have complete and unchallenged power to refuse people bond without giving any reasons. Unfortunately, this system disproportionately affects Haitian immigrants who are often categorized as a threat to society by ICE officials at ports simply because they are Black and come from Haiti, a poor and Black nation known for its history of rebellion and resistance.

The court in US v. Martinez-Fuerte held that ICE agents are allowed to stop someone solely due to having a “Mexican appearance” at any internal or border checkpoint and there are no legal remedies afforded to immigrants for experiencing this type of racial profiling that typically results in deportation or other negative consequences. The court in US v. Brignoni-Ponce held that when ICE agents are at or within one hundred miles of the border, they must have reasonable suspicion to stop someone, including but not limited to racial profiling. Thus, ICE agents are allowed to stop anyone who is near any border for having a “Mexican appearance” if they also have other facts that amount to reasonable suspicion which does not take much. In addition, ICE agents are allowed to come onto boats that are at or within one hundred miles of any US border and ask anyone on board to see their identification papers. It does not matter where you are, if ICE agents ask you for your papers, this request is seen as consensual for Fourth Amendment purposes which leaves little to no room for any person to bring a Fourth Amendment challenge to the request for identification no matter how demeaning or threatening the request was.

ICE agents have broad powers during workplace raids, including the ability to racially profile and detain individuals on site. The test used to determine whether someone has been “seized” under the Fourth Amendment that is applied to criminal proceedings, asks whether a reasonable person would feel “free to leave.” If they do not feel free to leave, then that is considered a seizure. However, this test does not apply to immigrants who experience workplace raids and are not free to leave whatsoever. This is what happened in INS v. Delgado where INS workers conducted workplace raids and stationed themselves outside every exist so no employees could leave. Yet, the Supreme Court held that this was not a “seizure” for Fourth Amendment purposes because the immigrant workers could still freely walk around the building. Therefore, any incriminating responses immigrants give to ICE or INS agents at their workplace regarding their status will be used against them and there is typically no constitutional remedy or exclusionary rule because the government believes that the Constitution does not apply to immigrants in the same way that it does to US-born citizens, and this has incredibly harsh consequences.

It is for all these reasons and many more not listed that ICE must be abolished now. If we are truly committed to our claim of creating a nation that cares for immigrants, then we must take systematic and judicial measures to ensure their well-being. This can be achieved by putting an end to the widespread use of agents who wield excessive authority and are tasked with capturing, deporting, and dehumanizing immigrants. Abolishing ICE and giving more power to community organizations, legal aid groups, and immigrant communities themselves is necessary to ensure that the human and civil rights of immigrants are not violated. This will provide immigrants with opportunities, education, and resources to thrive in the US. By doing this, we can create a more equitable and safer society for all people, not just white Americans.


[1] The detention bed mandate was introduced in 2009 into DHS’s Appropriation Act. As some members of Congress and prior ICE leadership have interpreted the language to require ICE to maintain 34,000 beds daily, it has become known as a detention bed “mandate.”


November 27, 2023 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hamas' Release of Hostages Puts Spotlight on Israel's Noncitizen Workforce

When Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, some 240 hostages were seized and taken into Gaza. Twenty-four of those hostages were released on Friday, including 10 Thai nationals and one Filipino.

When I first read about the nationalities of the hostages released, I wondered what connected these non-nationals to Israel. Then I saw from the BBC that at least one of those hostages had traveled to Israel for work in the agricultural sector.

Further digging took me to this early November NYT coverage that I'd somehow missed regarding Thai farmhands in Israel and the remittances they send to their home countries. I learned that Thailand is the the single largest sender of temporary agricultural labor to Israel. Some 30,000 Thai citizens were working in Israel at the time of the October 7 attack, and at least 32 Thai nationals were killed and another 22 taken hostage on that date.

Some fascinating snippets from the NYT story:

The Thai farmhands who work the fields near Gaza grow much of the fresh produce that feeds Israel. Many come from the dusty villages of Isaan, in Thailand’s northeast, especially from Udon Thani, .... Entire family trees of Udon Thani men have worked for years in the Middle East and Asia....

The most coveted overseas jobs, residents say, are in Israel, where wages can be at least five times as high as back home....

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system does not cover thinly populated farms. Because they are considered temporary workers, Thais can be housed in caravans and containers without the anti-rocket shelters required in other homes...

For more information about Israel's visa system, check out this webpage from the Embassy of Israel to the United States as well as this Israeli immigration attorney's advice on the nation's work visa.


November 27, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Activist and Actress, America Ferrera, the Daughter of Immigrants

A doctor tried to renew his passport and found out that he is no longer a U.S. citizen.

Theresa Vargas for the Washington Post offers tells a chilling story that provoked commentary on the ImmigrationProf (immigration law professors) listserve.    A

"Northern Virginia doctor knows at least that much about his situation. He knows he is no longer considered a citizen of the United States — the place where he was born, went to school and has practiced medicine for more than 30 years — and that he also belongs to no other place.  . . .  [W]hen he sent in an application for a new passport in February, he had no reason to expect he’d face any difficulties. He had renewed his passport several times previously without problems. . . . Instead, at the age of 61, he lost what he had held since he was an infant: U.S. citizenship. A letter from a State Department official informed him that he should not have been granted citizenship at the time of his birth because his father was a diplomat with the Embassy of Iran. The letter directed Sobhani to a website where he could apply for lawful permanent residence."

Basically, this "Georgetown Medical School graduate went from living a stable life in the D.C. region to standing on uncertain ground and asking questions that do not have clear answers. Some of those questions: Can he still legally practice medicine? Will the money he has earned over his career count toward his Social Security benefits if his Social Security number changes? Will he get to attend his son’s destination wedding next year?"


November 27, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Human Rights Watch -- Texas Troopers’ Deadly Vehicle Pursuits: Fatalities More Frequent Under Operation Lone Star Than Previously Reported

A new report from Human Rights Watch considers the operation of Texas immigration enforcement measures and finds that

  • Dangerous chases of vehicles thought to contain migrants under the Texas government’s Operation Lone Star program led to crashes that killed at least 74 people in a 29-month period.
  • Operation Lone Star puts undue pressure on law enforcement to chase cars, sometimes with very little basis, resulting in deaths of drivers, passengers, and even bystanders.
  • The US government needs to end federal funding for agencies implementing Operation Lone Star and send civil rights officials to investigate all rights abuses happening under the program.

According to the press release announcing the report,

"Dangerous chases of vehicles thought to contain migrants under the Texas government’s Operation Lone Star program led to crashes that killed at least 74 people and injured at least another 189 in a 29-month period, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The findings indicate the monthly death rate is at least 45 percent higher than media and civil rights groups previously reported, and that injuries and property destruction are substantially worse.The 77-page report, `So Much Blood on the Ground’: Dangerous and Deadly Vehicle Pursuits under Texas’ Operation Lone Star,' documents the spike in vehicle chases by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and local law enforcement in the 60 most heavily affected Texas counties implementing Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star program. Records reveal that in several counties, unnecessary vehicle chases have increased by over 1,000 percent since the program began. Human Rights Watch found that residents in these counties are disproportionately affected by law enforcement vehicle pursuits and crashes."


November 27, 2023 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Citizenship Real-o-thetical

Bookmark this post, y'all. You're going to want it when you next teach citizenship.

Imagine a 61-year old doctor in Northern Virginia. He applies to renew his U.S. passport by mail, something he's done several times before. Only this time, the State Department informs him that he is ineligible to receive a passport because, they've determined, he's not a U.S. citizen at all. Why not? The doctor was born in the United States. He received a U.S. birth certificate. But his dad was a diplomat at the time of his birth, making dad and child not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the U.S. at birth within the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. constitution.

The Washington Post has the full story.

The State Department encouraged the doctor, Siavash Sobhani, to apply for lawful permanent residence. He has, but, of course, that's not yet been adjudicated.

In the meantime, the doctor has questions: "Can he still legally practice medicine? Will the money he has earned over his career count toward his Social Security benefits if his Social Security number changes? Will he get to attend his son’s destination wedding next year?"


November 26, 2023 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)