Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Senator Josh Hawley unveils bill that would allow states to enforce federal immigration law, deport migrants


Official U.S. Senate Photo

No stranger to controversy, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), a Yale-trained lawyer, is again in the news for taking extreme conservative positions.  Yesterday, Senator Hawley introduced legislation to give states the authority to enforce U.S. immigration law and empower states to implement deportation operations. "The measure from the Missouri Republican has virtually no chance of becoming law, but is intended to serve as a rebuke of Democratic President Joe Biden’s approach to immigration enforcement."

Republican Governors Greg Abbott of Texas, Doug Ducey (Arizona), and Ron DeSantis (Florida), have grabbed widespread attention for transporting migrants to so-called sanctuary states.

Here is Senator Hawley's press release announcing the bill:

"Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Empowering States to Deport Illegal Immigrants Act, new legislation that will give authority for states to enforce federal immigration laws and prosecute anyone who illegally enters the country that is residing in their state. With a rise in illegal drug trafficking and a surge in illegal border crossings over the past year, this bill will help protect American families and communities.

Due to the Biden Administration’s disastrous immigration policies, the United States is experiencing an unprecedented wave of illegal immigration. In 2022, there were more than 2 million border encounters, up nearly 470% since 2020. This does not account for illegal immigrants who entered our country without being encountered by Customs and Border Protection. Democrats fought hard to end President Trump’s Remain-in-Mexico policy, and doing so has contributed to a rise in crime, drug trafficking, and human trafficking across the southern border into the United States. 
. . . . 

The Empowering States to Deport Illegal Immigrants Act would allow states to:

  • Remove illegal immigrants from the country, not just send them to other states
  • Stop the record-high wave of illegal immigrants pouring over the southern border, which not only affects border states, but the rest of the United States
  • Prosecute people who commit crimes while entering the country illegally"


September 28, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: 2021 Survey of Illinois Law: Ending Immigration Detention and Expanding Immigrant Protections by Cindy Galway Buys


2021 Survey of Illinois Law: Ending Immigration Detention and Expanding Immigrant Protections by Cindy Galway Buys, Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Forthcoming


This article summarizes recent pro-immigrant legislation in Illinois and highlights a brewing federal circuit court split over limits on immigration detention by states. Part I of the article discusses the constitutionality of the Illinois Way Forward Act, which prohibits state and local governments from entering into contracts with the federal government to house immigrant detainees. The constitutionality of the Act was challenged in McHenry Co. v. Raoul, a case which is pending in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals as of this writing. The case raises issues of federalism, preemption, and anti-commandeering. Part II of the article summarizes other recent Illinois pro-immigrant legislation and the impact on present-day public policy issues.


September 28, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

From the Bookshelves: Hispanic Heritage Month

The two books featured in this episode of NPR's Book of the Day podcast are stories examining the difficulties and stressors of being Latino in America.

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is about a 15-year-old girl who has a contentious relationship with her immigrant parents. Author Erika L. Sánchez explains in conversation with Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa her goal to challenge ideas of Latina perfection. The book is being adapted into a major motion film starring American Ferrera.

David Bowles, author of They Call Her Fregona: A Border Kid's Poems, discusses the cracks in the Latino community and immigration in pursuit of a better life. The book is poetry -- literally, it is written in verse.


September 27, 2022 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conferrence (UC Davis): Lessons Learned and Ways Forward for the Economics and Politics of Refugee Integration


Location:  King Hall (UC Davis School of Law)

Symposium: "Lessons learned and ways forward for the economics and politics of refugee integration"

October 14, 2022, School of Law, UC Davis

To attend, please register here by October 5th

Jointly sponsored by

  • Economic Assimilation Research Network (Innovation Fund Denmark),
  • UC Davis Global Migration Center
  • UC Davis Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies

Academic Organizers: Prof. Raquel Aldana, Prof. Mette Foged, Prof. Giovanni Peri.

This workshop brings together the research of world-renowned scholars from economics, politics and law to understand the complex issues related to the integration, policies and politics relative to refugees in the world.

  • In the morning session, economists will present the results of evaluations of policies on the economic success of refugees and their children and a panel will discuss what we have learned from recent research and policy experience;
  • In the afternoon session, in a comparative approach that considers refugees in the US, at the US-Mexico Border and other refugees crisis in Latin America political scientists and law scholars will analyze aspects related to different legal and political responses of receiving countries to refugees inflow.
  • Click here for the conference agenda.


September 27, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Punishing Trauma: Incident Reporting and Immigrant Children in Government Custody


Immigrant justice

he Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) just issued a new report demonstrating how the federal government’s reliance on “Significant Incident Reports” (SIRs) negatively impacts the well-being of unaccompanied and separated children in federal custody.  "Punishing Trauma: Incident Reporting and Immigrant Children in Government Custodydocuments how SIRs often lead to children’s transfer to more restrictive settings, prolong their stays in federal custody, adversely impact children in their immigration cases, and delay family reunification or acceptance into federally-funded foster care.

This report is based on a survey of dozens of service providers who work directly with unaccompanied and separated children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). In fiscal year 2019, federally funded providers filed more than 100,000 SIR forms about children in custody.  The report recommends a wholesale overhaul of the SIR system away from punitive responses to children’s behavior to one that ensures children receive individualized, trauma-informed care. Our joint Press release is below and here.


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law: Call for Applications for Christopher N. Lasch Clinical Teaching Fellow, Immigration Law and Policy Clinic

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is seeking to hire a Christopher N. Lasch Clinical Teaching Fellow for the Immigration Law and Policy Clinic.  See the full position description at Download Fellowship Posting ILPC Denver Law 2022



September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vladimir Putin Grants Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship

image from pbs.twimg.comVladamir Putin has granted citizenship to Edward Snowden. Snowden was granted permanent residency in 2020, and on Monday a decree from Putin conferred citizenship to Snowden.

Putin's decree also granted citizenship to 74 other foreign nationals. And, as Reuters reports, it extended "a simplified Russian naturalisation process to all citizens of Ukraine[.]" The move has been sharply criticized by the Ukranian government, calling it "another encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, incompatible with the norms and principles of international law."

Snowden had posted on Twitter back in 2020 that he and his wife were "applying for dual US-Russian citizenship," because they have "no desire to be separated from our son."


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Right's victory in Italy expected to bring changes to migration

"For years, Giorgia Meloni has railed against Italy’s migration policies, calling them overly lenient and saying they risk turning the country into the `refugee camp of Europe.'

Now that she is Italy’s presumed next prime minister, migration is one of the areas where Meloni can most easily bring in sweeping change."

“The smart approach is: You come to my house according to my rules,” Meloni, of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party, said earlier this month in an interview with The Washington Post.

Meloni can be expected to "significantly tighten the doors to one of the European Union’s front-line destinations for undocumented immigrants."  "[S]he has long made it clear that halting flows of people across the Mediterranean is one of her priorities."


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Black Second Amendment Activists Call for Closed Borders in Austin, Texas March



News from Autsin, Texas.  A group of armed Black Second-Amendment activists marched through Austin, Texas  over the weekend and called on the US to close its borders.  "The protesters, gathered together by the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club, moved . . . toward the Texas Capitol [last] Saturday in what they called the `Second Amendment Unity Walk.'”

The marchers yelled chants in support of closed borders and against immigration.  See the tweets above by journalist Ford Fischer.

Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club founder Nick Bezzel is quoted as saying that the group isn’t opposed to immigration itself but takes issue with illegal immigration.  “A lot of times, jobs are taken away from black people because of illegal immigration,” Bezzel said. “Black people are locked out from employment due to illegal immigration so we want to stop illegal immigration so black people can make living wages.”


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The GOP's myth of an "open border"


Official White House Photo

To justify extreme immigration policies, Donald Trump derided the "open borders" allegedly endorsed by Democrats.  Debu Gandhi, senior director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, for Think offers thoughts on "The GOP's myth of an 'open border" and responds that "[t]he U.S. borders are guarded by a vast and well-funded national security agency that has grown far larger and more powerful in recent years."

Ghandi writes that 
"One would think that those perpetuating the `open border' myth would be eager to seize every opportunity to strengthen border security.

Whether or not [the transportation of migrants North by the Florida and Texas governors] violated the law, it was cruel and dehumanizing. This action — and similar ones orchestrated by other GOP governors — have also deliberately elevated the `open border' narrative, which falsely represents that unlawful immigrants are waltzing into the U.S. through a porous southern border in droves. The purported lawless and open border has been the main justification cited by DeSantis and other GOP governors, who have doubled down on their decision to transport migrants to prominent locations with Democratic elected officials — even though the GOP governors have deliberately made no attempt to coordinate these transfers.

Contrary to the `open border' myth, U.S. borders are guarded by a vast and well-funded national security agency that has grown far larger and more powerful in recent years. Since 2001, U.S. Border Patrol has nearly doubled in capacity, from fewer than 10,000 agents to now more than 19,500. The Biden administration has requested $97.3 billion in funding for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2023, including billions of dollars for border security and interior immigration enforcement."


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

9 Reader Views on the State of Immigration Policy

Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic compiles "9 Reader Views on the State of Immigration Policy."  The interesting reader perspectives trend toward support for legal immigration, perhaps reflecting The Atlantic's reader demographics.


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Unanticipated Effects of Trump’s High-Skilled Immigration Policies on Multinational Firms by Urbashee Paul


Unanticipated Effects of Trump’s High-Skilled Immigration Policies on Multinational Firms by Urbashee Paul


The Trump administration’s 2017 “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (BAHA EO) resulted in an unprecedented increase in H-1B visa denial rates that disproportionately affected Indian multinational firms, as they rely heavily on H-1B visas to staff their U.S. branches. This paper estimates the causal effect of the tightening of high-skilled immigration, following the BAHA EO, on multinational firm productivity and financial performance. Using a difference-in-differences and triple-differences framework, I find that the negative labor supply shock did not cause a significant reduction in TFP or profits for H-1B-dependent multinational firms—despite their reliance on foreign, high-skilled labor. In fact, H-1B dependent firms in the IT sector saw a 4.3 percentage point higher growth in TFP compared to non-H-1B dependent firms in the same sector. These firms also saw a 2 percentage point increase in labor productivity growth compared to non-H-1B dependent firms in the IT sector. The surge in H-1B denials did, however, cause H-1B-dependent, IT firms to experience a 12.4 percentage point decline in profit growth by FY 2020, in part, due to a significant decline in total revenue. Overall, H-1B dependent firms were able to cushion the blow of the negative labor supply shock by reducing their total labor expenditure through less training for new employees, outsourcing fewer professional jobs, and by downsizing their labor force.


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 26, 2022

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down California Ban on Private Immigrant Detention

In The GEO Group, Inc. v. United States, the Ninth Circuit en banc struck down California's ban on privately-run immigrant detention centers.

The summary of the opinion reads in part as follows:

The en banc court vacated the district court’s denial of the United States’ and The Geo Group, Inc.’s motion for preliminary injunctive relief, and held that California enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 32, which states that a `person shall not operate a private detention facility within the state,' would give California a virtual power of review over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s detention decisions, in violation of the Supremacy Clause.

ICE has decided to rely almost exclusively on privately owned and operated facilities in California. Two such facilities are run by appellant The Geo Group, Inc. AB 32 would override the federal government’s decision, pursuant to discretion conferred by Congress, to use private contractors to run its immigration detention facilities. The en banc court held that whether analyzed under intergovernmental immunity or preemption, California cannot exert this level of control over the federal
government’s detention operations. The en banc court remanded for further proceedings.

California argued that appellants’ claims were not justiciable. California contends that any future injury is speculative because ICE may choose not to extend its contracts, and that any such injury is not imminent because it would not occur until at least 2024. The en banc court held that appellants’ future injuries are not conjectural or hypothetical. Virtually all of ICE’s detention capacity in California is in privately owned and operated facilities. ICE expects profound disruptions to its California operations from AB 32 because it plans to continue relying on private facilities. Because ICE’s plans are in the near future and would plainly violate AB 32, appellants’ injuries are also sufficiently imminent. The en banc court concluded that
appellants’ claims are justiciable.

The en banc court held that AB 32 would breach the core promise of the Supremacy Clause. To comply with California law, ICE would have to cease its ongoing immigration detention operations in California and adopt an entirely new approach in the state. This foundational limit on state power cannot be squared with the dramatic changes that AB 32 would require ICE to make." (bold added).


September 26, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cardoza-Fonseca Reflection: Turn Asylum on its Head and Presume Eligibility

Dear Friends

Thirty-five years ago, I was fortunate to be part of the litigation team that won big before the U.S. Supreme Court in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Cardoza-Fonseca (1987), the case that established that asylum applicants “need not prove that it is more likely than not” that they will be persecuted in their home countries in order to prevail. In fact, in interpreting the statute, Justice Stevens’ majority opinion added: “There is simply no room in the United Nations’ definition for concluding that because an applicant only has a 10% chance of being shot, tortured, or otherwise persecuted, that he or she has no ‘well-founded fear’ of the event happening.” To me and many others, the implication of the “10%” language is that strong evidence of likely persecution is not required, and that applicants should be given the benefit of the doubt. I think the Cardoza-Fonseca case has definitely made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of asylum seekers. However, unsympathetic asylum officers, immigration judges, federal courts, and enforcement officials have thwarted the generous humanitarian intent of the asylum law and undermined the Cardoza-Fonseca case. They hide behind reasoning related to such things as credibility issues, lack of individualized evidence, protection against victimization by gangs or domestic partners not being the intent of asylum, or that the applicant’s particular social group is too nebulous or broad.

In an essay just published (a section of a forthcoming book), I focus on one technical approach to the well-founded fear of persecution standard that should be corrected: the “reasonable person” approach that the BIA has adopted. I argue that the reasonable person approach is inappropriate. I believe that this standard should be replaced with the “reasonable possibility” approach that was intended by the Supreme Court, and a presumption of eligibility for asylum should be adopted akin to what is used in criminal courts.

You can download the full essay here.


September 26, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Persecuted and Removed: Migrants’ Potential Challenges to Expulsion under the U.S. Public Health Code by Mark Rook


Persecuted and Removed: Migrants’ Potential Challenges to Expulsion under the U.S. Public Health Code by Mark Rook


Congress passed the Public Health Service Act in 1944. The executive branch has used Section 362 of this Act, now codified as 42 U.S.C. § 265, to expel migrants seeking access to the United States since the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Asylum seekers have disputed the enforcement of 42 U.S.C. § 265 in domestic courts. U.S. federal agencies maintain that their enforcement actions are permissible.

The United States enforces the principle of non-refoulement as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The principle of non-refoulement, established by the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, as well as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, prohibits a country from returning asylum seekers to countries where they would endure persecution based on their “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” The President of the United States has also signed international agreements and treaties that grant a universal right to health, even to individuals who have not yet entered the country. Furthermore, this Note contends that the U.S. government may have violated an international right to asylum by preventing non-citizens from being able to seek relief at the border.This Note argues that the United States has violated the principle of non-refoulement in its implementation of 42 U.S.C. § 265 and that an asylum seeker would likely succeed in a challenge to the statute in a domestic court on this basis because non-refoulement is a domestically binding obligation. A challenge based on the right to asylum, however, may not succeed because domestic courts have not yet recognized an international right to seek asylum. Furthermore, this Note also explains that a challenge to 42 U.S.C. § 265 based on international health law would not succeed because the United States does not view the relevant treaties as legally binding, and no claim on those bases has ever succeeded in a domestic court.



September 26, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

ACLU Says Immigration Detention Facility Should Be Shut Down

he American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the Biden administration to close one of its privately run immigration detention centers after a Brazilian asylum seeker killed himself while he was being held in the New Mexico facility.

The Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, New Mexico has been under scrutiny for months. In an unusual step earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general issued an alert calling for the Biden administration to relocate the detainees immediately."

The ACLU claims that conditions at the Torrance facility are “atrocious.” Records describe "structural issues with the building and complaints by detainees that they could not reach their lawyers and that the drinking water was making them sick."

The situation at Torrance revives a debate over the mass detention of immigrants, including asylum seekers, in private facilities.

September 25, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inside Trump’s Plot to Send Rapists and Killers To ‘Destabilize’ Liberal Cities

Official White House Photo

As noted on this blog during his term in office, President Trump took immigration enforcement to new and frightening levels.  He set a particular tone and approach to immigration.  In that vein, the Rolling Stone in Inside Trump’s Plot to Send Rapists and Killers To ‘Destabilize’ Liberal Cities by Asawin Suesaeng and Nikki McCann Ramirez report that "before Ron DeSantis’ Martha’s Vineyard stunt , . . then-[P]resident [Trump] asked his team to take migrants suspected of violence and bus them to blue states and metropolitan areas."   

September 25, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Latinxs Reshaping Law & Policy in the U.S. South by Luz Herrera & Pilar Margarita Hernandez Escontrias



Latinxs Reshaping Law & Policy in the U.S. South by Luz Herrera & Pilar Margarita Hernandez Escontrias, Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 1-66, 2022


This article addresses the key law and policy levers affecting Latinxs in what the U.S. Census Bureau designates as the South. Since the rise of the Latinx population from the 1980s onward, few legal scholars and researchers have participated in a sustained dialogue about how law and policy affects Latinxs living in the South. In response to this gap in legal research, this article provides an overview of the major law and policy challenges and opportunities for Latinxs in this U.S. region. Part II examines the geopolitical landscape of the South with special focus on the enduring legacy of Jim Crow and White supremacy, as well as provides a brief demographic overview of Latinxs in this part of the county. Part III delves into law and policy issues related to political mobilization, immigration, education, and economic opportunity. We explore each policy area by drawing on a diverse universe of knowledge: U.S. Census data, research papers and projects, published interviews, legislation, social science research, newspaper and media profiles, and judicial opinions. Part IV of this article offers a vision for building Latinx political power in the South rooted in coalition building and identifying networks of activism.


September 25, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 24, 2022

New Report from Amnesty International: ‘They Did Not Treat Us Like People’: Race and Migration-Related Torture and Other Ill-Treatment of Haitians Seeking Safety in the USA

AmnestyThis week, Amnesty International released a new report: ‘They Did Not Treat Us Like People’: Race and Migration-Related Torture and Other Ill-Treatment of Haitians Seeking Safety in the USA

The report shows how U.S. authorities have subjected Haitian asylum seekers to arbitrary detention and discriminatory and humiliating ill-treatment that amounts to race-based torture.

According to Amnesty International, these human rights violations, along with mass expulsions under Title 42, are the latest chapter in a long history of detention, exclusion, and the practice of trying to deter Haitians seeking safety in the United States, rooted in systemic anti-Black discrimination.

The report shows that successive U.S. administrations have tried to deter Haitian people from claiming asylum in the United States through the application of various policies designed to intercept, detain, and remove them, starting in the 1970s and continuing with Title 42.

A full copy of the report is available here.



September 24, 2022 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration, crime propel Europe's move to right, analysts say


Photo from Brexit Campaign Courtesy of Don Roth

News from across the pond.   In Europe, political analysts point to Sweden and Italy as possible harbingers of a political mood shift across the continent driven by a growing wariness of immigrants as well as anger over crime.  Melissa Rossi for Yahoo! News reports that

"The startlingly strong performance of the far-right Sweden Democrats in this month’s Swedish parliamentary elections and polls showing that the nationalist Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia) party is poised for victory in this weekend’s contests in that country have both been spurred by those two issues, analysts told Yahoo News.

`ang violence in Sweden was the issue in the election,' said Gunilla Herolf, a researcher at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs who specializes in European integration. It’s a problem, she added, that is weighing on every Swede. `Some are furious. Some are just terribly upset.'”


September 24, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)