Thursday, December 8, 2022

Report on Family Separation as a Crime Against Humanity

 

Family separations pursuant to Zero Tolerance fit the definition of a crime against humanity and are prosecutable before the International Criminal Court.

December 8, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Record Number of New Citizens

CBS News reports that nearly a million immigrant adults were naturalized as U.S. citizens in fiscal year 2022, the third-highest annual tally recorded in U.S. history, according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report published yesterday.  USCIS reduced the backlog in naturalization petitions.

The Fiscal Year 2022 Progress Report included the latest data on USCIS performance.  It begins:

"USCIS is committed to eliminating unnecessary barriers, restoring faith in the immigration system, and
improving transparency, efficiency, and the customer experience. This Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Progress Report
highlights new data illustrating both progress and challenges in fulfilling the agency’s mission.
Crucial appropriations by Congress in FY 2022 supported recent progress on both backlog reduction and
humanitarian services. Continued congressional support is critical to eliminate current net backlogs and
achieve a robust humanitarian mission, while a new fee rule will help prevent the accumulation of additional
backlogs in the future."

KJ

December 8, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Urban Institute: Best of immigration policy research from 2022

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The Urban Institute has produced a wealth of immigration policy research in 2022:

KJ

December 7, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Bipartisan Bill Can Stop the Tsunami of Illegal Border Crossings | Opinion

Nolan Rappaport in Newsweek advocates a truly bipartisan approach to immigration reform.

KJ

December 7, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: How States Can Play a Role in Abolishing Immigration Prisons by Yuri Han and Katrina Landeta

The Immigration Article of the Day is How States Can Play a Role in Abolishing Immigration Prisons by Yuri Han and Katrina Landeta, published in volume 38 of the Chicanx-Latinx Law Review and available here.

Here is the abstract:

On October 11, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the strictest ban on private prisons in the country. California Assembly Bill (AB) 32 would phase out all privately-run prisons, including immigration prisons, by 2028. As the first prison abolition legislation of its kind in the United States, AB 32 brought to light the mounting concern regarding the cruel nature of immigrant detention as well as increasing outrage over serious abuses at for-profit prisons.


This article is the first to explore this landmark legislation and analyze its legal and policy implications in the movement for immigrant prison abolition. After setting forth a brief history on the growth of private detention, this article discusses AB 32’s pathway through the courts. The article concludes by arguing that AB 32 can serve as an important illustration for other states where federal action has fallen short. While in 2021 President Biden signed an executive order to end Department of Justice contracts with private prisons for criminal detention, the order did not apply to immigration detention. States can adopt legislation like AB 32 to play a role in eradicating immigrant prisons across the country.

IE

December 7, 2022 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Human Rights Watch -- El Salvador: Widespread Abuses Under State of Emergency

 

When I visited El Salvador many years ago, I was struck by the country's beauty and the strength of the people.  But violence and political instability has long been prevalent in the small country.

Today, Human Rights Watch released a report:

"Salvadoran security forces have committed widespread human rights violations since the adoption of a state of emergency approved in late March 2022, in response to a peak in gang violence, Human Rights Watch and Cristosal said in a joint report released today.

The 89-page report, We Can Arrest Anyone We Want’: Widespread Human Rights Violations Under El Salvador’s ‘State of Emergency’ documents mass arbitrary detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment against detainees, enforced disappearances, deaths in custody, and abuse-ridden prosecutions. President Nayib Bukele’s swift dismantling of judicial independence since he took office in mid-2019 enabled the abuses."

KJ

December 7, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Migrants and Welfare States:  Balancing Dilemmas in Northern Europe.  Edited by Christian Albrekt Larsen, Aalborg University, Denmark

Welfare

EDITED BY AMADA ARMENTA; CAITLIN BARRY AND ABEL RODRÍGUEZ - FOREWORD BY MAYOR JIM KENNEY - CONTRIBUTIONS BY ELAINE ALLARD; ERIKA ALMIRÓN; CARMELA APOLONIO HERNÁNDEZ; AMADA ARMENTA; CALEB ARNOLD; CAITLIN BARRY; DAVID C. BENNION; GLENN BRACEY; FRANCES MIRIAM KREIMER; JENNIFER LEE; CRISTINA MARTÍNEZ; EDWIN MAYORGA; RENEE MCKENZIE-HAYWARD; ERIKA GUADALUPE NÚÑEZ; MICHELLE ANGELA ORTIZ; BLANCA PACHECO AND ABEL RODRÍGUEZ

During the Trump administration, more people sought sanctuary in churches in Philadelphia than any other city in the United States. The city was also on the front lines of progressive policy making, defending its sanctuary policies in federal court. In this collection of essays and interviews, a diverse set of authors examine the promise and limits of sanctuary. Contributors include Carmela Apolonio Hernández, who spent over three years living in sanctuary to resist deportation, community organizers who work to build a more just and inclusive city, and leading academics who explore the origins of sanctuary and its intersections with the workplace, policing, and university campuses. Collectively, these authors offer a roadmap for how sanctuary is created and sustained and argue for a future in which no human being is illegal.

KJ

December 7, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic's Dedicated Docket Guide

Furd

The Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic has released a new pro se guide for individuals on the Dedicated Docket. The guide provides an overview and description of the Dedicated Docket and to provide advice regarding how one may assert their rights while on this fast-paced docket.  This guide was prepared for noncitizens in proceedings in the San Francisco Immigration Court, but may be helpful for others on the Dedicated Docket in other jurisdictions. The guide was created and written by law students under the supervision of Lisa Weissman-Ward and Jayashri Srikantiah.  It was produced on behalf of the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco.

English: English Language Dedicated Docket Pro Se Materials

Spanish: Spanish Language Dedicated Docket Pro Se Materials

Here is a student blog post describing the experience of serving as pro bono attorneys for individuals on the Dedicated Docket as part of the development of these materials.  

KJ

December 6, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

TRAC Immigration: A National Assessment of the Biden Administration’s Dedicated Docket Initiative

Here is the latest from TRAC Immigration:  "A National Assessment of the Biden Administration’s Dedicated Docket Initiative."

Here is the intro:

"The Immigration Court’s Dedicated Docket (DD) program was created by the Biden administration to speed the processing of families seeking asylum after arriving along the Southwest Border. Over 110,000 DD cases covering each individual in these families have now been assigned to this initiative. To determine how this program is working, this report follows this cohort of cases. A total of nearly 40,000 of these cases have now been closed.

The goal set by the Biden Administration on May 28, 2021, when it announced this new initiative was to issue decisions in these cases within 300 days from their initial master calendar hearing. However, the Administration announced: “While the goal of this process is to decide cases expeditiously, fairness will not be compromised.”

Using detailed case-by-case Immigration Court records, this report is the first full-scale national assessment of whether the program has lived up to these goals. We found in brief:

  • Cases did in fact move expeditiously: 83% of closed cases were completed in less than 300 days from the date of the NTA. Cases without attorneys were closed faster than those with attorneys.
  • Only 34% found representation in closed cases, falling far short of announced objectives. 
  • Only 33% were able to file an asylum application in closed cases since the paperwork is difficult to complete without representation.
  • Only 7% were granted asylum since even with representation, and after filing asylum applications, families with expedited hearing schedules were much less likely to prevail and be granted asylum."

(bold added) (footnotes omitted).

Click the link above for details.

KJ

 

December 6, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Portrait of Asian Americans in the Legal Profession 2.0

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), in collaboration with the American Bar Foundation, recently released  A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law 2.0: Identity and Action in Challenging Times (Portrait Project 2.0). Five years ago, I was very moved by the original Portrait Project report and worked with the Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Asian Pacific American Law Students Association in Colorado to bring the primary author, California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, to Colorado during a snowstorm. This follow-up study is just as good and even more necessary.  

The updated report (77 pages) combines detailed analysis of employment data in various legal sectors to gain insight into Asian American career advancement and political participation. It is based on interviews, focus groups, and a national survey completed by over 700 Asian American lawyers. 

Some of the key findings: 

  • Asian American attorneys are more engaged with social and political issues than in 2016. Those seeking to change their legal practice areas ranked a desire to advance issues important to them among their most significant reasons for doing so. (This was previously ranked among the least significant reasons). 
  • Nearly half of Asian American attorneys (47% of survey respondents) became more involved in community organizations, protests, or other forms of advocacy specifically on behalf of Asian Americans since March 2020. 
  • Although there is underrepresentation of Asian American attorneys in the top ranks of the legal progression, there has been progress in the appointment of federal judges (from 3.4% to 6%) and as general counsel. While Asian Americans are the largest minority group at major law firms, they have the lowest ratio of partners to associates and remain underrepresented among law clerks, law professors, state court judges, and state and federal prosecutors.

Read the full report here.

Apa portrait 2

MHC

December 6, 2022 in Current Affairs, Data and Research, Jobs and Fellowships | Permalink | Comments (0)

From The Bookshelves: The Road to Sanctuary:  Building Power and Community in Philadelphia (Caitlin Barry, Amada Armenta, and Abel Rodriguez editors, 2022)

Sanctuary

The Road to Sanctuary:  Building Power and Community in Philadelphia (Caitlin Barry, Amada Armenta, and Abel Rodriguez editors, 2022)

Here is the publisher's blurb:

"During the Trump administration, more people sought sanctuary in churches in Philadelphia than any other city in the United States. The city was also on the front lines of progressive policy making, defending its sanctuary policies in federal court. In this collection of essays and interviews, a diverse set of authors examine the promise and limits of sanctuary. Contributors include Carmela Apolonio Hernández, who spent over three years living in sanctuary to resist deportation, community organizers who work to build a more just and inclusive city, and leading academics who explore the origins of sanctuary and its intersections with the workplace, policing, and university campuses. Collectively, these authors offer a roadmap for how sanctuary is created and sustained and argue for a future in which no human being is illegal."

KJ

 

December 6, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Aggressively Racist History of America’s Most-Prosecuted Immigration Crimes by Kara Hartzler

Kara Hartzler has published an Op Ed in Balls and Strikes on the racist history of federal immigration crimes for illegal entry and reentry that is not to be missed. 

The piece details the arguments being made this week before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in oral argument in United States v. Carrillo-Lopez. In that case, which we have reported on in prior posts, Chief Judge Miranda Du of the Nevada District Court struck down the illegal reentry law, under Section 1326 of the U.S. code, as violative of the Equal Protection Clause.

As Hartzler explains in her op ed:

In a 43-page opinion, Chief Judge Du agreed that the law violates equal protection, relying on this testimony and hundreds of pages of evidence to strike down Section 1326. But the DOJ appealed, arguing this history was irrelevant. If the Ninth Circuit agrees, it would give Congress free reign to enact any blatantly discriminatory immigration law it wants, so long as some lawyer at some point in the future could come up with a half-baked excuse to justify its continued existence.

A copy of Hartzler's powerful op ed is available here.

IE

December 6, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bipartisan immigration reform in the works in last days of lame-duck Congress?

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Official Congressional Photo of Senator Kyrsten Sinema 

There is an immigration buzz Washington, D.C. in the last days of this Congress.  A bipartisan duo of senators are negotiating a potential deal on immigration reform — including providing legal status for young undocumented immigrants and billions of dollars for border security — with the hope they can tackle the issue before the new Congress takes effect next year.

Lawmakers in both parties have repeatedly failed to clinch an agreement on immigration reform.  But with the impending end to the pandemic-era Title 42 border policy on December 21 and concerns that a federal judge may soon dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, members are revisiting a possible compromise.

Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have reached an agreement on a draft framework, the Washington Post first reported.

Stay tuned.

KJ

December 6, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 5, 2022

Willamette Opens Immigration Law Clinic

Zilberman

Professor Beth Zilberman joined the faculty in summer 2022 to launch the Immigration Law Clinic at Willamette University College of Law and strengthen immigration course offerings.  The fall semester has included a successful soft launch for the Clinic.

Nearly all students enrolled in the Clinic represent clients seeking asylum based on a fear of persecution.  Clinic students have also worked on a variety of cases under the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act, which allow noncitizens to bring tort claims for violation of the law of nations.

Clinic students also engage in human rights fact-finding and reporting. Most recently, the Clinic prepared Human Trafficking and Native Peoples in Oregon. The report was in follow-up to Modern Slavery in Our Midst: A Human Rights Report on Ending Human Trafficking in Oregon.

KJ

December 5, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Rhetoric and the Creation of Hysteria by Ediberto Román & Ernesto Sagás

Ediberto-roman Esagas

Rhetoric and the Creation of Hysteria by Ediberto Román & Ernesto Sagás, Cornell Law Review (2022)

Abstract

The anti-immigrant tenor of the debate leading to the need for a wall, the frustrations relating to it, and its resulting political opportunism are not limited to the United States. Throughout the Western Hemisphere and Europe, political leaders are using similar rhetoric of the immigrant “other” in order to rally the base, deflect criticism, and distract public opinion. This article examines this political phenomenon in the twenty-first century by comparatively evaluating the cases of the United States, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile—five democratic nations in the Western Hemisphere in which immigration became a major issue and immigrants are routinely scapegoated by those in power. In doing so, this article answers the following questions. First, why has immigration become a major campaign and policy issue in these countries since the turn of the century? Second, how and why have these nation-states responded to the perceived ills of immigration by enacting laws and policies designed to curb it and deal with existing immigrants? Third, how have populist politicians exploited xenophobia for political gain and—in doing so—have fueled ultra-nationalism across the hemisphere? And fourth, what has been the role of the United States (as the region’s hegemon) in promoting and/or abetting these anti-immigration policies?

To read this Article, please click here: Rhetoric and the Creation of Hysteria.

KJ

December 5, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jurors hear ex-Border Patrol agent's confession in killings

 

The Associated Press reports that jurors in the murder trial of a former U.S. Border Patrol agent have heard his taped confession to the 2018 killings of four sex workers in South Texas.

ff convicted, Juan David Ortiz faces life in prison without parole.  Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. The trial started on November 28 and is set to continue later today.

Ortiz, a Navy veteran, was a Border Patrol intelligence supervisor at the time of his arrest in 2018. Ortiz, who officials have said wasn’t on duty during the killings and wore civilian clothes, is accused of killing four women.  Each woman was shot in the head and left along roads on the outskirts of Laredo, Texas.

Juan David Ortiz told detectives in the video played in court last week that as he drove along a stretch of road that the women frequented. He told investigators he wanted to “clean up the streets,” and referred to the women as “trash” and “so dirty.”

Ortiz’s attorney, Joel Perez, argued that investigators had jumped to conclusions, and that his client’s confession was “coerced.” He said his client was “broken” and “suicidal” when he made the confession and told investigators he'd had blackouts. Perez said that Ortiz told the investigators that he was a war veteran who'd been experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

KJ

December 5, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Inside fake German heiress Anna Sorokin’s immigration battle

 

The immigration case of Anna Sorokin, whose elaborate fraud captured the world's imagination, continues.  The subject of the Netflix series "Inventing Anna", Sorokin served about four years in prison after found guilty of a variety of criminal charges. Sorokin had claimed to be a German heiress named Anna Delvey who had a $60 million inheritance and was raising funds to launch a Manhattan social club. She swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from friends, banks and New York City luxury hotels to fund a lavish lifestyle.

' ' ' '

Sorokin, who acknowledges that she made `so many bad choices,' has now become one of the most high-profile immigration detainees in recent memory, a famous name in a sea of anonymous petitioners.

Authorities say Sorokin, who went by the name Anna Delvey for years, overstayed her U.S. visa and must return to Germany.

She is fighting that move, arguing that while she may have been able to appeal her case from Germany, `it’s not the same' as doing so from inside the U.S. She was released from prison in October.

The process, she told the Hill in a recent phone interview, has been uncertain and frustrating.

`They don’t have rules for the judges or for the BIA, which is the Board of Immigration Appeals, to make a decision. If you file something, they can take a year or two or three — or like one week — to give you a response. And there are no guidelines. You know, so that’s pretty frustrating, especially when you’re in jail,' Sorokin said.

`There’s no guarantee that you will ever get a response,' she added."

KJ

December 4, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

NPR -- Death and dishonesty: Stories of two workers who built the World Cup stadiums in Qatar

 

The mania of the World Cup has gripped the world.  The US team lost a valiant effort against the Dutch team yesterday

Throughout the coverage of the soccer, there has been an undercurrent of concern about the host Qatar's treatment of migrant workers.  In that vein, NPR reports that:

"Qatar’s World Cup soccer stadiums hold a dark truth. Migrant workers, many from South Asia, bore the burden of building the tiny Gulf nation’s infrastructure — many bringing home stories about grisly working conditions and broken promises. And thousands died, according to human rights investigators. Vinod Kumar was one of them."

KJ

December 4, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 3, 2022

White landowners in Hawaii imported Russian workers in the early 1900s, to dilute the labor power of Asians in the islands

Serdiukov-stepan

I learned something from this contribution ("White landowners in Hawaii imported Russian workers in the early 1900s, to dilute the labor power of Asians in the islands") in the Conversation. Stepan Serdiukov, Ph.D. candidate in U.S. history at Indiana University, writes about how, in the territory of Hawaii, landowners wanting to become a state brought workers to the islands from Russia.

KJ

December 3, 2022 in Current Affairs, Jobs and Fellowships | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pew Research Center: After declining early in the COVID-19 outbreak, immigrant naturalizations in the U.S. are rising again

768px-Pew_Research_Center.svg

In "After declining early in the COVID-19 outbreak, immigrant naturalizations in the U.S. are rising again", Jeffrey S. Passell and D'Vera Cohn for the Pew Research Center provide data showing that "[a]fter a sharp drop in naturalizations in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, immigrants in the United States are becoming citizens in numbers not seen for more than a decade."

According to the data,

"[t]he countries with the smallest proportion of lawful immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens (among those with at least 100,000 naturalized citizens overall) are El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan and Mexico. Fewer than half of lawful immigrants from these countries are naturalized citizens.

In contrast, the countries with the highest proportion of lawful immigrants who have been naturalized include Cambodia, Guyana, Iran, Laos, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Vietnam. At least 80% of immigrants from these countries have gained U.S. citizenship." (bold added).

For a summary of the report from The Hill, click here. 

KJ

December 3, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)