Tuesday, August 9, 2022
The State of Global Displacement and Refugee Advocacy: A Conversation with UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi and Friends
Despite the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Biden administration to dismantle the "Remain in Mexico" policy, returning asylum-seekers to Mexico while their asylum claims are being decided, the policy has remained in place, suggesting resistance to its end.
The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that immigration officials have begun to phase out the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program reports Adolfo Flores for BuzzFeed News.
DHS stopped enrolling new people in MPP and individuals currently in the program in Mexico will be disenrolled upon their next scheduled court date
The policy, which has forced thousands of migrants to wait in dangerous conditions in Mexico, "has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and pulls resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border," noted DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Sokol Colloquium will convene more than 50 experts on immigration and comparative legal scholarship from around the world to discuss “The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Immigration Law.” The colloquium, featuring in-person and online events, includes authors of the forthcoming book, which is edited by UVA Law professor Kevin Cope, University of Iowa law professor Stella Burch and Marine Corps University professor Jill Goldenziel, who also moderate several panels. Click the link above d=for details.
Thursday, Aug. 1, 9 a.m. PST
Immigration Article of the Day: The Suspension Clause after Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam by Jonathan Hafetz
This article examines the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Department of Homeland v. Thuraissigiam. In Thuraissigiam, the Court upheld Congress’s elimination of habeas corpus review over a challenge by an asylum seeker from Sri Lanka, who was seized by federal agents just inside the U.S.-Mexico border. The Court concluded that the Constitution’s Suspension Clause did not apply to the petitioner because the right he was seeking—to remain in the United States under the nation’s immigration laws—fell outside the historical core of the Suspension Clause, which was limited to challenging detention as such.
The article argues that the Supreme Court erred in several key respects, including by misreading the historical record and misconstruing its own precedents. The article also describes how Thuraissigiam, if read broadly, could limit future habeas review not only over the removal of immigrants seized in the United States, but also over other government restraints on liberty that do not seek continued detention as their purpose, from the extradition of criminal suspects to the transfer of military prisoners. While it injects new uncertainty into formerly settled areas of habeas jurisprudence, Thuraissigiam ultimately decided very little. The article explores several ways that—notwithstanding Thuraissigiam—courts can and should guarantee meaningful judicial review of detention in noncitizen cases and to ensure the Suspension Clause remains a meaningful limit on a variety of custodial restraints. Above all, the article explains why courts should view the Suspension Clause as protecting evolving understandings of habeas corpus rather than one frozen in time at the nation’s Founding to ensure that it remains capable of reaching a broad range of liberty deprivations.
Monday, August 8, 2022
|A new report from Urban Institute experts examines the barriers California immigrant families faced when navigating seven public benefit programs in 2021. Many families reported difficulties navigating enrollment, negative interactions with program staff, trouble getting benefits as soon as needed, fears of repercussions for immigration status, and language barriers. Adults in immigrant families were more than twice as likely as those in US-born families to have received application assistance from a community-based organization, highlighting the importance of these organizations in connecting eligible immigrant families to the safety net.|
In this free virtual program, we discuss the state of civic power for immigrants and DACA status holders in California – electoral and beyond – from California’s founding to current day. Join a panel of scholars and immigration experts to learn more about today’s policy landscape in California, its historical framework, and to consider what role California’s immigrant communities might play in the future of citizenship.
California is home to 183,000 DACA recipients and nearly 1 in 4 Californians is foreign born. What civic powers do DACA status holders have in California? How is voter access offered at the local, state and federal levels? On its tenth anniversary, what is the legacy of this landmark program? Join us on Zoom on August 11 at 4pm for Civic Participation and California Immigrants. To register, use the link below.
Thursday, August 11
4:00-5:00 pm PST
Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center
Hiroshi Motomura, Professor, UCLA Law
Sonja Diaz, Founding Executive Director, UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute
AALS Constitutional Law section will host a new books session featuring four fantastic authors - Dorothy Roberts, Kristin Hennings, Sheryll Cashin, and Derecka Purnell - on Wednesday August 17 at 4pm EST. Speaker bios and other details appear here.
MHC (h/t Andrea Freeman)
The Los Angeles Times reports that more than a million people could die waiting for green cards as U.S. immigration buckles amid COVID. Delays processing millions of visas applications, work permits, green cards and naturalization petitions, as well as cases languishing in immigration courts, are severe. Let us not forget the human costs.
Immigration Article of the Day: 2020 American Community Survey: Use with Caution, An Analysis of the Undercount in the 2020 ACS Data Used to Derive Estimates of the Undocumented Population by Robert Warren
The Immigration Article of the Day is 2020 American Community Survey: Use with Caution, An Analysis o f the Undercount in the 2020 ACS Data Used to Derive Estimates of the Undocumented Population by Robert Warren, just published in the Journal on Migration and International Security, and available here.
Here is the abstract:
This paper analyzes and provides estimates of the undercount of the foreign-born in the US Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey (ACS). It confirms that a differential undercount occurred in the 2020 ACS. In particular, noncitizens that arrived from Central American countries after 1981 had undercount rates of 15–25 percent, but undercount of noncitizens that arrived from European countries in the same period was not detectable by the methods described in this paper. The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) and others use ACS data to derive annual estimates of the US undocumented population. The Census Bureau recently reported that the total population count for the 2020 Census was consistent with the count for recent censuses, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the Trump administration’s interference in the 2020 Census. Nonetheless, the accuracy of 2020 ACS data for the noncitizen population that arrived after 1981 remains a major concern given the fear generated by the Trump administration’s abusive rhetoric and anti-immigrant policies. The estimates set forth in this paper were derived by analyzing trends in annual ACS data for 2016–2020 compiled from the IPUMS website (Ruggles et al. 2021). Decennial census data cannot be used for this purpose because data on country of birth, citizenship, and year of immigration are not collected in the census. However, it is reasonable to believe that the 2020 census and the 2020 ACS experienced similar challenges because they were conducted under comparable conditions. The patterns of undercount of noncitizens described here for the 2020 ACS are likely mirrored in the 2020 census and will reduce federal funding and representation to affected cities and states for the next decade.
Despite a favorable Supreme Court ruling, the Biden administration has not ended President Trump's Remain in Mexico policy, forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico while their claims are being decided. Pedro Spivakovsky-Gonzalez for the ABA Journal offers a birds-eye view of the policy at work. It is noy a pretty picture:
"It is tragic to meet with people who would seem to qualify for asylum but understandably lack detailed documentation of their claims, only to find out that they were ordered to be deported. Since the Supreme Court agrees that the Biden administration has the authority to end this policy, will immigration courts now also look more leniently upon motions to re-open or appeals filed by people who should have been given a full opportunity to present their claims in the first place? When exactly will the MPP policy end? How many people could be excluded from this policy before then? These and many other questions remain about `Remain in Mexico,' a policy, which despite the recent Supreme Court decision, continues with tragic consequences."
Spivakovsky-Gonzalez is a senior staff attorney with ABA ProBAR. He assists adult asylum-seekers who have been placed in the Migrant Protection Protocols policy in the tent courts in Brownsville, Texas, and takes on a range of immigration cases.
Caitlin Dickerson For Atlantic Exposes Secret History of Trump Administration’s Family-Separation Policy
Official White House Photo
Scholars will be studying the immigration measures of the Trump administration for generations. The heartless family separation policy will long be a milestone in inhumanity. In a report for The Atlantic, Caitlin Dickerson provides a detailed account of the policy, called Zero Tolerance:
"Her reporting also reveals that U.S. officials misled Congress, the public, and the press, and minimized the policy’s implications to obscure what they were doing; that separating immigrant children from their parents was not a side effect of the policy, but its intent; that almost no logistical planning took place before the policy was initiated; that instead of working to reunify families after parents were prosecuted, officials worked to keep families apart longer; and that the architects of the legislation will likely seek to reinstate it, should they get the opportunity. The investigation, `We Need To Take Away Children,' is online now in English and Spanish."
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Guest post by Darcy Guio, rising 3L at The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
It was my first trip to California, but it was not what most people picture when they hear “I’m going to California for a week.” I attended the Immigration Law and Border Enforcement Program offered by the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. I was very excited to take this week-long intensive program where students learn firsthand from some of the top experts in the field about the current situation at the border. We heard from a wide variety of speakers, ranging from judges, government employees, shelter workers, and a representative for deported veterans. The speakers and experiences at the border impacted me in a way I did not imagine.
We started our week off hearing from a powerful speaker – Jenn Budd, a former CBP officer turned whistleblower. She spoke to us about her experience as a CBP officer and some of the horrendous things she went through in training and on duty, and detailed numerous instances of inhumane treatment by CBP officers towards migrants. For me, the most impactful part of Ms. Budd’s presentation was when she described the corruption she witnessed within CBP. I was shocked to hear Ms. Budd explain that CBP has a culture of promoting officers that commit wrongdoing as a way to ensure they will not make public future instances of wrongdoing when they uncover it. This made me wonder: how do we fix a system that is so fundamentally flawed? Unfortunately, while Jenn Budd may not be the only person to witness firsthand CBP wrongdoing, I was grateful that she was brave enough to speak up.
Nothing compared to visiting the border and seeing firsthand what was happening. On one of our trips, we went to Tijuana, Mexico, where we met with Nicole Ramos, a former U.S. Assistant Federal Public Defender who now lives in Mexico and is a Project Director at Al Otro Lado. When we met with Ms. Ramos, she took us to the site where for a couple months a migrant shelter had been set up in the street right next to a U.S. port of entry. Ms. Ramos told us about the many families that had to stay in tents on the street with the hopes of being able to enter the U.S. at this port of entry so they could apply for asylum. Unfortunately, due to Title 42 restrictions, migrants being permitted to enter the U.S. to claim asylum was rarely occurring when we visited. Some families are forced to wait weeks or months in different migrant shelters such as Casa del Migrante, a shelter we visited. Ms. Ramos also spoke to us about discrimination at the border. While most agree Ukrainians deserve an opportunity to seek asylum in the U.S., it was disheartening to see and hear that many Haitian and Central American families are turned away at the border or forced to wait months to cross while at the same time Ukrainian families arriving at the border were often able to cross within a week or less. This type of favoritism unfortunately does not occur only at the border, but south of the border as well. We learned how in Tijuana the Mexican government set up a migrant shelter for Ukrainian refugees, even while nearby we visited Casa del Migrante, which receives no government funding and houses over 100 migrants, including Mexican citizens fleeing cartel violence in the south of Mexico and who are seeking to apply for asylum in the U.S. The shelter’s donations were stretched thin while needing to feed over 100 refugees; and they reported that sometimes the new Ukrainian shelter maintained a full staff even when it sat virtually empty as Ukrainians were permitted to cross the border much more quickly. While I was happy that Ukrainians fleeing violence received services, I wondered why treatment had to differ based on country of origin or skin color. I wondered: how can we prevent discrimination and ensure equal access to asylum seekers fleeing violence regardless of race or nationality?
Hofstra’s border program was definitely one of the best classes I have taken at law school. Even though it was only one week long, we learned so much. We saw the injustices at the border firsthand, which further showed me how deeply broken our immigration system is and how basic changes would go a long way to improving the lives of migrants.
-posted by KitJ on behalf of Darcy Guio
Guest post by Alexander Holtzman, Visiting Associate Clinical Professor of Law at The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
In May 2022, a group of law students and I traveled to San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, to learn about immigration law and policy at the U.S.-Mexico border. This annual one-week course provides law students throughout the country with three credits and a tremendous immersive learning experience at the border. In addition to curriculum and coursework on the history, law, and policies at the border, students have an opportunity to communicate with leading advocates and experts in the field and visit with government officials implementing immigration law.
As described in this downloadable program schedule, we met with attorney advocates at Al Otro Lado, American Immigration Council, Human Rights First, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, and with a former Senior Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer turned whistleblower. Students visited government agencies, including the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Otay Mesa Immigration Court, U.S. Coast Guard in San Diego, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California. We met with Federal District Court Chief Judge Dana Sabraw – who issued the Ms. L decision regarding separated children – and with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman to discuss prosecutions at the border. Students observed sentencings in federal court and the detained docket at Otay Mesa Immigration Court before speaking with a panel of three immigration judges.
Students toured Tijuana and the border with the Project Director at Al Otro Lado, including visiting Friendship Park, speaking with the co-Executive Director of the Deported Veterans, and visiting several refugee camps. We wrapped up the program by hiking along the border wall to Friendship Park on the U.S. side and shared a farewell meal where we discussed the U.S. immigration system and how we view the current state of immigration law and policy at the U.S.-Mexico border. I am very much looking forward to teaching the program again next year. Interested students can learn more and apply here: https://law.hofstra.edu/border-enforcement/.
-posted by KitJ on behalf of Alexander Holtzman
Under Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans, and guided by the principles of the Interagency Strategy for Promoting Naturalization, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been leading efforts since February 2021 to support and partner with educational institutions, businesses, and the nonprofit sector to address the needs of the more than 9.1 million lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who may be eligible to apply for naturalization based on their time in LPR status.
Heading into the 2022-2023 academic year, USCIS is seeking support from law schools for two initiatives to help applicants overcome obstacles to U.S. citizenship, which include limited pro bono or low-cost legal assistance providers in many communities. Because integration is a whole of society effort, we are seeking your support to help aspiring eligible lawful permanent residents to apply successfully for naturalization. Specifically, we would like law schools around the country to agree to one or both of the following initiatives:
- Recognizing naturalization application support to satisfy law school public service requirements: Many law schools require a set number of public service hours for graduation. Permitting law students to count naturalization application assistance as a part of their public service requirement would be an inspiring option for students and, given the straightforward nature of many naturalization applications, could also potentially draw in 1L students while meeting an important community need.
- Creating naturalization-focused “days of service” around key calendar dates, e.g., Constitution Day (September 17) and MLK Day (January 16): Many law students want to gain practical legal experience but are often not able to participate in semester or year-long legal clinics. Providing opportunities for students to join time limited legal clinics (one-two day or week-long events, held multiple times a year) permits students to develop legal skills while offering much needed (and often overlooked) support for applicants. While it might seem logical to center this work in immigration law clinics, they are most often focused on complicated benefits and issues (e.g., relief from removal in immigration court and administration areas such as asylum, T and U visas, and VAWA self-petitions). Naturalization application focused “days of service” have high impact potential and minimal cost to law schools, firms, and associated attorneys and students.
A briefing and training will be held on August 10, 2pm EST. More information on how to register for the online session can be obtained from Kelly Ryan, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Friday, August 5, 2022
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced the appointment of 19 new immigration judges to courts in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. A copy of the full announcement is available here.
These new judges appointed by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland appointed are Tanisha L. Bowens-McCatty, Michael P. Davis, James T. Dehn, Julia E. Egy, Ashley Gadson-Andrews, Amy F. Haer, Robert J. Herrington, Geoffrey A. Hoffman, Maria L. Jaimes-Salgado, Christina M. Jimenez, Christopher M. Kozoll, Nicole A. Lane, Francis M. Mwangi, Alex D. Perez, Xavier F. Racine, Raphael G. Rojas, Marc B. Stahl, Michelle M. Venci, and Mary C. Vergona.
A special welcome to the bench goes to Judge Geoffrey Hoffman, who will join the immigration court in Houston. A former member of the faculty at the University of Houston Law Center, Judge Hoffman was an active and distinguished member of the immprof community, and frequent contributor to this blog. Here is Judge Hoffman's bio from the EOIR announcement. Congrats to EOIR and to Judge Hoffman!
Geoffrey A. Hoffman, Immigration Judge, Houston – S. Gessner Road Immigration Court
Geoffrey A. Hoffman was appointed as an Immigration Judge to begin hearing cases in August
2022. Judge Hoffman earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1991 from Columbia College, Columbia
University, a Juris Doctor in 1997 from Tulane Law School, and a Master of Laws in 2004 from
Harvard Law School. From 2009 to 2022, he served as Director of the Immigration Clinic at the
University of Houston Law Center. From 2004 to 2009, he practiced immigration law at
Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, and Tetzeli PA in Miami. From 1998 to 2000, Judge Hoffman
served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Paul V. Gadola U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan. Judge Hoffman is a member of the Florida Bar and the State Bar of
Thursday, August 4, 2022
For the Conversation ("Crossing the US-Mexico border is deadlier than ever for migrants – here’s why"), Joseph Nevins analyzes how a 1994 US policy was supposed to deter migration by securing popular access points but insteadt drives people to enter the US by more hazardous means, such as being crammed in hot tractor-trailers.
"The June 2022 deaths of 53 people, victims of heat stroke, in the back of a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, show the dangers of crossing the U.S. southern border without authorization.
Such fatalities result from two intersecting phenomena. One is the massive growth in the federal government’s policing system in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands since the mid-1990s. The other is the strong and profoundly unequal ties between the United States and the home countries of most unauthorized – or undocumented – migrants."
From the Booksheles: Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands by Kelly Lytle Hernández
On Fresh Air on NPR: Historian Kelly Lytle Hernández tells the story of the rebels who fled Mexico to the United States, and helped incite the 1910 Mexican Revolution that overthrew dictator Porfirio Díaz. Hernández spoke with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley about her new book, Bad Mexicans. "People who were being disparaged at that time as 'bad Mexicans' in the United States were those who organized, those who protested against the conditions of what was then known as Juan Crow, a similar form of social marginalization as Jim Crow," Hernández says.
Hat tip to my colleague Raquel Aldana.
NPR reports that "in Republican primary races this year, few issues have come up more in TV ads than immigration. And one word in particular stands out: invasion." It is squarely into the mainstream.
"We're gonna end this invasion," Blake Masters, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, says in a campaign ad.
The invasion language is not new to attacks on immigrants. Chinese immigrants were attacked for the "invasion" of the United States in the 1800s. More recently, California Governor Petre Wilson, a champion of the state's Proposition 187, an anti-immigrant landmark, in 1994 sued the U.S. government over the "invasion" of immigrants. President Trump, in words repeated by a mass murderer in El Paso in 2019, spoke of the immigrant "invasion."
Immigration Article of the Day: A Comparative Perspective on Safe Third and First Country of Asylum Policies in the United Kingdom and North America: Legal Norms, Principles and Lessons Learned by Susan M. Akram & Elizabeth Ruddick
A Comparative Perspective on Safe Third and First Country of Asylum Policies in the United Kingdom and North America: Legal Norms, Principles and Lessons Learned by Susan M. Akram & Elizabeth Ruddick, Boston University International Law Journal (2022)
This article will first look at the history of “safe country” rules and procedures in North America before exploring litigation over such rules in the United Kingdom, in order to identify emerging legal norms limiting or prohibiting “safe country” transfers. We will argue that although there is a clear legal consensus that transfer cannot take place without an individualized assessment of whether it would put an asylum-seeker at risk of refoulement or inhuman and degrading treatment, there is so far little indication of consensus on the need to ensure access to the positive benefits of refugee status, such as housing, education, employment and eventual integration, or on the relevance to the legality of the transfer of social and cultural ties or private and family life.