Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Title 42 Termination Spurs Democratic Senator Concerns

November 29, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

In U.S. v. Texas, broad questions over immigration enforcement and states’ ability to challenge federal policies


Official U.S. Supreme Court Photo

Amy Howe for SCOTUSBlog looks at United States v. Texas, the immigration case that will be argued before the Supreme Court this morning. The argument will be live streamed at 10:00 a.m. PST.


November 29, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 28, 2022

Germany Looking at Changes to Its Immigration System


Politico reports that Germany is looking to overhaul its immigration system.

One thing on the agenda: make naturalization easier by, among other things, reducing the per-requisite Germany residency from 8 to 5 years (and sometimes just 3!) as well as authorizing dual citizenship. The country's new focus on the importance of naturalization makes me think of immprof co-editor Ming Chen's book Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era which examines just that -- why naturalization matters and why we need more pathways for immigrants to achieve citizenship.

Also on the agenda in Germany: moving to a points-based admission system to attract high-skilled labor " as has long been standard practice in other countries."


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

New York Times Reporting Highlights the Immigrant Exclusions from Biden's Marijuana Pardons

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. Shear of the New York Times highlight the immigrant exclusions from President Biden's recent marijuana pardons in an article published yesterday.

The article also discusses the impact of state prosecutions of marijuana offenses on immigrants, featuring Kenault Lawrence, who immigranted legally but was deported after two misdemeanor convictions for marijuana in Virginia. Lawrence is part of the #ChanceToComeHome campaign. Although he has been reunited with his family in the U.S. he still faces removal proceedings because of marijuana-related convictions. 

The article also cites to a letter, available here, written to President Biden by "dozens of civil and immigrant rights groups" that underscores concerns about the failure of the pardons to reach Black and Brown communities most impacted by overpolicing and mass incarceration.


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

A Trump judge seized control of ICE, and the Supreme Court will decide whether to stop him

for Vox looks at the issues before the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas. which will be argued tomorrow. Millhiser characterizes the district court's ruling enjoining the implementation of the Biden administration's immigration enforcement priorities as "lawless" and an "embarrassment."  He writes:

"In July, a Trump appointee to a federal court in Texas effectively seized control of parts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency that enforces immigration laws within US borders. Although Judge Drew Tipton’s opinion in United States v. Texas contains a simply astonishing array of legal and factual errors, the Supreme Court has thus far tolerated Tipton’s overreach and permitted his order to remain in effect.

Nearly five months later, the Supreme Court will give the Texas case a full hearing on Tuesday. And there’s a good chance that even this Court, where Republican appointees control two-thirds of the seats, will reverse Tipton’s decision — his opinion is that bad."


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

Podcast: Changing Climate, Changing Migration

The Migration Policy Institute has a podcast on how climate change is impacting migration: Changing Climate, Changing Migration. The show is hosted by Julian Hattem and answers questions like who migrates in response to climate changes, what that migration looks like, and how nations manage global migration shifts in response to climate.

The latest episode from earlier this month looks at how Guyana will manage environmental change in a moment of a surging economy due to the discovery of offshore oil reserves.

The show will definitely be of interest to immprof readers!

You can subscribe and check out past shows here.

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

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Inside a U.S. and Colombian operation to bust human traffickers



Here is an intere4sting story about human traffickers. 

"[o]n the border between Colombia and Panama, where migrants wait to make their way through the dense and sometimes deadly jungle of the Darien Gap, Americans from the Department of Homeland Security are teaming up with Colombian National Police to take down human smugglers before they can lead migrants north

Migrants camp along the beaches of this green isthmus, where South America becomes Central America, and must choose between following human traffickers into the nearly roadless forest or paying a higher fee to cross the bright blue waters of the Caribbean.

Earlier this month, an NBC News crew flew above the jungle in a Blackhawk helicopter with Col. Oscar Cortes of the Colombian National Police, as he spread out a map and pointed out the routes migrants and their traffickers can take. We were embedded with Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, in Colombia as it worked with local law enforcement to identify and capture three leaders of an international smuggling network."

For more, click the link above.


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

Saturday, November 26, 2022

114 Immigrant and Human Rights Groups Demand Biden Close Detention Centers, Stop Expansion and Cut Funding for Immigration Detention

Earlier this month, 114 immigrant and human rights groups delivered a letter to the White House urging the Biden administration to immediately close Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, prevent the development of new detention sites or expansion of existing ones, and cut funding for immigration detention from Congress. 

As Biden embarks on the second half of his term, the signatories - including Detention Watch Network, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Project (NIPNLG), The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Freedom for Immigrants, and American Immigration Lawyers Association - expressed their concern that his administration has failed to keep promises made to immigrant communities.

A copy of the November 21, 2022 letter is available here.



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

Oakland elects Sheng Thao, first Hmong American mayor of a major US city

California is a frontier in progressive politics, and the City of Oakland contributes to that legacy with their election of Ms. Sheng Thao. Mayor-elect Thao will be the first Hmong American woman to lead a major US city (with 430,000 residents) and the youngest Oakland mayor in 75 years. She is the daughter of Hmong refugees, an ethnic minority that fled Laos during a genocide, and settled in the US through the US refugee resettlement program.

Mayor-elect Thao has first-hand experience with some of the leading issues in her district, including poverty and homelessness. Amid a Bay Area housing crisis, she is the first mayor to be a renter while in office and probably among a small number who have experienced homelessness. She left her impoverished home in Stockton, California at age 17. Three years later, she was pregnant when she chose to leave an abusive relationship and slept on couches and in her car with an infant son before finding secure shelter. She focused on homelessness during her campaign, noting that Oakland experienced a steeper rise in homelessness than any other city in the Bay Area region that leads the nation in housing costs. The mayor-elect distinguished herself from other mayoral candidates by laying out housing policies that invest in public health and violence prevention as its public safety approach, rather than taking a tough on crime approach or defunding police altogether as the city struggles with urban crime.  She also wants to create more jobs and educational opportunities.

Formerly a UC Berkeley and community college transfer student, Ms. Thao's prior community advocacy focused on food insecurity in and around campus. At UC Berkeley, she collected food donations from local restaurants and grocers to feed her fellow students. She became involved with Oakland policies as an intern and staff member in the Vice Mayor's and City Council's offices and expanded food delivery to senior citizens; on the city council, she voted to support state legislation to build housing in commerical corridors and expand zoning limits to multi-unit, multi-story housing in formerly single-family home lots. Now she'll be in a position to do even more, aspiring to add 30,000 new housing units over the next eight years, enhance safety at RV parking sites, trash and sanitation services to homeless encampments. She also supports rent control to stem homelessness up-front.

Sheng [Thao] is a down to earth candidate who actually knows what it’s like for people who are marginalized in this city

said Pamela Drake, a local activist who advised Thao’s campaign, in a feature story in The Guardian. Drake noted that Thao is more moderate than some community activists -- winning by a slim margin over another moderate Democratic front runner Councilmember Loren Taylor in a ranked choice election -- but said she believes Thao will not ignore people in need. Thao also had the backing of labor unions and progressive politicians. She will serve in a city council with a progressive majority and the first Black district attorney of Alameda County (Vice-President Kamala Harris began her career in the same office, before joining the San Francisco District Attorney and becoming the DA for San Francisco). 

Her acceptance speech and a profile on her history-making election appears here.



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

Amanda Frost: In major immigration case, both sides look to academia to untangle three knotty questions


Amanda Frost for SCOTUSBlog considers a major immigration case to be argued in the Supreme Court on November 29:

"Can the Biden administration issue guidelines setting priorities in the enforcement of immigration law? Do states have standing to challenge these guidelines? And if the guidelines are unlawful, does the Administrative Procedure Act give lower courts the power to vacate them — a universal remedy that goes beyond the parties to the case? These are the three questions before the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas, set to be argued on Nov. 29. Legal scholars have addressed all three issues, and their work is prominently cited in the briefing on both sides."

The SCOTUSBlog.com page for United States v. Texas encapsulated the questions presented by the case as follows:

"(1) Whether state plaintiffs have Article III standing to challenge the Department of Homeland Security’s Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law; (2) whether the Guidelines are contrary to 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) or 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a), or otherwise violate the Administrative Procedure Act; and (3) whether 8 U.S.C. § 1252(f)(1) prevents the entry of an order to “hold unlawful and set aside” the guidelines under 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)."


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

Friday, November 25, 2022

Immigrant of the Day: Paul Eremenko (Ukraine)

Department of Defense, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Eremenko was 13 when his family moved to the U.S. from the Ukraine. His dad, Alexandre Eremenko, came to teach university-level mathematics.

(Paul) Eremenko has had a fascinating career as an innovator. He worked for several years with DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the coolest branch of the U.S. Department of Defense that is dedicated to developing technologies for use by the U.S. military. He also worked for Motorola, Google, Airbus Group (CTO -- Chief Technology Officer), and United Technologies (CTO).

What's most fascinating to me, however, and why I'm highlighting Eremenko today, is his founding of a new company in 2020: Universal Hydrogen. The company's goal is to create "a pragmatic, near-term approach to making hydrogen commercial flight a reality." Why hydrogen? The idea is to "decarbonize aviation and put the industry on a trajectory to meet Paris Agreement obligations."

Eremenko spoke about his work on the How I Built This podcast as well as the Everything Hydrogen podcast.


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

Two Texas attorneys behind the Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Amanda Robert for the ABA Journal spotlight  two Texas attorneys behind the Children’s Immigration Law Academy.  According to the organization's website, the "[t]he aim [of the Center is] to support legal service providers by providing training and support for their staff, thereby improving staff capacity and sustainability. Additionally, the center . . . support[s] pro bono volunteers in their efforts to assist unaccompanied minors."



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

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving! Why Thanksgiving is an American Celebration of Immigration


A few years back, Michael Barron for Culture Trip offered interesting thoughts on the Thanksgiving holiday and immigration.  The teaser:  "Memoirs from Pilgrims William Bradford and Edward Winslow depict the Wampanoag tribe’s welcome of foreign settlers — which paved the way for the first Thanksgiving — and remind us that immigration is central to the celebration."


November 24, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

IOM Report: More Than 50,000 Migrant Deaths

More than 50,000 people worldwide have lost their lives during their migratory journeys since International Organization for Migration (IOM)'s Missing Migrants Project began documenting deaths in 2014, according to a new IOM report published today.  Despite the increasing loss of life, little action has been taken by governments in countries of origin, transit, and destination to address the ongoing global crisis of missing migrants. 

Listen to a migrant story here.


November 23, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

In a hotter, more crowded world, immigration will be inevitable 

A new United Nations report predicts much of global population growth will occur in areas becoming too hot to be livable, leading to migration of people in search of gentler climates. Check out this article on the report in Quartz  


November 23, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Advocates call on Biden administration to renew Haitian migrant protections

Rafael Bernal for the Hill reports  that a coalition of more than 400 organizations yesterday called on the Biden administration to renew a key immigration program to protect Haitians in the United States from removal.  In a letter to President Biden, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the 422 groups led by Haitian Bridge Alliance asked the officials to extend and redesignate Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation.    Extending TPS would give current beneficiaries more time in the program, and redesignation would grant TPS benefits to Haitians who entered the United States after July of 2021.

Here is the letter.  The lead signatories on the letter are:

Melanie Nathan, Executive Director, African Human Rights Coalition

Erika Pinheiro, Executive Director, Al Otro Lado
Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Edna Yang and Rebecca Lightsey, Co-Executive Directors, American Gateways
Jeremy Robbins, Executive Director, American Immigration Council
Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director, American Immigration Lawyers Association
Shalyn Fluharty, Executive Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice

Shalyn Fluharty is a UC Davis Law graduate.



November 23, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Migration Policy Institute: Reassessing Recruitment Costs in a Changing World of Labor Migration


National governments, multilateral organizations, private-sector interests and others have devoted significant attention in recent years to promoting the fair and ethical recruitment of migrant workers. Their efforts include finding ways to reduce or eliminate migrant-borne recruitment costs, which can result in increased vulnerability and reduced income for workers who finance these expenses through high-interest loans or debt bondage. The COVID-19 pandemic represented a major setback for this cause, however, by driving up some recruitment costs and other expenses for workers. Even as the public-health crisis recedes, these costs may long continue to shape workers’ future migration decisions and the conditions they accept.

A new policy brief from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) explores how the pandemic has affected costs for migrant workers at every stage of their journey and reflects on what these developments mean for future efforts to promote fair and ethical recruitment.

The brief, Reassessing Recruitment Costs in a Changing World of Labor Migration, contends that the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic suggest the need to revisit how these costs are defined and regulated. Focusing only on the costs associated with the recruitment and relocation process misses the full range of debts that individuals may incur when seeking to take up work abroad, particularly in turbulent times. As job offers vanished early in the pandemic, some migrant workers found themselves on the hook for upfront expenses yet with no means to pay down this debt. Those already working abroad had to contend with job losses, cuts to their hours or pay, or wage theft. And yet others had to pay for masks and other protective equipment, COVID-19 testing or quarantine during their period of employment or in preparation to return home.


November 22, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Podcast Interview with Professor Holly Cooper

Immigration Law Clinic Co-director and Professor Holly Cooper discusses her work to improve conditions for unaccompanied immigrant children in government custody. Professor Cooper walks us through the recent preliminary injunction in the national class action lawsuit Lucas R. v. Becerra that ensures more procedural protections for migrant children.
UC Davis Law's podcast about faculty scholarship, Justice Defined: Scholars of King Hall, focuses on research areas including immigration, business, civil rights, environmental and constitutional law and more.




November 22, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Guest Post: My last op-ed By Nolan Rappaport

My last op-ed

By Nolan Rappaport

The Republicans’ Commitment to America includes a plan for securing the border and combatting illegal immigration.  

The Republicans claim that record illegal border crossings have led to more drugs, more crime, and a demoralized Border Patrol that is being prevented from carrying out its law enforcement mission. This has become both a national security and a humanitarian crisis.  

Their plan calls for fully funding effective border enforcement strategies, infrastructure, and advanced technology to prevent illegal crossings and trafficking by cartels. It also calls for improving internal enforcement measures; ending catch-and-release loopholes; requiring proof of legal status to get a job; and eliminating welfare incentives.  

It may be a good plan, but the Republicans will need cooperation from the Democrats to pass implementing legislation and it almost certainly would not be implemented by the current president.

I think, however, that the Democrats will provide the necessary support if the Republicans approach them the right way.   

And the U.S. Constitution provides Congress and the courts with the ability to deal with presidents who substitute their own interior enforcement and admissibility policies for the interior enforcement  and admissibility provisions Congress put in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Border security and enforcement-only approach  

Just as with the Democrats’ benefits-only bills, it will be extremely difficult for Republicans to get enough Democratic support to pass a bill that only has border security and internal enforcement provisions. It would be better to try the approach that made the last comprehensive immigration reform bill possible, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986.  

IRCA sponsors were able to obtain bipartisan support with what they referred to as a “three-legged stool” agreement. It provided border security and internal immigration enforcement measures for the Republicans and increased employment-based visas and a legalization program for the Democrats.  

This approach might make it possible for Republicans to succeed in obtaining enough Democratic support to pass a bill with most of the border security and internal enforcement measures they want.  

For example, a bill with these provisions would offer benefits that are highly desired by both parties.   

  • Leg one: Border security and interior enforcement measures;  
  • Leg two: Substantial increases in the number of visas available for family-based and employment-based immigration, with funding earmarked for hiring more people to process applications for these visas; and  
  • Leg three: A DREAM Act that would create a place in the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) program for undocumented migrants who were brought here by their parents when they were young children.  

I would be surprised if the Republicans couldn’t get enough votes from Democratic senators to overcome a filibuster with this three-legged stool — unless the Republicans go too far.  

But if such a bill were to be enacted, would its provisions be executed by the current and future presidents? Recent history suggests that the current president would just continue to apply his own border security and interior enforcement policies.  

This is not a new problem. The framers of the U.S. Constitution were troubled by it too, so they put provisions in the Constitution that make it possible for the other branches of the government to deal with it.   

Separation of powers  

The experience the framers had had with the British monarchy led them to believe that concentrating governmental powers in a single entity would subject the nation’s people to arbitrary and oppressive government action. Consequently, they sought to ensure that each of the three branches of the government would have separate powers, and they provided measures that each branch can use to resist such encroachments.   

For instance, Article II, Section 4 provides that, “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  


What does “high crimes and misdemeanors” mean? Former President Gerald Ford said, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” Many scholars disagree.  

In any case, there is no appeal, so Congress has the final word on what that phrase means.  

Article II. Section 3 provides that the President, “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”   

Lastly, the framers included a mandatory oath of office for presidents in Article II. Section 1, which makes it clear that presidents are bound by the provisions in the Constitution. It reads as follows:  

“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’"  

Former President Barack Obama summed these provisions up nicely when he said, “I’m not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I’m required to follow the law.”  

The Constitution gives Congress the power to remove a president from office through impeachment proceedings if he does not follow the law or violates any other constitutional obligation.   

However, although the Republicans could impeach Biden in the House, they wouldn’t have the votes needed to convict him in the Senate ---- unless the situation gets so bad that public pressure forces ten Democratic senators to turn on him. 

It also gives the courts the authority to reign in an errant president and the courts are less likely to be influenced by political considerations.  

Congress could make it easier for the courts to assume that responsibility by paying particular attention to making their intentions clear with the language they use when they draft legislation to implement their immigration measures, especially with respect to whether provisions are mandatory or discretionary.  

If Congress chooses to initiate impeachment proceedings, they might kill any chance they might otherwise have had to work with the Democrats.

And Biden won’t be the president forever.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.  Follow him at: https://nolanhillop-eds.blogspot.com


November 22, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Canada: Why the country wants to bring in 1.5m immigrants by 2025

Earlier this month, the federal government announced an aggressive plan to take in 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025, with almost 1.5 million new immigrants coming to the country over the next three years."


November 22, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)