Friday, December 2, 2022

NPR: A new kind of climate refugee is emerging

Southern Poverty Law Center Sues Florida Over Migrant Relocation

December 2, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mexican asylum seekers setting their sights on Canada?

Canada has stiff barriers to granting asylum, yet the surge in Mexicans seeking refuge there persists. Some in Canada cite social media, including YouTube and TikTok videos “talking about how easy it is to come to Canada.” Mexicans also do not need a visa to travel there. And, said one social outreach coordinator, they think it’s safer than the United States, where “they are put in cages. ... People do not feel safe or protected.”  Click here for the Associated Press story with details.


December 2, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Legal Immigration Makes a Comeback in the United States

In After a Slump, Legal Immigration to the United States Is Returning to Pre-Pandemic Levels, Muzaffar Chishti and Julia Gelatt for Migration Information Source concludes that legal immigration to the United States appears to have bounced back from steep declines sparked by the global pandemic.

The country looks to have accepted 1 million lawful permanent residents in fiscal year 2022, near the average over the last two decades. This represents a marked turnaround from the low of 707,000 permanent immigrants accepted in FY 2020, the fewest since FY 2003.

This strong recovery belies predictions that the pandemic had allowed the Trump administration to make lasting, deep cuts to legal immigration.  While immigration slumped in FY 2020 and FY 2021, the rebound suggests that neither the Trump administration’s policies nor the pandemic have had enduring effects on the level of legal immigration to the United States.  Here is a graph from the report:



December 1, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who Represents the Country? A Short History of Foreign-Born Athletes in the World Cup


Photo of World Cup Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


World Cup mania is everywhere!  And there is an immigration angle.  Gijsbert Oonk for Migration Information Source reports that World Cup fans "may have noticed a sizable number of players born outside the country they represent on the field, especially for teams representing nations such as Morocco and Qatar. This is not unusual. Athletes born abroad have represented national teams in every World Cup since its inception in 1930, typically accounting for about one in ten players. At times, these players can raise complicated questions about national belonging, citizenship, and migration."


December 1, 2022 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement posts data on more than 6,000 detainees online


As reported yesterdayan inadvertent leak of confidential personal information by U.S. immigration officials has caused quite a stir.  The Associate Press and the Los Angeles Times offer details on the admission yesterday by of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that personal information of more than 6,000 asylum seekers was inadvertently posted on its website for about five hours.  The information included names, nationalities, detention centers where the people were held and numbers used to identify them, according to Human Rights First, which discovered the leak. 


December 1, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Immigration Article of the Day: Legal Order at the Border by Evan J. Criddle


Legal Order at the Border by Evan J. Criddle, UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 56, forthcoming 2023


For generations, the United States has grappled with high levels of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border. This Article offers a novel theoretical framework to explain why legal order remains elusive at the border. Drawing inspiration from Lon Fuller’s “interactional view of law,” I argue that immigration law cannot attract compliance unless it is general, public, prospective, clear, consistent, and stable; obedience with its rules is feasible; and the law’s enforcement is congruent with the rules as enacted. The flagrant violation of any one of these principles could frustrate the development of a functional legal order. Remarkably, U.S. immigration law violates all of these principles in its treatment of asylum seekers. As the number of asylum seekers pursuing entry to the United States has risen sharply in recent years, these legality deficits have become increasingly salient. No wonder, then, that even the most aggressive deterrent measures — from mass prosecution to family separation to the construction of steel border walls — have failed to solve the United States’ border crisis. The United States faces an urgent dilemma: it may preserve the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) in its current form, denying protection to too many forced migrants and reserving broad discretion to the Executive Branch, or it may establish a functional legal order at the border. It cannot have both.

If lawmakers were serious about establishing legal order at the border, there are measures they could take to strengthen the system’s structural integrity. They could eliminate the Attorney General’s discretionary authority over asylum. They could clarify ambiguities in the INA to promote greater consistency, stability, and congruence in immigration adjudication and enforcement. They could extend protection to all forced migrants who face death, rape, or other serious harm abroad, including victims of gang violence and gender-based violence. In short, they could enact laws that asylum seekers could rationally obey. To the extent that lawmakers are unwilling to take these steps, it is fair to question their commitment to establishing a functional legal order at the border.


November 30, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Refuge Sur Place Real-o-thetical

When can the act of applying for asylum in the United States become the basis for a claim for asylum in the United States? How about when the U.S. government publishes the name, case status, and location of the asylum applicant on its public website?

Barron's is reporting that, on Monday, the names, case status, and detention locations of some 6,000 asylum applicants were inadvertently uploaded to the ICE website and remained online for roughly 5 hours. Barron's writes: "The information reportedly included details about people fleeing authoritarian regimes in China, Russia and Iran, as well as those trying to escape violent criminal gangs in lawless parts of the world."

You have your next classroom hypo!



November 30, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Asylum seekers share their journeys to the U.S. on TikTok to warn of migration risks


@deividavi_caca #todobello😍 Aquí vamos en la primera cita de migración (ICE) #estadosunidos🇺🇸 #usatiktok #todobellobello #newyork #newyorklife ♬ sonido original - deividavi_caca


Migrants are using TikTok to share videos of their journeys to the U.S. border, warning people of the obstacles they encountered, providing information about the routes they took, and depicting the challenges they faced once they crossed the border into the United States.

In today’s story, Documented’s Rommel H. Ojeda and Lucía Cholakian Herrera write about Latin American migrants who have used TikTok to share their journeys to the U.S. border.

TikTok artwork by Rommel H. Ojeda for Documented

David Ramírez spent a year and a half planning his journey from Venezuela with five friends and a guide. He had watched YouTube videos of the trip by searching the words "selva" (jungle) and "darien," referring to Panama’s treacherous Darién Gap, but no video prepared him for the exhaustion and hopelessness he felt sitting inside the jungle at that moment.

So he vlogged and posted all of his journey on TikTok — where he amassed more than 3 million views across 115 videos, and nearly 30,000 followers — because he wanted to show other migrants the obstacles he was facing as he made his way to the U.S. border

Ramírez is one of more than 21,000 asylum seekers who entered New York City’s shelter system since spring of this year. Ramirez resided at a men’s shelter in East Williamsburg for six weeks before fleeing the system when he heard that someone died near the shelter. He went to Indianapolis to live with his friend.

"When immigration authorities let me go [at the beginning of September], I was left on the street. I had no way of coming to New York," he said. He told Documented that he had to work carrying containers of ice cream for a bodega for a week in El Paso to afford his $160 plane ticket to New York City. When he got here, he slept on streets and in parks for a week before he got admitted to a shelter.

Because TikTok monitors graphic content, he did not post the videos that included dead people — though he shared them with Documented. Everything he experienced during the month and a half that it took him to make it to the U.S. border propelled him to create TikTok videos explaining how dangerous the journey is, what it is like to find shelter in NYC, and the lengths he took to attend his first court appointment at 26 Federal Plaza

Read the full report on Documented.


November 30, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Politico: "A Flood of Venezuelan Migrants Is Angering Other Venezuelans"


Tony Frangie Mawad for Politico offers thoughts on conflict between recent Venezuelan immigrants and Venezuelan-Americans in the United States.  

It begins with the story of Yoaibimar Daal who made a more-than-3,000-mile trek from Ecuador, where she was living, through the jungles of Central America to New York City. According to the story, she  "become the most virally known Venezuelan immigrant in America.

In September, Daal stood in Times Square and recorded a video on her phone as she proclaimed “La marginal en Nueva York!”

The story explains that "[i]n Venezuelan slang, la marginal roughly translates as `ghetto woman . . . ,'",” The video went "viral on YouTube, but not everyone was celebrating with her. Indeed, many Venezuelans living in the United States mocked her for her less-educated pronunciation."

The story offers some reactions to Venezuelan Americans:

“Now I understand why the United States is closed for Venezuelans,” a man tweeted with a subsequent video of Daal dancing in the subway. A Venezuelan worker at O’Hare International Airport tweeted another video of Daal dancing salsa in Times Square captioned with “The Statue of Liberty left the group.” “Are these [the Venezuelans] the US Embassy gives visas to?” a woman asked. “And they deny it to the Decent Venezuela that just wants to vacation?”

"Daal’s videos (she has posted more than 110 of them) have brought into the open the tensions and class prejudices between some of the 500,000 Venezuelans in the U.S. — many of them well-off and conservative — that had arrived mostly by plane in earlier migration waves and the poorer and undocumented wave (known collectively as the “Venezuelans who crossed the Darien” because of a notoriously perilous spot on the Panama border through which they had to pass) that started crossing into the U.S. in 2021. But the internecine anger between some long-time residents and the new arrivals is complementing the political frustration conservative Venezuelans feel toward the Biden administration . . . ."


November 30, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

TRAC Immigration: "Speeding Up the Asylum Process Leads to Mixed Results"


The latest report from TRAC Immigration: "Speeding Up the Asylum Process Leads to Mixed Results" provides a wealth of interesting data on asylum adjudications.  The bottom line: 

"Last year saw a substantial increase in the Immigration Court’s processing of asylum cases. The number of asylum cases decided on their merits rebounded from their prior year’s low, and the number of individuals granted asylum by Immigration Judges reached an all-time high. Grant rates also rose. . . . Total decisions more than doubled from 24,810 in FY 2021, to 51,607 during FY 2022. And the number of individuals granted asylum by Immigration Judges increased from 8,945 to 23,686. This was the largest number of individuals granted asylum in any year in the Immigration Court's history."

One finding will not surprise immigration law professors:  "Success rates were also more than two and a half times higher — 49 percent — in represented cases, than in the small number of unrepresented cases . . . . Only 18 percent won asylum when unrepresented." (bold added).

I found the asylum grants by nationality to be of particular interest:

"During FY 2022, the highest grant rates among these 21 countries were applicants from Eritrea where 89 percent were granted asylum, up from 83 percent during FY 2021. Asylum seekers from Russia and Cameroon were tied with the next highest asylum grant rates of 88 percent.

At the bottom end of the list was Brazil where only 16 percent were granted asylum. During FY 2021 the grant rate for Brazilians had been 12 percent." (bold added).


November 30, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Congratulations Dean Kevin Johnson!

Johnson  Kevin

Dean Kevin Johnson, our immprof blog leader, has just been named by the AALS as its inaugural recipient of the Michael A. Olivas Award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity and Mentoring in the Legal Academy.

The Olivas Award is presented by the AALS Sections on Civil Rights, Education Law, Immigration Law, Minority Groups, and Student Services. It is awarded annually to the faculty member who most vividly exemplifies Olivas’s devotion to mentoring junior and aspiring faculty from underrepresented communities and promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity in the legal academy.

There will be an in person ceremony at the 2023 AALS Annual Conference -- Thursday January 5 at 1PM.

Congratulations, Kevin! This honor is so richly deserved.


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

Argument Analysis of United States v. Texas

As reported earlier today, the Supreme Court heaad oral arguments in United States v. Texas today.  Amy Howe for SCOTUSBlog recaps the arguments.  Her bottom line:

"The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Tuesday in a challenge to a Biden administration policy that prioritizes certain groups of unauthorized immigrants for arrest and deportation. Although some justices questioned the legality of the policy, there were also questions about whether the states challenging the policy could bring their lawsuit at all, and whether a federal district judge had the power to set aside the policy. After nearly two-and-a-half hours of debate, it was difficult to predict precisely how the justices will resolve the case, which could have significant implications not only for the executive branch’s ability to set immigration policy but also for states’ ability to sue the federal government when they disagree with its actions." (bold added).


UPDATE (Dec. 2):  Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia offers insights on the arguments here.  


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

US v. Texas

If you didn't catch the live stream of US v. Texas oral arguments this morning, you can read the transcript at this link or listen to the arguments at this link.


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

LA Times Podcast on DACA


Put into place by the Obama administration in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy has seen ups-and-downs in the decade sense.  This Los Angeles Times podcast notes that "[f]or the last 10 years, people who came here as children but have no legal status could live relatively normal lives through a program called DACA. Its future — and theirs — remains unclear."


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


Piggy bank with #Giving Tuesday text by Marco Verch
CC BY 2.0

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

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

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


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

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)