Saturday, January 22, 2022
The drumbeat of criticism of the Biden administration's immigration record at the year one mark continues. As reported by NPR,
"As the Biden administration approaches its one-year mark, there's mounting frustration among immigrant advocates at what they see as a growing list of broken promises.
Ambitious plans to overhaul the immigration system have stalled. Trump-era restrictions on asylum are still in place at the southern border — including the public health order known as Title 42, which allows authorities to quickly expel most migrants, and the return of a policy that forces some asylum-seekers to `Remain In Mexico' until their immigration court hearings. And the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) pulled out of settlement talks over financial compensation for families that were forcibly separated during the Trump administration."
As the criticism continues, "[t]he Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [yesterday] announced 22 new fields of study have been added to the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to enhance the contributions of nonimmigrant students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and support the growth of the U.S. economy and innovation." Although the steps have received some press attention, they are unlikely to do much to quell the overall criticism of the Biden administration's immigration record.
Friday, January 21, 2022
Nicole Narea of Vox reports that the U.S. has deported nearly 14,000 Haitians to Mexico since September, according to data released by UN’s International Organization for Migration. In 2021, Mexico received more than 131,ooo asylum applications, of which an estimated 45% were Haitians and their Chilean-born children. Haitians in Mexico "face pervasive racism, and many are unable to work, have no access to medical care, and are targets for criminals," Narea writes.
Mexico is seeing an uptick in Haitian asylum applicants.
The Biden administration continues to enforce pandemic-related border restrictions that have kept out the vast majority of asylum seekers, including Haitians.
It always is good to hear a good immigration story. I have one for you.
Decades after fleeing Afghanistan as a boy, United Airlines pilot Zak Khogyani helped evacuate more than 1,000 Afghans last summer, in some cases traveling in the main cabin and translating for families in flight, Caitlin O’Kane reports for CBS News. "I knew I had to do something," Khogyani said. " … I couldn’t simply just sit on the couch and watch it happen without doing something to help the situation."
Official White House Photo
The beat goes on. Criticism continues of the Biden administration's immigration policies in the President's first year in office. Scott Bixby and Asawin Suebsaeng for the Daily Beast. The report quotes Fernando Garcia, director of the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso, Texas, as saying that “it seems that there is no difference [on immigration] between Democrats and Republicans.”
The report stated that "[o]f more than a dozen immigrant-rights advocates who spoke with The Daily Beast, every one said that the president’s first-year record on immigration issues revealed a mixed bag of enormous strides forward and infuriating backsliding."
Immigration Article of the Day: Overstepping: U.S. Immigration Judges and the Power to Develop the Record by Jayanth K. Krishnan
Overstepping: U.S. Immigration Judges and the Power to Develop the Record by Jayanth K. Krishnan, Volume 2022 Wisconsin Law Review (forthcoming 2022)
In 1952, Congress established a new federal position to be filled by “special inquiry officers,” who were charged with overseeing deportation cases. These immigration judges – as they eventually came to be called – were assigned to work within the Executive Branch – namely, the Department of Justice, and they were to be answerable ultimately to a political appointee, the Attorney General. Importantly, they received specific statutory authority allowing them to “develop the record” during an immigration case. This power enabled immigration judges to assemble evidence and call, “interrogate, examine, and cross‑examine . . . any witnesses.”
Given that many immigrants who appear in immigration court do so pro se, it is certainly understandable why Congress believed it would be beneficial to arm the judge with this power. After all, in the absence of counsel, who else might safeguard these immigrants’ interests? Moreover, the federal courts have uniformly found this statute to be legally valid and normatively valuable as well.
But assume that the immigrant has a lawyer. Should the immigration judge still be able to develop the record in the same way? On this question, the federal courts have not reached a consensus. However, as this study argues, the answer should be no. Instead, an alternative approach is proposed to address this situation – one that allows the lawyer and immigrant-client to opt out of having the immigration judge intervene. The analytical model offered here is especially necessary at this moment because, given the intense political pressure they are under, immigration judges frequently overstep and encroach upon the lawyer-client relationship – often adversely affecting the legal representation being provided to the immigrant.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Today, the Pew Research Center released a new report: One-in-Ten Black People Living in the U.S. Are Immigrants.
Here are some interesting tidbits from the introduction:
- One in ten Black people in the U.S. were born in a different country as of 2019
- In 1980, that number was only 3% or 3 in 100
- Immigrants will continue to fuel the increase in the U.S. Black population
- Roughly 9% of Black people are second-generation Americans
The other segments of the report are:
- The Caribbean is the largest origin source of Black immigrants, but fastest growth is among African immigrants
- Over half of Black immigrants arrived in U.S. after 2000
- A growing share of Black immigrants have a college degree or higher
- Most Black immigrants live in Northeast, South; New York City has largest Black immigrant population by metro area
- Household income, poverty status and home ownership among Black immigrants
- African- and Caribbean-born adults differ on measures of religiosity
Peter Margulies: Ending the Remain in Mexico Program: Judging the Boundaries of Executive Discretion
Peter Margulies on Lawfare uses the December decision in Texas v. Biden by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which rejected the Biden administration’s latest bid to end the “Remain in Mexico” program, as the starting point for analyzing the scope of executive power over immigration. The Department of Justice responded to the Fifth Circuit decision with a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could address the breadth of the executive's immigration power.
From the San Francisco Public Library:
More Than a Wall features photographs by David Bacon that explore the border region of the United States and Mexico and the communities that call it home
On view at the Main Library, Jewett Gallery, February 12 - May 22, 2022
SAN FRANCISCO - For photographer David Bacon, the border region between the United States and Mexico is a land marked by life and death. Each year, at least 300-400 people die trying to cross into the U.S. in search of a better future for themselves and their families. The border is also bustling with life. The once-small towns of Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana are now home to millions of people, many of whom make up the industrial workforce of Southern California, South Texas and New Mexico. Taken over a period of 30 years, Bacon's photographs and accompanying text panels, which are presented in English and Spanish, in San Francisco Public Library's exhibition More Than a Wall explore all aspects of the border region and its vibrant social history.
The photographs trace the social movements in border communities, factories and fields. According to Bacon, "These photographs provide a reality check, allowing us to see the border region as its people, with their own history of movements for rights and equality. By providing this, the exhibition seeks to combat anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican hysteria, and develop an alternative vision in which the border can be a region where people live and work in solidarity with each other."
The photographs were taken in collaboration with Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations (FIOB), the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras and California Rural Legal Assistance. They are featured in a new bilingual book, More Than a Wall, published by the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. Bacon's photographic work is housed in the David Bacon Archive in the Special Collections of the Green Library at Stanford University.
Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, Mixtec professor at UCLA and co-founder of the FIOB, says, "David organically integrates his photographic work with the testimonies of the actors themselves, and provides thorough analysis of critical points in the lives of workers and communities on both sides of the border. The effect is shocking. But he also describes a future with full sharpness that seems complex and full of possibilities - possibilities we may still not fully imagine."
The exhibition opens on February 12 in the Main Library's Jewett Gallery, which is located on the lower level. The public is invited to the opening event, The Media, Art and the Border, which will feature Bacon in conversation with San Francisco artists and photographers about the way the border is represented in media and the arts. Among the participants will be Juan Gonzales, founder of El Tecolote and director of the journalism program at City College of San Francisco; Kim Komenich, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and photojournalism teacher at San Francisco State University, Mabel Jimenez, border photographer and former photo editor for El Tecolote, Brooke Anderson, movement photographer and Juan Fuentes, a celebrated artist and cultural activist.
February 12, 1 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Community Room
Per the City's Health Order, masks are required at all times in the Library.
Click here for more...
About San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles. To learn more, please visit sfpl.org and follow on Twitter @SFPublicLibrary and on Instagram @sfpubliclibrary.
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4252 / email@example.com
January 14, 2022
Immigration Article of the Day: How Judicial Review Can Help Empower People to Vote with Their Feet by Ilya Somin
For decades, critics of judicial review have argued that it inhibits the will of the people, expressed through laws and regulations enacted by democratically elected officials. Thus, they argue, it should be used sparingly, or perhaps even not at all. This critique implicitly assumes that the political freedom of the people is best expressed through ballot box voting. We elect government officials, and thereby decide what government policies they wish to live under. Judicial review must therefore be kept within strict bounds, if not eliminated entirely, in order to avoid infringing on democratic self-government. This Article challenges that assumption and instead suggest that political choice is often best expressed through foot voting, rather than ballot-box voting. That, in turn, strengthens the case for strong judicial review in a range of areas.
People can vote with their feet through international migration, by choosing what jurisdiction to live in within a federal system, and by making decisions in the private sector. All three types can be enhanced by judicial review. Instead of a singular collective “will of the people,” foot voting enables individual members of the public to pursue a wide range of policy preferences. As a result, it allows far more people to live under policies that they prefer, and reduces the disadvantages faced by minorities.
Part I of this Article summarizes the advantages of foot voting over ballot box voting as a mode of political choice. In particular, foot voting enables individuals to make decisions that are more likely to have a decisive impact in determining the policies they live and more likely to be well-informed. It also offers a wider range of choice to people with minority preferences. Part II provides a brief overview of the three types of foot voting. Part III explains how judicial review can empower foot voting within a federal system by enforcing structural constitutional limits on the scope of federal government power. Part IV describes how judicial review can enhance foot voting in both the public and private sector by enforcing individual rights that make foot voting more feasible and effective. Finally, Part V discusses how judicial review can enhance foot voting through international migration.
Foot voting is not the only factor that must be considered in determining the appropriate level of judicial review in a constitutional system. But it is a crucial issue that often gets overlooked in debates over the role of the judiciary in a democratic society.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Alan Hyde Reviews The Border Within: The Economics of Immigration in an Age of Fear by Tara Watson and Kalee Thompson
Immprof Alan Hyde (Rutgers) offers the following review of The Border Within: The Economics of Immigration in an Age of Fear, a new book by Tara Watson and Kalee Thompson:
This collaboration between an economist and a journalist results in two good books, rather basted together. One is the up-to-date summary, of the economic literature on immigration to the US, for which many of us have been waiting, at least until David Card or Giovanni Peri writes that book. Finally we have something to give your colleague who opines that immigrants take jobs from native workers because George Borjas said so. Watson is complete, up-to-date, and fair-minded. Even if you follow this literature, you will learn something. She stays very close to the sources. She does not stand back and observe the restrictionist bias in immigration economics, how there is always funding for the twentieth redundant study of immigrant crime or labor substitution, while if one wants data on immigrant contributions, like founding businesses, unpaid labor, or urban revitalization, one must rely on estimates from Stuart Anderson (not cited) or other authors.
Armed with the economic and sociology studies, the reader will be prepared to discuss such policy issues as allocation of visas, though these authors choose to explore only interior enforcement. The writing is for academics comfortable with phrasing like “association in the expected direction.”
That’s a shame, because, literally intercut with the economic and policy summaries, are the gripping narratives of six Americans, in the country without authorization, and their families. This builds suspense as we watch each heading toward their inevitable confrontation with ICE. This alteration between journalism and academic writing is a brilliant concept that I certainly wish I had thought of. All are employed or students. None has significant criminal activity. Each is economically productive. And each will interact with ICE. Some will be deported. Some will benefit from DACA or priorities memos. The results are arbitrary. All are in perpetual limbo. Their uncertain and uncorrectable status limits their economic contribution and imposes significant stress, brilliantly portrayed.
The authors make only general policy suggestions. They maintain that internal immigration enforcement is necessary and: “The upshot is the need to build a humane and effective enforcement strategy.” This reader instead concluded that interior enforcement contributes nothing to the US and is enormously costly, disrupting productive American lives and costing taxpayers in order to achieve nothing.
On January 20, 2022 at 2 p.m. Eastern, the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship will hold a hearing titled "For the Rule of Law, An Independent Immigration Court." To listen in, follow this link.
The following witnesses will testify:
The Honorable Andrew R. Arthur
Resident Fellow in Law and Policy, Center for Immigration Studies
Karen T. Grisez
Pro Bono Counsel, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, on behalf of the American Bar Association
Elizabeth J. Stevens
Of Counsel, Poarch Thompson Law, on behalf of the Federal Bar Association
The Honorable Mimi E. Tsankov
President, National Association of Immigration Judges
For Cool Hunting, Kelly Pau profiles co-founder Alvin Salehi about his meal-delivery platform, Shef, a "service that empowers immigrants and refugees to become food entrepreneurs." What makes Shef unique? It "uses local, home cooks that are trained and safety certified. Their names and cultures are listed on the site, which is home to over 100 different countries’ cuisines from Nepalese to Haitian, Gujarati and Thai … For cooks, Shef provides a platform where they can share their culture, generate income and work from home at their own schedule."
Amid Afghan resettlement efforts, Shef also spearheaded an expedited review process for Afghan chefs wanting to join the platform. To date, Shef continues to donate 100 meals per week to resettlement organizations assisting Afghan refugees.
Official White House Photo
NPR reports on the disaffection of immigrant youth activists with the Biden administration's progress (or lack thereof) on immigration. Hopes were high but proposed immigration reform "legislation has gone nowhere and many of [President Biden's] other efforts have stalled, frustrating supporters and energizing opponents ahead of midterm elections."
The politics of immigration, of course, are complex. And the midterm elections are coming up quickly. At the same time,
"[y]oung [immigrant activists] helped mobilize voters for Biden, even when they couldn't vote themselves. Many now feel let down by Biden and the Democrats, who they feel haven't pushed hard enough to deliver on the promises made.
Greisa Martínez Rosas, executive director of United We Dream, says Democrats can't treat young people as an ATM for votes `without feeling that they have to work for it.'
Martínez says Democrats need to fight harder for legislation to protect the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, and she points to key parts of former President Donald Trump's policies that Biden has kept in place, including a pandemic order allowing the U.S. to turn away most migrants, and another requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their court dates."
Immigration Article of the Day: Rising Up Without Pushing Down: Lessons Learned From The Suffragettes' Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric by Kit Johnson
American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton famously wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal.” Yet when suffragettes spoke of “all” men and women, they were clear about exceptions. Immigrants did not qualify. Indeed, in her own address at the First Women’s Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York, in July 1848, Stanton said that “to have . . . ignorant foreigners . . . fully recognized, while we ourselves are thrust out from all the rights that belong to citizens, it is too grossly insulting to the dignity of woman to be longer quietly submitted to.”
This Article begins with an exploration of the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the suffragettes, noting how their nativist approach helped to secure the ultimate passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. Next, this Article explores modern parallels to the suffragettes’ story, where nativist approaches propelled success for movements around issues, people, and political parties. Finally, this Article calls upon the modern women’s movement to take a different path: rising up without pushing down.
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
TRAC Immigration reports on a disturbing trend that must be addressed one way or another -- the increasing backlog of cases in the immigration court system. There are a variety of alternatives, including a dramatic increase in immigration judges to make it possible to fairly adjudicate the claims, radically reforming the immigration courts, or perhaps appropriately resourcing them. As Paul Schmidt, former chair of the Board of Immigration Appeals has argued, the problematic immigration court system has been left intact by Democratic and Republican Presidents. Unfortunately, the quick fix, which President Trump resorted to, is resorting to more summary removals and their equivalent (such as case quotas).
The latest TRAC report states that the number of cases pending in the immigration courts "at the end of December 2021 reached 1,596,193 — the largest in history. . . . At the start of the Bush administration the backlog stood at just 149,338. By 2008, the backlog had grown substantially and continued to grow under President Obama. And it only accelerat it only accelerated under President Trump. But in recent months, the rate of growth has exploded. See Figure 1."
ImmigrationProf has many posts about the deaths along the U.S. Mexico border resulting from border enforcement by the U.S. government. This film, so to speak, brings to life the phenomenon,
The website for the documentary Aguilas (Eagles) describes the film as follows:
"Along the southern desert border in Arizona, it is estimated that only one out of every five missing migrants are ever found. Águilas is the story of one group of searchers, the Aguilas del Desierto. Once a month these volunteers—construction workers, gardeners, domestic laborers by trade—set out to recover the missing, reported to them by loved ones often thousands of miles away. Amidst rising political repression and cartel violence, as well as the eternal difficulties of travel in the Sonoran Desert, the Aguilas carry out their solemn task.
Águilas lays bare the tragic reality of migrant death by venturing deep into the wilderness of the borderlands. The desert is a vast cemetery where the bodies and dried bones of migrants lie exposed under the scorching sun. In a world where efforts to humanize the migrant experience often get lost within the statistics and headlines, this documentary provides an observational and poetic response to one of the most pressing issues of our time, undocumented immigration and the hardships of the border crossing experience."
According to a review in the New Yorker, the film is a "documentary by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre, who are both professors at the University of California, Los Angeles. Guevara-Flanagan, a filmmaker who has spent two decades covering Latinx communities, teamed with Zubiaurre, whose interdisciplinary research project about border death, art, and activism led the pair to the Águilas. This year, their film won the SXSW Documentary Short Jury Award and the Best Mini-Doc award at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival."
As many know,, TRAC is a research institute that uses Freedom of Information Act requests to study the federal government. Its reports frequemntly are highlighted on this blog. Austin's current research at TRAC include federal immigration detention, enforcement and deportation; the immigration court system; and trends within the federal criminal and civil courts. His interests focus on the political and legal geographies of immigration enforcement, policing and the immigration court system.
Welcome Austin Kocher!
The University of Baltimore School of Law is seeking a tenure-track faculty member to direct the Immigrant Rights Clinic in our highly-ranked Clinical Law Program, and to teach a doctrinal course. We will consider candidates who are entry-level or pre-tenure lateral. Candidates must have a J.D. degree, with at least three years of relevant practice experience, and the potential to engage in excellent teaching and scholarship. Because we value the diversity of our faculty and student body, we welcome all qualified candidates including members of communities that are traditionally under-represented in the legal profession and academia.
The University of Baltimore School of Law is part of the University System of Maryland. Its mission is to educate students to become exceptional and principled lawyers; to contribute to local, national and international discourse about the law and legal institutions; and to promote efforts to achieve justice in local, national, and international communities. As an urban law school, we value diversity, academic excellence, and public service, and seek to improve the legal system and the quality of people’s lives. The School of Law prepares its students to assume leadership roles in the public and private sectors in the City of Baltimore, throughout the state of Maryland, across the United States, and around the world.
To be considered, candidates must apply though our Candidate Gateway. Please submit one PDF that contains (1) a cover letter, (2) a C.V., (3) a copy of your scholarship agenda, and (4) a brief statement about how your candidacy would support the mission of the School of Law. Please attach the documents through our Candidate Gateway electronic application system.
Review of applications will begin upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. We anticipate that initial interviews will be held in early February.
Click the link above for details.
Immigration Article of the Day: Deterring Worker Complaints Worsens Workplace Safety: Evidence from Immigration Enforcement by Amanda Grittner & Matthew Johnson
Regulatory agencies overseeing the labor market often rely on worker complaints to direct their enforcement. However, if workers face differential barriers to complain, this system could result in ineffective targeting and create disparities in working conditions. To investigate these implications, we examine how the onset of Secure Communities—a localized immigration enforcement program—affected occupational safety and health. Counties’ participation in Secure Communities substantially reduced complaints to government safety regulators, but increased injuries, at workplaces with Hispanic workers. We show that these effects are most consistent with employers reducing safety inputs in response to workers’ decreased willingness to complain.
Monday, January 17, 2022
Over at WaPo, opinion columnist Catherine Rampell asks: A year into his presidency, Biden has kept some of Trump’s worst immigration policies in place. Why?
Rampell acknowledges the pro-immigration changes the Biden administration has made: upping the number of refugees the U.S. plans to take, working to evacuate Afghanistanis to the United States.
But, she asks, what about the Remain In Mexico/Migrant Protection Protocols? Rampell calls out the administration for not only ceding to a court demand that the program remain in place but have also expanding the program’s scope "to cover even more categories of immigrants."
"Worse," she writes, "Biden has maintained Trump’s Title 42 order."
Her conclusion is a total punch to the gut:
It’s unclear why Biden has maintained his predecessor’s policies. One possibility is politics — that these choices were intended to stave off right-wing attacks about lax enforcement. If that was the motivation, though, it failed. Instead, Biden has delivered the worst of all worlds: inhumane, immoral, potentially illegal policy — and bad-faith political blowback about “open borders” all the same.