Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Trump administration expedites appeals to Supreme Court for exclusion of undocumented immigrants from Census 2020

There are two significant census lawsuits working their way through the courts. Both turn largely on timing.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to expedite consideration of a federal court’s decision barring the government from excluding undocumented immigrants from the census count that is used to apportion Congressional seats among the states. The challenge brought by a coalition of states led the three-judge panel in New York to declare Trump’s July 21 memorandum on the matter “an unlawful exercise of the authority granted to the President. The court had blocked the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau from including information about the number of undocumented immigrants in their reports to the president after this year’s decennial census is completed. In its appeal of the decision, the Trump administration requested the court resolve the case before Dec. 31, when the Commerce Department must report census data to the president. (The Washington Post summarizes the legal dispute and reactions; Law360 posts links to the court filings. There are at least six cases in four districts challenging the Memorandum.)

The self-imposed deadline is significant because it is tied up in the second major census lawsuit concerning the Trump administration's decision to wrap up counting by September 30, ahead of the October 31 timeline proposed by the Census Bureau following COVID-19 and other delays. A federal court in California has been reviewing the timeline case, with a parallel case in hearings  in Maryland. NPR reporting has unveiled documentary evidence of pressure from the Trump Administration on Census Bureau officials to expedite the timeline that has, in turn, triggered an Inspector General investigation within the Department of Commerce.


September 23, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

NYU and LDF: Immigration, Equal Protection, and the Promise of Racial Justice The Legacy of Jean v. Nelson


Immigration, Equal Protection, and the Promise of Racial Justice has been rescheduled as a virtual convening to be held online Thursday October 22, and Friday October 23, 2020. This two-day virtual conference will be accessible through Zoom and details will be circulated to registered participants in the days prior to the conference.



The year 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of Justice Thurgood Marshall's groundbreaking dissent in Jean v. Nelson, wherein Justice Marshall called for equal protection to apply to Haitian immigrants, and to prohibit the government from discriminating on the basis of race or national origin.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law are pleased to present a virtual conference exploring the intersection of immigration and racial justice.


September 23, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

California Transfers California Firefighter to an ICE Prison

Kao Saelee, who came to the United States as a refugee, fought California wildfires while serving a prison sentence in California. An article from the Guardian features his story and his transfer last month to an ICE prison in Louisiana after completing his sentence. Anoop Prasad, an attorney with the Asian Law Caucus (ALC), is quoted explaining: “His story is similar to that of a lot of south-east Asian refugee youth who got resettled in neighborhoods in California that had really high rates of violence, poverty and incarceration.”


September 22, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Movies: The Undocumented Lawyer

image from optimist.coA new HBO documentary follows Lizbeth Mateo, an undocumented attorney, in her fight for justice representing a client taking sanctuary in a church. 

For a limited time, you may purchase tickets to watch the film here. 50% of ticket sales will benefit The Legal Fund to Protect Asylum Seekers.

Here is a statement from the film’s directors, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci:

We met Lizbeth in 2017 when a close friend was seeking legal representation in immigration court. We immediately knew Lizbeth wasn’t a typical lawyer — the fight for her clients was personal and impassioned. 

At its core, Lizbeth’s story demonstrates that sometimes it’s necessary to ignore the law in an effort to fix it. Undocumented leaders like Lizbeth and her client Edith are on the front lines risking everything for more equitable immigration law, and the question is, will our communities and elected officials join them in that fight. 

Lizbeth says in the film that: “this country is about giving you the opportunity to actually fight.” We believe she shouldn’t have to fight alone. This film is meant to strengthen Lizbeth’s existing  community of supporters so she can continue to keep families, like Edith’s, from being unjustly separated by an inhumane immigration system.


September 22, 2020 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of Migrants, Refugees, and UAC

The Inter-American Commission has released the Hearings Calendar. The hearing to discuss the human rights situation of migrants, refugees, and unaccompanied children will take place on October 9, 2020 at 14:00 EST.

The panelists will be: Bill O. Hing (USF), Nicole Ramos (Al Otro Lado), Laura Pena (Non-Profit Immigration Attorney), Ismael Moreno Coto - Padre Melo (Director of Radio Progreso- Honduras) , and Beth Lyons. 

You can find the petition submitted in July to request the hearing here. To attend the hearing please REGISTER HERE or you could also watch it through the CIDH Facebook page.    Additionally, there will be an online Q&A session right after the hearing for members of the press, orgs, and others and a twitter "Hour of Action" campaign. More information on those two events to come. 

September 22, 2020 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dare to Dream Book Discussions: The Dispossessed

The Dare to Dream Project has teamed up with Busboys and Poets to host a book series about immigration topics.  The books that have been selected tell stories about people who are effected by America’s broken immigration system. These are not policy or academic reads: they focus is on personal narratives.  A different book and talk with the author will happen the 3rd Thursday of every month. A full list appears here.

This month's discussion will focus on John Washington's The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum at the US-Mexican Border and Beyond and take place on September 24. It will be moderated by Noah Habeeb. Register here.



September 22, 2020 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

University of Colorado, Boulder: 2020 Jane Menken Distinguished Lecture: Rubén Rumbaut on American Nativism & Immigration Policy


The CUPC Jane Menken Distinguished Lecture in Population Studies is a biennial event which recognizes the enormous contribution that Dr. Jane Menken has made to the study of Population and to University of Colorado Boulder with a lecture by a distinguished demographer.

Title: The Wall: American Nativism, Immigration Policy, and the Great Exclusion of 2017-2020

Abstract:  Much of American history can be seen as a dialectic of processes of inclusion and exclusion, and in extreme cases of expulsions and forced removals. An iconic feature of the American story has been the remarkable capacity of this self-professed “Nation of Immigrants” to absorb, like a giant global sponge, tens of millions of newcomers from all classes, cultures and countries. But this phenomenal accomplishment has historically coexisted with a seamier side of the process of nation building, expansion and design. Since colonial times nativist ideologies have framed "foreigners" as threats, demagogues have fanned moral panics about immigrants, and state policies have sought to control the inflow of newcomers or to keep them out of the nation altogether.

This talk will focus on the Great Exclusion of the period spanning the Trump Administration, 2017-2020. A rarity in U.S. history, candidate Trump ran on immigration explicitly as a nativist candidate and won the presidency in the electoral college. “The wall” remains the signature part of his message, although few miles of new wall have been built along the southern border to date (and not a penny has been paid by Mexico), and no legislation has been passed by Congress. Nonetheless, the Trump administration has radically restricted immigration to the United States through hundreds of administrative actions and executive orders, drastically reducing legal family-based immigration, cutting refugee admission to its lowest level since the 1980 Refugee Act was passed, effectively ending asylum in the United States, and causing enormous backlogs in citizenship applications that are preventing eligible immigrants from becoming naturalized. These restrictive policy actions have been further extended and amplified by the administration within the context of the 2020 covid-19 pandemic, adding up to “the most sweeping ban on immigration in American history.”

Bio: Rubén G. Rumbaut is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Over the past few decades he has directed seminal empirical studies of immigrants and refugees in the U.S., from the principal studies of the resettlement of refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 1980s; to the landmark "Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study" (with Alejandro Portes) since 1991; the "Immigration and Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles" study in the 2000s; and "The Second Generation in Middle Adulthood" in the 2010s (with Cynthia Feliciano). Among numerous publications, he is the coauthor of Immigrant America: A Portrait, and Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation, which won the American Sociological Association’s top award for Distinguished Scholarship, and the Thomas and Znaniecki Award for best book in the immigration field. A recipient of the Distinguished Career Award from the ASA’s International Migration Section, he is a fellow of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. [UCI website:]

Sponsored By: CU Population Center

September 22, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 21, 2020

ICE Detention Facilities: Failing to Meet Basic Standards of Care (U.S. House Rep. Com. on Homeland Sec. Maj. Staff Report)

Today the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Homeland Security released a 23-page Majority Staff Report. It's titled ICE Detention Facilities: Failing to Meet Basic Standards of Care.

The Executive Summary of the report highlights two major issues.

OVERSIGHT FAILURES: DHS Oversight of ICE Detention Facilities Fails to Effectively Identify and Correct Deficient Conditions
1. Oversight programs are too broad, too infrequent, and preannounced;
2. ICE’s contractor is ill-equipped to conduct inspections in a manner that successfully identify deficiencies;
3. DHS has few mechanisms to enforce corrections and rarely uses those mechanisms; and
4. ICE contracts with detention facilities that are poorly equipped to meet the agency’s own detention standards.
DEFICIENCIES AT ICE FACILITIES: ICE Facilities Are Generally Clean, But Frequently Fail to Meet Basic Standards of Care
1. With some egregious exceptions, the facilities visited by the Committee were generally clean;
2. ICE detainees frequently face deficient medical, dental, and mental health care;
3. Detention facilities often misuse and abuse segregation; and
4. Detainees face challenges accessing legal services, case information, and interpreter/translation services.

The report is based on visits to the following detention sites: Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 7.08.05 PM

Lots to chew on in this report for those researching detention issues.


September 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

CAIR-New York, New Haven Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic File Lawsuit for Muslim Uzbek Husband and Father Assaulted by ICE Agents


Press release

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and the New Haven Legal Assistance  Immigrant Rights Clinic today announced the filing a lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against the United States and three Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for assaulting the plaintiff (Bakhodir Madjitov, a native of Uzbekistan) and violating his  constitutional rights during an illegal attempt to deport him in June 2019. At the time of ICE’s attempt to remove Madjitov, a Third Circuit court order was in effect staying his removal.  


In a statement, CAIR-NY Legal Director Ahmed Mohamed said: 

“Bakhodir has been separated from his family for three years, and he has never held his third child in his arms. Family separation is inexplicably cruel and a stain on America. Family separation is emblematic of a brutal immigration system and its inhumane arms of enforcement.” 

“Last year, in an attempt to deport Bakhodir to Uzbekistan, where he is likely to be tortured or killed, ICE violated a federal court order. In the process, ICE agents violently assaulted Bakhodir in a JFK terminal. Bakhodir suffered severe injuries that required him to be transported to an emergency room at a local hospital. This lawsuit seeks to hold the government accountable for its illegal actions. If the government is permitted to remove Bakhodir, the government will escape accountability for the abuse inflicted on Bakhodir.” 

The New Haven Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic issued the following statement: 

“Bakhodir and his family have endured profound suffering since ICE tore them apart almost three years ago. Bakhodir’s prolonged detention by ICE has always been unconscionable. In June of 2019, ICE’s campaign of cruelty culminated in a brutal assault, after Bakhodir refused to submit to their illegal attempt to force him onto a plane bound for Uzbekistan in violation of a federal court order staying his removal. The lawsuit we filed in federal court last Friday seeks to vindicate Bakhodir’s civil rights and to hold the government accountable for its unlawful and unconstitutional acts. But ICE has once again initiated removal against Bakhodir and is preparing to remove him imminently. If this is permitted to happen, Bakhodir will face almost certain imprisonment and torture, and possibly even death, while the government will escape accountability for violating the law and degrading the values at the foundation of our democracy and legal system.” 

In a statement, the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA) and Connecticut Bail Fund Community Organizer Nika Zarazvand said: 

“ICE and the Department of Homeland Security are responsible for the prolonged detention and torture of Bakhodir Madjitov, a father of three who has languished more than a thousand miles away from his family since ICE tried to forcibly deport him. Solitary confinement during COVID-19 is torture, but Bakhodir has faced much worse as a result of the medical neglect at Etowah County Jail and faces deportation solely for immigrating to this country. The US government invests millions of dollars in ICE to violently separate parents from their children in the name of national security. We call this practice what it is: human trafficking.” 


Madjitov is a native of Uzbekistan and has been present in the United States since his lawful entry in 2006. He is a Muslim, a husband to a U.S. citizen spouse, and a father to three native-born U.S. citizen sons. Madjitov is a respected member of our community who worked hard as a home health aide to care for his elderly and ailing patients, and he has been diligently pursuing the legalization of immigration status for which he is eligible. 

Madjitov was arrested by ICE in 2017, one week before the birth of his third child—whom he has never held in his arms. In June 2019, ICE attempted to deport Madjitov despite a court-issued stay of removal, which prohibited ICE from deporting him at that time. During that attempted forcible removal, ICE officials took Madjitov to JFK Airport and tried to force him onto a plane bound for Uzbekistan. When Madjitov refused to board, explaining to the ICE agents that he had a stay of removal, the agents responded by beating and tasing him. The physical assault resulted in Madjitov’s requiring medical attention in the emergency room of a nearby hospital. 

As an ICE detainee, Madjitov has been subjected to solitary confinement, manual labor, retaliation, and threats, and has contracted COVID-19 in ICE custody.  On September 17, 2020, Madjitov was moved to an ICE processing center, in an initial step in to remove Madjitov to Uzbekistan, where he will likely be tortured or killed by the autocratic Uzbekistani government.   On September 18, 2020, he was moved to an ICE staging facility—a final step before removal. On September 19, 2020, the government acknowledged that it intends to remove him within days.

Along with the lawsuit, Madjitov’s lawyers have asked a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stay Madjitov’s removal until his lawsuit to vindicate his civil rights and hold ICE accountable is adjudicated.  Madjitov’s TRO motion is pending. 


To support Madjitov and his family’s efforts to remain united in the United States, a #FreeBakhodir Coalition has been formed. Coalition members are: 

Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, Connecticut Bail Fund, Life ‎in My Days, Believers Bail Out, Connecticut Workers Crisis Response, CT Students for a Dream, ‎Make the Road CT, Hartford Deportation Defense; Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY) 

The Coalition invites all Americans to visit and stop the deportation of Bakhodir.  Calls to action include signing this petition and sending an email letter to ICE officials in charge of Bakhodir’s removal.  

CAIR-NY is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  

The New Haven Legal Assistance Association is a historic legal aid office whose mission is to secure justice for and to protect the rights of those in our community who are otherwise unable to engage legal counsel. 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos. 


September 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Public Comments due on Administrative Closure Rule

The Department of Justice has issued a notice of proposed rulemkaing that would limit the rights of noncitizens before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and immigration court judges. This regulation would eliminate administrative closure for IJs and the BIA, eliminate the BIA and IJs’ sua sponte reopening authority, limit BIA briefing extensions to a maximum of 14 days and require simultaneous briefing by DHS and respondents in all cases, and create a “quality assurance” system through which IJs who don’t like a BIA decision can refer the case directly to EOIR Director McHenry.

Comments are due by September 25, 2020 at

September 21, 2020 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Changes to USCIS Rule for Citizenship of Children of Military Members

The USCIS sent stakeholders a message on September 18:

On Sept. 18, we updated our policy guidance concerning residency requirements under section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to comply with the requirements of the recently enacted Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act.

Under the new law, a child born outside of the United States acquires automatic citizenship under INA 320, even if the child is residing outside the United States, in cases where the child is a lawful permanent resident (LPR) and is in the legal and physical custody of his or her U.S. citizen parent who is:

  • Stationed and residing outside of the United States as a member of the U.S. armed forces;  
  • Stationed and residing outside of the United States as an employee of the U.S. government; or
  • The spouse residing outside the United States in marital union with a U.S. armed forces member or U.S. government employee who is stationed outside of the United States.

Additionally, the child must meet all generally applicable requirements for automatic acquisition of citizenship, except the residence requirement, under INA 320(a) and (b). In cases involving members of the U.S. armed forces, the child and the U.S. citizen parent (if the U.S. citizen parent is the spouse of the armed forces member) must be authorized to accompany and reside abroad with the armed forces member pursuant to the member's official orders.

In August 2019, USCIS issued policy guidance to align with existing State Department policy and federal law. The new law reverses this prior policy change.

As of March 26, 2020, U.S. citizen parents who are military or U.S. government employees or spouses of military or U.S. government employees, and are stationed outside the United States, can file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, for children residing outside the United States because their children, if eligible under the new INA 320(c), are exempt from the requirement to be residing in the United States. Upon meeting the requirements and traveling to the United States to complete the process, the child will obtain a Certificate of Citizenship.

This change applies to eligible children who were under the age of 18 on March 26, 2020. 

For more information, read the updated guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual.

Prior ImmigrationProf blog posts focus on other aspects of military citizenship, including my Denver University law review article, Zachary New's Yale Law Journal article, and numerous writings from Margaret Stock (in reverse order of importance).



September 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

5 Reasons to End Immigrant Detention: New Policy Brief by NIJC

This month the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) released a policy brief summarizing five reasons to end immigrant detention. The report contains a wealth of information, data, and history regarding harmful detention practices. For example, the authors track the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in ICE custody in the below graphic. Check out the report for additional analysis.

Shaded  line graph showing steady upward trajectory of number of COVID-19 cases total in ICE detention from March to September 2020


September 21, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrants bring talent that transforms the nation, beyond their votes

In an election year, political analysts seek to measure, and capture, the electoral impact of immigrants  in U.S. elections. Some of my own writing has focused on this theme -- for example, this essay about citizenship delays that will curtail voting by naturalized citizens who can flip elections (published in The Conversation and Salon) --and has been influenced by UC Riverside political scientist Karthick Ramakrishnan on immigrant political participation, USC sociologist Manuel Pastor 's Rock the (Naturalized) Vote publications, and the National Partnership for New American's Naturalize Now, Vote Tomorrow campaign.

Peter Beinart in The Atlantic pens a thoughtful essay highlighting the cultural and intellectual impact of immigrants on the nation. He begins by noting the role American universities have historically played attracting international talent to the U.S. Once in the U.S., these same international students bring a cosmopolitan perspective to American life and many stay long enough to shape the institutions and ideas for many years to come. This is the trajectory he sees in the lives of Senator Kamala Harris' parents, Shyamala Gopalan and Donald Harris, who met at U.C. Berkeley and joined the fight for civil rights. He sees it in the stories of President Barrack Obama's parents who met at the University of Hawaii. And he sees it in many more stories of post-1965 migration to the United States from Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world that had been sealed off from the U.S.

The resulting intellectual and cultural enrichment, he says, is something liberals eschew. While conservatives have no hesitation framing immigration as a matter of cultural threat, liberal hesitate to make it a point of cultural pride and instead cast their arguments for the value of immigration in terms of economic or other utilitarian benefits to the nation. For example, immigrants have won X prestigious awards or pay Y taxes or contribute Z to the economy through their patents, corporate contacts, and tuition payments.

This line of argument reduces immigration to an electoral ploy, and Democrats often respond by stressing the utilitarian benefits of welcoming people from all over. But the very existence of Kamala Harris and Barack Obama reveals a political effect that can’t be captured by statistical generalizations. Immigration into the United States allows multicultural interactions that produce Americans who can see the country from both within and without.

The article is worth a full read.


September 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Submissions Deadline for the Yale Law Journal


Here is an email that I received over the weekend:

My name is Jenny Choi and I am the current Executive Editor for Articles & Essays at the Yale Law Journal.  We are writing to share with you that our deadline for Articles & Essays submissions is September 23, 2020 (this Wednesday), and to ask whether you (in your capacity as editors of your respective Law Professor blogs) would be able to publicize the date to fellow scholars and colleagues.  As always, we are eager to consider exciting legal scholarship across the nation, and would be grateful for your help in getting the word out.  Here is the tweet we put out about our Wednesday deadline.

Please let us know, and thank you!  We’re sending best wishes for your fall semester. 


Jenny Choi

Executive Editor, Articles & Essays

Yale Law Journal, Volume 130 


September 21, 2020 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration E-Carceration: A Faustian Bargain by Mary Holper


Immigration E-Carceration: A Faustian Bargain Free Download by Mary Holper
Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 539


Immigration detainees and their advocates have a Faustian Bargain: they may trade the physical walls of jail for the virtual walls of electronic monitoring. But they are merely begging for a different form of punishment and control, since electronic monitoring imposes pain, shame, arbitrary rules, and limitation of freedom on persons, causing many to experience it as punitive. Its use also facilitates replacing a regime of over-detention with one of over-supervision, and becomes the means by which immigration enforcement authorities surveil immigrant communities. The Supreme Court’s immigration detention doctrine has set up this bargain by succumbing to the plenary power’s defenders. Instead of outright freedom, the Court has offered release under restrictive supervision policies utilized by the immigration authorities. Supervision through electronic monitoring has come to reside doctrinally in the middle ground between absolute freedom and incarceration. Yet as we have learned from electronic monitoring’s use in the criminal justice system, this “middle ground” ceded too much ground. This article explains, for the first time, how the Court’s immigration detention doctrine and perverse pull of the plenary power has carved out a doctrinal space where electronic monitoring now resides.


September 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tweet of the Day Covers RBG's Immigrant Roots

Jennifer Mendelsohn, the woman behind #resistancegenealogy has the tweet of the day:

Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 2.56.06 PM


September 20, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Exploring the Impact of Taxation on Immigration by Henry Ordower


Exploring the Impact of Taxation on Immigration by Henry Ordower in Hermann Remsperger, Volker W. Wieland, Michael Sachs, and Theodor Baums eds., Zentralbanken, Währungsunion und stabiles Finanzsystem: Festschrift für Helmut Siekmann 637 (Berlin 2019); Tax Notes International


Rules governing admission of immigrants to stable, developed countries vary widely among countries, yet wealthy immigrants with capital to invest and highly educated immigrants receive favorable admission decisions from immigration authorities more frequently and quickly than do conflict and economic refugees who will become part of a substantially fungible labor force. As preferred immigration destination countries limit the number of immigrants they will admit — the U.S. certainly does —, admissions are likely to follow a hierarchy based on expectations that certain immigrants will contribute significantly to the economy and welfare of the destination country in a manner that distinguishes them from other applicants for admission. Admission standards and practices also may favor some applicants over others on the basis of race, religion, and country of origin. Immigration has changed the face of many economically developed countries and introduced a diversity of cultures into formerly homogeneous mono-cultures.

Conflict zones and weak economies drive immigration from those areas to wealthier and more stable areas. At the same time, high taxes and regulation fuel emigration from wealthy stable economies to lower tax, less regulated jurisdictions. Labor flight to lower tax jurisdictions historically has not been prevalent because rendition of services has been location dependent. However, the rapid growth of technology has made many industries independent of the location of their service providers. Cross-border competition for some labor has grown. While top scientists and medical professionals have been in demand since at least the early years of the 20th century, demand for technology expertise has accompanied growing international reliance on technology. The emergence of English as a common, international language has removed linguistic barriers to international commerce and individuals with technical training and expertise are able both to work remotely and relocate. Competition for skilled individuals in many realms has become international and less developed countries which have devoted their limited resources to educating and training their citizens to develop expertise and skills are concerned about losing those they have educated to other countries that might offer higher salaries and better living circumstances.

This paper explores the role that taxation plays in the movement of people and capital. Part I addresses the relationship between taxes and retention of capital, including tax incentives for capital investment, shifting tax burdens from capital to labor, and rules preventing the escape of capital from its current taxing jurisdiction. Part II considers how taxes supplement immigration policy to attract capital currently outside the jurisdiction. Part III contemplates whether taxes play any significant role in attracting or retaining skilled labor. Part IV looks at taxes and tax trends and identifies how they disadvantage or benefit fungible, frequently immigrant labor. Part V concludes that capital tax rate competition seems unlikely to prevent capital flight as it inquires whether anti-immigration and anti-immigrant public sentiment has contributed to the shift of tax burdens from capital to labor.


September 20, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Coming Wednesday: New EU Asylum and Migration Proposal


On Wednesday, the European Union will unveil a new asylum and migration proposal. Home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson has told reporters that "no one will be satisfied" with it.

Color me intrigued. Sounds like the EU has some actual compromising going on across the political spectrum. Interested to see what that will yield.

As the EU Observer reports:

One of the key issues that has divided member states is the relocation of refugees if one country is overburdened in a crisis.

"It's very obvious that voluntary solidarity is not enough, it has to be a mandatory solidarity mechanism," [Johansson] said.

Johansson is looking for something more than "just sending some blankets."



September 19, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)



Now in its fifth year, the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing supports the voices of immigrant writers whose works straddle cultural divides, embrace the multicultural makeup of our society, and interrogate questions of identity in a global society. At a time when borders are physically closed due to a global pandemic, draconian immigration laws are being passed, and xenophobic and racist rhetoric pervades the media, we are more determined than ever to amplify and celebrate the stories and experiences of immigrant authors. This prize awards $10,000 and publication with Restless Books to a writer who has produced a work that addresses the effects of global migration on identity. The prize-winning books alternate between fiction and nonfiction every year; the 2020 prize will be for fiction.

This year’s judges have carefully selected five finalists from one of our largest pool of submissions to date. We are grateful for the deliberation of our three judges and extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the applicants who shared their work with us this year. 

Here is the 2020 short list for the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.  Each book should be worthy reading in the time of the pandemic.


September 19, 2020 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Passing of Justice Ginsburg, Political Frenzy to Follow?


The nation mourns the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the legal and cultural icon and pioneer for equal rights for women.  She frequently been aligned herself on immigration cases with Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. 

Here is a summary of some of Justice Ginsburg's immigration cases.

In December 2018, Justice Ginsburg used her first public address after breaking three ribs to praise immigrants, saying that they play a “vital part” in cleansing the “stains” of discrimination from the country. Ginsburg made the remarks at a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives for 31 new citizens. Her remarks sharply contrast with President Trump's views on immigration. Standing before the original copy of the Constitution, Ginsburg acknowledged that many people, including women, people of color and Native Americans, had not always had equal access to their Constitutional rights, but that new immigrants can help to build a better future. “The Constitution sets out the aspiration to form a more perfect union,” Ginsburg said. “While we have made huge progress, the work of perfection is far from done. Many stains remain.” She noted that immigrants have historically been on the “vanguard” of the fight to combat discrimination, including the effort to abolish slavery. Justice Ginsburg also praised the efforts of immigrants:  “We are a nation made strong by people like you: people who travelled long distances, overcame great obstacles and made tremendous sacrifices, all to provide a better life for themselves and their families.”  Justice Ginsburg noted that she is herself the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants, acknowledging that the United States can be the “land of opportunity.” “What is the difference between a bookkeeper in New York City’s garment district and a Supreme Court Justice?” she asked. “One generation—my own life bears witness. The difference between the opportunities available to my mother and those afforded me.”

Expect a political feeding frenzy to follow if President Trump seeks to quickly fill Justice Ginsburg's seat before the election or before the possible inauguration of a new President.

On the night of Justice Ginsburg's passing, Fox News interviewed Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization advocating restricting immigration.  Here are some of Stein's views on immigration.  Stein called for President Trump to appoint a replacement for Justice Ginsburg who shares his views on immigration and federal power over immigration.   He noted that it might be a long time before there would be an opportunity to put a Justice with such views on the Supreme Court.


September 19, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)