Friday, May 20, 2022

Workshop in Honour of Joseph Carens

The University of Toronto will host a workshop in honour of Joseph Carens: "Multiculturalism, Membership, and Citizenship" on June 3, 2022. VIRTUAL/IN-PERSON. 

Carens workshop

May 20, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

CNN: Ireland gives warm welcome to Ukrainians fleeing conflict. Asylum-seekers from elsewhere point to unequal treatment

Not all are pleased with the Irish government's response, however. Ireland's warm welcome of Ukrainian refugees has reignited a fractious debate about its treatment of asylum-seekers fleeing other conflicts in places such as Afghanistan and Syria.
Over the years, the country has been repeatedly criticized for the way it deals with asylum-seekers. Under its direct-provision system, asylum-seekers are housed in temporary accommodation as they wait to find out if they have been granted refugee status. Initially introduced as an emergency measure in 1999 in response to higher numbers of asylum applications, and subsequently formalized in 2020, the reception system has become mired in controversy in the two decades since.
Asylum-seekers have lodged many complaints about the system's lengthy processing times, substandard accommodation and impingement on core rights including, notably, the right to work.
It has drawn criticism from . . . the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who in a 2015 report said long stays in direct provision impeded asylum-seekers from integrating properly into Irish society." (bold added).

May 20, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Race and Politics in mass shooting at OC Taiwanese Presybterian Church

As reported by  Bill Ong Hing and KJ for the ImmigrationProf blog, white nationalism can lead to violence and racially motivated crimes. Beyond the Buffalo shooting they describe, a second hate crime occured the same weekend in a Taiwanese Presbyterian church. David Chou, a Chinese-American US citizen, drove to Orange County, California and engaged in a mass shooting at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian church that killed and critically injured mostly elderly, Taiwanese churchgoers.

According to authorities, he is from Las Vegas and drove for hours to the Laguna Woods retirement community where the Geneva Presbyterian Church hosts multiple services, including the Taiwanese service in question. He spent a social hour mingling with about 40 attendees and then executived his destructive plan. Chou chained the doors and put super glue in the keyholes before opening fire. In the ensuing chaos, parishioner Dr. John Cheng tackled him, allowing other parishioners to tie him up with extension cords. Cheng died and five people were wounded: four Asian men (ages 66, 75, 82 and 92) and an Asian woman (86-years old). Chou was booked on suspicion of murder and attempted murder; he was jailed on $1 million bail. 

The murder is being investigated as a federal hate crime, but for the most part, it is being reported by mainstream media as politically-motivated rather than racially motivated. What's the difference between this hate crime and the hate crime waged by a white nationalist against Black shoppers in Buffalo that happened the same weekend? Why, like the mass killing of Asian women in Atlanta one year ago, is there a reluctance to examine crimes against Asian Americans, which have risen during COVID-19, as racially-motivated?

For some additional context, China/Taiwan relations have a complicated history and have grown more tense since the Russian invasion of Ukraine has overtaken global attention. Asian American intergroup differences and the role they play in panethnic and racial categorization is discussed in the seminal work by Yen Le Espiritu. The intermingling of race and religion in the Taiwanese Presbyterian church, and its support for Taiwanese independence from China, is studied by Caroline Chen



May 19, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism

Stanford's Center for the Comparative Study of Race & Ethnicity is hosting a timely presentation on hate crime. The lecture will be delivered by Lerone A. Martin, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, and focus on his book, The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover, which is a groundbreaking new history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The post-lecture discussion will be moderated by Jennifer Burns, Associate Professor of History.
Historian Lerone A. Martin reveals how J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI teamed up with leading white evangelicals and Catholics to make the FBI a squadron of white Christian soldiers trained to use any means necessary to bring America back to their God. This never told story shows how Hoover and white evangelicals and Catholics fundamentally transformed American religion and politics.  Not only did this partnership solidify the political norms of white evangelicalism and contribute to the political rise of white Christian nationalism, it also established religion and race as the bedrock of the modern national security state, giving shape to today’s FBI, and setting the terms for today’s domestic terrorism debates.
Here is more information on the book and event. Registration for the free in-person and online event are here.

May 19, 2022 in Books, Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Guest Post: Patel v. Garland Missed the Real Issue by Professor Geoffrey Hoffman


Patel v. Garland Missed the Real Issue by Professor Geoffrey Hoffman

The real issue in Patel v. Garland should not have been whether a "factual determination" was subject to judicial review under 8 USC 1252(a)(2)(B)(i), but rather instead whether a legal question or, more precisely, a mixed question of law and fact, should have been subject to judicial review. The answer, if the real question was addressed, is clearly "Yes".  As the majority recognized, section 1252(a)(2)(D) would have applied allowing for review over legal questions and constitutional claims.  

As Mr. Patel's claims were framed and conceived of by the court, it appeared he was arguing that the IJ's and BIA's determination that he was "not credible" was erroneous. What he argued at the Eleventh Circuit according to the majority was that "any reasonable judge would have been 'compelled to conclude' that his testimony was credible and that he had made an honest mistake on the form."  But, that should not have been the issue at all. Rather the real issue was as follows:  Whether the IJ and BIA erred as a matter of law in applying the ground of inadmissibility for a false claim to US citizenship under 8 USC  1182(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I).

Interestingly, Mr. Patel was apparently not charged in the NTA with a false claim to US citizenship but instead with an illegal entry under 1182(a)(6)(A).  Nevertheless, he was potentially subject to all grounds of inadmissibility when he applied for adjustment of status as a mode of relief from removal and therefore the burden was on him to prove that he was not inadmissible. To be inadmissible for a false claim to US citizenship, however, as provided explicitly in the statute he would have had to have made the false claim in order to seek a benefit under the INA, or a benefit under state or federal law.  The text of 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii) is as follows:  inadmissibility attaches to an “alien who falsely represents, or has falsely represented, himself or herself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under” state or federal law.  (emphasis added).

Importantly, it appears Mr. Patel would not have obtained any benefit under state law by checking the box as a US citizen since he was otherwise entitled to a driver's license in Georgia since at the time he was an applicant for adjustment and had work authorization.   This fact was noted in Justice Gorsuch's dissenting opinion, at page 3,

"Under Georgia law, Mr. Patel was eligible to receive a license without being a citizen because he had a pending application seeking lawful permanent residence and a valid employment authorization document. See Ga. Comp. Rules & Regs., Rules 375–3–1.02(3)(e), (7) (2022)."

Thus, it was most obviously a mixed question of law and fact at issue since the immigration court was asked to apply the statute and specifically the sub-part of 1182(a)(6)(C) that relates to whether or not the immigrant sought to obtain any benefit under the INA, state or federal law.  This means the issue was not just whether Mr. Patel was credible, but whether in checking the box he sought to obtain a benefit under state or federal law as that phrase is understood in the INA.  In addition, what is or is not a benefit and what state law says or does not say is most decidedly a legal question. The IJ and BIA apparently  either did not address the issue or they ruled against him because they thought he had sought a benefit. Either way, the IJ and BIA would have erred and therefore it was a "legal" error in applying the statute and not just a "factual" error in not believing Mr. Patel's testimony or ruling against his credibility. 

Interestingly, this point was not made by either majority or dissent. Justice Gorsuch comes close to articulating the point, but stops short by not recognizing that the error below was not only a factual mistake but a legal one as well. The decisions of both the majority and dissent also do not recognize the following point that should be emphasized as well going forward:  nothing in the decision should be read to foreclose judicial review in any case where there exists a legal question or constitutional claim under 8 USC 1252(a)(2)(D).   Since all mixed questions of law and fact are a form of "legal questions" requiring de novo review then judicial review should be unaffected in such cases.

Finally, the case of Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr, 589 U. S. ___ (2020), is related in that the Supreme Court already has found, as noted by the majority, that application of a legal standard to undisputed facts is still reviewable even despite the jurisdiction-stripping provisions in 8 USC 1252. On pages 9-10 of the majority opinion, Justice Barrett cites and relies upon In Guerrero-Lasprilla. Although the "facts" in Guerrero-Lasprilla were undisputed that does not mean that in any case where they facts are disputed there is no judicial review. Rather, so long as there still is a "legal question" then section 1252(a)(2)(D) applies.  To interpert the statue otherwise would be to misconstrue Congressional intent to shield or prohibit review of mixed questions from review.

Geoffrey Hoffman

Individual Capacity Institution for ID only

Clinical Professor, University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic Director


Update (May 19, 445 P.M. PST)  Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia analyzes the opinion for SCOTUSBlog here.  Her conclusion:

"This case sheds light on the problems in our immigration system and the importance of legislative reform. Patel has lived in the United States for nearly 30 years. He has a wife and three children. And now Patel, who was in the process of applying for a green card, could face deportation without judicial review because he checked the wrong box on a driver’s license application. Under President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity, DHS and DOJ should collect data on adjustment cases involving facts like Patel’s that may have a disparate impact on certain groups of noncitizens."



May 19, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3)

Nielsen v. Preap, the Futility of Strict Textualism, and the Case for Universalism in Judging by Joseph Kimble

Immprofs -- you may have received a recent copy of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing in your faculty inbox. And you may have just popped it to the side as likely not relevant to your own research. But, oho! A look at the table of contents revealed this beauty from Prof. Joseph Kimble (Cooley, emeritus): Nielsen v. Preap, the Futility of Strict Textualism, and the Case for Universalism in Judging. Unfortunately, this bad boy isn't on SSRN or Westlaw yet. So you'll have to track down a paper copy or wait for them to upload to the web.

In any event, Kimble's article offers an interesting and very different way to look at a SCOTUS immigration case. (BTW, don't remember the 2019 case of Preap? Check out this prior post about oral argument and this post with the syllabus.) Kimble breaks down textual and nontextual arguments of the majority and minority opinions in a clear way. He uses bullet points! He has the majority, minority, and his own analysis clearly identified and broken down by different areas of analysis. Not to mention the fact that he's also got biting insight about the text of the statute itself, e.g.:

"Neither opinion says so, but it's seriously bad drafting to place the when... released clause so far from what it supposedly modifies. Why not The [Secretary] shall take an alien into custody upon release from detention if the alien --- (A) is inadmissible... Easy."

Here is part of Kimble's conclusion:

Neilson is yet another case in which minutely examining the text proved futile. Surely, the textual debate was a draw. Or if one side had the better of it, the margin was slim. Yet the majority declared that there was no ambiguity: the text "cuts clearly" against the detained aliens. The instead of acknowledging the uncertainty, arguing that one reading seemed the more likely one, and then candidly looking to nontextual reasons for a decision. But no -- the text was clear. ...

Highly recommend!


May 19, 2022 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grace Lin Newbury Award Poster

The Newbery is a beloved picture book award. On its centennial, author and illustrator Grace Lin created a memorial cover for The Hornbook's special issue. It is titled "100 Years of the Newbery Award posters" and features a young, Asian American reader and award-winning books with handpainted book covers. They are available for purchase online and through the Eric Carle museum. 100% of the artist's proceeds will be donated to I'll be picking up a few for sure!

Author Q&A is today (May 19, 2022 at 12:30pm Pacific/3:30 Eastern) online.


Grace Lin Newbury

May 19, 2022 in Books, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Gender-Based Religious Persecution by Pooja Dadhania


Gender-Based Religious Persecution by Pooja Dadhania, 107 Minnesota Law Review (Forthcoming)


People fleeing gender-based violence in the home face an uphill battle when seeking asylum in the United States. Through the lens of public and private spheres, this Article explores the underutilized religion ground for asylum for cases involving gender-based violence in the home—i.e., the private sphere. This Article argues that if an individual imposes a patriarchal practice on an asylum seeker in the private sphere and justifies that practice using religion, the asylum seeker’s resistance to that practice should constitute religious expression.The religion ground protects individuals who are persecuted because of their religious beliefs and religious expression. It typically is invoked by individuals fearing persecution in the public sphere for activities such as proselytizing and communal worship, where proving the link—the nexus—between the persecution and the asylum seeker’s religious beliefs or expression is relatively straightforward. Asylum seekers infrequently invoke the religion ground for abuse in the private sphere, however, due to that nexus requirement. Nexus requires an asylum seeker to show that the persecution is on account of their protected characteristic, not the characteristic of the abuser. At first glance, claims involving gender-based violence in the private sphere seem to involve individuals imposing their religious beliefs on others, which generally would not qualify for asylum.Where an asylum seeker resists a patriarchal practice in the home that is justified by religion, that resistance should constitute a “private expression” of religion, regardless of whether the asylum seeker frames their resistance in religious terms. If the asylum seeker is harmed for their opposition to a patriarchal practice justified by religion, the persecution is on account of their religious views opposing those of the persecutor and thus satisfies the nexus requirement. This Article thereby reframes gender-based violence in the private sphere as gender-based religious persecution. While encouraging a broader interpretation of the religion ground to better protect individuals fleeing gender-based violence, this Article concludes with a caution against essentializing religion and attributing such violence to a religion wholesale.


May 19, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Ahn v. The GEO Group, et al. Filed in Federal Court

Rights Behind Bars, the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, and Centro Legal de la Raza, have filed a federal lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the GEO Group, and the City of McFarland, California to bring accountability for the wrongful death of Mr. Choung Woong Ahn in immigration detention in 2020.

Here are highlights from the press release:

On the second anniversary of the passing of Mr. Choung Woong Ahn, his family and legal team filed a lawsuit in federal court to seek justice and accountability for his torture and wrongful death at an immigration detention center. Mr. Ahn was a 74-year-old South Korean immigrant who died in custody at the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center on May 17, 2020, a facility owned and operated by The GEO Group, Inc. Mr. Ahn’s family, represented by Rights Behind Bars, the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, and Centro Legal de la Raza, have named Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the GEO Group, and the City of McFarland, California as defendants in the lawsuit.

Trevor Kosmo, an attorney at Centro Legal de la Raza, stated: “We are proud to represent the Ahn family in their pursuit of accountability. No family should have to experience the agony of losing a loved one behind bars. Mr. Ahn was an elderly man who suffered from serious medical conditions, and was separated from his family for years; instead of being released to the community, or receiving the proper care and treatment he deserved, he died alone in a solitary confinement cell.”

. . . “We know that solitary confinement is a form of torture.” said Lisa Knox, Legal Director at the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice. “Mr. Ahn was tortured to death by GEO Group and this lawsuit is a step towards accountability for that torture.” . . . 



May 18, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Former Hazleton, PA Mayor Lou Barletta Loses GOP Primary for Pennsylvania Governor



The primaries drew much attention yesterday.  In PennsylvaniaDoug Mastriano, described as "a far-right state senator," is the projected winner of Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for governor.  He easily bested former Hazleton, Pennsylvania Mayor and Congressman Lou Berletta, who championed an anti-immigrant ordinance in Hazleton that at the time made national news.  The Hazleton law "made it illegal for unauthorized immigrants to rent housing and for landlords to rent to individuals they knew to be unauthorized. With the passage of its Illegal Immigration Relief Ordinance in July 2006, Hazleton catapulted itself onto the national political stage and became something of a cause celebre for proponents of state and local activism in immigration enforcement."  

The  courts invalidated the immigration enforcement ordinance and it never went into effect.  In the end, Hazleton was ordered to pay attorneys fees to plaintiffs of $1.4 million in attorneys fees.  The city also paid a hefty amount in fees to anti-immigrant activist Kris Kobach,, who unsuccessfully defended the constitutionality of the ordinance.

On his gubernatorial campaign website, Berletta proclaimed that

"As mayor of Hazleton, Barletta learned firsthand that immigration is not solely a federal issue – it matters who holds office in states as well. He was the first mayor in the country to pass a local ordinance standing up against illegal immigration and was promptly sued by the ACLU. As a member of Congress, he fought every day to protect our borders and strengthen our laws. As governor, Barletta will maintain his strong stance against illegal immigration, as a public safety issue, as job protection for Pennsylvania workers, and as a public health issue."


As the campaign concluded, Lou Barletta was pushed by the Republican establishment.  "That might sound odd. The former congressman was among Donald Trump’s earliest supporters in 2016 — at a time when most national Republicans either didn’t take him seriously or desperately sought to elect anyone else."  Still, Barletta was seen by some Pennsylvania Republican Party leaders as their last best chance to stop front-runner Doug Mastriano.  The fact that Barletta, an ardent anti-immigrant leader, is viewed as a less extreme "moderate" should be sobering.


May 18, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Who Is an American Soldier? Military Service and Membership in the Polity by Jin Niu


Who Is an American Soldier? Military Service and Membership in the Polity by Jin Niu, New York University Law Review, Vol. 95, No. 5, 2020


The military is one of the most powerful institutions to define membership in the American polity. Throughout this country’s history, noncitizens, immigrants, and outsiders have been called to serve in exchange for the privileges of citizenship and recognition. At its height, the idea that service constitutes citizenship—which this Note calls “constitutive service”—successfully transformed a group of “perpetual foreigners” to “citizens.” Until 1952, individuals of Asian descent were categorically excluded from the polity, a barrier that ultimately crumbled after Asian Americans rendered a long history of military service, beginning with the War of 1812, to the Civil War, then to the two World Wars. Yet, precisely because military service is so transformative, the United States over the past decade has imposed both formal and informal restrictions barring certain groups of people from serving, among them individuals who are gay, transgender, undocumented—and to a lesser extent—women and Muslim Americans. These restrictions are reminders that the United States continue to debate who is fit to be an “American,” and therefore, an “American soldier.”


May 18, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Declare War Against Racism!

Friends, Buffalo is a wake-up call.

The racist massacre by a white supremacist teen in his rampage against the so-called “Replacement Theory” highlights the sad truth that attacks against African Americans and the country’s racial divide are a tragic part of life in America. The shooter’s diatribe and war against Blacks and immigrants of color are a continuation of what we saw in Atlanta massage parlors and a Charlottesville church. I thought those were wake-up calls. I thought the murder of George Floyd was a wake-up call. It’s time for our own war. It’s time to declare a war on racism in America. With race on the front pages, the opportunity is ripe for national, state, and local leaders to declare war on bigotry and hate.

More than 150 years after the Civil War and 55 years since the Civil Rights Act and the end of the national origins immigration system, racism continues in the United States. From hate speech and hate crimes to employment discrimination and forms of social preference, subtle actions and institutionalized racism continue to challenge our nation. Almost 20 years ago when Trent Lott was sharply criticized for racist sentiment at Strom Thurmond’s retirement party, we saw Democrats and Republicans alike agree that racism is wholly and completely unacceptable. But after Lott stepped aside, addressing racism was pushed to the back burner again, allowed to eat away at our nation’s character. We then saw Donald Trump getting away with calling neo-Nazis and white supremacists at Charlottesville “very fine people” while labeling Minneapolis protesters as “thugs.” We see Trump’s sycophant politicians across the country falling in line and spewing the same type of hate.

More than a dozen years ago, presidential candidate Barack Obama gave a stirring speech on our nation’s racial divide. Then a few years later he sat down to discuss profiling with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his arresting Boston police officer. But after that, we heard little further discussion nor witnessed much direct public action. Any talk of improving race relations remains hushed and polite when it occurs at all. Hushed until there’s another black victim of police brutality: Parick Lyoya, Dante Wright, Andre Hill, Breonna Taylor, Amadou Diallo. Sandra Bland. Manuel Loggins Jr. Ronald Madison. Kendra James. Sean Bell. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Mario Woods. Philando Castile. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Sam DuBose. Tamir Rice. Eric Harris. Akai Gurley. Terence Crutcher. William Chapman. Jeremy McDole. Alton Sterling. Ahmaud Arbery. Sadly, George Floyd was not the first black murder victim of Minneapolis police—just Google the name Jamar Clark.

The problem with polite talk on these issues is that it lets the vast majority of the nation off the hook. The nation ends up treating overt incidents as the exception, regarding those instances as rare—as they move on to the next day’s headline. What will it take to realize that we should be taking aim at what should be our prime target—the foundation of institutionalized racism that has created an environment that enables subtle and unconscious racism, emboldens perpetrators of racist speech, and licenses acts of hate.

We need more than polite talk. We need a sense of outrage and indignation. We need massive mobilization over the issue. We need a declaration of war. The declaration of war on the evils of hate and racism must be loud and constant. Just as we have poured millions of dollars into campaigns against COVID-19, against drugs and smoking, and into efforts to address recycling and other environmental concerns, we need attention-grabbing strategies to begin now, in the midst of current recognition that improving race relations matters.

We need a clear vision statement on these issues to serve as the basis for this moral declaration. We must be driven, not politely, because we are beyond politeness on the evils of hate and prejudice that our sensible leaders acknowledge are not American values. Let’s put our heads together on this national priority. Be creative and imaginative in approaches. Set an example. Call for new laws, enforcement of existing regulations, smart coalition-building, civility, respect and approaches to addressing private attitudes and actions. Make that call loud and clear and remind us over and over. Make it part of the national psyche, not just part of the national agenda. That call and that declaration of war against racism is happening right now on the streets of Minneapolis.

The public face of American pluralism — dominated by politicians, professionals and community leaders — has its positive moments in spite of Trump soldiers. The problem is with the private off-camera face of America that fails to teach our children and challenge our neighbors to be respectful of others. We all share to varying degrees the blame for a culture that gives rise to hate speech and ethnic animosity. Every time we engage in even subtle racism or the fostering of stereotypes, we perpetuate that culture. As much as each of us shares the blame, each of us can be part of the solution. Every time we reach out to others whom we have been conditioned to distrust, fear, or subordinate because of culture, race or class, we begin to chip away at the wicked culture that gives rise to irrational hatred, animosity, and violence.

In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush spoke out against hate crimes directed at Americans of South Asian, Pakistani, Arab, and Muslim descent. He urged “Americans not to use this as an opportunity to pick on somebody that doesn’t look like you, or doesn’t share your religion.” But then, he and other leaders did little to demonstrate an informed understanding about the racialized structures of our society that continue to subordinate Blacks, Latinx, Native Americans, and many Asian Americans. President Obama called on Americans to do better, but his efforts were derailed by the MAGA-crowd. So we must take it upon ourselves to support and get on the war path against racism. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get serious about racism as a nation and as individuals.

Bill Hing

May 17, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Lawsuit in Canada Challenges the Use of Maximum-Security Jails for Immigrant Detention

Today's Toronto Star reports on a new lawsuit in Canada challenging the use of maximum-security jails for the purpose of immigration detention.

Although immigrants are held in these jails, they are not charged with a crime and civil detention is not supposed to be punitive. As Toronto Star reporter Brendan Kennedy quotes the lawyer for the detainees as saying: "No one who is not convicted of a crime or is not accused of a crime should be placed there."

Those interested in learning more about the jailing of immigrant detainees in Canada should definitely read this article by Stephanie J. Silverman and Petra Molnar: Everyday Injustices, published in the Refugee Survey Quarterly (March 2016), pp. 109-127.


May 17, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Violent Defense of Whiteness

The tragedy of the hate crimes this weekend in Buffalo, New York remains in the national spotlight.  The killer apparently was an adherent of the "Great Replacement Theory" positing that elites are brining immigrants to the country to replace whites.  The theory until this weekend was a staple of Fox News.  

Kathleen Belew in the New York Times insightfully observes that

"It’s not immediately obvious how the “great replacement” theory, often framed as anti-immigrant doctrine meant to preserve predominantly white societies, is connected to the shooting of Black customers and employees at a grocery store in Buffalo last weekend. . . . But the explanation for both the choice of targets and the brutality of an attack that killed 10 people can be found in the history of the theory. . . . 

The great replacement is the latest incarnation of an old idea: The belief that elites are attempting to destroy the white race by overwhelming it with nonwhite groups and thinning them out with interbreeding until white people no longer exist. This idea is not, at its core, about any single threat, be it immigrants or people of color, but rather about the white race that it purports to protect. It's important to be cautious and not too credulous when reading the writings of assailants in attacks motived by race, but we should note an important pattern: their obsession with protecting white birthrates.

For decades, white power activists have worried about their status as a majority. They see a looming demographic crisis, and talk about when their community, town or the United States will no longer be majority white. Even when demographic change slows, this fear has not abated."

Belew is the author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (2018).

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May 17, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 16, 2022

Climbing the Ladder: Roadblocks Faced by Immigrants in the New York City Construction Industry by Jacquelyn Pavilon and Vicky Virgin.

The Center for Migration Studies is releasing a new report, Climbing the Ladder: Roadblocks Faced by Immigrants in the New York City Construction Industry by Jacquelyn Pavilon and Vicky Virgin. 

To join a webinar discussing the new report, register here. CMS Executive Director, Donald Kerwin will moderate the discussion. Here is a summary of the report's findings:

The report found that between 2015 and 2019, 41 percent of foreign-born construction workers in New York City were undocumented; unionized foreign-born construction workers in New York State earn 64 percent more than their nonunionized foreign-born counterparts; and undocumented and foreign workers with limited English proficiency are more likely to work in construction occupations with higher fatality rates.


May 16, 2022 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Breaking News: Supreme Court Limits Judicial Review of Removal Decisions

Suprme court

Official Supreme Court Picture

The Supreme Court today limited judicial review of removal decisions in Patel v. Garland.  Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote the opinion for the majority.  SCOTUSBlog collects materials on the case here.

As described in the syllabus to the slip opinion, the majority held that "Federal courts lack jurisdiction to review facts found as part of discretionary-relief proceedings under §1255 and the other provisions enumerated in §1252(a)(2)(B)(i)."

Justice Barrett delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh joined.  Justice Gorsuch filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined.

Justice Barrett began the majority opinion as follows:"

"Congress has comprehensively detailed the rules by which noncitizens may enter and live in the United States. When noncitizens violate those rules, Congress has provided procedures for their removal. At the same time, there is room for mercy: Congress has given the Attorney General power to grant relief from removal in certain circumstances. Federal courts have a very limited role to play in this process. With an exception for legal and constitutional questions, Congress has barred judicial review of the Attorney General’s decisions denying discretionary relief from removal. We must decide how far this bar extends -- specifically, whether it precludes judicial review of factual findings that underlie a denial of relief. It does. joined.

Justice Gorsuch began the dissent as follows:

"It is no secret that when processing applications, licenses, and permits the government sometimes makes mistakes. Often, they are small ones—a misspelled name, a misplaced application. But sometimes a bureaucratic mistake can have life-changing consequences. Our case is such a case. An immigrant to this country applied for legal residency. The government rejected his application. Allegedly, the government did so based on a glaring factual error. In circumstances like that, our law has long permitted individuals to petition a court to consider the question and correct any mistake. Not anymore. Today, the Court holds that a federal bureaucracy can make an obvious factual error, one that will result in an individual’s removal from this country, and nothing can be done about it. No court may even hear the case. It is a bold claim promising dire consequences for countless lawful immigrants. And it is such an unlikely assertion of raw administrative power that not even the agency that allegedly erred, nor any other arm of the Executive Branch, endorses it. Today’s majority acts on its own to shield the government from the embarrassment of having to correct even its most obvious errors. Respectfully, I dissent."

Recaps of the opinion will be posted when available.

UPDATE (May 17): Aline Barros on Voice of America reports on the Patel v. Garland decision.


May 16, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Rewritten Plyler v. Doe by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia and Michael Olivas


Draft Manuscript for Feminist Judgments:  Rewritten Immigration Law Opinions Cambridge University Press) (Kathleen Kim, Kevin Lapp & Jennifer J. Lee eds., forthcoming 2023). by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia and Michael Olivas

With Michael having departed us, Shoba wrote the following abstract of the draft opinion:

"Michael A. Olivas was a pioneer and beloved husband, brother, friend, colleague and scholar in the fields of higher education and immigration. One of his last written words on the landmark case of Plyler v. Doe was a contribution to a forthcoming volume of Rewritten Immigration Opinions to be published by Cambridge University Press. I am honored and heartbroken to release our chapter as a draft to honor and celebrate Michael. I am grateful to Cambridge University Press, its editors (in particular Jennifer Lee) and the research assistants for their outstanding editorial assistance. Rest in Power Michael."


May 16, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 15, 2022

AAPI Authors: Maxine Hong Kingston and Viet Than Nguyen

Beginning with her stunning 1976 memoir The Woman WarriorMaxine Hong Kingston has forged a profound, richly imagined, and genre-defying narrative of the American experience from her vantage point as the daughter of Chinese immigrants. To mark publication of the new Library of America edition, Kingston joins Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, editor of the volume and her former student, for an intimate conversation about her life and work (Wed May 18, 6-7pm).

There will be a brief Q&A at the end of the program; you will be able to type a question and submit it to the event moderator.

Registration is required to attend this event. After registering on Eventbrite, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom with instructions on how to join the presentation.



May 15, 2022 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chinese American History, Asian American Experiences

Ngai Lee Zia

Thurs May 19 4pm EST. A virtual event that is part history lesson and part conversation, this program will feature three leading authors, scholars, and advocates: Dr. Erika Lee, Dr. Mae Ngai, and Helen Zia. Register here.

The Mellon Foundation organizers write: "Chinese immigrants and their descendants have shaped the United States, but their experiences are not always acknowledged as part of our collective history. Chinese American stories touch on every facet of the American experience: from those of immigrants who arrived at the US via the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco; to builders of the transcontinental railroad connecting America’s east and west; drivers of urban development and access to public education; and subjects of discrimination and anti-Chinese legislation. In sharing these histories, we can cultivate a fuller understanding of our current moment and promote truthful narratives about Chinese American histories and Asian American experiences."


May 15, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

From The Bookshelves: Learning America by Luma Mufleh


Luma Mufleh is the author of Learning America: One Woman's Fight for Educational Justice for Refugee Children. Kevin introduced you to Luma two years ago, writing about the her Fugees Academy, a free private school for low-income refugee children in Atlanta. Now Luma is telling her story in her own words. As the publisher pitches it:

Luma Mufleh—a Muslim woman, a gay refugee from hyper-conservative Jordan—joins a pick-up game of soccer in Clarkston, Georgia. The players, 11- and 12-year-olds from Liberia and Afghanistan and Sudan, have attended local schools for years. Drawn in as coach of a ragtag but fiercely competitive team, Mufleh discovers that few of her players can read a word. She asks, “Where was the America that took me in? That protected me? How can I get these kids to that America?”

For readers of Malala, Paul Tough, and Bryan Stevenson, Learning America is the moving and insight-packed story of how Luma Mufleh grew a soccer team into a nationally acclaimed network of schools—by homing in laserlike on what traumatized students need in order to learn. Fugees accepts only those most in need: students recruit other students, and all share a background of war, poverty, and trauma. No student passes a grade without earning it; the failure of any student is the responsibility of all. Most foundational, everyone takes art and music and everyone plays soccer, areas where students make the leaps that can and must happen—as this gifted refugee activist convinces—even for America’s most left-behind.


May 15, 2022 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)