Wednesday, January 26, 2022

TIME Covers Problems Afghans Face With US Immigration System


The United States evacuated more than 100,000 people from Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover of the country. Tens of thousands have be resettled in the United States. That's a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, as TIME magazine reports, "America's Broken Immigration Bureaucracy" is failing both Afghans who have resettled here as well as those who fled Afghanistan but haven't yet made it stateside.

The article starts with the story of one man who made it to the United States from Afghanistan. His daughter and wife did not; they're in Turkey. He has sought to have them admitted via humanitarian parole. Those applications were denied. Twice.

The Biden administration encouraged Afghanis, and their advocates, to seek humanitarian parole given the lengthy hoops otherwise required for processing the SIV and asylum applications that might also gain them a foothold in the country. Yet the humanitarian parole process has pretty much failed:

"Since July 2021, the agency has received more than 40,000 humanitarian parole applications; as of Jan. 12, the agency had “conditionally approved” roughly 145 and rejected 560, according to data provided by USCIS."

TIME squarely places blame at the feet of our nation's immigration system, which it characterizes as "kludgy and understaffed." (Note to self: Use "kludgy" more.)


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

Center for DREAMers provides holistic support for DACA students


Clinical Professor and Director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the Law School Erin Barbato,

Immigration Courtside tipped me off to some law school news.

The Gargoyle, the University of Wisconsin Law Schoo's alumni magazine, reports that

"The UW Law School launched a new center to support Wisconsin’s DREAMers . . . . The Center for DREAMers was awarded a grant through the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, a competitive grant program that fosters public engagement and the advancement of the Wisconsin Idea.

Clinical Professor and Director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the Law School Erin Barbato, together with Erika Rosales of the School of Education, will lead the Center for DREAMers.

The center will serve the approximately 11,000 DREAMers in Wisconsin, working with organizations to coordinate the provision of legal representation, mental and social services, and career and educational counseling to ease the burden of some of the uncertainty experienced by undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children."

The Center's website includes the following Toolkits & Resources for Students, Service Providers & Educators:


January 26, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

BU Law Conference: Human Trafficking, Then and Now: New Directions and Approaches to Exploitation

Human Trafficking, Then and Now: New Directions and Approaches to Exploitation

Boston University School of Law | Public Interest Law Journal Symposium

Friday, February 11, 2022 | 10:00 am to 4:15 pm

Register here. Please note, this symposium will be presented in a virtual format on Zoom.

Current Symposium Schedule (as of January 25th, 2022)

Human trafficking is a global problem. Yet, defining the scope is difficult, in part due to the underground nature of the problem and the fear that many survivors face. Many survivors do not self-identify. Moreover, legal and social service professionals, often uniquely positioned to engage with survivors, fail to effectively identify potential survivors. Additionally, survivors are often less likely to be believed and stigmatized when they speak out about their experiences.  Click the link above for details.


January 26, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Operation Lone Star Explained -- by the Immigrant Legal Resources Center


Immigration law professor Karla McKanders forwarded this Instagram post by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center on Operation Lone Star, which is described by the ILRC as follows:

"`Operation Lone Star' is an unlawful, xenophobic, and racist program under which Texas law enforcement officers target migrants for arrest, jailing, and criminal prosecution for the state criminal offense of “trespassing.”

In this first episode of our new series, `Texas Explained,' ILRC Texas-based Staff Attorney, Priscilla Olivarez gives us the rundown on how Texas state agencies channel arrested migrants into a shadow criminal legal system that violates fundamental constitutional rights."

Operation Lone Star is an operation announced earlier this year by the Texas governor.   As stated in the official press announcement, "Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) . . .  launched Operation Lone Star to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas. The Operation integrates DPS with the Texas National Guard and deploys air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.

`The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,' said Governor Abbott. `Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans. We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis.'”



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

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Summer 2022 Immigration Internships for Law Students [UPDATED]

The start of spring semester means job searching for law students and graduates. Here are some legal internships posted on the immprof-list serve. Please additional listings in comments.

Summer Positions

The Valerie Zukin Memorial Fellowship was established in September 2021 to honor Valerie Anne Zukin by advancing the development of more fierce and compassionate immigration lawyers like her. Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural two summer fellows, who will be housed at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) in Tacoma, WA and Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) in Oakland, CA. All positions are currently remote. 

The postings are on idealist.orghere (ILD) and here (NWIRP). There is a PDF of the combined announcement attached. Kindly share widely, especially with law students or colleagues at law schools that do not offer summer public interest funding. The 10-week summer fellowships will pay $15,000 each. If you would like to consider a donation to honor Valerie, or just to learn more about her incredible spirit and legacy, please visit:


The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild is accepting applications for summer internships (h/t Michelle Mendez)

Legal interns are exposed to a wide range of legal research and writing projects, including amicus briefs, pleadings in affirmative lawsuits, client declarations, practice advisories, legislative analysis, legal memoranda, advocacy letters, FOIA requests, and comments on proposed immigration regulations. Interns also assist with the National Immigration Project's outreach and advocacy work. The National Immigration Project seeks candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to immigrants' rights. Preference is given to those law students who have taken an immigration law class or have prior experience working on immigrants' rights issues. Students with law school clinical experience are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people with personal experience of the immigration enforcement system, immigrants, women, people of color, persons with disabilities, persons with diverse gender and sexual identities, and formerly incarcerated people. The internship is remote. Interns are expected to work full-time for a duration of 10 weeks. A small stipend may be available for applicants who do not have funding or are not receiving academic credit. Please note your availability and funding situation in your cover letter.

Interested candidates may apply by submitting PDFs of a cover letter, resume, list of references, and a writing sample of no longer than 5 pages by email to Applicants are encouraged to submit applications early in order to be considered for an internship position.


The American Immigration Council and New American Economy (merged) is hiring two interns for summer 2022, a legal intern and a policy intern. (H/t Kate Melloy Goettel at AIC)

Policy Internship - Summer 2022 | American Immigration Council

Legal Internship - Summer 2022 | American Immigration Council


The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies is currently hiring a cohort of summer 2022 law clerks. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. (H/T Blaine Bookey at CGRS)

Law clerk position listing


The Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law is looking for two law students to work with us this summer. (H/T Ahilan Arulananthan)

Law Student Position Listing


Applications for the 2022 UC Berkeley Human Rights Center Summer Fellowship now open. Learn more & access application: If you have questions about UC Berkeley's process or need contacts at other campuses, please contact Alexey Berlind at


Permanent Positions

Just Futures Law (JFL) is hiring a full-time, remote Senior Staff Attorney with litigation expertise! This attorney will engage in litigation and advocacy to combat tech policing deployed against immigrant communities, defend the First Amendment rights of immigrants, and challenge immigration enforcement.  Just Futures Law, Inc. (JFL) is a womxn-of-color-led movement law project that defends and builds the power of immigrant rights and criminal justice activists, organizers, and community groups to prevent the criminalization, detention, and deportation of immigrants and people of color in the United States, JFL’s work is virtual and a staff of 5 works remotely in D.C., MA, NC, and NY. All positions are remote within the U.S.

To learn more and apply to join our team, click here


NIJC is offering two 2-year funded fellowships. The selected fellows will provide legal representation to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.  The fellowships will begin in September 2022. To apply, see

 The specific work of the fellows will be determined based on the interests of candidates and NIJC’s needs. One fellow will work with NIJC’s asylum project and immigrant children’s project. A second position will provide legal services responding to emerging issues that NIJC identifies. For example, the emerging-issues fellow might be called on to work with individuals detained at the border, or individuals who may become eligible for immigration status based on changes in immigration laws and/or policy. Both fellowships will begin immediately following Labor Day in September 2022, and they will last until the end of August 2024. Applications for the fellowship are due on or before February 28, 2022, and applicants are encouraged to submit their applications in advance of the deadline. Fellows will be based in NIJC’s Chicago or Indiana offices and/or in a hybrid-remote arrangement depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the fellowship, fellows will be eligible to seek permanent employment with NIJC if there are pending positions, and will receive strong consideration for any open position at NIJC. The fellowship is open to current 3Ls and attorneys who have graduated within the last three years. To apply, see


Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is hiring for several positions with our program to provide legal services to unaccompanied children at the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Ft. Bliss Emergency Intake Site in El Paso, Texas. All positions are based in El Paso and include Managing Attorney, Staff Attorney, and Social Services Coordinator and Program Coordinator. Postings and application instructions are listed on KIND’s job page here:

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services is hiring law clerks and recent or soon-to-be-gradated law school alum to serve as entry-level attorneys in multiple locations nationwide. Policy analyst positions also available. (H/T Steve Bell, Steve Legomsky)

USCIS Entry-Level Attorney Listing

USCIS USA Jobs listings



January 25, 2022 in Jobs and Fellowships | Permalink | Comments (0)

Virtual Lecture by Jennifer Chacon, Legal Phantoms: The Haunting Power of Failed Law Reform (1/31/22)

The UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, and Center for Race and Gender present a lecture by Professor Jennifer Chacon on Monday, January 31, 2022 (12:45pm Pacific).

Chacon portrait

In late 2014, the Obama Administration announced plans to roll out an expansion of its 2012
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (DACA+), and to add a Deferred Action
for Parents of Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Due to intervening litigation, those
things never happened. Drawing on interviews, observations, and legal and policy texts, this
presentation explores the interstitial spaces connecting the political and legal rise and fall of
DACA+ and DAPA. The story we tell in our forthcoming book is a story about the limits of a
political imagination sharply restricted by the central logic of U.S. immigration law and policy
as it has developed in the past century – one of discretionary, racialized enforcement. But we
also tell a story about how those directly affected by the legal uncertainty withstood the
violence of state action (and inaction), drawing on deep reserves of material, spiritual, and
intellectual resources. Not only did these individuals and collectives argue for programs like
the Dream Act, and other deferred action programs, they also argued against immigration and
criminal law enforcement programs and practices that imperiled large swaths of society
irrespective of immigration status. Their transformative vision, rooted in an expansive political
imagination, still has the potential to transform immigration law and policy in the wake of the
devastation wrought by the Trump era.

PLACE Zoom – Registration link
TIME 12:45 – 2:00pm.


January 25, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Birth of a nation: Race, regulation, and the rise of the modern state by Jennifer M. Chacón


In Birth of a nation: Race, regulation, and the rise of the modern state, 33 Cultural Dynamics 257 (2021), immprof Jennifer Chacón (Berkeley) comments on Radhika Mongia's book Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Genealogy of the Modern State (Duke University Press, 2018 and Permanent Black Press, 2019). Chacón begins her comments:

In Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Genealogy of the Modern State, Mongia (2018) pushes against what she calls “a methodological statism,” which she defines as “a position that naturalizes the state.” (p. 5) She persuasively reveals how methodological statism is not limited to traditional imperial accounts of state formation, but also influences critical accounts. To denaturalize the state, and in so doing, to generate a more accurate assessment of the origins and significance of contemporary migration regulation, Mongia focuses on the practices, techniques and institutions of the colonial regulation of Indian migration from 1834 to 1917. She approaches her analysis of migration management not through the examination of regulations within a particular state; such an approach merely accepts the presumed “stateness” of certain entities and practices, which are actually in historical flux and in question. She therefore approaches migration regulation from outside of the state, focusing historically on the global technologies of migration control. The resulting account illustrates that the tools and justifications for migration control are not diffused from center to periphery, but are instead the product of a relational, though assuredly hierarchical, coproduction (p. 147).


January 25, 2022 in Books, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP State Violence and Womxn Symposium

DHS Releases an "Enforcement Lifecycle Report" for Fiscal Year 2020

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an Enforcement Lifecycle Report that covers DHS activities in enforcement from 2014 to 2019. A full copy of the report is available here.

The report "describes the final or most current outcomes, as of March 31, 2020, associated with the 3.5 million Southwest Border encounters occurring between 2014 and 2019."

Historically, DHS data systems have been siloed, the report explains. This means that a single immigrant can "touch a dozen or more stand-alone data systems" and the reporting of what happens to them is not integrated.

The lifecycle report changes this. Apparently, they were able to capture "how aliens flow through the immigration enforcement process" by integrating data "from 19 different source systems central to the immigration enforcement process," matching "records by using individual and event identifiers from the different source systems and assigns a new person-level identifier to each unique individual appearing in one or more of the source datasets."

They sum up their findings as follows:

This 2019 Enforcement Lifecycle Analysis describes the final or most current outcomes of about 3.5 million Southwest Border encounters occurring between 2014 and 2019 as of March 31, 2020. It offers a very different lens into the enforcement process than our usual production tables. From 2014 to 2019, the demographic characteristics of aliens encountered at the Southwest Border have shifted away from single Mexican adult non-asylum seekers to Northern Triangle FMUA and UAC asylum seekers.

Encounters with these different groups tend to lead to different paths through the enforcement system, both in terms of whether and how quickly encounters are resolved and what resolution is reached: Encounters with Mexicans tend to lead to repatriations; encounters with Central Americans tend to remain unresolved; and encounters with nationals from countries other than Mexico or the Northern Triangle tend (on average) to lead to relief. Encounters with single adults tend to quickly lead to repatriations, while encounters with FMUAs and non-contiguous UACs tend to remain unresolved. Encounters with aliens who do not claim a fear of return to their home countries tend to be repatriated, while those who claim fear are more likely to remain in the United States and some eventually get relief



January 25, 2022 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Brief But Spectacular take on immigrant justice in America


Need some positive energy about immigration reform?  Watch Judy Woodruff on PBS "Brief But Spectacular talk to f, Gaby Hernandez, the executive director of the Long Beach Immigrants Rights Coalition in California.  She is an activist who seeks to empower those in her community to push for better resources and protections. Harnandez shares her Brief But Spectacular take on immigrant justice.


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

Monday, January 24, 2022

RIP Professor Anna Shavers, Friend and Colleague


We have lost a wonderful person and immigration professor.

Anna W. Shavers, Cline Willliams Professor of Citizenship Law and associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Law, died this past Saturday.

The University of Nebraska statement states the following:

"A champion of diversity and inclusion on campus, the community and in the field of law, Shavers has been a member of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty since 1989. Her primary area of interest was immigration and its intersections with gender issues.

Prior to coming to Nebraska, Shavers practiced law in Minnesota. She also served as an associate clinical professor at the University of Minnesota, where she established the university’s first immigration law clinic.

At Nebraska, Shavers served in a variety of roles, including interim/acting dean for the College of Law; co-chair of the university’s Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking Planning Team; and a co-leader of the university’s Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity.

A broader tribute to Shavers will publish in Nebraska Today on Jan. 26.

Shavers earned a Bachelor of Science from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and a Master of Science in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned a Juris Doctorate (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota, where she served as managing editor of the Minnesota Law Review. She was admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1979 and the Nebraska bar in 1989."

I knew Anna for many years.  She was a warm and wonderful person with her good heart reflected in her immigration scholarship.




January 24, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Lawyering from a Deportation Abolition Ethic by Laila Hlass

image from

The Immigration Article of the Day is Lawyering from a Deportation Abolition Ethic by Laila L. Hlass, forthcoming in the California Law Review (2022).

Here is the abstract:

Carceral abolitionists seek the dismantling of policing, prosecutors, prisons and surveillance in furtherance of a vision of community safety based in investing in robust community resources. Immigration policing, surveillance and detention can be understood as one part of the larger interlocking systems of social control over communities of color through the prison industrial complex. Deportation abolitionists work to end immigrant detention, enforcement and deportation, explicitly understanding immigrant justice as part of a larger racial justice fight connected to resisting white supremacy. This Article maps how the deportation state aligns with the carceral state, tracing two important strains of immigration legal history, which parallel broader policing histories: how the immigration legal system explicitly and implicitly has built racial hierarchies, and the skyrocketing enforcement and detention budget facilitating the militarization of immigration policing. This Article also describes how a number of deportation abolition initiatives emerged to challenge the foundations of immigration law, policy and practices as a racist means of social control, as well as building power in communities to disrupt and shift the very structure of the detention and deportation state. Most of these organizations have few, if any, lawyers on staff. This may reflect efforts to center directly-affected people and creative organizing strategies, or fears about the limitations for lawyers, who at times have a role as an officer of the court, operating within an existing legal system. This Article argues that immigration lawyers interested in moving towards deportation abolition can respond to these tensions. Ultimately, aspiring deportation abolition lawyers can play significant support roles in efforts to radically transform the immigration legal system, as well as in complementary harm reduction efforts, representing those entangled in the deportation system. This Article draws on the intellectual underpinnings and strategies of current deportation abolition initiatives to propose a framework for lawyers seeking to practice a deportation abolition ethic.


January 24, 2022 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies: Hostile


Simran Hans for the Guardian describes the film Hostile as follows:

"Sonita Gale’s impassioned documentary draws necessary attention to the `hostile environment' the UK government has created for migrants. She draws a through line from the British empire to today’s refugee crisis, connecting it to the Windrush scandal and Brexit.

Case studies filmed during the early days of the pandemic highlight the impossibility of the situation: a Pakistani family of four have British-born children who are ineligible for citizenship; the parents have been granted leave to remain but with `no recourse to public funds'. Elsewhere, an immigrant-led charity that provides hot meals . . . receive a commendation from Boris Johnson but no support from the council."


January 24, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker by Maggie Krell

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Here is the publisher's description of the book:

"Insider details from the takedown of Backpage, the world’s largest sex trafficker, by the prosecutor who led the charge

For almost a decade, was the world’s largest sex trafficking operation. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, in 800 cities throughout the world, Backpage ran thousands of listings advertising the sale of vulnerable young people for sex. Reaping a cut off every transaction, the owners of the website raked in millions of dollars. But many of the people in the advertisements were children, as young as 12, and forced into the commercial sex trade through fear, violence and coercion.

In Taking Down Backpage, veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of how she and her team battled against this sex trafficking monolith. Beginning with her early career as a young DA, she shares the evolution of the anti-human trafficking movement. Through a fascinating combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world. She shares powerful stories of interviews with survivors, sting operations, court cases, and the personal struggles that were necessary to bring Backpage executives to justice. Finally, Krell examines the state of sex trafficking after Backpage and the crucial work that still remains.

Taking Down Backpage is a gripping story of tragedy, overcoming adversity, and the pursuit of justice that gives insight into the fight against sex trafficking in the digital age."


Krell is a UC Davis School of Law alum.


January 24, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 23, 2022

"I feel Chinese in China and American in America": Elieen Gu, Olympic Skier

Eileen Gu, a dual Chinese and US citizen, will compete in the Olympics in freestyle skiing Team China. She made the decision a few years ago, explaining on Instagram that it was a chance to “inspire millions of young people where my mom was born” and “promote the sport I love.” At the time, she also told Inkstone that she hoped that her skiing would “unite two nations, both of which are my home.”

Gu, now 18, speaks fluent English and Mandarin. Her mother, Yan Gu, is a native of Beijing and was keen to imprint Chinese culture and values on her daughter after migrating from China to the U.S. Despite being born and raised in San Francisco, Gu has a claim to Chinese citizenship through her mother.

A more comprehensive profile of Gu as an athlete can be found on Redbull, her sponsor for the Olympics and the host for Everyday Eileen.  Her key events are Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air. In January 2021, Gu became the first Chinese athlete to win X Games gold, and the first woman to win three X Games medals as a rookie. After her debut at X Games 2021, Gu went on to earn Slopestyle gold, Halfpipe gold and Big Air bronze at the Aspen 2021 World Championships.

Eileen Gu


January 23, 2022 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mixed One-Year Assessments of Biden on Immigration

It has been one year since President Joe Biden took over the White House and ushered in many promises of immigration reform. On the week of the anniversary, there have been numerous retrospectives. Many reports acknowledge meaningful progress on some aspects of immigration policy reform, including executive orders to rescind or review the most damaging immigration policies from the prior administration, such as the public charge rule, and give him credit for boosting refugee admissions and lifting immigration worker bans related to COVID-19.

The most vigorous critics note disappointments on Title 42 border closures to asylum seekers and the volatile Migration Protection Protocols that keep migrants on the Mexico side of the Southern border. Many accounts note disappointment about the lack of a DREAM Act to expand on protections for undocumented immigrants, even though an actual DREAM Act is contingent on legislative reform and numerous proposals championed by President Biden failed due to Congressional inaction, missing votes, or the parliamentarian's rebuke to using reconciliation procedures (one prospect is folded into the spending bill). The Biden Administration did take direct action to strengthen protections for undocumented youth by utilizing notice and comment rulemaking to formalize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has remained vulnerable to repeated federal court injunctions absent binding regulation. It has not expanded use of parole authority that Vice President Harris and several law professors once contemplated as a meaningful source of protection. 

Actual facts and useful graphics summarizing the effects of policies on migration since Biden took office appear in this report from Pew Research


January 23, 2022 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Moving Forward by Jennifer Chacón


Moving Forward, 50 Southwestern L. Rev. 208 (2021), is immprof Jennifer Chacón's contribution to the Southwestern Law Review's symposium about Beth Caldwell's 2019 book Deported Americans: Life after Deportation to Mexico.

Here's Jennifer's introduction:

We live in a world of permeable borders. Money, goods, information, and the global elite move across borders almost effortlessly. Corporate entities straddle borders, and governmental policies have transnational effect.

But not everyone moves easily across borders. In the United States, federal laws permit the expulsion and the permanent exclusion of long-term residents. This includes people who never had, or at the time of expulsion lack, authorization to be in the country. It also includes individuals who are lawfully present but whose past conduct renders them deportable. Unlike many legal systems around the world that accord significant weight to equitable considerations, such as a noncitizen's family and community ties when weighing the question of deportability, the U.S. legal system often gives little weight, and sometimes completely precludes, such considerations in removal proceedings. And once individuals are removed from the country, practical and legal barriers to return are often insurmountable, even in the cases of individuals with strong ties to the United States.

The result is a diasporic community in exile: people around the world- but disproportionately in Mexico and Central America-who think about themselves as "American" but have no legal right to return to their affective home. Once expelled, these individuals are placed outside of the frame of this country's perennial discussion of "comprehensive immigration reform." No reform plan on the table in recent years has made room for the globally- exiled victims of an unforgiving system of immigration laws. The impact of the immigration law on the lives of these deportees-and on their families, workplaces, and communities they leave behind-is generally lost to U.S. residents in a fog of motivated forgetting.

The people of the United States of America have always been peculiarly adept at constructing national myths that fail to grapple with, or even account for, past harm. From their erasure of the dispossession and genocide of indigenous people, to their string of broken treaties with native nations, to their failure to make reparations for centuries of slavery, to their seldom discussed, ongoing colonial occupation of various island territories, U.S.atrocities and anti-democratic efforts have been shrouded in a majoritarian silence. Periodic waves of xenophobic expulsion efforts-from the massacre of Chinese immigrants during the Chinese Exclusion era, to the mass deportations of Mexicans residing in the United States in the 1930s and again in the 1950s, to the great expulsion of the last three decades--also weigh lightly on the nation's collective memory.

Beth Caldwell has declined to participate in this exercise of motivated forgetting. In her book, Deported Americans, she bears witness to the stories of the exiled. She recounts what they have lost in the expulsion process: the lives they left behind, and the emotional and material suffering they endured. She tells us how they coped, or failed to cope. She recounts stories of addiction and decline, as well as stories of remarkable resilience and creativity. She explains how long-term U.S. residence permanently marks and disadvantages people, but also how some have turned their experiences as long-time U.S. residents into strengths as they navigate the foreign cultural and economic terrain of their countries of nationality.

Those who care enough about the truth to read Caldwell's book cannot help but be moved by it. Unsurprisingly, her book has provoked a diverse collection of thoughtful responses from some of the best-known scholars working in the immigration field. Their responses are captured in the pages that follow, and I have broadly grouped them here under the rubrics of history, storytelling, and law reform.


January 23, 2022 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

What a Fire in the Bronx Says About Immigrant Life in New York

We previously blogged about how many immigrants from West Africa lived in the buildings that burned in the Bronx earlier this month.  In this New Yorker story (What a Fire in the Bronx Says About Immigrant Life in New York), Alexis Okeowo looks at what the fire reflects about immigrant life in teh Big Apple:  "The death of seventeen people, most of them from the Gambia, evoked the city’s long history of failing to provide safe and affordable housing for migrants."


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

Couple arrested after anti-immigrant rant against family on train



This might not seem like a significant story.  But the daily verbal attacks on perceived foreigners continues to undermine the sense of belong of communities of color in the United States.

NBC News reports that a New York couple has been arrested and charged after they were filmed launching a hateful rant against a family on a train earlier this month, calling them "foreigners" and "immigrants with no rights."

Justin Likerman and Kristin Digesaro of Long Island, turned themselves into transit police.

According to the report, Liz Edelkind was with her 10-year-old son, husband and two others, on their way home from a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. They were looking for seats on the trainr and asked some passengers to move to accommodate them when Likerman and Digesaro allegedly started to yell. Edelkind believes they were targeted due to her accent and skin color.

According to the complaint, Digesaro said, “You f——— immigrants, you have no rights in this country. You have no right to ask anyone to move. You don’t even pay taxes.”

Likerman also allegedly said: “F——— foreigners. You take all our resources,” according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Likerman was seen with a beer in his hand and threw beer at the family.

“The couple started to verbally attack me, calling me curse words, immigrant, that I don’t pay taxes, that I have no rights in this country,” Edelkind said to NBC New York.

In video footage of the rant, Likerman is heard saying "“they’re taking over my f——— country.”

“Those words that come out their mouths don’t come out unless you have hatred in your heart,” Edelkind said. “The attack was completely unprovoked, a situation they created.”


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

Saturday, January 22, 2022

NPR: Biden's limits on ICE offered hope. But immigrant advocates say he's broken promises


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.



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