Thursday, May 26, 2022

Senators Urge Biden Administration to Address Disparate Treatment of Afghan and Ukrainian Refugees


As has been observed on this blog, Ukrainian and Afghan refugees have received very different treatment by the nations of the world. 

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today led his colleagues in a letter to the Biden administration raising concerns about the stark inconsistencies in the treatment of humanitarian parole applicants from Ukraine and Afghanistan. The letter points out that while applications from Ukrainians are expeditiously processed through a new and cost-free “Uniting for Ukraine” program, applications from Afghans are subject to lengthier and expensive processing. Additionally, Afghans are required to complete an in-person consular interview and provide proof that they were personally targeted for violence by the Taliban, while Ukrainians do not need to complete an interview at the consulate and only need to prove that they lived in Ukraine at the time of the Russian invasion. The lawmakers further note that they admire the U.S. response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis, but would hope that the same welcoming and accommodating approach applied to all those fleeing humanitarian crises, wherever they occur.

“The inconsistent treatment of Afghan and Ukrainian humanitarian parole applications is troubling,” wrote the Senators. “Afghans and Ukrainians have turned to humanitarian parole because other pathways out of their respective countries and to the United States, such as family reunification, are inaccessible or backlogged, and therefore inadequate in the face of immediate danger. We urge USCIS to adopt an approach to Afghan parole applications that mirrors the new treatment of Ukrainian applications, including accelerating the processing of Afghan parole applications, waiving (or refunding) application fees, and not requiring a showing of targeted violence.”

A copy of this letter can be found HERE.

Senator Markey was joined in today’s letter by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).


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

Immigration Article of the Day: A Preliminary Literature Review on the Effect of Immigration on Australian Domestic Employment and Wages by Anna Boucher, Robert Breuing, and Cecilia Karmel

The Immigration Article of the Day is "A Preliminary Literature Review on the Effect of Immigration on Australian Domestic Employment and Wages" by Anna Boucher, Robert Breuing, and Cecilia Karmel.

The article was just published on May 17, 2022 in the Australian Economic Review and is available online here.

Here is the abstract:

The effects of immigration on domestic Australian employment levels and wages are ongoing and controversial topics. While this topic has been considered extensively in other countries, in particular the United States and the United Kingdom, these findings have limited application to Australia given differences in immigration settings between these contexts. We review the existing literature and conclude that further research in the Australian context is needed given its high rates of both permanent and temporary immigration, its complex visa structure, the unusual nature of its industrial relations system and the geographical concentration of its population. In particular, more attention to the temporary migrant population is required in future studies.


May 26, 2022 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Replacement theory isn’t new – 3 things to know about how this once-fringe conspiracy has become more mainstream


As blogged about here, the shooter at the Buffalo market apparently was an adherent of the "Great Replacement Theory."  In the Conversation ("Replacement theory isn’t new – 3 things to know about how this once-fringe conspiracy has become more mainstream," Paul J. Becker and Art Jipson write that "the Buffalo mass shooting reignited discussion of replacement theory. This conspiracy isn’t new, but understanding its roots is helpful to understand its connection to extremism."


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

From the Bookshelves: Jenn Budd, Against the Wall (forthcoming June 2022)


From Border Patrol Agent to Immigrant Rights Activist: A Podcast with Jenn Budd

Jenn Budd's book "Against the Wall" takes an unflinching look at the systemic misogyny and racism in the Border Patrol, and overcoming a childhood of trauma and abuse.

Here is the publisher's blurb on the book:

"Jenn Budd, the only former U.S. Border Patrol agent to continually blow the whistle on this federal agency’s rampant corruption, challenges us—as individuals and as a nation—to face the consequences of our actions. Her journey offers a vital perspective on the unfolding moral crisis of our time. She also gives harrowing testimony about rape culture, white privilege, women in law enforcement, LGBTQ issues, mental illness, survival and forgiveness.

Jenn Budd says: `I wrote Against the Wall to try to heal myself from a traumatic childhood, a sexual assault I survived while in the Border Patrol academy and a serious suicide attempt in 2015. Much like our border wall, my personal walls did not keep me safe. My trauma and the trauma I caused others only began to heal when I began tearing down my personal walls and facing my own prejudices and racism. Solving racial divisions begins with each of us. I hope my memoir will prompt more citizens to face our prejudices, dismantle institutionalized racism and be willing to listen to those we’ve harmed.'”

Click the link above to listen to the podcast.


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

New Report: The Biden Administration’s Dedicated Docket: Inside Los Angeles’ Accelerated Court Hearings for Families Seeking Asylum

A new report by students in UCLA Law's Immigrants' Rights Policy Clinic, “The Biden Administration’s Dedicated Docket: Inside Los Angeles’ Accelerated Court Hearings for Families Seeking Asylum,” was released today. UCLA Law students Tiffany Kim, Jordan Smiley, and Katherine Wardlaw co-authored the report, under the supervision of Professors Talia Inlender and Hiroshi Motomura

Screenshot 2022-05-26 001644As we have posted on the blog previously, over one year ago, the Biden administration launched a so-called “Dedicated Dockets” initiative to adjudicate the cases of families seeking asylum. The Docket, also sometimes referred to a "rocket docket" because of its focus on high-speed case adjudication, is now operating in eleven cities in the United States. The new report takes an in-depth look at the operation of the Dedicated Docket in Los Angeles and highlights due process concerns raised by the program's implementation.

The report’s findings are grim: 70% of people on the Dedicated Docket in Los Angeles are unrepresented, and 99% of completed cases as of February 1, 2022 resulted in removal orders. The impact on young children is also significant: nearly half of the Docket is made up of children, and a quarter are under the age of six. The report also found that 150 children--some less than a year old--were ordered removed in absentia, most without a lawyer.


May 26, 2022 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Immigration Article of the Day: Crushing the Soul of Federal Public Defenders: The Plea Bargaining Machine’s Operation and What to Do About It by Walter I. Gonçalves, Jr.

The Immigration Article of the Day is "Crushing the Soul of Federal Public Defenders: The Plea Bargaining Machine’s Operation and What to Do About It" by Walter I. Gonçalves, Jr., published in the Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2022, which discusses plea bargaining, including the application of "fast track" programs to immigration crimes.

Here is the abstract:

Existing scholarship on the vanishing federal trial does not explain how assistant federal public defenders (AFPDs) have been affected by the plea-bargaining machine. Without an understanding of the repercussions to line attorneys, heads of federal public defender offices (FPDOs) cannot take proactive measures. The result is low morale among staff, difficulty training litigation skills, and lower quality representation. This state of affairs exacerbates non-trial resolutions as defenders know only how to push pleas.

FPDOs must train AFPDs to better screen cases for trial and improve courtroom litigation. They must also focus on how the plea-bargaining machine has affected racial minorities as seen in charging and sentencing disparities. The historical oppression of African Americans, Latinxs, and American Indians made it easier to justify laws that ignited plea-bargaining hegemony: sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimums, and fast-track programs.

David Patton, Executive Director for the Federal Defenders of New York, authored an influential essay published in the Yale Law Journal, “Federal Public Defense in an Age of Inquisition.” He compared federal practice in 2012, when he wrote it, to the time of Gideon v Wainwright. Patton concludes that today’s criminal defendant is more likely to be of color, in custody, face more prison time, and less likely to go to trial. While relevant a decade later, the analysis does not develop problems of race, nor realistic improvements.

The better theoretical lens considers race and supplies solutions through training. This Article shows how sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimums, and fast-track programs operate in AFPD work, highlights problems for defendants of color, and proposes strategies FPDOs can apply to blunt the impact of the decreasing trial rate.


May 25, 2022 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (2)

New ICE Data Show Both Immigrants Detained and Monitored on ATD Increase in May

TRAC, a research institute at Syracuse University, updated their immigrant detention 'Quick Facts' yesterday with new data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

According to the organization's press release, TRAC found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) held 22,281 immigrants in detention on May 7, 2022, the highest number in detention since the beginning of 2022.

The rest of the press release is shared below:

The number of immigrants monitored on ICE's electronic monitoring program known as ISAP or Alternatives to Detention continued its march upward to about 240,000. The vast majority of these, nearly 187,000, were monitored using a smartphone app called SmartLINK, while GPS ankle monitor use actually declined to less than 23,000, the smallest since 2020 when TRAC began tracking these data.

Importantly, these data show that the number of immigrants in detention and the number of immigrants monitored on ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program can increase at the same time. Although ICE calls its program "Alternatives" to Detention, the agency makes clear on its website that its ATD program is "not a substitute for detention, but allows ICE to exercise increased supervision over a portion of those who are not detained." Thus, growth in ATD supervision does not necessarily correspond to a decline in immigrant detention.

The Transactional Research Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) a research organization at Syracuse University created 'Quick Facts' tools to provide a user-friendly way to see the most updated data available on immigrant detention and the immigration courts. The tools include easy-to-understand data in context and provide quotable descriptions.

Highlights from data updated today on the immigration detention system provided by show that:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 22,281 in ICE detention according to data current as of May 7, 2022.

  • 16,034 out of 22,281—or 72.0%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of May 7, 2022. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.

  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2022, according to data current as of May 5, 2022.

  • ICE arrested 5,083 and CBP arrested 20,317 of the 25,400 people booked into detention by ICE during April 2022.

  • Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2022, averaging 1,080 per day (as of May 2022).

  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 239,957 families and single individuals, according to data current as of May 7, 2022.

  • Harlingen's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of May 7, 2022.

–Austin Kocher

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

TPS Advocated for Migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua

Today, Reps. Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) led a bipartisan letter to President Biden, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the administration to expand Temporary Protected Status protections for migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Despite the ongoing humanitarian crises in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, citizens of these nations who flee to the United States without legal status face an uphill battle to remain in the country. If detained, they can face deportation back to countries beset by food insecurity, political conflict, and economic instability — challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and twin hurricanes that hit the region in November 2020. An estimated 1.5 million migrants in the United States would benefit from extending TPS to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Today’s letter is endorsed by United We Dream, Immigration Hub, Church Worldwide Services, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Latin America Working Group (LAWG), Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC)

Additional co-signers on the letter include Reps. Jim McGovern (MA-02), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Andre Carson (IN-07), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Terri Sewell (AL-07), Lou Correa (CA-46), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Grace Meng (NY-06), Eleanor Norton (DC-AL), Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Albio Sires (NJ-8), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Troy Carter (LA-02), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Henry “Hank” Johnson Jr. (GA-04), Darren Soto (FL-09), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Dina Titus (NV-01), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03), Norma Torres (CA-35), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Judy Chu (CA-27), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Cori Bush (MO-01), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Andy Levin (MI-09), Karen Bass (CA-37), Jason Crow (CO-06), Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27), David Scott (GA-13), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Adam Smith (WA-09), Marie Newman (IL-03), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Sean Casten (IL-06), Al Lawson (FL-05), Donald McEachin (VA-04), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), David Cicilline (RI-01), Jerrold “Jerry” Nadler (NY-10), Gwen Moore (WI-04) , Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-23)

The full letter is here and below.

Dear President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, and Secretary Blinken,

We write to urgently request your administration expand Temporary Protected Status protections for migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. We have watched with concern the worsening humanitarian crisis in Central American countries in the aftermath of Hurricanes Eta and Iota in 2020, continued severe drought, and the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe designating Guatemala and redesignating El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) would go a long way in assisting those communities in the United States and enable them to better support their families back home.

The pressures of the November 2020 hurricanes compounded with the long-term effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened food insecurity and violence in countries in Central America. Hurricanes Eta and Iota left over 9.3 million people, including 3.5 million children, affected and forced to leave their home communities. The hurricanes also left long-lasting damage by destroying key healthcare, education, and other infrastructure essential to everyday lives. Almost a year later, millions in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador still lacked access to humanitarian assistance, housing, and basic services.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the hurricanes interrupted the crucial flow of remittances to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, which served a crucial role in supporting the region’s economic recovery. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) estimates areas affected by the two hurricanes, as well as the Dry Corridor in Honduras and Guatemala, will remain in crisis levels of food insecurity through at least May 2022. Over 8 million people went hungry in 2021, quadrupling from 2018, and these numbers will continue to rise as we see the increased effects of climate change on agriculture outputs, security, and economic integration. As your administration has recognized climate change as a key contributor to migration, these designations would support the administration’s efforts to address the root causes of migration as communities in Central America have weathered the brunt of climate change’s effects including consecutive years of drought and extreme weather events.

The changing political dynamics in these countries also underscore the difficulties individuals face in returning home. For example, the crackdown on civil society, journalists, and other dissidents in Nicaragua over the last few years has worsened to the point where return for many Nicaraguans means imprisonment or other forms of punishment. Similar situations have emerged over the last year in El Salvador and Guatemala. The U.S. Government must respond to these developments by adding these TPS designations to the larger landscape of assistance for Central American countries and as part of the administration’s effort to curb corruption, impunity, and violence in the region.

We believe that conditions on the ground in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua constitute “extraordinary and temporary conditions” that prevent nationals from safely returning. These countries have been dealing with the aftermath of such events for years and as conditions continue to worsen and new challenges arise, the United States should provide temporary protection and refuge. Furthermore, these designations would provide the U.S. government with an important tool to address root causes of migration from Central American countries by helping increase the flow of remittances and supporting government efforts to address in-country conditions without the additional tax of a large influx of individuals forced to return home. The designation would likely protect nearly 1.5 million migrants currently in the United States, providing immediate relief to these individuals and their families. We ask that these TPS designations be paired with a robust and comprehensive messaging campaign that offers clear instructions regarding eligibility and application procedures, as to prevent confusion and mass migration that occurred after the May 2021 Haiti TPS designation. 

It is our view that Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua meet the circumstances and standards for TPS. We look forward to continuing to support the efforts from your administration to address the root causes of migration in Central America in a holistic manner, including by taking this important step to uphold humanitarian protections and safeguard U.S. national security interests. Thank you for your consideration.


May 24, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The big exodus of Ukrainian refugees isn’t an accident – it’s part of Putin’s plan to destabilize Europe


Mass migrations may have foreign policy consequences.  In " The big exodus of Ukrainian refugees isn’t an accident – it’s part of Putin’s plan to destabilize Europe" in The Conversation, Mark A. Grey argues that Putin hopes that Russia's invasion of Ukraine will force civilians flee, part of a broader strategy to overwhelm other countries with new refugees and destabilize their economies.  Grey notes that, although nations like Poland initially opened their doors to Ukrainian refugees, patience is wearing thin.


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

TikTok videos help migrants cross border


TikTok activist Carlos Eduardo Espina is using the social media app to help migrants understand the U.S. immigration system and cross the border safely in Spanish.  See this Associated Press report. "The quick format of the videos, where you’re able to watch a TikTok in 10 seconds and then watch another one, is really convenient for immigrants — especially if you’re on the move — you’re going through Mexico or through Central America," said Espina, a U.S. citizen who immigrated to Texas as a child. "I’ve been blessed in this country to be able to go to school. Now I’m in law school. I’ve been able to work. I’ve been able to contribute," he added. "I want people at the end of the day to be safe, to be secure, and to not make decisions that could potentially put their lives in danger." 


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

California Governor Wants to Expand Medi-Cal to All Undocumented Immigrants by 2024


Official State of California Photo

Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for federal public benefits.  Tyche Hendrick from KQED reports on California Governor Gavin Newsom's proposed budget would make this the first state in the nation to extend safety-net health care coverage to all residents, regardless of immigration status.

"[E]ven with an unprecedented budget surplus, plans to further expand social programs will have to contend with a state spending limit approved by voters in 1979, along with uncertainty about where the state economy is headed and resistance from fiscal conservatives. Since 2016, California has expanded Medi-Cal to undocumented children and, beginning this month, adults over age 50. Newsom's plan, first announced in January, would cover the last remaining group: roughly 700,000 undocumented adults, age 26 to 49, at a cost of $800 million next year and $2.7 billion in future years. If the governor's Medi-Cal expansion is enacted, though, it won't take effect until 2024."


May 24, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, May 23, 2022

Podcast: The Migration Oxford Podcast

Check out this new podcast from Oxford University, "The Migration Oxford podcast," which aims "to bring together researchers and other observers to address the major migration issues of our time, both in UK and internationally."

The latest episode is titled "Rwanda and refoulement: Can the 1951 Refugee Convention survive?" Here is the summary:

In this episode of the Migration Oxford Podcast, we ask if the 1951 Refugee Convention is under attack. As states look for ways to avoid taking responsibility for refugees and asylum seekers, such as the UK's "Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda". Is the Convention still the right tool, and how can the protection it offers refugees be improved in an era where global governance of any issue is vexed at best? We speak to Dr Catherine Briddick, Departmental Lecturer in Gender and International Human Rights and Refugee Law at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, and Sabir Zazai Chief Executive of the Scottish Refugee Council to understand both the human and legal implications of the convention and moves by states to circumvent it.


May 23, 2022 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Flores Settlement News

LEXIS NEXIS Legal Newsroom Immigration has the latest news on the Flores settlement, which governs the detention of migrant childen.  Peter Schey reports that:

"After two years of negotiations, we have reached a settlement with the U.S. border patrol that for the first time sets detailed standards for the safe detention of immigrant children. . . . 

The 61-page agreement was reached two years after we challenged the conditions of children's detention in border patrol facilities in Texas where tens of thousands of minors were held during the Trump administration. A court filing on Saturday May 21, 2022, seeks U.S. Judge Dolly M. Gee's preliminary approval of the settlement. The border patrol has agreed to a wide range of protocols requiring that detained minors are held in safe and sanitary conditions, not be separated from relatives, and have access to medical evaluations and prompt medical treatment when needed.
The settlement requires that the border patrol treat minors in custody with "dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors," and that it place each detained minor "in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the class member’s age and special needs." It also requires that except when operationally infeasible, minors apprehended with an adult family member “shall remain with that family member” during their time in border patrol custody. If a minor is temporarily separated from an accompanying relative they have the right to visitation with that relative while in border patrol custody. The Trump administration caused a public backlash when it separated thousands of children from their parents.
The agreement also requires that minors detained by the border patrol are granted access to showers, hygiene kits, age-appropriate meals, clothing, mattresses, and blankets. Border patrol facilities will be required to maintain a stock of clothing in a variety of sizes that can be distributed to detained minors. Parents detained with infants must be provided items such as swaddling blankets and diapers.
The agreement requires the appointment of an independent medical expert who will have access to border patrol facilities in the Rio Grande and El Paso sectors to monitor compliance with the terms of the new agreement. The agreement will remain in effect for two and half years during which time we will also have the right to enter border patrol facilities to interview detained minors and monitor compliance with the agreement. 
The settlement requires that border patrol agents be trained regarding the agreement’s terms and display a poster and show a video to minors describing their rights. It also requires that minors or their accompanying relatives be provided a list of local free legal services. 

. . . .

The parties’ joint motion for preliminary approval of the settlement is available at this link. A copy of the parties’ settlement is available at this link. Exhibit 1 to settlement (poster) available at this link. Exhibits 2-4 to settlement available at this link. The parties proposed Class notice is available at this link."


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

Call For Papers--AALS 2023, New Voices in Immigration Law

“New Voices in Immigration Law”
Association of American Law Schools · Section on Immigration Law
Wednesday, January 4 – Saturday, January 7, 2023 (session timing TBD) · San Diego, CA

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2022

The Section on Immigration Law of the Association of American Law Schools invites papers and works in progress for its “New Voices in Immigration Law” session at the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting which will take place in San Diego, CA January 4-7, 2023. This session has not yet been scheduled. We will send updated information when we have it.

This session will be structured as a works-in-progress discussion, rather than as a panel. Selected papers will be discussed in turn, with time for author comments, thoughts from a lead reader, and group discussion.

Submissions may address any aspect of immigration and citizenship law. We also welcome papers that explore these topics from alternative disciplines or perspectives.

Please note that individuals presenting at the program are responsible for their own annual meeting registration fee.

Submission Guidelines: The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2022. Feel free to submit an abstract, a précis, or a work-in-progress. Priority will be given to individuals who have never presented an immigration law paper at the AALS Annual Meeting, works not yet published or submitted for publication, and junior scholars.

Please email submissions in Microsoft Word format to profkitjohnson at (Subject: AALS 2023: New Voices in Immigration Law). In your email, please indicate how you meet our selection priorities.

Inquiries: Please direct any questions or inquiries to Kit Johnson (profkitjohnson at


May 23, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Albert Pujols (Reprise!)

Cxxnnxxr, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons>

Albert Pujols, the major league baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals, is no stranger to being immigrant of the day. Kevin highlighted him in 2007 when the Dominican-born player became a U.S. citizen, and again in 2017 when Pujols was on the verge of hitting his 600th home run (which he did and more).

Here's the thing about baseball. You've got hitters/fielders and you've got pitchers. They're different folks. Different skills. There's typically no crossover.

Pujols is, as you might guess, a hitter. He played first base for the cardinals for years. Then transitioned to becoming the team's designated hitter. That, for non-baseball folks, means he would step up and hit in lieu of the pitcher. Those 600+ home runs he's hit have many lauding him as a shoo-in for baseball's Hall of Fame once he retires.

Then came Sunday, May 15. The Cardinals were playing the Giants (S.F.). It was a blowout. In bottom of the eighth inning the Cards were ahead 15-2. The team's manager was looking around for someone to pitch the 9th so the team could avoid using a reliever. Pujols, 42, who had never before pitched, took the bait. He gave up 4 runs, but closed out the inning at 15-6.

After the game, Pujols told reporters it was: "A dream come true to say that I did it... It was fun. It wasn’t fun giving up two bombs. I think the fans had a good time. I’m sure the guys that took me deep did, too.”

You can watch his pitching here:


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

Compelled migration for Puerto Ricans seeking public assistance

The New York Times features a personal story on Puerto Rican citizens forced to move to mainland for public assistance, given their ineligibility for public programs desipte US citizenship.

As the article explains, Puerto Ricans still do not have access to the same social safety net as other U.S. citizens. Cuts in special education and social services have exacerbated the situation. As a result, "People who are disabled or care for children with special needs must routinely relocate to the 50 states to get care." It points out the problem that contains a solution:

Last month the United States Supreme Court could have ended this disparity. Instead, it held that Congress has the right to deny disability benefits to residents. While disheartening, the ruling was hardly surprising. The court used the same racist logic that for over a century has affirmed second-class citizenship for Puerto Ricans.


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

Fact-check: Do most people released from immigration authorities attend court hearings? YES


Politifact once again rebuts the Republican urban legend that noncitizens released from detention fail to appeal at hearings in immigration court.  It examines the truthfulness of Senator James Lankford's (R-Oklahoma) statement that “[t]he vast majority of individuals that we’re releasing out are not showing up for hearings.”

PolitiFact's ruling: False

Click the link above to look at the explanation of why Senator Lankford's statement, part of President Trump's talking points on immigration, is false.  The punch line:

"There are different ways to track how many immigrants don’t show up to immigration court hearings, and all indicate that a majority of immigrants, including those who are not detained, do attend their hearings. Data from the Justice Department show that in fiscal year 2021 and during the first quarter of 2022, most immigrants attended their hearings.

We rate Lankford’s claim False."



May 23, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Immigration Disappears From Kamala Harris’ Public Schedule


Official White House Photo

Remember when Vice President Kamala Harris was the Biden administration's point person on immigration.  That has changed, according to Philip Wegmann for Real Clear Politics:

"[A]s the flow of migrants accelerates across the southern border, immigration has disappeared from the vice president’s public schedule.

A compilation of that schedule by the Los Angeles Times, reviewed by RealClearPolitics, shows that Harris has not hosted an immigration-specific event since last summer. . . . 

White House officials dispute any characterization that Harris’ public schedule tells the whole story. `The vice president continues to lead implementation of the Root Causes Strategy and has been engaging with Cabinet and other Administration officials on this effort,' Harris’ Press Secretary Kirsten Allen told RCP."

Vice President Harris's lack of action on immigration has gotten the attention of Fox NewsProgressives also have lamented her lack of action on immigration and other critically important issues.

Immigration is a big issue in the mid-term electionsFocusing in no small part on tough immigration enforcement, for example, J.D. Vance won the Republican primary for Senate in Ohio.  


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

Sunday, May 22, 2022

From The Bookshelves: Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang


Sometimes you're in the mood for an immigration story but you're not feeling nonfiction or even a novel. Enter the comic book. Superman Smashes the Klan is authored by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Gurihiru. Check out this pitch:

The year is 1946. Teenagers Roberta and Tommy Lee just moved with their parents from Chinatown to the center of Metropolis, home to the famous hero, Superman. Tommy makes friends quickly, while Roberta pines for home. Then one night, the family awakens to find their house surrounded by the Klan of the Fiery Kross! Superman leaps into action, but his exposure to a mysterious green rock has left him weak. Can Roberta and Tommy help him smash the Klan?

Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial "Clan of the Fiery Cross," New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Terrifics, New Super-Man) and artist Gurihiru (Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Unstoppable Wasp) bring us a personal retelling of two different immigrants finding ways to belong.

Need a song accompaniment to your comic book reading? Superman Es Ilegal, sung by Los Hermano Ortiz, is your obvious pick.

In reading about this book, I couldn't help but become intrigued by Gene Luen Yang's earlier work: American Born Chinese which he both authored and illustrated. This graphic novel intertwines the stories of three different characters, one of who is "Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school."

How'd you like that? Sunday night double feature on immigration-related graphic novels. Now go out there and READ!



May 22, 2022 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boxer's Father/Trainer Unable to Get Visa for a Major Fight in Australia


Earlier this year, Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic was unable to defend his 2021 title after the Australian government canceled his visa.  The nation has a long history of tough immigration enforcement.  For a look at Austrlian's contemporary immigration policies, click here.

Now the Australian government has failed to issue a visa in connection with a major sporting event.  WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney’s father/trainer Bill Haney has been denied entrance into Australia for him to work his son’s fight against the undefeated George Kambosos Jr. on June 5 in Melbourne. Bill says he has been denied entrance into Australia because of a 1992 drug conviction.  

As a result, Bill Haney will not be working Devin Haney’s corner for fight against Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs)

“I did some mistakes at 22, 23-years-old that Devin is now that hopefully, he’ll never have to make the mistakes,” said Bill Haney to Trill Boxing Talk. 



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