Saturday, October 1, 2022

Immigration Article of the Day: Adopting Nationality by Irina Manta and Cassandra Burke Robertson 

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Adopting Nationality by Irina Manta and Cassandra Burke Robertson, Washington Law Review, Forthcoming


Contrary to popular belief, when a child is adopted from abroad by an American citizen and brought to the United States, that child does not always become an American citizen. Many adoptees have not discovered until years later (sometimes far into adulthood) that they are not actually citizens, and some likely still do not know. To address this problem, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) was enacted to automate citizenship for certain international adoptees, but it did not cover everyone. Thousands or tens of thousands of adoptees still live under the assumption that they are American citizens when in fact they are not. While laws have been proposed to fill the gaps left by the CCA, none have yet passed.This Article argues that children adopted by U.S. citizen parents are entitled to permanence of nationality. It explores how state and federal authorities deliberately and irrevocably sever the ties of transnational adoptees to their families of origin to promote the interests of the adoptive family. The U.S. adoption framework prioritizes the unity of the adoptive family over maintaining connection to the child’s family of origin. Adoptees often struggle to understand and define their identity on various levels, including their personal, national, and ethnic identities. Citizenship precarity adds an extra layer of psychological difficulty for transnational adoptees, making the child’s position in society even less secure. If a child can be adopted into an American family but not accepted as a member of the American nation, then the child will never have the full stability that adoption is intended to offer.The United States can and should follow through on the promise of permanence to transnational adoptees by awarding them the status of U.S. nationals. This status would enable them to remain in the United States, travel on a U.S. passport, and fully participate in American society. The United States Code already contains an overlooked provision that awards nationality status to those who, although not formally citizens, nevertheless owe permanent allegiance to the country. Interpreting this statutory language to cover adoptees who do not otherwise qualify for formal citizenship reflects the reality that children adopted into American homes are permanent members of this society. Indeed, we argue that the right to nationality is grounded in the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution. Recognizing nationality will ensure that adoptees—who were brought to the United States through no choice of their own—cannot be removed from it.


October 1, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 30, 2022

Proud to be an American: Professional basketball star now U.S. citizen


Top scorer in the National Basketball Association and All-Star, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was sworn in as a U.S. citizen two weeks ago, reports Dan Gelston of the Associated Press. "A native of Cameroon who also holds French citizenship, Embiid was sworn . . . in Philadelphia as an American citizen.""I’ve been here for a long time," said Embiid. "My son is American. I felt like, I’m living here and it’s a blessing to be an American. So I said, why not?" 


September 30, 2022 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Migrants endure retaliation at U.S. detention center, say advocates

Morgan Lee for the Los Angeles Times reports that "[m]igrants held by U.S. authorities at a detention center in rural New Mexico have endured retaliation rather than aid after reporting unsanitary conditions at the government-contracted jail, a coalition of civil rights advocacy groups said . . . ."

A public letter (for excerpts from the letter, see here) signed this week by at least a dozen migrants within the Torrance County Detention Facility describes broken plumbing, insect infestations, insufficient access to medical care and rationed bottles of drinking water. A companion complaint to the office of civil rights at the Department of Homeland Security documents retaliation, including restrictions on access to legal representation and a falsified accusation of misconduct against an immigrant.

The new complaint adds to concerns raised in August by the coalition — which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Innovation Law Lab and El Paso, Texas-based Justice for Our Neighbors — drawing on information from interviews with scores of migrants at the center. The Torrance County Detention Facility is privately operated by CoreCivic for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold migrants.


September 30, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Two Migrants Shot, One Fatally, Along Roadway in Rural Texas

330px-Ku_Klux_Klan_members_and_a_burning_cross _Denver _Colorado _1921

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The story sadly sounds of the vigilante violence against African Americans in the Old South.  J. David Goodman for the New York Times reports that two migrants were shot, one of them fatally, by two men in a pickup truck that approached them as they walked along a roadway in West Texas. The two men arrested in connection with the shooting:--  "Michael Sheppard, the warden at a local privately run detention center, and his twin brother, Mark Sheppard." -- men were charged with manslaughter.

According to the N.Y. Times report,"Michael Sheppard worked as the warden of the West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca, a site run by LaSalle Corrections, a company that operates more than a dozen private detention facilities in Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, according to the company’s website." (bold added).

In covering the story, Ryan Devereaux for the Intercept notes that

"For Michael Sheppard, it was the latest in a string of allegations of violence against immigrants going back years, with claims so severe that a federal prosecutor at one point sought the attention of the FBI.

As The Intercept reported in 2018, Sheppard, in his capacity as warden of ICE’s Sierra Blanca facility, was accused of participating in and overseeing the sadistic abuse of group of African migrants and asylum-seekers. In interviews with legal advocates, 30 men from Somalia described a “week of hell” in which they were pepper-sprayed, beaten, threatened, taunted with racial slurs, and subjected to sexual abuse by officials answering to Sheppard and in some cases by Sheppard himself."


September 30, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Fammigration Web by S. Lisa Washington

Washington Lisa


Fammigration Web by S. Lisa Washington, Boston University Law Review, Forthcoming 2023

S. LISA WASHINGTONBrooklyn Law SchoolEmail:

A growing body of scholarship discusses the expansive nature of the criminal legal system. What remains overlooked are other parts of the carceral state with similarly punitive logics. This Article focuses on the undertheorized convergence of the family regulation system and the immigration system. I argue that their cumulative effects increase the risk of immigration detention, deportation, and ultimately, permanent family separation for non-citizen and mixed status families. This Article provides the first theoretical account of family regulation and immigration convergence. When referring to this phenomenon I utilize the term “fammigration web,” similar to the way other scholars refer to criminal legal and immigration system overlaps as “crimmigration.” Although the exact number of non-citizen families impacted by the family regulation system remains unclear, the existing literature suggests that thousands of families are adversely affected. While practitioners and advocates are increasingly discussing the relationship between the family regulation and immigration systems, scholarship has not fully caught up. This Article fills that gap by identifying how nodes in the fammigration web exacerbate the risk of family separation for non-citizen and mixed status families.This Article makes three central contributions. One, it provides the first theoretical account of family regulation and immigration convergence. Two, it examines how this convergence marks and subordinates immigrant families. Three, it situates efforts to shrink fammigration alongside broader efforts to shrink the carceral state. To dismantle carceral logics, we must identify how they are produced across systems. While this requires long-term strategies, this Article offers a few immediate ways to shrink the fammigration web.



September 30, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 29, 2022

New Report: If You Build It, ICE Will Fill It

ICE reportToday the ILRC, CERES, and Detention Watch Network released a new report: If You Build It, ICE Will Fill It: The Link Between Detention Capacity and ICE Arrests.

Here is a summary of the report's research finding:

Immigrants in counties with more detention space are significantly more likely to be arrested and detained by ICE.

The likelihood of ICE arrest increases as detention capacity increases.

The counties with the highest number of apprehensions also closely aligned with the
locations of some of ICE’s largest immigration detention facilities

Communities of color, particularly Black immigrant communities, are the most
affected by the mass enforcement that follows detention capacity.

The full report is available here.


September 29, 2022 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

UCLA Law’s Center for Immigration Law and Policy Law Fellow Position

UCLA Law’s Center for Immigration Law and Policy is looking for a Law Fellow starting in summer or early fall 2023.   The full job posting is here.  It begins as follows:

"The Center for Immigration Law and Policy seeks a law fellow to engage in creative, high-quality research and analysis related to immigration law and public policy. The Fellow will further the Center's mission by conducting legal and multi-disciplinary research on a range of immigration law and related issues, including the racially discriminatory origins of various provisions of the immigration code, the possibility of greater state and local-level immigration law, and other topics. The Fellow will provide research and writing support to senior scholars at the Center and will contribute to reports, academic articles, public comments, and other Center work. The Law Fellow will also participate actively in the Center's litigation projects, including cases involving immigration detention, the Temporary Protected Status program, access to the asylum system in the border region, and others. This will be a two-year position, beginning in Summer or early Fall 2023, and will be based in Los Angeles, California (as COVID-19 regulations permit)."

Professors Hiroshi Motomura and Ahilan Arulanantham are co-directors of the Center.


September 29, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

National Immigration Law Center Law Fellowship Position


National Immigration Law Center Law Fellowship Position.  Click here for details.

According to the job posting,
"This two-year fellowship is designed for an attorney who has just graduated from law school or who graduated no more than two years before the Fellowship would start, has spent the intervening time either clerking for a judge or in another fellowship or term-limited position, and has a demonstrated commitment to civil rights, immigrants’ rights, and/or racial justice.  
The NILC Law Fellowship is an integral part of NILC’s commitment to supporting and developing the next generation of immigrants’ rights advocates and to advancing cutting-edge immigrants’ rights work. The Fellow will primarily assist with our impact litigation and policy advocacy work.  
The Fellowship is available for a two-year term from September 2023 through September 2025.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling-basis through Sunday, October 30th, 2022 at 9pm Pacific."


September 29, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Citizenship, Assimilation, and the Insular Cases: Reversing the Tide of Cultural Protectionism at American Samoa by Jason Buhl

Citizenship, Assimilation, and the Insular Cases: Reversing the Tide of Cultural Protectionism at American Samoa by Jason Buhl. Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2023 


Notwithstanding the gravity of American sovereignty, the people of American Samoa have maintained a distinctive way of life: the fa’a Samoa. This resiliency reflects that American Samoa is in many ways the most unique of the five U.S. Territories, including the fact that its residents are the only Americans who do not automatically attain birthright citizenship. Although several petitioners have recently sought to challenge this arrangement, the American Samoa Government (ASG) argues that the imposition of citizenship would not only be against the will of the majority of American Samoans, but also constitute the tip of a slippery slope that would undermine local culture by flooding the islands with mainland normative values. For instance, the local Native Lands Ordinance would face enhanced scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause, the territory’s chieftain-only senate would run afoul of Article I’s prohibition on titles of nobility, and the official observation of prayer would be in violation of the Establishment Clause. Two recent rulings by separate U.S. Courts of Appeals found against the petitioners on these and other grounds. Yet, while acknowledging that the ASG’s fears are justified, neither of the courts (nor any current scholarship) test that slippery slope argument in detail. This article fills that void by considering each of those arguments in the context of existing constitutional jurisprudence. Based on the experiences of other U.S. Territories and Indigenous Peoples, ample precedent suggests that the extension of citizenship would be followed by closer constitutional scrutiny in all three areas. Therefore, to allow for the preservation of cultural autonomy, the United States ought to maintain, improve, and maximize its ability to govern jurisdictions with the flexibility provided by the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution. That may or may not mean the extension of statutory birthright citizenship if decided by the people of American Samoa themselves, which would still theoretically allow for the tailored application of mainland constitutional norms. It also may or may not mean continuance of the Insular Cases precedents, whose checkered legacy the Supreme Court must address in any event. Indeed, this article engages with those precedents on their 100th anniversary as well as offers commentary on Justice Gorsuch’s critical concurrence in the newest case in the line, United States v. Vaello Madero, 596 U.S. ___ (2022). Ultimately, although there are important livelihood-based improvements to be made in central-local relations, American democracy is sophisticated enough to allow for unique patterns of territorial governance so that assimilation need not follow the flag.


September 29, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Senator Josh Hawley unveils bill that would allow states to enforce federal immigration law, deport migrants


Official U.S. Senate Photo

No stranger to controversy, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), a Yale-trained lawyer, is again in the news for taking extreme conservative positions.  Yesterday, Senator Hawley introduced legislation to give states the authority to enforce U.S. immigration law and empower states to implement deportation operations. "The measure from the Missouri Republican has virtually no chance of becoming law, but is intended to serve as a rebuke of Democratic President Joe Biden’s approach to immigration enforcement."

Republican Governors Greg Abbott of Texas, Doug Ducey (Arizona), and Ron DeSantis (Florida), have grabbed widespread attention for transporting migrants to so-called sanctuary states.

Here is Senator Hawley's press release announcing the bill:

"Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Empowering States to Deport Illegal Immigrants Act, new legislation that will give authority for states to enforce federal immigration laws and prosecute anyone who illegally enters the country that is residing in their state. With a rise in illegal drug trafficking and a surge in illegal border crossings over the past year, this bill will help protect American families and communities.

Due to the Biden Administration’s disastrous immigration policies, the United States is experiencing an unprecedented wave of illegal immigration. In 2022, there were more than 2 million border encounters, up nearly 470% since 2020. This does not account for illegal immigrants who entered our country without being encountered by Customs and Border Protection. Democrats fought hard to end President Trump’s Remain-in-Mexico policy, and doing so has contributed to a rise in crime, drug trafficking, and human trafficking across the southern border into the United States. 
. . . . 

The Empowering States to Deport Illegal Immigrants Act would allow states to:

  • Remove illegal immigrants from the country, not just send them to other states
  • Stop the record-high wave of illegal immigrants pouring over the southern border, which not only affects border states, but the rest of the United States
  • Prosecute people who commit crimes while entering the country illegally"


September 28, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Immigration Article of the Day: 2021 Survey of Illinois Law: Ending Immigration Detention and Expanding Immigrant Protections by Cindy Galway Buys


2021 Survey of Illinois Law: Ending Immigration Detention and Expanding Immigrant Protections by Cindy Galway Buys, Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Forthcoming


This article summarizes recent pro-immigrant legislation in Illinois and highlights a brewing federal circuit court split over limits on immigration detention by states. Part I of the article discusses the constitutionality of the Illinois Way Forward Act, which prohibits state and local governments from entering into contracts with the federal government to house immigrant detainees. The constitutionality of the Act was challenged in McHenry Co. v. Raoul, a case which is pending in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals as of this writing. The case raises issues of federalism, preemption, and anti-commandeering. Part II of the article summarizes other recent Illinois pro-immigrant legislation and the impact on present-day public policy issues.


September 28, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

From the Bookshelves: Hispanic Heritage Month

The two books featured in this episode of NPR's Book of the Day podcast are stories examining the difficulties and stressors of being Latino in America.

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is about a 15-year-old girl who has a contentious relationship with her immigrant parents. Author Erika L. Sánchez explains in conversation with Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa her goal to challenge ideas of Latina perfection. The book is being adapted into a major motion film starring American Ferrera.

David Bowles, author of They Call Her Fregona: A Border Kid's Poems, discusses the cracks in the Latino community and immigration in pursuit of a better life. The book is poetry -- literally, it is written in verse.


September 27, 2022 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conferrence (UC Davis): Lessons Learned and Ways Forward for the Economics and Politics of Refugee Integration


Location:  King Hall (UC Davis School of Law)

Symposium: "Lessons learned and ways forward for the economics and politics of refugee integration"

October 14, 2022, School of Law, UC Davis

To attend, please register here by October 5th

Jointly sponsored by

  • Economic Assimilation Research Network (Innovation Fund Denmark),
  • UC Davis Global Migration Center
  • UC Davis Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies

Academic Organizers: Prof. Raquel Aldana, Prof. Mette Foged, Prof. Giovanni Peri.

This workshop brings together the research of world-renowned scholars from economics, politics and law to understand the complex issues related to the integration, policies and politics relative to refugees in the world.

  • In the morning session, economists will present the results of evaluations of policies on the economic success of refugees and their children and a panel will discuss what we have learned from recent research and policy experience;
  • In the afternoon session, in a comparative approach that considers refugees in the US, at the US-Mexico Border and other refugees crisis in Latin America political scientists and law scholars will analyze aspects related to different legal and political responses of receiving countries to refugees inflow.
  • Click here for the conference agenda.


September 27, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Punishing Trauma: Incident Reporting and Immigrant Children in Government Custody


Immigrant justice

he Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) just issued a new report demonstrating how the federal government’s reliance on “Significant Incident Reports” (SIRs) negatively impacts the well-being of unaccompanied and separated children in federal custody.  "Punishing Trauma: Incident Reporting and Immigrant Children in Government Custodydocuments how SIRs often lead to children’s transfer to more restrictive settings, prolong their stays in federal custody, adversely impact children in their immigration cases, and delay family reunification or acceptance into federally-funded foster care.

This report is based on a survey of dozens of service providers who work directly with unaccompanied and separated children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). In fiscal year 2019, federally funded providers filed more than 100,000 SIR forms about children in custody.  The report recommends a wholesale overhaul of the SIR system away from punitive responses to children’s behavior to one that ensures children receive individualized, trauma-informed care. Our joint Press release is below and here.


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law: Call for Applications for Christopher N. Lasch Clinical Teaching Fellow, Immigration Law and Policy Clinic

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is seeking to hire a Christopher N. Lasch Clinical Teaching Fellow for the Immigration Law and Policy Clinic.  See the full position description at Download Fellowship Posting ILPC Denver Law 2022



September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vladimir Putin Grants Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship

image from pbs.twimg.comVladamir Putin has granted citizenship to Edward Snowden. Snowden was granted permanent residency in 2020, and on Monday a decree from Putin conferred citizenship to Snowden.

Putin's decree also granted citizenship to 74 other foreign nationals. And, as Reuters reports, it extended "a simplified Russian naturalisation process to all citizens of Ukraine[.]" The move has been sharply criticized by the Ukranian government, calling it "another encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, incompatible with the norms and principles of international law."

Snowden had posted on Twitter back in 2020 that he and his wife were "applying for dual US-Russian citizenship," because they have "no desire to be separated from our son."


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Right's victory in Italy expected to bring changes to migration

"For years, Giorgia Meloni has railed against Italy’s migration policies, calling them overly lenient and saying they risk turning the country into the `refugee camp of Europe.'

Now that she is Italy’s presumed next prime minister, migration is one of the areas where Meloni can most easily bring in sweeping change."

“The smart approach is: You come to my house according to my rules,” Meloni, of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party, said earlier this month in an interview with The Washington Post.

Meloni can be expected to "significantly tighten the doors to one of the European Union’s front-line destinations for undocumented immigrants."  "[S]he has long made it clear that halting flows of people across the Mediterranean is one of her priorities."


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Black Second Amendment Activists Call for Closed Borders in Austin, Texas March



News from Autsin, Texas.  A group of armed Black Second-Amendment activists marched through Austin, Texas  over the weekend and called on the US to close its borders.  "The protesters, gathered together by the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club, moved . . . toward the Texas Capitol [last] Saturday in what they called the `Second Amendment Unity Walk.'”

The marchers yelled chants in support of closed borders and against immigration.  See the tweets above by journalist Ford Fischer.

Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club founder Nick Bezzel is quoted as saying that the group isn’t opposed to immigration itself but takes issue with illegal immigration.  “A lot of times, jobs are taken away from black people because of illegal immigration,” Bezzel said. “Black people are locked out from employment due to illegal immigration so we want to stop illegal immigration so black people can make living wages.”


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The GOP's myth of an "open border"


Official White House Photo

To justify extreme immigration policies, Donald Trump derided the "open borders" allegedly endorsed by Democrats.  Debu Gandhi, senior director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, for Think offers thoughts on "The GOP's myth of an 'open border" and responds that "[t]he U.S. borders are guarded by a vast and well-funded national security agency that has grown far larger and more powerful in recent years."

Ghandi writes that 
"One would think that those perpetuating the `open border' myth would be eager to seize every opportunity to strengthen border security.

Whether or not [the transportation of migrants North by the Florida and Texas governors] violated the law, it was cruel and dehumanizing. This action — and similar ones orchestrated by other GOP governors — have also deliberately elevated the `open border' narrative, which falsely represents that unlawful immigrants are waltzing into the U.S. through a porous southern border in droves. The purported lawless and open border has been the main justification cited by DeSantis and other GOP governors, who have doubled down on their decision to transport migrants to prominent locations with Democratic elected officials — even though the GOP governors have deliberately made no attempt to coordinate these transfers.

Contrary to the `open border' myth, U.S. borders are guarded by a vast and well-funded national security agency that has grown far larger and more powerful in recent years. Since 2001, U.S. Border Patrol has nearly doubled in capacity, from fewer than 10,000 agents to now more than 19,500. The Biden administration has requested $97.3 billion in funding for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2023, including billions of dollars for border security and interior immigration enforcement."


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

9 Reader Views on the State of Immigration Policy

Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic compiles "9 Reader Views on the State of Immigration Policy."  The interesting reader perspectives trend toward support for legal immigration, perhaps reflecting The Atlantic's reader demographics.


September 27, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)