Tuesday, June 28, 2022
A new report published by TRAC using never before seen data shows that since 2008, Border Patrol has been encountering growing numbers of children, including unaccompanied minors and children within families.
According to TRAC’s findings, there has been a seventeen-fold increase in unaccompanied minors apprehended while trying to cross the US-Mexico border and a striking five-fold rise in all children apprehended. Despite this recent growth of minors arriving at the border, the total number of total border apprehensions remains lower than in the 1990s.
Highlights from TRAC’s recent report include:
- In FY 2011, Border Patrol apprehended 23,089 total children. In FY 2021, that number was 293,218.
- The proportion of children from Mexico has declined since FY 2008, replaced by larger numbers of children from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The proportion of all apprehensions who were children (including unaccompanied and in families) has increased from about 8 percent in FY 2008 to about 37 percent in FY 2019.
- Children apprehended by the Border Patrol have become an increasing proportion of all apprehensions, even taking into account discounting the FY 2020-2021 period when Title 42 expulsions artificially changed the make-up of individuals relegated to those processed under Title 8.
- The proportion of unaccompanied children alone rose from one percent of all Title 8 apprehensions in FY 2008 to 9 percent in FY 2019.
- Recent numbers of border apprehensions remain lower than the early 1950s and the 1990s, especially when apprehensions relative to the country’s population are taken into account.
- Beginning largely in FY 2019 there has been a sharp increase from other countries including Brazil, Ecuador and Nicaragua, with some growth from Venezuela, Cuba, Chile, and Haiti, as well as Romania and, for a time, India.
These findings were made possible as a result of a decade-long effort involving more than a hundred separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). TRAC analyzed over 6.5 million Border Patrol apprehensions for this report.
- Austin Kocher
The receipt of public benefits long has been controversial in the United States. In 1994, for example, California voters after a volatile initiative campaign passed Proposition 187, which sought to strip undocumented immigrants of almost public benefits (including a education education). More recently, the Trump administration's proposed public charge rule sought to exclude potential benefit recipients from entering the country.
"California will become the first state to remove immigration status as a barrier to health care, making all low-income undocumented residents eligible for state-subsidized insurance regardless of age. Gov. Gavin Newsom late Sunday announced a budget deal he struck with the Legislature included a new Medi-Cal expansion that would cover more undocumented adults. The program’s launch, starting no later than Jan. 1, 2024, is expected to provide full coverage for approximately 700,000 undocumented residents ages 26-49 and lead to the largest drop in the rate of uninsured Californians in a decade."
Click here for further details on the latest California budget.
On June 27, #HSI responded to a call from @SATXPolice regarding an alleged human smuggling event involving a tractor trailer on Quintana Road near Cassin Road. Upon arrival, we confirmed more than 40 deceased individuals.— Homeland Security Investigations (@HSI_HQ) June 28, 2022
ICE @HSI_HQ has initiated an investigation with the support of @SATXPolice and @CBP. Human smugglers are callous individuals who have no regard for the vulnerable people they exploit and endanger in order to make a profit.— Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (@SecMayorkas) June 28, 2022
It is only June and it already has been a hot summer. Once again, migrants are dying along the U.S./Mexico border. Yesterday was an especially tragic day.
As reported by the Associated Press,"[a]uthorities in Texas say that 46 people believed to be migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer and 16 others were taken to hospitals [yesterday] in a remote part of San Antonio." The article lists a few of the many cases of mass deaths of migrants in human smuggling efforts. Click here for more details. Unfortunately, as often reported in posts on the ImmigrationProf blog, the death toll at the U.S./Mexico border has been mounting as U.S. border enforcement efforts have escalated in the last twenty-plus years. See, for example, here, here, here, here, here.
At Least 42 People Found Dead Inside Truck Carrying Migrants In Texas.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 28, 2022
These deaths are on Biden.
They are a result of his deadly open border policies.
They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law. https://t.co/8KG3iAwlEk
This is devastating. Our thoughts go out to the families of those who lost their lives in San Antonio today.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 28, 2022
We need urgent action — dismantle human smuggling rings and replace them with expanded avenues for legal migration that reflect our values and meet our country’s needs. https://t.co/FVDBGFm9Oh
Monday, June 27, 2022
A few years ago, I pointed you towards an Irish comedy group (Foil Arms and Hog) and their take on the questions noncitizens have to answer before being allowed into the United States. It never occurred to me that the group might similarly lampoon other nations' entry expectations. And, because everyone needs a laugh right now... I present you with Getting Past French Immigration.
Thanks, gentlemen. I needed the giggle.
New OIG Report: Limited-Scope Inspection and Review of Video Teleconference Use for Immigration Hearings
The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued a new report this month, Limited-Scope Inspection and Review of Video Teleconference Use for Immigration Hearings. The report, which is available here, evaluates the use of videoconferencing in EOIR's "tent courts" in Brownsville and Laredo, Texas. These "tent courts," which operated in an expanse of inter-connected tents and shipping containers, rely exclusively on televideo to adjudicate the cases of noncitizens seeking asylum in the MPP program, also commonly known as "Remain in Mexico."
The OIG makes a number of recommendations for improving video hearings, including improved training, guidance, interpretation, and technical capacity. Among other findings, the report concludes:
"[B]ased on our observations and discussions with hearing participants, we believe that it was potentially difficult at times for respondents at the IHF to follow the hearing process and clearly differentiate the distinct roles of certain participants—particularly the immigration judge as neutral adjudicator versus the DHS trial attorney litigating the removal—due in part to the positioning of the participants on the video monitor. We identified several areas with potential to improve the quality and efficiency of virtual immigration hearings. For example, the majority of immigration judges, attorneys, and interpreters we interviewed who expressed an opinion on the subject believed simultaneous interpretation to be preferable and more efficient than consecutive interpretation, though EOIR is currently limited in its ability to provide simultaneous interpretation for remote hearings. In addition, we identified areas where additional training or information technology resources may be necessary to adequately support EOIR’s expanding use of remote hearings. Further, we found that EOIR must continue efforts to improve its processing of the volume of paper documents that may be filed for immigration cases, particularly those involving MPP respondents. Lastly, we found that EOIR must ensure both that respondents have adequate access to information on their rights in the immigration process and that it is meeting requirements for transparency and public access for immigration hearings, including those conducted virtually.
A New Conspiracy Theory: "Ghost flights" are the latest GOP effort to weaponize immigration ahead of midterms
Joel Rose for NPR report that "Republicans accuse the Biden administration of organizing secret flights, carrying migrants from the border to communities across the country, that critics have branded `ghost flights.'" He concludes that this claim is not true:
"When children and teenagers from Central America cross the border alone, the federal government is required by law to care for them until they're reunited with a sponsor, often a parent or relative, or placed in a network of special shelters around the U.S.
To do that, federal officials sometimes fly those children on charter planes from the border to other parts of the country. For years, this was widely seen as normal, even routine.
Until it wasn't."
As the midterm elections approach, Republican lawmakers across the country have sounded the alarm about "ghost flights" filled with migrant children. Stories about "ghost flights" for months have been regular fare on Fox News and other conservative outlets. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who recently signed into law a tough Florida immigration enforcement law, said at a press conference last week that "It's just in the middle of the night. And then you'll wake up and someone will say, 'they brought a bunch of unaccompanied minors.'"
U.S. government federal officials insist that the flights in question happened exactly the same way during previous administrations, including under former President Trump.
Miriam Jordan for the New York Times reports that, over the weekend, the Biden administration policy suspended a policy prioritizing the apprehension of undocumented immigrants who are considered a threat to public safety and national security. Earlier this month, federal judge DrewTipton, an appointee of President Donald J. Trump, blocked from going into effect the Department of Homeland Security policy. Judge Tipton sided with Texas and Louisiana, which claimed that the policy prevents U.S. immigration authorities from enforcing the law. “While the department strongly disagrees with the Southern District of Texas’ court decision to vacate the guidelines, D.H.S. will abide by the court’s order as it continues to appeal it,” the department said in a statement.
Jordan writes that District Judge Tipton wrote that "[t]he judge had stayed his ruling to allow the government to pursue an emergency appeal. But the stay expired on Friday, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had not yet issued a ruling, leaving Judge Tipton’s order to take effect."
Sunday, June 26, 2022
"immigration judges in Louisiana have denied asylum claims at a higher rate than almost any other courts in the nation over the past five years, according to federal data. . . . Between 2016 and 2021, the 15 immigration judges in New Orleans, Oakdale, and Jena denied 4,119 of the 4,632 claims they heard, marking an 88.36% denial rate statewide, according to an Acadiana Advocate analysis of data from Transactional Record Access Clearinghouse.
In comparison, an average of 67.6% of asylum cases were denied nationwide during the same period."
Louisiana has immigrant detention centers, including in Oakdale, Louisiana.
Bernd Debusmann Jr. for the BBC tells about the increasing number of migrants fleeing Nicaragua:
"The stories shared by Nicaraguans at [a] shelter [at the U.S./Mexico border] have two common themes: a struggling economy and fear of the government of Daniel Ortega, the leader of Nicaragua's 1979 Sandinista revolution who earlier this year was sworn into a fourth consecutive term as President.
Affectionately known as Comandante Daniel to his supporters, Mr Ortega has long been accused of abandoning the revolution's ideals by turning into a dictator, harshly suppressing any opposition.
These crackdowns have become more pronounced since Mr Ortega was returned to office in November, in an election that saw opposition candidates arrested or exiled alongside prominent regime critics, journalists, business leaders, human rights advocates and students."
For the last year or so, there have been reports (and here), including the United Nations, of Nicaraguans leaving the country because of deteriorating political and economic conditions. Removals of Nicaraguans from the United States as well. Many Nicaraguans have been returned to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols.
Since then, the clampdowns have continued and escalated, with the UN's human rights chief warning that new criminal legislations are being used to persecute perceived opponents of the Ortega government.
Saturday, June 25, 2022
She went from undocumented immigrant to Syracuse University's first Asian-American history professor
It is a good time for an upbeat story. Professor Junko Takeda recently became the first Asian-American and woman of color to be promoted to full professor in the history department at Syracuse University. A first generation college student, she once was undocumented. Professor Takeda today is an established scholar in the field of early modern French history.
"Takeda was born to a Japanese mother and a Korean father in Japan. Her parents came to the United States with student visas in 1979 when she was three years old. They were both daycare providers and looked for a better life and more opportunities for their daughter. After their student visas expired and their employers declined to help them obtain H1 visas, they remained here, undocumented, under a looming specter of deportation."
For the last 24 hours -- and probably for the indefinite future, the Supreme Court's overruling of Roe v. Wade dominated the news cycle. My new UC Davis colleague, Mary Ziegler, a legal historian, has been a "go to" commentator on the decision for news outlets across the country. Immigrant women -- especially poor ones (and here) including many immigrant women of color -- in the United States, of course, will be affected by the Court's decision.
It will take some time to see the full impacts of the Supreme Court's decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Many questions will arise about the breadth of the decision. Will, for example, the federal government continue to provide access to abortions for immigrant women in detention? Access to an abortion by a detained immigrant teen was the subject of litigation a few years ago. Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a court of appeals judge was involved in that case.
Wisconsin Public Radio interviews author and columnist Wajahat Ali talks about his book Go Back to Where You Came From. Although critical of the contemporary racial terrain of the United States, Ali is optimistic about the future. That outlook is much-needed in these challenging times.
Immigration Article of the Day: Impact of Forensic Medical Evaluations on Immigration Relief Grant Rates and Correlates of Outcomes in the United States
Impact of Forensic Medical Evaluations on Immigration Relief Grant Rates and Correlates of Outcomes in the United States, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2021. The authors:
HOLLY G. ATKINSON, City University of New York (CUNY) - School of Medicine
KATARZYNA WYKA, City University of New York (CUNY) - Center for Systems and Community Design
KATHRYN HAMPTON, Physicians for Human Rights
CHRISTIAN L. SENO, CUNY School of Law
ELIZABETH T. YIM, City University of New York (CUNY) - School of Medicine
DEBORAH OTTENHEIMER, Gotham Health
NERMEEN ARASTU, CUNY School of Law
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of forensic medical evaluations on grant rates for applicants seeking immigration relief in the United States (U.S.) and to identify significant correlates of grant success. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 2584 cases initiated by Physicians for Human Rights between 2008 and 2018 that included forensic medical evaluations, and found that 81.6% of applicants for various forms of immigration relief were granted relief, as compared to the national asylum grant rate of 42.4%. Among the study’s cohort, the majority (73.7%) of positive outcomes were grants of asylum. A multivariable regression analysis revealed that age, continent of origin, history of sexual or gender-based violence, gang violence, LGB sexual orientation, and being detained by the U.S. government at the time of evaluation request were statistically associated with case outcomes. Forensic physical evaluation was more strongly associated with a positive outcome than forensic psychological evaluation. Our findings strengthen and expand prior evidence that forensic medical evaluations can have a substantial positive impact on an applicant’s immigration relief claim. Given the growing applicant pool in the U.S., there is an urgent need for more trained clinicians to conduct forensic medical evaluations as well as to educate adjudicators, immigration lawyers, and policy makers about the traumatic nature of the life-altering events that applicants for immigration relief experience.
Friday, June 24, 2022
Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times proclaims that "'Gordita Chronicles' is the sitcom of the summer." The immigration-themed premise is simple; as summarized on IMDb, "[a] Latina reporter looking back on her childhood as a chubby, willful and reluctant Dominican immigrant growing up with her eccentric family in 1980s Miami."
The HBO Max series premiered yesterday and stars Olivia Gonclaves, Juan Javier Cardenas, Diana Maria Riva, and Savannah Nicole Ruiz. Zoe Saldana and Eva Longoria are behind the project. Shadow and Act spoke with the cast, as well as Saldana and Longoria.
Here is a review in the Hollywood Reporter.
I watched the first episode and likely will watch the rest of the series. The show is upbeat and light and offers a glimpse at the immigrant experience. Think a Dominican immigrant version of The Wonder Years or less complicated Jane the Virgin.
Much of the debate over the justice of immigration restrictions properly focuses on their impact on would-be migrants. For their part, restrictionists often focus on the potentially harmful effects of immigration on residents of receiving countries. This article cuts across this longstanding debate by focusing on ways in which immigration restrictions inflict harm on natives, specifically by undermining their economic liberty. The idea that such effects exist is far from a new one. But this article examines them in greater detail, and illustrates their truly massive scale. It covers both the libertarian “negative” view of economic freedom, and the more “positive” version advanced by left-liberal political theorists.
Part I focuses on libertarian approaches to economic freedom. It shows that migration restrictions severely restrict the negative economic liberty of natives, probably more than any other government policy enacted by liberal democracies. That is true both on libertarian views that value such freedom for its own sake, and those that assign value to it for more instrumental reasons, such as promoting human autonomy and enabling individuals to realize their personal goals and projects.
In Part II, I take up left-liberal “positive” theories of economic freedom, which primarily focus on enhancing individuals’ access to important goods and services, and enabling them to have the resources necessary to live an autonomous life. Some also focus on expanding human capacities generally, or give special emphasis to enhancing the economic prospects of the poor. Here too, migration restrictions impose severe costs on natives. To the extent migration can sometimes harm the economic prospects of natives, the issue is better dealt with by “keyhole solutions” that address specific problems by means other than restricting migration.
Finally, Part III describes how to address situations where potentially harmful side effects of migration might undermine either negative or positive economic liberty of natives, without actually restricting migration. I have addressed such issues in greater detail in previous work, and here provide only a short summary of my approach and its relevance for economic liberty issues.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
This week marked the passing of Clela Rorex, a clerk from Boulder County, Colorado who in 1975 issued a marriage license to a gay couple decades before the movement took root. The Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, and national media have described her legacy for the LGBT community, which is fitting during Pride Month. Governor Polis said in the NY Times article:
“So many families, including First Gentleman Marlon Reis and I, are grateful for the visionary leadership of Clela Rorex.”
Less attention has been paid to Rorex's role in extending a key benefit of marriage: citizenship acquisition for spouses. Those who teach immigration law today may consider the case law straightforward. But until same sex marriage became federally recognized in United States v. Windsor (2013), it was not settled that a gay citizen could pass on citizenship to his partner. Shortly after Windsor was announced, Janet Napolitano on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security directed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to "review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse."
Although perhaps taught as a historical background in the case book, Adams v. Howerton has long been the lead case on marriage in immigration law. It was the first U.S. lawsuit to seek recognition of a same-sex marriage by the federal government, and it initially failed: the case stands for the proposition that the term "spouse" refers to an opposite-sex partner for the purposes of immigration law.
Mr. Adams was born in the Philippines. His family moved to the United States when he was 12, and he grew up in Minnesota. Adams became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1968 and was living in Los Angeles, California when he met Anthony Corbett "Tony" Sullivan, an Australian citizen who was visiting the U.S. on a tourist visa. They were one of six gay couples granted marriage licenses by Ms. Rorex in Boulder, Colorado on April 21, 1975. On the basis of the marriage, Mr. Adams applied to the Immigration Naturalization Service for Mr. Sullivan's citizenship as an immediate relative, but he was denied. The denial letter stated that "[Adams and Sullivan] have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots." A revised letter was later sent, explaining that "[a] marriage between two males is invalid for immigration purposes and cannot be considered a bona fide marital relationship since neither party to the marriage can perform the female functions in marriage.
After losing Sullivan's appeal of his deportation order in 1985 and being denied Adams' request for residency by Australia, in 1985 the couple traveled in Europe for a year. Afterward, they returned to the U.S., lived in Los Angeles, and avoided high-profile activism that might attract the attention of immigration authorities. Adams worked for a law firm as an administrator until his retirement in 2010. After retirement, Adams and Sullivan made some appearances at events supporting same-sex marriage. Adams died at his Los Angeles home on December 17, 2012.
Sullivan survived him and, on April 21, 2014, on their 39th wedding anniversary, Sullivan filed a motion with the Los Angeles Field Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reopen and reconsider his late husband's petition for a marriage-based green card which that office had denied. On January 5, 2014, the USCIS approved Adams' immigrant visa petition filed in 1975 on behalf of his husband. Sullivan received his green card in April 2016.
Limited Partnership, a documentary telling the couple's story, was released by Tesseract Films in 2014 and makes for a compelling immigration class!
This Essay analyzes how aggressive activism in a California mountain town at the tail end of the nineteenth century commenced a chain reaction resulting in state and ultimately national anti-Chinese immigration laws. The constitutional immunity through which the Supreme Court upheld those laws deeply affected the future trajectory of U.S. immigration law and policy.
Responding to sustained political pressure from the West, Congress in 1882 passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, an infamous piece of unabashedly racist legislation that commenced a long process of barring immigration from all of Asia to the United States. In upholding the Act, the Supreme Court in an extraordinary decision that jars modern racial sensibilities declared that Congress possessed “plenary power”—absolute authority—over immigration and that racist immigration laws were immune from judicial review of their constitutionality.
The bedrock of U.S. immigration jurisprudence for more than a century and never overruled by the Supreme Court, the plenary power doctrine permits the treatment of immigrants in racially discriminatory ways consistent with the era of Jim Crow but completely at odds with modern constitutional law. The doctrine enabled President Trump, a fierce advocate of tough-as-nails immigration measures, to pursue the most extreme immigration program of any modern president, with
devastating impacts on noncitizens of color.
As the nation attempts to grapple with the Trump administration’s brutal treatment of immigrants, it is an especially opportune historical moment to reconsider the plenary power doctrine. Ultimately, the commitment to remove systemic racism from the nation’s social fabric requires the dismantling of the doctrine and meaningful constitutional review of the immigration laws. That, in turn, would open the possibilities to the removal of systemic racial injustice from
immigration law and policy.
Monday was World Refugee Day. Up in Chicago, the local news interviewed many (including immprof Rev. Craig B. Mousin) about how the area is responding to refugees from around the globe.
Here's a good youtube snippet:
You can find more indepth commentary from Mousin at this link.
Professor Jack Chin has an article that ImmigrationProf blog readers may find of interest. Published with several commentaries (including one by me) by the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, the article is entitled "Dred Scott and Asian Americans." Read Full Article
Here is the abstract of the article:
"Chief Justice Taney’s 1857 opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford is justly infamous for its holdings that African Americans could never be citizens, that Congress was powerless to prohibit slavery in the territories, and for its proclamation that persons of African ancestry “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” For all of the interest in and attention to Dred Scott, however, no scholar has previously analyzed United States v. Dow, an 1840 decision of Chief Justice Taney in a circuit court trial which is apparently the first federal decision to articulate a broad theoretical basis for white supremacy. Dow identified whites as the “master” race, and the opinion explained that only those of European origin were either welcomed or allowed to be members of the political community in the American colonies. Non-whites such as members of Dow’s race, Taney explained, could be reduced to slavery, and therefore their rights continued to be subject to absolute legislative discretion. Dow, however, was not a person of African descent—he was Malay, from the Philippines. Chief Justice Taney’s employment in Dow of legal reasoning which he would later apply in Dred Scott suggests that Dred Scott should be regarded as pertinent to all people of color, not only African Americans. This understanding of Dred Scott helps explain the revival of Taney’s reputation during the Jim Crow era after Reconstruction. Courts declined to invalidate restrictions with respect to a broad range of civil rights on citizens and immigrants of African, Indian, Asian, and Mexican ancestry to which whites were not subject. Indeed, whites could not be subject to them, unless it is conceivable that under the U.S. Constitution, the law could provide, for example, that all races would be ineligible to testify or vote because of their race. Accordingly, even after Reconstruction—just as Dred Scott and Dow contemplated—the white race remained the master race, in the sense that members of that race were the exclusive holders of truly inalienable rights."
Jack's article and the symposium contributions are well worth reading. As the title of my contribution suggests ("Dred Scott and Asian Americans: Was Chief Justice Taney the First Critical Race Theorist?"), I had fun commenting on Jack's insightful article.
More positive ~~ vibes ~~ on Senate floor.— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) June 21, 2022
A smiling Cornyn tells Padilla, “First guns, now it’s immigration”
“That’s right, we’re going to do it,” Sinema added
Earlier this year, there was talk about a bipartisan immigration reform proposal in Congress. This Fox News headline suggests that one should not hold her breadth: "Cornyn's office denies bipartisan immigration bill in the works amid conservative uproar"
Senator Cornyn’s reported comments drew swift backlash from the right, many of whom were already angered by his support for the gun legislation. Cornyn has previously backed bipartisan immigration efforts, including a border security bill. He has also backed a pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance said on Fox News’ "Ingraham Angle" that it would be "catastrophic" for the Republican Party to "advance amnesty."