Monday, February 28, 2011

University of Houston Immigration Clinic Wins in BIA!

Guest Post by Geoffrey A. Hoffman

The University of Houston Immigration Clinic recently won a difficult BIA case involving the cancellation of removal of a lawful permanent resident. This is an interesting case where the respondent had many equities, including U.S. citizen children and grandchildren, a long history here in the U.S., but also criminal history including controlled substances convictions. The immigration court granted cancellation based on a positive credibility determination and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  appealed the grant. You can see the Board grappling here, as it should, with the difficult issues of balancing of the equities in a cancellation case. In the end, the Board frankly was not persuaded by DHS's efforts to assert that the respondent attempted to "downplay" the crimes or minimize his involvement in criminal activity. At the end of the day, the Board correctly upheld the trial court's decision to grant cancellation of removal. This case would make an excellent teaching tool highlighting the roles of discretionary judgment and the importance of the IJ's credibility determinations in immigration court adjudications, especially involving EOIR 42A cancellation. Well done, by Dalia Castillo-Granados, the UH Immigration Clinic attorney who worked on the brief and deserves the credit!!!!  Download Bia ruling

February 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Immigrant Laws Won't Solve Mexico's Economy

The Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee has cleared the way for a host of bills targeting undocumented immigrants. SB 1611, Senate President Russell Pearce's latest effort to punish the state's immigrant community with harsh sanctions and restrictions, was one of them. This comes on the heels of legislation introduced a couple weeks ago in the Arizona legislature attacking birthright citizenship of children born to undocumented parents.

Everyone agrees that we need immigration reform. For years, Congress has attempted to strike a principled balance between greater enforcement and a fair way to adjust the status for the 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country. However, even immigrant rights advocates must acknowledge that legalization will not solve undocumented migration permanently. An expansion of visas will certainly help, but if the package does not include at least the first steps toward helping Mexico improve its economy and infrastructure, undocumented Mexican migration will continue, and the tension over undocumented migration will resurface down the road. To truly understand undocumented migration, we have to do what Americans have thus far been unwilling to do: Look beyond the simple explanation that migrants cross the border in search of work. We have to ask why they cannot find what they want in Mexico. In 1994, we were told that NAFTA would solve the undocumented problem because new jobs would be created in Mexico. But NAFTA ultimately contributed to huge job losses in Mexico. Mexican corn farmers could not compete with heavily-subsidized U.S. corn farmers, and now Mexico imports most of its corn from the U.S. Because of globalization, 100,000 jobs in Mexico's domestic manufacturing sector were lost from 1993 to 2003. Where do those unemployed workers look for work? El Norte. Read more...


February 28, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Practice Advisory on Matter of Alyazji

From Kathy Brady of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

Adjustment of Status Following an Admission Does Not “Re-Start” the Five-Year Clock for Purposes of the Moral Turpitude Deportation Ground

Matter of Alyazji, 25 I&N Dec. 397 (BIA 2011), overruling in part Matter of Shanu, 23 I&N Dec. 754 (BIA 2005)

Kathy Brady, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

A noncitizen is deportable if within five years “after the date of admission,” he or she commits a crime involving moral turpitude that has a potential sentence of at least one year.  INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i), 8 USC § 1227(a)(2)(i).  For some years the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has disagreed with federal courts on the definition of “date of admission.”   Now the BIA has changed its rule to one that is similar to the federal cases and that benefits immigrants.  Consider the following example:
Stella is admitted at the border as a tourist in 2002, overstays the visa, and adjusts status to permanent residence in 2006.  In 2009 she commits her first and only moral turpitude offense, and the offense carries a potential sentence of a year. 
Whether Stella is deportable for a single conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude depends upon when her “date of admission” occurred.   She is not deportable if the “date of admission” is the 2002 admission at the border, because she committed the offense more than five years after that date, in 2009.   She is deportable if the 2006 adjustment of status is the “date of admission,” because she did not accrue five years before committing the offense. 
 Under Matter of Shanu, 23 I&N Dec. 754 (BIA 2005), the BIA held that a person in Stella’s position would be deportable.  In Matter of Alyazji, 25 I&N Dec. 397 (BIA 2011) the BIA partially overturned Matter of Shanu, and held that a person in this position is not deportable under the moral turpitude ground.  The BIA held that the “date of admission” for this purpose is the admission pursuant to which the person is in the United States.  It stated:
Thus, to ascertain an alien’s deportability under section 237(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Act, we look first to the date when his crime was committed.  If, on that date, the alien was in the United States pursuant to an admission that occurred within the prior 5-year period, then he is deportable.  Conversely, the alien is not deportable if he committed his offense more than 5 years after the date of the admission pursuant to which he was then in the United States.  Moreover, under this understanding of the phrase “the date of admission,” the 5-year clock is not reset by a new admission from within the United States (through adjustment of status). Rather, such a new admission merely extends an existing period of presence that was sufficient in and of itself to support the alien’s susceptibility to the grounds of deportability.  Id. at pp. 406-407.

In Alyazji the Board described how it would apply this rule in different scenarios:

A is admitted to the U.S. on a temporary visa in 2001, overstays, adjusts status to lawful permanent residence in 2006, and commits the moral turpitude offense in 2007.  The “date of admission” for purposes of the five years is the date of admission as a tourist in 2001, and he is not deportable.  See Id. at 408; this is the fact situation in Alyazji.  The same would hold true if A had not fallen out of status, for example had been admitted on a student visa and remained in status until adjustment. 

B enters the U.S. without inspection and later adjusts status to lawful permanent residence (for example, pursuant to INA § 245(i) or an asylum application).  The “date of admission” for purposes of the five years is the date of adjustment of status.  See discussion at Id. p. 401.  

C is admitted to the U.S. as a tourist in 1990 and then leaves the U.S. for several years.  He enters the U.S. without inspection in 1998, adjusts status in 2002, and commits a crime involving moral turpitude offense in 2004.  The date of the 2002 adjustment of status is the “date of admission” for purposes of the five years.  Id. at 407-408.  

D is admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident in 2002.   After remaining here lawfully, he leaves the U.S. for three weeks to visit his mother in 2008.  Upon his return he is classed as a returning permanent resident and does not make a new “admission” under INA § 101(a)(13)(C).   In 2009 he commits and is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.  What is the “date of admission” for purposes of the moral turpitude deportation ground?

While Alyazji does not directly address this situation, counsel should argue that under the Alyazji test date of admission is 2002, not 2008.  The person is subject to the grounds of deportability pursuant to his grant of permanent residency in 2002, not pursuant to his processing as a returning LPR in 2008, which was neither an admission nor an adjustment of status.  Therefore he is not deportable because he did not commit the offense within five years after his “date of admission.”


February 28, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Public Favors Tougher Border Controls and Path to Citizenship: Most Oppose Ending "Birthright Citizenship"

The latest Pew Research Center research shows that the public does not appear to support th eextreme measures being contemplated in Arizona.


February 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Alienation

Tamar Jacoby
, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, compares the immigration policies of the United States and Europe on Zócolo Public Square.


February 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Study on Immigrant Integration Compares and Ranks the United States, Canada, and Europe: US Ranked in Top 10 Among 31 Countries

In cooperation with the Immigration Policy Center, the British Council and the Migration Policy Group release a new study today which reviews and ranks U.S. immigrant integration policies against other countries. The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX: contrasts and compares integration policies for legal immigrants across countries in Europe and North America. The United States is ranked ninth among 31 countries. This is the first year the United States has been part of the study, and IPC is pleased to be chosen as the U.S. partner for this important study.

The MIPEX compares and ranks countries across 148 policy indicators, providing objective and comparable data presented in a reference guide and an interactive online tool to help policymakers, advocates and researchers assess and compare integration policies around the globe. The policy indicators are divided into seven categories: employment opportunities, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to citizenship and anti-discrimination. Countries include all 27 EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, and the USA.

Overall the U.S. ranked ninth in terms of integration policies, and first in terms of its strong anti-discrimination laws and protections. The U.S. also ranked high on the access to citizenship scale because it encourages newcomers to become citizens in order to fully participate in American public life. Compared with other countries, legal immigrants in the U.S. enjoy employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and the opportunity to reunite with close family members. However, MIPEX also acknowledges that the U.S.'s complex immigration laws, limited visa ability, high fees, and long backlogs may make it challenging for immigrants to integrate into the fabric of American life.

MIPEX also highlights the fact that several U.S. states are taking the lead on immigrant integration. States including Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington state, as well as major cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco have offices dedicated to welcoming newcomers.

"As the United States continues to struggle with its own immigration policies, the MIPEX index offers policymakers and the public a framework for analyzing our best and worst practices on immigrant integration compared to other countries in the world. We have much to learn from other countries as well, but perhaps the greatest lesson that comes from MIPEX is that the very things that distinguish the United States are worth preserving as we move forward into the next decade of the 21st century," said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center.

"As the UK's international cultural relations organization, the British Council fosters the networks, cooperation and dialogue needed to build trust between people worldwide. We hope the third phase of MIPEX research will encourage dialogue and debate on best practice and enable better future policies," said Sharon Memis, Director of the British Council North America.


February 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Shakira: Latinos Will Have Justice!

An strong advocate of immigration reform in the United States, Colombian singer Shakira was honored Saturday by Harvard University  with the Artist of the Year Award for her artistic and humanitarian work. She commented that the variousstates' proposed anti-immigrant legislation cuts against her foundation's efforts to provide education to poor people around the world. The Grammy Award-winning singer, however, said Latino immigrants in the U.S. facing various anti-immigrant bills will have "justice" as public awareness about their plight grows.


February 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration ICE Storms Are Brewing: 7 Steps Employers Must Take NOW

Here is Angelo Paparelli's advice to employers on Nation of Immigrators.  The punch line: "Beware the ICE Bears."


February 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Beyond Borders: Immigration Images and Stories Photographs by David Bacon and Kathya Landeros

Beyond Borders: Immigration Images and Stories Photographs by David Bacon and Kathya Landeros

Viewpoint Photographic Art Center 2015 J. Street, Suite 101 Sacramento, CA 95811-3124 Phone: 916-441-2341

Exhibit Dates: Wed, 03/09/2011 - Sat, 04/02/2011 Artist Reception Date: Fri, 03/11/2011 - 5:30pm - 9:00pm 2nd Saturday Reception: Sat, 03/12/2011 - 5:30pm - 9:00pm

An exhibition of documentary photographs by David Bacon and Kathya Landeros about immigration to the United States from Mexico and Central America. An experienced photographer, journalist, and former labor organizer, Bacon's stunning work of photographs and oral history documents the new reality of migrant experience: the creation of transnational communities. He takes us inside these communities and illuminates the ties that bind them together, the influence of their working conditions on their families and health, and their struggle for better lives. Landeros, herself from a family of immigrants from Central Mexico, proposes that "If one can accept that the history of migratory policy toward Mexico has been complicated as we negotiate between our demands for labor and our need for cultural sovereignty, then we can acknowledge that the migrant communities that have developed in Mexico are a manifestation of these complexities."



For more articles and images, see


February 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Latest Immigration Scholarship from SSRN

Here is the latest immigration scholarship from the Social Science Research Network (  

"Mexican Families & United States Immigration Reform" Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1, p. 101, 2010 Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-03 BERNARD TRUJILLO, Valparaiso University School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  This essay argues that we should understand U.S. immigration policy as a series of bi-national relationships rather than as a single, user-indifferent interface. Applying this regulatory approach to Mexican labor migration (i) allows a more accurate definition of the migrating person in the context of the family he seeks to support; and (ii) highlights the United States’ duty to provide for Mexican families.

"The Latino/a Condition" Richard Delgado, THE LATINO/A CONDITION, Second Edition, New York University Press, 2011 Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 11-04 RICHARD DELGADO, Seattle University School of Law.  JEAN STEFANCIC, Seattle University School of Law.  ABSTRACT: In the last forty-five years, immigration reform has brought tens of millions of new immigrants from Latin American countries to the United States. Since critical race theory pioneers Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic compiled the first edition of The Latino/a Condition in 1998, the population has continued to grow exponentially, while scholarship on Latinos/as has grown just as quickly. The second edition of The Latino/a Condition brings together a wide range of new and classic Latino and Latina voices from the fields of law, sociology, history, media studies, and politics to address questions such as: Who exactly is a Latino? Who is Hispanic? Who is Chicano? How did Spanish-speaking people come to live in the United States? Is the Latino family a source of strength or oppression? What about Catholicism? Should the United States try to control Latino immigration, and is this even possible? What are the most common media stereotypes of Latino people? Are Latinos white? What role does law play in the racial construction of the group? Collecting a wealth of perspectives on these and other issues central to the Latino/a experience, Delgado and Stefancic offer a broad portrait of Latino/a life in the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

"Border Exceptionalism in the Era of Moving Borders" Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 38, pp.129-153, 2010 UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-06 JENNIFER M. CHACÓN, University of California, Irvine School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  Historically, the courts have indicated that the tasks of enacting and enforcing immigration laws are federal functions. The federal agents who police the nation’s borders have exceptionally broad policing authority - an authority that the courts have justified based on the special need to secure the nation’s borders from a variety of threats. Part I of this essay will summarize the Supreme Court jurisprudence that has endorsed exceptionally broad policing powers not only at international borders, but also in a much wider swath of immigration enforcement contexts. Over the past decade, as a consequence of the expansion in the number of immigration enforcement agents at the federal level and the rapidly increasing number of sub-federal agents involved in immigration control efforts, immigration enforcement has become a part of the everyday fabric of policing in the United States. Therefore, after summarizing the broad powers granted to police in the immigration enforcement context as a result of the Court’s jurisprudence of border exceptionalism, Part II of this essay will consider the implications of this jurisprudence in light of the recent trends that have transformed the nature and scope of immigration policing. This Part concludes that existing law is insufficient to protect against racial profiling and unreasonable police arrests and detentions, and that the implications of these recent developments extend well beyond the sphere of immigration enforcement.

"The Removability of Non-Citizen Parents and the Best Interests of Citizen Children: How to Balance Competing Imperatives in the Context of Removal Proceedings?" Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-21 PATRICK JAMES GLEN, Georgetown University Law Center.  ABSTRACT:  The massive influx of illegal immigrants over the preceding decades has combined with the United States’ jus soli citizenship regime to produce a growing class of removable aliens: non-citizen parents of United States citizen children. The removability of parents obviously places the citizen children in the unfortunate position of having to leave their country of citizenship behind to accompany the parents, or arrange for living situations within the United States, perhaps with a relative, but be separated from their parents. The compelling interests raised by the removability of parents in such circumstances have given rise to distinct forms of relief under domestic legal systems. The United Kingdom, in a recent decision by its Supreme Court, has held that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in determining whether the removal of the parent would be proportionate. Likewise, the United States provides for certain types of relief from removal for the parents of United States citizen children. Yet neither regime is entirely satisfactory. The United Kingdom’s approach is unduly biased towards non-removability, whereas the standards for establishing relief from removal in the United States are onerous and will be rarely met in practice. The purpose of this article is to propose a balancing of the interests that takes a realistic look both at the compelling interest citizen children have to remain in their country as part of a family unit and the competing interests of the state in a fully and fairly functioning immigration system. Such balancing is liable to make all parties unhappy - not every non-citizen parent should be permitted to remain simply on the fact of that parentage, and, conversely, not every removable parent should be removed simply because they are present illegally - yet it is the only feasible option to a problem that is only likely to grow in the coming decades.

"Italian Center-Right Parties and Immigration: A Political Patronage Approach" University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Journal, p. 32, 2010 TOMMASO PAVONE, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.  ABSTRACT:  In this paper, I forward a theoretical framework linking the center-right’s immigration rhetoric-policy divide with the Italian culture of political patronage, two topics which, to the author’s knowledge, have never been analyzed in tandem. I extend the selectorate theory to show how Italian center-right politicians use political patronage to compensate for moderate immigration policy adoption. I then argue that xenophobic voters face a collective action problem when voting for their center-right representative. Finally, I use multidimensional spatial representations to model the theoretical arguments developed in the paper and draw additional inferences. This political patronage approach is preferable over alternative theories because it can be generalized to explain other issue-driven rhetoric-policy divides in Italian politics.

ADJUDICATION BY FIAT: THE NEED FOR PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS IN ATTORNEY GENERAL REVIEW OF BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS DECISIONS LAURA S. TRICE.  ABSTRACT:  The Attorney General enjoys broad authority to certify to himself and review de novo decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Though sparingly used, the certification power is controversial, in part because it permits the Attorney General to announce new rules and overturn longstanding precedent without meaningful process. Under current regulations, the Attorney General is not required to provide even basic procedural protections in certified cases, and he has issued decisions without giving the parties notice of the issues under review or an opportunity for briefing. This Note argues that review of BIA decisions without meaningful procedural safeguards implicates serious due process concerns, raises questions about the quality and accuracy of Attorney General decisions, and undermines the legitimacy and acceptability of immigration adjudication. To address these concerns, this Note proposes that the Attorney General promulgate regulations that require meaningful, adversarial participation by the parties and provide a transparent means of soliciting input from interested amici on issues of broad significance.

"Unforgiving of Those Who Trespass Against U.S.: State Laws Criminalizing Immigration Status" KARLA MARI MCKANDERS, University of Tennessee College of Law.  ABSTRACT:  Since around 2005, states and localities have been using criminal trespass laws to target undocumented immigrants for unlawful presence. Specifically, in April 2010, Arizona passed SB 1070: Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. SB 1070 creates crimes involving trespassing by “illegal aliens” and harboring or concealing unlawful aliens. This paper argues that state trespass laws that criminalize unlawful presence of immigrants are unconstitutional regulations of immigration and are a preempted exercise of state power. In evaluating the constitutionality of state trespass laws that criminalize immigration status, this paper proceeds in three parts. The first part of the paper details how as a sovereign nation, U.S. laws have excluded undesirable categories of people from admission and have attempted to criminalize specific immigration violations. The second part explains and critiques the sections of SB 1070 that create separate state criminal offenses for violating federal immigration laws - namely unlawful presence or criminal trespass. The third part analyzes the constitutionality of the criminal provisions of SB 1070 that make it a state crime to be unlawfully present in the state in relation to specific provisions of the INA and federal immigration policy. The paper concludes that state trespass laws that criminalize unlawful presence of immigrants and attempt to delegate immigration enforcement to state officials are unconstitutional regulations of immigration and are therefore a preempted exercise of state power.

"Emigration and Democracy" IZA Discussion Paper No. 5496 FREDERIC DOCQUIER, Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).  ELISABETTA LODIGIANI, University of Milan, University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA).  HILLEL RAPOPORT, Bar Ilan University - Department of Economics, Stanford University.  MAURICE SCHIFF, World Bank, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), University of Chile.  ABSTRACT:  Migration is an important and yet neglected determinant of institutions. The paper documents the channels through which emigration affects home country institutions and considers dynamic-panel regressions for a large sample of developing countries. We find that emigration and human capital both increase democracy and economic freedom. This implies that unskilled (skilled) emigration has a positive (ambiguous) impact on institutional quality. Simulations show an impact of skilled emigration that is generally positive, significant for a few countries in the short run and for many countries in the long run once incentive effects of emigration on human capital formation are accounted for.


February 28, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

N.Y. Times: Shame on Arizona!

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Read the N.Y. Times editorial ("Angry Arizona, Again") on the Latest from Arizona.


February 27, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Creating New Americans: The Essence of Americanism under the Citizenship Test

Creating New Americans: The Essence of Americanism under the Citizenship Test Liav Orgad, Houston Law Review

This Article analyzes the normative aspects associated with the new U.S. citizenship test and seeks to challenge the test’s purpose, subject matter, format, ideology, and justification. It opines that the test has failed to achieve the main goal of the redesign process: to create a more meaningful test. While the test creates “summa cum laude immigrants” in U.S. history and civics, their understanding is still fleeting. It requires new Americans to memorize esoteric issues, such as the location of the Statue of Liberty, while ignoring the understanding of important ideas, such as liberty and equal protection. The manner new Americans are “created” is a political decision. The choices made today are likely to influence society tomorrow. The citizenship test is a great platform to examine these choices. This Article calls for a complete reassessment of the concept of citizenship tests.

See also Horne, Daniel C., "One Hundred Years of Aptitude:What Does the Naturalization Civics Test Accomplish?" in the June 1, 2009 issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.


February 27, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

ICE Sweep in South Florida

From the Associated Press:

Federal authorities say a six-day sweep of South Florida has netted 19 undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the operation that ended Thursday also caught four fugitives with final orders of deportation and one person who previously had been deported.

All 24 people were arrested for being in violation of immigration law. All are being held by ICE pending removal from the United States. Read more....


February 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Americans Favor Birthright Citizenship

Bruce Drake writes for Politics Daily:

While Americans still favor strong measures to crack down on undocumented immigration, they oppose proposals to change the Constitution so that children born here to illegal immigrants would not automatically become citizens, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted Feb. 2-7.

Proposals to deny citizenship to what immigration hardliners call "anchor babies" born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrant parents are unpopular with the public. Fifty-seven percent oppose changing the Constitution's 14th amendment that grants automatic citizenship to anyone born on American soil. Thirty-nine percent favor changing the amendment and 4 percent are undecided. Read more....


February 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 25, 2011

S-Comm Now Pervades California

From the Associated Press:

Federal authorities can now screen the immigration status of arrestees in every county in California.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that the last six counties were hooked up to the so-called Secure Communities program this week.

Through January, the agency had arrested 65,000 people in California who were identified through the program. Immigration officials say more than 70 percent of them had a criminal conviction.

The program began in California in 2009 and is currently being rolled out across the nation.

Under the program, arrestees' fingerprints are checked against Department of Homeland Security records and immigration officials are notified when there is a hit.

The program has faced ardent criticism from immigrant advocates who say involving local police in immigration enforcement discourages undocumented immigrants from reporting crimes. Read more...


February 25, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arizona's New Wave of Anti-Immigration Bills


Listen at this link to a Takeaway interview on Arizona's latest immigration laws.  Almost a year ago, key parts of Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law SB 1070 were declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. But this week, more than a dozen anti-immigration bills were introduced in the state. One bill would allow Arizona to build its own wall between it and Mexico. Another would require hospitals to check the legal status of patients. And the bill’s supporters are hoping that this time around, they can face down the feds by asserting state’s rights. Illegal immigrants would be barred from driving in the state, enrolling in school or receiving most public benefits. Their children would receive special birth certificates that would make clear that the state does not consider them Arizona citizens. Christopher "Buzz" Conover, reporter at KUAT Public Radio, joins The Takeawy from Tucson.

February 25, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

$400,000 Settlement in Unlawful Detention of US Citizen Case

From the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project:

Years after being wrongfully detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Rennison Castillo, a United States citizen and Army veteran, is finally receiving an apology and just compensation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In November of 2005, Mr. Castillo had just completed his sentence for violation of a protection order and harassment. Instead of being released from jail, he was transferred to the custody of ICE, which held him at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA for the next seven and a half months. During his detention, Mr. Castillo, who was born in Belize but became a United States citizen in 1998 while serving in the U.S. Army, repeatedly explained to several different ICE officers, and then to an Immigration Judge, how he had not only been naturalized as a U.S. citizen, but had also honorably served this country in the U.S. military.  ICE claimed that Mr. Castillo was in the country illegally and began deportation proceedings against him.

Like other immigration detainees faced with deportation, Mr. Castillo was not entitled to a court-appointed attorney, and he could not afford to hire a private attorney. He was only released after Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) took up his case on appeal.

Subsequently, Mr. Castillo received assistance from NWIRP attorneys Matt Adams and Angélica Cházaro, who agreed to represent him against the ICE officers who were responsible for his detention.

"What was most disturbing to me in reviewing this case was the callous indifference of the ICE officials," said his attorney, Matt Adams. "We knew we had to take some sort of action to try to prevent this abuse of power from happening again in the future."

After learning of the case, the law firm of K&L Gates agreed to provide pro bono representation to Mr. Castillo. K&L Gates lawyers representing Mr. Castillo included Douglas Greenswag, Theo Angelis, and Kymberly Evanson. Theo Angelis, a partner with K&L Gates and one of Castillo's attorneys explained: "Our soldiers deserve honor, respect, and justice. We are proud of helping Mr. Castillo obtain an apology and just compensation."

The government agreed to enter settlement negotiations after a federal district court judge denied the government's motion to dismiss. In addition to the damages award and the formal statement of regret, DHS announced a revised policy to help prevent similar incidents in the future.


February 25, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

National Constitution Center Program on Birthright Citizenship and Immigration Reform


The National Constitution Center is holding an program on birthright citizenship and immigration reform and birthright citizenship on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 5:30pm.  Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The program is part of the 2011 Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution. Jeff Greenfield, senior political correspondent for CBS News, will facilitate the conversation. The event also will include John Eastman, Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at Chapman University School of Law; State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-PA/12); Jorge Mursuli, president and CEO of Democracia Ahora; the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell; and Cecillia Wang, Managing Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants' Rights Project.


February 25, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


With the Asian American Law Journal, Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice and Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, the California Law Review presents: Inside Out: The New Borders of Immigration Policy Thursday, February 24 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) Berkeley.

In the past two decades, immigration policy debates have largely shifted away from concerns about who can enter the United States to instead focus on how we regulate immigrants who are already here. At the same time, advocacy across the political spectrum has increasingly attached legal and political import to immigrants' performance of their identities in ways that either reinforce or destabilize our beliefs about who immigrants are. Anti-immigrant rhetoric frequently invokes racist, sexist, homophobic, and Christian fundamentalist imagery to suggest that recent immigrants are a bad fit for the United States. Meanwhile, immigrants' rights advocates assert that the stereotypes lurking beneath current immigration law and policy ignore the incredible diversity of immigrant America. At the core of both groups' advocacy, though generally unspoken, are deeply-held convictions about the identity of America itself.

In partnership with the Asian American Law Journal, Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, and Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, this symposium seeks to foster a conversation that foregrounds the role of identity in immigration law and policy and in current discourses around immigration reform.


February 25, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How I Passed My U.S. Citizenship Test: By Keeping the Right Answers to Myself

Dafna Linzer
co-published a piece pn SLATE and ProPublica on her civics test for naturalization.



February 24, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)