Thursday, March 31, 2011

St. John's Clinic and Catholic Charities Community Services Obtain Victory for Immigrant Child

Students in the St. John’s University School of Law’s Child Advocacy Clinic recently obtained a novel appellate court decision on behalf of an unaccompanied minor from Mexico who found himself in immigration detention in New York, unable to access state-run foster care because the County refused to file a dependency case on his behalf. St. John’s, partnering with Catholic Charities Community Services, litigated a private party dependency case as a last resort. Clinic students worked every aspect of the case, from pre-filing to the opposition to the County’s motion for leave to appeal to New York Court of Appeals. An article in the New York Law Journal describes the case in greater detail, as does St. John’s website.

The decision is the first time New York's child protective statutes have been applied to a child in immigration detention.

According to Jennifer Baum, Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic, the client, a shy 17 year old from a rural town in Mexico, is taking full advantage of his opportunity to study for his GED, obtain work authorization, and learn and perfect his English.


March 31, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stopping Deportations Before They Start

From Raj Jayadev (SV De-Bug) and Angie Junck (Immigrant Legal Resource Center)

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Padilla v. Kentucky – arguably the most important U.S. Supreme Court decision to date in terms of the nexus between local criminal courts and federal immigration laws. This is also the first week of renewed freedom for Jeysson Minota, a 28-year-old legal permanent resident from Colombia who had been in and out of federal detention centers for the past four years due to charges stemming from graffiti. His detention and his ultimate freedom tell the story of the need and possibility of the Padilla standard.

In the Padilla case, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution requires that criminal defense counsel provide affirmative and competent advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal disposition to noncitizen defendants. The advice is critical to defendants like Minota.

The criminal act that got Minota in the scopes of Homeland Security was vandalism. As a younger man, Minota was a graffiti artist and had plead to a felony charge of vandalism. Immigration and enforcement claimed that vandalism is a ”crime of moral turpitude,” thus being a deportable offense, even though Minota was a greencard holder.

Had his previous lawyers informed Minota that a guilty plea could lead to deportation, he may not have been in detention for four years. Because he did not plead guilty to his more recent misdemeanor criminal charge he was able to eventually win another green card and a new start in the United States, in immigration court. Had he plead guilty to the seemingly innocuous charge, one that would have carried no extra jail time, it would have been equivalent to an immigration death sentence triggering permanent deportation and separation from his U.S. citizen wife, two children, mother, and siblings. Instead, Minota took his case to trial, and with the advocacy of his public defender, was found innocent. The win gave his immigration attorney a shot to keep him in this country.

But as with any legal device, the decision from Padilla v. Kentucky is a measure of protection that only has value if exercised. There are two glaring and systemic roadblocks that make cases like Minota’s, even with the Padilla decision, more the exception than the rule. Both though can be overcome through legal education and expanding the lens of community advocacy. Read more...


March 31, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2010

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has released Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2010.  Here are some of the highlights:

• 358,800 asylum applications were recorded in the 44 countries included in this report. This is 20,000 claims or 5 per cent less than in 2009 and 2008 (about 378,000 claims for each year). The 2010 level is the fourth lowest in the past 10 years.

• The 38 countries in Europe received 269,900 claims, a decrease of 6 per cent compared to 2009 (287,800 claims).

• The relative importance of Europe as a destination region for asylum-seekers declined in recent years. In 2005, the 38 European countries covered by this report received almost 60 per cent of all asylum applications worldwide. By 2009, this had fallen to 45 per cent.

• The 27 Member States of the European Union registered 235,900 asylum claims in 2010, a 5 per cent decrease compared to 2009 (247,300). The EU-27 together accounted for 87 per cent of all asylum claims in Europe.

• In Europe, the largest relative decrease in annual asylum levels was reported by the eight Southern European countries which received 33,600 asylum requests during 2010. This is a 33 per cent decrease compared to 2009. This decrease is mainly due to fewer individuals requesting international protection in Malta (-94%), Italy (-53%), and Greece (-36%).

• In North America, an estimated 78,700 new asylum applications were submitted in 2010, 3,600 claims or 4 per cent less than in 2009.

• With an estimated 55,500 asylum applications, the United States of America was the largest single recipient of new asylum claims among the group of countries included in this report. France was second with 47,800 asylum applications, followed by Germany (41,300), Sweden (31,800), and Canada (23,200). The top five receiving countries together accounted for more than half (56%) of all asylum claims received in the countries included in this report.

• Slightly less than half of all asylum claims were submitted by individuals originating from Asia (45%). Africa was the second most important source continent (25% of all claims), followed by Europe (19%), and the Americas (8%).

• With 28,900 asylum claims lodged in 2010, Serbia (including Kosovo) was the most important source country of asylum-seekers in the 44 countries included in this report, followed by Afghanistan (24,800 claims), China (21,600), Iraq (20,100), and the Russian Federation (18,900). 


March 31, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Seton Hall University School of Law, Center for Social Justice Position Available for Clinical Instructor Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic

Seton Hall University School of Law, Center for Social Justice Position Available for Clinical Instructor Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights ClinicJune 2011 to June 2012, expected renewal for one additional year Posted March 25, 2011

The Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall University School of Law, located in Newark, New Jersey, is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications for a full-time Clinical Instructor to teach in its Center for Social Justice from June 2011 until June 2012, with the expectation of renewal for a second year dependent on grant funding and performance. The Center is home to eight clinics, as well as the International Human Rights/Rule of Law Initiative, the Urban Revitalization Initiative, and a large pro bono program. The clinics focus on the following areas: constitutional and civil rights, education and prison reform, equal justice, family law, immigration and human rights, impact litigation, juvenile justice, and predatory lending and foreclosure.

The Clinical Instructor will work with Professor Lori Nessel, Director of the Center for Social Justice and Professor of Law in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, to supervise immigration and human rights litigation in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic.

The focus of this position is on the immigration work. The Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic specializes in litigation, reporting, and advocacy on immigration matters, particularly as they impact immigrant workers in New Jersey. The Clinic also handles asylum, U visas, T visas and international human rights litigation and advocacy work. Because the clinic is part of a broader International Human Rights/Rule of Law Project, the Clinical Instructor may also collaborate with other clinics and with a practitioner-in-residence. The Clinical Instructor position is a year-round position that includes co-teaching a clinical seminar and supervising approximately eight students per semester during the academic year and responsibility for managing the immigration and human rights docket, including primary case coverage, during the summer. We seek candidates with distinguished academic records, excellent written and oral communication skills, practice and teaching experience, as well as a strong commitment to public interest law and clinical legal education.

Applicants should have at least 7 years of practice experience in the field of immigration, or a combination of immigration and labor or international human rights, as well as an interest in clinical teaching. All applicants must be members of a state Bar; New Jersey bar membership is preferred but not required.

 This is not a tenure-track position and cannot be converted to a tenure-track line. The position includes a competitive salary and compensation package. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. Review of applications will begin March 28, 2011, and will continue until the position is filled.

To apply, please send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, list of three references, and a writing sample to Patrice Smiley Andrews, Administrative Director, Center for Social Justice, Seton Hall University School of Law, 833 McCarter Highway, Newark, New Jersey 07102 or via e-mail to For more information on the clinical programs with the Center for Social Justice, visit the Center’s website at For more information on Seton Hall University School of Law, see Seton Hall University is an affirmative action, equal employment opportunity employer.


March 31, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

6th Annual Conference on Catholic Legal Thought

The 6th Annual Conference on Catholic Legal Thought will take place at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, May 17-19.  On May 17 we will spend the afternoon with Paul Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke discussing "The Essential St. Augustine fr 21st Century Lawyers and Law Professors.  To facilitate the discussion we are asking participants to read "Augustine:  Political Writings," Adkins and Dodaro (eds), Cambridge Univ. Press 2001 and Books 2 & 19 from "The City of God."  SMU's George Martinez, who is familiar to many in the immigration law prof community, will be one of the respondents to Prof. Griffiths.  On May 18 we will have sessions on "The City of Man:  What role should law play in infusing the City of Man with the City of God?" and "Forgiveness and Conversion: What should be law's attitude toward treatment of post-conviction criminals."  And, on May 19, Steven Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at San Diego wlll present his book, "The Disenchantment of Secular Purpose," which should be read in advance to prepare us for a robust discussion.

To request a registration form and full conference schedule please email Michael Scaperlanda at

March 30, 2011 in Books, Religion | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arpaio's New Folly: Operation Desert Sky


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio plans to hold another one of his controversial crime suppression sweeps, but this one has a twist.

It's called Operation Desert Sky, and it'll last for several weeks. It'll also cover a much broader area and use fixed wing planes to spot smugglers from the air.

Arpaio said he wants to seal the Maricopa County border from drug and human traffickers, and he's confident the operation will lead to arrests.

Arpaio promises that this operation will not disrupt normal law enforcement operations because armed volunteers and deputies from the human smuggling and drug enforcement units will work it.

Deputies and qualified volunteers will carry M-16s and other guns, including a 50-caliber machine gun.

Repeat after me: Sheriff Joe has got to go!


March 30, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A New Architecture for Border Management

The fifth plenary meeting of the Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration focused on assessing the most effective approaches to bringing greater order and legality to migration, border management, and labor systems. And today, MPI is pleased to release the first paper commissioned as part of the Council’s November 2010 meeting, “Restoring Trust in the Management of Migration and Borders.”  In their report, A New Architecture for Border Management (Download Borderarchitecture[1]), MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou and European Policy Fellow Elizabeth Collett sketch the emergence of a new border architecture resulting from the explosion in global travel and the dawning of the age of risk. This new border architecture must respond effectively to the seemingly competing demands of facilitating mobility while better managing the risks associated with cross-border travel (e.g. terrorism, the entry of unwanted migrants, and organized crime). The report examines the information-sharing agreements, technology innovations, and multilateral partnerships that have emerged as key components of the new architecture for border management, and discusses challenges and considerations for the future. Among the other works also informing the Council’s deliberations were a report assessing the transatlantic data-sharing agreements and negotiations that have emerged in the post-9/11 era, and an analysis of US border control programs since the mid-1990s.


March 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Broken Trust: Domestic Violence Against Immigrant Women and Children a Collateral Consequence of New Local Immigration Enforcement Measures

Broken Trust from Enlace Comunitario on Vimeo.

Many state and local governments have sought to blur the lines between regular law enforcement and immigration enforcement. The consequence of this has been that immigrant domestic violence victims have become fearful of law enforcement, making all of our communities less safe. Enlace Communitario, an Albuquerque-based non-profit, has developed this video designed to raise awareness of how these policies are imjuring innocent women and children.



March 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Review of Everyday Law for Immigrants


Check out Professor Won Kidane's review of Professor Victor Romero's book  "Everyday Law for Immigrants.Here is Profesor Romero's response.


March 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Viva Vives!!! From Undocumented Child to Pulitzer Prize Contender

Listen to a Southern California Public Radio story about L.A. Times reporter Ruben Vives, who was almost deported as undocumented immigrant but went on to graduate collerge and is now contending for a Pulitzer Prize for coverage on the controversial goings-on in Bell city government.  For more on this story, click here.


March 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Department of Justice: Indicting Immigrants, Ignoring Wall Street Crooks

In a recent blog entry, former wall street executive Richard Eskow writes, "If you're a banker who bought your estate with the millions you made from mortgage fraud, relax. The Justice Department isn't looking for you. But if you're an illegal immigrant who's working on that banker's estate, look out. The Department of Justice is ignoring your boss and devoting most of its resources to catching you." To read the whole blog click here.


March 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Security First Argument is a Red Herring

From the Center for American Progress:

The “Border Security First” Argument: A Red Herring Undermining Real Security
Assessing DHS Progress and Looking Forward
By Marshall Fitz, Angela Maria Kelley, Ann Garcia

Opponents of comprehensive immigration reform argue that we need a fully secure border before we can systemically overhaul our immigration laws. Ironically, the “border security first” mantra is actually thwarting progress on border security.

This brief shows that the Department of Homeland Security met and exceeded stringent enforcement benchmarks that “border security first” supporters laid out in legislation that failed to pass Congress in 2007.

It is past time to put aside this tired expression and start working on comprehensive solutions to fix the system.

Read more and download this issue brief here.


March 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Legal Briefs on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country


Legal Briefs on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country

A must-read resource for attorneys, elected officials, legislators, policy makers, educators, students, citizens, immigrants and anyone interested in the future of America. With many immigration bills now being considered in state legislatures around the country, Robinson Omnimedia Publishing & Studios has released Legal Briefs on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country, a timely and relevant analysis of what's needed to fix our broken immigration system.

In light of imminent national immigration reform, Editors Deborah Robinson and Mona Parsa, Esq. asked 25 of The Top Legal Minds in the Country this question: If you were called upon by the President of the United States to recommend a piece of immigration legislation that could pass the legal test of the U.S. Constitution and both houses of Congress, what would it include? This book is their answer.

Legal Briefs on Immigration Reform from 25 of the Top Legal Minds in the Country is an extensive and comprehensive compilation of brief legal opinions, observations and analyses on the issue of immigration reform from 25 of The Top Legal Minds in the Country. It is a must-read resource for attorneys, elected officials, legislators, policy makers, educators, students, citizens, immigrants and anyone interested in the future of America.

Including remarks from President Barack Obama, the book features noted top legal minds in the field of immigration, including; Gary Endelman, former In-house immigration counsel for BP America Inc.; Ira Kurzban, past national president and former General Counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); Michael Wildes, former federal prosecutor and past two-term mayor of Englewood, New Jersey; Austin Fragomen, chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Council on International Personnel; Patrick Shen, former policy director of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE); Dr. Carol M. Swain, Pulitzer Prize nominee and professor of political science and professor of law at Vanderbilt University; Michael Fix, senior vice president and director of studies at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI); and David Selden, listed as one of the top lawyers in the country for the past 15 years.


March 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Laura Carlsen and the Chiapas Media Project

The Americas Program is hitting the road! Join Laura Carlsen and the Chiapas Media Project on their upcoming US speaking tour.

"Living Juarez: Collateral Damage in Mexico's Drug War"

Laura will be screening the latest Chiapas Media Project film 'LIVING JUAREZ: Collateral Damage in Mexico’s Drug War" and discussing various aspects of the War on Drugs in Mexico and US drug policy.

LIVING JUAREZ looks at the Ciudad Juárez neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar where, in January 2010, a group of youth attending a birthday party were brutally murdered. In the massacre's immediate aftermath, Felipe Calderón characterized the youth as gang members. The outraged families personally confronted the president at public forums in Juárez during his visits to the city after the massacre.

The film tells the story of the real victims in Calderón’s Drug War: regular people just trying to survive in a city overrun by senseless violence, and corruption. The neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar is organized and speaking out against the arbitrary and frequent abuses that are committed by the armed forces against civilians and particularly the youth in Juárez.

Laura Carlsen, a graduate of the Stanford Center for Latin Americas Studies, is the director of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy. Laura has been a political analyst and writer in Mexico for over twenty years and has written extensively on trade, security, immigration and gender issues and appears frequently as an expert on these issues in US and Latin American media. She is the author of "A Primer on Plan Mexico" and has been closely tracking the drug war and the Merida Initiative over the years, working with U.S. and Mexican groups to develop facts-based assessments and explore alternatives.


In December of 2006, Felipe Calderón took office as president of Mexico and soon after launched the war on drugs. Since then, more than 45,000 soldiers have been dispatched throughout the country and violence has exploded, reaching nearly 35,000 drug war-related deaths and counting. Many experts calculate that the total by the end of the current administration will reach 70,000, with an increasing number of civilian deaths. The U.S. Merida Initiative, designed by the Bush administration and presented as a three-year plan to support the Mexican drug war, has been expanded indefinitely by the Obama administration.

In Mexico and the United States, the high social costs of the interdiction and enforcement model against drug cartels has led many to question whether it is the right strategy. Is the Mexican war on drugs winnable? What are the alternatives to the "war" model? Are there ways in which binational cooperation could be more effective and reduce violence?

Join Laura and the Americas Program at the following events free and open to the public:

March 29th: Edinburg, Texas: University of Texas Pan American Student Union Theater, 7PM,12010 West University Dr.

March 30th: Galveston, Texas: University of Texas Medical Branch, Administration Building, Caduceus Room, 6-9 PM

March 31st: Nacogdoches, Texas: Stephen F. Austin University, Baker Pattillo Student Center Movie Theater, 7-9 PM

April 3rd: Chicago, Illinois: Calles y Suenos, 1901 S. Carpenter St., 7 PM

April 4th: Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Harper Memorial Library, Room 103, 116 East 59th St., 6:30-8 PM

April 5th: Chicago, Illinois: Depaul University, Student Center, Room 325, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., 6 PM

April 8th: Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina, GEC Building (aka FedEx Building), Room 2008, 12-2 PM

April 10th: Washington, DC: American University, 11:30-1 PM

Laura's presentation in Washington is on the last day of the three-day Latin American Solidarity Conference against militarism and militarization of relations with Latin America. The event is sponsored by the Latin American Solidarity Coalition and is being held in conjunction with School of the Americas Watch Days of Action.


March 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Fired for the Crime of Working

David Bacon writes about Chipotle's recently fired undocumented workers in In These Times.  The age of Obama unfortunately has not done much but bring more immigration enforcement, detentions, and deportations to the U.S. immigrant community.

For more of David Bacon's articles and images, see


March 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Constitutional Citizenship: A Legislative History by Professor Garrett Epps


The Immigration Policy Center released Constitutional Citizenship: A Legislative History, by 14th Amendment scholar Garrett Epps. One of the most insidious attacks on immigrants at both the federal and state level is the suggestion that the U.S. should repeal the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment and deny birthright citizenship to the children of certain immigrants. Some proponents of this position argue that the Framers of the 14th Amendment never intended that birthright citizenship extend to the children of temporary immigrants and unauthorized immigrants. Epps argues that the Framers of the 14th Amendment lived during a period of increasing immigration, in which Chinese laborers were the temporary immigrants of the day and "gypsies" were the unauthorized immigrants of the 19th century. The 14th Amendment provided for birthright citizenship for both of these populations, and most certainly provides for birthright citizenship for the children of temporary and unauthorized immigrants today. Perhaps most fundamentally, Epps explains that the Framers of the 14th Amendment were intent on changing the status quo and undoing the impact of years of slavery. They sought to amend the Constitution and not replicate the discriminatory policies of the antebellum period. A true analysis of the original intent of the Framers finds that they could not have intended to create a new population of vulnerable persons who, because of the national origins or actions of their parents, are denied U.S. citizenship. Epps writes:

If the children of "illegal aliens" are "illegal" themselves, then we have taken a giant step toward recreating slavery in all but name. If citizenship is the hereditary gift of the nation rather than the inheritance of its people, we are drifting back toward the discredited doctrine of Dred Scott...The clamor for hereditary inequality comes from people eager to repeat the mistakes of the American past, and by doing so, to betray the American future.

Professor Epps is author of Democracy Reborn:  The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America (2006).  He visited UC Davis yesterday and presented his research on birthright citizenship and the Fourteenth Amendment to the UC Davis law faculty.


March 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Articles from SSRN

Here is the latest from the Social Science Research Network (

"Why Padilla Doesn’t Matter (Much)" UCLA Law Review, 2011 Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2011-10 DARRYL K. BROWN, University of Virginia School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky might herald a breakthrough in the quality of representation provided to immigrants charged with crimes, and more broadly an advance in the Court’s recognition of the role both of plea bargaining in criminal adjudication and of the severe collateral consequences often triggered by convictions for citizen as well as alien defendants. There are good reasons to suspect, however that Padilla’s practical impact will be modest; for many non-citizen criminal defendants, including probably Jose Padilla himself, its impact will be non-existent. The Padilla holding seeks to ensure that defense lawyers are aware of severe collateral consequences that attach to convictions, in order both to inform their clients of those consequences to inform plea bargain negotiations among attorneys. The Court speculated that attorneys then may be able to craft alternative criminal or immigration-law outcomes through creative bargains. But the problem for many non-citizen defendants like Mr. Padilla is not simply - and not primarily - their lawyers’ unfamiliarity with immigration law; it is the content of the substantive criminal law, of sentencing law, of the sources of non-criminal law that define collateral consequences and, finally, of limited procedural possibilities for avoiding or mitigating those consequences. None of that law changes with Padilla. As a result, defense lawyers’ (and even prosecutors’) abilities to negotiate around criminal law or immigration law, and to achieve more favorable or just outcomes for defendants are not notably improved. Adding to those limitations, the pervasive inadequacies of indigent criminal defense, especially in state courts, are unaffected by Padilla, further diminishing the hope that attorneys’ awareness of collateral consequences will improve client representation and case outcomes.

"Kiyemba, Guantanamo, and Immigration Law: An Extraterritorial Constitution in a Plenary Power World" Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 11-04 ERNESTO ADOLFO HERNANDEZ LOPEZ, Chapman University School of Law.  ABSTRACT: Immigration law is central to justifications for why five men remain detained indefinitely at Guantanamo, despite having writs of habeas approved in 2008. Since then, the Court of Appeals in Kiyemba v. Obama I, II, and III has used plenary powers reasoning to justify detentions under immigration law. The detainees are all non-combatants and Uighurs, Turkic Muslims from China. The Supreme Court may review these cases. Kiyemba I and III concern their judicial release into the U.S., while Kiyemba II regards barring their transfer because they may be tortured overseas. These cases raise significant constitutional habeas issues, but they also justify detentions with plenary powers. This reasoning defers immigration issues to the political branches and denies rights because of a detainee’s alien status or presence overseas. This Essay argues that immigration law, i.e. plenary powers, provides a “fall back” legal justification for Guantánamo detentions. This is especially important after the Supreme Court’s finding in Boumediene v. Bush that aliens on the base enjoy constitutional habeas rights. A critical non-legal context produces the Kiyemba detention quagmire. A transnational analysis of this context points to the normative influence of assumptions on diplomacy, culture, geopolitics, individual rights, and the War on Terror.

"The Article II Safeguards of Federal Jurisdiction" Columbia Law Review, Vol. 112, 2012 FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 489 TARA LEIGH GROVE, Florida State University College of Law ABSTRACT:  Jurisdiction stripping has long been treated as a battle between Congress and the federal judiciary. Scholars have thus overlooked the important (and surprising) role that the executive branch has played in these jurisdictional struggles. I seek to fill that void. Drawing on two strands of social science research, I argue that the executive branch has a strong incentive to use its constitutional authority over the enactment and enforcement of federal law to oppose jurisdiction-stripping measures. Notably, this structural argument has considerable historical support. The executive branch has repeatedly opposed jurisdiction-stripping proposals in Congress. That has been true even when the President was otherwise deeply critical of the federal courts’ constitutional jurisprudence (such as during the Franklin Roosevelt and Reagan Administrations). Furthermore, even when jurisdiction-stripping measures do become law, the executive branch controls the enforcement of that law. The Department of Justice has repeatedly used this enforcement authority to urge the courts to interpret jurisdictional restrictions narrowly in order to preserve jurisdiction over constitutional claims. This executive branch practice has important implications for the Obama Justice Department, as it litigates cases brought by current and former detainees in the war on terror. One provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 appears to preclude any court from examining a detainee’s challenge to his “conditions of confinement” during his detention. The executive branch could substantially limit the impact of this law by conceding (as it has in prior administrations) that the federal courts retain jurisdiction over constitutional claims.

"Mixed Messages and Signals: The Mobilization and De-Mobilization of Latino Identities in Reaction to Explicit and Implicit Cues in Immigrant Political Rhetoric" PORSHA CROPPER, affiliation not provided to SSRN.  ABSTRACT:  There is considerable debate as to whether ethnic group identity influences Latino political behavior. While research illustrates that ethnic cues in campaigns prime ethnic identity, there are still a number of unanswered questions as to which cues mobilize or de-mobilize identities in participation. I argue that elite discourse about immigration and/or immigrants in political media influences the type of cleavages formed among diverse groups of Latinos. Differences in group attachments, socioeconomic status, acculturation, and generational status across Latino national origin groups may create divisions or coalitions in how Latinos come to understand their collective interests within immigration and/or immigrant related debates. Using a laboratory experiment, I manipulate exposure to cues and tests how these cues prime national origin, panethnic, or American group identity among Latinos. I hypothesize that political context matters in fostering or minimizing collective mobilization among Latinos of different nationalities across generations.


March 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Breaking News: USCIS Will Not Deny Same-Sex Marriage Petitions for Now

Chris Geidner writes for Metro Weekly:

Following up on reports from this weekend, Metro Weekly just received confirmation from Christopher Bentley, the spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, that cases of foreign partners who are married to a same-sex partner and would otherwise be eligible for a green card are on hold in light of questions about the continued validity of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Bentley writes, "USCIS has issued guidance to the field asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues."

He notes, however, "USCIS has not implemented any change in policy and intends to follow the President's directive to continue enforcing the law."

The legal distinction means that although DOMA is still being enforced, the USCIS is using its discretion to hold off on denying green card applications where applicable.

As Lavi Soloway, a leading attorney pressing these cases told Metro Weekly earlier, "The best thing for the Department of Justice to be doing now is to be holding off on decisions. We're arriving at a new day, and that means a lot of new opportunities." Read more....


March 28, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Asian American Studies in Jeopardy

Christine McFadden writes for Pacific Citizen:

Rachel Gounder, a senior majoring in Asian American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, might be one of the last students at UT to graduate with a degree in her field.

A proposed budget bill currently sits in the Texas Senate threatening to cut the UT budget by a staggering $65 million for the 2012-13 year, netting a loss of $3.5 million for the college of liberal arts and the potential elimination of the Asian American Studies department, according to ABC News.

Gounder, who is South Asian, participated in a march to the Texas State Capitol.

“There’s definitely a group of students who are very passionate about these budget cuts and don’t want to see it happen,” she said.

But Gounder believes that the program is as good as gone. She cites an e-mail sent to students by the dean of the college of liberal arts affirming budget preservations for other programs on the chopping block, such as Mexican American and African American Studies, but without any mention of Asian American Studies.

“We’re definitely being cut,” she said. “Which is sad — we’re a growing center.”

Gounder is lucky to have the opportunity to graduate with an Asian American Studies degree, as UT is certainly not alone in facing threats to their ethnic studies departments. Cal State, Los Angeles faces the suspension of their Asian and Asian American Studies Department, and schools such as the University of Pennsylvania have previously faced large cuts to their program. Read more...


March 28, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Donald Trump a Birther!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read on


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