Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Article of the Day: Designing Populations: Lessons in Power and Population Production from Nineteenth-Century Immigration Law" by JULIET P. STUMPF

"Designing Populations: Lessons in Power and Population Production from Nineteenth-Century Immigration Law" Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc, Vol. 64, p. 29.  JULIET P. STUMPF, Lewis & Clark Law School.  ABSTRACT:  This response to Kerry Abrams’ insightful piece, The Hidden Dimension of 19th-Century Immigration Law, applies to modern population design the lessons Abrams excavates from the history of U.S. western migration. It employs Hidden Dimension to bring historical depth to two issues in contemporary immigration law: the integration of noncitizens into U.S. communities, and the role of federal, state, and local government and private individuals in regulating migration. Using nineteenth-century law facilitating white Christian migration as a precedent, this piece explores how the interplay between immigration regulation and mainstream law can be a leading edge in the integration of migrants into incumbent communities. Abrams’ historical tale also sheds light on the modern power of subnational governments and private decisionmakers either to disrupt or to foster the acceptance of new migrants into U.S. communities.


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

Professor Keith Aoki RIP

My colleague and friend Professor Keith Aoki passed away yesterday, leaving a very sad family and group of friends and students.  Keith was a fervent defender of immigrants and recently published an article harshly criticizing Arizona's SB 1070.

We will miss you -- and your voice -- Keith.  RIP.



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

Resist Closed Borders

From the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

by Isabel Garcia

The assaults on our basic civil and human rights are rooted in the U.S. public’s apparent “consensus” on the need to control the lives of migrants, particularly those crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Immigrants are the canary in the civil rights coal mine—exposed to rights abuses before structural violence and oppression are extended to the rest of us.

After encouraging immigrants, especially Mexicans, to come to work in the United States for the past 100 years, the U.S. government began a new militaristic enforcement strategy along the southern border in the mid-’90s. These “prevention through deterrence” policies combined with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—a treaty we now know has resulted in more than 6 million displaced Mexican agricultural workers migrating into the United States since 1994—have led to a human rights disaster.

Operation Gatekeeper in California, Operations Hold-the-Line and Rio Grande in Texas, and Operation Safeguard in Arizona—military-like exercises covering the entire U. S.-Mexico border—were expressly implemented to “seal” the border. Consequently, migrants have been “funneled” through Arizona’s devastatingly hostile and isolated Sonoran desert, resulting in the deaths of thousands of migrants over the last 17 years and setting the stage for draconian social control policies.

This “surge” in Arizona-crossings caused division and chaos in the border towns, fostered the creation of anti-immigrant hate groups and opened up political space to racist and intolerant voices. With mainstream media feeding the climate of fear, the election of openly anti-immigrant politicians like Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio and state legislator Russell Pearce is no surprise.

Official immigration law enforcement and border “security” strategies have made Arizona a testing ground for laws, policies and measures that systematically violate human rights and normalize abuse.

Resistencia! We cannot move forward until we promote the truth—that is, the history of immigration to this country, the vast contributions made by migrants, the reasons why people migrate, and more importantly, the impact of U.S. foreign and economic policies on migration. Labor, peace groups, environmentalists, LBGTQ organizations, criminal justice advocates and others facing assaults, must join forces to oppose the militarization of our borders and the criminalization of our communities. We must oppose “reforms” that perpetuate the lie that migration is a national security or law enforcement issue, and begin a real national dialogue on immigration. Until then, all our rights are at stake.

As the border goes, so goes the nation.

Isabel Garcia is the Pima County [Ariz.] Legal Defender. Sher is is also the co-chair of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a grassroots organization based in Tucson, Ariz., that promotes respect for human and civil rights, and fights the militarization of the border region


April 27, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress

Here is a report entitled "Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress" preperaed by the Congressional Research Service:

Here is the summary of the report:

"There is a broad-based consensus that the U.S. immigration system is broken. This consensus erodes, however, as soon as the options to reform the U.S. immigration system are debated. Substantial efforts to comprehensively reform immigration law failed in the 109th and 110th Congresses. Whether the 112th Congress will address immigration reform in the midst of historically high levels of unemployment and budgetary constrictions is difficult to project.

The number of foreign-born people residing in the United States is at the highest level in U.S. history and has reached a proportion of the U.S. population—12.5%—not seen since the early 20th century. Of the 38 million foreign-born residents in the United States, approximately 16.4 million are naturalized citizens. The remaining 21.6 million foreign-born residents are noncitizens. According to the latest estimates by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), about 10.8 million unauthorized aliens were living in the United States in January 2010, down from a peak of 11.8 million in January 2007. Some observers and policy experts maintain that the presence of millions of unauthorized residents is evidence of inadequacies in the legal immigration system as well as failures of immigration control policies and practices.

This report synthesizes immigration issues as a multi-tiered debate. It breaks down the U.S. immigration law and policy into key elements: border control and visa security; legal immigration; documentation and verification; interior immigration enforcement; integration, status, and benefits; and refugees and other humanitarian populations. It delineates the debate in the 112th Congress for a range of issues, including border security, criminal aliens, worksite enforcement, employment eligibility verification, permanent admissions, temporary workers, legalization, noncitizen eligibility for federal benefits, birthright citizenship, and the role of state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration laws.

Current circumstances may sharpen the social and business cleavages as well as narrow the range of options. Nonetheless, selected immigration issues are likely to be a major concern for the 112th Congress, even if legislative action on such contentious issues appears daunting."

Download Crs report


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

From the Bookshelves: Modeling Citizenship Jewish and Asian American Writing by Cathy Schlund-Vials

Modeling citizenship 

Modeling Citizenship Jewish and Asian American Writing by Cathy Schlund-Vials

ABSTRACT:  Navigating deftly among historical and literary readings, Cathy Schlund-Vials examines the analogous yet divergent experiences of Asian Americans and Jewish Americans in Modeling Citizenship. She investigates how these model minority groups are shaped by the shifting terrain of naturalization law and immigration policy, using the lens of naturalization, not assimilation, to underscore questions of nation-state affiliation and sense of belonging.


April 27, 2011 in Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

RIP Birthers? President Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate

It is a sad commentary on American politics -- and the ability of the "birthers" to deflect attention from real issues -- the White House Blog  has posted President Obama's long form birth certificate.  Watch the video and read the transcript of the President's remarks -- and see thr birth certificate -- at the link above.

Download Birth-certificate-long-form[1]


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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mexican Actress Gets 30 days in Marriage Case

"LOS ANGELES – A Mexican soap opera star accused of entering a sham marriage to stay in the United States was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail after admitting she lied during an immigration proceeding."

Full story here.


April 26, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Napolitano Says No Opt-Out for S-Comm

Yesterday, the DHS Secretary met with th editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle. Carla Marinucci writes for the Chronicle:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday acknowledged a storm of criticism from lawmakers and immigration-rights supporters over a federal effort targeting criminal immigrants, saying there has been confusion over whether local communities can choose not to participate in the program known as Secure Communities.

But she added that local governments cannot decide on their own to "exclude themselves" from its fingerprint-checking database.

"This whole opt-in, opt-out thing was a misunderstanding from the get-go ... and we have tried to correct that," Napolitano said during a visit to The Chronicle's editorial board. She said communications from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division - known as ICE - were "subject to misinterpretation." Read more...


April 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Angel Island Chinese Interrogation Reenactment

From the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation:

Saturday, April 30, 2011 will see an exciting day of history and contemporary issues on Angel Island. At 11:30 a.m., actors in period costumes will reenact an actual interrogation of Chinese immigrants attempting to overcome the Chinese Exclusion Acts, the first American legislation to exclude a specific race or nationality from immigration to this country. We will see what these intended immigrants went through at the island’s Administration Building, and the outcome of their ordeal. Following that, well-known professors Judy Yung, professor emerita at UC Santa Cruz, and Bill Ong Hing, law professor at the University of San Francisco, and immigrant college students from Thailand and the Philippines will participate in a panel discussion relating the Angel Island experience to what immigrants face today. The reenactment will take place at the Interrogation Table, located on the site of the actual Administration Building on the Immigration Station site. Following the panel discussion, the immigration barracks will be open for self-guided tours.

This event is produced in collaboration with global human rights organization Breakthrough ( as part of its groundbreaking Facebook game, America 2049.  In America 2049 players must make high-stakes decisions in a divided America of the near future. America 2049 players are challenged to ask: how can we work together, online and in real life, to build a better future? Check it out at: Angel Island's event is the third in a series of public events at leading cultural organizations nationwide, in which players further explore pressing social issues raised in the game America 2049. So far, over 12,000 players are participating in the game and we encourage you to join them! Among the acting talent are stand-up comic and actress Margaret Cho and actor Harold Perrineau of Lost. Cho noted, “Protecting civil rights is the responsibility of all Americans. Our future depends on our civic involvement, and I'm excited that 'America 2049' will help educate young people about their power to change their world.”
For more details, visit our website. For more information, contact Grant Din at 415-262-4433, or email


April 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stop Deportations to Haiti

From the University of Miami:

Stop Deportations to Haiti!  Sign the petition here.  
In January 2011, 34-year-old Wildrick Guerrier died only 9 days after being deported by the U.S. to Haiti. Guerrier and 26 other men were jailed in filthy police stations in Haiti without being provided clean water or food and were held in a cell covered with human feces and vomit. These conditions during a cholera epidemic are – quite literally – deadly. Guerrier and other men fell ill, exhibiting cholera-like symptoms, and were refused medical care.

Despite Guerrier’s death, broad public outrage, and an order from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) urging the U.S. not to deport the Haitian petitioners to Haiti, the Obama administration sent another plane of deportees to Haiti on April 15, 2011. These men were immediately detained in various police stations. We have received reports that people with serious medical conditions and mental illnesses were deported and one deportee had to be hospitalized for severe diarrhea and vomiting.

Please sign our petition urging Barack Obama, President, Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, and Janet Napolitano, Secretary for Homeland Security to halt all deportations to Haiti.

April 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Support Filipino Advocates for Justice

Please join Filipino Advocates for Justice for our 38th Anniversary!

eco²: ecofashion meets ecojustice

Saturday, April 30, 2011
6 to 10pm
Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, Suite 290, Oakland, CA 94607
A fashion show celebrating local eco friendly designers and honoring the contributions of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) for their role in building the environmental justice movement.

Support Filipino Advocates for Justice’s campaign for labor protections for domestic workers in California, youth leadership development, voter mobilization, and immigration services by celebrating our 38th Anniversary, Saturday, April 30th in Oakland Chinatown. Click here for more info.


April 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Article of the Day: Making Padilla Practical: Defense Counsel and Collateral Consequences at Guilty Plea by Gabriel J. Chin

Making Padilla Practical: Defense Counsel and Collateral Consequences at Guilty Plea by Gabriel J. Chin University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law; University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy Howard Law Journal, Vol. 54, No. 3, p. 101, 2011 Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 11-17

Abstract: This essay, part of the 2010 Wiley A. Branton Symposium at Howard Law School, addresses some of the practicalities of making the Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010) an operational reality. Padilla held that defense counsel have an ethical obligation to advise their clients of the possibility of deportation when pleading guilty. The inescapable logic of Padilla is that counsel's duty will extend to warning about other serious collateral consequences as well. Putting more demands on overburdened defense counsel raises a number of issues. First, how can public defenders, who are already challenged in providing basic representation add more to their duties? Second, how can defense counsel, who are not specialists in collateral consequences, be aware of the hundreds or thousands of potential collateral consequences which could apply in any given case? This essay proposes that the standards of competent representation should continue to develop even if they are not always met because of governmental funding choices. In addition, introducing collateral consequences into plea negotiation will sometimes facilitate a better disposition of the criminal case. Although Padilla means more work for defense attorneys, it also promises better outcomes for clients. The essay also makes some suggestions about ways of identifying the most common and most serious collateral consequences in each state, to simplify the process of advising clients.


April 26, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 25, 2011

CNN Special of Immigrant Robogeeks


Many of you will remember the case from several years ago about the national robotics competition won by students from Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, led by several undocumented students. When they went on the prize—a class trip to Buffalo, they went with their teacher to the Canadian side and then re-entered the United States. The Latino kids were detained.

On May 15, CNN will show a documentary about the incident and the aftermath—look for it in your local paper. Here is a link to the trailer

Here are links to the Hayden program and other such: Carl Hayden High School Robotics team webpage.


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

Lofgren Calls for Probe over S-Comm Deception

Lee Romney and Paloma Esquivel write for the Los Angeles Times:

Secure Communities is now mired in controversy. Recently released ICE data show that nearly half of those ensnared by the program have been noncriminals or those who committed misdemeanors.

In addition, hundreds of ICE emails released in response to litigation by immigrant and civil rights groups show the agency knowingly misled local and state officials to believe that participation in the program was voluntary while internally acknowledging that this was not the case.

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) on Friday accused ICE officials of lying to local governments and to Congress and called for a probe into whether ICE Director John Morton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who oversees the agency, were aware of the deception. Read more....


April 25, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves -- The Fence: National Security, Public Safety, and Illegal Immigration along the U.S.–Mexico Border


The Fence: Human Smuggling, Terrorists, and Public Safety along the US Mexico Border, Robert Lee Maril, Texas Tech University Press. March, 2011.

The Fence:  National Security, Public Safety, and Illegal Immigration along the U.S.–Mexico Border

by Robert Lee Maril

Putting the human equation first, Lee Maril brings thirty years of personal observation and investigation to bear on the proposed and highly politicized ″solution″ to border problems: the Fence, all 2,000 miles, in all its iterations, physical and virtual. In language accessible and appealing to general readers, Maril employs inductive methodology based upon participant-observation, interviews, and an analysis of local, state, and federal government documents from 1999 to the present.  Avoiding preconceived conclusions, the author suggests specific public policies requiring thoughtfulness of the human issues involved, political negotiation, and inevitable compromise.

Maril interviews border residents, educational leaders, rank and file Border Patrol agents, county officials and many others in border organizations and institutions seldom questioned. He also talks at length with major defense contractors, military leaders, national politicians, environmental activists, and Minutemen.  Even as the drug violence mounts in border cities and illegal migrants die in increasing numbers from heat exhaustion in the Arizona desert, Maril documents how Congress repeatedly fails to provide oversight of  hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars in fence construction.

The new border fence between Mexico and the United States is, Maril shows us, a fundamental symbol in concrete, steel, microchips, and fiber optics for all that is both right and wrong with contemporary immigration policy, national security, and public safety.

Maril blogs on the Mexican border, immigration, the Border Patrol, drug violence, and related issues at


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

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

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

Undocumented Immigrants Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes While GE Paid Nothing

Tax Day is in the rear view mirror for most of us but here is a tax story from the Wonk Room that is well worth a read:

"This past month, there was much outrage over the fact that General Electric, despite making $14.2 billion in profits, paid zero U.S. taxes in 2010. General Electric actually received tax credits of $3.2 billion from American taxpayers. At the same time that General Electric was not paying taxes, many undocumented immigrants, who are typically accused of taking advantage of the system while not contributing to it by many on the right, paid $11.2 billion in taxes. A new study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy shows that undocumented immigrants paid $8.4 billion in sales taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $1.2 billion in personal income taxes last year. The study also estimates that nearly half of all undocumented immigrants pay income taxes."


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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Florida Immigration Proposals Divide Cuban Americans

John Lantigua writes for the Palm Beach Post:

MIAMI — An immigration bill recently introduced in the Florida Legislature is doing something to the Republican Party's Cuban exile base in South Florida that Democrats have had trouble accomplishing over the years.

It is turning some Cuban-Americans against each other.

Senate Bill 2040 authorizes state law enforcement and corrections officials to increase cooperation with federal authorities in identifying undocumented immigrants being held in jails and prisons, which could lead to deportations. It also requires employers to confirm the legal status of new hires, in part by using E-Verify, a federal database.

The bill is not as tough as an immigration bill in the House, HB 7089, sponsored by Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart. Snyder's bill allows all state, county and local law enforcement personnel on the street to determine the legal status of any person they investigate for a crime.

Critics of both bills say they would lead to racial profiling and target Latinos for deportation, and could discourage undocumented immigrants from reporting crimes or cooperating with police if they witness crimes. Read more...


April 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Detention Riot in Australia

From the Associated Press:

Police investigating a riot at an Australian immigration detention center were on Friday questioning 22 people about the protests started by asylum seekers whose visa applications had been rejected.

A handful of protesters remained camped out on rooftops at Sydney's Villawood Detention Center on Friday, with officials sending up supplies of food and water, an immigration department spokeswoman said on customary condition of anonymity.

Around 100 people at the facility were involved in the riot, which began Wednesday night when two detainees climbed onto a roof. Protesters set an oxygen cylinder alight, which led to an explosion, and fire destroyed nine buildings. No one was injured. Read more..


April 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 22, 2011

GAO: Criminal Alien Statistics

Download GAO Report

United States Government Accountability Office GAO Report to Congressional Requesters CRIMINAL ALIEN STATISTICS Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs March 2011.  Here is the gist of the GAO's findings:

"What GAO Found

The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons in fiscal year 2010 was about 55,000, and the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails was about 296,000 in fiscal year 2009 (the most recent data available), and the majority were from Mexico. The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons increased about 7 percent from about 51,000 in fiscal year 2005 while the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails increased about 35 percent from about 220,000 in fiscal year 2003. The time period covered by these data vary because they reflect updates since GAO last reported on these issues in 2005. Specifically, in 2005, GAO reported that the percentage of criminal aliens in federal prisons was about 27 percent of the total inmate population from 2001 through 2004.

Based on our random sample, GAO estimates that the criminal aliens had an average of 7 arrests, 65 percent were arrested at least once for an immigration offense, and about 50 percent were arrested at least once for a drug offense. Immigration, drugs, and traffic violations accounted for about 50 percent of arrest offenses. About 90 percent of the criminal aliens sentenced in federal court in fiscal year 2009 (the most recently available data) were convicted of immigration and drug-related offenses. About 40 percent of individuals convicted as a result of DOJ terrorism-related investigations were aliens. SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in selected state prison systems in Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Texas were convicted of various offenses in fiscal year 2008 (the most recently available data at the time of GAO’s analysis). The highest percentage of convictions for criminal aliens incarcerated in four of these states was for drug-related offenses. Homicide resulted in the most primary offense convictions for SCAAP criminal aliens in the fifth state—New York—in fiscal year 2008.

GAO estimates that costs to incarcerate criminal aliens in federal prisons and SCAAP reimbursements to states and localities ranged from about $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion annually from fiscal years 2005 through 2009; DOJ plans to update its SCAAP methodology for reimbursing states and localities in 2011 to help ensure that it is current and relevant. DOJ developed its reimbursement methodology using analysis conducted by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2000 that was based on 1997 data. Best practices in cost estimating and assessment of programs call for new data to be continuously collected so it is always relevant and current. During the course of its review, GAO raised questions about the relevancy of the methodology. Thus, DOJ developed plans to update its methodology in 2011 using SCAAP data from 2009 and would like to establish a 3-year update cycle to review the methodology in the future. Doing so could provide additional assurance that DOJ reimburses states and localities for such costs consistent with current trends.

In commenting on a draft of this report, DHS and DOJ had no written comments to include in the report. View GAO-11-187 or key components."

(emphasis added). 



April 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)