Wednesday, August 31, 2011
DALLAS — Twenty-seven immigration status violators, visa overstays, and foreign students were arrested last week by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for violating the conditions of their visas. They were arrested by ICE HSI’s Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit (CTCEU) which is a national program designed to prevent terrorists and other criminals from exploiting the nation’s immigration system.
“One of the lessons learned from 9-11 was the importance of screening, tracking and enforcing the student visa program in the United States,” said Alysa Erichs, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Dallas. “ICE HSI oversees this important program, and our Dallas-area agents made these recent arrests as part of these enforcement efforts.”
Those arrested are from the following countries: Nepal (7), Kenya (6), Pakistan (6), Mexico (4), and once each for India, Kazakhstan, Peru and Turkey. They were encountered in the following north Texas cities: Arlington, Blue Mound, Dallas, Euless, Grand Prairie, Irving, Justin, Richardson, Plano and The Colony. They all were processed for immigration removal proceedings. In addition to their immigration violations, two of those arrested had falsely claimed U.S. citizenship, which is a felony and results in being permanently barred from legally re-entering the United States.
The 11-day operation ended Aug. 26. One of those arrested was a flight student who failed to attend his flight school. Twelve of those arrested overstayed their visitor’s visa; nine overstayed or violated the terms of their student visas. One exchange student who overstayed his visa was also arrested.
Do you feel any safer?
The Obama administration, which until recently has been known primarily on immigration for its enforcement-oriented policies, has gotten many kudos for the announcement a few weeks ago that it will prioritize its removals and not necessarily seek to deport all of the hundreds of thousands of noncitizens currently in removal proceedings. Of course, the devil, as they say, is in the details. And it is important to keep in mind that the Obama administration has annually deported more noncitizens than any administration in U.S. history. As Citizen Orange reports, the administration plans to maintain its level of deportations at about 400,000 next year.
In my estimation, it remains too early to say that the administration is not still devoted to "enforcement now, enforcement forever" policies.
Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times reports that the California state Senate yesterday voted to restrict the ability of cities to impound cars driven by people caught at sobriety checkpoints without driver's licenses. Undocumented immigrants in all but two states are ineligible for a driver's license. "The action came as a direct response to the city of Bell, which made it a practice to confiscate vehicles from unlicensed motorists — many of them illegal immigrants — and then charge high impound fees or sell them in order to fill city coffers."
The City of Bell made national news last year with the disclosure of massive financial corruption by city leaders.
We reported yesterday how President Obama's uncle -- due to the operation of the President's Secure Commiunities program -- is facing deportation. Leslie Berestein Rojas has a great story on the Obamas as a mixed immigration status family, with teh President a U.S. citizen. The efforts to remove the President's uncle and the fact that his aunt is an asylee exemplifies a common feature of many immigrants and U.S. citziens, that thet are members of mixed-status families.
Michelle Fei in New America Media:
The Obama administration’s Aug. 18 announcement of a new policy that purports to suspend deportations against immigrants without criminal convictions has sprouted a range of reactions from immigrant rights advocates, from full-fledged celebration to wary suspicion.
I can appreciate why some advocates are praising the announcement. First, it does seem true that the national outcry over the failure of immigration reform and the expansion of the deportation program known as “Secure Communities” – which requires police to share fingerprint data of all arrestees with federal immigration authorities -- has prompted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to respond with this “new” policy. It’s worth noting, however, that advocates have long sought to get ICE to actually exercise the discretionary powers it has always held. Second, fewer deportations is certainly a good thing. To the extent that this announcement can actually help the small percentage of people who could qualify for a temporary reprieve from deportation, I share the temporary sense of relief of these immigrants. No family should know the devastation of deportation.
But as a lead organizer of the coalition that got New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pull the state out of the Secure Communities program, I also have seen how much ICE employs divide-and-conquer tactics, engages in manipulative practices and flip-flops back and forth without ever acknowledging its previous position. A federal judge overseeing a public records lawsuit against ICE recently chided the agency for going “out of [its] way to mislead the public” about whether counties and states could opt out of the program; ICE itself has copped to having “a messaging problem.”
So I remain highly skeptical about the potential of this announcement. ICE’s failure to revise its removal quotas – 404,000 this year alone – can only mean that its deportation dragnet will remain just as active. How else can ICE and its private prison industry bedfellows keep detention centers filled? Read more....
Conservative pundit Linda Chavez emphatically declares that law professor-turned politician-turned back-to-law professor John Eastman "is wrong: the Constitution does guarantee birthright citizenship." Chavez states that "We’ve known each other for decades, and I consider Eastman a friend, but he’s simply wrong in thinking the children born to illegal immigrants in the United States are not entitled to birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment."
Chavez and Eastman have had a longrunning disagreement on birthright citizenship.
ABSTRACT: Criminal law and immigration law were once entirely separate fields of governance, but over the last few decades the boundary between the two fields has grown less and less distinct. Immigration crimes now account for a majority of all federal prosecutions; deportation is widely seen as a key tool of crime control; immigration authorities run the nation’s largest prison system; and state and local law enforcement officers work hand in hand with federal immigration officials. This article traces these trends and assesses their significance. The rise of an intertwined regime of “crimmigration” law has generally been attributed to some combination of nativism, overcriminalization, and a cultural obsession with security, but it also exemplifies, and has helped to reinforce, a crucial and underappreciated development in legal culture - a rising tendency to treat legal rules and legal procedures as interchangeable tools, to be brought to bear pragmatically and instrumentally on an ad hoc basis. Ad hoc instrumentalism of this kind has genuine strengths, but it also raises significant concerns about the rule of law and political accountability. The accountability concerns, in particular, are exacerbated by two other features of our newly merged system of immigration enforcement and criminal justice: its bureaucratic opacity and its selective application.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Given all these recent developments nationally around policies that impact our immigrant communities, we invite you to join the State of Play call tonight with Congressman Luis Gutierrez to discuss the recent DHS announcement suspending deportation of low-priority individuals, and the impact of the new DHS policies on our communities.
DHS has announced they’ll perform a case-by-case review of the 300,000 deportation cases currently in proceedings in an effort to focus only on deporting high-priority criminals. We’ve already seen some positive effects from this announcement – several DREAMers and spouses have been removed from detention and/or had their deportation cases stayed.
However, there’s still confusion about what this announcement means for our community and our continual fight for humane, comprehensive immigration reform.
Join Reform Immigration FOR America, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and other immigration experts to discuss the impact of this announcement on our communities and where our movement goes from here.
WHO: Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), immigration experts, and YOU!
WHAT: National Call to discuss DHS announcement
WHEN: Tuesday, August 30th, 5pm Pacific (English call) / 6pm Pacific (Spanish call)
CALL INFO: (877) 229-8493, code: 18659
We’ll hear how the announcement is affecting those in deportation proceedings, discuss the political implications of the announcement, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about what the announcement means for you.
We hope you can join us!
From the Asian Pacific Fund:
The Bay Area’s underbelly is rife with child sex exploitation, and many of the targets are young Asian girls–not recent immigrants, but children born and raised American. Designated by the FBI as a top ten U.S. hot spot for the illegal trade, the Bay Area has many pockets of illicit sex, perhaps none more notorious than “The Track” along Oakland’s International Boulevard.
Starting at an average age of 12 to 14, the girls are lured into the trade by pimps–often neighbors, “boyfriends” or even family members who may pose as benevolent figures, or threaten them with violence. The most vulnerable girls tend to be Cambodian, Vietnamese or Lao, with parents or grandparents who came to this country as refugees.
“Recruiters target these girls because they know they are struggling with issues of cultural identity,” says Elizabeth Sy, a Cambodian American who turned to sex work to pay off her medical debt after a cancer diagnosis. The tenth child of parents who were refugees from a traumatic era of genocide, Sy’s childhood was more about survival than open communication and a nurturing American-style upbringing.
Eventually Sy changed her life and helped start Banteay Srei, the only organization in the nation that provides services geared toward Southeast Asian girls who are victims of, or at high risk for, sex exploitation. Banteay Srei, which means “Temple of the Women,” grew out of the Oakland community health clinic, Asian Health Services, which received the Asian Pacific Fund’s largest grant in 2011.
Read here about Gov. Jerry Brown’s new legislation aiming “to recast the state's laws relating to human trafficking and child sex slavery to treat the trafficked children as victims, rather than prostitutes.”
Jackie Dugard, Jonathan Klaaren and Jeff Handmaker have published a special issue of the South African Journal on Human Rights on "Public Interest Litigation in South Africa." The entire monograph/special issue is available as an open access publication. Her is the Table of Contents:
Public Interest Litigation in South Africa: Introduction
Winning Isn’t Everything: Courts, Context, and the Barriers to Effecting Change Through Public Interest Litigation Art or Science?
Synthesising Lessons from Public Interest Litigation and the Dangers of Legal Determinism
Public Interest Litigation for Refugees in South Africa and the Potential for Structural Change
Slapp Suits: An Emerging Obstacle to Public Interest Environmental Litigation in South Africa
Proceduralisation’s Triumph and Engagement’s Promise in Socio-Economic Rights Litigation
Litigating Housing Rights in Johannesburg’s Inner City: 2004–2008
Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd: Public Interest Intervention in Investor-State Arbitration (Piero Foresti v South Africa)
Challenges to Public Interest Litigation in South Africa: External and Internal Challenges to Determining the Public Interest
Prison Conditions in South Africa and the Role of Public Interest Litigation Since 1994
Demolishing Development at Gabon Informal Settlement: Public Interest Litigation Beyond Modderklip?
Chief Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn of the Northern District of Alabama entered an order on Monday enjoining the implementation of HB 56, the Alabama immigration law, which was scheduled to go into effect on September 1, until September 29. This will give the court sufficient time to rule on motions for a preliminary injunction filed in three consolidated lawsuits challenging the law. The motions were filed by a coalition of civil rights and church groups, as well as the United States of America.
Here is the order. Download Alabama order It reads as follows:
"This matter comes before the court on the Motions for Preliminary Injunction filed in the above-referenced cases. The court having discussed with counsel its concerns regarding the limited time available to adequately address the numerous challenges to Act 2011-535 [H.B. 56] by the effective date, it is hereby 1 ORDERED that Act 2011-535 [H.B. 56] is TEMPORARILY ENJOINED, and may not be executed or enforced. In entering this order the court specifically notes that it is in no way addressing the merits of the motions.
The court will issue detailed Memorandum Opinions and Orders ruling on the merits of the pending Motions for Preliminary Injunction no later than September 28, 2011. This temporary injunction shall remain in effect until September 29, 2011, or until the court enters its rulings, whichever comes first." (bold added).
AP reports that President Barack Obama's uncle was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving in Massachusetts and is being detained by U.S. immigration. Onyango Obama is originally from Kenya and is the half-brother of the president's late father. The AP story states that "In a court document, ICE said Onyango Obama had an earlier deportation or removal order."
Onyango Obama is the brother of Zeituni Onyango, who was granted asylum last year. The news that she was seeking asylum made national headlines on the eve of the November 2008 elections.
AP reports that Cleveland immigration attorney Margaret Wong will represent Obama.
Without the Obama administration's Secure Communities program, which Massachusetts Governor (and President Obama's friend) Deval Patrick unsuccessfully sought to have the state opt out of, the President's uncle might not face possible deportation?
Symposium: Criminal Law and Immigration Law: Defining the Outsider Articles
Introduction Rachel F. Moran
Why Padilla Doesn’t Matter (Much) Darryl K. Brown
Illegal Entry as Crime, Deportation as Punishment: Immigration Status and the Criminal Process Gabriel J. Chin
The Right to Deportation Counsel in Padilla v. Kentucky: The Challenging Construction of the Fifth-and-a-Half Amendment Daniel Kanstroom
Padilla and the Delivery of Integrated Criminal Defense Ronald F. Wright
Undocumented Criminal Procedure Devon W. Carbado Cheryl I. Harris
Litigation at Work: Defending Day Labor in Los Angeles Scott L. Cummings
Doing Time: Crimmigration Law and the Perils of Haste Juliet P. Stumpf
Local Immigration Prosecution: A Study of Arizona Before SB 1070 Ingrid V. Eagly
The Discretion That Matters: Federal Immigration Enforcement, State and Local Arrests, and the Civil-Criminal Line Hiroshi Motomura
Moving Toward Subfederal Involvement in Federal Immigration Law Ryan Terrance Chin
Immigration Article of the Day: Undocumented Criminal Procedure by Devon W. Carbado & Cheryl I. Harris
Abstract: For more than two decades, criminal procedure scholars have debated what role, if any, race should play in the context of policing. Although a significant part of this debate has focused on racial profiling, or the practice of employing race as basis for suspicion, criminal procedure scholars have paid little attention to the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has sanctioned this practice in a number of cases at the intersection of immigration law and criminal procedure. Notwithstanding that these cases raise similar questions to those at the heart of legal and policy debates about racial profiling, they are largely overlooked in the criminal procedure scholarship on race and policing. We refer to these cases as the undocumented cases. While there are a number of doctrinal and conceptual reasons that explain their marginalization, none of these reasons are satisfying given the importance of the undocumented cases to debates about race, racial profiling, and the Fourth Amendment. The undocumented cases import a pernicious aspect of immigration exceptionalism into Fourth Amendment doctrine - namely, that the government can legitimately employ race when it is enforcing immigration laws. In so doing, the cases constitutionalize racial profiling against Latinos and unduly expand governmental power and discretion beyond the borders of immigration enforcement. This weakens the Fourth Amendment and enables racial profiling in the context of ordinary police investigations.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Continuing the Dream
From the Mexican American Political Association:
College can open many doors for a student - but paying for it can be difficult if that student is a child of undocumented immigrants. Fortunately, Assembly Bill 131 (AB 131), the second piece of the California Dream Act legislative package (AB 130 & AB 131) just passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and it is now on its way to the Senate Floor for a final vote.
We are very hopeful that if AB 131 passes the Senate it will be signed by the Governor.
AB 131 allows students to apply for, and receive state funded financial aid at California public colleges and universities.
Click here to listen to Assemblymember Cedillo's statements on AB 131's passage out of Senate Appropriations.
Please contact these State Senators and tell them you support AB 131
Senator Elaine Kontominas Alquist
Senator Joel Anderson
Senator Tom Berryhill
Senator Sam Blakeslee
Senator Ron Calderon
Senator Anthony Cannella
Senator Ellen M. Corbett
Senator Lou Correa
Senator Kevin de León
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Contact Senator Bob Dutton
Senator Bill Emmerson
Senator Noreen Evans
Senator Jean Fuller
Senator Ted Gaines
Senator Loni Hancock
Senator Tom Harman
Senator Ed Hernandez O.D.
Senator Bob Huff
Senator Christine Kehoe
Senator Doug La Malfa
Senator Mark Leno
Senator Ted W. Lieu
Senator Carol Liu
Senator Alan Lowenthal
Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod
Senator Alex Padilla
Senator Fran Pavley
Senator Curren D. Price, Jr
. Capitol Office
Senator Michael J. Rubio
Senator Sharon Runner
Senator S. Joseph Simitian
Senator Tony Strickland
Senator Juan Vargas
Senator Mimi Walters
Senator Lois Wolk
Senator Roderick D. Wright
Senator Mark Wyland
Senator Leland Y. Yee
CALL FOR PROPOSALS AND ATTENDANCE: Citizenship-in-Question: Critical Perspectives on Jus Soli and Autochthony from Authenticité to ‘Birtherism’, April 19- 21, 2011
CALL FOR PROPOSALS AND ATTENDANCE Citizenship-in-Question: Critical Perspectives on Jus Soli and Autochthony from Authenticité to ‘Birtherism’ Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice Thursday April 19 - Saturday, April 21, 2011
This symposium will explore the relationship among nationality, autochthony, jus soli, authenticity, and claims to citizenship. What does it mean to be an authentic citizen? How does the ancient Greek concept of autochthony (i.e., birth from the earth), inform contemporary rules for nationality? How is law used to police the boundaries of a birthright citizenry? What is the evidential basis for citizenship? How and why do questions of citizenship and nationality imperil political leaders?
The symposium is free and open to the public, space permitting. Presentation is by invitation only. Expressions of interest or queries may be directed to Benjamin N. Lawrance [BNL@RIT.EDU] or Jackie Stevens [email@example.com]. RSVP attendance to Adrienne Leslie [Adrienne.firstname.lastname@example.org].
We welcome critical empirical and theoretical research on the implementation of citizenship laws in domestic, international, and comparative contexts. For more information about the symposium foci, please see below.
Beyond the privileged circles of political elites whose legitimacy is attacked by raising questions of their citizenship - including Barack Obama in the US, Sylvanus Olympio in Togo, Alassane Ouattara in Côte d’Ivoire, and Alberto Fujimori in Peru - citizenship laws in action are powerful and potentially dangerous weapons that imperil large numbers of people worldwide. How does authenticity operate at the grassroots level? What are the mechanics of enforcement? How does a citizenry in an emerging democracy interact with autochthony law? How is nationality deployed during the implementation of democratization? How does a citizen evidence the status of authentic autochthon? How do governments restrict the capacity to evidence citizenship and status? Citizenship and nationality laws also continue to be sites of constitutional innovation. Quasi-democratic constitutional revisions, which may be used to eliminate electoral rivals, are frequently cited as progenitors of civil conflict. In the context of conflict, where refugees and asylum-seekers may lose documentation of their identities, nationality laws are deployed to restrict access to state protections or land tenure in countries of origin and host nations. Consequences of such laws and enforcement include expatriation, the expansion of electronic databases, and the proliferation of fraudulent document production. And as immigration patterns shift the demography of democratic nations as diverse as India, Ireland and the US, constitutional changes to the perimeters of jus soli are gaining momentum. Conveners: Benjamin N. Lawrance (RIT) and Jacqueline Stevens (Northwestern University). Daniel Kanstroom (Boston College Law School), Rogers Smith (University of Pennsylvania), and Rachel Rosenbloom (Northeastern University School of Law) are co-organizers providing intellectual, logistical and financial support. Primary funding for this symposium is provided by the Conable Endowment in International Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice, the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College, the University of Pennsylvania Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, and Northeastern University School of Law.
Based on a best-selling book, the film "The Help" topped the U.S. box office charts this weekend. The movie focuses on the relationship between affluent whites and African American service domestic workers in pre-Civil Rights era Mississippi. I saw the movie this weekend and its poignant depiction of the mistreatment of African American woman was, at times, nothung less than heart-breaking. (For thoughtful commentary on the movie by Professor and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at UC Davis, Patricia Turner, click here.). The Help is a thought-provoking movie. But I must admit that I may never have another piece of chocolate cream pie (which I did last week during a visit to Georgia)!
Some people might think that the race and class subordination of domestic service workers is a thing of the past, and that we are light years away from the social class structure of 1950s and 1960s Mississippi. That is not the case, however. Today, throughout the country, immigrant and poor women toil under humiliating conditions in ther homes of the more well-to-do throughout the United States. Many are Latinas.
Dr. Mary Romero (ASU) has written some excellent books on the lives of domestic service workers in the United States. In The Maid's Daughter (2011), Romero tells the story of Olivia who left her family and traditions in Mexico to live with her mother, Carmen, in one of Los Angeles’s most exclusive and nearly all-white gated communities. Based on over twenty years of research, Romero brings Olivia’s remarkable story to life. We watch as she struggles through adolescence, declares her independence and eventually goes off to college and becomes a successful professional. Much of her extraordinary story is told in Olivia’s voice and we hear of both her triumphs and her setbacks. The book explores this complex story about belonging, identity, and resistance, illustrating Olivia’s challenge to establish her sense of identity, and the patterns of inclusion and exclusion in her life. Romero points to the hidden costs of paid domestic labor that are transferred to the families of private household workers and nannies, and shows how everyday routines are important in maintaining and assuring that various forms of privilege are passed on from one generation to another. Through Olivia’s story, Romero shows how mythologies of meritocracy, the land of opportunity, and the American dream remain firmly in place while simultaneously erasing injustices and the struggles of the working poor.
Mary Romero also has written the classic work on domestic service workers, Maid in the USA (2002, 10th aniversary edition). The book is a vital and moving study of the lives of immigrant domestic workers, and is constantly cited in the research.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The flows of migrants to the United States from Mexico may be changing. Here is a report that "Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus over the past few years, according to local officials, border experts and demographers. Unlike the much larger population of illegal immigrants, they are being warmly welcomed."
Read this story from the Huffington Post about Teresa Serrano, a graduate of Yale, who is undocumented, unemployed, and uncertain about her future. "She left New Haven and returned to her home in Texas. Now her daily routine consists of nine-to-five job shifts at fast food restaurants and laundromats, the advantages of her Yale degree negated by her undocumented status."
What kind of nation are we?
Here is the quote of the day from The Economist:
Immigration is, on the whole, good for economies; and right now, rich countries can do with all the economic help they can get. Rather than sending immigrants home, with their skills, energy, ideas and willingness to work, governments should be encouraging them to come. If they don’t, governments elsewhere will.