Saturday, December 31, 2011

Immigrant's Basketball Dream



The San Francisco Chronicle has a nice story about University of California, Berkeley basketball star Jorge Gutierrez, a previous ImmigrationProf Immigrant of the Day.

Gutierrez came to the United States just a few years ago, knowing no English and with little money, to "play against the best" in high school basketball. He initially was undocumented, with the fact that he was an immigrant leading to protests and heckling at some of his high school games. Gutierrez has since regularized his immigration status.

A scrappy defensive and excellent offensive player, Gutierrez is currently one of the best players in the Pac-12 conference. He can often be seen diving after a loose ball. Sports Illustrated had a nice story about Gutierrez earlier this year.

I saw Gutierrez play against USC, a victory in which he was everywhere on the court, on Thursday night, and will see him and the Cal Bears play the storied UCLA Bruins in Haas Pavilion later today.

UPDATE (1/1): As well as successfully guarding UCLA's leading scorer, Jorge Gutierrez had 16 points and 8 assists on Saturday in leading Cal to an 85-69 victory over UCLA.


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


Thanks to all of our loyal ImmigrationProf readers for a wonderful 2011. Here's to a great 2012!

Happy New Year!



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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Undocumented Immigrants Contribute Billions to Social Security, Never to Receive Benefits

A useful reminder (i.e., this really is old news) from the Seattle Times that undocumented immigrants annually pay billions into Social Security but have little, if any, likelihood of ever receiving a cent in Social Security benefits:

"While many Americans believe illegal immigrants don't pay taxes, billions of dollars deducted from paychecks issued to undocumented workers flow to the Social Security Administration (SSA) every year. Those workers almost certainly will never see that money again.

Social Security officials keep a record of wages that do not match up with real names and numbers in their system. The record is called the earnings suspense file.

In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, employers reported wages of $72.8 billion for 7.7 million workers who could not be matched to legal Social Security numbers.

That total hit a record $90.4 billion, earned by 10.8 million workers, in 2007, just before the recession. Some of those were legal workers who simply made paperwork mistakes, but the majority are believed to be illegal immigrants." (emphasis added).


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

ICE Provides Toll Free Number for Detainees to Call and New Detainer Form

From ICE:

WASHINGTON — As part of a broader effort to improve our immigration enforcement process and prioritize resources to focus on threats to public safety, repeat immigration law violators, recent border entrants, and immigration fugitives while continuing to strengthen oversight of the nation's immigration detention system and facilitate legal immigration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) yesterday announced new measures to ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights.
The new measures include a new detainer form and the launch of a toll-free hotline — (855) 448-6903 — that detained individuals can call if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services will be available in several languages from 7 a.m. until midnight (Eastern) seven days a week. ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.
The new form also includes:
• A request that the law enforcement agency (LEA) provide the subject of the detainer a copy of the detainer form and includes a notice advising the subject that ICE intends to assume custody. The notice informs these individuals that ICE has requested the LEA maintain custody beyond the time when they would have otherwise been released by the state or local law enforcement authorities based on their criminal charges or convictions. The notice also includes Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Vietnamese translations.
• Further emphasis that LEAs may only hold an individual for a period not to exceed 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays). It also advises individuals that if ICE does not take them into custody within the 48 hours, they should contact the LEA or entity that is holding them to inquire about their release from state or local custody.
• Directions for individuals who may have a civil rights or civil liberties complaint regarding ICE activities.
• The new form allows ICE to make the detainer operative only upon the individual's conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested.
• The new form makes clear that the existence of a detainer should not impact or prejudice the individual's conditions of detention, including matters related to the individual's custody classification, work or quarter assignments.
An immigration detainer (Form I-247) is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local LEAs to inform them that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual in the LEA's custody and to request that the LEA notify ICE as soon as possible prior to the time when LEA would otherwise release the individual.
Detainers help ensure that individuals who are convicted of criminal charges or have previously been removed are not released back into the community to potentially commit more crimes. Detainers are critical tools in assisting ICE's identification and removal of criminal aliens, immigration fugitives, illegal re-entrants, recent border crossers and others who have no legal right to remain in the United States.

Editor's Note: Santa Clara County (California) is resisting cooperation with ICE on the issuance of detainers because so many non-criminals are being swept up by ICE's Secure Communities Initiative. Read here.


December 30, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Many Alabama Citizens Unhappy with HB 56

From Bloomberg News:

Mobile County spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to comply with a law designed to drive undocumented immigrants from Alabama. Kim Hastie, the first-term Republican license commissioner, had an up-close look at the crackdown’s political cost.

Customers clogged her office in the Gulf Coast city founded by French colonists in 1702. Locals demanded to know why they were treated like foreigners after having to prove their citizenship to register a car or license a dog. A World War II veteran shouted at a clerk. A widow wept.

“I’m going to do what the law tells me to do,” Hastie, 52, said in Mobile last week. “But, as an elected official representing the taxpayer, I feel it’s my duty to say what I feel is unjust to the taxpayer. My concern is for the way the citizens of this state are being treated. This process has not been good.” Read more....


December 30, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Time for Sheriff Joe to Go?


As reported on ImmigrationProf a few weeks ago, the Department of Justice earlier this month released a report on the investigation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office. The facts -- and rampant and flagrant -- violations of civil rights of immigrants and Latinos is nothing less than shocking. Racial profiling, police brutality, racial slurs, discriminatory detention practices, etc. are all documented in the lengthy report. It appears that "America's Toughest Sheriff" focuses on immigrants and Latinos and fails to investigate sex crimes.

For years, Sheriff Arpaio has conducted what has been characterized as a reign of terror against Latinos in Maricopa County. Isn't 2012 the right time for Sheriff Joe to step down?


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


PLYLER’S LEGACY: IMMIGRATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY by Michael A. Olivas (Houston) and Kristi L. Bowman (Michigan State), 2011 MICH. ST. L. REV. 261.

This is an introduction -- but really much more than that -- to a symposium on immigrants in higher education. The article carefully analyzes the decision in, and legacy of, Plyer v. Doe (1982), the Supreme Court's monumental decision guaranteeing undocumented children access to a K-12 education in the public schools.

Other contriibutions to the symposioum include:

Immigrant Education and the Promise of Integrative Egalitarianism Victor C. Romero

International Initiatives That Facilitate Global Mobility in Higher Education Laurel Terry

Searching for Equality: Equal Protection Clause Challenges to Bans on the Admission of Undocumented Immigrant Students to Public Universities Danielle Holley-Walker


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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Elimination of Per-Country Caps on Employment Visas

The House voted last week to end per-country caps on worker-based immigration visas, a move that should benefit skilled Indian and Chinese residents seeking to stay in the United States and the high-tech companies who hire them.
The legislation, which passed 389-15, was a rare example of bipartisan accord on immigration, an issue that largely has been avoided during the current session of Congress because of the political sensitivities involved.
The measure would eliminate the current law that says employment-based visas to any one country can't exceed 7 percent of the total number of such visas given out. Instead, permanent residence visas or green cards would be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
The bill, said its sponsor, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, "does encourage high-skilled immigrants who were educated in the U.S. to stay and help build our economy rather than using the skills they learned here to aid our competitor nations."
Currently, the State Department issues about 140,000 such green cards a year to foreign nationals working in the United States, often after getting degrees from U.S. universities.
The bill also changes family-based visa limits from 7 percent per country to 15 percent per country, an adjustment that could slightly ease the backlog for naturalized citizens, particularly from Mexico and the Philippines, trying to bring relatives into the country.
NY Senator Charles Schumer, who heads the Senate Judiciary panel on immigration, said he planned to move the bill as quickly as possible in the Senate, "where we expect it to find overwhelming support." He said the legislation would "remove outdated constraints that prevent us from attracting the kind of innovators who can create job growth in America."
The Obama administration in its first two years failed in several major efforts to change immigration law, and this year the issue has largely been off the table, with Republicans making clear that anything suggesting amnesty for those in the country illegally would be rejected.
The Chaffetz bill does not change the number of visas being issued, and groups representing immigrants said the bill would do little to resolve pressing immigration issues. However, they applauded Congress for showing it can act.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said that although the bill won't bring significant changes, "we think this is a positive step forward."
He said it was a good sign that "Republicans and Democrats are actually working on solutions."
Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the measure "makes the system a tiny bit fairer" and does "demonstrate that Congress can do something on immigration, however small."
She cited estimates that while someone from England might wait two or three years for a green card, an Indian could conceivably be on the waiting list for decades.
Still, because there will be no increase in visas issued, there will be losers. Hosin "David" Lee, president of the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association, said the bill would force engineers from South Korea to wait an additional two years in their immigration process to get green cards.
But Compete America, a group representing high-tech companies such as Google and Microsoft and research institutes, said the bill would correct a problem in which very small countries are subject to the same 7 percent cap as large countries such as India and China, which account for more than 40 percent of the world's population.

December 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Professor Jane Larson RIP


We recently learned of the unexpected passing of Professor Jane Larson of Wisconsin. Some of her pathbreaking scholarship has been highlighted in previous news items (here, here, and here).

One of Professor Larson's pathbreaking articles that should not go unmentioned is Free Markets Deep in the Heart of Texas, 84 Georgetown Law Journal 179 (1995). The article is a detailed empirical description of conditions and life within the unregulated land use markets of the Texas border with Mexico, focusing on housing subdivisions that have come to be known as colonias. Within Texas, more than a third of a million people -- the vast majority are Latinos -- live in these settlements. In Larson's words:

"In sharp contrast to unzoned but regulated Houston, the unregulated colonias lack the "basics" that residents of other jurisdictions take for granted: safe drinking water, sewers for carrying away human waste, and housing with minimally adequate wiring, plumbing, and construction. Elsewhere in the world, the health and safety risks and severe environmental degradation endemic to such shantytown settlements are well known. Main Street America, however, has not typically contemplated such Third World problems. Defenders of markets and regulation alike claim that their preferred policy approach best promotes decent and affordable housing for the poor. The colonias, products of a regime that allocates land uses according to a market rather than a regulatory logic, thus offer an opportunity to compare "liveability" outcomes under these competing approaches."

This important article has been much-cited. It is one of the very first -- and a classic -- look at Mexican colonias in the United States. We will miss you and your voice, Professor Larson.


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



Non-citizens have served in the United States military during every war since at least the Civil War. In 1862 Congress, in an effort to increase the size of the Army, passed the first legislation which authorized expedited citizenship for immigrants who agreed to serve in the Army; a practice which continues to the present day. This monograph looks at the history of non-citizens serving our country during times of war. Specifically, it examines the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) Program which is a Department of Defense recruiting program that targets non-citizens who speak languages deemed to be of “high-value” to the military and certain health care professionals. Individuals who agree to serve are granted expedited citizenship. This monograph argues that the Army should expand the MAVNI program in order to make it more viable. The military’s success in current and likely future operations demands adaptable and flexible Soldiers. These Soldiers also need to enhance the commander’s understanding of the environment in order for him to visualize, describe and direct. Soldiers recruited through the MAVNI program possess language skills and cultural expertise that can help the commander make sense of what is going on around him enabling his practice of mission command. This monograph provides a framework for expanding the MAVNI program. Based on the above, two proposals are made; (1) further development of the MAVNI program in order to better leverage the language skills and cultural expertise of the Soldiers recruited through the program, and (2) the integration of MAVNI Soldiers into operations with more precision.


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

Immigrant of the Day: Ayded Reyes (Mexico), Cross Country Star, Star Student

Here is an uplifting sports story to end the year -- and hopefully it will have a happy ending. Ayded Reyes, age 20, attends Southwestern College in Chula Vista near San Diego. She is California's top-ranked women's junior college cross country athlete. Reyes has a 3.50 GPA and is a community volunteer who has worked extensively with children and the elderly. Reyes, however, is undocumented. Her parents brought her to the United States from Mexico illegally when she was 2 years old. She has no memory of Mexico and has four younger U.S. citizen siblings who were born here.

Reyes is facing deportation to a country she does not know. The good news is that she has a pro bono attorney (Jacob Sapochnick) and a Congressman Bob Filner (D-Calif.), who has introduced a private bill in Congress to regularize Reyes' immigration status. Both are fighting to keep Ayded Reyes in teh United States.


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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Clinical Practitioners-in-Residence: Call for Applications

The Clinical Program at American University's Washington College of Law is seeking applications for Practitioners-in-Residence for academic years 2012-13 and beyond in a number of our in-house clinics. American University’s in-house, “live-client” Clinical Program, comprising ten (10) in-house clinics and serving approximately 240 students per year, is respected for its leadership in scholarship, development of clinical methodology, contributions to increasing access to justice for under-served clients and breadth of offerings. Openings are anticipated in the following in-house clinics: international human rights clinic; domestic violence clinic; immigrant justice clinic; and disability rights law clinic.

The Practitioner-in-Residence Program is designed to train lawyers or entry-level clinicians interested in becoming clinical teachers in the practice and theory of clinical legal education. Many graduates of the Practitioners-in-Residence program have gone on to tenure-track teaching positions at other law schools. These are term positions. Practitioners can serve in these positions for up to three (3) years.

Practitioners supervise student casework, co-teach weekly clinic seminars and case rounds, and engage in course planning and preparation with the clinic’s tenured faculty. They also teach a course outside of the clinical curriculum. The Practitioner-in-Residence Program provides full-year training in clinical theory and methodology and a writing workshop designed to assist Practitioners in the development of their clinical and doctrinal scholarship. Minimum qualifications include a JD degree, outstanding academic record, three years’ experience as a lawyer and membership in a state bar. Salary and benefits are competitive.

Applications consisting of a curriculum vitae and cover letter should be e-mailed to Professor Michael Carroll, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee,, with copies to Professor Brenda V. Smith, Acting Director of the Clinical Program, If you wish, you can mail your application to: Professor Brenda V. Smith, Acting Director Clinical Programs, American University, Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 442, NW, Washington, DC 20016.


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

Top 5 Immigration Stories from SCPR

ImmigrationProf did its top 10 Immigration Stores for 2011Leslie Berestein Rojas on Southern California Public Radio has her top five series this week, along with some runners-up.  Here is the first.


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

Guest Post by Robert Gittelson: A New Year’s Message of Optimism: Even Conservatives are Coalescing Toward a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Solution

For the past several years, I have made it a personal tradition to write a message of hope around the New Year, calling on Congress to pass a very much needed comprehensive immigration reform. For example, a few years ago, I wrote an article titled, “A New Year’s Message of Compassion: Moral Arguments are Part and Parcel of Our Immigration Debate.” I ended that article with the phrase, “It is a moral imperative for us to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Financial concerns show us why we should pass this much needed reform, but compassion, forgiveness, and understanding show us why we must.” It seems that the more that things have changed over the years, on this issue at least, the more that things have stayed the same. However, I do believe that things might just be ready to change starting in 2012.

Specifically, I have faith that Congress will take up the DREAM Act in 2012. Over the past couple of years, I have been going to Washington once or twice a month to meet with members of Congress, and their staffs. All year, I have been discussing with them the importance of passing the DREAM Act, or at least a version of the DREAM Act that will help hundreds of thousands of hard working, high achieving, and innocent young men and women to emerge from the shadows, and to live their lives in dignity and legality, in the light of day.

Importantly, I have been meeting primarily with Republicans, and quietly but sincerely, many of them have been listening. It is still too early for me to say publicly exactly what will happen or when, but I am convinced that something positive will indeed happen, and soon. I can say that things have progressed to the point where both parties are talking seriously about how we can address the DREAM Act in a bipartisan manner, and that their negotiations have been going rather well. There is cause for optimism – guarded optimism – but optimism just the same.

I would offer a word or two of caution. If a bipartisan version of the DREAM Act were to emerge in this Congress, it will be truly bipartisan. In other words, it would be different from the current version of the DREAM Act that we have become accustomed to seeing. I don’t want to say exactly what the differences would be, because it is too early to say exactly how the bill would change from its current form. I can only say at this point that there will be some differences. The fact is that for any bill to pass on a bipartisan basis, it will move slightly to the right – it will be somewhat more conservative. However, the versions that I have seen, and have discussed in some detail, would at least solve the problem. It would allow the young men and women that can qualify under the terms of this new DREAM Act to live and work legally.

I would also offer my guarded optimism about a possible comprehensive immigration reform in the not too distant future. While I do not expect to see a CIR pass in 2012, I do see that Congress is, quietly but sincerely, moving in that direction. Again, there remains a long way to go, and the fact that 2012 is an election year makes any serious discussion of CIR a topic that can probably only be addressed after the election. But I do note that many recent polls, including a poll by FOX News, does show that the American public – including a solid majority of Republicans - are unquestionably in favor of a CIR solution to our immigration crisis.

On a personal note, the group that I am associated with, (I am the Co-Founder of Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform), remains committed to working toward the DREAM Act, and especially Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Our coalition includes several very prominent conservatives. Some of us, such as myself, are from the business community. However, the vast majority of our coalition is from the faith community, including leaders from the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Together we have been working hard to convince conservatives that our country needs, and is ready to accept a comprehensive solution to this crisis. I sincerely believe that the efforts of our group, along with the efforts of many other groups, are starting to show some results. The FOX poll is tangible proof that our Nation’s public opinion on this issue has moved firmly toward the positive. Importantly, I can see from my continuing meetings in DC that many conservatives “get it.” Therefore, I believe that there exists cause for optimism for advocates of immigration reform. Many conservatives are moving cautiously in the direction of a CIR solution. There exists in this country, and importantly in our Congress, an emerging consensus that we must address the inequities that are inherent in our current and outdated immigration policies. However, we will still need time for the politics in this country to catch up to the policy. Again, I urge patience. However, I am reasonably certain that our patience on this issue will soon pay off. 2012 should be the year in which we see the beginnings of movement toward a more just and efficient immigration policy.

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

Symposium: Innovative Approaches to Immigrant Representation: Exploring New Partnerships

Especially after release of the report criticizing the quality of representation of immigrants, this symposium in the Cardozo Law Review is most timely. It also has a star-studded cast.

Symposium: Innovative Approaches to Immigrant Representation: Exploring New Partnerships

Foreword Robert A. Katzmann

Revised Remarks to the Symposium on Innovative Approaches to Immigrant Representation at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law John Paul Stevens

Justice Stevens's Legacy and Immigrant Representation Lewis J. Liman

Representation of the Immigrant Poor: Upstate New York Denny Chin

Accessing Justice: The Availability and Adequacy of Counsel Removal Proceedings (New York Immigrant Representation Study Report: Part 1) The Steering Committee of New York Immigrant Representation Study Report

The Asylum Representation Project and the Leon Levy Fellowship at Human Rights First: An Innovative Partnership to Increase Pro Bono Representation for Indigent Asylum-Seekers Lori Adams & Alida Lasker

To License or Not to License? A Look at Differing Approaches to Policing the Activities of Nonlawyer Immigration Service Providers Careen Shannon

Constitutional Immigration Law on Its Own Path Anne R. Traum 491 Considering the Scope of Advisal Duties Under Padilla Lindsay C. Nash

Petty Offenses, Drastic Consequences: Toward a Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel for Noncitizen Defendants Facing Deportation Alice Clapman

Illegal Aid: Legal Assistance to Immigrants in the United States Geoffrey Heeren


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

DREAMers in Limbo

As the year comes to an end, let us not forget the undocumented college students, who may not be large in numbers, but can be found on college and university campuses across the United States. See here and here. Their indomitable spirit cannot be defeated by the fact that they live in imnmigration limbo. Like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., they have a dream.

California has taken some steps to provide assistance to the DREAMers. Someday, Congress will act decisively to pass a DREAM Act and pull undocumented students from the shadows of American social life.



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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rep. Luis Guiterrez: Congressman of the Year


Juan Williams has selected Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), immigrant rights champion, as "Congressman of the Year." Williams says that "History will record Gutierrez as a molder of consensus on immigration in a difficult time."


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

Weekly Address: The President and First Lady Thank our Troops for their Service this Holiday Season

Courtesy of White


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

Sunday, December 25, 2011

NY Times Condemns Lack of Competent Representation

NY Times Editorial:

In deciding who may stay and who must leave this country, the deportation process for immigrants tolerates unfairness at every turn. Current laws have denied basic due process protections to people held in immigration detention. And now, a new report in the Cardozo Law Review reveals a severe shortage of competent legal assistance for tens of thousands facing deportation. The study examines cases in New York, but New York is hardly unique in this failing.
. . .
The report surveyed judges in five immigration courts and found shoddy lawyering widespread. According to the judges’ responses, in nearly half the New York cases, immigrants who had lawyers received inadequate representation. In 14 percent of cases, they said the attorneys’ preparation and knowledge of the law and the facts were “grossly inadequate.”

These problems are but a subset of a much broader legal services crisis that is also forcing a soaring number of Americans to go to court without a lawyer in civil matters like home foreclosures, evictions and child support cases. Perversely, Congress has responded to the growing need for legal help by slashing the budget of the federal Legal Services Corporation. Government-financed legal assistance for people fighting deportation is nowhere on the radar.  Read more...


December 25, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Merry Christmas!

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