Monday, April 30, 2012
The Mexican Consul in New York will be issuing Mexican passports and consular identification cards at Sunset Park, Brooklyn, from 9 am to 3 pm, May 16 to May 20 (Wednesday through Sunday). Click here for more information. Identification documents are important for any person in the United States for a variety a reasons, including opening bank accounts and being stopped for minor traffic violations.
I wrote a column for Jurist about Arizona v. United States. Last Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case. which challenges the constitutionality of the controversial Arizona immigration enforcement law known as SB 1070. IN the article, I hazard a prediction about the outcome of the case, which might well be one of the Court's most significant immigration decisions in many years. The article also demonstrates how divergent the public debate is from the legal discourse about state immigration enforcement laws.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
From Filipino Advocates for Justice:
MAY DAY DEMANDS
SUPPORT WORKERS RIGHTS
Support immigrant workers’ campaigns to defend their rights. End workplace enforcement programs like raids and I-9 Audits (that has resulted in the firings of thousands of immigrant workers, at Pacific Steel, American Apparel, Chipotle, to name a few). Pass AB 889 the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.
LEGALIZATION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS
Legalize the 12 million undocumented in the US whose lack of legal status makes them vulnerable to exploitation by employers, anti-immigrant policies that deny them access to basic human services, and harassment, detention, deportation, and other violations of human rights.
STOP THE DEPORTATION OF ALL IMMIGRANTS
End the continuing harassment, racial profiling, detention and deportation of immigrants. Nearly 400,000 immigrants have been deported from the U.S. in just the past year, which is about 45 people deported every hour.
STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRANTS BY FEDERAL AND LOCAL POLICE
Stop government surveillance of immigrant communities by the Dept. of Homeland Security through enforcement programs like “Secure Communities”. Stop the local “gang injunctions” and 100 block initiatives that criminalizes Black and Brown youth. Redirect resources toward the prevention of root causes of crime in our neighborhoods, such as chronic poverty and systemic racism.
END U.S. MILITARY AGGRESSION & OTHER POLICIES THAT DISPLACE
More than 200 million people have been forced to leave their country of origin because of war, environmental degradation and unequal trade policies. Stop U.S. military aggression and intervention in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa. Stop policies like NAFTA, CAFTA and AFTA that force farmers off their land in Mexico and Central America, increases poverty and forces migration from underdeveloped countries globally.
DEFEND AND EXPAND ETHNIC STUDIES
Protect Ethnic Studies programs from attack in Arizona and throughout the country. Ethnic Studies programs should be expanded to make educational curricula accurate and inclusive of all U.S. residents, and because it is a critical tool for ending institutionalized racism.
Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Xican@Moratorium Coalition, Anakbayan East Bay, Eastside Arts Alliance, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Alameda Labor Council AFL-CIO, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Hand in Hand National Domestic Employers Association, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Causa Justa;Just Cause, 67 Sueños, Young Workers United, AYPAL, Youth Together, ACUDIR, La Raza Centro Legal/Day Laborers, Filipino Community Center, Dignity Campaign and more....
Saturday, April 28, 2012
New Handbook on Diaspora Engagement Provides Road Map for Leveraging the Role of Immigrants in Development Efforts Worldwide
Beyond the more than $400 billion in remittances transferred in 2010, diaspora members fulfill a key development role in their countries of origin – as major direct investors in critical and emerging industries, generous philanthropists and first movers in the growth of important sectors such as tourism and in the development of human capital. Governments at both ends of the migration cycle increasingly recognize the value that diaspora populations bring to development efforts and are seeking ways to magnify the human capital and financial resources that emigrants and their descendants contribute to development in their countries of origin. A new handbook, Developing a Road Map for Engaging Diasporas in Development, authored by Migration Policy Institute (MPI) migration and development experts Kathleen Newland and Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias (who is also a research officer with the International Organization for Migration) offers practical advice to policymakers and practitioners and details the wide range of institutions that governments worldwide have established to work with diasporas.
The user-friendly guide, a project of MPI and IOM, offers a strategic road map for governments to build a constructive relationship with diasporas and examines the success and failure of policies, programs and initiatives undertaken to date. The handbook is based on in-depth interviews and consultations with government officials and non-governmental actors, and includes responses by 62 national governments to a two-part survey designed and administered for this project. "
The diaspora handbook's first five chapters focus on capacity building, the importance of rigorous monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs, the legal and institutional frameworks established to facilitate diaspora engagement and the legislative and regulatory frameworks by which diasporas engage with their countries of origin. The final six chapters examine the key areas in which diaspora members have played positive development roles: remittances, direct investment, human capital transfer, philanthropy, capital market investment and tourism - offering lessons and policy options for each.
The work builds upon diaspora engagement studies that MPI has engaged in for the better part of a decade, as well as the ongoing discussions that have taken place since 2007 at the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). For more on MPI's research on diaspora engagement, visit here.: . To learn about GFMD, visit here.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Republican Senator Marco Rubio is reaching out to Democrats, Dream Act leaders, and immigrant rights groups in his effort to push a nonimmigrant visa version of the DREAM Act. Can he gain traction on this effort during a presidential campaign year?
In spite of the U.S. government's nonracial strategy against SB 1070 and attempts by Justice Roberts and Scalia to avoid the issue at oral argument this week, Arizona's law is all about racial profiling.
My views on Huffington Post:
In the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070, Department of Justice lawyers avoided arguing that any of the law's provisions, including the requirement that state police check the documents of suspected undocumented immigrants, invite racial profiling. In fact, at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts began the case by greeting the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli (and the rest of the country) with: "No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it?" To which the lawyer responded, "We're not making any allegation about racial or ethnic profiling in this case." Later when Verrilli tried to make a point about Arizona Latinos who would be affected by the law, he backed away from the point after Justice Antonin Scalia complained that it sounded like racial profiling.
The technocrat lawyer in me might understand this strategy, reasoning that it's too soon to know if Latinos will be targeted by SB 1070 (although there's plenty of evidence already). The cynic in me believes that the Obama administration stayed away from racial profiling allegations because that claim falls too close to home. The framework for SB 1070 mirrors the federal immigration enforcement laws and guess what, ICE engages in racial profiling every day. The immigration historian in me, however, understands that SB 1070 is in fact all about racial profiling given the institutionalized racism under which the law and its copycat statutes across the country have emerged.
The southwest border essentially became an open border in 1848, when the United States forced Mexico to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The United States gained California and New Mexico (including present-day Nevada, Utah, and Arizona) and recognition of the Rio Grande as the southern boundary of Texas. The treaty gave all Mexicans living in the ceded territory the option of becoming U.S. citizens or relocating within Mexican borders. In the years immediately following the treaty, many Mexicans thought of the territories as part of Mexico. Mexicans and Americans paid little heed to the newly created international border, which was unmarked and wholly unreal to most.
In 1942, the United States negotiated a treaty with Mexico known as the Bracero Program, providing for the use of Mexicans as temporary workers in U.S. agriculture. With the exception of slavery, in terms of servicing U.S. economic interests, the program was a historical first. The Bracero Program was renewed consecutively throughout the administrations of five U.S. presidents. Braceros constituted a quarter of the farm labor force in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, contributing to U.S. dominance in agriculture. In spite of the program, undocumented Mexican migration was significant during this era. In 1954, more than 1 million undocumented Mexicans were deported as part of an initiative dubbed "Operation Wetback."
As organized labor and public sentiment toward undocumented Mexican workers became increasingly negative in the 1970s, resources for border enforcement were enhanced, and the Border Patrol's primary task became patrolling the southern border. By the mid-1990s, 85 percent of the Border Patrol's agents were stationed along the Mexican border.
While the rest of the world enjoyed an expansion of numerical limitations after 1965, Mexico and the Western Hemisphere were suddenly faced with numerical limitations. The Western Hemisphere was allotted a total of 120,000 immigrant visas each year. By 1976, the process resulted in a severe backlog of approximately three years and a waiting list with nearly 300,000 names. As the immigration of Mexicans became the focus of more debate, Congress enacted legislation in 1976 further curtailing Mexican migration. The law imposed a preference system on Mexico and the Western Hemisphere along with a 20,000 visa per country numerical limitation. Thus, Mexico's annual visa usage rate, which had been about 40,000, was virtually cut in half overnight.
As the immigration enforcement budget grew larger and larger during the 1970s and 1980s, the Supreme Court, swayed by arguments that the undocumented alien problem was worsening, gave more flexibility to federal enforcement strategies. In 1975, the Supreme Court opened the door to stops by roving patrols near the border in United States v. Brignoni-Ponce (1975). The next year, the Court carved out a major exception to the Fourth Amendment's protection against search and seizure to further accommodate the Border Patrol. The case, United States v. Martinez-Fuerte (1976), endorsed the legality of fixed checkpoints away from the border even when stops are not based on articulable suspicion. Less than a decade later, the Supreme Court, in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza (1984), made it clear that the Fourth Amendment's protection against illegal search and seizure was not available to aliens fighting deportation even if federal officials acted illegally.
In essence, the immigration visa system does not accommodate the demand for visas from Mexico, and the enforcement regime has been given license to operate quite broadly. Undocumented immigrants have been demonized, and through the demonization, they become a faceless commodity. The immigration admission and enforcement systems -- including the new SB 1070-like laws -- may appear neutral on their face, but (1) they have evolved in a racialized manner and (2) when the immigration framework interacts with other racialized institutions you realize that the structure generates racial group disparities as well. NAFTA and globalization form a big part of why many migrants of color cannot remain in their native countries. The criminal justice system and poverty prey heavily on poor communities of color, leading to deportable offenses if defendants are not U.S. citizens.
The Supreme Court and federal litigators may not want to admit that SB 1070 is about racial profiling, but they are in denial. The seemingly neutral logic that flows from an institutionally racist immigration system need not carry the day. We should not be left to object to anti-immigrant state laws, ICE raids, border enforcement, and even criminal alien enforcement solely in non-racial terms. Understanding these operations from an institutionalized racial perspective provide another basis for arguing that our system of immigration laws and enforcement policies must be overhauled in order to address the menacing vestiges of racism within that system. Click here.
From the Bookshelves: Pineros: Latino Labor and the Changing Face of Forestry in the Pacific Northwest by Brinda Sarathy
Abstract: Although the exploitation of Latino workers in many industries is well known, pineros -- Latino forest workers -- toil largely in obscurity. Brinda Sarathy investigates how the US federal government came to be one of the country's largest employers of Latino labour, and documents pinero wages and working conditions in comparison to those of white forest labourers. Pinero exploitation, Sarathy argues, is the product of an ongoing history of institutionalized racism in the West. Overcoming this legacy depends on improving the visibility and working conditions of pineros and providing them with a stronger voice in immigration and forestry policy-making.
Earlier this month, Indian movie star Shah Rukh Khan, a/k/a the King of Bollywood, was detained and held for over two hours by U.S. immigration officials. He arrived in New York from India by private jet to address Yale students (who he later reportedly "charmed"). Click here for details.
From Jennifer Allen:
National Attention to Border Agents Brutality & the Need to Bring Justice Home
If you missed the "Crossing the Line" program on PBS' Need to Know on Friday, you can still view it on their website. It is a devastating glimpse into the brutality of border agents that led to the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a resident of San Diego and father of five US citizen children. And tragically, as we know too well in Arizona, Anastacio's case was neither an isolated incident nor the result of one bad apple. We know of 7 other similar incidents since 2010 and that there are likely at least another 10 that we have not yet documented.
Fortunately, the PBS show opened up the door to national attention to the issue. And now, the challenge for all of us is to channel this attention into action and concrete change --you will be hearing soon about ways in which we can increase the pressure on the Department of Justice to get Anastasio's and the other lost lives the justice they deserve. We will "bring justice home"!
Thank you for all your hard work to get to this point!
–We exceeded our goal of 25,000 and set a new one of 40,000!
Over 30,000 people have signed on to a petition sponsored by the Southern Border Communities Coalition and presente.org calling for an immediate and vigorous investigation into the brutal and lethal force used by Border Patrol agents that resulted in the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas two years ago. The petition is directed at US Attorney General Eric Holder calling for him to stop dawdling with the case of Hernandez Rojas and the many other cases of border residents killed at hands of border agents and launch thorough and vigorous investigations. If you haven’t signed and circulated it, please do!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
From the Bookshelves: Implementing Educational Language Policy in Arizona: Legal, Historical and Current Practices in SEI by M. Beatriz Arias and Christian J. Faltis, editors
ABSTRACT: This book brings together scholars, researchers, and educators to present a critical examination of Arizona?s restrictive language policies as they influence teacher preparation and practice. The Structured English Immersion model prescribes the complete segregation of English learners for 4 hours a day from English speakers and academic content for a minimum of one year.
As readers of this blog well know, the U.S. Supreme Court has been big in the immigration news department this week. Reuters put together a fascinating page with the immigration family story of each of the Justices. In combination, the stories tell volumes about how immigrants made America. To me, the most interesting are the immigration family stories of Justice Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What do readers think?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Click here for a debate on PolicyMic about the constitutionality of Arizona's S.B. 1070. The debaters include a number of immigration observers, including law professors ImmigrationProf blogger Bill Hing (USF), Jack Chin (UC Davis), and Geoffrey Hoffman (Houston).
Daniel M. Kowalski on LexisNexis Immigration Law Community reports that, after being raked over the coals for misleading the Supreme Court in Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418 (2009), the Solicitor General's office filed a letter with the Court on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in which it admits to having been less than candid with the Court. For news analysis of the mea culpa, click here (Jess Bravin) and here (Adam Liptak). See this advisory for details. Download Advisory on FAQ and OSG Emails - NIP pdf
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
FROM THE BOOKSHELVES: Excerpt from Show Trials: How Property Gets More Legal Protection Than People in Our Failed Immigration System by Professor Peter Afrasiabi
From pp.24-25 & 30 of Show Trials: How Property Gets More Legal Protection Than People in Our Failed Immigration System by Professor Peter Afrasiabi from the Section: WHO ARE THESE IMMIGRATION JUDGES AND CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES?
Immigration judges handle life and liberty cases. The immigrants—like Mr. Wang and Ecaterina—who appear before them face the potential loss of life if erroneously returned to a foreign land that may torture or kill them. They certainly face a loss of liberty if deported after developing lives and bonds in America, the same type of loss that the Supreme Court found to be of constitutional magnitude in the 1946 case of Bridges v. Wixon discussed in the Introduction. Similarly, constitutional court judges also handle life and liberty cases in their criminal cases. In those cases, criminal defendants face the specter of jail or even potentially the death chambers of our death penalty system. As well as property cases like the ones addressed and charted on these pages, these constitutional judges also assess civil rights cases, dealing with the important constitutional issues of free speech and religion, police brutality, race discrimination, or gender discrimination. All these equally implicate liberty interests of a constitutional magnitude.
Both sets of judges thus—whether haling from immigration courts or our constitutional property courts—share as a common denominator that they are responsible for deciding life and liberty questions of people who appear before them. Another notable common denominator is that both sets of judges earn roughly the same pay. For the 2010-11 timeframe, the approximately 267 immigration judges across the country earned roughly $155,000-$165,000 in salary and the approximately 604 federal constitutional judges in the federal trial courts (the constitutional court analogue to the immigration court) earned a near similar salary of $174,000. Required to assess cases of similar constitutional magnitude and earning similar pay, the natural question to assess, then, is whether constitutional judges and immigration judges are comparable from a judicial quality perspective, or whether in fact they are vastly different.
Is your interest piqued? Here is an abstract of the book:
Narrative nonfiction assessment of the failed American immigration system focused on the individual constituents of the system: the judges, the federal courts, the law itself, the government lawyers, the private lawyers and the unrepresented immigrants. By tracing real world cases, the absence of due process and erosion of justice is seen. At various points, the book pivots to the world of property law where the same due process infirmities, as seen, do not exist. Rich in historical context and filled with new, never-before-published date, the book delivers a powerful contemporary narrative of the immigration system that forces readers to question basic assumptions about modern immigration policy. The book concludes with specific reforms.
Since 2002, the U.S. has been deporting Cambodian Americans, most of whom entered as refugees, who have been convicted of certain crimes. These deportations, which began to include Vietnamese a few years ago, are causing great hardship for these U.S. communities. The failure of U.S. immigration laws to provide for the opportunity to seek a second chance in removal proceedings is a true shortcoming of U.S. policies. See generally here.
Now, in a shocking disappointment, Southeast Asian community groups have prevented from discussing the issue at a White House forum that was set up by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
From One Love Movement:
THIS IS WHY WE'RE ANGRY: A Call to Action
A Statement from Southeast Asian American Community Groups
One Love Movement, Pennsylvania
Providence Youth Student Movement, Rhode Island
Khmer Girls in Action, California
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association, Louisiana
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, New York
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, Washington D.C.
On November 1 2011, videos were submitted by community groups around the country for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) “What’s Your Story” Video challenge . Winners from the contest would have the opportunity to present their issue at the White House to White House Administration officials at an event called “Champions of Change” on April 5, 2012.
We were really excited to see Studio Revolt’s video on the issue of deportation in the Cambodian American community, My Asian Americana, be chosen for the final 11, because it meant we were being heard. It’s a video that speaks to the activism work of our community, challenges institutional oppression and unjust immigration policies, and shows the depth of our humanity.
The community and the country watched and voted, and “My Asian Americana” went viral and was viewed by thousands of people! We were thrilled. We knew a presentation at the White House would not solve the problem of deportation. But it would be a step in this long haul movement. However, Studio Revolt was not invited to the White House as one of the 9 out of 11 chosen groups, despite clear and massive public support. Our families, our communities, our pain, was silenced again.
THIS IS WHY WE’RE ANGRY
We’re angry because our country was the target of secret and illegal US bombing during an unjust war in Southeast Asia.
…because the destruction of bombing led a genocidal dictatorship to rise and wipe out nearly a third of our people.
…because we lived with unknown futures in Thai refugee camps for years.
…because as refugees in the US, we were resettled in neighborhoods that didn’t accept us.
…because we suffer from PTSD & are given little access to mental health services.
…because our teachers have limited language services to communicate with our parents.
…because we are not given quality or equal education.
…because we are bullied & beat up by our peers who don’t understand us or our history.
…because we are labeled “gang members” and racially profiled because we stick together.
…because we feel the complex heartbreak of poor choices made with little guidance.
…because rehabilitated re-entry offers few avenues to work & support our families.
…because our loved ones are detained & mandatorily deported by ICE for past mistakes.
…because the prison industry is making billions separating our families & locking us up.
…because our loved ones are torn away from us & sent back to the country we once fled.
…because our families are struggling to make ends meet.
…because our country believes in second chances, but we don’t see them.
…because we are doubly punished.
…because our community is labeled “criminal aliens.”
We’re angry because our struggle is being silenced.
“My Asian Americana” gave the public and our government yet another opportunity to understand and acknowledge the unjust conditions in which we live, and the unjust policies that dehumanize us. But that opportunity wasn’t taken, because our government considers the issue of deportation for criminal convictions “too controversial”. Our community has been campaigning and building power around this issue since 2002, and we are continuously silenced. Our government, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), prefer to label us “criminal aliens”, “threats to society”, and use our community as a political scapegoat – instead of understanding the depth and complexity of our struggle, recognizing the severe due process and proportionality violations in the law, and the long term effects deportation will have on our communities and families for decades to come. Read more... and express your support of giving voice to Southeast Asian communities in the United States.
In Arizona v. United States, the Supreme Court should affirm the court of appeal’s decision striking down four provisions of the Arizona immigration enforcement law known as S.B. 1070. The Arizona legislature’s stated – and impermissible -- purpose is to pursue a state immigration policy of “attrition through enforcement” that both conflicts with, and undermines, U.S. immigration law and policy. S.B. 1070 therefore violates the constitutional mandate that federal law is the supreme law of the land.
Supreme Court precedent requires the affirmance of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. For well over a century when Congress first passed comprehensive immigration legislation, it has been firmly established that the federal government has the exclusive reigns over immigration and nationality law. That makes perfect sense given that the regulation of immigration can have national impacts and foreign policy repercussions. As the Court stated unequivocally in De Canas v. Bica (1976), “[p]ower to regulate immigration is unquestionably exclusively a federal power.”
Federal preemption of state immigration enforcement laws like Arizona’s S.B. 1070 makes perfect sense. The U.S. government should be able to enforce the immigration laws without interference from the states. A state cannot, as Arizona sought to do, pursue its own state immigration enforcement policy. Such a patchwork approach to immigration law, with possibly 50 different policy variations, can allow the nation’s relationships with foreign countries to be held hostage to a rogue state or states.
Upholding the court of appeals ruling is consistent with the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, which rejected a challenge to an Arizona law allowing the state to strip the licenses of business that employ undocumented immigrants. Federal immigration law expressly allows the states to use its licensing schemes in the manner that Arizona did in the law at issue in Whiting. S.B. 1070 is much broader in scope than a mere licensing law and claims to create an entire state immigration policy law. In addition, in Whiting, the Chamber of Commerce, not the U.S. government, claimed that the state had infringed on the federal power to regulate immigration. Here, the U.S. government claims that Arizona’s law intrudes on federal power – and has damaged national interests by provoking protests made by the Mexican government as well as governments across Latin America. Needless to say, a claim of the infringement on federal power is more powerfully made by the federal government than the Chamber of Commerce.
Serious civil rights concerns lurk in the background of the legal arguments in Arizona v. United States. Namely, Latina/os and immigrants fear that S.B. 1070’s mandate that state and local police check the immigration status of persons whom they “reasonably suspect” are undocumented, will result in racial profiling at levels never before seen. Those familiar with the civil rights record of Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio know that this fear is real.
To justify S.B. 1070, Arizona political leaders contend that the U.S. government is failing to enforce the immigration laws. It is hard to contend, however, that the Obama administration is not enforcing the law when it has deported more immigrants than any other President in U.S. history (nearly 400,000 last year). In any event, the frustration with the current immigration system is for Congress, not the states, to address through comprehensive – and national – immigration reform.
In this op/ed, Professors Pratheepan Gulasekaram (Santa Clara) and Karthick Ramakrishnan (UC Riverside) explain the spate of state immigration enforcement laws as the result of partisan (Red State/Blue State) politics. One question: would the politics have kicked in if the states had not seen an uptick in migration from Mexico? Put differently, why hasn't Alaska passed an immigration enforcement law while Georgia, Alabama, etc. have?
A New York father faces deportation to Argentina, likely because he went into diabetic shock and had the poor luck to be met by police officers who arrested him, instead of sought aid for him. His case is shining a new light on the Obama administration’s deportation policies and the president’s attempts at striking the difficult balance it has claimed as its enforcement strategy.
Julianne Hing writes for Colorlines.com, click here.