Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The San Francisco Giants are back to the World Series. Wahoo! With Brian Wilson recovering from surgery, the primary role of closer has ben assumed by colorful Sergio Romo. He grew up in Brawley, California, the son of migrant farmworkers from Mexico. Brawley has produced a number of major league baseball players. The opportunity to cross the border and play against great baseball players in Mexicali apparently helped hone baseball skills for others like Romo. Here's a great story on Romo and Brawley that aired on NPR this morning.
The ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project has five open positions. Four of the positions are for regionally-based staff attorneys for a term of three years, and one position is for a staff attorney based in NY or San Francisco.
Click here and here.
From the Bookshelves: Punishing Immigrants: Policy, Politics, and Injustice Edited By Charis E. Kubrin, Marjorie S. Zatz and Ramiro Martínez
Arizona’s controversial new immigration bill is just the latest of many steps in the new criminalization of immigrants. While many cite the presumed criminality of "illegal aliens" as an excuse for ever-harsher immigration policies, it has in fact been well-established that immigrants commit less crime, and in particular less violent crime, than the native-born and that their presence in communities is not associated with higher crime rates.
Punishing Immigrants moves beyond debunking the presumed crime and immigration linkage, broadening the focus to encompass issues relevant to law and society, immigration and refugee policy, and victimization, as well as crime. The original essays in this volume uncover and identify the unanticipated and hidden consequences of immigration policies and practices here and abroad at a time when immigration to the U.S. is near an all-time high. Ultimately, Punishing Immigrants illuminates the nuanced and layered realities of immigrants’ lives, describing the varying complexities surrounding immigration, crime, law, and victimization.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
New Approaches to Migration Management in Mexico and Central America By Francisco Alba and Manuel Ángel Castillo
Migration has emerged as a critical policy issue for Mexico and Central America during the past three decades. This report traces the history of migration and transmigration trends and policy in Mexico and Central America, and examines Mexico’s sweeping 2011 immigration law and implementation challenges.
There is lots of critical analysis in the news of the third and final debate between U.S. Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. As this piece on Huffington Post by Roque Planas observes, Latin America unfortunately does not seem to be at the forefront of either of the candidates' global outlook:
"In a debate centered on foreign policy, President Barack Obama and his GOP opponent Mitt Romney found ways to mention Detroit and Massachusetts, while completely ignoring Mexico -- the country of origin of 60 percent of undocumented workers in the United States, the site of a U.S.-led drug war that has claimed an estimated 60,000 lives, and the ancestral country of some 33 million U.S. Latinos . . . . Mexico is also the United States' third largest trade partner, federal data indicates."
Monday, October 22, 2012
Congratulations to Kip Steinberg, Esq.!
From Kip Evan Steinberg:
In a case I litigated pro bono for five years concerning the government’s failure to provide evidence of my client’s alleged “false testimony” in a naturalization case, the district court has awarded $321,000 in attorneys’ fees under the FOIA. The Court said that “Defendants’ delays and withholding may not have been in good faith” and “the evidence suggests its actions teeter on the edge of obduracy.”
In the underlying case, the Court had found that USCIS improperly withheld non-exempt documents; engaged in a pattern and practice of violating FOIA’s time limit provisions; and promulgated Track Three FOIA processing in violation of the Mayock Settlement Agreement and the APA. The Court issued a permanent injunction ordering USCIS to provide a copy of an “A” file for all requestors within the 20 day period mandated by the FOIA and to give written notice if a 10 day extension of time is needed due to “unusual circumstances”. The government has appealed the underlying case to the Ninth Circuit.
Note: This is the fifth district court opinion related to this litigation. In case anyone is interested, the citations are:
2011 WL 2118602 (MSJ/Natz)
849 F. Supp. 2d 945 (Natz Order)
2012 WL 4113203 ( $66,764 in Atty Fees/Natz)
832 F. Supp 2d. 1095 (MSJ/FOIA)
2012 WL 4903475 (Atty Fees/FOIA)
The Asian Law Caucus, in San Francisco, is currently hiring for a staff attorney to focus on immigrants' rights issues. The position offers a unique opportunity to both work closely with low-income, immigrant communities and to engage in impact litigation on immigrants' rights issues. The ALC is one of the few organizations in the Bay Area providing removal defense for low-income immigrants, and its impact litigation docket includes, for example, the challenges to the anti-immigrant laws in Georgia and Alabama. Click here for the full job announcement.
As a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and a former Navy Seal, Garrett Harrison is intimately familiar with the notion of duty and the necessity of upholding the law. However, his world is forever changed when he discovers two women brutally murdered and one man clinging to life in the desert wilderness of Otay Mesa. At the same time, Angelina Marguerite, an ill-starred seventeen-year-old prostitute working in a brothel in Tecate, Mexico desperately clings to her faith in God. She hopes for deliverance from the cruel, ambitious drug dealer known as El Cacique who lured her to el norte with the promise of marriage and prosperity, only to force her into prostitution. Meanwhile, the director of a parochial school serving primarily children from migrant families accepts donations from a priest that she suspects molests children. Amidst this corruption and exploitation, Garrett and Angelina fall in love and soon discover that the pursuit of opportunity, liberty and true love comes with a price.
David McCabe is the Coordinator of the Teacher Preparation Program at Pasadena City College and has been an educator in Southern California for twenty years where he has worked closely with migrant children and their families. During his career he has had to confront such serious issues as child abuse, drug use and molestation as well as help families gain access to the services they needed while coping with fears surrounding their immigration status. He currently serves as the advisor for Students Beyond Boundaries, a student organization advocating for the rights of all people. David lives with his wife and son on their small ranch in Southern California.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Michelle Waslin on Immigration Impact reports that the 287(g) program has been controversial and criticized for years, and immigrant advocates have demanded that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) terminate the program. Section 287(g) of the Immigrtaion & Nationality Act allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to enter into agreements that delegate immigration powers to local police. A new development raises questions about the future of the program.
ICE recently sent letters to all jurisdictions that have 287(g) partnerships informing them that their Memoranda of Understandings (MOAs) – which expired on September 30 – have been extended through December 31, 2012. Additionally, ICE stated that they are phasing out the 287(g) task force models because they “have proven to be a less efficient means of identifying priority individuals subject to removal compared to other enforcement programs.” It is unclear whether task force models will be ended after December 31, or whether a more gradual phasing out is planned. Apparently ICE is phasing out the task force model in favor of Secure Communities, which is already activated in most jurisdictions across the country.
Jeremy Redmon of the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on an interesting coincidence facing actor Tony Guerrero. In “Undocumented Executive,” a low-budget comedy, Guerrero plays an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who lands a top corporate job. Like his character, Guerrero is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. However, a happy ending is not in sight. Guerrero must leave the United States by January 24 or face deportation. "So Saturday night’s film premiere at the Plaza Theatre will also serve as a going away party."
Friday, October 19, 2012
From the Bookshelves: Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American Middle Class by Jody Agius Vallejo
"Vallejo tackles an extremely important topic which others have not been willing or able to see—the rise of a Mexican American middle class. Challenging prevailing views, this book focuses not on predictions of downward assimilation, but on the real means by which children of Mexican immigrants are joining the middle class."— Rubén Hernández-León, University of California, Los Angeles
"Barrios to Burbs is the important and largely untold story of the Mexican American middle class. By taking us inside the lives of middle-class Mexican Americans, Vallejo demonstrates how the socioeconomic diversity among people of Mexican descent offers both promise and potential peril for the people she studies. This is a landmark book and a must read for anyone who hopes to understand America's largest ethnic group in all of its complexity."—Tomás R. Jiménez, Stanford University, author of Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity
"A sensitive, compelling, and engaging account based on in-depth research of an overlooked and understudied population: the Mexican American middle class. Full of insights about patterns of family obligation and ethnic identification among them—as well as different pathways to middle-class status—this richly drawn study is an important contribution to our understanding of immigration and diversity in 21st century America."— Nancy Foner, Hunter College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York, author of In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration
"Jody Vallejo's novel study fills a void in research that for too long has focused too narrowly on Mexican immigrants trapped at lower rungs of the mobility ladder to the neglect of their prospects of success. She makes a significant contribution to the understanding of segmented assimilation and offers a compelling story of the Mexican American middle class."— Min Zhou, University of California, Los Angeles, author of Contemporary Chinese America
Too frequently, the media and politicians cast Mexican immigrants as a threat to American society. Given America's increasing ethnic diversity and the large size of the Mexican-origin population, an investigation of how Mexican immigrants and their descendants achieve upward mobility and enter the middle class is long overdue. Barrios to Burbs offers a new understanding of the Mexican-American experience. Vallejo explores the challenges that accompany rapid social mobility and examines a new indicator of incorporation, a familial obligation to "give back" in social and financial support. She investigates the salience of middle-class Mexican Americans' ethnic identification and details how relationships with poorer coethnics and affluent whites evolve as immigrants and their descendants move into traditionally white middle-class occupations. Disputing the argument that Mexican communities lack high quality resources and social capital that can help Mexican Americans incorporate into the middle class, Vallejo also examines civic participation in ethnic professional associations embedded in ethnic communities.
Speaking of terminology, the Associated Press, which as been at the center of the debate of how undocumented immigrants should properly be referred to by the press, has released a memorandum on use of the phrase "illegal immigrant." I am not sure how satisfying the elaboration is but you be the judge. Here is the punch line:
"The debate over whether or not to use `illegal immigrant' will continue. The best thing news organizations can do is have conversations amongst themselves — and perhaps with their audiences as well — about whether they should use it, when and why."
Rhetoric has long been a staple in national discussions over immigration in the United States. Over the decades, terms from "wetbacks" (and a 1954 U.S. deportation campaign known as "Operation Wetback") to "illegal aliens" have been used in polite company to discuss immigrants -- and, today, most frequently immigrants from Mexico.
In the second Presidential debate, both candidates offered their own terminological flare to the current national discussion over immigration reform. President Obama enthusiatstically touted his administration's success in deporting "gangbangers" while Mitt Romney coined the new term "undocumented illegals." Both references deserve examination.
In referring to "gangbangers," President Obama was seeking to justify his administration's record levels of deportations over the last several years, including nearly 400,000 in the last two fiscal years. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has emphasized the administration's current focus on removal of "criminal aliens." However, studies have shown that many of the immigrants subject to removal under programs like Secure Communities have been charged with relatively minor crimes (e.g., driving without a driver's license) or are not criminals at all. While in the debate, the President suggested that the focus of the administration's removal efforts was on "gangbangers" (and who could not want to deport "gangbangers"?), serious criminals do not constitute teh vast majority of the roughly 400,000 immigrants a year who are deported.
Many observers understand that increased enforcement by the Obama administration is a political price that some believe must be paid to convince Congress to pass comperhensive immigration reform. Whatever the political calculation, the results are disappointing -- record levels of deportations and no comprehensive immigration reform.
Mitt Romney's new phrase -- "undocumented illegals" -- politically seems the worst of all worlds. Use of teh word "illegals" will likely alienate Latinos and the defenders of immigrant rights. At the same time, the word "undocumented" will alienate the restrictionists, like Romney immigration advisor Kris Kobach, who are more likely to prefer the term "illegas" or "illegal aliens."
And the beat goes on.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Migration has emerged as a critical policy issue for Mexico and Central America over the course of the last three decades. While most attention has focused on Mexican migration to the United States, Central American transit migration through Mexico has increased in size and visibility since the 1980s, generating policy and governance issues for Mexico. For much of the 1990s, the Mexican government expressed no clear preference to either control or openly tolerate Central American transit migration. Its main law governing immigration was the 1974 General Population Law, which focused on family unification and was framed as a response to the challenges of the era, notably large-scale emigration from Mexico. But with calls from Mexican civil society and others to improve policy coherence and implementation, as well as improve protections for migrants who are vulnerable to abuse as they transit through Mexico en route to the United States, Mexico in 2011 adopted a sweeping new migration law. Regulations for the Ley de Migración were published just weeks ago and are due to take effect in early November.
In New Approaches to Migration Management in Mexico and Central America, senior researchers Francisco Alba and Manuel Ángel Castillo of El Colegio de México trace the history of migration trends and policy in Mexico and Central America, and examine Mexico’s new immigration law and implementation challenges. The 2011 law strives to respect the human rights of migrants, facilitate the international movement of people, meet the country’s labor needs, ensure equality between Mexican natives and immigrants to Mexico, recognize the acquired rights of long-term immigrants, promote family unity and sociocultural integration, and facilitate the return and reintegration of Mexican emigrants.
While passage of the law already has reduced bilateral tensions with Central American governments and has granted Mexico new moral authority when advocating on behalf of migrant rights in the United States, the authors note that the law’s ultimate success will turn on policy implementation. They also make the case that while the Ley de Migración may work as an expression of foreign policy, the law appears poorly equipped to address Mexico’s long-term migration challenges and competitiveness.
This report is the latest research from the Regional Migration Study Group, a partnership between MPI and the Latin American Program/Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Study Group, co-chaired by former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, and former Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein, is a high-level initiative that in 2013 will propose new collaborative approaches to migration, competitiveness, and human-capital development for the United States, Central America, and Mexico.
Census Bureau Reports Foreign-Born from Asia Likelier to be Married and to Live in Multigenerational Households
In 2011, the foreign-born from Asia were more likely to be married compared with the total foreign-born and native-born. Households with a householder born in Asia were also more likely to be multigenerational, according to statistics from the 2011 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of foreign-born from Asia who were married was higher (65.8 percent) than for all foreign-born (58.3 percent) or for native-born (46.5 percent). In addition, multigenerational households — three or more generations living together — were more common among households with a householder born in Asia (9.4 percent) than a native-born householder (4.9 percent). Among major country-of-birth groups from Asia, households with a householder born in the Philippines (14.8 percent) or in Vietnam (12.3 percent) were the most likely to be multigenerational.
The metro areas with the largest foreign-born populations from Asia were Los Angeles and New York, both with more than 1.5 million, followed by San Francisco (707,000), Chicago (439,000) and Washington (432,000). (See graphs).
In 2011, about 13 percent of the 311.6 million people living in the United States were foreign-born, including 11.6 million from Asia, accounting for more than one-fourth (29 percent) of all foreign-born.
Today, the Census Bureau also released a brief based on the American Community Survey: The Foreign Born From Asia: 2011. This brief discusses the size, place of birth, citizenship status, educational attainment and geographic distribution of the foreign-born from Asia in the United States.
Additional detailed information about specific Asian country-of-birth groups is available in the report and from the selected population profiles in American FactFinder. Other highlights from the brief and the 2011 American Community Survey:
Countries of Birth
•The five Asian countries of birth with the most foreign-born in the United States were China with 2.2 million, followed by India, 1.9 million; the Philippines, 1.8 million; Vietnam, 1.3 million; and Korea, 1.1 million. (The totals for India and the Philippines are not statistically different from one another).
• In 2011, 83 percent of the 25-and-older Asia-born population had at least a high school diploma and 48 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher. By comparison, among the foreign-born 25-and-older from all other regions, 63 percent had at least a high school diploma and 19 percent had at least a bachelor's degree.
• Among the five largest Asian country-of-birth groups, the 25-and-older foreign-born from India, Korea and the Philippines had the highest percentages with at least a high school diploma, each with 92 percent. Seventy-five percent of the 25-and-older population born in India had a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with the 25-and-older population born in Korea (51 percent), China (50 percent) and the Philippines (48 percent). (The totals for Korea and China are not statistically different from one another).
•The foreign-born from Asia were more likely to be naturalized citizens (58 percent) than the foreign-born from all other world regions combined (40 percent).
• Four states had more than a half-million foreign-born from Asia: California (3.7 million), New York (1.2 million), Texas (778,000) and New Jersey (593,000).
• When combined, these four states accounted for more than half of all foreign-born from Asia (54 percent). California alone represented almost one-third of the total foreign-born from Asia.
Call for Presentations and Paper
We are seeking proposals for presentations and papers for the 2013 Mid-Year Meeting Workshop on Poverty, Immigration and Property. The Workshop will be held on June 10-12, 2013 in San Diego, California. The Workshop will begin with registration at 4:00 p.m. and a reception at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 10th and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12th. It will appeal to a wide range of teachers and scholars interested in these and related subject areas.
While the Workshop will feature several plenary panels about a range of issues implicated by the intersection of poverty, immigration, and property, we also plan to include concurrent sessions. For these sessions we are seeking proposals that are in various stages of development. We are exploring the possibility of publication opportunities with various law journals.
We invite any proposal on the topic of the Workshop theme. Possible topics within the purview of the Workshop theme include:
Access to Justice (Labor Camps, Counsel, Language)
Property Implications of Immigration Enforcement
International: Land Distribution, Land Reform, Forced Migration
Race and Property/Race and Immigration
Climate Refugees: Property, Poverty, Immigration
Progressive Property: Pro and Con
Welfare Rights for Immigrants
Employer Sanctions and Licensing
Home, Housing and Culture
Property and Citizenship
We expect to select three or four presentations for each of the concurrent sessions. Each presentation will be about 15 minutes, followed by questions from the moderator and the audience.
Interested faculty members should submit a brief written description (no more than 1000 words) of the proposed presentation or paper, along with their résumés. Please email these materials to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 26, 2012. We will notify selected speakers by December 1, 2012. Please indicate if you would like the opportunity to receive comments from a senior scholar.
Faculty members of AALS member schools are eligible to submit proposals for the presentation opportunities or for papers. Visiting and adjunct faculty members, along with graduate students and fellows are not eligible.
Those selected for the presentation or paper opportunity must register for the Workshop and pay the registration fee. Participants are also responsible for their own travel and other expenses. Please direct questions to the Planning Committee members:
D. Benjamin Barros, Widener University School of Law, at email@example.com
Sheila R. Foster, Fordham University School of Law, Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Ong Hing, University of San Francisco School of Law, at email@example.com
Beth Lyon, Villanova University School of Law, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ezra E.S. Rosser, American University, Washington College of Law, at email@example.com
Featuring Rick Baldoz's Book: The Third Asiatic Invasion: Empire and Migration in Filipino America, 1898-1946
In honor of October as Filipino American History Month (as I wrote previously), I want to highlight a relatively recent book by Professor Rick Baldoz (Oberlin College).
His book, The Third Asiatic Invasion: Empire and Migration in Filipino America, 1898-1946, was published by NYU in 2011.
Baldoz's main argument "is that incorporation of Filipinos into American society played an important role in shaping the politics of citizenship and race during an important period in U.S history."
A very interesting book, it covers, among other things, the period during which the Philippines was a U.S. territory and the underlying racialized reasons that led the U.S. government to confer U.S. national status and not citizenship to Filipinos.
I strongly recommend the book.
Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration Enforcement and the Fugitive Slave Acts: Exploring Their Similarities by Karla Mari McKanders
Immigration Enforcement and the Fugitive Slave Acts: Exploring Their Similarities by Karla Mari McKanders University of Tennessee College of Law Catholic Law Review, Vol. 61, 2012, Forthcoming
Abstract: Two seemingly different federal enforcement systems that affect the movement of unskilled workers — the 1793 and 1850 Fugitive Slave Acts and current state immigration enforcement policies — have remarkable similarities. Both systems are political stories that are demonstrative of the failure of federalism. The federal government’s current failure to enforce immigration laws has encouraged state and local governments to pass their own laws. Alabama and Arizona have enacted far-reaching laws, which are similar to the federal Immigration and Nationality Act § 287(g) programs. Both have been challenged on constitutional preemption and equal protection grounds. Recent scholarship has focused mainly on whether the state and local actions are constitutionally preempted. Current scholarship has overlooked ways the federal government has previously utilized state and local entities to enforce federal laws that govern individual rights. To date, legal scholars have not engaged in this comparison. This article challenges the notion of the Fugitive Slave Acts’ irrelevance in this context by examining in detail the similarities of both systems and the results that are produced when the federal government is provided with unfettered discretion to abrogate individual rights. The article proceeds in three parts. Part I provides an overview of the implementation and enforcement of the Constitution’s Fugitive Slave Clause and the 1793 and 1850 Fugitive Slave Acts. This Part also explores the implementation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the evisceration of the Fugitive Slave Acts when subsequent immigration laws refused to recognize equal protection rights for immigrants. Part II explores the reverse immigration-federalism story in which states and localities are enacting immigration legislation against the backdrop of federal inaction. Part III explores how both the Fugitive Slave Acts and current immigration enforcement laws create outsiders by failing to protect individual liberty rights. The article concludes with broad doctrinal lessons on immigration federalism and demonstrates how the law and legal actors can perpetuate norms that facilitate the creation of tiered personhood.