Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alvaro Huerta: We need real immigration reform

Huerta calls for serious and meaningful to the U.S. immigration laws that permits labor migration.


March 19, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Honoring the Works of Mari Matsuda

UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal Presents:

"Only We Can Free Ourselves: Reflections on the Works of Mari Matsuda"

We invite you to attend the 2013 Asian Pacific American Law Journal Symposium, Only We Can Free Ourselves: Reflections on the Works of Mari Matsuda (invitation attached).  The symposium will be held on Saturday, April 6th, 2013, from 9-5pm at UCLA School of Law. 

The day will consist of three panels, each of which will address a few of the larger themes in Mari Matsuda's scholarship, including "looking to the bottom", "multiple consciousness", and social justice.  Professor Matsuda will give a keynote address at the end of the symposium. A reception will follow with a performance by Filipino American emcee, Bambu.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP by April 2nd.  The event is free and open to the public.  (Please note that MCLE credit is pending, and there is a $25 fee only for attorneys seeking credit.)

If you would like to make a donation in support of the Symposium, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/APALJdonation

RSVP: tinyurl.com/APALJ2013

Co-sponsored by:  UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UCLA Campus Programs Committee of the Program Activities Board, Critical Race Studies Program, David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, Japanese American Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association - Southern California


March 19, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sequester Affects Immigration Enforcement — and Invites Attention to Detention Policy

Across-the-board federal budget cuts went into effect on March 1, and effects are already being felt in a wide range of immigration functions.

This article by Migration Information Source explores how the sequester has and will be impacting the US immigration system, focusing on the federal government's recent decision to release immigration detainees on bond or to less costly supervision programs. It also takes a look at stateside processing of I-601 waivers, new policy guidance on immigration enforcement at community establishments, and more.


March 18, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Central American Immigrants in the United States

Since 1990, the number of Central American immigrants in the United States has nearly tripled. This immigrant population grew faster than any other region-of-origin population from Latin America between 2000 and 2010.

This article from Migration Information Source focuses on a wide range of characteristics of Central American immigrants residing in the United States, including the population's size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.


March 18, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Factoid of the Day: New Study: Approximately 900,000 Immigrants Identify as LGBT

Read on.


March 18, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Rampant Abuse by Border Patrol Agents

From the National Lawyers Guild:

National Wave of Complaints Highlights Rampant Abuse by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Dire Need for Reform

Washington, D.C. – Over the past week, an alliance of immigration groups, private attorneys and a law school clinic joined forces in filing complaints targeting abuses by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) across the country. Ten damages cases have been filed alleging unlawful CBP conduct in northern and southern border states. These cases are the latest illustrations of an ongoing pattern of rampant misconduct against both immigrants and U.S. citizens in these states.  

This effort, which was coordinated by the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, highlights CBP agents’ unlawful use of their enforcement authority. Border Patrol agents routinely exceed their statutory mandate by conducting enforcement activities outside border regions, making racially motivated arrests, employing derogatory and coercive interrogation tactics, and imprisoning arrestees under inhumane conditions. The cases include claims for unlawful search and seizure, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and battery.

Among the cases filed:

CBP agents apprehended three women at the Texas-Mexico border and detained them in a freezing cold cell called the “hielera,” or icebox in English. The temperature in the hielera was so cold that the women’s fingers and lips turned blue. CBP held the women for up to six days in dire conditions. They had no beds, chairs, blankets, or toiletries, no access to bathing facilities, and were frequently fed only a single sandwich each day. CBP agents threatened to keep the women in the hielera if they did not sign documents in English that they did not understand because they only spoke Spanish. The women ultimately signed these documents to escape the hielera, only to learn that they had agreed to expedited removal.

CBP agents forced a 63-year-old woman with no criminal history off a Greyhound bus in Ohio, subjected her to hours of interrogation, and refused to let her use the bathroom for so long that she urinated on herself. After being detained all night in her urine-soaked jeans, CBP transferred her to an immigration detention facility, where she suffered an acute stroke. As a result of this trauma, she suffers from chronic pain, numbness, and partial paralysis on her left side.

CBP agents at Dulles International Airport unlawfully detained a four-year-old U.S. citizen child for more than twenty hours without adequate food and water, deprived her of any contact with her parents, and sent her back to Guatemala. CBP agents informed the child’s father that they could not return her to “illegals.”

Click here for information about these and additional cases filed as part of the national litigation strategy.

“These cases exemplify the culture of impunity that has taken hold at CBP,” according to Melissa Crow, director of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center. “The agency must take immediate steps to promote more effective oversight and accountability within its ranks.”

“These claims are especially relevant in light of the call of many in Congress for further expansion of the numbers of Border Patrol Agents,” said Matt Adams, legal director for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “While both the bipartisan Senate framework and the President’s proposal acknowledge concerns about racial profiling and other abuses, specific guidelines and limits must be implemented with any immigration reform.”

Trina Realmuto, a staff attorney with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild noted, “While these cases shed light on CBP misconduct, there are hundreds more such incidents that go unreported.”


March 18, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

USCIS Posts Updated DACA Statistics

USCIS has updated the statistics for DACA. So far, 245,493 applications have been approved. 

Download USCIS DACA Statistics March 2013


March 18, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

DACA and Video Games

Here's an interesting story, that was picked up by the Wall Street Journal (here), about how a DACA applicant, José Munoz, and his lawyer, Davorin Odrcic, successfully proved that the applicant has continuously resided in the U.S. since 2007: copies of receipts for X-Box video games that were purchased since 2006.

José was only a year old when he and his family arrived in the U.S. using a tourist visa. They overstayed. He has lived in the U.S. ever since. He graduated with honors from high school in 2005 and subsequently enrolled in college (but later dropped out). Like many Americans, José played video games during his free time. Alot of it. Importantly, his purchases of X-Box 360 video games since 2006 provided the proof that he needed to show that he has been living in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007 (requirement under DACA). 

Here's the link to the full article.


March 18, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Economic Basis for the Decline in Undocumented Activity Along U.S./Mexico Border in Arizona

Julia Preston of the New York Times yesterday penned a story about how the border -- at least in the larger cities along the U.S./Mexico border in Arizona -- has calmed with increasing immigration and drug enforcement.  Readers should not forget that, due to the recesssion and the lack of jobs, the undocumented population had been headed downward for the last several years.  While the increased border enforcement has helped calm matters in cities along the border, the decreased number of apprehensions in no small part has been due to the U.S. economy.   


Moreover, while the high profile border enforcement operations in cities along the border offer the feeling of calm in those cities, migrants have been redirected to more isolated locations through deserts and mountains where they are more likely to die on the journey to the United States.  The Preston story describes the lack of activity along the border in Arizona but fails to acknowledge recent reports are that migrants are dying along the border in Texas.

None of this should be interpreted to suggest that more immigration enforcement is needed.  Some political leaders have argued that the nation needs more enforcement before comprehensive immigration reform can be enacted (or a path to legalization can kick in).  My point is that the economy is a driver of much legal and undocumented immigration and that the collateral damage of increased enforcement -- deaths of Mexican migrants -- continues even if cities along the border in Mexico appear safer and more secure.


March 17, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act

From Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino

Today, we thank Senators Robert Menendez, Harry Reid, and Marco Rubio and Representatives Xavier Becerra and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for reintroducing the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act in 113th Congress. This bill will give the future Smithsonian American Latino Museum a home in the historic Arts and Industries Building on the nation's front yard, the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Act would bring us one step closer to telling the full picture of American history by commemorating the contributions of American Latinos on the national mall.


March 15, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Images of Deportees from Arizona


John Moore of the NY Times:

On this last trip to Arizona, the challenge for me was to find deported — or soon-to-be-deported — immigrants not in federal custody. One place was the San Juan Bosco shelter in Nogales, Mexico, not far from the United States-Mexico border. The shelter, open for more than 30 years, gives recently deported immigrants — or those about to try to cross into Arizona — a place to sleep for three nights. In most cases, the immigrants have never been to Nogales before, so the shelter provides a safe place, away from predatory gangs who target this vulnerable population along much of the Mexican side of the border.

Click here.


March 15, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

From the Bookshelves: Governing Immigration Through Crime A Reader Edited by Julie A. Dowling and Jonathan Xavier Inda

Governing Immigration Through Crime A Reader Edited by Julie A. Dowling and Jonathan Xavier Inda, Stanford University Press, 2013.

In the United States, immigration is generally seen as a law and order issue. Amidst increasing anti-immigrant sentiment, unauthorized migrants have been cast as lawbreakers. Governing Immigration Through Crime offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the use of crime and punishment to manage undocumented immigrants. Presenting key readings and cutting-edge scholarship, this volume examines a range of contemporary criminalizing practices: restrictive immigration laws, enhanced border policing, workplace audits, detention and deportation, and increased policing of immigration at the state and local level. Of equal importance, the readings highlight how migrants have managed to actively resist these punitive practices. In bringing together critical theorists of immigration to understand how the current political landscape propagates the view of the "illegal alien" as a threat to social order, this text encourages students and general readers alike to think seriously about the place of undocumented immigrants in American society.

For the table of contents, click here. Among the contributors are law professors Juliet Stumpf, Jennifer M. Chacon, and Bill Ong Hing.


March 14, 2013 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration, Sovereignty, and the Constitution of Foreignness by Matthew J. Lindsay


Immigration, Sovereignty, and the Constitution of Foreignness by Matthew J. Lindsay University of Baltimore - School of Law February 2013 Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 3, February 2013 University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper

Abstract: It is a central premise of modern American immigration law that immigrants, by virtue of their non-citizenship, are properly subject to an extra-constitutional regulatory authority that is inherent in national sovereignty and buffered against judicial review. The Supreme Court first posited this constitutionally exceptional authority, which is commonly known as the “plenary power doctrine,” in the 1889 Chinese Exclusion Case. There, the Court reconstructed the federal immigration power from a form of commercial regulation rooted in Congress’s commerce power, to an instrument of national self-defense against invading hordes of economically and racially degraded foreigners. Today, generations after the United States abandoned overtly racist immigration policies, such as Chinese exclusion and national origins quotas, the Supreme Court continues to reaffirm Congress and the President’s virtually unchecked authority over the admission, exclusion, and removal of non-citizens, as though such authority were a logical concomitant of national sovereignty. Accordingly, modern judicial defenders of the plenary power doctrine generally turn a blind eye to the indecorous racial reasoning deployed by its architects. This Article argues that although the language of race and invasion has been purged from the vocabulary, and perhaps worldview, of most modern policymakers and judges, the logic of foreign aggression remains indispensible in accounting for a power unmoored from the Constitution and shielded from judicial scrutiny. Throughout the nation’s first century, the Supreme Court found nothing constitutionally exceptional about a statute that governed foreigners engaged in the process of immigration. Immigrants’ non-citizenship was incidental to the nature of the regulatory authority to which they were subject. Non-citizenship became a trigger for extra-constitutional authority only in the final decades of the nineteenth century, as Chinese and “new” European migrants alike increasingly became understood as fundamentally and permanently alien to the national character. This Article demonstrates that it was precisely this perception of immigrants’ essential, indelible foreignness — their racial difference, their inability to assimilate, their corrosive effect on American citizenship — that gave substance to the metaphor of racial invasion, and thus to the Court’s analogy between immigration regulation and war. The Court’s intemperate defense of American citizenship against invading foreign races cannot, therefore, be swept aside as anachronistic dicta cluttering the otherwise logically sound foundation of immigration exceptionalism; rather, it is the cornerstone of the entire edifice.


March 14, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Study on Shortage of Farm Workers and Implications for Immigration Reform

Farmers have long complained about the shortage of farm workers for quite some time now, as this Wall Street Journal article reported. As a result, farmers have been lobbying Congress for less restrictive immigration laws that would enable them to hire more farm workers or allow those farm workers who are here without authorization to have the opportunity to adjust their status.  Indeed, the current Senate immigration reform proposal includes a provision that deals with a "new agricultural program" that would include, in part, the ability of unauthorized agricultural workers to go on a different path to citizenship that other unauthorized immigrants. 

What if despite all these reforms, farmers would still not be able to hire the workers that they need? This is a possibility according to an interesting study by University of California at Davis Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, J. Edward Taylor and his co-authors, Diane Charlton and Antonio Yunez-Naude.  In their study, the authors explain that a shift in the Mexican economy, which has generated jobs in Mexico, may keep many would-be farm workers, to stay home.  Here's a link to their paper, "The End of Farm Labor Abundance": Download Taylor Charlton Yunez Study


March 13, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Detained, Deported and Determined

See photographs by John Moore on the N.Y. Times blog of the real people affected by U.S. immigration enforcement.


March 13, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Court Backlog Reaches New High

The number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts has risen along with the average time these pending cases have been waiting. As of the end of February 2013, the backlog has reached a new all-time high of 325,296. According to the very latest data obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), that total rose by 1,571 just during February. The court backlog is now 9.3 percent higher than it was at the end of FY 2011 when ICE Director John Morton announced a review of cases designed to reduce both the backlog and wait times. Instead, the backlog has increased, and the average time cases have been waiting to be heard has jumped to 553 days, compared with 489 days at the end of FY 2011 when the review began.


March 13, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Evangelical Leaders Launch Ad Campaign to Call for Bipartisan Immigration Solutions

Today, the Evangelical Immigration Table announced an advertising campaign in support of immigration reform on Christian radio stations in South Carolina. The advertisement, which will run at saturation levels for two weeks, features Spartanburg County Rev. Jim Goodroe, urging support for immigration reform based on biblical principles. The Evangelical Immigration Table’s intensifying push to mobilize local and national evangelical support for bipartisan immigration solutions also includes the “I Was a Stranger” immigration prayer challenge, during which hundreds of evangelical congregations in 49 states are reading Scripture for guidance on immigration. 


March 13, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: A Local Official's Guide to Language Access Laws by David J. Jung, Noemi Gallardo, & Ryan Harris

A Local Official's Guide to Language Access Laws by David J. Jung University of California Hastings College of the Law Noemi Gallardo University of California Hastings College of the Law Ryan Harris University of California Hastings College of the Law 2013 10 Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal 31

Abstract: The rapid growth of immigrant communities is transforming the demography of the United States, perhaps nowhere so much as in California, where almost one third of the country’s recent immigrants reside. Language diversity is a prominent feature of this transformation. This guide explains the laws that require language access.

March 13, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Why Walls Won't Work Repairing the US-Mexico Divide by Michael Dear


Why Walls Won't Work Repairing the US-Mexico Divide by Michael Dear

When thinking about the border separating the United States from Mexico, what typically comes to mind is an unwelcoming zone with violent, poverty-ridden towns, cities, and maquiladoras on one side and an increasingly militarized network of barriers and surveillance systems on the other. It was not always this way. In fact, from the end of Mexican-American War until the late twentieth century, the border was a very porous and loosely regulated region. In this sweeping account of life within the United States-Mexican border zone, acclaimed urbanist and geographer Michael Dear traces the border's long history of cultural interaction, from exchanges between the region's numerous Mesoamerican tribes onwards. Once Mexican and American settlers met at the Rio Grande and the southwest in the nineteenth century, new forms of interaction evolved. But as Dear warns in his bracing study, this vibrant zone of cultural and social amalgamation is in danger of fading away because of highly restrictive American policies and the violence along Mexico's side of the border. As he explains through analyses of the U.S. border security complex and the emerging Mexican narco-state, the very existence of the "third nation" occupied by both Americans and Mexicans is under serious threat. But through a series of evocative portraits of contemporary border communities, he shows that the potential for revitalizing this in-between nation still remains. Combining a broad historical perspective and a commanding overview of present-day problems, Why Walls Won't Work represents a major intellectual foray into one of the most hotly contested political issues of our era. Features author is a major scholar of cities and regions, and draws from his decades of work to provide a sweeping account of the US-Mexico relationship provides a rich account of the border region's culture and history, from the pre-Columbian era to the present provides a powerful rejoinder to those who argue for more border security and more surveillance.

About the Author(s) Michael Dear is Professor of City and Regional Planning in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California-Berkeley. For an op/ed on the book's theme, click here.



March 13, 2013 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fellowship Announcement: The James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona

The James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, is hiring a fellow for its Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program to begin August 2013. The position is open to recent law graduates with up to three years of practice experience. 3Ls with relevant experience and qualifications will also be considered. The position is for one year, with the possibility of a second year renewal.

The Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program Fellowship is a program at the Rogers College of Law that generates immigration policy research, expands opportunities for students to gain exposure to immigration issues, encourages the interdisciplinary engagement with immigration issues, and provides services to immigrants in Southern Arizona. The Program serves as an umbrella for all the law school’s immigration-related offerings, including its Immigration Law Clinic, doctrinal courses, internships, and opportunities to undertake supervised research on immigration issues.

The current areas of research focus for the Bacon Program are immigration detention and immigrant workers’ rights. The Bacon Fellowship has three major components:

1. The Fellow has primary responsibility for the Tucson Immigrant Workers’ Project, a component of the Bacon Program that advocates for the rights of low-wage immigrant workers through direct service, public policy research, and community education and outreach. The Project primarily serves immigrant women in an effort to address their particular vulnerability to workplace abuse. Responsibilities of the Fellow will include:

o Supervision of law students conducting intakes, providing follow up advocacy, and in some cases, providing legal representation to low-wage workers in labor/employment matters;

o Continued development of relationships with community partners, including regular outreach presentations throughout the city and region;

o Development and implementation (with Program Director) of pilot litigation project.

2. The Fellow assists with the other components of the Immigration Law Clinic:

o Supervision of law students preparing affirmative applications for immigration benefits, such as U visas, and/or possibly removal defense;

o Participation in the classroom component of the Immigration Law Clinic and teaching selected classroom sessions.

3. The Fellow will design and implement an immigration policy research project.

In 2013-2014, the Fellow’s topic will likely focus on immigrant workers, in order to build on the research previously conducted on working conditions for low-wage immigrant women workers in Tucson. The Fellow will take a lead role in developing the topic and scope of the project, in consultation with the Program Director and with input from community and national advocacy partners.


• Proficiency in Spanish (fluency preferred). NOTE: Please do not apply if you do not speak Spanish. This is a requirement for the fellowship that cannot be waived.

• Experience working with low-wage workers, immigrants, refugees, victims of trauma, and/or incarcerated populations.

• Familiarity with immigration and/or employment law.

• Strong communication skills, with particular sensitivity to cultural differences.

• Experience working in interdisciplinary settings with minimal direct supervision.

• Willingness to work irregular hours (some nights and weekends).

Salary: $44,000 plus benefits through the University of Arizona To apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, law school transcript, and three references to Nina Rabin, nina.rabin@law.arizona.edu, by no later than April 5, 2013.

Follow-up interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to send in materials as soon as possible.


March 12, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)