Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Social Control and Justice: Crimmigration in the Age of Fear (2013) Editors: Maria João Guia, Maartje van der Woude and Joanne van der Leun
Nominated for the Stein Rokkan Prize 2013 for Comparative Social Science Research
Crimmigration consists of the letter and practice of laws and policies at the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. Crimmigration scholars study the creation of crimmigration laws and policies, their enforcement, and the institutional dynamics that create crimmigration law and are created by it. Many have written about the use of crimmigration law to exert social control over groups marginalised by ethnic bias, class, or citizenship status. Crimmigration law gained footholds in Canada and Europe. It manifests itself differently outside the United States because of differences in each area’s approach to migration and criminal control. Nevertheless, it remains a recognisable trend with consistent parallels to US crimmigration law.
Social Control and Justice: Crimmigration in an Age of Fear offers a fresh,multi-disciplinary and international examination of a phenomenon that has altered the landscape of migration in the United States and is now taking root in Canada and throughout Europe. In placing crimmigration in the ‘Age of Fear,’ the book challenges us to consider the many facets of fear that interrelate with crimmigration. Fear has the power to produce and shape the contours of crimmigration law and the structures and products of the institutions that seek to control it. This book describes some of the major developments stemming from the rise of crimmigration across continents and borders, and traces their implications. This book is the first of a planned series of volumes mapping the geography of crimmigration from a global perspective. The work of the international scholars in this book explores the origins and effects of crimmigration. It uncovers its new manifestations in previously uncharted territory.
For a review of the book, click here.
At the end of June, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Keller v. City of Fremont rejected a federal preemption challenge to a Fremont, Nebraska ordinance barring the rental of housing to undocumented immigrants. The preeemption analysis squarely conflicts with the recent rulings of the Third Circuit in Lozano v. City of Hazleton and the Fifth Circuit in the Farmer's Branch, Texas case. The Fremont decision arguably is at odds more generally with the courts', including the Supreme Court's willingness, to find state and local immigration enforcement laws to be preempted by federal law.
The circuit conflict is the kind of thing that catches the eye of the Supreme Court. The Court declined to review the court of appeal's decision invalidating much of Alabama's H.B. 56. It could, however, have a chance in the future to review the constitutionality of housing regulation ordinances like those seen in Fremont, Hazleton, and Farmer's Branch. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The one thing lawyers cannot debate is that we love to debate. Immigration lawyers are no different as fiery discussions light up social media over immigration reform. We know we cannot get everything we want in immigration reform, so deliberation gravitates around what we tradeoff to get the coveted green card. Do we expand criminal grounds of deportability in exchange for more generous routes to citizenship? Do we agree to drones on the border for less visa backlog? The dam of tolerability has a different breaking point for each lawyer.
The debate has now culminated in infighting about whether the DREAM 9’s act of civil disobedience last week has undermined the anemic immigration proposals left on the table. Last week, the DREAM 9 crossed the US-Mexico border, knowing that they would likely be detained by immigration officials. As the DREAM 9 now languish in solitary confinement in a private detention facility in Eloy, Arizona, it turns out the DREAMers’ calculations were spot on.
Critiquing the DREAM 9’s actions, however, is antithetical to transformative progress in this country. Most lawyers have no legitimacy dictating the parameters of the immigration debate without the consent of the people that they purport to represent. If comprehensive immigration reform is in so delicate of a state that it cannot withstand a nonviolent critique in the form of civil disobedience, then perhaps the DREAM 9 have foreshadowed the end result – failure. And the lawyers are simply resuscitating what many increasingly view as a law that will ultimately oppress immigrants. Is the DREAM 9’s act of defiance a last gasp at hope? Their arrest, a struggle for a voice in the debate in which lawyers have coopted ownership? Their silence from solitary confinement cells speaks louder than their voices ever did while living exiled in Mexico. In the end, the lawyers who critique the DREAM 9 only validate the very oppression that they are fighting against – one that dehumanizes immigrants, and deems them unworthy of opinion or political power. It is time we listen to the silence from the nine cells in Eloy, Arizona.
Professor Holly Cooper of the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic has extensive litigation experience defending the rights of immigrants and is a nationally recognized expert on immigration detention issues and on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
As Congess repeatedly for years discussed but failed to pass immigration reform, many states entered the immigration enforcement minefield. Last week, I blogged about how the courts in one week had invalidated critical provisions of the immigration enforcement laws passed in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Farmer's Branch, Texas as well as by the state of South Carolina. From those rulings and a series of others, it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Arizona v. United States has resolved a considerable amount of uncertainty about the constitutionality of the state and local immigration enforcement laws and made it clear that federal law preempts the most aggressive of immigration enforcement provisions of these laws. In this regard, it is telling that the Supreme Court declined to review the Eleventh Circuit's decision invalidating core provisions of the Alabama immigration law, which was touted as the toughest of them all.
In addition, immigration poster child Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona was firmly rebuked for his immigration enforcement activities and found by a federal judge to have engaged in a pattern and practice of violating the civil rights of Latinos. Such a finding should not come as a surprise and is a fact known by Latinos in Arizona for many years.
One can only hope that the string of judicial setbacks will result in some serious thinking by state and local governments about passing immigration enforcement laws, which are likely to be invalidated and costly to defend.
Monday, July 29, 2013
The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) has released an updated practice advisory on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This advisory includes the latest information about DACA adjudication trends and agency policies contained in the DACA Standard Operating Procedures Manual. It also offers strategic advice for attorneys representing ptential DACA requesters whose cases involve potential gang-related issues and certain drinking and driving offenses.
In recent years there have been suggestions that climate change might generate 200 million or more migrants by 2050. In response to these suggestions, and concerns that existing law and policy will be inadequate to deal with the expected displacement, there recently have been several proposals for new legally binding multilateral instruments specifically addressing climate migration. This Article makes three contributions to the nascent literature on the legal and policy responses to migration induced by climate change.
First, it identifies the two principal gaps in existing law and policy that underpin to a significant extent the recent proposals for a new binding multilateral instrument, describing these gaps as the “rights” gap and the “funding” gap.
Second, this Article analyzes three of the leading proposals for a new binding multilateral instrument. It identifies the ways that these proposals would respond to the rights and funding gaps and emphasizes the proposals’ limitations.
Third, this Article emphasizes that addressing climate migration ultimately requires increasing the resilience of communities especially vulnerable to climate change. It then identifies ways to mitigate the effects of the rights and funding gaps by reducing existing vulnerabilities to climate change, without a new binding multilateral instrument.
While a series of measures relying largely on existing legal and policy tools may seem less satisfying than proposals for a new binding multilateral instrument, these measures are more likely to address the concerns about human vulnerability to climate change that the proposals for new binding multilateral instruments have admirably highlighted.
The Washington Post reports that if the Senate version of compromise immigration reform is passed, the one in four undocumentde immigrants would not be eligible for the path to legalization and would remain undocumented and outside the system, according to federal estimates.
A ceremonial sword, looted in 2003 from Saddam Hussein’s personal office in Baghdad, was returned to the Republic of Iraq Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The sword, which had been smuggled into the United States by U.S. military personnel, was repatriated at a private ceremony held at Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faily’s residence in Washington. “Cultural property -- such as the sword being returned today to the people of Iraq -- represents part of a country’s history that should have never been stolen or auctioned,” said HSI Associate Director James Dinkins. “We will continue conducting these types of investigations to ensure that current and future generations aren’t robbed of their nation’s history.”
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is pleased to announce that Virginia criminal defense lawyer Bonnie Hoffman was chosen as this year’s Robert C. Heeney Award recipient. NACDL’s most prestigious recognition, the Heeney Award is given annually to the member who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Hoffman received the award on Saturday, July 27, 2013, at NACDL’s annual membership at board meeting in San Francisco, California.
Congress will shortly head home to town halls and constituent meetings, where immigration is sure to be one of the top issues on the table. Throughout 2013, immigration reform has captured public attention. Millions of people followed S. 744 as it worked its way through committee and watched as the Senate voted 68 to 32 to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan. In the next few months, immigration reform will be high on the list of priorities in the House of Representatives. Despite significant public support for immigration reform among members of the public in both parties, many of the most basic facts about immigrants and immigration remain misunderstood. Debunking the myths about immigration and providing short, concise answers to the often complex issues raised by the immigration debate is a challenge. Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases a guide to some of the toughest questions on immigration, providing answers that reflect the best research and analysis available on topics ranging from the economy to crime to legalization.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
"'We have to do something about the 11 million. Some of them are valedictorians.' Well, my answer to that is ... it's true in some cases, but they weren't all valedictorians, they weren't all brought in by their parents. For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another hundred out there, they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act."
King has responded to the critics on his House website, blaming immigrants for crime and stating "The political establishment has seized King's comments as an opportunity to try to paint him as unfair to immigrants."
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Third Circuit Re-Affirms Unconstitutionality of Hazleton, PA Immigration Enforcement Laws, Join South Carolina and Farmer's Branch, Texas Laws in Dustbin of History
In Lozano v. City of Hazleton, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit had before it a case vacated and remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court. Hazleton previously appealed the district court's permanent injunction barring enforcement of two ordinances that purported to prohibit employment of undocumented immigrants and preclude them from renting housing in the city. The Third Circuit had affirmed the judgment. The Supreme Court vacated and remanded the Third Circuit ruling and remanded this case for reconsideration of the ruling in light of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting,131 S. Ct. 1968 (2011). One year later, the Court decided Arizona v. United States,132 S. Ct. 2492 (2012). Both Whiting and Arizona address the extent to which federal immigration law pre-empts state laws pertaining to the treatment of unauthorized aliens.
The Third Circuit adhered to its previous ruling, with the following punch-lines:
Having thoroughly considered the additional submissions of the parties and the Court's decisions in Whiting and Arizona, we again conclude that both the employment and housing provisions of the Hazleton ordinances are pre-empted by federal immigration law. Accordingly, we will again affirm the District Court's order enjoining enforcement of these provisions.
Omar Jadwat of the ACLU argued the case for plaintiffs-appellees. Secretary of the State of Kansas Kris Kobach, dubbed the "deporter-in-chief," argued the case for the City of Hazleton. Kobach has not had a good week, having also unsuccessfully defended the Farmer's Branch, Texas immigration enforcement ordinance. Overall, Kobach for many years has aggressively advocated state and local immigration enforcement laws, which have proven costly to defend and often have been struck down. On a somewhat related note, why is the Kansas Secretary of State still involved in these pieces of immigration litigation in Texas and Pennsylvania? Others have questioned Kobach's moonlighting.
In any event, this has not been a good week for state and local immigration enforcement laws. As Professor Rose Villazor blogged on Wednesday, the Fifth Circuit affimed the injunction barring the implementation of a heavily litigated Farmer's Branch, Texas immigration enforcement law. Moeover, the Fourth Circuit affirmed an injunction barring implementation of core provisions of the South Carolina immigration enforcement law.
CRLA’s Heat Stress Training Program vital to the safety of farmworkers in California as summer temperatures threaten lives
Califrnia Rural Legal Assistance stands at the forefront of a deep-rooted struggle between farmworkers, employers and the sun’s heat. In the most recent instance, state officials are investigating whether a farmworker's death last Tuesday, July 2, 2013 in a watermelon field near Coalinga was related to extremely high temperatures in the Central Valley this summer. While it is unclear whether this death is directly linked to heat-related illness, when the temperatures soar well past 100̊F, as it has in recent weeks, farmworkers’ lives are in danger if they fail to observe the proper precaution taught by our Heat Stress Training Initiative or HSTI.
Desperado: A Mile High Noir By Manuel Ramos(Author)
This gritty novel set in Denver features blackmail, murder and gang warfare Gus Corral can’t quite believe it when an old high school buddy he hasn’t seen in years asks him for help. Artie Baca looks as cool as ever; the hippest guy in high school now looks like a GQ cover boy, Chicano style. And like always, Artie has women problems, even though he’s married. He’s being blackmailed because of an imprudent fling—caught on video, of course. Artie has a prosperous real estate business and can afford to pay off the young girl, but he’ll reward Gus handsomely for his help in convincing her that there won’t be any future payments. Gus’s life hasn’t been as successful; he manages his ex-wife’s second hand shop after losing his job in the recession and claims to also work as the night watchman so he can live there too. He can really use the money Artie is offering and agrees to help, even though he knows Artie probably deserves the shake down. But before Gus can deliver the money, Artie is dead and the police want to know why the deceased was carrying a check made out to his old high school chum. And when an armed stranger breaks into the shop in the dead of night, Gus knows there’s more to the situation than meets the eye. An investigation into Artie’s involvement in the gentrification of Denver’s north side leads to harrowing encounters with dangerous criminals, both from the area and south of the border. Suddenly Gus is ensnared in the theft of one of the most revered religious symbols in the Catholic Latino world, a cloak bearing the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe. He's caught between warring gangs, and soon he and the people he cares about most are in a life-and-death predicament.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
The Migration Policy Institutes' online journal, Migration Information Source, recently published their latest findings on the population of people with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the U.S.
"In 2011, there were 25.3 million Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, both foreign-born and US-born, residing in the United States. Over the past 20 years, the LEP share of the total US population has grown from close to 6 percent in 1990 to about 9 percent in 2011. The total number of LEP individuals has grown by 81 percent since 1990, and has established a relatively large presence in California, Texas, and New York."
Here's the link to the full report.