Monday, August 26, 2013

Farmer's Branch Seeks Review in Supreme Court

After losing (badly) an en banc ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Farmers Branch Town Council will appeal a lower court ruling on an immigrtaion enforcement ordinance that, among other things, bans undocumented immigrants from renting in the city. In a 3-2 vote, the Council decided to continue what has been a seven-year battle to seek review in the U.S. Supreme Court.The Fifth Circuit struck down most of the immigrtaion ordinance as preempted by  by federal immigration law.


August 26, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Intra-Group Diversity in Education: What If Abigail Fisher Were an Immigrant... by Dagmar Rita Myslinska


Intra-Group Diversity in Education: What If Abigail Fisher Were an Immigrant... by Dagmar Rita Myslinska, Charlotte School of Law August 24, 2013

Abstract: Social and cultural capital enable students to more easily access and take advantage of higher education. By lacking access to the social capital of the dominant group, immigrants do not benefit from education on equal terms with those who belong to the norm. High school participation, college preparation, and involvement in college reflect and amplify access to social capital, particularly at elite universities. Colleges’ definition of “merit” in admissions decisions replicates inequalities in access to social capital. While scholars have noted how racial minorities and students of low socioeconomic status are disadvantaged in the educational system, they have overlooked how immigrant status per se limits access to social capital and its benefits. Affirmative-action discussions also tend to be racialized, even if they intersect with immigration-policy debates. In theory, admission preferences are based on the assumption that those not belonging to the dominant group are less effective in the competition for resources, such as education. At its core, this assumption should be defined to include any deficiency in access to social capital. By recontextualizing affirmative-action rhetoric in this way, all immigrants’ challenges can be more easily recognized. At the same time, all immigrants’ contribution to diversity -- the only justification for affirmative-action remaining after the recent decision in Fisher v. University of Texas -- could be more fully recognized, while increasing intra-group diversity. The intersection of whiteness and outsider jurisprudence, in the context of access to social capital, provides a better understanding of how intra-group diversity can be achieved in education, and how we can create a more integrated society, paving way for a more meaningful democracy.


August 26, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Help Build U.S. Economy One Company at a Time

Immigration Impact reports that Google, Intel, eBay, Yahoo!, Facebook, LinkedIn, SanDisk, Altera, Zoosk, Etsy, Tesla Motors. What characteristic does each of these well-known companies share? They each were either founded by an immigrant or have at least one immigrant founder. Now, a new report from the National Venture Capital Association highlights the profound impacts that immigrant entrepreneurs—like the immigrants who helped to found major U.S. corporations—have on our economy. Immigrant entrepreneurs start companies throughout America in many different industries, creating value and new jobs in the United States, and advancing U.S. innovation.

The report, “American Made 2.0: How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Continue to Contribute to the U.S. Economy,” examines immigrant-founded, public and privately held, venture-funded companies; private company perspectives on U.S. immigration policy; and U.S. immigration policy and proposed changes to the immigration system. 


August 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Pigments of Our Imagination: The Racialization of the Hispanic-Latino Category


The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" were originally created for administrative purposes by the US government, but have since come to define a population of 50.5 million people who trace their origins to 20 different countries. In this paper, Rubén Rumbaut examines the origin and administrative use of the Hispanic-Latino category, and the effect it has had on the identities of people placed into it.KJ

August 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Indian Immigrants in the United States By Monica Whatley, Jeanne Batalova

A new report shows that the nearly 1.9 million Indian immigrants living in the United States in 2011 represented the third-largest immigrant group by country of origin, behind Mexico and China. The share of Indian immigrants among all foreign born in the United States grew from less than 0.5 percent in 1960 to almost 5 percent in 2011. As a group, immigrants from India are better educated, more likely to have strong English language skills and arrive on employment-based visas, and are less likely to live below the federal poverty line than the overall foreign-born population. They are also more concentrated in the working ages than immigrants overall, and Indian-born men outnumber Indian-born women. In 2011, India was the second most common country of origin for international students at US institutions of higher learning, behind China.

This article reports on a wide range of characteristics of Indian immigrants residing in the United States, including the population's size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Data are from the US Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), the 2000 Decennial Census (as well as earlier censuses), and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) (2012 data).

Size and Geographic Distribution

•  In 2011, nearly 1.9 million Indian immigrants resided in the United States.

•  Almost one-third of all Indian immigrants resided in just two states: California and New Jersey.

•  More than one-quarter of all Indian immigrants lived in three major metropolitan areas: greater New York, Chicago, and San Jose.


August 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Discretion in Enforcement of Immigration Laws Against Parents

ImmigrationProf has regularly reported how deportations regularly tear apart American families.  ABC reports that U.S. immigration agents will be able to give greater leniency to parents who get caught up in the immigration system under an Obama administration policy directive released on Friday. Immigration agents already have the authority to not pursue certain low-priority immigration offenders, including those who are parents of minors. But a new policy would formalize and broaden the special recognition granted to parents who are picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The new memo is a reminder that agents can -- and should -- consider that the person they’re taking into custody might have a family, and that detention can have broader repercussions.


August 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 23, 2013

The SAFE Act and Expanding E-Verify Would be Costly

From Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute:

The House of Representatives is pursuing a piecemeal approach to immigration reform. They are trying to pass small immigration bills that deal with different portions of reform -- legalization, enforcement, and legal immigration. So far, those bills double down on failed strategies that will do next to nothing to stem unauthorized immigration.

The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (SAFE Act) is the most prominent example. The bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), praised the SAFE Act's focus on interior enforcement: "Interior enforcement of our immigration laws is critical to the success of our immigration system." He then said, "One reason why our immigration system is broken today is because past and present Administrations have largely ignored the enforcement of our immigration laws."

Since 1933, the federal government has deported over 5.5 million people. Twenty-nine percent of those deportations, or 1.5 million, occurred during the first term of the Obama administration. George W. Bush's two full terms netted just over 2 million deportations, or 36 percent of all deportations since 1933. Contrary to Goodlatte's claims, that many deportations are not the result of "largely ignored enforcement."

The SAFE Act clarifies the current Secure Communities (SCOMM) program -- the most successful internal immigration enforcement program to date. SCOMM links the fingerprints of arrestees on the local and state level with federal databases. Local police then hold the suspected unauthorized immigrants until Immigration and Customs Enforcement picks them up -- sometimes at great expense.

SAFE makes SCOMM permanent. It will force the federal government to compensate local and state governments for the costs of detention and diverting law enforcement resources toward enforcing federal immigration laws. Local police should not be conscripted into enforcing federal immigration laws.

SAFE also mandates detention for many unauthorized immigrants, severely limiting judges' ability to use cheaper alternatives such as bonds or tracking bracelets. Detaining non-violent unauthorized immigrants for long periods of time is already an expensive $2 billion a year practice that SAFE will only expand.

But the SAFE Act isn't the only example of enforcement overreach. Rep. Lamar Smith's (R-TX) Legal Workforce Act takes the terrible program of E-Verify and makes it worse.

The bill mandates that every business use E-Verify within 2 years, much faster than the Senate version. E-Verify is an electronic workplace identification system. If it becomes law, employers will have to check the identity information of all of their new hires through E-Verify, which will certainly be a drag on economic growth and job creation.

For American citizens, .2 percent of job applicants run through E-Verify are falsely flagged as unauthorized to work. That may sound small, but it means that hundreds of thousands of Americans will be initially labeled as illegal workers. The appeals process can then be relatively easy in most cases but for some it can take weeks or months.

Embarrassingly, error rates for permanent residents and visa holders have increased from 1.5 percent to 2 percent over the last few years. Nobody should have to ask government permission to work.

The Legal Workforce Act punishes E-Verify violations with a $5000 fine per violation that can climb to $25,000 for each repeated violation and jail time up to ten years -- which is comparable to manslaughter or second-degree murder penalties in some states according to David Burton of the National Small Business Association. Employers and workers already spend 13.5 million hours a year working with the I-9 form, the government's previous attempt to stop employers from hiring unauthorized immigrants. The Legal Workforce Act repeals the I-9, but E-Verify will be far more costly -- an average of $141 per check.

For many employers those high penalties won't be enough to make E-Verify effective. One loophole that can't be closed is simply ignoring E-Verify. Arizona's immigration laws, the toughest in the nation, made E-Verify mandatory for all new hires, but only 67 percent of them were actually checked in 2011. The $141 dollars saved by foregoing E-Verify is a very real savings while the potential costs, however high, are uncertain.

These increases in internal enforcement will be expensive boondoggles. According to a 2013 report from the Council on Foreign Relations, surveys of unauthorized immigrants have found "no behind-the-border deterrent effect." The report continued: "[F]ear of workplace raids or arrest and removal had no bearing on their migration decisions." It's unlikely the SAFE or Legal Workforce Acts will change that.

Mobilizing local law enforcement and mandating E-Verify might please immigration opponents, but American employers and unauthorized immigrants will discover new and more sophisticated ways to break the law. Throwing more money and delegating more powers to an immigration enforcement bureaucracy will be largely ineffective at halting unauthorized immigration, waste scarce taxpayer dollars, and harm American workers and businesses.


August 23, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Webinar: Introduction to Grounds of Deportability

From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

Webinar Details
This webinar will cover the burden of proof in the deportability context, and discuss some of the more common grounds of deportability, such as inadmissible at time of admission, misrepresentation, and crimes.
Presenter: Erin Quinn, Staff Attorney
Erin brings to ILRC over 8 years of experience as an immigration defense attorney and holds a joint degree in law and public policy (JD/MPP) from the University of Michigan. Prior to opening her own practice in 2007, Ms. Quinn represented immigrants as an associate at the Law Office of Robert B. Jobe. Her experience in immigration law and policy includes working as a fellow for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, EU headquarters in Belgium; clerking for the Immigration Court of San Francisco; and guest lecturer at CSU Eastbay.
September 12, 2013
11:00 am - 12:30 pm Pacific Time
Last day to register: September 10
MCLE: 1.5 CA

Register here.


August 22, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Exclusive Interview with John Morton

From De Buena Fuerte:

WHO: John Morton, Former Director, Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE)

WHAT: An exclusive interview to discuss the challenges and realities facing the current immigration system and the need for immigration reform

WHERE: Vme Television, De Buena Fuente

WHEN: Friday, August 23, 2013, 9 pm EST

WHY: ICE has been at the forefront of some of the most controversial decisions in the heated and polarized immigration debate, angering many on both sides of the political aisle.  For the first time ever, former ICE Director, John Morton shares his unique perspective with Vme’s Marian de la Fuente, giving viewers an exclusive inside look at the real challenges the agency faces when it comes to the current and broken immigration system. In the interview, she presses the recent director on what current and future plans the government has for dealing with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and what other options might be considered as the government works on its reform legislation – and gets some unexpected answers.

The show’s host, Marian de la Fuente, is a seasoned, award-winning Spanish journalist who has worked for major news organizations around the world, including Reuters, CBS, NBC, and Telemundo, among others. Throughout her career she has had the opportunity to interview world leaders including Pope John Paul II as well as various presidents and has covered three U.S. election cycles.

De Buena Fuente is part of a new lineup of programming offered by Vme that will compliment its existing schedule of educational, entertaining, inspirational and empowering programs. As the first and only Spanish-language public television network in the United States, Vme aims to give Hispanic Americans access to content that enriches their lives.


August 22, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Back to Dred Scott? RNC Pass Resolution Opposing Senate Immigration Reform Bill, Double Down Against Path to Citizenship


Last Friday, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution on immigration reform that lacks any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants even though allowing some to regularize their immigration status (and remain perpetual noncitizens nontheless).  The resolution effectively calls for a permanent caste of worker immigrants who are never able to vote, serve on juries, and have the responsibilities and obligations of other U.S. citizens.  In some ways, the status would be akin to the freedman who were denied citizenship under the notorious Supreme Court decisiuon in Dred Scott.  Needless to say, the resolution has been criticized.



August 22, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Passenger 17A: The Snowden, Asylum and the Surveillance-Privacy Debate by Neha Bhat

Passenger 17A: The Snowden, Asylum and the Surveillance-Privacy Debate by Neha Bhat American University - Washington College of Law August 2013



Abstract: Refugee rights activists in the Indian sub-continent used India’s rejection of Edward Snowden’s asylum claim as a perfect pitching ground to engage in refugee rights advocacy in the country. While an asylum adjudication system might have accorded him a hearing, this piece argues that India’s decision to reject Snowden’s asylum claim is a tacit reinforcement of the government’s own surveillance measures, the logic of which underpins the rejection of Snowden’s asylum claim and the result of which can only be the eventual erosion of human rights and individual freedoms.


August 22, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Report Exposes a Covert U.S. Government Immigration Program that Unlawfully Prevents Many Muslim Applicants from Becoming Citizens and Lawful Immigrants

The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR), and the law firm of Mayer Brown today released a 70-page report exposing a covert government program called the "Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program" (CARRP), which was created in 2008 to make it all but impossible for many Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian individuals to become American citizens, or otherwise obtain legal residency or asylum status. Each year, millions of aspiring Americans apply for United States citizenship and other immigration benefits with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency tasked with making such determinations. Under the CARRP program, USCIS has secretly blacklisted law-abiding applicants, labeling them "national security concerns," and cast their applications into a vacuum where they languish for years or are simply denied without justification. The agency often mislabels applicants "national security concerns" based on nothing more than lawful religious activity, national origin, and innocuous associations. In doing so, the agency captures far too many Muslim residents who present no threat at all, let alone any threat to our national security. The CARRP program specifically directs agency officers to delay, and ultimately deny, the immigration benefits of those applicants it has chosen to blacklist, even if the applicant is legally entitled to those benefits. The agency does not let the individuals know that they have been labeled a threat to our nation, nor does it give them an opportunity to contest to the allegations. While the government treats them as too dangerous to naturalize or immigrate to this country, it simultaneously treats them as too harmless to expeditiously investigate, prosecute, or deport.


August 21, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Goodlatte Won't Support Path to Citizenship

From ABC News:

A top Republican congressman working on a bill to address undocumented youth doesn’t believe they should get their own path to citizenship.

Bob Goodlatte (Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is working on a yet-to-be-released bill that would offer legal status to many undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. But his reluctance on citizenship could threaten already-dim hopes of the bill picking up support from Democrats and some Republicans.

Perhaps more importantly, it may prove to be a discouraging sign for the overall reform effort.

“I think there’s a more compelling argument to be made for [undocumented youth],” Goodlatte told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday. “But, even for them, I would say that they get a legal status in the United States and not a pathway to citizenship that is created especially for them.”

Republican lawmakers working on the bill haven’t divulged its details, other than to say it would be different than the DREAM Act, a long-stalled proposal to offer a path to citizenship to undocumented young people who attend college or serve in the military.

But the bill has been anticipated as a test of whether there’s an appetite among House Republicans for any pathway to citizenship, even a limited one.

Goodlatte’s comments reveal that his measure may differ in a way that will turn off Democrats and some pro-reform Republicans. Democrats and immigrant-rights advocates have said they will oppose any proposal to legalize undocumented immigrants that blocks many of them from earning full citizenship, arguing it could create a permanent underclass of immigrants.

And around two dozen Republicans in the House have said they could support a bill that allows undocumented immigrants to earn full citizenship, according to immigration activists. That’s given advocates hope that there’s some room in the House to pass a bill that contains a path to citizenship for a broader universe of the undocumented population. Read more...


August 20, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

“Pocket DACA” mobile app available

There is a new “Pocket DACA” mobile app, created by the Immigration Advocates Network, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Immigration Council, and Pro Bono Net as part of the Own the DREAM Campaign.  Features of the app include an interactive DACA eligibility screening tool, the ability to search for local legal services providers using the phone’s geolocation or zip code, DACA news, a polling feature, and DACA resources and frequently asked questions. To download the app for iOS (iPhone) or Android, visit or enter on your mobile device. You can also search for “DACA” or “Pocket DACA” in the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store.


August 20, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "The Law and Order Theme in Political and Popular Culture" by Allen Rostron




"The Law and Order Theme in Political and Popular Culture"  by Allen Rostron, Oklahoma City University Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2012

ABSTRACT:  "Law and Order" became a political rallying cry in the 1960s, as conservative candidates like Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, and Richard Nixon criticized courts for putting the constitutional rights of criminals ahead of the need for effective police work and public safety. As the nation’s president after his victory in the 1968 presidential race, Nixon continued to emphasize the law and order theme. Meanwhile, a series of Westerns and cop movies, such as John Wayne’s "True Grit" and Clint Eastwood’s "Dirty Harry," began to echo Nixon’s claims about criminals, courts, and law. Concerns about crime and the impotency of the legal system soon produced a set of remarkably popular movies about vigilante justice, including "Walking Tall" and "Death Wish". Even when law and order faded as a national political issue, Hollywood continued to dwell on the idea that courts are too lax, turning the idea that criminals routinely escape justice because of legal technicalities into one of television’s and movies’ most familiar clichés. Crime rates have been plummeting for two decades now, and a series of re-makes of significant films from the Nixon era suggests that law and order’s grip on popular entertainment and the public imagination may finally be breaking.

Law and order


August 20, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Foreign-born workers in the U.S. labor force

This Bureau of Labor Statistics Spotlight by Abraham T. Mosisa highlights the labor market characteristics of foreign-born workers using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The foreign born are persons who reside in the United States but who were born outside the country or one of its outlying areas to parents who were not U.S. citizens. The foreign born include legally admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants. The survey data, however, do not separately identify the numbers of persons in these categories. The native born are persons born in the United States or one of its outlying areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam or who were born abroad of at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen. Comparable data on nativity have been collected as part of the CPS since 1996.

Among the findings:

Foreign-born workers represented 16.1 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2012.

The percentage of foreign-born workers in the U.S labor force has grown since 1996.

Hispanics made up nearly half of the foreign-born labor force in 2012.

From 2008 to 2012, the jobless rates of the foreign born and the native born were about the same.

Foreign-born workers tend to earn less per week than native-born workers.

Regardless of nativity, Whites and Asians earned more per week than Blacks and Hispanics.

Weekly earnings for the foreign born and native born were higher for those with more education.


August 20, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Resisting S-Comm Through ICE Detainers

From the Bookshelves: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream Racism & Civil Rights By Gary Younge

Mlk book


The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream Racism & Civil Rights By Gary Younge

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DELIVERED his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. Fifty years later, the speech endures as a defining moment in the civil rights movement. It continues to be heralded as a beacon in the ongoing struggle for racial equality. This gripping book is rooted in new and important interviews with Clarence Jones, a close friend of and draft speechwriter for Martin Luther King Jr., and Joan Baez, a singer at the march, as well as Angela Davis and other leading civil rights leaders. It brings to life the fascinating chronicle behind “The Speech” and other events surrounding the March on Washington. Younge skillfully captures the spirit of that historic day in Washington and offers a new generation of readers a critical modern analysis of why “I Have a Dream” remains America’s favorite speech. From the Introduction: It was over eighty degrees when Martin Luther King Jr. took the stage at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. King was the last speaker. By the time he reached the podium many in the crowd had started to leave. Not all those who remained could hear him properly, but those who could stood rapt. “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed,” said King as though he were wrapping up. “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.” Then he set his prepared text aside. [Clarence] Jones saw his stance turn from lecturer to preacher. He turned to the person next to him: “Those people don’t know it but they’re about to go to church.” A smattering of applause filled a pause more pregnant than most. “So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”


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

Senator Ted Cruz Releases Birth Certifcate


CNN reports that, seeking to put an end to the Ted Cruz "birther movement," the good Senator has released his birth certificate.  Cruz was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen mother and Cuban father.

In an apparent attempt to put the citizenship issue to sleep, Cruz has renounced his Canadian citizenship. A Dallas Morning News article had quoted experts concluding that Cruz possessed Canadian as well as U.S. citizenship and was eligible for election to the Canadian Parliament.



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

Immigration Staff Attorney Position in Harlingen, Texas

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights invites applications for the position of South Texas Staff Attorney to be based in Harlingen, Texas. The Young Center serves as Child Advocate (best interests guardian ad litem) for unaccompanied and separated children pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. The South Texas Staff Attorney will be joining a Supervising Attorney and Social Worker in the Young Center’s South Texas office. For more information, see the detailed job description attached. Please send a resume, cover letter and three references to


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