Thursday, September 26, 2013

Immigration Article of the Day: Undocumented Migrants and the Failures of Universal Individualism by Jaya Ramji-Nogales


Undocumented Migrants and the Failures of Universal Individualism by Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law September 6, 2013

Abstract: In recent years, advocates and scholars have made increasing efforts to situate undocumented migrants within the human rights framework. Few have examined international human rights law closely enough to discover just how limited it is in its protections of the undocumented. This article takes that failure as a starting point to launch a critique of the universal individualist project that characterizes the current human rights system. It then catalogues in detail the protections available to undocumented migrants international human rights law, which are far fewer than often assumed. The article demonstrates through a careful analysis of relevant law that the human rights framework contains significant conceptual gaps when it comes to the undocumented. It concludes by stepping away from human rights law and offering a radically innovative approach to protecting undocumented migrants and other vulnerable populations.


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

Webinar: Criminalizing Migration: Excessive Prosecution and Punishment -- October 1

Human Rights Watch, the Immigrant Justice Network, and the National Immigrant Justice Center invite you to join a free webinar on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, from 2:00 – 3:30 PM EST (1:00 – 2:30 PM CST) to learn more about the skyrocketing increase in federal prosecutions of immigration offenses.

Immigration cases now constitute 40 percent of all federal criminal cases. The vast majority of these cases involve illegal entry and illegal reentry; i.e. entering the US illegally and reentering after deportation. The sheer volume of immigration cases has overwhelmed federal courts along the border and led to procedural shortcuts, including group trials where nearly every defendant pleads guilty and one attorney can represent over 30 to 40 clients at a time. These prosecutions affect not only first-time migrants, but also long-term residents of the US who are desperate to return to their families after deportation.  Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced a new initiative to address over-criminalization and reduce the federal prison population, but the reforms considered thus far have failed to address the tens of thousands of nonviolent immigration offenders who are sentenced to prison each year.

The webinar will cover the tremendous human and financial costs of immigration prosecutions and advocacy opportunities for immigration and criminal justice reform advocates. Specifically, it will address:

· Who is being prosecuted and changes in prosecution policies;

· Challenges faced by federal defenders and federal courts, including the impact of budget cuts and sequestration;

· The impact of immigration prosecutions on the growing federal prison population and the related growth in private prisons;

· How criminal immigration prosecutions exacerbate unfairness in the civil immigration system;

· How the Senate immigration bill and House proposals would address immigration prosecutions; and

· Advocacy opportunities in the context of federal sentencing reform.

The speakers include:

· Grace Meng, US researcher at Human Rights Watch, and author of the 2013 report, Turning Migrants into Criminals: The Harmful Impact of US Border Prosecutions

· Donna Coltharp, deputy public defender for the Western District of Texas

· Dan Kesselbrenner, executive director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and Immigrant Justice Network partner

· Claudia Valenzuela, associate director of litigation at the National Immigrant Justice Center

· Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, and author of Operation Streamline: Costs and Consequences. The webinar is free and open to advocates interested in immigration and criminal justice reform.

To register for the webinar taking place on October 1 at 2:00 pm EST, please click here.


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

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In nation's richest farmland, some workers' kids get no education at all

Susan Ferriss of the Center for Public Integrity reprots that, althoough California’s Kern County is an American agricultural giant whose soil produced more than $6 billion worth of farm products last year,  some of its workers’ children, after being disciplined for relatively minor offenses, are getting zero education.


September 25, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Population Decline of Unauthorized Immigrants Stalls, May Have Reversed --- New Estimate: 11.7 million in 2012

Jeffrey S. Passel, D’Vera Cohn and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera in a new Pew Research Center report find that the sharp decline in the U.S. population of unauthorized immigrants that accompanied the 2007-09 recession has bottomed out, and the number may be rising again.

As of March 2012, 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States, according to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on U.S. government data. The estimated number of unauthorized immigrants peaked at 12.2 million in 2007 and fell to 11.3 million in 2009, breaking a rising trend that had held for decades. Although there are indications the number of unauthorized immigrants may be rising, the 2012 population estimate is the midpoint of a wide range of possible values and in a statistical sense is no different from the 2009 estimate.


September 25, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Lawyer Margaret Stock Wins MacArthur "Genius" Award

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named its 2013 class of MacArthur Fellows, recognizing 24 exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future. Fellows will each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000 (increased from $500,000) paid out over five years. Without stipulations or reporting requirements, the Fellowship provides maximum freedom for recipients to follow their own creative vision.


One of this year's MacArthur Fellows is immigration law professor and attorney Margaret Stock.  Here is the MacArthur Foundation bio of Margaret:

Margaret Stock is an attorney bringing her singular knowledge of immigration law and national security law to bear on reform efforts through direct representation and policy-based advocacy. With a broad view of national security that goes beyond protecting the country from terrorist threats to include the protection of economic and political interests that ensure our prosperity, Stock articulates the crucial role of a healthy and efficient immigration system in responding to changes in the global economy and maintaining the foundational values of our democracy. Stock’s experiences serving in the U.S. Army Reserve and teaching at West Point have led her to focus much of her work to date on the impact of immigration law on military personnel and their families. She has spearheaded the development of three groundbreaking programs that creatively adapt existing laws to better the lives of both immigrants and native-born military personnel. Beginning in 2008, she initiated and, in cooperation with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, implemented the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program, which allows the U.S. armed forces to attract and retain foreign nationals with language, medical, and other skills critical to military readiness and national security by expediting their path to citizenship. Having seen firsthand the plight of limited-income military families in dire need of legal assistance, she created the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) MAP program, which pairs volunteer attorneys across the United States with those in need of their services. She also prompted the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative, an intergovernmental program designed to promote and expedite the naturalization of military personnel by reducing processing times and providing naturalization ceremonies at basic training locations. Through these programs, her written scholarship, and her contributions to policy debates (including as an expert witness before Congress), Stock is challenging our complex immigration laws in order to provide more humane and rational policies that will also serve American national security interests. Margaret Stock received an A.B. (1985), J.D. (1992), and M.P.A. (2001) from Harvard University and an M.S.S. (2006) from the U.S. Army War College. In 2010, she retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Military Police, U.S. Army Reserve, after twenty-eight years of service. Currently an attorney with the Anchorage office of Cascadia Cross Border Law, she is the author of Immigration Law and the Military (2012), and her prior affiliations include faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point (2001–2010) and counsel to the firm Lane Powell (2010–2013).

Stock's work has frequently been highlighted on the ImmigrationProf blog.  See, for example, here, here, here.


September 25, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6)

Immigration Article of the Day: Shattering the One-Way Mirror: Discovery in Immigration Court by Geoffrey Heeren


Shattering the One-Way Mirror: Discovery in Immigration Court by Geoffrey Heeren, Valparaiso University Law School September 22, 2013 Brooklyn Law Review , Vol. 79, No. 4, 2014 Forthcoming

Abstract: There is a considerable imbalance between non-citizens and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) when it comes to information access in deportation proceedings. Created after September 11, one of the original mandates for DHS was to improve intelligence gathering by creating a network of local, state, federal, and even private information sharers. Bureaucratic consolidation, new information technologies, and non-citizens’ contingent status give DHS a singular capacity to gather information about them. As a result, DHS prosecutors have vast amounts of information about the non-citizens whom they are trying to remove from the United States. In contrast, non-citizens in these adversarial, trial-type proceedings cannot even get basic information from their own immigration file without filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that typically takes months to adjudicate and results in a heavily redacted response. A similar informational asymmetry led commentators in the 1960s-70s to successfully call for the adoption of discovery in criminal cases, and the same argument weighs in favor of discovery in immigration court. Moreover, the trend in federal agency courts is toward liberal discovery, so much so that immigration courts now stand virtually alone in disallowing it. At the same time, the stakes in immigration court — deportation — are as profound as in any administrative court. Given these serious stakes and the growing consensus in favor of discovery, some discovery may be required as a matter of due process in many immigration cases.


September 25, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Settlement Reins in Border Patrol Stops on the Olympic Peninsula

Today, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and the ACLU of Washington announced a settlement agreement in a lawsuit that challenged the Border Patrol’s practice of stopping vehicles and interrogating occupants in the Olympic Peninsula. As a result of the settlement, the U.S. Border Patrol has acknowledged that its agents on the Olympic Peninsula must base vehicle stops away from the border on reasonable suspicion that an individual may be involved in violating the law.

The ACLU-WA and NWIRP filed the suit (Sanchez v. US Border Patrol) in U.S. District Court in Seattle in 2012 on behalf of three residents of the Olympic Peninsula. Under the terms of the settlement, all Border Patrol agents assigned to the Port Angeles Station will be required to receive an additional training in Fourth Amendment protections, including those related to vehicle stops. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. In addition, for 18 months, the Border Patrol will be required to provide reports to plaintiffs’ attorneys documenting all stops in the Olympic Peninsula. Finally, the Border Patrol agreed that it will comply with judicial decisions setting limits on stops and interrogations, and will abide by the Department of Homeland Security guidance, for the use of race or ethnicity in performing its duties.

The three plaintiffs represented in this case experienced unwarranted stops and interrogations in a variety of settings, all while going about their daily lives. Some stops appeared to be based on nothing but the plaintiffs’ perceived ethnicity or skin color. Agents provided flimsy pretexts or no reason at all for the stops. The lawsuit asserted that the Border Patrol’s suspicionless stops violated the Fourth Amendment and exceeded the agency’s legal powers.

Here are case summaries from the three plaintiffs:

• José Sanchez is a resident of Forks and correctional officer for the Olympic Corrections Center. In 2011, Border Patrol agents stopped his vehicle, saying its windows were too dark – even though the driver’s side window was not tinted. The agents questioned Sanchez – a U.S. citizen – about where he was from. In an earlier incident, Sanchez and a family member were traveling in a vehicle near Forks when Border Patrol agents stopped the car and interrogated Sanchez about his immigration status. Though agents told him that his vehicle was stopped because its windows were too dark, the agents did not ask for his insurance or registration. When he provided those documents, the agents refused to inspect them. In yet another incident in Forks, Sanchez was traveling home in a vehicle and was followed by Border Patrol agents. The agents approached him when he arrived at his house. Sanchez began recording the encounter with his cell phone and the agents backed away. When Sanchez called the Border Patrol office to complain about being repeatedly stopped and interrogated, the office supervisor told him simply, “We have certain cars that we need to pull over.”

• Ismael Ramos Contreras is a 2012 graduate of Forks High School, where he was student body president. In 2011, he was traveling in a vehicle with several teenage friends to pick up tuxedos for a Quinceañera (15th birthday) celebration when the vehicle was stopped by four Border Patrol agents in Port Angeles. One agent tried to take the key out of the ignition, so the driver handed him the key. Agents interrogated the boys about their immigration status, but never provided a reason for the stop. In 2010, Ramos Contreras was approached by a person who addressed him by name and began questioning him about where he lived and came from as he and his mother exited the Clallam County Courthouse in Forks. His mother identified the person as a Border Patrol agent; the person indeed turned out to be an agent who was in plain clothes and wearing their badge backwards.

• Ernest Grimes is a correctional officer, and a part-time police officer who lives in Neah Bay. In 2011 near Clallam Bay, a Border Patrol agent stopped the vehicle in which Grimes was traveling, approached with his hand on his weapon, and yelled at Grimes to roll down his window. Without offering a reason for the stop, the agent interrogated Grimes about his immigration status. Grimes, who is African American, was wearing his correctional officer uniform at the time.

Representing the plaintiffs are NWIRP legal director Matt Adams, ACLU-WA legal director Sarah Dunne and staff attorney La Rond Baker, and cooperating attorneys Nicholas Gellert, Brendan Peters, Javier Garcia, and Steve Merriman of the firm Perkins Coie LLP.


September 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will California Lead the Way in Expanding the Rights of Non-Citizens?


Careen Shannon looks at the various immigration-related bills, including AB 1401 which would permit lawful permanent residents to be eligible for jury duty, being considered by California Governor Brown.  She asks the question "Will California Lead the Way in Expanding the Rights of Non-Citizens?"


September 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Deported Vets

Latino USA reports on immigrant veterans who are being deported.  Serving in the military can help immigrants gain U.S. citizenship. But vets who commit crimes may find themselves deported despite their service to the country. Latino USA speaks with a vet awaiting deportation and with filmmaker John Valadez, currently working on a documentary highlighting the cases of veterans who have been deported.



September 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)


 For the next two weeks, a free online stream is available of the short documentary Frontier Youth. This thought-provoking film explores immigration and border issues on an intimate human scale. Its three characters are young people growing up in Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Mexico – neighboring border towns defined by undocumented migration and an increasingly militarized border.

Frontier Youth is unique in viewing these issues through the perspective of young adults on both sides of the border.



September 24, 2013 in Books, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Explaining the Divergence in Asylum Grant Rates Among Immigration Judges: An Attitudinal and Cognitive Approach by Linda Keith, Jennifer S. Holmes, and Banks Miller

Explaining the Divergence in Asylum Grant Rates Among Immigration Judges: An Attitudinal and Cognitive Approach by Linda Keith, University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Political Science, Jennifer S. Holmes, University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economics, Political and Policy Sciences, Banks Miller, University of Texas at Dallas October 2013 Law & Policy, Vol. 35, Issue 4, pp. 261-289, 2013

Abstract: In seeking to understand the variation in asylum grant rates by immigration judges (IJs), we apply a variation of the attitudinal model that we modify by incorporating a cognitive model of decision making, arguing that some pieces of information before IJs are treated objectively while others are treated subjectively. This model allows us to account for informational cues that influence decisions while assessing the impact of national interests and human rights conditions. We find that IJ policy predispositions play a dominant role, and that liberal IJs respond to applicant characteristics differently than conservatives, but also that the law constrains decision making.


September 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

What We Know About Diasporas and Economic Development

Diasporas can play an important role in the economic development of their countries of origin or ancestry. Beyond their well-known role as senders of remittances, diasporas also can promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses, spur entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills. Policymakers increasingly recognize that an engaged diaspora can be an asset — or even a counterweight to the emigration of skilled and talented migrants.

In What We Know About Diasporas and Economic Development, authors Kathleen Newland and Sonia Plaza note that while some governments have worked with diaspora members on discrete projects, relatively few have succeeded in proactively engaging their diasporas to find areas of mutual interest for practical collaboration. The brief discusses the impact of diaspora engagement in a number of areas, including trade, investment, and skills and knowledge transfers.  While it is difficult to assess the impact of diaspora engagement, the authors say it is clear that governments can do more to remove obstacles and create opportunities for diasporas to engage in economic development — with engagement best if it is a two-way street.

This policy brief is the latest in a series being published by the Migration Policy Institute in advance of the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which will take place Oct. 3 – 4. The briefs seek to distill what is known about key facets of the linkages between migration and development. Read the briefs and other MPI research on migration and development here.

Last week we held an interesting telebriefing to discuss what debates and outcomes might take place at the upcoming High-Level Dialogue. Speakers included Eva Åkerman Börje, chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). We invite you to listen to the podcast here.


September 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mexicans in Hawaii? New Report Finds that Mexican-Origin Residents of Hawaiʻi Fare Better than Mexican Counterparts on Mainland, But Less Well than Overall State Population


The Mexican-origin community in Hawaiʻi represents a small but growing population in this multi-ethnic state, rising 165 percent since 1990, according to a new report by the Migration Policy Institute, an independent think tank in Washington, DC that analyzes immigration trends and policy in the U.S. and internationally. The report released today presents a unique demographic, socioeconomic and cultural profile of a Mexican-origin population that in many ways has different outcomes than Mexican-origin counterparts in the continental United States.

While Hawaiʻi’s Mexican-origin residents (foreign born as well as the U.S.-born of Mexican ancestry) have higher employment, reduced poverty, higher levels of English proficiency and educational attainment, and lower incidences of unauthorized status than their Mexican-origin counterparts on the U.S. continent, they fare less well than the overall population of Hawaiʻi across a range of socioeconomic metrics, researchers for MPI and the Ethnic Studies Department in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi found.

Hawai‘i Governor Neil Abercrombie said: “This report, the result of collaboration between the D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute and the University of Hawaii, provides insightful data on our Mexican-origin community and experiences as ‘newcomer’ residents to the Aloha State. In Hawaii, we recognize that our diversity defines rather than divides us. These findings will inform our decisions in addressing the needs of this valued and growing facet of our community as its members contribute to our island culture and economy.”

The report, Newcomers to the Aloha State: Challenges and Prospects for Mexicans in Hawaiʻi, draws on a qualitative survey, in-depth interviews and analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data to examine the state’s growing population of residents of Mexican origin, which stood at approximately 38,700 based on analysis of 2009-2011 American Community Survey data. Mexican-origin civilian workers work primarily in Hawaiʻi’s tourism-related industries and construction — the two industries that felt the impact of the 2007-2009 recession earlier and harder, leading to higher unemployment than the state average.

Residents of Mexican origin are also more likely than the overall population to be in poor or low-income households, and are less likely to live in their own homes. “Our research suggests that many Mexicans, especially those who are immigrants, occupy the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder, along with three other traditionally marginalized groups: Filipinos, Native Hawaiians and Micronesians,” said report co-author Monisha Das Gupta, associate professor of ethnic studies and women’s studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Among the report’s findings:

The majority of Mexican-origin residents in Hawaiʻi have lawful U.S. immigration status, but many feel targeted by immigration enforcement authorities.  About nine in ten Mexican-origin residents in Hawaiʻi are U.S. citizens by birth or naturalization. Only a small number are unauthorized, representing 10 percent of the state’s estimated 40,000 unauthorized immigrants. By contrast, in the continental United States, 58 percent of the estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico.

Despite the high proportion of U.S.-born and legally present Mexicans in Hawaiʻi and small share of the unauthorized population, interviews indicated members of this community feel they have been disproportionately targeted by immigration and local law enforcement officers for detention and deportation.

Mexican-origin residents are dispersed within and across the islands, with two-thirds living on Oʻahu. On Maui and the Big Island, certain towns are associated with Mexican residents even as they live in ethnically mixed neighborhoods.Mexican residents’ mobility from island to island is restricted because of the expense of air travel and, in the case of the unauthorized population, due to the risk of immigration enforcement-related surveillance at airports. These barriers to air travel make it difficult for Mexican residents of other islands to access critical services offered only in Honolulu, including health care and immigration-related services.


September 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Cost of Doing Nothing: Dollars, Lives, and Opportunities Lost in the Wait for Immigration Reform

Yesterday, the Immigration Policy Center releases The Cost of Doing Nothing: Dollars, Lives, and Opportunities Lost in the Wait for Immigration Reform. This fact sheet highlights the high cost of Congress' failure to act on immigration reform legislation. The “enforcement only” approach to immigration policy has failed to curb unauthorized immigration and has wasted taxpayer dollars while creating a slow-motion humanitarian catastrophe. Additionally, the full economic potential of unauthorized immigrants as workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs has been squandered because they are unable to earn legal status. In other words, as Congress continues to ponder the possibility of enacting immigration reform legislation, the broken machinery of the U.S. immigration system continues to destroy lives and families while draining the federal budget and undermining the economy. These are the costs of inaction.


September 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pelosi's Own Bill: Can She Save Immigration Reform in the House?

From Politico:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is spearheading a plan to advance comprehensive immigration reform in the chamber.
The California Democrat plans to introduce legislation combining the comprehensive bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in May with a bipartisan border-security bill from the House Homeland Security Committee, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The strategy was detailed at a meeting hosted by Pelosi last week with top House Democrats and several immigration-rights advocates, the sources said. The plan would be to publicly release the bill timed to the Oct. 5 “National Day of Action” that is meant to mobilize grassroots support and pressure the House Republican leadership to take up immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.
Immigration legislation has been stalled since the Senate passed a comprehensive bill in June. The GOP-controlled House hasn’t taken any action, and many House Republicans are skeptical of doing anything short of approving a series of piecemeal bills with a primary focus on enhancing border security.
Other Democratic sources familiar with the Pelosi discussions caution that no final decisions have been made. For instance, the date to release the legislation could change. Or House Democrats could settle on another immigration reform bill, though no others have emerged as a potential option.
“Dems agree that they need to lean into the issue more” and that may include releasing a bill “sooner rather than later,” one advocate briefed on the discussions said Monday.
Attendees at Pelosi’s immigration meeting included House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California and Democratic Reps. George Miller and Zoe Lofgren of California, John Yarmuth of Kentucky, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Among the pro-reform advocates were representatives from the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the National Council of La Raza, Americas Voice and CASA de Maryland.
The Thursday huddle was part of a slew of immigration-focused meetings led by Pelosi last week, including ones with former AOL executive Steve Case and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
House lawmakers will return to Washington on Wednesday, and the House Democratic Caucus is slated to huddle later Wednesday evening for their weekly party meeting. One of the items on the agenda is “next steps on immigration reform,” according to an aide.
Going with the version of the Senate Gang of Eight bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, rather than the full Senate in June, is meant to strip out controversial border-security provisions that were inserted into the legislation in the final days of floor debate in order to gain Republican support. Read more...


September 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lofgren Still Hopeful About Reform

From Zoe Lofgren:

Rep. Zoe Lofgren on House Republicans Departure from Bipartisan Immigration Group
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose, Calif.) released the following statement last week on the decision by her House Republican colleagues to depart from the bipartisan House immigration working group commonly referred to as the ‘Group of Seven’:
“The dance of legislation is intricate and unpredictable.  For the last four-and-a-half years a bipartisan group of representatives met, at first in anonymity, and later openly, to attempt to craft a bipartisan immigration reform bill.
“We did succeed in crafting a bill, but at this point my Republican colleagues, Congressmen Sam Johnson and John Carter, have decided to withdraw from this process.  While these two very conservative Congressmen do not agree with me on many issues, I am sure that they would agree that our efforts during these last several years were characterized by mutual respect and serious legislative work.  Solid work was put into crafting immigration measures and these efforts, or portions of them, may yet help the process as efforts continue to achieve top to bottom reform of our country’s broken immigration system.
“The question isn’t whether we can pass immigration reform. The economic, security and moral arguments have been made for reform. In poll after poll a growing majority of Americans want to see immigration reform, and the votes exist in the House for reform.
“In the end, it’s the Republican leadership that must make a decision on whether they intend to allow the current broken immigration system to continue as it is, or whether they will allow the House to vote on reform.  I continue to be hopeful that Republican leaders will schedule votes on serious reform measures that aren’t host to known poison pills.  It can be done.  Let’s hope Congress can perform this basic task.”

September 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Support for California Immigrant Juror Eligibility Bill Grows

Mexico New Immigrant Destination

Damien Cave of the New York Times reports that "Mexico, whose economic woes have pushed millions of people north, is increasingly becoming an immigrant destination. The country’s documented foreign-born population nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, and officials now say the pace is accelerating as broad changes in the global economy create new dynamics of migration."


September 23, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Incompetent but Deportable: The Case for a Right to Mental Competence in Removal Proceedings by Fatma E. Marouf

Incompetent but Deportable: The Case for a Right to Mental Competence in Removal Proceedings  by Fatma E. Marouf, University of Nevada, Las Vegas - William S. Boyd School of Law August 1, 2013 UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series

Abstract: Important strides are currently being made towards increasing procedural due process protections for noncitizens with serious mental disabilities in removal proceedings, such as providing them with competency hearings and appointed counsel. This Article goes even further, arguing that courts should recognize a substantive due process right to competence in removal proceedings, which would prevent those found incompetent from being deported. Recognizing a right to competence in a quasi-criminal proceeding like removal would not be unprecedented, as most states already recognize this right in juvenile adjudication proceedings. The Article demonstrates that the same reasons underlying the prohibition against trial of incompetent defendants apply to removal proceedings. Competence is necessary to protect the fairness and accuracy of the proceedings, safeguard statutory and constitutional rights, uphold the prohibition against in absentia hearings, and preserve the moral dignity of the process. In addition, deportation represents an extension of the penalty phase of the criminal process, so the right to competence should apply until the end. This Article also explores potential concerns about recognizing a right to competence, such as exposing the respondent to indefinite civil commitment and forfeiting the opportunity to pursue applications that could lead to being granted legal status by the immigration court. A closer examination of these concerns suggests that they may actually be much less serious than they initially appear. Finally, the Article explores some alternatives to recognizing a right to competence and explains why they fail to provide sufficient protection.


September 23, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

NFL Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

The NFL is celebrating Hispanic Heritage month.  Its webpage includes a list of celebratory activities and Hispanic NLF players.



My vote for the best Hispanic player in the NFL goes to Atlanta Falcon tight end Tony Gonzalez, a Cal Bear alum and lock for the NFL Hall of Fame.

Other well-known Hispanics in the NFL include Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys), Mark Sanchez (NY Jets), and Aaron Hernandez (formerly of the New England Patriots).

September 23, 2013 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)