Monday, October 28, 2013

Obama's deportation record is one of discrimination


Tanya Golash-Boza takes the Obama administration to task for its immigration record -- and record numbers of removals -- in an op/ed in the Houston Chronicle:

"Republican President George W. Bush eight years to reach 2 million deportations. It took 20 presidents between 1892 and 1996 to reach as many deportations. Many activists find it ironic that Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, will go down in history as the president who has deported the most people.

Obama's program of mass deportation is on par with other racially tainted tragedies in our history: Indian boarding schools that kept Native American children from their parents; internment camps where Japanese citizens and Japanese Americans were forced to live during World War II; and the Jim Crow laws that denied equal opportunities to African Americans."

Along similar lines, the New York Times today has editorialized that there should be a halt to Obama administration's mass removal campaign motivated by politics, not policy and humanitarian sense.


October 28, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Immigration Court Backlog Up 85% From Five Years Ago

The number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts climbed to 344,230 by the end of fiscal year 2013, according to government enforcement data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The case backlog, which has risen 5.9 percent since September 2012, is now 85 percent higher than it was five years ago. Wait times have also lengthened. The average time these pending cases have been waiting in the Immigration Courts of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is now up to 562 days. Nebraska leads the nation with the longest wait time of 761 days at the end of FY 2013; California is second with an average wait time of 686 days. Ohio (664 days), Colorado (663 days) and Michigan (624 days) round out the five states in which pending cases wait the longest.

In terms of the volume of cases, as of the end of FY 2013 California has the largest pending Immigration Court backlog with 77,246 cases. New York is second with 50,818 cases and Texas is third with 48,626. To view annual backlog trends as well as the ten states with the larges backlog at the end of FY 2013, see the latest TRAC snapshot report at: For more details, including average wait times, use TRAC's immigration backlog tool.


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

Georgetown University Center for Applied Legal Studies Fellowship Announcement 2014-2016 Clinical Teaching Fellowship

 Georgetown University's Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) announces that it is now accepting applications for its annual fellowship program in clinical legal education. CALS will offer one lawyer a two year teaching fellowship (July 2014 June 2016), providing a unique opportunity to learn how to teach law in a clinical setting.

At CALS, our two fellows and faculty members work as colleagues, sharing responsibilities for designing and teaching classes, supervising law students in their representation of clients, selecting and grading students, administering the clinic, and all other matters. In addition, the fellow will undertake independent legal scholarship, conducting the research and writing to produce a law review article of publishable quality. This fellowship is particularly suitable for lawyers with some degree of practice experience who now want to embark upon careers in law teaching. Most of our previous fellows are now teaching law or have done so for substantial portions of their careers.

Since 1995, CALS has specialized in immigration law, specifically in asylum practice, and our docket focuses on presenting asylum claims in immigration court. Applicants with experience in U.S. immigration law will therefore be given preference. The fellow must be a member of a bar at the start of the fellowship period. The fellow will receive full tuition and fees in the LL.M. program at Georgetown University, and a stipend in excess of $53,000 in each of the two years. On successful completion of the requirements, the Fellow will be granted the degree of Master of Laws (Advocacy) with distinction. Recent holders of this fellowship include Mary Brittingham (1995-97), Andrea Goodman (1996-98), Michele Pistone (1997-99), Rebecca Story (1998-2000), Virgil Wiebe (1999-2001), Anna Marie Gallagher (2000-02), Regina Germain (2001-2003), Dina Francesca Haynes (2002-2004), Diane Uchimiya (2003-2005), Jaya Ramji-Nogales (2004-2006), Denise Gilman (2005-2007), Susan Benesch (2006-2008), Kate Aschenbrenner (2007-2009), Anjum Gupta (2008-2010), Alice Clapman (2009-2011) Geoffrey Heeren (2010-2012) and Heidi Altman (2011-2013). The current Fellows are Lindsay Harris and Laila Hlass. The faculty members directing CALS are Andrew Schoenholtz and Philip Schrag.

To apply, send a resume, an official or unofficial law school transcript, a writing sample, and a detailed statement of interest (approximately 5 pages). The materials must arrive by December 2, 2013. The statement should address: a) why you are interested in this fellowship; b) what you can contribute to the Clinic; c) your experience with asylum and other immigration cases; d) your professional or career goals for the next five or ten years; e) your reactions to the Clinic's goals and teaching methods as described on its website; and e) anything else that you consider pertinent. Address your application to Directors, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown Law, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 332, Washington, D.C. 20001, or electronically to


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

Remarks by the President on Immigration Reform


Yesterday, President Obama reiterated his call for Congress to pass immigration reform:  “Securing our borders; modernizing our legal immigration system; providing a pathway to earned, legalized citizenship; growing our economy; strengthening our middle class; reducing our deficits -- that’s what common-sense immigration reform will do,” he said.

As observers well know, this is not the President's first call for immigration reform.  We will stay tuned to see whether Congress can pass immigration reform this year.



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

Policing the Immigration Police: ICE Prosecutorial Discretion and the Fourth Amendment


Prosecutorial discretion in immigration has been a hot topic the last few years.  New immigration law professor Jason Cade at Georgia Law has an interesting take on the topic through the lens of the Fourth Amendment as applied to recent developments in North Carolina.

Policing the Immigration Police: ICE Prosecutorial Discretion and the Fourth Amendment by Jason A. Cade, University of Georgia Law School October 24, 2013 113 Columbia Law Review Sidebar --- (forthcoming 2013)

Abstract: A persistent puzzle in immigration law is how the removal adjudication system should respond to the increasing prevalence of violations of noncitizens’ constitutional rights by arresting officers. Scholarship in this area has focused on judicial suppression of unconstitutionally obtained evidence, typically by arguing that the Supreme Court should overrule its 1984 decision in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza not to enforce the exclusionary rule in civil immigration court. This Essay, in contrast, considers the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys in upholding the Fourth Amendment, taking as a launching point the recent exercise of prosecutorial discretion by ICE attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina in cases arising from systemic unlawful policing. Part I briefly describes how ICE's lawyers in the Charlotte immigration court have closed deportation cases against noncitizens arrested through unlawful policing by local officers in North Carolina, following a Department of Justice report on the discriminatory targeting of Latinos in Alamance County, North Carolina. The Essay then explores two potential bases for an ICE prosecutor’s decision to take remedial action when arresting officers violate the constitution. First, Part II examines ICE prosecutors’ constitutional responsibilities as executive branch attorneys in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to underenforce the Fourth Amendment in the context of immigration arrests. Part III then considers whether ICE’s remedial actions in North Carolina comport with internal agency guidelines for exercising prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases.


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

Immigration Article of the Day: The Undocumented Closet by Rose Cuison Villazor


The Undocumented Closet by Rose Cuison Villazor, North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 1, 2013

Abstract: The phrase “coming out of the closet” traditionally refers to moments when lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals decide to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity to their families, friends, and communities.In the last few years, many immigrants, particularly those who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were very young, have invoked the narrative of “coming out.”Specifically, they have publicly “outed” themselves by disclosing their unauthorized immigration status despite the threat of deportation laws.In so doing, they have revealed their own closet — ”the undocumented closet” — in which they have been forced to hide their identity as “undocumented Americans.” Notably, by choosing to become visible, these undocumented Americans are slowly yet powerfully reforming immigration policy by demanding that they are recognized as lawful members of the American polity. This Article explores the roles that the closet metaphor and the act of “coming out” play in the immigration justice movement. Drawing on scholarship examining the “closet” as the symbol for the oppression of LGBTQ persons, this Article theorizes the “undocumented closet” argues that this analytical framework facilitates a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of undocumented immigrants in the United States. First, the “undocumented closet” reveals the extent to which immigration and other laws that are designed to exclude unauthorized immigrants both literally and figuratively from the United States have compelled them to become invisible in society. Second, the “undocumented closet” framework underscores that public disclosures about one’s undocumented status, despite the risk of deportation, constitute acts of resistance against legal subordination and, importantly, claims for legal membership in the American polity. Finally, the “undocumented closet” facilitates a critical lens for reviewing immigration reform. Importantly, it calls for a rethinking of immigration law that would prevent the further “closeting” and subordination of immigrants and their families.


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

A border surge means… what, exactly? More safety and control, or more human suffering? by Bryce Clayton Newell


Yesterday, President Obama renewed his call for the House to act on immigration reform. Of course, the last few months have seen ups and downs as both sides try to outline plans for overhauling the immigration system. The bi-partisan senate bill proposed a variety of measures, including added surveillance and drastically increased numbers of officers on the ground as well as a (long) path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the country. As announced Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) plans to announce a bill that also includes legalization provisions (though not as long-term or far-reaching as the Senate bill). The proposed border surge, or the doubling of Border Patrol agents to 40,000, has been touted as a positive aspects of these debates. However, putting this surge in a little more historical perspective might (at least) cause us to question whether more boots on the ground might also lead to increased migrant deaths.

On Sept. 26, 2013, the Pima County Medical Examiner (PCME) in Tucson, Arizona reported 148 migrant deaths since Jan. 1 of this year. This number only represents the number of remains found or delivered to the Pima County office (which probably significantly undercounts the actual number of deaths just in Arizona) within its jurisdictional boundaries, which stretch from south of Tucson to Yuma. For the past three years, I have been making periodic trips to the border region while producing a documentary film about humanitarian response to these deaths, and have interviewed aid workers as well as recently deported individuals in Mexico.

Prior to Operations Hold the Line in El Paso and Gatekeeper in San Diego in the early/mid 1990s, the Border Patrol had just over 4,000 officers patrolling U.S. borders. During a surge in hiring after these programs went into effect, the number of officers more than doubled from 1992 to 2004 to around 11,000, when President Bush authorized an additional 10,000 officers, effectively doubling officer numbers once again – bringing us to our current total of approximately 20,000 officers. In this regard, the current pressure to double the number of “boots on the ground” is only another step in an expansion process that has been moving steadily forward since the early nineties. Of course, in regards to migrant deaths, these numbers don’t really mean anything on their own. However, if we compare the number of migrant deaths during this same time period, the results are fairly striking. In 1992, the PCME reported 5 unidentified border crosser (UBC) deaths, and between 1990 and 1999, the office handled an average of 12 UBC deaths a year (with a high of 21 in 1997). After the Border Patrol began to expand and change its enforcement practices, these numbers began to rise quickly. In 2000 and 2001, PCME handled 71 and 74 UBC deaths, respectively, and from 2002 to 2012, PCME averaged over 160 UBC deaths each year (with a high of 225 in 2010). The year-to-date total (as of Sept. 26) in 2013 of 148 UBC deaths puts us on track for around 200 deaths this year, an increase over the past two years, despite reportedly lower numbers of undocumented crossers overall.

These numbers, and related research, suggests that the past expansion of officers and fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, with its emphasis on protecting more populated areas while leaving the more remote and desolate desert areas relatively open, has created what the has been called the “funnel effect,” where migrants have been driven to cross in the more dangerous and remote parts of the border. It may also have increased reliance on paid smugglers (or “coyotes”). As a result, the numbers of deaths have skyrocketed since 2000, and have not decreased in line with recent general migration estimates. In fact, we know from Congressional Research reports that the government knew it was forcing migrants into more dangerous regions when it passed earlier legislation. The government expected migration rates to decrease, but also recognized that those crossing in more remote areas were at much greater risk of death. As it turns out, rates actually increased and the number of deaths followed suit.

So, what does this mean for current policy debates about overhauling the current broken system? I am not particularly critical of the claim that increased surveillance has the potential to detect crossers and ultimately save lives. But I am concerned that the so-called “virtual human fence” proposed as part of a surge to 40,000 officers will be deployed in a way that further aggravates problems with existing enforcement practices. I don’t think anyone actually expects an officer every 1,000 feet along the border (we do have a rather lengthy border with Canada, as well, in case we’ve forgotten, and it’s probably not politically expedient to send officers where no one but the crossers will ever notice them). Even if we stipulate (for present purposes) that the U.S. has an obligation (or a right) to close its borders completely, I think we need to design our enforcement strategies in a way that doesn’t predictably increase human suffering. Of course, security is not a remedy in and of itself. If we are to secure a 1900+ mile long border with a country plagued with violence and poverty, we also need to seriously consider addressing the reasons most of these people are attempting to cross in the first place.

In my interviews with recently deported migrants in Nogales, Sonora, over the past months, it appears apparent that many of these individuals are undeterred by the fact that the border is harder to cross now than it was a few years ago (and many of them have experienced the crossing multiple times and are aware of this). Those seeking reunification with family (wives, husbands, children, parents) in the U.S. have a strong incentive to cross, whatever the cost. Many of them are also willing (and expecting) to work when they get here. Providing legalization (whether or not it leads to citizenship) must play a prominent role in reform, and we must also reassess our current policies that separate families across international borders. Reinforcing the safer crossing points may predictably increase the number of deaths, and deporting fathers or mothers who have spouses and children in the US provides strong incentive to cross again, no matter the personal risks. This creates a bad mix: more deadly crossing conditions and built-in incentives to try anyway. If that means increased numbers of people crossing in the desolate stretches of the sparsely-populated American Southwest, with or without the aid of a coyote (who may or may not be affiliated with a cartel), it seems our policy choices have played a role in sending people to their deaths on our own land for over a decade. It is imperative we don’t make the same mistakes as we “reform” the current system.

-- Bryce Clayton Newell, J.D. (UC Davis), is a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington Information School and a researcher with the UW Tech Policy Lab (a research lab spanning the UW Law School, Information School, and Computer Science and Engineering Department), where he is researching the legal and policy implications of augmented reality (AR) technologies. He is also a lawyer (J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law, 2010), documentary filmmaker, and 2013 Google Policy Fellow. In a past life, Bryce worked as a professional videographer, and he has recently completed his first feature-length documentary film, which documents humanitarian response to the deaths of undocumented immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border (more at or @art_of_survival).

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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Republican Donors Push for Immigration Reform

From the Wall Street Journal:

Some big-money Republican donors, frustrated by their party's handling of the standoff over the debt ceiling and government shutdown, are stepping up their warnings to GOP leaders that they risk long-term damage to the party if they fail to pass immigration legislation.

Some donors say they are withholding political contributions from members of Congress who don't support action on immigration, and many are calling top House leaders. Their hope is that the party can gain ground with Hispanic voters, make needed changes in immigration policy and offset some of the damage that polls show it is taking for the shutdown.

"I'm concerned as an American, first of all. I'm certainly concerned as a Republican," said Fred Zeidman, a Texas oil executive and fundraiser. "For my party to fight the inevitable, I think, is so incredibly shortsighted."

Many donors said they have taken their concerns directly to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. That includes Mr. Zeidman and Carlos Gutierrez, who served in George W. Bush's cabinet and is now heading the group Republicans for Immigration Reform, as well as lobbyist Charlie Black and GOP fundraiser Fred Malek. Read more...


October 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hearing on Human Rights of Migrants and Legislative Reforms

From We Belong Together:

Good afternoon – we wanted to let you know about this hearing on the Human Rights of Migrants and Legislative Reforms in the U.S. happening this coming Monday, Oct. 28th, at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.

The co-chair of the advocacy campaign We Belong Together will be testifying at the hearing and will be available for interviews afterward, along with impacted families and other experts and activists.

Please let me know if we can get you more information. Thanks much!

FROM:                       We Belong Together

CONTACT:                Leslie Patterson,, 646-200-5326

Media Advisory

Facing the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, a coalition of faith-based, human rights and mental health organizations will argue that U.S needs to change its deportation practices affecting families
**Human rights attorneys, mental health professionals, immigration activists, and impacted immigrants available forinterviews**

Current U.S. immigration policies violate international human rights standards protecting children and family unity, a broad coalition of organizations will argue before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Monday, October 28th from 2:00-3:00PM at the General SecretariatBuilding, 1889 F Street NW, Washington D.C (corner of 19th and F Streets).

The coalition is demanding that U.S. immigration authorities consider family ties before deporting any immigrant with family or children in the U.S. The We Belong Together campaign advocates for the rights of the 5.5 million children with undocumented parents and the hundreds of thousands of parents with U.S. Citizen children who’ve been deported and ripped away from their families.

The coalition includestwenty faith-based groups, the Boston College Post-Deportation Human RightsProject, Immigration Equality, fifteen academics and mental health professionals who study the health effects of immigration policy, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, the AFL-CIO, and the Center for Justice inInternational Law (on whose behalf the Stanford Immigrants’ Rights Clinic drafted a report to the Commission), in partnership with the We Belong Together coalition.

DATE:             Monday, October 28, 2013

TIME:             2 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Hearing before Inter-American Commission
3 p.m. – Individuals available for media interviews

WHERE:         The General Secretariat Building
1889 F Street NW
(corner of 19th and F Streets)
Washington D.C. 20006

WHO:             Pramila Jayapal, Co-chair of We Belong Together, will participate and be available for interview


October 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hot Practice Area: Immigration Law

Read this National Jurist story about jobs in immigration law.


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

Growing Clash Between Immigrant Rights Activists and Washington Power Brokers

David Bacon reports on the growing number of actions this fall by immigrant communities and immigrant rights groups, responding to Congressional inaction, as well as to many anti-immigrant provisions of Congress' immigration reform bills. There is a growing interest in using direct action to defend immigrants in their workplaces and communities, and building a stronger grassroots movement for more progressive immigration reform proposals:

"Almost all community-based immigrant rights organizations outside of Washington DC are seeking ways to stop the Federal government's huge wave of deportations. Last year 409,849 people were deported from the U.S., and the total for President Obama’s first five years is about to reach 2 million. According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency of the Department of Homeland Security, current deportations average 30,791 per month, including over 8,500 parents of U.S. citizen children. The Federal government spends more today on border and immigration enforcement than on all other law enforcement agencies combined -- $18 billion last year alone."


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

Immigration Article of the Day: The Forgotten Equality Norm in Immigration Preemption: Discrimination, Harassment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1870 by Lucas Guttentag


The Forgotten Equality Norm in Immigration Preemption: Discrimination, Harassment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1870 by Lucas Guttentag Yale University - Law School; Stanford Law School October 2013 8 Duke J. Const. Law & Pub. Pol'y 1 (2013)

Abstract: The current debate over immigration federalism overlooks the significance of the Civil Rights Act of 1870 as a limit on state and local immigration legislation. The 1870 Act, passed by the Reconstruction Congress, includes prohibitions on “alienage” discrimination in “every State and Territory” that remain embedded in federal law. This Article seeks to revive the Act’s importance to contemporary Supremacy Clause analysis by recounting the history of the 1870 legislation and reviewing the Supreme Court’s invocation of the Civil Rights Act across many decades to preempt sub-federal immigration laws. Revitalizing the federal alienage protections of the 1870 Act has significant consequences for immigration federalism today. The Article argues that the civil rights “immigrant equality” mandate requires courts to consider the discriminatory consequences of sub-federal laws as a facet of federal supremacy. The equality norm of the Civil Rights Act draws an important distinction between immigrant-hostile state laws that engender discrimination and immigrant-friendly (so-called “sanctuary”) laws that seek to further immigrant protection. The Act erects a federal barrier to local measures that target immigrants for enforcement and provides leeway for local initiatives that diminish the salience of immigration status in state and local matters.


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

From the Bookshelves: Global Crossings: Immigration, Civilization, and America by Alvaro Vargas Llosa


Global Crossings:  Immigration, Civilization, and America by Alvaro Vargas Llosa


•  Contrary to sensationalist news reports, Hispanic immigration to the United States does not constitute an unprecedented “takeover.” At other times in U.S. history the population of foreign origin constituted a similar or larger proportion of the total population. From 1901 to 1913, an average of one million foreigners—about 2.5 percent of the domestic population—came into the United States every single year, whereas recent annual immigration has not exceeded 0.5 percent of the national population.

•  The flow of illegal immigration appears be a leading indicator of economic trends. From 2007 to 2009, the proportion of undocumented foreigners dropped by 8.4 percent in California and as much as 25 percent in Florida, where real estate markets were hit especially hard. In the greater Las Vegas, one of the fasted growing areas in the past 20 years, foreign workers began to leave in 2007. When Arizona passed its highly restrictive law in 2010, the annual influx of illegal immigrants stood at about one third of its most recent peak. This is not to say that the flow of workers responds exactly in sync with the demand for labor: border enforcement is a major impediment to smoothly functioning labor markets.

•  Fears that immigrants to the United States will resist assimilation and make natives feel like strangers in their own country are misplaced. The lure of assimilation in the United States is almost irresistible: the second generation in immigrant families typically speaks the language of the adopted country far better than their parents, and the third generation is even more assimilated. Even so, the U.S. educational system places onerous obstacles on the educational assimilation of immigrants. Despite the Supreme Court mandate that illegal immigrant children be allowed to go to school, only ten states permit them to go to college paying in-state tuition rates.

•  Fears that immigrant workers lead to lower wage rates are drastically overblown. The influx of immigrants to the United States from 1990 to 2004 led to a 1.5 percent reduction in the real wages of natives with less than a high-school education and cut the wages of earlier immigrants by about 10 percent. But it had the opposite effect on native workers with at least a high-school degree: it increased their wages by an average of 2 percent. The net impact was to increase average wages for all native workers by about 1.8 percent.

•  Although many poor immigrants do use the welfare state, this represents only part of the equation. For example, although the proportion of immigrant-headed households using at least one major welfare program in the United States is high—33 percent, compared to 19 percent for native households—illegal immigrant men also have higher rates of participation in the U.S. workforce than do U.S. citizens or legal foreigners—over 90 percent in 2003. Moreover, in every U.S. census since 1880 immigrants were more likely to be self-employed than natives. Claims about immigrants relying on the American welfare state must also be weighed against the fact that immigrants often bring with them an entrepreneurial spirit, and that immigrants have utilized their work ethic by founding many of the leading high-tech companies in the United States. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, came from Russia; Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, is the child of Iranian immigrants from France; Andy Grove, founder of Intel, was born in Hungary; Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, came from Taiwan; and Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, is from South Africa.


There was a time when the word “immigration” conjured up images of intrepid travelers arriving at Ellis Island, possessing barely a suitcase to hold their meager belongings but embraced by a country that welcomed the world’s “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” In recent decades, however, many Americans have become skeptical, even critical of this ideal, preferring instead that the “nation of immigrants” welcome fewer foreigners, whatever their legal status. Debates about immigration are not confined to America, of course. Indeed, most of the same concerns that preoccupy immigration critics in the United States—worries about immigrants taking away jobs from native-born residents, depressing wage rates, resisting cultural assimilation, and putting undue strains on social services—are common throughout much of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, explains Alvaro Vargas Llosa, author of Global Crossings: Immigrations, Civilization, and America.A native of Peru who has lived and worked on three continents, Vargas Llosa has written an insightful analysis of the cultural, economic, and political ramifications of immigration—one the most enduring phenomena of the human story. Part historical treatise and part politico-economic analysis—and sprinkled with fascinating anecdotes from his personal experience around the world—Global Crossings is a far-reaching work that will captivate anyone curious about the drama inherit in the age-old quest to make a better life by moving abroad and about the government policies that often thwart that effort.


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

Global Trends in Immigration Detention and Alternatives to Detention: Practical, Political and Symbolic Rationales

Global Trends in Immigration Detention and Alternatives to Detention: Practical, Political and Symbolic Rationales by Robyn Sampson and Grant Mitchell, Journal on Migration and Human Security


Immigration detention is a growing threat to the well-being of migrants worldwide. While the use of this tool continues to increase, there is a growing consensus by governments on the need to pursue alternative programs. This paper examines the nature of these apparently contradictory developments and the reasons for tension in this area of migration policy. Drawing from research conducted by the International Detention Coalition and La Trobe University, this paper describes the Community Assessment and Placement (CAP) model, which seeks to prevent unnecessary detention, while allowing governments to meet the rationale offered for detention. It argues that the global trends of growth in detention and an increased emphasis on alternatives reflect competing political, policy and operational objectives. For example, governments wish to ensure compliance with deportation orders; alleviate political pressures regarding the harms associated with detention; and demonstrate control of territorial borders. Understanding the multiple rationales that shape this area of migration policy can help make sense of contradictory policy developments and identify the most effective ways to safeguard those who might be subject to detention.


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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Republican Legalization Plan: 6-year Guestworker Status

From Politico:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is planning to release legislation next week that would provide legal status for six years to undocumented immigrants in the United States, he said in an interview Wednesday.

Issa, an influential Republican who leads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, described the legislation as a “come-from-the-shadows” effort that would allow the government to do a full accounting of those who are in the U.S. illegally. Immigrants in this new status would be able to travel to their native country while on this temporary visa, he said.

“It’s halfway – and it always has been – halfway between full amnesty and simply rejecting people,” Issa told POLITICO on Wednesday. “I think if we’re going to break this logjam that’s occurred for my whole 13 years I’ve been in Congress, we have to find middle ground.”

Issa’s legislation would be the first bill this year released from House Republicans to provide legalization for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants. Still, immigration reform faces an uphill battle in the GOP-led House, where conservatives are resisting the type of sweeping reforms that passed the Democratic-led Senate in June.

Issa’s forthcoming legislation takes elements from similar legislation he introduced in December 2003, the Alien Accountability Act. The six-year period is intended to whittle down the undocumented immigrant population into several categories, such as immigrants with family ties to U.S. citizens or immigrants who want to participate in a guest-worker program. Read more....


October 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AL JAZEERA AMERICA PRESENTS TO AIR TWO AMERICANS SUNDAY, OCT. 27 Documentary Examines Both Sides of the Immigration Debate


 Two Americans portrays the emotional and economic turmoil that raids and subsequent deportations have on the families of undocumented workers, and the law enforcement officials whose job it is to arrest them. Two Americans follows the story of one such family - and the sheriff who is enforcing the law. Filmmakers Daniel DeVivo and Valeria Fernandez’s film profiles a family who is forced to live in the shadows in Arizona, a state that criminalizes their existence. Nine-year-old Katherine Figueroa’s parents are arrested when Sheriff Joe Arpaio raids a Phoenix carwash suspected of hiring illegal workers. As Katherine fights to save her parents from deportation, a community group pressures an investigation into sheriff’s actions. The sheriff’s retaliation sparks public outrage and a federal investigation. Two Americans showcases both sides of one of America’s most polarizing issues and provides an in-depth look at how immigration policy is affecting families and communities.

Watch Two Americans on Al Jazeera America Presents Sunday, Oct. 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

October 23, 2013 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Add ICE, and Family Vacation Becomes Family Separation

Ramiro family

Hi, my name is Ramiro Molina Solis (#078-546-420) and I need your help. Two years ago, I took my children on a day trip to Sedona, Arizona. Like any parent, I worried about Rodrigo getting too close to a cliff and Guadalupe wandering out of sight. I didn’t expect that the family outing could leave my children without a father. That day, the police gave me a ticket for hunting without a license. When I couldn’t pay the ticket, I was arrested and taken to Eloy Detention Center. Last Thursday, ICE ordered me to self-deport, even though an unpaid hunting license is the only thing they have against me. Five of my children are U.S. citizens, born in Arizona: Stacy, 12, Rodrigo, 12, Danielle, 11, Jose Antonio, 5, and Guadalupe, 3. I take Stacy, Rodrigo, and Danielle to Montebello Middle School every morning. My children are my life.

Please tell ICE to cancel my deportation. Family unity is a human right!

Click the link above to send an e-mail to ICE.


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

Immigration Article of the Day: The Role of the Federal Executive in Catalyzing State Legislation on Immigration by Pratheepan Gulasekaram and Karthick Ramakrishnan

The Role of the Federal Executive in Catalyzing State Legislation on Immigration by Pratheepan Gulasekaram Santa Clara University School of Law and Karthick Ramakrishnan University of California, Riverside October 9, 2013

Abstract: Prior to 2007, the role of federal executive action in shaping immigration legislation focused largely on efforts at the national level. As Congress debated Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposals between 2001 and 2007, the Bush administration stepped up border enforcement and workplace raids, largely in an effort to show Congress that it was serious about enforcement as a key part of a comprehensive plan to solve the nation’s problem of unauthorized immigration. In prior work, we have shown that restrictive issue entrepreneurs on immigration succeeded in countering this narrative, stalemating Congressional action on comprehensive reform, and generating new state- and local-level legislation targeting unauthorized immigrants. Recently, we have seen that the wave of restrictive legislation has ebbed, and since 2012, there has been a new wave of pro-immigrant legislation emanating from the states. What accounts for this recent momentum reversal in the types of legislation being passed at the state level? Part of the answer certainly lies in the courts, as the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts placed significant limits on state enforcement schemes on immigration enforcement in 2012 and 2013 after signaling some openness in prior years on matters such as employer sanctions. Another part of the answer may lie in the political dynamics of the 2012 election, which showed the growing power of the immigrant vote, particularly among Latinos. However, another factor that has received comparatively little attention is the role of the federal executive in tipping the scales towards more permissive legislation on immigration at the state level. In this paper, we lay out a systematic conceptual framework with which to classify the relationship between federal executive action and state-level legislation. Next, we focus on three key moments in state-level legislation on immigration over the past decade, to flesh out the circumstances under which federal executive action may prompt an increase in state legislation on immigration, either in a permissive or restrictive direction. These include: 1) the inability of the Obama administration in its first term to use enforcement schemes as a way to defuse state-level demands for restrictive legislation, 2) the indirect effects of Deferred Action in dislodging states from a post-9/11 status quo on driver licenses and generating a new wave of permissive legislation, and 3) the intentional, yet calibrated, way that the federal government has engaged with state demands for exemptions from enforcement schemes such as Secure Communities, while at the same time signaling to Congress its seriousness about immigration enforcement.


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


Sister simone

The UC Davis School of Law is pleased to present the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture on Social Justice featuring Sister Simone Campbell. Campbell will deliver a lecture titled, "We the People: The Challenging Intersection of Law & Politics" on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. at King Hall on the UC Davis campus. Campbell is a 1977 graduate of the School of Law.

Campbell is the executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social-justice lobby based in Washington, D.C. Campbell is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for the poor. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, health care and economic justice. During the 2010 congressional debate about health-care reform, she wrote the famous "nuns' letter" supporting the reform bill. This action was cited by many as critically important in passing the Affordable Care Act. She was thanked by President Obama and invited to the ceremony celebrating its being signed into law.

In 2012, Campbell was instrumental in organizing the "Nuns on the Bus" tour of nine states to oppose the "Ryan Budget" approved by the House of Representatives. Campbell was a featured speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and "Nuns on the Bus" received media attention across the nation. Campbell has often been featured in the national and international media, including "60 Minutes," "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

UC Davis School of Law is housed in King Hall, named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of his pursuit of civil rights, equality, and education.



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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CNN Poll: GOP & tea party unfavorables at all-time highs