Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Frontiers of Immigration Research and Immigration Policy Conference, Jan. 22-23, 2015, UC Davis

1096000_wordmark-01Immigration has a deep impact on the economy, society and culture in the US and in the World. This conference brings together top world scholars who have analyzed the economic, demographic, political and social consequences of migrations. Their research will provide the facts and in-depth understanding that is much needed to inform immigration policies. A group of policy advisors and experts will then provide their perspective on the present and future of immigration reforms in the US.

Confirmed sessions and speakers include:

The Economic Effects of Immigrants
George Borjas, Harvard University
Christian Dustmann, University College London
Giovanni Peri, UC Davis

Foreign Scientists, Students and US Education and Innovation  
William Lincoln, Johns Hopkins University
John Bound, University of Michigan

Is the Second Generation Integrating?
Ruben Rumbaut, UC Irvine
Philip Kasinitz, CUNY
Jennifer Lee, UC Irvine
Alejandro Portes, Princeton University

Round Table: Asian and Latin American Immigration and Migration Policies
Mae Ngai, Columbia University
Natalia Molina, UC San Diego
Rose Cuison Villazor, UC Davis
Gabriel “Jack” Chin, UC Davis
Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis 


The Origins and Consequences of Migration Policies
Roberto Gonzales, Harvard University
Cecilia Menjivar, Arizona State University
David FitzGerald, UC San Diego
Marc Rosenblum, Migration Policy 

Migration and Economic Development in Sending Countries
Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development
Hein de Haas, International Migration Institute, University of Oxford
David McKenzie, World Bank
J. Ed Taylor, UC Davis

Panel: Innovative Views for the Next 20 Years of Migration Policies
Philippe Legrain, Journalist, The Economist
Manolo Abella, International Labour Organization
Kevin Johnson, UC Davis
Tim Kane, Hoover Institution

Concluding Remarks by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

Click here for more details.


June 26, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Bulletin to Law Enforcement on Federal Immigration Detainers

Kamala harris

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued an information bulletin to California law enforcement agencies that provides updated information on their responsibilities and potential liability for complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) federal detainer requests for undocumented immigrants. The updated bulletin informs state and local law enforcement agencies of new requirements they face since enactment of the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tool Act (TRUST Act) and new federal case law that creates legal risk for local law enforcement agencies that voluntarily comply with federal detainer requests.

“When local law enforcement officials are seen as de facto immigration enforcers, it erodes the trust between our peace officers and the communities they serve,” Attorney General Harris said. “Federal immigration detainers are voluntary and this bulletin supports the TRUST Act and law enforcement leaders’ discretion to utilize resources in the manner that best serves their communities.”


June 25, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Swiss Pin World Cup Hopes on Immigrants

Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison System

In rural Texas, 3,000 men are locked inside a “tent city,” sleeping in bunk beds spaced only a few feet apart. The tents are crawling with insects and the smell of broken, overflowing toilets. This is Willacy County Correctional Center: a physical symbol of everything that is wrong with enriching the private prison industry and criminalizing immigration. More than 25,000 low-security non-U.S. citizens languish at thirteen private prisons like Willacy under Criminal Alien Requirement (CAR) contracts. For years, these for-profit prisons have been able to operate in the shadows, effectively free from public scrutiny. That ends now.

Read this ACLU report.


June 25, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Room for Debate: Citizen of the State of New York



Yesterday, the New York Times Room for Debate focused on "Citizen of the State of New York."  In what is being portrayed as the new front on the immigration debate, New York State lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant state citizenship to some noncitizen residents — including undocumented immigrants — allowing them to vote and run for office. Is this a good idea? ImmigrationProf blogger Rose Cuison Villazor, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, suggested this discussion.


Peter L. Markowitz, law professor.  The New York is Home Act charts a path forward on immigration that states and the federal government could follow.

Ted Ruthizer, immigration lawyer.  We don’t advance the cause of comprehensive immigration reform by pretending that legalities don’t matter.

Peter Spiro, law professor.  There’s nothing in the Constitution to stop states from defining their own citizenship more generously.  For his op/ed piece on the New York bill, click here

Rose Cuison Villazor, law professor.  Participation in the political and legal process would help prepare noncitizens, documented or undocumented, for U.S. citizenship.


June 25, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Microsite Explaining Economics of Immigration Reform


AAF Solutions, a new initiative by the American Action Forum (@AAF), today unveiled a new “long page” microsite delivering a digestible, visually engaging presentation making the economic case for immigration reform. Through significant graphics, statistics and rolling screens, the microsite walks viewers through the many components and issues of immigration reform.

The AAF Solutions addresses core pieces of immigration reform, including: high skilled temporary workers; green cards for graduates from American universities with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; refocusing permanent immigration to a skills-based system; and smart immigration enforcement.

Click here to view the AAF Solutions “long page” microsite on immigration reform.


June 25, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: At the Borders of Sovereignty: Nationality and Immigration Policy in an Independent Scotland by Bernard Ryan

At the Borders of Sovereignty: Nationality and Immigration Policy in an Independent Scotland by Bernard Ryan, University of Leicester - School of Law June 15, 2014 (2014) 28 Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law 146-164 University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 14-19

Abstract: This article assesses the probable implications of Scottish independence for nationality and immigration law and policy, in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in the September 2014 referendum. It will firstly show that the Scottish Government plans to limit the implications of independence in the nationality field, but that some new Scottish citizens might lose British citizenship. In the immigration field, it will argue that intra-EU migration is one reason why, in the event of a successful referendum, a treaty should be put in place to ensure continuity of Scotland’s membership of the EU. In relation to immigration control, it will argue that the most likely outcome is that an independent Scotland would be part of the common travel area, rather than the Schengen zone. In relation to immigration policy, it will show that Scotland’s greater freedom of action after independence might be constrained by participation in EU immigration and asylum legislation.


June 25, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bipartisan House Bill Would Encourage Citizenship

Today, Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) and Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) announced that they are introducing the New American Success Act. The bill would help new Americans integrate quickly by working to smooth access to English-language, civics and other programs through the naturalization process. In remarks about the bill, Ros-Lehtinen highlighted the Bethlehem Project and the participation of many hotels in her district. Wendy Kallergis, CEO of the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association, attended the press conference announcing the bill.

The NAS Act would create several new programs to help aid New Americans in the quest to build their American Dream. Included among these are:

Establishing the National Office of New Americans and Task Force on New Americans in order to streamline and coordinate multiple immigrant integration initiatives at the federal and state level. The bill will establish a Task Force to examine integration policies and recommend actions to Congress and the Executive Branch.

Creating the Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance Grant Program which would make public, private, or non-profit organizations eligible for grant funding to assist immigrants who are currently participating in the naturalization process. These grants will work to ensure organizations that receive them are able to better prepare those whose ultimate goal is naturalization.

Establishing Integration Success Grants to enable states and some partnerships between municipalities and non-profits to compete for grant funding in the areas of civic, linguistic, and economic integration.


June 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nobel Laureates on the Importance of a Robust Immigration Policy in America


Recently, President Obama welcomed America's nine newest Nobel laureates to the Oval Office, where they shared perspectives on the importance of immigration reform. Listen to what they had to say here. Echoing these sentiments, Chief Technology Officer Todd Park wrote a powerful blogpost that explains how immigration reform would help America attract top talent from across the world.

June 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senate Confirms Leon Rodriguez as Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services

This afternoon, the United States Senate confirmed Leon Rodriguez as Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Rodriguez moves from his position as director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, where he has been since September 2011.

Details to follows.


June 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Viewpoints: ‘Dreamers,’ those brought illegally to U.S., deserve same loans as other students


University of California President Janet Napolitano, California State University Chancellor Timothy White, California Senator Ricardo Lara in this op/ed argue that 

"Undocumented students are more likely to come from low-income families. They often are the first in their families to attend college. Through their hard work and perseverance, these students have earned the opportunity to attend our public universities. Their accomplishments should not be disregarded, nor their future jeopardized, because of their legal status. It does a disservice to them and deprives us of what they can contribute to the future well-being of our state and nation. These students have worked hard to achieve their dream of a university education. We should work just as hard to ensure they have every chance to succeed, including providing them access to the same resources as their campus peers."


June 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hillary Clinton Would Deport Unaccompanied Children

From VOX:

Last week, Hillary Clinton discussed the growing child-migrant crisis in south Texas — and called for most of the tens of thousands of children and teenagers to be sent back to their home countries in Central America, as long as their parents could be found.

"We have to send a clear message: just because your child gets across the border doesn't mean your child gets to stay," Clinton said at a CNN-hosted town hall.

But there's one big problem with Clinton's proposal. About half of the children coming over the border could qualify for humanitarian protection under international or US law — although it often takes years to resolve this. Acting quickly and decisively, as Clinton wants, would basically mean ending the asylum process in the United States as we know it. Read more....


June 24, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Betrayal of the U.S." Allegation Not Legitimate in Boston Bombing Prosecution

From the Christian Science Monitor:

“Betrayal of the United States” is not a legitimate factor in determining whether or not Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty, a US district judge ruled Wednesday, adding that the government had other legitimate grounds to seek his execution.

In a court filing in May, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz had cited national “betrayal” as one of the reasons the prosecution was seeking a death sentence. Mr. Tsarnaev “received asylum from the United States; obtained citizenship and enjoyed freedoms of a United States citizen; and then betrayed his allegiance to the United States by killing and maiming people,” read the motion.

US District Judge George O’Toole Jr. called this argument “obnoxious,” and the distinction made by prosecutors between naturalized and native-born citizens “inappropriate.” Read more...


June 24, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Disturbing Photos of Mass Immigrant Detention

Photos from a humanitarian disaster

The flood of migrants—in particular, unaccompanied children—to the U.S. border in recent months is monumental. But sometimes you can get lost in the numbers and lose sight of the fact that the phenomenon is nothing less than a humanitarian disaster. The photos that Rep. Henry Cuéllar took of a Border Patrol detention facility in South Texas are disturbing and angering. Is this the best we can do? has a petition to demand that the Obama Administration immediately open all ICE detention facilities to independent monitors, reunite children with their families in the U.S., and provide legal representation and medical care for all of them.

Of the children who have recently arrived to the United States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that nearly two-thirds qualify for international protection due to violence and abuse in their home countries. Here is an interview with Leslie Vélez, senior protection officer at the UNHCR, that provides more detail on the violence that is driving young people to abandon Central America.  For more on this story, click here.


June 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Globalization and Labor Standards Annotated Bibliography: An Essential Research Tool by Katherine V.W. Stone


Globalization and Labor Standards Annotated Bibliography: An Essential Research Tool by Katherine V.W. Stone

The Globalization and Labor Standards (GALS) Annotated Bibliography is a compendium of articles about international labor rights, national and transnational labor standards, and comparative labor law that have been published in law journals. All of the articles in the library are abstracted and cross-referenced by subject. Each article is accompanied by an annotation that describes its contents clearly and concisely. The annotations have been written by Professor Katherine V.W. Stone with the help of her students at the Cornell Law School, the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and UCLA School of Law. This volume compiles all of the content in the GALS bibliographic library from 2000 to 2014.

The purpose of the book is to preserve the wealth of material developed over the past fifteen years and make it available to libraries and researchers. The GALS database has been used by lawyers, businesses, labor ! unions, organizations, individuals, non-profit organizations, the World Bank, the International Labor Organization, and numerous governmental entities in more than 140 countries.

Katherine V.W. Stone is the Arjay and Frances Miller Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. Her scholarship and teaching is primarily in the fields of labor law, arbitration law, contracts, and comparative labor law. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship Award and a Russell Sage Fellowship for her work on the changing nature of employment and the regulatory implications. Her book, From Widgets to Digits: Employment Regulation for the Changing Workplace (Cambridge University Press in 2004) won the 2005 Michael Harrington Award from the American Political Science Association for the “outstanding book that best links scholarship to struggles for justice in the real world”, and was named Finalist for the 2005 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Pro! blems. Her most recent book, Rethinking Workplace: After the Standard Contract of Employment, published in 2013, examines the changing employment landscape in ten industrialized nations and describes some initiatives to counteract the deterioration of job security and the employment-linked safety net.


June 24, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

VIVA Unaccompanied Minors: House Members Introduce Legislation To Provide Legal Representation Of Unaccompanied Minors

ImmigrationProf has reported on the flow of unaccompanied minors coming from Central America Early on, the Obama administration realized that the children would need attorneys to navigate through the U.S. immigration processes. 

Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Karen Bass (CA-37), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), and Judy Chu (CA-27) held a press conference to announce introduction of the Vulnerable Immigrant Voice Act of 2014 (VIVA). The legislation would provide legal representation to unaccompanied minors and mentally disabled individuals during immigration proceedings.

Since approximately 2006, there has been an influx in the amount of unaccompanied minors who cross the southern U.S. border. In 2011, the number of minors illegally entering the U.S. began to increase significantly. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated that an estimated 90,000 unaccompanied children will attempt to enter the country by the end of this year. Most of the minors attempting to cross into the U.S. are fleeing extremely violent environments in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

This legislation has the support of the following immigration advocacy groups: Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), United We Dream, National Council of La Raza, Farmworkers Justice, New York City Car Association, Safe Passage Project, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugees Advocacy Coalition, National Immigrant Justice Center, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Appleseed, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, First Focus Campaign for Children, SEIU, Women’s Refugee Commission, The Young Center, One America, Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), Asian Americans Advancing Justice- AAJC, Asian Americans Advancing Justice- Los Angeles, Human Rights First, National Immigration Law Center, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Immigration Forum, and the Detention Watch Network.

Elise Foley on Huffington Post reports on the legislation.


June 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Constituting the Democratic Public: New Zealand's Extension of National Voting Rights to Non-Citizens by Fiona Barker and Kate McMillan



Constituting the Democratic Public: New Zealand's Extension of National Voting Rights to Non-Citizens by Fiona Barker (Victoria University of Wellington) and  Kate McMillan (Victoria University of Wellington - Political Science and International Relations Programme) April 24, 2014 New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law, Volume 12, No. 1, 2014, Forthcoming

Abstract: Constituting the political community is a fundamental condition for the acts of ‘self’-government that characterise democracies. Numerous philosophical and practical considerations underpin decisions about who to include in, and exclude from, the political community. In one respect, New Zealand’s political membership is particularly liberal: it allows permanent residents to vote in national elections after only one year’s residence. Only three other countries, Chile, Malawi, and Uruguay, also allow non-citizens to vote in national elections, but have residency requirements of five, seven and eight years respectively. Little scholarly work, and even less public attention, has been devoted to why New Zealand extended the franchise to non-citizens in 1975, and to the political and social consequences of it doing so. This is puzzling in light of the fierce political debates about non-citizen voting that occur internationally, as many societies grapple with the question of whether, and how, large non-citizen immigrant populations should be included in the formal political community. The New Zealand case is of interest to political scientists internationally due to its uniqueness. It is also of interest to constitutional scholars in New Zealand and abroad because it illustrates concretely the interplay of different philosophies and traditions that have shaped New Zealand’s constitutional foundations and practice over time.

This article examines New Zealand's decision to grant non-citizens national voting rights and considers the question of whether the 1975 decision was the product of a peculiarly liberal impulse in New Zealand politics, or was another example of ad-hoc, pragmatic and reactive decision making with profound, albeit unintended, political consequences.


June 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Forgotten Crisis: Displacement in the Central African Republic

A Migration Policy Institute report, A Forgotten Crisis: Displacement in the Central African Republic, analyzes the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Central African Republic (CAR) has received scant world attention, even as more than 20 percent of the population of 4.25 million has been displaced as a result of deadly sectarian violence. This article examines the causes of the violence, the international community response, and the impacts of large-scale displacement within the country and beyond its borders.

"The Central African Republic is falling through the cracks of international attention,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said during a brief trip to the country earlier this year, where he called the crisis "a humanitarian catastrophe of unspeakable proportion.”


June 23, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dramatic Surge in the Arrival of Unaccompanied Children Has Deep Roots and No Simple Solutions

Muzaffar Chishti and Faye Hipsman write that the phenomenon of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, typically after an arduous and often dangerous journey through Central America and Mexico, has reached a crisis proportion, with a 90 percent spike in arrivals from last year and predictions of future increases ahead. While the immediate humanitarian situation has galvanized the attention of the Obama administration, policymakers, and the country at large, it is painfully clear that there are no simple solutions, whether in the short or medium term, to address the complex set of push and pull factors driving the rise in arrivals of unaccompanied alien children (UACs).


June 23, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Montana Immigration Enforcement Law Found Unconstitutional

On Friday, Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of the First Judicial District Court struck down the vast majority of Montana's voter-approved law requiring state agencies to determine an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status before granting a wide variety of state services. The law would have required denial of unemployment insurance benefits, licenses to practice trades or professions, enrollment in state universities, crime victim services, and infant hearing screenings to those who cannot prove their citizenship or immigration status.

The referendum, which was presented to Montana voters in the November 2012 election, passed with almost 80 percent of the vote. Before the law went into effect, the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance ("MIJA") brought a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. Shahid Haque-Hausrath, the President of the organization and an immigration attorney with the Border Crossing Law Firm, served as MIJA's lead attorney in the lawsuit. The Montana Attorney General's office defended the law, with former Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke serving as lead counsel on the case.

Judge Sherlock ruled in MIJA's favor, holding that the mandates upon state agencies to determine immigration status, and deny a wide variety of state services to "illegal aliens," are preempted by federal law as an impermissible regulation of immigration.

This law would have placed added burdens on all Montanans to prove citizenship, but would have especially burdened immigrants.

The only provision of the law that was allowed to stand is one that partially corresponds to federal law, and permits communication between state employees and the federal government regarding a person's immigration status. 

Judge Sherlock had previously granted a partial preliminary junction in March 2013, and had denied two separate motions brought by the state to dismiss the lawsuit.

Brian Miller of Morrison, Sherwood, Wilson & Deola, PLLP served as co-counsel in this litigation.

Copies of the ruling, as well as other materials, can be downloaded here.


June 23, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)