Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Looking to break into clinical law teaching?

The University of Minnesota is accepting applications for a 2-year teaching fellowship with its Center for New Americans. The center emcompasses three interrelated clinics: The Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, The Detainee Rights Clinic, and the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic.

It's a great opportunity for someone looking to break into clinical law teaching.


October 28, 2014 in Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: American Justice 2014: Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court by Garrett Epps

American justice

American Justice 2014: Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court by Garrett Epps

In this provocative and insightful book, constitutional scholar and journalist Garrett Epps reviews the key decisions of the 2013–2014 Supreme Court term through the words of the nation's nine most powerful legal authorities. Epps succinctly outlines one opinion or dissent from each justice during the recent term, using it to illuminate the political and ideological views that prevail on the court. The result is a highly readable summary of the term's most controversial cases as well as a probing investigation of the issues and personalities that shape the court's decisions. Accompanied by a concise overview of Supreme Court procedure and brief case summaries, American Justice 2014 is an engaging and instructive read for seasoned court-watchers as well as legal novices eager for an introduction to the least-understood branch of government. This revealing portrait of a year in legal action dramatizes the ways that the Court has come to reflect and encourage the polarization that increasingly defines American politics.

Garrett Epps is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and The American Prospect. His most recent book, American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution, was named a finalist for the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award. Epps is Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore.


October 28, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rumors Abound About Obama Administration's Executive Action on Immigration: The Latest Headline -- "Immigration officer union sounds alarm over DHS order for millions of blank work permits, green cards"



Fox News is reporting that a union that represents federal immigration officers is raising alarm after the U.S. government ordered supplies to create work permits and green cards, touching off speculation that the Obama administration may be preparing executive action on immigration. The Associated Press reported last week that a federal contract proposal from the Homeland Security Department would allow the government to buy enough supplies to make as many as 34 million work permits and residency cards over the next five years. Kenneth Palinkas, the president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, said in a press release Monday that he believes the move indicates the administration is planning to enact “massive unilateral amnesty” after the midterm elections.


October 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Oscar Taveras | Outfielder St Louis Cardinals (RIP)


Oscar Taveras | Outfielder St Louis Cardinals

Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were tragically killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder and top prospect was set to compete for a starting job in the St. Louis Cardinals outfield in 2015.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Taveras (born June 19, 1992) played as a rookie in the 2014 National League Championship Series for the St. Louis Cardinals.  He hit a game-tying pinch-hit home run, helping to propel the Cardinals to a victory over the Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS.

Taveres was one of the highest-rated prospects in all of Minor League Baseball. He was the recipient of many awards and won batting titles in three minor leagues, including in the Midwest League with a .386 batting average in 2011. Through 2013, Taveras' career minor league batting average was .320 with 45 home runs and 275 runs batted in in 374 games.



October 28, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Structural Violence and Migrant Deaths in Southern Arizona: Data from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990-2013 by Daniel E. Martínez, Robin C. Reineke, Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, Bruce O. Parks

Structural Violence and Migrant Deaths in Southern Arizona: Data from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990-2013 by Daniel E. Martínez, Robin C. Reineke, Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, Bruce O. Parks

Executive Summary This article analyzes numeric trends and demographic characteristics of undocumented border crossers (UBCs) who have perished in southern Arizona between 1990 and 2013 in the area covered by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME) in Tucson, Arizona. Of 2,413 UBC decedents investigated during this period, 95 percent died after 1999 and 65 percent after 2005. The rate of UBC deaths in the Tucson Border Patrol Sector has been consistently high, with an average of nearly 163 deaths investigated per year between 1999 and 2013. The increase in border enforcement during the mid-to-late 1990s, which led to a shifting of unauthorized migration flows into more desolate areas, coincided with an increase in migrant remains investigated by the PCOME. Despite a decrease in the number of unauthorized crossers traversing the area as measured by the number of Border Patrol apprehensions in the Tucson Sector, the number of remains examined for every 100,000 apprehensions nearly doubled between 2009 and 2011. These findings suggest that migrants are being forced to travel for longer periods of time through remote areas in an attempt to avoid detection by US authorities, thus increasing the probability of death. The typical UBC decedent can be described as a male near the age of 30 from central or southern Mexico who perished in a remote area of southern Arizona after attempting to cross into the United States. Nevertheless, the share of non-Mexican UBCs in the region has increased notably over time. The findings show other important differences in UBC decedent characteristics across time periods, which speak to the dynamic nature of unauthorized migration as a social process. The authors contend that these deaths and demographic changes are the result of structural and political transformations over the past two decades. They argue that the tragic, yet mostly preventable, migrant deaths in southern Arizona constitute a form of structural violence.


October 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Residents ask Illegal Pete's to change name


Photo Courtesy of IllegalPetes.com

The Coloradoan reports that, weeks away from a new Illegal Pete's in Fort Collins, Colorado, restaurant owner Pete Turner went to Fort Collins and heard a crowd of concerned residents ask that he change his business' name from Illegal Pete's. The name Illegal Pete's, Turner says, is a  reference to a bar in a novel he read as an English major in college. "Pete" also refers to his own name and his father's. When he started the restaurant in 1995, Turner hoped the name would be ambiguous enough to spark people's interest, perhaps referring to counterculture activity.


October 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Gray Mountain by John Grisham


Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Here is a description of the the latest from John Grisham:  The Great Recession of 2008 left many young professionals out of work. Promising careers were suddenly ended as banks, hedge funds, and law firms engaged in mass lay-offs and brutal belt tightening. Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at Scully & Pershing, New York City’s largest law firm. Two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, and her future. A week later she was working as an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. There, for the first time in her career, she was confronted with real clients with real problems. She also stumbled across secrets that should have remained buried deep in the mountains forever.

I read this book over the weekend.  It was a quick and interesting read.  Grisham lets us know where he sees rewards in law practice and what those rewards are -- it is not all about money. 


October 27, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

11 Offensive "Latina" Costumes You Shouldn't Wear This Halloween

Immigrant of the Day: Hector Ruiz From Mexico | CEO of Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions


Hector Ruiz From Mexico | CEO of Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions

Hector Ruiz is a founder and the current chairman of Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions. He began his work in technology at Texas Instruments, then spent 22 years at Motorola, where he served as president of the company’s Semiconductor Products Sector. In 2000 he became president and CEO of AMD and spun out its manufacturing assets to form GlobalFoundries, the first global semiconductor manufacturing company. Electronic Business named Ruiz “CEO of the Year” in 2005.


October 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DHS to Expand Haitian Family Reunification

Immigration Impact reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last week announced a new Haitian Family Reunification Parole program to allow certain Haitians facing years-long waits for visas to come early and work in the United States. The program responds to bipartisan requests from legislators since the devastating Haitian earthquake of January 2010. More than 100,000 Haitians have been approved for visas to join family members but, most are still in Haiti waiting up to a dozen years, because of numerical quotas for visa issuances. The U.S. only issued about 10,000 visas, or similar adjustments of status, to Haitians in fiscal year 2013. The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program will allow some of these Haitians to come to the United States up to two years before their “visa priority dates” come up.


October 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Obama is not helping children who face deportation alone

Laila Hlass questions the Obama administration's fast tracking of unaccompanied and unrepresented minors in this Boston Globe op/ed.


October 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigrant Victims, Immigrant Accusers by Michael Kagan


Immigrant Victims, Immigrant Accusers by Michael Kagan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law 2015 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 48, 2015, Forthcoming UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper

Abstract: The U Visa program provides an immigration status to noncitizen victims of crime, which is essential to prevent unauthorized immigrants from being afraid to seek help from the police, and thus becoming easy prey for criminals. This visa falls into a category of immigration programs that grant benefits on the basis of victim status, rather than on family or employment connections to the United States. But the federal government structured the U Visa program so that in order to be protected as a victim, a person must also become an accuser. The U Visa thus implicates the rights of third parties, the accused defendants, who are themselves likely to be immigrants and who may be deported because of the accusations leveled by U Visa recipients. This mixing of roles between victim and accuser is problematic because recent state court decisions have permitted defendants to cross-examine accusers about their desire to obtain immigration benefits in exchange for testimony. Defendants in these cases, who are likely to be male immigrants, have good reason to take advantage of this defense strategy to fight back against a system that easily perceives men of color as violent perpetrators while immigrant women are more easily seen as victims in need of protection. But this adds a new obstacle for immigrant victims to obtain law enforcement protection and justice through criminal prosecution. The solution to these emerging problems is to separate the role of victim from the role of accuser as much as possible. This article suggests several models that might accomplish this goal.


October 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sacramento shooting suspect was deported twice, had drug conviction

A tragic event on Friday in Sacramento, California will likely result in discussions in the region about the efficacy of U.S. immigration enforcement.

The Sacramento Bee reports that police investigators were reviewing the backgrounds of a couple most recently from Utah accused in the killings of two law enforcement officers and wounding another one.  Federal authorities reportedly are saying that the 34-year-old man charged in the slayings has used at least two identities and has previously been deported from the United States on two occasions.

Law enforcement has identified the suspect as Marcelo Marquez, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that his name actually is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte. Monroy-Bracamonte was first deported to Mexico in 1997 following his arrest and conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale; he was arrested and returned to Mexico a second time in 2001.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the agency had filed an immigration detainer against him asking that he be turned over to federal authorities if and when he is released by local law enforcement.

Sheriff’s officials booked Monroy-Bracamonte into the Sacramento County jail on two counts each of murder, attempted murder and carjacking. His wife, Janelle Marquez Monroy, 38, faces a count of attempted murder and two counts of carjacking.

UPDATS (10/28):  Here is more information and commentary on the immigration issues raised by the case.  The comments offer a glimpse about how heated the discussion might get.

UPDATE (10/28):  Not surprisingly, Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has blamed the federal government for allowing the murder suspect to remain in the country and has sought to capitialize politically on the tragedy.

UPDATE (10/29):  Jennifer Medina and Julia Preston of the New York Times provide more background about the immigration status, criminal and removal history, and multiple aliases of the Sacramento shooting suspect. 


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

North Carolina Dreamers to Hillary Clinton: Will You Stand With Our Parents and Demand President to Act?


Nine Dreamers from North Carolina confronted former Senator Hillary Clinton during a campaign speech for North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, demanding that she stand with parents of Dreamers and urge President Obama to provide deportation relief to millions without further delay.

Oliver Merino, a Dreamer from Charlotte and member of the Dream Organizing , issued the following statement,

“As a presidential hopeful in 2016, the Latino and immigrant communities need to know whether Hillary Clinton stands with our families or with the Deportation Party, one who has overseen more than 2 million deportations under President Obama. And unfortunately, she again refused to answer whether she supports the President using his executive authority to protect people like my mother, and the parents of Dreamers across the country, and we demand an answer.”

“Our message was clear: If Hillary Clinton hopes to be President, she must not use our families and our parents as pawns of a political game, but instead must do everything within her power to protect them. My mother sacrificed everything for me, and she shouldn’t have to continue living in perpetual fear of being torn from her family.”

“Moving forward, the President, with the support from Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton, must act for our community in a significant way, by providing relief from deportation to millions of immigrants. In doing so, his action will define both parties for generations. Our families need leaders, and Hillary Clinton must take a stand.”

United We Dream is an immigrant youth-led organization made up of 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. 


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

The Immigrant Justice Clinic in Artesia

This past week, Professor Jayesh Rathod, Director of American University WCL's Immigrant Justice Clinic, traveled to Artesia, NM with eight of his clinic students. They spent the week working with women and children detained in New Mexico.

The clinic students made videos about their experiences. I think these two are particularly compelling and would make great additions to the classroom.

In the first video, a student talks about the sick children at Artesia.

In this second video, three students discuss the difficulties facing indigenous clients at Artesia, including translation issues.

Kudos for accomplishing what was clearly a terrific clinic experience!


October 26, 2014 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Citizenship Revocation, the Privilege to Have Rights and the Production of the Alien by Audrey Macklin


Citizenship Revocation, the Privilege to Have Rights and the Production of the Alien by Audrey Macklin, University of Toronto - Faculty of Law October 12, 2014

Abstract: Citizenship revocation has emerged in the UK and Canada as a supplement to the counter-terrorism toolkit, and is on the legislative agenda elsewhere. Citizens who engage in conduct deemed threatening to national security face potential deprivation of citizenship through the exercise of executive discretion. The author situates citizenship revocation within the evolving field of 'crimmigration', as well as in its historical context. The new 'two-step exile' extends the functionality of immigration law by turning citizens into deportable aliens: first, strip citizenship; second, deport the newly minted alien. This revival of banishment raises various normative, legal and practical considerations. The paper critically engages with the depiction of citizenship as a privilege versus a right, and citizenship revocation for misconduct as constructive breach of the social contract versus punishment. It argues that citizenship revocation as conceived under both the UK and Canadian regimes is essentially punitive. It then analyses the legality of citizenship revocation under international law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, using US Supreme Court judgments on expatriation as a relevant source of comparative jurisprudence.


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

Immigrant of the Day: Alejandro Mayorkas From Cuba | Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Immigration Article of the Day: Effective Plea Bargains for Noncitizens by Craig Estlinbaum

Effective Plea Bargains for Noncitizens by Craig Estlinbaum 130th Judicial District Court; South Texas College of Law September 2, 2014 The Scholar Vol. 16, pp. 607-629 (2014)

Abstract: In Padilla v. Kentucky, the United States Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires criminal defense attorneys to advise non-citizen clients regarding the deportation risks associated with a guilty plea. The Court held in that case that a defendant's guilty plea may be involuntarily made when defense counsel fails to advise the client about those deportation risks. Trial judges accepting guilty pleas from criminal defendants have a duty to confirm the defendant makes the plea voluntarily and intelligently. Judges make this determination through the plea colloquy -- a series of admonishments and questions with the pleading defendant done prior to accepting the plea. Padilla at a minimum requires trial judges to inquire whether or not the defendant is a non-citizen, and if so, whether the defendant has received the correct advice regarding the guilty plea's immigration consequences. The judge's failure to do so may result in a conviction tainted by ineffective assistance or supported by a plea not voluntarily and intelligently made.

This Article suggests trial judges should take affirmative steps prior to accepting a non-citizen's plea to reveal whether counsel has provided relevant and correct immigration advice to the defendant. Part I discusses Padilla's facts, rationale and holding, Part II discusses the requirement for a voluntary and intelligently made guilty plea in modern plea bargain jurisprudence and Part III discusses the process for obtaining post-conviction relief for Sixth Amendment violations under Strickland v. Washington's ineffective assistance standard. Part IV closes by discussing best practices for trial judges and counsel to safeguard a non-citizen's rights while developing a record that anticipates post-conviction Sixth Amendment claims.


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

Immigrant of the Day: Gregor Blanco (Venezuela), San Francisco Giants

Born in Venezuela, Gregor Blanco is the center fielder and leadoff hitter for the San Francisco Giants and played in the team's Game 3 of the World Series last night.  He also has played with the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals.  Blanco signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants in November 2011, and was selected to be part of the Giants' 2012 Opening Day roster as an outfielder.

The San Francisco Giants won the third game of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 5-4 walk-off win in 10 innings. With a runner on base, Blanco squared up to sacrifice bunt.  He bunted and the pitcher threw the ball into right field allowing the runner to score.


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

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Facts on Immigration Today

Here is a handy dandy fact sheet on immigration from the Center for American Progess.  The facts are broken down into the following sections:

• Today’s immigrant population

• Demographics and political power of new Americans

• Immigrants and the economy

• Federal immigration policy

• Public opinion polling on immigration

• In the news: Unaccompanied children at the U.S. southern border


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