Saturday, January 31, 2015

NPR: Some Businesses Say Immigrant Workers Are Harder To Find, State and Local Immigration Enforcement Laws and Policies Contribute to Problem

NPR reports that at Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., workers cut up chicken breasts. The work here can be physically demanding. Not a lot of people want to do it — even though the average wage here is $16 per hour plus benefits.  Tom Hensley, the company president, says Fieldale Farms hires just about anyone who can pass a drug test.

President Obama's executive actions on immigration, announced in November, will allow an estimated 4 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to stay in the country indefinitely. But without congressional action, many of the long-term problems in the immigration system — including work shortages like that at Fieldale Farms —remain unaddressed.

State and local immigration enforcement laws appear to have contributed to the labor problems of employers.  Today, only about one-third of the workers here are from Latin America. In 2011, Georgia passed one of the strictest immigration enforcement bills in the country. Before that, the county became part of a federal program that designated local police to help find undocumented workers. Arturo Corso, a local activist and lawyer, says Latino residents were stopped for minor offenses. Those who didn't have the right papers risked being taken to jail and deported.


January 31, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Migration, Incorporation, and Change in an Interconnected World By Syed Ali, Doug Hartmann


Migration, Incorporation, and Change in an Interconnected World By Syed Ali, Doug Hartmann

Written in engaging and approachable prose, Migration, Incorporation, and Change in an Interconnected World covers the bulk of material a student needs to get a good sense of the empirical and theoretical trends in the field of migration studies, while being short enough that professors can easily build their courses around it without hesitating to assign additional readings. Taking a unique approach, Ali and Hartmann focus on what they consider the important topics and the potential route the field is going to take, and incorporate a conceptual lens that makes this much more than a simple relaying of facts.

Syed Ali is an associate professor of sociology at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently the co-editor of Contexts Magazine, and is the author of Dubai: Gilded Cage. He is also an Ultimate Frisbee player and a potter.

Douglas Hartmann (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, 1997) is Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Race, Culture, and the Revolt of the Black Athlete: The 1968 Olympic Protests and Their Aftermath (University of Chicago Press, 2003), and co-author of Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World (Pine Forge Press, 2007 with Stephen Cornell). Hartmann’s work has also appeared in the American Sociological Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, and Social Problems, and his comments on sport, race, popular culture, religion, and multiculturalism have been featured in magazines and newspapers around the country as well as on television and radio. In addition, Professor Hartmann is President of the Midwest Sociological Society (MSS), and co-editor and publisher (with Chris Uggen) of the award-winning Hartmann is currently working on a book entitled "Midnight Basketball, Race, and Neoliberal Social Policy."


January 31, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)



The ABA and its Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and the Commission on Immigration invite you to this very timely panel discussion on Executive Action in Immigration Law with some of the nation’s foremost experts. It truly is an extraordinary group of speakers.

Topics to be discussed include: DACA and DAPA, Enforcement Issues, Litigation Updates, Implications, Congressional Action, and what to advise clients who fall under the Executive Action.

The programs is at the ABA Mid-Year meeting on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Moderator: Crystal Ayala, Univision 45 Houston – Emmy Nominated Journalist

Thomas A. Saenz MALDEF President & General Counsel

Professor Michael A. Olivas University of Houston Law Center Dir. Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance

Professor Leticia Saucedo UC Davis School of Law


January 31, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 30, 2015

At the Movies: Please Don't Bury Me Alive! (1976)

How immigrant “Main Street” businesses help local economies grow

A new report from Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) and the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) explores ways in which immigrant small businesses contribute to local economies. In addition to quantifying the role of immigrants as small business owners in the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, the report takes an in-depth look at how immigrant entrepreneurship has promoted economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in three cities: Philadelphia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Nashville.


January 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chinese Immigrants in the United States

This Migration Policy Institute paper is chock full of information about Chinese immigrants living in the United States.

Chinese migration to the United States is a history of two parts: a first wave from the 1850s to 1880s, halted by federal laws restricting Chinese immigration; and a second wave from the late 1970s to the present, following normalization of U.S.-Chinese relations and changes to U.S. and Chinese migration policies. Chinese immigrants are now the third-largest foreign-born group in the United States after Mexicans and Indians, numbering more than 2 million and comprising 5 percent of the overall immigrant population in 2013.






January 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

From the Bookshelves: The Legitimacy of The European Union through Legal Rationality: Free Movement of Third Country Nationals by Richard Ball


The Legitimacy of The European Union through Legal Rationality: Free Movement of Third Country Nationals by Richard Ball

Third country nationals (TCNs) play an important part in the economy of the European Union, reflected in the rights granted to them under European Union Law. Political expediency is however shaped by world, regional and domestic influences that in turn determine policy towards third country nationals and their legal rights to freedom of movement. This book examines the concept of political legitimacy within the European Union through the principles of legal rationality, focusing in particular on the European Union’s policy towards third country nationals. Richard Ball argues that for legal doctrine to be rational it must display the requirements of formal, instrumental and substantive rationality, each mutually exclusive and essential. In taking this position of legal rationality, the book focuses on free movement rights of TCNs within EU treaties and implementing legislation, the Area of Freedom Security and Justice, and Association Agreements. Ball concludes that the stance of European Union Law towards third country nationals lacks legitimacy, and suggests possible new directions that EU policy should take in the future.


January 30, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)



Social commentator and photographer David Bacon looks at the contemporary political battle over immigration and the impact on immigrant workers in this article.


January 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

USCIS Announces that Expanded DACA Available Feb. 18, 2015



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it will accept applications for expanded deferred action beginning on February 18, 2015; USCIS will not accept requests for expanded DACA before that date.

What does this mean?  On February 18, 2015 eligible individuals who were brought to the United States by their parents or arrived as children before their 16th birthday will be able to apply for expanded DACA regardless of how old they are now if they have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010.  For more details, click here.


January 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Occupational and Geographic Choices of Working Mexican-American Immigrants by André Rossi Oliveira, Rossitza B. Wooster, Michael Paruszkiewicz

Occupational and Geographic Choices of Working Mexican-American Immigrants by André Rossi Oliveira Utah Valley University - Woodbury School of Business, Finance and Economics Department, Rossitza B. Wooster Portland State University, and Michael Paruszkiewicz Northwest Economic Research Center, Portland State University January 17, 2015

Abstract: The economic and social significance of Mexico-US labor migration is difficult to overstate, and its truly unique circumstances – the physical contiguity of the world’s largest economy and the massive and mobile labor force of a substantially less developed country chief among them – provide compelling motivation for analysis of the issue. The implications of millions of foreign-born workers entering the US economy are both enormous and nebulous. This paper examines the geographic and occupational destinations of Mexican immigrants using a multinomial logit model of migrant choice. Our analysis of EMIF Norte Border Survey data empirically confirms several key anecdotal observations: that this particular immigrant population is highly reliant on informal social networks to mitigate occupational downgrading upon entry to the US market, that those networks also largely determine the geographic choices of immigrants, and that both sectoral and spatial dispersion over time have added to the list of traditional immigrant “gateway” locations. These results are of particular relevance to the sustainability of rapid urban development in metropolitan fueled in part by migrant labor supply shocks. Efficient and sustainable outcomes for immigrant workers and the communities that receive them will depend on the responsiveness and foresight of local socioeconomic policy.


January 30, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Citizenship Exams in the Classroom

Could your students pass the citizenship exam? I quiz my Immigration Law students every year. I find that naturalized USCs and government majors tend to ace it. Others struggle. (Admit it, did you realize Publius was one of the writers of the U.S. Constitution? Check out question 67.)

The NYT reports that several states are now requiring high school students to pass the citizenship exam before they can graduate. Passing is defined as 60%, which is the score immigrants need for naturalization.

Arizona was the first state to pass such a law, which it did earlier this month. And other states are following suit:

North Dakota’s House of Representatives has passed a comparable bill, and its Senate approved it Tuesday; legislators in Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and seven other states have recently introduced similar initiatives.

For those high school students looking for a little extra motivation (or for profs looking for a nice video for class), check out late-night personality Craig Ferguson on his citizenship test.



January 29, 2015 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why immigration opponents don’t get it

Jennifer Rubin in "Right Turn" blog -- which offers conservative perspectives -- of the Washington Post states the following about the debate over the economic impacts of immigration:

"For conservatives to argue that immigrants are stealing our jobs and our economy is erroneous, even if one excludes workers without a high school diploma, and the assertion that immigration harms our economy is wrong and frankly embarrassing. We know that those without a high school diploma are the only group of U.S. workers whose wage rates are negatively affected by current immigration, albeit in a tiny amount. The overall benefit from immigration to the economy in productivity, growth, tax revenue and other indicators cannot really be disputed."

Unfortunately, many political leaders, including Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) in questioning Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch yesterday, often accuses immigrant workers of undermining the wage scale and job prospects of U.S. citizens.



January 29, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: States' Lawsuit Against Executive Action More Politics than Substance by Lynne H. Rambo


States' Lawsuit Against Executive Action More Politics than Substance by Lynne H. Rambo, Texas A&M University School of Law January 13, 2015 American Immigration Council, January 2015

Abstract: 25 states, led by Texas, have sued to enjoin Department of Homeland Security officials from adhering to President Obama's directive that (1) the parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who have lived here five years without serious incident and (2) expanding upon a 2012 directive, immigrants who came here as children and have already lived here several years without serious incident, be granted deferred action status. The case is political grandstanding. President Obama did not act improperly, much less unconstitutionally, because Congress has expressly conferred on the executive the authority to "establish policies and priorities" with respect to removal actions, and, in any event, has acquiesced in the decisions by numerous Presidents to grant deferred action status to various groups.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  For what it is worth, I think that Professor Rambo has it exactly right.


January 29, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More from Lynch Confirmation

The New York Times has a nice under-2 minute clip of Loretta Lynch discussing immigration at her confirmation hearing. Click here to watch.


January 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stephen Manning on Ending Artesia

photo via ILG

Immprof extraordinaire Stephen Manning has a marvelous new article: Ending Artesia. It discusses the influx of Central American migrants in the summer of 2014 and the U.S. response: detention of mothers and children in Artesia, NM.

His focus is on the volunteer attorneys who went to Artesia to represent these migrants as part of the AILA-AIC Artesia Pro Bono Project. It covers:

how the project happened, the grassroots volunteers who energized it, the technology that stitched the pieces of it together, and the leadership of AILA and AIC in embracing and shepherding the project dynamically to create a new model of pro bono legal services that collectively draws on the strengths of advocates across the nation.

The rapid pro bono response to Artesia was, as Manning notes, impressive in speed and scope. And it started with a promise to "every mother and to every child detained in Artesia: we shall not leave you." And they didn't.

As family detention continues, the AILA-AIC Artesia Pro Bono Project's use of remote teams and on-the-ground volunteers offers a new model for providing quality representation. But, as Manning notes, wouldn't it be better to simply end the detention of families who have passed an initial credible fear finding?


January 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ending Artesia by Stephen Manning

Thanks to LEXIS NEXIS Legal Newsroom:  Immigration Law for spotlighting this report, which it describes as about a moral, ethical, humanitarian and legal crisis and is essential reading for every lawyer, and every journalist, in America. 


January 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama’s Immigration Announcement and its Aftermath: Perpetuating the Myth of the "Criminal Alien"


On Border Criminologies, Yolanda Vázquez criticizes the myth of the “criminal alien” and their continued threat to the nation that permeated President Obama’s speech in November announcing his immigration initiatives:  

"Boasting that the deportation of `criminal aliens' during his administration was up 80 percent, Obama implied that `criminal aliens' have been running rampant throughout the United States, causing violence and devastation. Even though unauthorized immigration is a civil immigration violation, President Obama’s speech conflated it with the current political trend, that unauthorized immigrants were `criminals;' They are `dangerous' for the mere act of crossing a border without permission. They have become a subset of the `criminal alien.'”


January 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Professors Weigh in in Kerry v. Din

ImmigrationProf has been covering Kerry v. Din, a case pending in the Supreme Court in which the doctrine of consular nonreviewability is at issue. 

Six amici curiae briefs have been filed, all on behalf of Respondent Fauzia Din.  One of the briefs was submitted on behalf of 73 professors and academics who teach immigration law at law schools throughout the United States.   ImmigrationProf bloggers Kit Johnson and Rose Villazor were among the amici.  Here is the summary of the argument from that brief:

"This brief is submitted to provide the Court with historical background regarding the origins, nature, evolution, and limits of the so-called doctrine of consular non-reviewability. In Part A, we describe the initial adoption by Congress of a visa requirement and describe two important early cases that arose shortly thereafter, United States ex rel. London v. Phelps, 22 F.2d 288 (2d Cir. 1927), and United States ex rel. Ulrich v. Kellogg, 30 F.2d 984 (D.C. Cir. 1929). Although these cases are often cited as the cornerstone of consular non-reviewability, they do not support the position that consular decisions denying visas are inherently or absolutely unreviewable. As Part B explains, subsequent cases failed to reexamine these premises even in the face of significant statutory developments, such as the enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Immigration and Nationality Act, as well as the later elimination of the amount-in-controversy requirement for general federal question jurisdiction. In Part C, we describe this Court’s decision in Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972), which recognized limited review of visa decisions to ensure that the action had a “facially legitimate and bona fide” basis. The Mandel decision recognizes that judicial review is appropriate when the rights of U.S. citizens are at stake but limits the judicial role because of plenary power concerns. In Part D, we explore the development of this “facially legitimate and bona fide” standard and argue that, consistent with this standard, judicial review can and should include: (1) review of questions of law, to ensure that the decision of the consular officer does not violate the governing statute or regulations; (2) review to ensure that there is a bona fide factual basis for the decision; and (3) review to ensure that minimally fair procedures have been used in making the decision. This limited review respects the plenary power of Congress and the Executive Branch but also provides limited protection for the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens that are at stake. Finally, in Part E, we note that this interpretation of the “facially legitimate and bona fide” standard is fully consistent with 8 U.S.C. § 1182(b)(3), which limits the obligation of the government to provide details behind a denial based on certain grounds of inadmissibility."

The full brief is at Download 13-1402_amicus_resp_lawprofs.authcheckdam

Robert Pauw of Gibbs Houston Pauw is counsel of record on the law professors brief.

 Oral argument is set for February 23.  Stay tuned.


January 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congress to Sue Obama Administration on Immigration Initiatives?



A number of states, led by Texas, have filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the Obama administration's immigration initiatives.  Will Congress be next in line?

ABC News reports that Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans in a closed-door meeting that a lawsuit might be the best –- or only –- option to try and overturn President Obama’s executive action on immigration. “We are finalizing a plan to authorize litigation on this issue, one we believe gives us the best chance of success,” Boehner reportedly told GOP lawmakers at their weekly conference meeting.  One month before the Homeland Security Department runs out of funding, Republican leaders are looking for alternative ways to express their displeasure over the president’s immigration initiatives. The department runs out of money on Feb. 27 and Republican leaders are unwilling to risk another government shutdown.

UPDATE (1/29): CNN reports that Speaker Boehner confirmed that House Republicans are filing a lawsuit against President Obama's immigration initiatives. "The President's overreach when he took executive action to deal with the immigration problems in our country, frankly, in my view, is a violation of our Constitution."


January 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senate Confirmation Hearings on Attorney General Nominee to Begin


Senate confirmation hearings begin today on the nomination of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as President Obama’s next attorney general.  The Senate Judiciary Committee, now chaired by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) (and the first non-lawyer to chair the Judiciary Committee), members reportedly are set to question her aggressively on, among other topics, immigration law. "The hearings in the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee are expected to begin with Republican members asking Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, about whether she thinks Obama has overstepped his executive authority by deferring deportation for millions of illegal immigrants."

If I had the opportunity, I might ask Lynch whether the U.S. government was correct to have taken the aggressive positions that it did in the Supreme Court in removal cases like Moncrieffe v. Holder  (2013) (small amount of marijuana) and Mellouli v. Holder (drug paraphernalia conviction involving a sock used to conceal a prescription drug).  A conservative Court rejected the Obama administration's position in Moncrieffe and I predict that it will in Mellouli. These are just two cases in which the administration has taken tough litigation positions in immigration cases that the Court rejected.  For analysis of the administration's immigration record in the Supreme Court, click here.

UPDATE:  As discussed in The Hill, Lynch defended the Obama administration's immigration initiatives during the confirmation hearing.

Click here to watch the first day of the hearings.  Law professor Steve Legomsky is scheduled to testify tomorrow.    Here is his written statement, which defends the legality of the President's immigration initiatives.   Download Legomsky written testimony Senate Judiciary 01 29 15



January 28, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)