Saturday, October 24, 2015

Report Exposes How ICE’s Inspections Perpetuate and Obscure Abuse at Immigration Detention Centers Around the U.S.

T&HR Cover-graphic-web 620 px

A new report, Lives in Peril: How Ineffective Inspections Make ICE Complicit in Immigration Detention Abuse released this week by the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Detention Watch Network (DWN), exposes how the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inspections process for immigration detention centers obscures and perpetuates widespread abuses of detained immigrants. 

Here is part of the executive summary:

"A review of five years of ICE inspections for 105 of the largest immigration detention centers confirms that ICE’s oversight practices under the Obama administration remain fundamentally unchanged and unreformed. Public and private contractors who run detention facilities continue to make money without adequate oversight, and troubling conditions of detention persist for the more than 400,000 individuals who pass through ICE custody each year. In fact, detailed reviews of six facilities known to have troubling human rights records suggest that in some cases, ICE inspections allow facilities to obscure severe conditions problems and their inability to protect the rights and lives of detained immigrants."




October 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Exploited at the Intersection: A Critical Race Feminist Analysis of Undocumented Latina Workers and the Role of the Private Attorney General by Llezlie Green Coleman


Exploited at the Intersection: A Critical Race Feminist Analysis of Undocumented Latina Workers and the Role of the Private Attorney General by Llezlie Green Coleman, American University - Washington College of Law September 1, 2015, 22 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & the Law 397

Abstract: Undocumented Latina workers experience wage theft and other workplace exploitation at alarmingly high rates. The stock stories associated with immigrant workers often involve male day laborers or female domestic workers and fail to capture the experiences of women toiling in the farms, restaurants, factories, and home and business cleaning services that employ hundreds of thousands of immigrant women. The resulting invisibility of undocumented Latina women in the typical narratives parallels the paucity of undocumented Latina workers who make legal claims against their exploitative employers. Their distinct experiences are characterized by multiple intersecting vulnerabilities based upon their ethnicity, gender, and immigration status. Their vulnerability and their responses to workplace exploitation must also be understood with the context of intra-cultural narratives that complicate or discourage their ability to pursue their rights. This Article applies a critical race feminist analysis to the workplace exploitation of undocumented Latina workers by exploring cultural narratives that may impact how workers experience workplace exploitation and how they respond to exploitation. It posits that a critical race feminism lens permits us to better identify, analyze, and construct potential solutions to the lack of claims-making by undocumented Latina workers. Given the importance of private enforcement of this country’s wage and hour statutes, this Article positions private attorneys general, and their role as storytellers, as critical to the enforcement of Latina workers’ rights and argues that the collaboration of organizations and attorneys is necessary to achieve that end.


October 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Analysis of Dimaya v. Lynch - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2015) by Nicole Zanardi, UC Davis Law Student

Jennifer Koh blogged about this decision earlier this week.  Here is additional analysis by Nicole Zanardi, a student at UC Davis School of Law:

Dimaya v. Lynch - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2015)

 Summary of Decision

 A panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted petitioner’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeal’s (BIA) decision holding that his conviction of burglary under CA Penal Code § 459 is a categorical “crime of violence” as defined by 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F). The panel held that the language of 18 U.S.C. §16(b), incorporated into the “crime of violence” definition within 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F), is unconstitutionally vague. Accordingly, the panel remanded the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Petitioner James Garcia Dimaya, a native and citizen of the Philippines, was admitted to the United States in 1992. In 2007 and 2009, Dimaya was convicted of first-degree residential burglary under CA Penal Code § 459 and sentenced each time to two years in prison.

The Department of Homeland Security, citing those two convictions, charged that Dimaya was removable because he had been convicted of a “crime of violence for which the term of imprisonment was at least one year” – which is an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F). The Immigration Judge affirmed that Dimaya had in fact committed a “crime of violence,” which is defined in 18 U.S.C. §16(b) as:

(a) An offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or,

(b) Any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

The judge, citing 18 U.S.C. §16(b) and United States v. Becker, 919 F.2d 568, 573 (9th Cir. 1990), explained that “unlawful entry into a residence is by its very nature an offense where there is apt to be violence, whether in the efforts of the felon to escape or in the efforts of the occupant to resist the felon.” The judge concluded that, because the charging documents for each conviction alleged an unlawful entry, and because the term of imprisonment for each conviction was greater than one year, these convictions were crimes of violence and thus Dimaya was removable for having been convicted of an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F). In addition, he was ineligible for any relief.

Dimaya appealed this decision, but the BIA dismissed his claim. Instead, the BIA affirmed the Immigration Judge’s holding, finding that Dimaya’s conviction for burglary under CA Penal Code § 459 is a categorical “crime of violence” within 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F).

In an opinion by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, and joined by Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted Dimaya’s petition for review of the BIA’s finding under the idea that a noncitizen may bring a “void for vagueness challenge” to the definition of a crime of violence within the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The panel asserts that the Due Process Clause requires that a penal statute define the criminal defense with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited and in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. It goes on to analogize Dimaya’s case with United States v. Johnson, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015) in order to reach its finding. In Johnson, the Supreme Court found that the “residual clause” definition of a violent felony in the Armed Career Criminal Act was indeterminate and thus unconstitutionally vague.

The panel explains that the language of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) is unconstitutionally vague and arbitrary because it is subject to the same method of interpretation as the language of the residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act. Both the language of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) and the residual clause at issue in Johnson are subject to the categorical approach. This means that the court in each case must “look to the elements and the nature of the offense of conviction, rather than to the particular facts relating to petitioner’s crime.” This, explains the panel, in turn requires that the court engage in two analytical steps that are both unduly vague. First, it must decide what a “’usual or ordinary’ violation” of the statute entails, and then it must determine by vague and uncertain standards when a risk is sufficiently substantial as to go beyond the risk involved in an “ordinary case.” There is no guidance given to the court in determining what an ordinary case is, rather the “ordinary case” itself is imagined, not based on real facts or statutory elements. Nor is there guidance to direct the court on how to measure risk or how much risk there needs to be in order for the risk to go beyond the risk in an “ordinary case.” The panel concludes that because the categorical nature of the 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) language is subject to identical unpredictability and arbitrariness as the ACCA’s residual clause, it is another example of an unconstitutionally vague statutory standard.

The government challenges the panel’s position by arguing that the doctrine of statutory vagueness has been rejected in cases involving removal. However, the court counters that previously, it has recognized the vagueness doctrine’s applicability in the context of withholding of removal “because of the harsh consequences attached to . . . denial of withholding of removal.” For example, In Jordan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223, 231 (1951), the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the vagueness doctrine did not apply to deportation cases. In this case, Dimaya challenges a statute as unconstitutionally vague in the context of denial of cancellation of removal. This clearly falls within the “deportation case” context because denial of cancellation of removal renders an alien ineligible for relief, making deportation “a virtual certainty.” Further, As the Supreme Court recognized in Jordan, a necessary component of a non-citizen’s right to due process of law is the prohibition on vague deportation statutes. This promotes efficiency, fairness and predictability by protecting alien’s ability to “anticipate the immigration consequences of guilty pleas in criminal court.”

Although the government can point to a couple of minor distinctions between the text of the residual clause and that of the INA’s definition of a crime of violence, the panel maintains that not one undermines the applicability of Johnson’s fundamental holding to this case.

In dissent, Judge Consuelo Callahan focuses on these minor distinctions between 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) and the residual clause to assert that 18 U.S.C. 16(b) is not unconstitutionally vague under the Court’s decision in Johnson. Callahan concludes that 18 U.S.C. 16(b) does not suffer from either of the specific shortcomings that the Court identified in the residual clause: 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) does not leave grave uncertainty about how to estimate the risk posed by a crime in the burglary context, nor does it leave uncertainty about how much risk it takes for a burglary to qualify as a violent crime.

Callahan begins his argument by reminding us that § 16(b) is broader than § 16(a). Section 16(b) states that a crime of violence means “any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.” Thus, in using 16(b), a court will only have to decide whether, by the nature of the crime, there was a risk that the use of physical force against another might be required in committing the offense.

Callahan then turns back to Johnson to describe why 16(b) is not tainted by unconstitutional vagueness in the way that the residual clause was. First, he mentions that the Johnson decision does not prevent all uses of the “ordinary case” standard. Rather, it only prohibits uses that leave uncertain both how to estimate the risk and amount of risk necessary to qualify as a violent crime. Thus, reasons Callahan, the use of the “ordinary case” standard is functional in the present case, as there is no uncertainty in risk assessment: citing Leocal v. Ashcroft, 543 U.S. 1, 7 (2004), he points out that § 16(b) has been found to cover burglary crimes because by their nature crimes of burglary involve a substantial risk that the burglar will use force against a victim in completing the crime. Thus, burglary has been easily held an aggravated felony under § 16(b), as a “crime of violence” using the “ordinary case” approach. Callahan asserts that the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court (such as in Leocal v. Ashcroft) have consistently followed this reasoning. Callahan then asserts that there is no uncertainty as to how much risk it takes for a burglary to qualify as a crime of violence. Section 16(b) requires “substantial risk” of the use of physical force, and until now, the courts have not had trouble applying this standard in burglary cases to determine what substantial risk means, as seen in cases including Leocal v. Ashcroft and U.S. v. Becker.

The difference in opinion between the majority and Callahan’s dissent seems to hinge on 1) the difference in opinion on the scope of the Johnson decision and 2) the difference in opinion about how fact-specific v. generic a court’s assessment of risk in evaluating a crime should be.

The majority maintains that the present case falls directly within the scope of the Johnson opinion, whereas Callahan suggests that the Court in Johnson did not intend to do away completely with the “ordinary case” categorical approach in evaluating crimes, but only to limit this approach when evaluating risk is too uncertain. The majority argues that the court, in incorrectly using the “ordinary case” approach, was forced to guess, without any guidance, in measuring risk in Dimaya’s case and figuring out how much risk should be deemed too much. Callahan, on the other hand, found that because the crime of burglary by its nature involves substantial risk, and the standard “substantial risk” has been easily evaluated in burglary cases before, the court actually did have a form of generic guidance, and thus there was no unconstitutional uncertainty stemming from any lack of case-specific analysis.

 Importance for Immigration Law

The outcome of the Dimaya v. Lynch case is significant in its positive effect on immigration law for noncitizens. Specifically, the decision alters the scope of the effect that criminal convictions have on one’s risk of deportation. The court held that the INA’s definition for “crime of violence,” one of the several categories of convictions that amount to an aggravated felony under immigration law, is unconstitutionally void due to its vagueness. In doing so, the court reaffirmed the important right of noncitizens to bring a “void for vagueness challenge” to a crime of violence within the INA.

This is hugely important because it has the potential provide removal relief to countless noncitizens who face deportation. Hopefully, fewer noncitizens will be found deportable on this aggravated felony ground in the first place, because of the new potential for successful challenges against it. In addition, this decision will quite possibly lead to other categories of aggravated felony being challenged in circuit courts for the same sort of unconstitutional vagueness.

The decision also asserts the due process rights of noncitizens facing deportation. This is important because noncitizens do not enjoy many of the due process rights enjoyed by criminal defendants in the U.S., such as the right to counsel and the right to a jury trial. Hopefully, this decision is a step towards recognizing full due process rights for noncitizens.


October 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 23, 2015

The United States is Failing its Own Responsibilities Toward Refugees

As Europe deals with its massive refugee challenge and the United States agrees to assist by accepting up to 10,000 Syrian refugees among the migrants, the United States continues to shirk its responsibility to refugee children fleeing El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. They too are caught in the middle of extreme violence, but in our own hemisphere. This is not simply a matter of denying asylum to the children who have arrived. This is a matter of the United States deporting them back to armed violence.

During the summer of 2014, media headlines highlighted the surge of unaccompanied children (UACs) who reached our southern border. Eventually, almost 70,000 unaccompanied children and more than 68,000 “family units” (mainly women with their children or “AWCs”) were apprehended by the border patrol in 2014. The migrants and immigrant rights advocates suspected trouble ahead when a Ku Klux Klan “knight” called for shooting UACs arriving at the border. As the North Carolina Klan leader said: “If we pop a couple of ‘em off and leave the corpses laying on the border, maybe they’ll see we’re serious about stopping immigrants.” Worse still, although the White House initially labeled the influx of UACs an “urgent humanitarian situation,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice responded by sending a “surge” of immigration judges and government attorneys to the border to start deportation hearings immediately, while simultaneously sending the message to immigration courts around the country that UAC and AWC deportation cases should be prioritized.

The Women’s Refugee Commission has concluded that the migrants are fleeing their homelands largely because of the growing influence of youth gangs and drug cartels, targeting of youth by gangs and police, and gender based violence. Honduras, where the largest numbers of unaccompanied minors are coming from, has the world’s highest murder rate. El Salvador is not far behind, and its gangs have increasingly targeted children at their schools, resulting in El Salvador having one of the lowest school attendance rates in Latin America. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that organized criminal gangs coerce children into prostitution and to work as hit men, lookouts, and drug mules. Girls are recruited to smuggle and sell drugs in their home countries, and gang rape is used as a means of forcing them into compliance.

The women and children have been detained and subjected to expedited removal proceedings. Those fortunate enough to be released to relatives of family friends also are subjected to “rocket dockets” that have been rolled out in immigration courts across the country. In those proceedings, children and families have been given as little as three days’ notice of their court hearing dates, severely limiting their ability to find counsel.

In a change of policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began detaining families apprehended at the border in 2014, rather than releasing them from custody to appear for removal proceedings at a later date. The two biggest family detention facilities are located in Texas, and both are run by private prison companies. Perhaps not surprisingly, the conditions at the detention camps have come under heavy criticism by pro bono attorneys and most recently by a federal judge. The conditions are unsanitary and do not provide adequate health care services. Children are often sick, lethargic, and are not provided with any meaningful educational opportunities as mandated by federal regulations. Although individuals facing deportation have a right to counsel, the government is not mandated to provide counsel. The Texas facilities are located in remote parts of the state making access to free legal services or pro bono attorneys very difficult. Representation is clearly necessary for the migrants to establish the grounds to satisfy complex asylum requirements or other potential remedies. Without representation, the migrants face deportation back to the violence, where reports of deportees being killed have been verified.

The Obama administration’s prioritization of deporting women and children fleeing violence particularly is disturbing when juxtaposed with its commitment to Syrian refugees and much of Europe’s reception of refugees. Administration officials should reconsider its response in humanistic terms. Incorporate a “best interest of the child” standard into its decisions on how to handle this true humanitarian challenge. Precedent exists for granting temporary protected status to these individuals until the dust has settled. Most importantly, approach the challenge by understanding why the migrants have arrived, and we will all understand that allowing them safe refuge and respect for the time being is the right response.

Professor Bill Ong Hing
University of San Francisco School of Law

October 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

NumbersUSA Targets Paul Ryan

From the Hill

A leading advocate of tighter restrictions on immigration has launched a campaign to prevent Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) from assuming the Speakership.

NumbersUSA, which advocates for tougher laws governing both legal and illegal immigration, is warning that Ryan's past embrace of certain legalization benefits for people in the country illegally — benefits critics deem "amnesty" — makes him unfit for the post.

In an email alert, NumbersUSA President Roy Beck urged the group's members to bombard House lawmakers with phone calls opposing Ryan's bid to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The campaign is an indication that at least some outside groups have little faith in Ryan's vow this week that he would not move any immigration reforms as Speaker that aren't supported by a majority of Republicans. Read more...


October 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Air-Born Baby Sparks Controversy in Taiwan

Apparently, I'm not the only one fascinated by the story of the child born on the China Airlines flight from Taipei to Los Angeles. BBC reports that in Taiwan, where the mother is from, there's rampant speculation that she was, in fact, a "birth tourist," seeking U.S. citizenship for her child. 

Meanwhile Taiwan's Transport Minister Chen Jianyi is apparently investigating whether the mother should be responsible for paying the tens of thousands of dollars China Airlines spent on diverting the flight to Alaska.


UPDATE (OCT. 25):  For more on this story, and tying it into larger concerns with so-called birth tourism from East Asia, see this story from VOX


October 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Legislation Leading Way on Immigration


Angie Junck from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center writes in today's Huffington Post about a host of bills (some of which have been described on this blog here, here and here) from State of California that will practically improve the lives of immigrants in the state.  As Ms. Junck writes, "Once California fully implements these new measures, they will embody significant progress towards strengthening California families and communities and furthering the state's legacy as a leader in implementing smart, effective, and morally sound immigration policies."


October 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ten Facts About U.S. Refugee Resettlement


A new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) fact sheet examines some of the key questions, and provides answers regarding refugees’ employment and educational attainment, use of public benefits and poverty levels, economic advancement and citizenship acquisition, the screening protocols for would-be refugees, and the likely integration picture for Syrian refugees.

The fact sheet demonstrates that:

  • Refugee men are employed at a higher rate than their U.S.-born counterparts, while refugee women are employed at similar rates as native-born women.
  • Most refugees quickly become self-sufficient, meeting a key goal of the U.S. resettlement program, with their use of public benefits declining and incomes reaching near-parity with the U.S. born as time in the United States increases.
  • The track record of the U.S. resettlement program and the extensive, multilayered security screening that occurs before admission have offered little reason to believe that the program will be a conduit for terrorists.


October 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ethics of Immigration Conference


Washington and Lee Crest

The Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University will host a conference on "The Ethics of Immigration" as a part of its series on "The Ethics of Citizenship" on November 6 & 7 at Washington and Lee University. The conference will address questions about the moral status of national borders, the normative foundation of the modern state's right to control immigration, the connection between immigration and citizenship, the gendered and racial dimensions of migration and immigration policy, the ethics of journalistic coverage of immigration, and the ethical status of undocumented migration, among other issues. It will also feature a lunchtime panel discussion about some of the ethical challenges surrounding current U.S. immigration policy. 

Conference Speakers and Commentators

Conference Lunchtime Panelists:


October 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anti-Immigrant Violence in Germany Spurs New Debate on Hate Speech


Last year, the anti-immigrant Pegida movement took off in Dresden, and it celebrated the fact on Monday with a rally they claimed thousands attended.

Alison Smale in the New York Times reports on a deeply troubling development in Germany, which still is dealing with the challenges of a much-publicized refugee flow from Syria

The stabbing of a politician overseeing refugee affairs in Cologne and a veiled call to reopen concentration camps at an anti-immigration rally of 20,000 people have set off new fears that anti-immigrant sentiment is taking a sharper turn in Germany, even as pressure mounts on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government over its handling of Europe’s migrant crisis.

The violence has spurred a new debate about whether hate speech, which in Germany is routinely subject to investigation and prosecution when spoken or printed, should be removed from social media. 

On Wednesday, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, noted that “the incitement against refugees has reached a level which is absolutely horrifying and completely unacceptable.”


PEGIDA's founder and leader Lutz Bachmann dressed as Adolf Hitler, which he says was doctored


October 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration continues to be Donald Trump’s rallying issue


The beat -- or drumbeat -- goes on.  Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post reports that anti-immigrant rhetoric remains the rallying cry of the Donald Trump presidential campaign.  In Iowa, when Trump mentioned illegal immigration at a small rally, people roared with applause. Trump seemed to feed off this encouragement. He criticized Ford Motor Company for its plan to spend $2.5 billion on a new plant in Mexico and detailed how he would bully Ford into building that plant in the United States instead. Trump kept going: "I mean, the way our country is run, if it doesn't happen to be me that wins, you know what's going to happen? They're going to build a plant and illegals are going drive those cars right over the border." As the crowd laughed and cheered, Trump took another jab at immigrants: "And they'll probably end up stealing the cars."

In the more than four months that Trump has been running for president, immigration has remained one of his issues, guaranteed to excite conservative audiences. And each time Trump makes a joke or harsh comment about immigrants, he yet again angers immigration activists and many Latinos, spurring protests and boycotts.

In announcing his candidacy in mid-June, Trump said the "U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems" and that Mexico is "sending people that have lots of problems." In setting the tone for his campaign, Trump said: "They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."


October 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Hart-Cellar and the Effects on African American and Immigrant Incorporation by Christina M Greer

Hart-Cellar and the Effects on African American and Immigrant Incorporation by Christina M Greer, Fordham University October 6, 2015

Abstract: It has been exactly fifty years since the passage of the Hart-Cellar Immigration Act of 1965. This act opened the proverbial gates for increased immigration opportunities for individuals from far and wide, including the Caribbean and African continent. So what have been the effects of the 1965 Immigration Act on Black ethnic inclusion, incorporation, and ideas pertaining to citizenship and expanding civil rights and liberties? As the growing waves of voluntary Black immigrants sought a new life and economic advancement in the U.S., how did their growing numbers affect the ways in which Black Americans conceptualized their citizenship statuses. This paper explores the effects of the 1965 Immigration Act in conjunction with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act on Blacks in America, both old and new. Chronicling the growing numbers of Black voluntary immigrants and the increased Black diversity across the U.S., we find that the 1965 Immigration forever changed the way Blacks saw themselves and their ethnic counterparts in an increasingly diverse Black ethnic space.


October 22, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Book Review: Ingrid Eagly on Crimmigration Law by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández


Book Review: Crimmigration Law by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, the American Bar Association 2015, 281 pages by Ingrid V. Eagly

Crimmigration Law, published by the American Bar Association earlier this year, is the first text book dedicated to exploring the connection between immigration law and criminal law in the United States. The book’s author, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, is one of the leading scholars in a growing field that studies the increasing merger of criminal justice and migration control. This new field, sometimes referred to as “crimmigration law,” reflects the on-the-ground reality of changes in law and practice that have blurred the lines between criminal and immigration enforcement. The immigration system is increasingly relying on criminal mechanisms, such as detention in prisons and jails, to enforce the immigration law. At the same time, the criminal system now plays a central role in adjudicating immigration status, including detecting noncitizens subject to deportation and advising defendants on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Crimmigration Law makes a grand entry as a foundational text. The book not only familiarizes readers with some of the key debates about immigration enforcement and the criminalization of migration, but it also provides an on-the-ground primer to the thorny doctrinal law that practitioners of immigration and criminal law must master. On the immigration law side, García Hernández shows his readers how deportation can result from criminal conduct or criminal convictions, and how detention is a tool that is increasingly being used to expand the deportation system. On the criminal law side, García Hernández reveals how immigrants face punitive sanctions in both the state and federal criminal justice systems for conduct such as unlawful entry into the country or possession of false documents. He also has an excellent chapter on the Sixth Amendment obligation of criminal defense counsel to advise noncitizens as to the potential immigration consequences of a guilty plea. Each chapter is supplemented by an informative bibliography of additional reading on the topic.

Readers of Crimmigration Lawwill benefit from the book’s thoughtful inclusion of practice-based problems that require application of the law to a realistic set of facts. For example, after discussing the important topic of how to defend against deportation (known as relief from removal), García Hernández presents readers with a detailed problem asking whether an immigrant convicted of burglary and married to a United States citizen could potentially qualify for adjustment of status (and thereby avoid deportation). Through immediate application, readers have the opportunity to practice what they just learned—and thereby deepen their understanding. These practical problems are further supplemented by helpful “practice pointers” that highlight the ways in which a practitioner should think about applying the book’s lessons in advising clients and litigating cases.

In sum, Crimmigration Law is a must-read for law students and practitioners seeking an introduction to the complex legal doctrine and practice challenges at the merger of immigration and criminal law. The text offers in one concise volume an overview of the most critical topics in both civil and criminal enforcement of immigration law. Thank you to García Hernández for this important contribution, which provides a valuable training tool for defenders of immigrant rights.

Ingrid Eagly is a Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy.



October 22, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Paul Ryan Will Not Push for Immigration Reform

From the Beacon:

Congressman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) told fellow Republicans members on Tuesday evening that he will not pursue immigration reform legislation if he is elected Speaker of the House next week.

A spokesman for the Ways and Means Committee chairman said that Ryan does not believe President Barack Obama to be an honest broker on the immigration issue, and would avoid the divisiveness that comes with immigration reform efforts while Obama remains in the White House.

Ryan “understands that we can’t address that issue with a president we can’t trust,” spokesman Brendan Buck said in an email.

The pledge aims to head off criticism from immigration hardliners in the House Republican caucus such as Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa), who vowed a “major intraparty battle over immigration” if Ryan seeks the speaker’s gavel. Read more...


October 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Air-Born Baby a US Citizen? Maybe.

Yesterday, I asked whether a child born in U.S. airspace would be a U.S. citizen.

Reader David Bryan has the answer: Yes. Check out 7 FAM 1115 (What Is Birth In U.S. Airspace?) and 7 FAM 1116 (Documenting Birth in U.S. Waters and U.S. Airspace).

As for the actual child born on the China Airlines flight last week, the parents will need "an excerpt of the ship’s/aircraft’s medical log or master/captain’s log, reflecting the time, latitude, and longitude when the birth occurred."


October 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Michael Olivas Discusses, What To Do About Undocumented Students?


Jimmy Smits or Michael Olivas?


Michael Olivas jokes that his forthcoming book Perchance to DREAM: A Legal and Political History of the DREAM Act was meant to introduce the new immigration policies, but he is concerned that it may actually serve as a eulogy, as the debate over undocumented students continues to languish. 

There are an estimated 50,000 undocumented college students in America—about the same size as the student body at Ohio State, points out Olivas. Although only a subset of a larger population of immigrants, undocumented students are a critical focal point in the debate over immigration law, and in this Campus Law Considered podcast, Olivas discusses how various colleges and states are handling in-state tuition and allowances for undocumented students.



October 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)


"Clock Kid" Moving to Qatar


The Clock, Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Breaking News:  After meeting President Obama last night, Ahmed Mohamed and his family announced their plan to leave the United States. Schools from across the country have made offers to Ahmed since he was arrested at Irving’s MacArthur High last month—his homemade clock confused with a hoax bomb, transforming him into a symbol of perceived anti-Muslim bias. An offer from the Middle East attracted the family. The Mohameds announced  that they’ve accepted a foundation’s offer to pay for the 14-year-old’s high school and college in Doha, Qatar, which Ahmed visited a few weeks on a world tour.


October 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

African Dictatorship Fuels Migrant Crisis: Thousands flee isolated Eritrea to escape life of conscription and poverty

The Wall Street Journal reports from Eritrea and Eritrean refugee camps in Northern Ethiopia presenting the story behind the Eritrean refugee and migrant exodus and how it fits into the context of the European refugee crisis. The report also offers a rare glimpse into Eritrean life and is the first in the mainstream western press to accommodate in detail the views of the Eritrean government.



October 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Time to Retire the Term ‘Alien’


Photo of "An Alien" courtesy of Wikipedia

The New York Times editorial board has weighed in on the controversy over the use of the term "alien," literally the DNA of the U.S. immigration laws, to refer to noncitizens. The title of the editorial ("Time to Retire the Term ‘Alien’") says all that needs to be said.  And here is the punchline:

"States that use the word alien in their laws should consider following California’s lead. The federal government should scrub it from official documents where possible. In the end, though, it will be up to Congress to recognize that there is no compelling reason to keep a hostile term in the law that sets out how immigrants are welcomed into the country."


October 21, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)