Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Will the Refugee Crisis Be Europe's Defining Moment? Millions Fleeing Conflict Are Testing the West's Humanitarian Convictions

Immigration Article of the Day: Moral Judgments, Expressive Functions, and Bias in Immigration Law by Emily Ryo

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Moral Judgments, Expressive Functions, and Bias in Immigration Law by Emily Ryo, University of Southern California Gould School of Law October 13, 2015 Immigration and Nationality Law Review (2016), Forthcoming USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 15-33 USC CLASS Research Paper No. CLASS15-31

Abstract: In a lucid and trenchant style characteristic of Professor Hiroshi Motomura’s writing, "Immigration Outside the Law" offers rich descriptive and prescriptive analyses of three major themes underlying debates about unauthorized migration: the meaning of unlawful presence, state and local involvement in the regulation of unauthorized migration, and the integration of unauthorized migrants into American society. This review advances several ideas that I argue are important to understanding these key themes. In brief, I suggest that a more comprehensive understanding of public debates about unauthorized migration requires examining lay moral judgments about unlawful presence, the expressive functions of immigration law, and the nature of contemporary forms of racial and ethnic bias against Latinos. I discuss how considering these ideas in connection with the book’s key themes and arguments might extend, strengthen, and complicate the book’s analysis and insights.

KJ

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Disgust Over Racist Sign on Campaign Trail in Maine

From the Organization of Chinese Americans

OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates is disgusted by a racist sign against mayoral candidate Ben Chin in Lewiston, Maine.

This week, news agencies reported that signs attacking mayoral candidate Ben Chin were put up in downtown Lewiston, Maine. The signs read: "Don't vote for Ho Chi Chin" and feature an orientalist and racist caricature comparing the candidate to the North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, complete with slanted eyes and Soviet hammers and sickles.

"All forms of racism, particularly one so blatant, are disgusting and unspeakable on many levels," said Ken Lee, OCA's Chief Executive Officer. "It is sad that in today's America, people would try to use one's heritage so crudely against him. Though America is built on the promise of equal opportunity, this incident demonstrates that this promise remains unfulfilled as these attacks would never be leveled at candidates perceived as fully white."

"I would like to emphasize that this incident is not isolated, but is part of a continuing historical pattern of blanket racism that continues to affect all Asian Americans. Whether it was the beating of Chinese American Vincent Chin because attackers assumed he was a Japanese auto executive in 1982 or a racist sign that associates a Chinese American candidate with a Vietnamese autocrat in 2015, this pattern has repeatedly stereotyped against Asian Americans as a whole," continued Lee. "However, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have strength in numbers, and OCA and the communities we serve will continue to say loudly that this will not stand, whether the election is local or national. We call upon all candidates and parties to clearly and emphatically state that racism has no place in our society and certainly not in our elections."

bh

October 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

9th Circuit Holds “Crime of Violence” Aggravated Felony Definition Unconstitutionally Void for Vagueness

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(Prof. Andrew Knapp, counsel for petitioner)

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(Sejal Zota, counsel for amici)

In a published decision written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held yesterday in Dimaya v. Lynch that the definition of a “crime of violence” – one of over thirty categories of convictions that constitute an “aggravated felony” under federal immigration law – is unconstitutionally void for vagueness.  The opinion specifically examined the language at 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (a provision of federal criminal law), which is incorporated by reference in federal immigration law at 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (stating that a “crime of violence,” for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year, is an aggravated felony).  

The Ninth Circuit held that the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Johnson v. United States, which found unconstitutional the Armed Career Criminal Act’s definition of a “violent felony” on void for vagueness grounds, was applicable and that the definition of a “crime of violence” in federal immigration law “suffers from the same indeterminacy as” the criminal sentencing clause at issue in Johnson. (Slip Op. at 4).

The opinion reflects underlying concerns about due process and fairness in the immigration law framework governing noncitizens with criminal convictions.  Although the Supreme Court rejected a void for vagueness challenge to the crime involving moral turpitude provision in the 1951 case Jordan v. DeGeorge, Dimaya grounded the vagueness concern in procedural due process, stating that “a necessary component of a non-citizen’s right to due process of law is the prohibition on vague deportation statutes.”  The opinion also cited SCOTUS decisions in Mellouli v. Lynch and Padilla v. Kentucky to emphasize the critical importance of “efficiency, fairness, and predictability in the administration of immigration law” (quoting Mellouli) as well as the need for noncitizens to “anticipate the immigration consequences of guilty pleas in criminal court” (quoting Padilla).  (Slip Op. at 9).  

It is unclear what this opinion means for potential void for vagueness challenges in the future.  One can reasonably anticipate similar arguments being raised in other Circuit Courts of Appeal regarding the crime of violence provision.  As Mary Holper has argued in this article, immigration law's crime involving moral turpitude provision could also be subject to a vagueness challenge.  However, Judge Consuelo Callahan writes in dissent in Dimaya that the Ninth Circuit has “again ventured where no court has gone before and that the Supreme Court will have to intervene to return [it]to [its] proper orbit.”  (Slip Op. at 42).

The petitioner was represented by Andrew Knapp, who teaches a Ninth Circuit Appellate Clinic at Southwestern Law School.  Sejal Zota of the National Immigration Project for the National Lawyers Guild represented amici the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Immigrant Defense Project, and National Immigration Project for the National Lawyers Guild.

Andrew Knapp (an alumnus of Western State College of Law)  has shared his thoughts on the case as follows: “Today's decision will help untold, long term noncitizen residents of the United States with felony convictions, under many broad criminal statutes that lack any element of the use of violent force, to remain in this country with their families and to escape the vicious cycle of deportation and unlawful reentry prosecutions, with massively enhanced sentences, due to the government's erroneous and unconstitutional classification of their convictions as aggravated felony crimes of violence. 

James Garcia Dimaya, a young native and citizen of the Philippines, lawfully immigrated to the United States as a permanent resident with his family on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1992, before he was barely a teenager, and he has since spent his entire life here. Because he was convicted and sentenced to prison for California burglary, which we now know does not constitute an aggravated felony crime of violence, and because he could not afford, and the government would not appoint him, immigration defense counsel, he was held in Immigration detention without bond for 5 years, during which his grandmother, who raised him as her own, passed away. Only after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals appointed him pro bono counsel, and a dedicated group of idealistic Southwestern law students took over his representation, was James finally able to obtain his release on bond in March of this year, and now finally this long delayed justice from Ninth Circuit.”

 

-JKoh

October 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brooklyn Public Library on Immigrants and the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965

Law Enforcement Leaders Oppose ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Bill

Before a vote on the Senate floor this afternoon on the “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act” (S. 2146), law enforcement leaders have raised serious concerns about this kind of legislation.

On Monday, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs’ Association sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee voicing concern over the bill and urging alternative approaches. Last week, the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force sent a letter signed by 25 police chiefs and sheriffs from around the country opposing any sweeping legislation that would undermine community policing and community safety.

“I think we’ve got a lot of passion around the issue. I don’t know we’ve been able to have an in-depth dialogue,” Police Chief Richard S. Biehl of Dayton, Ohio, tells the Washington Times in a story today. “No one is willing to wrestle with complexity, and this is a very complex issue. My approach here was try to find a reasonable path through complexity in the absence of any guidance at the national level.”

“I don’t need a study, I don’t need data, I’ve got real life experience after 29 years on this job that tells me this is bad policy,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo adds in the article, which notes that he “vehemently objects” to Austin being called a sanctuary city. “ … It really upsets me that I have to spend time combatting bad policy that’s really playing on people’s emotions.”

Law enforcement agents aren’t alone. On Thursday, the United States Conference of Mayors also sent a letter opposing any legislation that would withhold resources from so-called “sanctuary cities.”          

On Sunday, the New York Times Editorial Board wrote, “The answer to an immigrant population in the shadows is — as it has been throughout our history — integration and welcome instead of scapegoating and oppression. And leaving local law enforcement free to focus on catching criminals and protecting public safety.”

The Leadership Conference has submitted a letter opposing the "Sanctuary Cities" bill.  The American Immigration Lawyers Association also has registered opposition.

UPDATE (1021 2:30 P.M. PST):  By a 54-45 roll call vote, the Senate blocked legislation that threatened to reduce federal funding to “sanctuary cities.” Sixty votes were need for the bill to advance.

KJ

October 20, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Stories of Immigrants for Immigration Law Teachers

Immigration law professors seem to always be looking for immigrant stories to share with their students that reflect how the law operates in the "real world."  Here are a few stories literally ripped from the headlines. 

The New Yorker has an article on a refugee’s epic escape from Syria across ten borders to Sweden

A 19-year-old Israeli soldier, a 29-year-old African asylum seeker and a
21-year-old Israeli Arab from the Bedouin community, all are dead after the
Bedouin man apparently fired into a crowded bus station. As their communities
mourn their deaths, debate swirls over the continuing outbreaks of violence in Israel.

What about the Dreamers? Here's the story of one Peruvian native who now has a green
card through marriage and works as Latino outreach director for Hillary Rodham
Clinton's presidential campaign, even though she has never been eligible to
vote.

KJ

yorker.com/magazine/2015/10/26/ten-borders

October 20, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Air-Born Baby a US Citizen?

Last week, a woman gave birth on board a plane bound from Bali to Los Angeles. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Alaska where the new mom and babe were taken to a hospital.

What an excellent in-class hypothetical. Is a child born in US airspace a US citizen?

Consider this. Service of process on a plane is sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction over an individual flying above a state. See Grace v. MacArthur, 170 F Supp 442 (E.D. Ark. 1959). That would seem to support the idea that birth in US airspace would be enough for the 14th Amendment.

All-in-all, great fodder for in-class debate.

-KitJ

October 20, 2015 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bernie Sanders Can’t Escape Questions About 2007 Vote on Immigration Overhaul

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New York Times First Draft looks at how immigration continues to be a sticking point for Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders.  Sanders has sought to build his base of support beyond the overwhelmingly white supporters he has in his home state of Vermont. But he could face continuing questions about his vote against a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill in 2007, as he did during the first Democratic presidential debate last week. His language at the time was starkly economic about guest-worker visas, which were viewed skeptically by organized labor.

“Why should Latino voters trust you now when you left them at the altar at the moment when reform was very close?” Juan Carlos López, a panelist and an anchor on CNN en Español asked in the debate last week about the senator’s vote against that bill. “I didn’t leave anybody at the altar,” Mr. Sanders replied. “I voted against that piece of legislation because it had guest-worker provisions in it, which the Southern Poverty Law Center talked about being semi-slavery. Guest workers are coming in, they’re working under terrible conditions, but if they stand up for their rights, they’re thrown out of the country. I was not the only progressive to vote against that legislation for that reason. Tom Harkin, a very good friend of Hillary Clinton’s and mine, one of the leading labor advocates, also voted against that.” He added, “Progressives did vote against that for that reason. My view right now — and always has been — is that when you have 11 million undocumented people in this country, we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need a path toward citizenship, we need to take people out of the shadows.”

But Mr. Sanders was part of an effort by liberal Democrats to kill the bill that year. His language at the time often related not to the concerns of the workers receiving the visas, but to the bill’s impact on American wage-earners. And those words are at odds with how much of the Democratic Party currently discusses immigration overhaul, all but guaranteeing he will continue to be asked to clarify his views.

KJ

October 20, 2015 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article of the Day: Sriracha Shutdown: Hot Sauce Lessons on Local Privilege and Race by Ernesto Hernandez Lopez

 

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Sriracha Shutdown: Hot Sauce Lessons on Local Privilege and Race by Ernesto Hernandez Lopez, Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law October 19, 2015 Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2015

Abstract: In 2013, Huy Fong Foods, maker of the trendy hot sauce sriracha, fought in court to stay open. The Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale tried to enjoin all sauce production, arguing that "offensive chili odors" created a public nuisance. This was an unexpected development because Huy Fong was recently invited to relocate to Irwindale and air quality regulators found no problems. Sauce lovers and the media closely watched this spicy legal drama, dubbed the "sriracha-apocalypse." Originally created for Vietnamese phở soup, sriracha is extremely popular worldwide.

This conflict points to a suburban racialized exclusion, sourced in municipal legal powers. With a population that is over ninety percent Latino, Irwindale was incorporated to capitalize on racial divisions. Mining companies sought these divisions in order to benefit from low taxes. Incorporation created a legal privilege in municipal powers to exclude outsiders. Irwindale's public nuisance lawsuit to shutdown sriracha exemplifies such a tactic. Eyeing this food conflict, this Article uses critical approaches to race and geography to illustrate the influence local government law has on race relations in the suburban United States. This Article also illustrates how municipal legal powers result in racialized exclusion, despite race neutral legal positions and a lack of racist animus.

KJ

October 20, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Callous System Tearing Siblings Apart

From Yahoo Politics:

When Vladimir Gongora arrived in New York City three years ago, he didn’t know his own name.

Vladimir was born deaf in the small village of Cuyantepeque in the northwest corner of El Salvador. He wasn’t allowed to go to school and never learned to read or write.

“He used to cry and cry because he couldn’t ask for anything,” his mother, Dolores remembers. Then, when Vladimir was about 7 years old, he began gesturing to his little sister, Patricia, who was just 5. Bit they bit, they formed their own sign language, which became increasingly complex. Patricia translated her brother’s signs into Spanish for her parents, and all of a sudden, Vladimir was no longer so alone.

“I would invent a word if he couldn’t understand me,” says Patricia, now 18.

Their invented language lifted Vladimir out of his isolation, and the two became best friends — watching soap operas together and playing soccer and hide and seek.

They’ve been inseparable ever since. But a U.S. immigration court could soon force them apart.

Vladimir and Patricia both crossed the border on their own to join their parents in New York City — Vladimir in 2012, Patricia two years later. The two were part of a surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America who arrived at the southern border of the United States. Last year, Vladimir was granted asylum by the federal government because of the persecution he faced in El Salvador for his disability. (He was, among other things, denied access to schooling.) His sister also claimed asylum but was denied by the asylum office in April, despite her key role in helping her brother communicate. Now the government is pushing for her deportation, an action her attorney is appealing. Read more..

bh

October 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Sanctuary Cities," Trust Acts, and Community Policing Explained

Today, the American Immigration Council released a fact sheet, "Sanctuary Cities," Trust Acts, and Community Policing Explained. The term “sanctuary city” is often used incorrectly to describe a trust act or community policing policy that limits entanglement between local police and federal immigration authorities. Community policing policies make communities safer and increase communication between police and their residents without imposing any restrictions on federal immigration law enforcement.

KJ

October 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Pressure is On--Criminal Defense Strategies after Padilla v. Kentucky

The Supreme Court’s message to criminal defense attorneys in Padilla v. Kentucky (2010) was clear: When there is a risk of deportation, defense counsel has a constitutional duty to inform an immigrant defendant of the potential for deportation or adverse immigration consequences prior to pleading guilty. In my view, this constitutional duty places tremendous pressure on defense counsel to do more than advise, because once advised, the client very naturally may want to know what options are available other than going to trial. Rather than simply focusing on how to minimize the time of incarceration for the client under a particular plea agreement, competent counsel has to figure out how to minimize the immigration ramifications. As I dis-cuss in this Article, the efforts range from determining whether the client might actually be a citizen, to seeking a sentence that would fall outside the realm of an aggravated felony, to seeking a plea to an alternative charge that does not involve moral turpitude or firearms, to making sure that the sentencing plea or colloquy is silent about certain facts.

These efforts are demanding. They entail resourceful, intricate knowledge of the relevant criminal codes. They also require re-sourceful, intricate knowledge of the criminal grounds of removal and up-to-date research on what classifications of convictions can or cannot lead to removal.

 The article is forthcoming in the Denver University Law Review. To download this article, click here.

bh

October 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Family Detention Centers: The Modern Day Internment Camp

Guest blogger: Joannabelle Aquino, second-year law student, University of San Francisco

When President Obama took office, he vowed to end his predecessor’s policy of detaining migrant children. In August 2009, the DHS removed all minors from the Hutto Residential Center, a detention facility in Texas run by for-profit private prison corporation, CCA. But in response to the 2014 wave of Central American women and children arriving at the border to seek asylum, the Obama Administration reversed course. The administration adopted a “no release” policy, and announced plans to open immigrant family detention centers which, in the words of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, would deter families from fleeing to the United States and send a message that “if you come here, you should not expect to simply be released.”

The Obama Administration’s decision to place all asylum seekers in family detention centers reflects a clear refusal to acknowledge the mass migration for what it truly is: a humanitarian crisis. Instead, migrants’ efforts to escape violence and seek safety and protection for their children are essentially and unjustly criminalized. While the Obama Administration argues the detention is necessary to weed out meritless asylum claims and, such policies overregulate those who do have credible claims and callously puts them back into the very state of powerlessness and terror they are trying to escape.

The conditions of these so-called “residential centers” further cement the cruelty of such policies. The food served is often inedible, and any sort of basic healthcare is subpar, as evidenced by the hours-long wait for medical care and the need for quarantines when illnesses spread. Additionally, children in the detention centers are deprived of education, are often described as listless and depressed, and would sleep alarmingly long hours. Multiple families are often forced to sleep in tightly arranged bunk beds, and scorpions and snakes are sometimes seen around the premises. Women are forced to plead, and in some cases work in the facilities, in order to get enough sanitary pads as to not bleed through their clothes. Nursing mothers also have been refused breast pumps, which has led to fevers, pain, mastitis, and an inability to breastfeed. Throughout the months these families are detained, they are rarely, if ever, informed of their legal rights, and are forced to do their interviews in the presence of their children. In one particular case, a woman could not talk openly with the officer about the persecution her family faced because the interview was conducted with her two young sons present, one of whom was a product of rape.

Unsurprisingly, the legality of these facilities is now in question. This past summer, U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee of the Central District of California ruled that ICE’s policy of detaining children for months, whether alone or with their mothers, violates a 1997 settlement agreement in Flores v. Johnson. Pursuant to that settlement, ICE must release immigrant children “without unnecessary delay” to a legal guardian or adult custodian and make “continuous efforts on its part toward family reunification.” Judge Gee also found that migrant children have been held in “widespread deplorable conditions” in Border Patrol stations after they were first detained, and she said the authorities have “wholly failed” to provide the “safe and sanitary” conditions required for children even in temporary cells.

In response to the ruling Secretary Johnson explained in a statement that the agency was working to comply with the order, though it is preserving its ability to have an appeals court review Judge Gee’s strongly worded order. However, the longer the Obama Administration continues to insist upon the necessity of these family detention centers, the closer it comes to repeating the same political mistakes committed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II. This practice of locking up innocent mothers and children in an atmosphere of cruel uncertainty essentially replicates the inhumanity the Roosevelt Administration inflicted on Japanese-American families. President Roosevelt indulged anti-Japanese hysteria when he ordered the incarceration of Japanese-American families after Pearl Harbor was bombed. The Obama Administration is indulging the xenophobic attitudes of today’s anti-immigration proponents by ordering the detention of all asylum seekers, whether they come from Latin America or elsewhere.

As a nation, we cannot allow this practice to continue or to become normalized. We cannot sit idly by and watch as these gross human rights violations continue. It is long past time for the Obama administration to recognize these families for who they are: parents and children who are fleeing persecution and have a right to apply for asylum in the United States. Some families will successfully plead their cases, while others may ultimately fail and be deported. But either way, they are all deserving of a full hearing before an immigration judge, without being forced through the demoralizing ordeal of being held in detention centers for months or years at a time. The Supreme Court has made clear that absent a credible showing that a noncitizen is a danger to society, a national security threat, or poses a flight risk, prolonged detention of noncitizens is a violation of due process. So if the Obama administration truly respects due process and human rights, it must end family detention now.

bh

October 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Abyan" Sheds Unwanted Light on Nauru

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Refugees seeking admission to Australia may be detained on the very small South Pacific island of Nauru.

The Nauru Regional Processing Centre has a rocky history. It opened in 2001, closed in 2008, and reopened in 2012. Many have protested the conditions on the island.

But it's the story of Abyan that's currently focusing attention on Nauru. Abyan (not her real name) is a Somali refugee. She alleges that she was raped on Nauru and became pregnant. Unable to obtain an abortion on the island, she was flown to Australia for the procedure. But she was quickly returned, without receiving medical treatment.

Australia claims that Abyan changed her mind. Abyan denies this, writing "Please help me."

The BBC has been covering the story well. Click here and here for more.

-KitJ

October 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

An immigration policy for the next 50 years


Gulasekaram and Ramakrishnan

Writing for The Hill, immprofs Pratheepan Gulasekaram and Karthick Ramakrishnan  summarize the importance of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, 50 years old this month.

The two also highlight the Act's core problems: (i) "a yawning gap between the formal equality in per-country allocation and the reality of employer needs and the needs of families" and (ii) "the stark variation in state policies on undocumented immigrants."

They conclude:

Looking ahead to the next 50 years of immigration policy, two fundamental problems need to be addressed. First, federal immigration law must realistically account for the varied immigration demand from particular countries and the historic, geographic, and economic ties that drive migration from Asia and Latin America. The per-country caps from 1965 must be eliminated. Just as importantly, Congress needs to take stock of the patchwork of state immigration laws, and more clearly articulate the kinds of policies that need to be uniform across the country, to provide more predictability to employers, immigrants, and other residents.

-KitJ

October 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Larrymania' reality star is now in real trouble

 

Larry Hernandez is a Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and television star who was born in Los Angeles. He lived in Los Angeles until he was four when his family moved to Mexico. He spent most of his adolescence there before starting his musical career.

In 2012, Larrymania, an original reality TV series, premiered.  Larrymania captures the world of entertainer Larry Hernandez as he navigates his musical career and juggles family life. 

While Larry Hernandez became famous performing narcocorridos and for his reality show, "Larrymania," he now is making news for something very different.  Hernandez is accused of kidnapping and assault in South Carolina in a case that has shocked fans and riveted the Latino media since his arrest last month on a warrant. Clips of the singer appearing in San Bernardino County Superior Court for an extradition hearing, shackled and in green prison scrubs, have aired again and again on Spanish-language media along with daily updates on the case.

KJ

October 19, 2015 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anti-immigration SVP wins Swiss election in swing to right

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Joshua Franklin of Reuters reports that the anti-immigration Swiss People's Party (SVP) is projected to win the biggest share of the vote in yesterday's national parliamentary election. Success for the SVP, coupled with gains made by the pro-business Liberal Party (FDP), led political commentators to talk of a "Rechtsrutsch" - a "slide to the right" - in Swiss politics. Immigration was the central topic for voters amid the publicity about the large number of asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe.

 

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Poster, with the slogan "To Create Security", derived from the SVP's 2007 proposal of a new law which would authorize the deporation of criminal foreigners

In its immigration platform, the SVP is committed itself to make asylum laws stricter and to reduce immigration. The SVP warns of immigration sapping the scarce resources of the public benefit and social welfare system.  Recent victories of the SVP include the federal popular initiatives "for the expulsion of criminal foreigners" (52.3%), and "Against mass immigration" (50.3%) in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

Another key concern of the SVP is what it alleges is an increasing influence of the judiciary on politics. According to the SVP, this influence, especially through international law, increasingly puts the Swiss direct democracy in question.

KJ

October 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Worker Centers and Labor Law Protections: Why Aren't They Having Their Cake? by Kati L. Griffith

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Worker Centers and Labor Law Protections: Why Aren't They Having Their Cake? by Kati L. Griffith, Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations October 8, 2015 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 36, No. 331, 2015

Abstract: As private sector labor union membership in the United States dwindles, the number of worker centers continues to grow. Given worker centers’ focus on low-wage workers largely engaged in service sectors of our post-industrial economy and their relatively recent entrance into the field of United States labor relations, scholars and commentators are increasingly debating the applicability of the eighty-year-old National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to the worker organizing activities of these emerging organizations. Unlike prior work on the relationship between the NLRA and worker centers, this Essay considers the extent to which NLRA protections have been helpful to worker center organizing efforts to date and proposes several theories to explain why worker centers have not turned to the NLRA’s protections more proactively.

KJ

October 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: We Too Sing America South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer

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We Too Sing America South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer (The New Press, 2015)

The nationally renowned racial justice advocate shines a light on an unexplored consequence of modern-day terrorism: the ongoing, state-sanctioned persecution of a range of American minorities.

Many of us can recall the targeting of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh people in the wake of 9/11. We may be less aware, however, of the ongoing racism directed against these groups in the past decade and a half.

In We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer catalogs recent racial flash points, from the 2012 massacre at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to the violent opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and to the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan.

Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance. She looks at topics including Islamophobia in the Bible Belt; the “Bermuda Triangle” of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hysteria; and the energy of new reform movements, including those of “undocumented and unafraid” youth and Black Lives Matter.

In a book that reframes the discussion of race in America, a brilliant young activist provides ideas from the front lines of post-9/11 America.

KJ

October 19, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)