Thursday, May 26, 2016

Immigrant of the Day: Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache (Haiti), West Point Graduate

American dream

Photo Courtesy of the Washington Post

Dan Lamothe in the Washinton Post tells the story about the picture of Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache during the commencement ceremony at West Point, New York.  He  was overcome with emotion. Tears rolled down both cheeks, but his gloved left hand held firm on his white, gold and black “cover,” the dress headgear that Army cadets wear.

The photograph of Idrache, by Army Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant, was published Tuesday on the Facebook page of West Point’s U.S. Military Academy, and it almost immediately went viral. Part of that is Idrache’s background: He worked his way through one of the nation’s most prestigious military schools after immigrating to the United States from Haiti, earning his citizenship and serving for two years as an enlisted soldier with the Maryland Army National Guard.


May 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Questioning at Ports of Entry: Only Minutes to Separate Truthtellers from Liars


Guest post by Alexandra Diaz, student, George Mason University School of Law

CBP Office of Field Operations’ Assistant Port Director Sally Carrillo spoke yesterday about her experiences over a 28 year career at CBP and legacy INS and, for me, confirmed one thing: the experience you get at the Port of Entry varies depending on your officer.

Nothing about that statement seems earth shattering. Of course different officers have different methods for spotting a liar or a cheat. The agency can try (and does try) to provide training that is uniform and yields standardized results, but one person’s interpretation of a given criteria can be vastly different from another’s.

This was obvious to me during an example in class when Carrillo “questioned” me as a person arriving from overseas. Her questions were quick and sharp, and clearly intended to find a gap in my story that would give her a reason to deny my admission. Even though everything I said was true, I “stumbled” on a question regarding my father. It’s a touchy subject, for reasons wildly outside the scope immigration and I couldn’t help wondering what non-citizens must feel like if they are questioned in the same manner.

The next question to me is how can you really spot someone who is “stumbling” on questions because they are hiding something versus someone who is nervous about an encounter with a law enforcement agent who is heavily armed. I suppose that time and experience gives an officer the ability to make these determinations quickly and effectively.

Carrillo boasted that she could make determinations in a minute’s time unless she felt she needed to spend more time on someone – most likely only another few minutes. I believe her when she says she is confident in her abilities. 28 years of experience is not nothing.

I only wonder about the rookie at the window and the decisions he is making. Hopefully he can learn quickly to spot visa fraud from an agricultural worker from a terrorist quickly, because the lives of real people are at stake.


May 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dr. Diego Acosta Arcarazo on 200 Years of Open Borders in South America

Dr Diego Acosta Arcarazo (U. Bristol)

Guest post by Renita Roberts, student, The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Dr. Diego Acosta Arcarazo of the University of Bristol visited the University of California San Diego campus yesterday to discuss the dynamics of South America’s past and present migration statutes.

The continent of South America is unique, in that a majority of its countries are signatories to an array of agreements implemented to facilitate migration within the continent.

Perhaps, the the most innovative outcomes of South America’s “open borders” policy is the influence it has had on the various bilateral and multilateral agreements developed decades later among European countries, such as the formation of the United Kingdom and later, the European Union.

Unfortunately, present day diplomatic relations within South America reflect a gradual and visible breakdown of these earlier agreements. Abandoning its former pacts of solidarity, many countries later implemented restrictive migration policies and others failed to ratify treaties that would ensure uninhibited migration from one South American country to another.

Despite this collapse, its ramifications can still be felt worldwide. Although it is not nearly as extensive, the proliferation of the United States’ Visa Waiver program reflects a commitment to promote migration among countries that maintain friendly diplomatic relations.

An ideal development would be to implement agreements similar to those employed by South American countries between the United States and its allies. Further, promoting the concept of a regional citizen and a fundamental, human right to migrate would be blatant evidence that friendly relations are sustained among the United States and its allies.

Restrictive categories must persist in order to preserve national security purposes, but acknowledging the benefits of free migration are equally essential to the international morale.


May 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: EU Migration and Asylum Law: A Labour Law Perspective by Cathryn Costello

EU Migration and Asylum Law: A Labour Law Perspective by Cathryn Costello, University of Oxford - Refugee Studies Centre; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Oxford - Department of International Development February 16, 2016 ACL Davies, A Bogg, C Costello (eds) Research Handbook on EU Labour Law (Elgar 2016 Forthcoming) Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 28/2016

Abstract: The purpose of this chapter is survey EU migration and asylum law from a labour law perspective. A labour law perspective is concerned with the work relationship, and focuses not only on the worker, but also the employing organisation and any intermediary involved in labour supply. Examining EU migration and asylum law using this multifaceted prism of labour law reveals that EU migration and asylum law has a profound impact on labour law. That impact may be understood has having three different dimensions. (1) It affects the supply and demand for migrant workers. In this sense, migration law can be a form of labour market regulation. (2) migration and asylum law create different migration statuses that in turn determine, at least in part, labour rights. The move to re-introduce status over contract as a determinant of workers’ rights divides the subjects of labour law. (3) Migration status and the fact of migration may be risk factors for labour exploitation. In order to examine these three facets, the particular role of the EU in this field must be explained. Part 1 provides a sketch of the role of states and markets in the regulation of migration. It sets the scene to understand the profound but limited role of the EU in this context. Part 2 examines the status of EU Citizenship, and the forms of liberalised free movement in the EU’s internal market, that principally benefit those who hold the nationality of an EU Member State. I also consider two important derivative statuses for so-called third country nationals (TCNs), who gain EU rights as family members of EU Citizens and so-called ‘posted workers’. Part 3 concerns those TCNs who require permission to live and work in the EU, and provides an overview of some of the different statuses created by EU law, and their labour rights content. Part 4 explores the notion of ‘irregular status’, and the EU Employer Sanctions Directive and the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Tümer contrasted. In the final part, Part 6, I briefly highlight some features of migration status that are risk factors for labour exploitation. A recent EU Fundamental Rights Agency Report details the links between migration and extreme labour exploitation. Current responses focus unhelpfully on trafficking, or on forced labour, and look in particular to criminal law for solutions. This chapter recalls some responses from within labour law. It is suggested that further research is required into the question of which regulatory approaches and combinations thereof work best to protect migrant workers from exploitation.


May 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scientists Need to Take Back the Word 'Alien' Before We Find Extraterrestrials


Immigration law professors often grapple with the use of the term "alien," which is nothing less than the DNA of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act).  The term is often questioned and criticized. 

 Neel Patel on Inverse writes about the problems with the term "alien" in scientific circles: 

"When we talk about aliens these days, we’re almost always talking about one of two groups: extraterrestrials or immigrants. It’s confusing and racist and it needs to stop. The word should exclusively refer to E.T. and not just for reasons of common decency. Scientists need it.

The word “alien” has a strange history. Derived from the Latin word aliēnus, meaning “belonging to someone else,” the term arose sometime in the mid-14th century and was initially used to describe something as strange or of foreign origin. When dark age monks described something as alien, they meant it seemed unnatural within the context of the society and ecosystem."

Patel goes on:

“[T]he concept of the alien has subtle social consequences,” University of California at Davis School of Law Dean Kevin Johnson wrote in a 1997 paper that ran in The University of Miami Inter-American Law Review. “[I]t helps to reinforce and strengthen nativist sentiment toward members of new immigrant groups, which in turn influences U.S. responses to immigration and human rights issues.”

Thankfully, people are starting to excise “alien” from the immigration lexicon in favor of words that are less disparaging. The most notable example is the set of revisions made to California’s labor code.


May 26, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DACA Renewal Applicant Denied Following Civil Disobedience Actions

DACA denial

Buzzfeed has a piece on Nadia Sol Ireri Unzueta Carrasco, a former DACA recipient whose DACA renewal was denied on "public safety grounds" after she was reportedly charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of traffic, and reckless conduct, after participating in protests against the federal government's immigration policies.  She has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Illinois related to the denial of her DACA renewal.  

The case seems to raise questions related to the discretionary nature of DACA grants and the federal government's treatment of DACA as not giving rise to a right or benefit -- issues that have been central in the United States v. Texas litigation.  Irrespective of the merits of the lawsuit, penalizing a DACA applicant for exercising her right to protest the immigration laws seems like a problematic exercise of discretion. 


May 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

EOIR to Pilot Bailiffs in Immigration Courts

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has reported that the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the federal government agency that houses the immigration courts, will is piloting a program in the Chicago, Dallas, and Arlington immigration courts in which courtroom bailiffs will be stationed. The bailiffs will be uniformed, armed, and have the authority to intervene if they determine a public safety threat. 

During a time when the immigration courts continue to face severe backlogs and staffing shortages, the decision to introduce armed bailiffs is an interesting move by the federal government. 


May 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Atlanta is One of the Worst Places to be Undocumented

Last Friday, many of us had the opportunity to hear Stephen Manning give us the rundown on immigration court in Atlanta. It's a disheartening state of affairs.

Today, I see that immigration journalist Elise Foley has taken up the fight with her piece: Here’s Why Atlanta Is One Of The Worst Places To Be An Undocumented Immigrant.

What is it that makes Atlanta so bad?

[Immigration judges in Atlanta] denied asylum 98 percent of the time in the 2015 fiscal year, the highest rate of any immigration court that heard more than five cases. Eighty-eight percent of cases that went before Atlanta immigration courts ended with a removal order. That’s way over the national average: In the country as a whole, immigration judges denied about 52 percent of asylum claims, and 69 percent of cases resulted in a deportation order.

Atlanta immigration judges have been accused of bullying children, badgering domestic violence victims and setting standards for relief and asylum that lawyers say are next to impossible to meet. Given Atlanta immigration judges’ reluctance to grant asylum, some immigrants who fear returning to their native countries don’t even pursue it.

As if the courts weren't bad enough, more people were apprehended under Operation Border Guardian in the city of Atlanta than any other city in the United States. In 2014, those apprehensions included 68,500 minors traveling without their parents. Foley details the stories of three of those children.

The article is as comprehensive as it is compelling. I encourage you all to give it a read.


May 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Three Minutes to Make or Break a Future


Guest post by Tyler Stokes, student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Yesterday our group toured the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, México. It was my first time in the country, and I enjoyed our visit with the consulars, but two things I learned during our excursion did not sit well with me.

First, I learned that as the State Dept. overall is "trying to go paperless," it has stopped giving applicants visa approval slips, and instead has put up a couple laminated posters on the wall with what to do next. Our guide's justification for this was that it’s a "waste of paper to give people approval slips that frankly most people don't read or can't read depending on the population." I found this both condescending and offensive. In my opinion, for applicant peace of mind and proof of process (given how important paperwork is to the State Dept.), physical slips should still be provided.

Second, learning about the incredible level of discretion consular officers have under INA § 214(b) was quite disheartening. A consular officer completes on average twenty visa interviews an hour, which means each applicant gets a measly three minutes to overcome their interviewer's statutorily mandated presumption that s/he will abuse a visa grant. While consular training may be fantastic, at the end of the day, the majority of these officers lack legal training and there is effectively no avenue for visa denial appeal. The resulting situation is that an individual visa interviewer holds way too much power over the future of visa applicants, and about three minutes is a difficult amount of time to advocate for yourself if you're a trained attorney, let alone a layman. It seems to me this whole process could do with a big injection of a better brand of justice and external (judicial?) oversight.


May 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Casa Del Migrante En Tijuana



Guest post by Julia Ponce, student, The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Along a residential road lined with humble dwellings, four miles away from both downtown Tijuana and the San Ysidro-Tijuana border, sits la Casa del Migrante or the Migrant’s House, a faith-based non-profit temporary shelter for migrant men run under the direction of Father Pat Murphy. Founded in 1987 by Scalabrinian missionaries, la Casa del Migrante has provided shelter and humanitarian assistance to more than 250,000 migrant men from Mexico, Central America and other Latin American countries. In the last five years, 90% of the men occupying the 180 available beds at la Casa were deported migrants from the United States and from countries as far as Nepal. What started as a house of hospitality is now a source of hope for deportees that wind up homeless in Tijuana, destitute and thousands of miles away from their homes.

A safe haven in a city filled with fear, persecution, insecurity and violent crime; la Casa provides migrants with temporary security, social and mental health services, legal assistance, and hope. La Casa helps migrants in finding permanent housing and work in Tijuana. It advocates for the humane treatment for migrants in collaboration with local police and government. La Casa belongs to a larger international network providing assistance for migrants at strategic points along the US-Mexico border, Central America, Africa, Haiti and South America. Before given a bed, migrants seeking safe harbor at La Casa are screened by volunteers and must abide by the house rules. By providing migrants with a second chance and an opportunity to get back on their feet and their lives together, La Casa del Migrante is a beacon of light for those attempting to navigate a sea of turbulent waters, men escaping unimaginable and atrocious conditions in their own countries, ultimately left to seek refuge in Mexico.


May 25, 2016 in Current Affairs, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Overwhelming Barriers to Successful Immigration Reform


President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Immigration Act of 1965 at the foot of the Statue of Liberty on October 3, 1965 as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Lady Bird Johnson, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and others look on. (Photo: Yoichi Okamoto/LBJ Library

Daniel Tichenor in The Atlantic examines the Immigration Act of 1965 as an example of the challenges to the enactment of immigration reform.  He begins his analysis as follows:

"Nearly every new American president of the modern era has viewed the nation’s immigration policies as deeply flawed. Yet few of these modern executives have been willing to make immigration reform—one of the most dangerous issues in American politics—central to their agenda. Even fewer have had a measure of success doing so. Even the most dramatic and successful of all—Lyndon Johnson’s landmark 1965 reform—came with high political costs and uneven results. Yet, Johnson’s battle for reform underscores the way immigration policy can be a potent political tool and offers a model for future presidents."


May 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

SF Retains Core of "Sanctuary Policy"


San Francisco City Hall

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy and the Board of Supervisors reached a deal on the city’s sanctuary law, which restricts cooperation with federal immigration agents.   The ordinance awaits a signature from the Mayor.

The board unanimously passed the legislation 10 months after an undocumented  immigrant was accused of killing Kate Steinle on the waterfront, leading to a national controversy over the city's sanctuary city policies.  As has been the case, the legislation bars city law enforcement officials from notifying U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when an individual will be released from local custody, except in limited circumstances.

Former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s policy barred communication with immigration officials in virtually all circumstances. But Hennessy, who was elected sheriff in November, wanted the discretion to notify immigration agents if the inmate had a violent or serious felony conviction in the past seven years or three or more lesser felonies arising from different events in the past five years.

The compromise allows the Sheriff to have notification discretion under both those circumstances. Hennessy may also notify immigration agents if the defendant has a conviction for a serious felony within five years. What she gave up — and immigrant advocates won — is that before notification, a judge has to determine whether there is probable cause to hold the defendant on the current charge.

Notably, The newly crafted legislation would not have prevented the shooting death of Kate Steinle on Pier 14 along the Embarcadero in July. Prosecutors have charged Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez with murder.  Lopez-Sanchez had been brought to San Francisco after serving 46 months in federal prison for unlawful re-entry into the country. Sheriff Mirkarimi released him because he said they sanctuary law restricted his office from turning him over to federal authorities. That is still the case under the newly passed legislation because the felony convictions would not be considered serious.


May 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections by Engy Abdelkader


When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections by

Engy Abdelkader 

Georgetown University, May 2, 2016, The Bridge Initiative, Georgetown University, 2016


This report highlights trends and patterns surrounding Islamophobia since the start of the 2016 U.S. presidential election cycle. It does so in the broader context of hatred, violence and social hostilities confronting Muslims as a minority faith group in contemporary America and with a particular focus on acts and threats of violence.

Since 2015, the Bridge Initiative has been chronicling Islamophobic political rhetoric by each presidential candidate irrespective of his or her party affiliation while finding Republican candidates to be the worst offenders to date. In this publication, however, we aim to contextualize such statements nationally and internationally while also exploring potentially violent effects.

To that end, we examined two distinct but overlapping time periods: January 2015 through December 2015 (entire duration of 2015) and March 2015 through March 2016 (2016 presidential election season).

Based upon our analysis, the following observations are noteworthy: The 2016 U.S. presidential season began against a backdrop of already rising Islamophobia in 2015, threatening American Muslim religious freedom. During the course of 2015, there were approximately 174 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence and vandalism, including: 12 murders; 29 physical assaults; 50 threats against persons or institutions; 54 acts of vandalism or destruction of property; 8 arsons; and 9 shootings or bombings, among other incidents. Anti-Muslim violence remained significantly higher in 2015 than pre- 9/11 levels with American Muslims approximately 6 to 9 times more likely to suffer such attacks. The number of incidents in 2015 is also higher than the total number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in 2014: 154.

In 2015, American Muslim men were twice as likely to be victims of physical assaults and 5 to 6 times more likely to be victims of murder than American Muslim women.

Since the first candidate announced his bid for the White House in March 2015, there have been approximately 180 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence, including: 12 murders; 34 physical assaults; 49 verbal assaults or threats against persons and institutions; 56 acts of vandalisms or destruction of property; 9 arsons; and 8 shootings or bombings, among other incidents.

Since the start of the presidential election cycle, American Muslim men have been twice as likely to be victims of physical assaults and about 11 times more likely to be the victims of murder than their female counterparts.

Also during each period, Muslim murder victims were most likely to be aged 18 to 24. Children and youth – as young as 12 years old – were among those responsible for acts and threats of anti-Muslim violence.

Although Islamophobia made an appearance during the first GOP debate in August 2015, the first surge of anti-Muslim political rhetoric occurred in September 2015.

It corresponded with an international development: the Syrian refugee crisis. The deepening crises dominated news media headlines in the U.S. and Europe potentially highlighting the media impact on political discourse.

This surge in September 2015 was accompanied by approximately 10 reported incidents or threats of violence, including 3 murders. In comparison, there was one (1) such incident in August 2015 representing a significant increase in anti-Muslim violence over the course of one month.

Donald Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner at the time of publication, escalated anti-Muslim vitriol in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France in November 2015 rather than urge calm or international unity. The attacks signify an international event that triggered a second surge in Islamophobic rhetoric in addition to the uptick in bias attacks.

Trump made many anti-Muslim statements during televised appearances on mainstream news media outlets, impacting millions of viewers across the U.S. and around the world.

As Mr. Trump called for shutting down mosques in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks and the mass shootings in San Bernardino, California in December 2015, anti-Muslim attacks initially tripled with nearly half of those attacks directed against mosques.

Anti-Muslim attacks surged once more in December 2015. There were 53 total attacks that month, 17 of which targeted mosques and Islamic schools and 5 of which targeted Muslim homes. By comparison, when the presidential election season began just 9 months earlier, there were only 2 anti-Muslim attacks. Attacks on Muslims during this month constitute approximately 1/3 of all attacks last year. In fact, in December 2015, anti-Muslim attacks occurred almost daily and often multiple times a day.

At least three separate incidents of violence involved perpetrators who were public supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump. There was otherwise a strong perception among American Muslim leaders that political rhetoric created fertile ground for threats and acts of anti-Muslim violence.

While anti-Muslim political rhetoric gives cause for alarm, the ensuing violence has inspired expressions of solidarity with the American Muslim community, too.

May 25, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My American Story


A national TV and radio public service announcement (PSA) campaign created by the bipartisan children’s advocacy group First Focus will begin appearing in nine states and Washington, D.C., this month. The campaign encourages voters to support common-sense immigration policies.

The My American Story campaign shines a light on the nation’s flawed and outdated immigration system and the impact it has on children, including U.S.-born citizens.


May 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Criminal Organizations" and Border Patrol

Guest blogger, Emma Aubrey, student at the Seattle University School of Law

Yesterday we toured the border with the U.S. Border Patrol. Border Patrol agents used the term “criminal organizations” numerous times throughout the tour. For example, when the agents would bring up a scenario regarding apprehending someone crossing the border, they somehow tied this scenario to “criminal organizations.” By the use of the term it appears that the agents are associating all people crossing the border with some sort of “criminal organization.” However, assuming this type of association marginalizes those crossing the border seeking a better life.

Border Patrol agents likely use the term “criminal organizations,” regularly; to help justify the standard they must meet in making roving stops. If an agent categorizes all those whom they predict crossed the border into a group associated with a “criminal organization,” with agent experience, it is more reasonable for agents to suspect criminal activity is afoot. But, associating all people crossing the border with this terminology seems oppressive and stereotypical. Further, the term splits people into deserving verses undeserving categories, which has been a longstanding tactic used by the government to justify extensive surveillance. Finally, it was interesting from a social justice standpoint to observe the lens, which agents look through, and the terms they use.


May 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Border Patrol Mentality

Guest blogger: Tyler Stokes, student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Yesterday, we toured the border region between San Diego and Tijuana with the U.S. Border Patrol. While the images from the trip were both striking and, in some ways, unsettling to me, I found the commentary provided by our guide, a longstanding Border Patrol Agent, to be a very informative aspect of the experience.

From Agent Hernandez's narration, I learned much more about the state of mind of border enforcement, the mentality that really drives the regime. For example, the Agent at one point said that he

would love to live in a world where a fence was unnecessary, where people were just coming over to pick fruit or start businesses, and mean us no harm, but that's not the world we live in anymore. There are people who intend to do us harm, and security is vital to protect ourselves.

There is a lot to unpack here, but foremost, it struck me as pocket synopsis of the Agent's personal justification for the work he's gotten up every morning to do for the last twenty years, which I believe could be a similar credence for his peers. Within that though, there appears to be an inlaid assumption of a serious danger element on the other side of the fence, in fundamental contrast to the concept of most southern border immigrants simply moving to seek out job opportunity or a better life generally.

If we ever lived in a "world" where the migrants only "meant no harm," that time has surely passed. This is very much a militaristic sort of "us vs. them" mentality, which seems as though it would make it much easier to qualify pointing your gun at someone with just a rock in their hand, or stand in tandem to fencing with six foot tall doubled spools of razor wire.


May 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reporting From the Border

This week, I am in San Diego with immprof Lauris Wren (Hofstra) and eighteen law students from around the country. We're all here as part of an intensive course offered by Hofstra Law called Immigration Law and Border Enforcement

Yesterday, we toured the U.S.-Mexico border with agents from the U.S. Border Patrol's San Diego Sector.

Of the 60 linear miles of U.S.'s land border with Mexico in this sector, 47 have a primary border fence. 


The goal of the primary fence is to prevent vehicles from traversing the border without authorization.

In addition to the primary fence, the sector has 13 miles of secondary fencing.


The base of the secondary fence is frequently cut during the course of unauthorized migration. (If you look closely above you can see rectangular patches amidst the weeds.) So, about three months ago this sector started a pilot project to reinforce the secondary fence with additional razor wire at the base of the fence.



May 24, 2016 in Current Affairs, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Journey from Syria: No Choice



The New Yorker featured filmmaker Matthew Cassel's six-part documentary on a Syrian refugee’s 1,700-mile journey to Europe.

The International Organization for Migration reports an estimated 191,134 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 21 May, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.  Deaths through 21 May this year stand at 1,370 on all Mediterranean routes, which is 24 percent lower than last year’s total of 1,792 through the same period.


May 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Papers: 20th Anniversary of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA)

Call for Papers:  The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is publishing a special volume of its Journal on Migration and Human Security (JMHSthat examines the impact of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) on the 20th anniversary of the Act’s passage. The special collection will consider the law’s effect on US immigration law, policy, and practice; on US families and communities; and transnationally in other nation-states. The special volume will also be the subject of a conference organized by CMS.

Topics of Interest:

Articles in this special volume ideally will reflect a range of perspectives, including: (1) factors that led to and influenced the enactment of IIRIRA; (2) intended as well as unintended consequences and the costs and benefits (both quantitative and qualitative) that derived from IIRIRA; and (3) ways that the law can be improved in the future. Authors ideally will come from a range of disciplines, including sociology, geography, law, psychology, among others. Co-authored pieces are encouraged. Topics might include the following:

  • Historical context/background of IIRIRA on the federal, state, and local levels viewed from various perspectives (i.e., political, legal, economic, and cultural). The analysis could also connect IIRIRA to the law’s antecedents and other significant laws passed in 1996.
  • Impacts of the law in terms of infrastructure, money spent, and enforcement on the federal, state, and local levels and how implementation has changed over time.
  • Impacts of the law on communities and families in both sending countries and the United States, viewed from various perspectives (e.g., psychological, cultural, economic).
  • Unintended consequences of the law from a variety of perspectives (e.g., national security, drug policy, use of technology, and impacts on the NGO/advocacy community).
  • Aspects of enforcement such as detention, deportation and process-less removals (expedited removal, reinstatement of removal), and 3/10 year bars.
  • Criminal aspects of immigration.
  • Involvement of state and local law entities in immigration enforcement, such as Secure Communities.
  • Transnational consequences of US immigration policies on other countries and a comparison of policies toward deportees.
  • Title V of IIRIRA and its impact on immigrant access to social services, its intersection with welfare reform, employment authorization changes, etc.
  • Deterrence as a goal of IIRIRA. Did the law actually deter immigration, and if so, for which groups?
  • Effects of IIRIRA beyond immigration from various perspectives, including human/civil rights, race, gender, etc.

Submission Guidelines:

The Journal on Migration and Human Security is a peer-reviewed, public policy journal. Its articles are in the range of 7,500-10,000 words. Each article includes an executive summary and policy recommendations. The articles are shared with policy makers, among others. The submission guidelines for JMHS are available at

Call for Paper Proposals:

To be considered for this special volume, submit a proposal to containing the following:

  • Name and affiliation of author(s)
  • Working title
  • Abstract (not longer than two pages)
  • Link to your CV and the CV of your co-authors, if applicable.

Proposal and Submission Deadlines:

Starting May 20, 2016, proposals will be considered on a rolling basis.
Final deadline for proposals is July 8, 2016.
Deadline for first drafts is November 18, 2016.
Starting January 2017, full papers will be published on a rolling basis.

Publication of the complete special edition and conference is scheduled for April 2017.

The editors will review the submitted proposals and select articles for inclusion.  Our decisions will be based on the priorities laid out in this invitation and the overall scholarly merit of the proposal.  In addition, we will consider the composition of the collection as a whole and the ways in which the papers will complement one another.


Direct questions to

Download the Call for Paper Proposals


May 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)


JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL CONTROVERSY (an interdisciplinary, peer reviewed journal)


Along with drawing attention to the police as occupying armies in Black American communities, the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the deep roots of institutionalized racism in the United States.  Starting with the fundamental question, Do Black Lives Matter in the U.S. Education Industrial Complex?,  this issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy seeks to explore the various questions raised by Black Lives Matter in relation to U.S.  educational institutions, policies, and practices as they impact men, women, and children of color intersectionally, with respect to gender, gender identity, and class.  These questions could include the status of schools as institutions of control and sites of reproduction of racist ideology; the possibility of schools as sites of liberationist  transformation; the institutional history of schools alongside the development of institutional racism; the institutional response of schools to incidents of racial violence; the history of black studies programs in relation to black liberation movements, and the political transformation and sanitizing of concepts like diversity and multiculturalism.

For any questions, contact: 


Teri McMurtry-Chubb
Associate Professor of Law
Mercer University School of Law


May 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)