Tuesday, October 31, 2017

From The Bookshelves: Shy Mama's Halloween


Shy Mama's Halloween is a children's book, available on Amazon.

The Hilltown Families blog has a great summary:

In the story, an immigrant family prepares for Halloween – a holiday that they’ve never celebrated before because they’re new to the United States and, in their home country of Russia, Halloween wasn’t part of the culture. While Mama is willing to help her four children prepare their costumes, she’s equally wary of both going door to door in her new neighborhood and a holiday whose theme is centered around sinister characters. It is decided that the children’s father will bring them trick-or-treating, but when he comes home from work sick on the evening of Halloween, it is up to shy Mama to supervise the family’s Halloween outing.

The book's setting is historical, but its themes are universal. It's a story about new immigrants and unfamiliar cultural traditions. A great Halloween read!


October 31, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kobach’s new Breitbart column cites a man linked to Holocaust denial, white supremacy

Kobach protest me 042717 rs 0041f

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article181059616.html#storylink=cpy

October 31, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day:   What We Know and Need to Know About Immigrant Access to Justice by Elinor Jordan


What We Know and Need to Know About Immigrant Access to Justice by Elinor Jordan

South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 295, 2016


We have learned much in recent years about the inadequacy of access to justice for immigrants. We now understand quite well the ever-increasing need for good lawyering on behalf of immigrants in removal proceedings. Thanks to the hard work of many commentators, we stand ready with eloquent arguments that immigrants, especially those most vulnerable, should be represented during removal proceedings. In the absence of universal representation, commentators have studied the patchwork solutions that have emerged to meet some immigrants’ needs. Nonetheless, important questions remain about what is and what is not working. This article summarizes some recent contributions to this body of knowledge and charts a path forward.


October 31, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Chechnya's "Gay Genocide"


Victims of Chechnya's "gay genocide" have been speaking out about their treatment. The BBC has the story.

Maxim Lapunov is the first gay men to publicly speak about his treatment. Lapunov reports that he was held for 12 days in a blood-soaked cell where he was beaten with sticks: "in the legs, ribs, buttocks and back. When I started to fall, they pulled me up and carried on." Every day, he was told that he would be killed because he was gay. He could hear the "screams and groans" of other detainees.

Another man, whose name is not known, told the BBC that he too was tortured, with electric shocks.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic, has decried the allegations, asserting that there are "no gays in Chechnya."


October 30, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harry Dow Lecture Series on Immigration Law


Date and Time: November 15, 5:30pm-8:00pm, Location: 5th floor Blue Sky Lounge, Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02108.

Title: "DACA: A Story of Dreams and Fears"

Speaker: Stephen H. Legomsky

The speaker will discuss the historical context in which the DACA memo was drafted including the many years that the DREAM Act spent in Congress and the increasing social movements of undocumented youth; the legal theories that were used to draft the DACA memo; and his thoughts on the rescission of that memo as well as the federal judge’s injunction against the subsequent DAPA and DACA expansion memos in 2015. 

RSVP:  To RSVP, please email to suls.apalsa@gmail.com or contact Jiabei Li (President of Suffolk Law APALSA) at suls.apalsa@gmail.com


Dr. Stephen H. Legomsky is the John S. Lehmann University Professor Emeritus at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.  Professor Legomsky took a leave of absence from 2011 to 2013 to serve as Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the immigration services agency in the Department of Homeland Security.  After retiring in July 2015, he returned to Washington to serve as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security


October 30, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ohio Governor John Kasich: "Bulk Of The Republican Party" Supports Immigration, Opposes "Nationalism"


Ohio Gov. John Kasich joins 'Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace to talk about the direction of the Republican Party in the Trump era:

WALLACE: Well, I'm going to get to specific issues in a moment, but I -- I do want to pursue this question of the philosophy of the Republican Party because Steve Bannon and his supporters say, well, look, sure, Flake and Corker made tough speeches, but they basically -- the bottom line is that they announced that they are quitting, and that there was silence for most other Republicans. So can't one argue that what you call the inward-looking, the populist, nationalist wing of the Republican Party is taking over?

GOV. JOHN KASICH: No, I don't think so. I think the bulk of the Republican Party, and I've been in the Republican Party since I was a college student, is one that believes in the fact that America has a place in the world. You know, Reagan talked about it, advances in humanity. I agree. I think the bulk of the Republican Party does believe that immigration provides energy to our country. I think that the bulk of the Republican Party believes that America is special and has a place in the world at which to advance freedom and free enterprise and all those things.

I think that this move towards nationalism or looking inward, a lot of loud voices, but I don't happen to think it's -- it's the bulk. And we-we will have to see over time. But for those -- that debate, that debate, to some degree, is going to be settled by the demographics in the near future. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but soon it's going to be decided by that new wave of new thinking by these young people who can bring a lot of energy to the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

October 30, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inside Trump’s immigration crackdown


Courtesy of Reveal

In a podcast, Reveal of the Center for Investigative Reporting examines U.S. immigration policies that affect millions of people who live illegally in the United States. We hear from families and children caught in a system with shifting rules, and those in charge of enforcing those laws on the ground.

First, Reveal’s Bernice Yeung breaks down a policy called expedited removal. It allows law enforcement to fast track deportations for people arrested close to the U.S. border. President Donald Trump wants to dramatically expand its use. Critics predict that broadening the practice to the entire country would place too much power in the hands of immigration agents.

Despite the policy’s name, expedited removal isn’t always fast. If immigrants claim they’re afraid to return to their home countries, federal detention facilities can hold them indefinitely while authorities decide their cases. WHYY reporter Laura Benshoff brings us the story of a mother and son who spent nearly half the child’s life under lock and key. As a reporter, Benshoff has followed them and other families in detention to try to understand why Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds kids for months, sometimes years, even though it’s technically illegal.

Finally, reporter Ashley Cleek brings us to Florida, where a surge in unaccompanied minors from Central America has strained family and juvenile courts. As a result, young immigrants  seeking protection in this country find themselves facing judges who normally handle custody battles and child abuse allegations. Those judges argue that the federal Department of Homeland Security is responsible for immigration issues; the government sees it differently. Caught in the middle are kids like Isaias, a 17-year-old from Guatemala who fled gang violence in his tiny hometown.  



October 30, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

At the Movies: The Foreigner (2017)

Will the Next Silicon Valley Be in Canada -- Thanks to President Trump?


NPR reports that, when President Trump took office, American tech companies worried that getting international employees work visas in the U.S. would get much harder. But Mike Tippett had a solution to offer them: move to Vancouver.

Vancouver's tech industry has been growing for years now, with companies like Amazon, Slack, Microsoft and SAP all with large headquarters there. It's a quick flight from San Francisco, and a two-hour drive from Seattle. It's in the same time zone with the same language. Labor is also cheaper.

Tippett predicted there would be a surge of tech workers looking for an alternative to America. He founded the company True North, which helps tech workers move to Canada, get incorporated, deal with all the tax and other legal and immigration issues.  The True North website describes its service:

TrueNorth provides companies with the resources & guidance needed to set up a workplace in Canada for employees impacted by new US and Canadian immigration rules. 

Almost half of the startups based in Silicon Valley were founded by immigrants. And nearly all startups have been built with the help of international talent living in the US using what has been called the ‘genius visa’.  But new restrictions on the genius visa (technically called the H-1B) are causing some of the most dynamic startups in the world to re-think where they house their current and future employees.

TrueNorth is responding to this need and has emerged as a leading advocate for US firms who are looking for ways to ensure business continuity in the face of an uncertain immigration environment. TrueNorth provides companies with the resources and guidance needed to set up a workplace in Canada for employees impacted by these new rules. TrueNorth works with firms to set up a Canadian subsidiary for their operations. Once this is established, companies can transfer many of their employees to Canada using existing Canadian immigration practices.  


Tippett says Silicon Valley is still the place to be. But each high-skilled worker who moves to Canada is America's loss.


October 29, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Sessions v. Morales-Santana: Beyond the Mean Remedy by JOHN VLAHOPLUS

Sessions v. Morales-Santana: Beyond the Mean Remedy by JOHN VLAHOPLUS

Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Forthcoming


The Supreme Court's recent decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana holds that a derivative citizenship statute violated an unwed father's constitutional rights by not according him the same right as unwed mothers to transmit citizenship to his foreign-born child. Critics have attacked the decision as cruel and merely symbolic because the Court chose a "mean remedy," withdrawing rights from mothers rather than extending them to fathers. This article argues that the decision is far more than symbolic. It applies to immigration as well as naturalization. It establishes citizens' rights to meaningful judicial scrutiny of some actions by Congress and the President that affect aliens with whom they have significant relationships, including actions like travel bans that affect their admission and their treatment while abroad, and it may also establish aliens' personal rights to meaningful judicial scrutiny of those same actions.

Read critically, the decision should implicitly overrule or reverse a series of cases that grant Congress and the President broad powers over aliens, including (1) Fiallo v. Bell, which permitted similar discrimination in the context of immigration, (2) Gil v. Sessions, which upheld similar discrimination in conferring derivative citizenship on children of naturalized parents, and (3) Rogers v. Bellei, which permitted the involuntary expatriation of the foreign-born child of an American citizen. It may also implicitly overrule or undermine Mathews v. Diaz, which ratified the general principle that under "its broad power over naturalization and immigration" Congress may enact "rules that would be unacceptable if applied to citizens." A critical reading might also show that the mean remedy is itself unconstitutional and open the door to reconsider the remedy and recognize the citizenship of Morales-Santana and others similarly situated. Justice Ginsburg's opinion is broad and principled. It should force courts to confront the discrimination that pervades American immigration and naturalization law, and it may ultimately extend due process and equal protection farther than critics and even the Court expect.


October 29, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Singer Regina Spektor, Russia

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Now Streaming: Alias Grace

The Handmaiden's Tale wasn't Margaret Atwood's only novel. Netflix has just released a miniseries based on another of Atwood's works: Alias Grace. Here's the trailer:

Alias Grace tells the story of Grace Marks, "a 19th-century Irish immigrant and servant who became a celebrity 'murderess' in Toronto." The story confronts 19th century issues of "anti-immigrant sentiment, abortion and class warfare" -- things that seem scarily modern today. Indeed, the writer who adapated Atwood's novel for the small screen wrote of the lead character's "harsh crossing from Ireland with recent migrant crises in mind."

Atwood herself sees the work as a cautionary tale: “We are at a moment in history when some parts of North America are trying to turn the clock back, and if they want to turn it back, what do they want to turn it back to?”


October 28, 2017 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant Players in World Series in Racial Controversy


Photo: Twitter                          

Its World Series time and the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros are in a dogfight.  Two foreign-born ballplayers are at the center of a controversy.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Yuli Gurriel hit a home run into to lift the Astros to a 1-0 lead in the second inning of Game 3 of the World Series.  His reaction to the homer immediately afterward has sparked controversy.

A television camera caught Gurriel appearing to ridicule Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish's Asian heritage. A giddy Gurriel, taking a seat on the bench immediately following the homer, used his fingers to act as if he was slanting his eyes and he also appeared to say, "Chinito," which translates from Spanish to English to "little Chinese boy." 

Darvish is from Osaka, Japan, and has played the past six seasons in the majors leagues, with most of his time spent with the Texas Rangers. The Dodgers acquired the pitcher in a trade in late July for the stretch run and postseason.

"Of course Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans and Asians, like, all over the place. Acting like that, you just disrespect all the people around the world. To the Houston organization, that's not OK," Darvish said. 

Gurriel, a native of Cuba who's spent the past two seasons with the Astros, said he was informed during the game that he would have to answer for the gesture afterward.  He has apologized.



October 28, 2017 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Temporary Protected Status in the United States Beneficiaries from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti


This fact sheet on TPS recipients from Central America is chock full of interesting facts.  One surprising (to me, at least) fact is that the majority of Salvadorans and Hondurans with TPS have lived in the United States for at least 20 years (51 and 63 percent, respectively), while 16 percent of Haitian TPS holders have resided in the country for at least two decades. During this time, they have been regularly vetted by the government, submitting themselves to background checks every time their TPS has been renewed. Hondurans, for example, have passed security checks 13 times while having TPS.


October 28, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrants Make up a Smaller Share of the U.S. Population Than They Did 100 Years Ago

The Big Lie: Does DHS Really Have to Deport a Ten-Year-Old with Cerebral Palsy?


Rosa Maria Hernandez, a 10-year-old undocumented girl with cerebral palsy, may be deported. CREDIT: Family photo (courtesy of Think Progress)

Earlier this week, ImmigrationProf blogged about the case of a 10-year-old girl, Rosa Maria Hernandez, with cerebral palsy who had gall bladder surgery at Driscoll Children’s Hospital is under threat of deportation after crossing a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint to get to Corpus Christi for the surgery.  

Questioned why the agency would carry out such a cruel arrest of a vulnerable girl, the Customs & Border Protection spokesman, Dan Hetlage, said the following: "The agent is wrong if he lets her go. We don't have the discretion. It's not a traffic ticket. We follow the letter of the law.” He added, by way of trying to apologize for this apparent helplessness: "It's frustrating for us. I'm a human being. The agents are trying to do their job as humanely as possible."

As Ted Alden puts it, "Explaining the outrageousness of this lie requires a little background."  Alden insightfully analyzes the claim that the U.S. officers had "no choice" but to seek Rosa Maria Hernandez's removal.  He concludes "If Rosa Maria Hernandez does not warrant the discretion of CBP to be spared from deportation and reunited with her parents, then it truly has become hunting season on every unauthorized migrant in the country."


October 28, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Politics of Immigrant Rights: Between Political Geography and Transnational Interventions


Professor Deborah E. Weissman

The Politics of Immigrant Rights: Between Political Geography and Transnational Interventions by


This article explores how political geography and the politics of immigration devolution create varying legal environments in which immigrants assert their rights. It argues that the apparent breach of the federal government’s commitment to constitutional and statutory rights pertaining to immigrants has created the need to consider new forms of legal protections through transnational advocacy in a manner consistent with U.S. constitutional guarantees. It contributes to the scholarship on immigrant rights through three lines of inquiry.

First, the article considers the ways that history, demographics, and socio-legal culture affects the politics of devolution of immigration enforcement. Within the boundaries of the United States, different local legal traditions serve to shape the culture of law in which immigrants seek to exercise rights. Legal pluralism may promote innovative developments to law and rights, to be sure. But just as often, legal pluralism serves to undermine fundamental rights that elsewhere provide resolution of legal claims. These idiosyncrasies put into doubt equal protection under the law and raise constitutional and normative concerns. The article considers the various forms and mechanisms of immigration devolution that have developed within a changing political environment and examines the salient factors that act to influence a locality’s preference for devolution policies that enable punitive discriminatory state immigration laws compared with those that tend to foster progressive and protective laws that further immigration integration.

Second, the article examines the capacity of the Mexican Consulate/Department of Legal Protection (DLP) as an agency possessed of the capacity to mitigate the geographic disparity that currently characterizes the exercise of immigrant rights. The Mexican Consulate transacts its responsibilities within “the largest sustained migration flow between any two countries in the world.” It has a lengthy history of engaging in community collaborations to challenge local anti-immigrant legal policies that often stigmatize Mexicans as “a racialized ethnic group” whose presence is deemed unwelcome. Through the functions of the DLP housed within the Consulate, immigrants may obtain assistance to enforce their rights.

Third, the article returns to the impact of the political geography of rights on the effectiveness of the DLP. Through an examination of three strategic research sites: the Mexican Consulate in North Carolina (representing a new destination area for immigrants in an environment of weak community supports); the Mexican Consulate in El Paso, Texas (representing binational/bilingual residents in a border area with heightened humanitarian concerns); and the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco, California (representing an established immigrant corridor with long-established community supports), the article examines the policies and practices of devolution and analyzes their impact on the efficacy of each of the three DLPs generally and especially in the realm of labor, family, and human rights.

The article concludes by suggesting that the use of devolution as response to the presence of immigrants may serve as “a bellwether of deeper social changes.” It observes that the likelihood of modification of policy of immigration enforcement in ways to benefit immigrant rights is dubious in the near future. Given these circumstances, the article sets forth those salient characteristics identified by migration scholars as contributing to a robust and coherent national and transnational blueprint to protect immigrant rights and demonstrates that the DLP exemplifies such best practices.


October 28, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Immigration Article of the Day: Silencing Talk About Race: Why Arizona’s Prohibition of Ethnic Studies Violates Equality by M. Isabel Medina


Silencing Talk About Race: Why Arizona’s Prohibition of Ethnic Studies Violates Equality by M. Isabel Medina, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly (2017)


In 2010, Arizona made national headlines when it enacted laws targeting undocumented immigrants, perceived in the state to be primarily Mexican. Arizona experienced population growth that projected it would become a minority majority state within one or two decades. Republican politicians spearheaded a ban on ethnic studies, with its intended target a successful Mexican American studies program at the Tucson Unified School District. The Mexican American studies program was initiated as part of a desegregation decree in ongoing desegregation litigation against the Tucson Unified School District; state superintendents of education in Arizona branded the program “racist” because students were encouraged to think critically about U.S. history and question the role that race plays in the development of U.S. society. This Article examines ethnic studies, their role as a desegregation remedy, and in crafting a more accurate and informed view of history. Ethnic studies are a vibrant and vital educational tool to explore and challenge established historical and cultural orthodoxies that adversely affect formation of individual and group identity, and they encourage and develop critical thinking about race and ethnicity in all student populations. This Article contends that state efforts to prohibit ethnic studies programs are constitutionally infirm and should engage strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause because they classify and prohibit curricular content and offerings on the basis of race or ethnicity, burdening only minority races. 


October 27, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The RAISE Act and the Reality of "Merit"-Based Immigration


If you’ve been paying attention to the debate around immigration reform, you’ve probably come across the phrase: “merit-based immigration.” It’s a center-piece of Senator Tom Cotton’s proposed RAISE act, and President Trump called for more of it in a speech to Congress. But what exactly is merit-based immigration? This post includes a radio interview on Innovation Hub about my thinking on the RAISE act and "merit"-based immigration.

Three Takeaways 

  • If America moved towards a more merit-based immigration system, it would mean focusing less on family connections and more on things like English-language skills, having an advanced degree, and having highly-prized job skills. Which would be similar, in some ways, to the Canadian system.
  • Johnson thinks that part of the reason merit-based immigration is being proposed is that its proponents believe that current immigration levels are too high. Johnson also says that proponents of the RAISE Act, like Trump and Cotton, want to change the demographics of immigrants coming to America (to, in part, include fewer Chinese and Mexicans).
  • Johnson concludes that merit-based immigration reform could actually backfire: “I think if you limit overall migration, while focusing on people with PhDs, for example, what you’ll do is you’ll fuel future flows of undocumented immigrants.”



October 27, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Timeline of Donald Trump’s Anti-Muslim comments

In light of ongoing legal challenges to the latest iteration of the Muslim Ban, The Bridge Initiative has compiled an interactive timeline chronicling Trump’s anti-Muslim statements as a public figure, presidential candidate, and as President of the United States. The timeline features media clips from interviews and campaign appearances, and remarks related to Muslims and the Muslim Ban–including the refugee ban–that Trump has made on Twitter. Use the arrows below to explore Trump’s statements about Muslims and the Muslim Ban from 2010 to present.

This resource will be updated routinely to reflect the latest developments in the Muslim Ban case. To view this Timeline in a separate window, click here


October 27, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)