Thursday, November 30, 2017
A San Francisco jury reached a verdict Thursday afternoon in the trial of a homeless undocumented immigrant in the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle as she strolled with her father on Pier 14 to take in a view of San Francisco Bay. The jury came back for the defense, with the only conviction on a firearms charge Here are details. The verdict has provoked much discussion and debate.
President Donald Trump, who had previously talked about the Steinle case as an example of why undocumented immigration was out of control, condemned the verdict. He tweeted that the not guilty verdict in the Steinle murder trial was “disgraceful.”
“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case!” Trump tweeted after the jury rejected possible charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder. “No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”
The jury verdict was announced shortly after 4 p.m. PST today after several days of deliberations.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a 45-year-old Mexican citizen who was released from San Francisco jail before the killing despite a federal request that he be held for his sixth deportation, had been charged with murder; prosecutors also gave the jury the option of convicting him of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter. He was also charged with assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a gun in connection with Steinle’s death.
The scene outside the courtroom. Media & members of public wait for verdict in Steinle murder trial. Jury has finished deliberating murder charges against Mexican man deported 5 times before killing Kate Steinle on a SF pier. pic.twitter.com/ywhjOUmqSj— Riya Bhattacharjee (@loislane28) November 30, 2017
Papua New Guinea's Manus Island housed a detention camp for Australian refugee-seekers. That camp closed at the end of October, but many of the migrants housed there refused to leave the facility. After a three week standoff, all migrants have now been removed. The migrants are being housed at three different "transit centres" elsewhere on Manus Island.
It's unclear what will happen to the migrants. As the BBC reports, they've "been given the option of permanent resettlement in PNG, applying to live in Cambodia, or requesting a transfer to Nauru." Some are hoping to resettle in the U.S. pursuant to the plan brokered by President Obama which has been disclaimed by President Trump as the "worst deal ever."
The wretched of the earth, because they were no longer safe where they lived, sought to come here. With a determined cruelty, we kidnapped and imprisoned them in Pacific lagers. ... evil was being done to the innocent ... The shame of this time will outlive us all.
With Congress facing growing calls to pass DREAM Act-type legislation before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expires, critics are arguing that legalization would spur vast new “chain migration” because DREAMers could eventually sponsor their family members for green cards. In fact, they argue that each unauthorized immigrant legalized via the DREAM Act could sponsor as many as 6.4 relatives, on average, for legal permanent residence.
But Migration Policy Institute (MPI) researchers estimate that the reality would be a far cry from those numbers, and that the average DREAM Act recipient would sponsor at most about 0.65 to 1.03 family members over his or her lifetime.
As they explain in a new commentary, DREAMers have far different characteristics than most green-card holders. For example, their arrival as children in the United States means they are quite unlikely, as adults, to have had children born outside the country or to have married someone entitled to sponsorship for a green card.
Researchers Julia Gelatt and Randy Capps also note that family immigration sponsorship prospects for DREAMers are more limited than those for earlier immigrant arrivals, in part because of 1996 immigration law changes that significantly restricted the ability of most immigrants staying in the United States unlawfully for a period of months or more to legalize their status. Existing visa backlogs in certain categories, which can extend two decades for family preference green cards from some countries, would also significantly limit the number of people DREAMers could successfully sponsor. And because many DREAMers live in mixed-status families where a sibling or other relative is a U.S. citizen, their parents and siblings already have a pathway to apply for a green card, without DREAM Act-type legislation.
A detailed methodological appendix outlines ranges by family category based on five key DREAM Act-type bills that are pending in Congress. The bills, while varying in their particulars, would offer legalization to unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, provided they meet educational achievement and other criteria, including years of U.S. residence and passing a criminal background check.
The bills—the Recognizing America’s Children Act; the DREAM Act of 2017; the American Hope Act; the Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education, and Defending our Nation Act (SUCCEED Act); and the Border Security and Deferred Action Recipient Relief Act—would initially offer a period of conditional permanent residence, during which recipients could earn a path to a green card by meeting education, military or continuous employment requirements.
While DREAMers would be able to sponsor spouses for a green card under some of the bills after earning legal status, they would have to wait to become U.S. citizens before being able to sponsor other categories of relatives, including parents and siblings.
“The current debate over the DREAM Act should reflect a realistic, evidence-based assessment of the likely family immigration impacts for this unique population rather than mechanistically using earlier estimates for different populations—or reaching well beyond that,” said Doris Meissner, who heads MPI’s U.S. immigration policy program.
Read the commentary, “Legalization for DREAMers: A Realistic Appraisal of Potential Chain Migration,” and accompanying detailed methodology here.
And for MPI’s estimates of the populations that could gain legalization under the five key DREAM-Act type bills, see here.
(Photo: Noah Hurowitz, Village Voice)
ICE arrests at courthouses across the country have risen. On November 28, public defenders in New York walked out of the courts in protest of another ICE courthouse arrest. An estimated 40 to 70 such arrests have already taken place in New York, as described in this article by the Village Voice. The Village Voice article also discusses the conflicting accounts of what took place with the particular arrest that led to the action. (For more, see coverage from WNYC and the ABA Journal).
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has commented on the incident, saying "Today’s ICE arrest during a hearing on a serious domestic violence case denied due process for both victim and defendant...Such actions deter victims from reporting abuse and threaten public safety. I join our public defenders in calling on ICE to reconsider their misguided policy and stop conducting enforcement raids in courthouses.”
Immigration law's interdisciplinary nature and impact has existed for many years, especially with respect to the practice of criminal defense. But the increase in courthouse arrests brings another dimension to the need for lawyers in a range of practices -- including criminal defense, family law, civil litigation -- to commit to at least some baseline proficiency in immigration.
@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
One can only guess how President Trump's tweets will play into the legal challenge to the latest iteration of the travel ban.
At the Journal of Things We Like (JOTWELL), Jill Family (Widener) reviews Ming Hsu Chen's (Colorado) recent law review article, "The Administrator-in-Chief: The President and Executive Action in Immigration Law."
Here's the introductory paragraph to Family's review: "Professor Ming Chen’s Administrator-In-Chief: The President and Executive Action in Immigration Law is an ambitious effort to peer inside the relationship between a president and administrative agencies. It is the executive branch equivalent to the legislative sausage. Professor Chen concludes that a president is on strongest footing when he “promot[es] practices of good government in agencies rather than trying to substitute his policymaking judgments for those of the agency.” (P. 359.) The article emphasizes that the president should focus on his control over three things: (1) coherent federal policy; (2) centralized agency discretion, ensuring consistency, and (3) coordinating actions across all agencies. The article concludes that procedural choices matter; the president should work hard to set a procedural example and to use his influence to encourage procedural choices that will strengthen the legitimacy of policies. Professor Chen argues that the normative justifiability of presidential policymaking rests on whether the president is promoting coherency, consistency and coordination."
Also, in case you missed it, earlier this fall Angela Banks (William and Mary) reviewed Kerry Abrams' (Virginia) piece, "Family Reunification and the Security State" on JOTWELL.
Banks writes: "Many Americans believe that one of the functions of United States immigration law is to facilitate family reunification...Yet another function of U.S. immigration law is border control to protect national security. ..The relationship between these two immigration law functions—family reunification and national security—has varied throughout American history. Kerry Abrams’ forthcoming article, Family Reunification and the Security State, provides a framework for understanding the “shifting and complex relationship” between these two immigration law functions. (P. 1.) Professor Abrams identifies three periods of U.S. history in which the relationship between these two immigration law functions has varied. During the age of the unitary family there was little tension between the two immigration law functions, and family unity was paramount. In the subsequent age of security, the State’s concern about national security threats increased and family reunification was subordinated to border control. We are currently in the age of balancing in which family rights are viewed as individual constitutional rights that must be balanced with the State’s interest in border control. The implications of these shifts are highly visible today as citizens challenge President Trump’s executive order limiting migration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen based on their interest in family reunification."
(Photo: Mark Avery, Associated Press)
The Los Angeles Times reports on the recent arrest and detention of Sergio Carrillo, a United States Citizen -- with documentary proof of his citizenship -- who was nonetheless arrested by ICE officials and incarcerated in an immigration detention facility for four days.
The unlawful arrest, detention and deportation of U.S. citizens is not a new phenomenon, as the scholarship of Jacqueline Stevens and Rachel Rosenbloom has shown. A few other aspects of the article are worth highlighting. For instance, despite the State of California's efforts to resist federal immigration enforcement, this took place in Los Angeles. Also, the ICE officers' methods of arresting him -- through a call to his cell phone asking for his name and whereabouts, followed by a text message ("where you at?") -- are consistent with broader reports about ICE increasingly using a wide array of tactics to conduct arrests. Finally, in this case, Carrillo's citizenship claim itself did not appear to be legally or factually complex and yet ICE still refused to take his claims seriously. The article reports that his son brought his passport and certificate of citizenship, "but that ICE officers refused to review the documents." It was only after the ACLU of Southern California got involved and an attorney intervened by "forward[ing] copies of Carrillo's citizenship documents," that he was released.
The actor had not publicly revealed his immigration status, but yesterday he joined a campaign to legalize immigrants like him, becoming the public face of DACA recipients working in Hollywood. Known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program granted temporary resident status to an estimated 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
We are happy to announce the publication of our new casebook: Immigration Law and Social Justice, published by Wolters Kluwer, Aspen Publishers.
We are presenting this casebook on immigration law and policy from a social justice perspective. We believe that most law students interested in taking a course on immigration law have a social justice/public interest motivation. We think you are interested in representing immigrants facing deportation or who may fear deportation to their home country for social, economic, or political reasons. You also likely have a strong interest in the public policy debate over immigration visa reform, enforcement, or legalization because of the injustices you sense in current policies. Many instructors who teach immigration law (regular faculty members and adjunct professors) also come from a pro-immigrant perspective that regards the practice of immigration law squarely within social justice/public interest practice. We hope this casebook provides materials and a format that will enhance the classroom experience for students and instructors who approach the topic from that perspective.
The content and organization (outlined in the table of contents) is broad and contains new topics such as detention, public interest/rebellious lawyering theories, lessons for public interest lawyers, and background on migration, globalization, criminalization, and racialization of immigration law. Our goal is to inspire our public interest students, while providing a solid way to analyze immigration law through a political and social lens and the foundation to practice effectively. Our pedagogy combines standard cases, but also stories of the lives of immigrants, transcripts, training manuals, academic articles, news articles, and other tools that social justice lawyers use. Our rationale in editing cases is to hone in on the parts of the cases that are necessary for an understanding of the court’s rationale and some aspects of important dissenting opinions.
We know that most of you come to the course already inspired to do good, socially-inspired work. Much of what has evolved within the world of U.S. immigration law and policy will disappoint and leave you upset. But hopefully, we have asked the right questions and pointed in particular directions that can help us takes some steps forward in achieving justice for immigrants, refugees, and their families.
The book can be ordered here.
Bill Ong Hing, Professor of Law and Migration Studies, University of San Francisco
Jennifer M. Chacón, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and
Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Davis
TRAC reports that recent Immigration Court records reveal that during FY 2017 asylum decisions were up sharply. A total of 30,179 cases were decided by judges last year, a marked increase from 22,312 cases in FY 2016. This is the largest number of asylum cases decided in any one year since FY 2005. While asylum grants increased, denials grew even faster. This pushed the percent who were denied asylum to 61.8 percent. This is the fifth year in a row that denial rates have risen. Five years ago the denial rate was just 44.5 percent.
The proportion of asylum seekers who are unable to obtain representation has risen markedly. Ten years ago during FY 2007, only 13.6 percent were unrepresented. Five years ago (FY 2012), 15.8 percent were unrepresented. In FY 2017 the unrepresented figure was 20.6 percent. However, the proportion was even higher during FY 2014 when asylum seekers without attorneys suddenly jumped to 23.2 percent. Since then the rate has slowly subsided. However, the proportion of asylum seekers who were unrepresented last year remained significantly higher than levels prior to the 2014 jump.
These figures reflect in part the inadequacy of the supply of attorneys to keep up with increases in demand which occurred over this period. Recent efforts to increase the availability of attorneys through ramped up pro bono efforts and government-funded programs have sought to increase this supply. However, given the court's backlog, it may take some time before these newly represented cases are decided and the full impact of these programs will be felt.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Those aren't the only countries in Europe seeing a rise in anti-immigrant nationalism.
Earlier this month, Poland celebrated its independence day and tens of thousands of young people turned out to march in Warsaw. As the WSJ reports, the march was organized by the National Radical Camp - a "nationalist youth movement that seeks an ethnically pure Poland with fewer Jews or Muslims." The event wasn't so much historical as a call to action. Banners on display read "White Europe" and "Europe Will Be White".
As one protestor told the WSJ: “We want a Poland that will be for Polish people.”
Donald Trump Paid $1.4 Million in a Dispute Over Undocumented Workers. Read the Newly Unsealed Legal Papers
Ryan Teague Beckwith for Time reports that Donald Trump paid $1.4 million in 1998 to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged he stiffed a union pension fund by employing undocumented Polish laborers to demolish a department store to make way for Trump Tower. The amount became public this week after a judge released previously sealed settlement documents in response to a motion filed by Time Inc. and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in 2016.
Hat tip to Carter White!
Immigration Article of the Day: Protected, Not Removable: Foreign National Trafficking Victims and the Immigration Policies of the Trump Administration by Caroline Fish
Protected, Not Removable: Foreign National Trafficking Victims and the Immigration Policies of the Trump Administration by Caroline Fish, The National Law Review (2017)
This article looks at the issue of foreign national trafficking victims who have been charged with crimes in connection with their being trafficked, in relation to the current immigration policies of the Trump administration, which encourage immigration agents to detain, with the aim of removal, those foreign nationals who are charged with criminal offenses in the U.S. The article proposes that, even under the immigration policies of the Trump administration, the advancement of protection for foreign national trafficking victims is possible and critical.
Part I provides a background on the issue of human trafficking and illustrates, in particular, the circumstances in which foreign national trafficking victims may become criminal defendants in the justice system. Part II discusses the legal protections and mechanisms currently in place to protect foreign national trafficking victims and to divert defendant-victims toward services. Part III discusses the implications of the new immigration policies of the Executive Branch and argues that these policies do not change the protections in place for foreign national trafficking victims, even those who may become criminal defendants. This Part also proposes three ways to counter the negative impact of the current immigration policies for foreign national trafficking victims. This article concludes that maintenance and expansion of protections for all trafficking victims is essential to the global fight against trafficking, and this fight is one that should not slacken with a change of national administration.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Back in August, Pope Francis expressed his concern for the Rohingya of Myanmar:
"Sad news has reached us about the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters, a religious minority. I would like to express my full closeness to them – and let all of us ask the Lord to save them, and to raise up men and women of good will to help them, who shall give them their full rights."
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in Myanmar. And they've faced extreme persecution at the hands of the Myanmar military in recent months.
Today, Pope Francis visited Myanmar. And he while he spoke about the need for "peace" in that nation, he did not mention the Rohingya by name nor their current plight. That's because "'Rohingya' is a highly polarized word in Myanmar," as the NYT puts it. There was concern among the pope's advisors that using the term would inflame the situation in Myanmar with negative consequences for the Rohingya themselves as well as the small Christian population of Myanmar.
Yesterday was all about finding the best online gifts for the holiday season. Today is about feeling guilty about that cash you spent over the last four days and realizing you should counterbalance it all with some charitable donations! Welcome to Giving Tuesday.
There are a LOT of wonderful immigration-related 501(3)(c) organizations that you might consider donating to today. Here are just a few:
- The Safe Passage Project is all about representing children in immigration proceedings.
- Muslim Advocates have been working against Trump's travel bans.
- Educators for Fair Consideration works on "empowering undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals."
- The Florence Project provides free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center promotes and defends immigrant rights.
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project provides direct services to immigrants.
Have more ideas? Post them in the comments.
Also - don't forget the 501(c)(3) closest to you. I'm sure your home institution as well as your alma mater would appreciate a donation today.
Monday, November 27, 2017
It's Cyber Monday - the biggest online shopping days of the year. Here are a few ideas for that special immprof in your life (or hints you can pass along to those looking for good gifts for you).
Your immprof coffee lover might enjoy an I Stand With Dreamers mug (etsy, 11$).
How about a necklace engraved with the words of Emma Lazarus? (etsy, 44$)
Pins are a nice gift - you can pop one your on backpack, purse, jacket, or office bulletin board. Check out this Made by Immigrants pin. (etsy, $12)
And don't forget your Dirty Immigration Lawyers shirt, designed by immprof Sarah Rogerson!
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Lindsey Graham
"With no change to federal policy in sight, it is up to cities and states to push back. Elected officials must take seriously their legal obligation to keep courthouses accessible. In addition, the cities and states that own and operate most courthouses and ensure that no one uses their courts in a way that halts judicial business — protesters can’t block the doorway, bail bondsmen aren’t allowed to set up shop in the lobby — should do the same here for immigration agents.
Harry Pregerson (1923–2017) passed away this weekend. He was a senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Pregerson was appointed to the Ninth Circuit in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and assumed senior status on December 11, 2015. He previously had been appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson.
He was a graduate of UCLA (1947), and the UC Berkeley School of Law (1950). Judge Pregerson also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as First Lieutenant in World War II and was severely wounded in the Battle of Okinawa.
The Los Angeles Times story by Maura Dolan on Judge Pregerson's death stated that he "was one of the most liberal federal appeals court judges in the nation. . . . Dubbed a `thug for the Lord' by one attorney, Pregerson was relentless in his efforts away from the bench to help the poor in Los Angeles. . . . He worked to establish several homeless shelters and volunteered at one each Thanksgiving."
"My conscience is a product of the Ten Commandments, the Bill of Rights, the Boy Scout Oath and the Marine Corps Hymn," Judge Pregerson said during his Senate confirmation hearing. "If I had to follow my conscience or the law, I would follow my conscience."
A public square, a freeway interchange and a child-care center in L.A. bear Pregerson's name.
In response to a lawsuit when he was a lower court judge, Pregerson prevented construction of the 105 Freeway until construction jobs were set aside for women and minorities and a training program was in place to give them the needed skills. The settlement he helped write also ensured that affordable housing was built for residents displaced by the project.
Harry Pregerson's immigration decisions were memorable and he often sided with the immigrants and keeping families together. See here, here. As I summarized when Judge Pregerson assumed senior status, he
"has earned a reputation as a champion of immigrants. He has fairly regularly criticized (and here, here) the `cruelty' of the immigration laws. Just this past summer, Judge Pregerson made the news for comments in oral argument in a case in which the state of Arizona defended the state’s refusal to issue driver's licenses to recipients of relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Pregerson asked why Arizona continued to try to deny licenses to the DACA recipients. “Does it come down to racism? Does it come down to discrimination against these people? What else does it come down to?” he asked."
RIP Harry Pregerson.