Monday, April 30, 2018
Yesterday, the United Kingdom's Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned after claiming she "inadvertently misled" government over targets for the deportation of immigrants. Rudd resigned amid a growing scandal over the government's mistreatment of the so-called "Windrush generation," men and women from the Caribbean who arrived in Britain in the 1950s and 60s, but in recent years have been declared unauthorized immigrants despite having lived in the country for decades. Rudd had been under pressure to step down over her involvement in the affair, following allegations that members of the Windrush generation -- so named after the ship that had brought hundreds of Caribbean migrants to Britain -- had recently been refused medical care, denied housing and threatened with deportation.
Maya Averbuch and Joshua Partlow for the Washington Post report that Central American migrants traveling in the caravan that has prompted angry tweets from President Trump arrived at a border crossing near San Diego yesterday afternoon. Wearing white armbands, the first few dozen people, mostly women and children, tried to come through the San Ysidro port of entry in the late afternoon, at the end of an expedition that started more than a month ago and 2,500 miles south of here. But as the sun set in Tijuana, none from the group had been allowed on the U.S. side or processed by border officials, according to organizers accompanying the migrants.
If they eventually succeed in entering U.S. custody, the migrants will be at the beginning of a perhaps longer and more complicated journey through the immigration court system, where the odds will be stacked against them. Trump has made this caravan a symbol of a porous border and lax immigration laws. He has used it as justification to deploy National Guard troops, and his comments about it have further strained U.S. relations with Mexico.
“To anyone that is associated with this caravan, Think Before You Act,” Rodney S. Scott, chief patrol agent in San Diego for the U.S. Border Patrol, said in a statement. “If anyone has encouraged you to illegally enter the United States, or make any false statements to U.S. government officials, they are giving you bad advice and they are placing you and your family at risk.”
The caravan started out with more than 1,500 people, but the numbers dwindled to about 200 as the group made its way north by foot, bus and train. Some have dispersed, and others chose to stay in Mexico. About 300 people remained in the northern Mexican city of Hermosillo to apply for humanitarian visas. But the Mexican government has yet to issue the visas.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
"The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is a six-acre site that overlooks Montgomery, the state capital. It uses sculpture, art and design to give visitors a sense of the terror of lynching as they walk through a memorial square with 800 six-foot steel columns that symbolize the victims. The names of thousands of victims are engraved on columns – one for each county in the United States where a lynching took place. In Alabama alone, a reported total of 275 lynchings took place between 1871 and 1920.
U.S. history books and documentaries that tell the story of lynching in the U.S. have focused on black male victims, to the exclusion of women. But women, too, were lynched – and many raped beforehand. In my book “Gender and Lynching,” I sought to tell the stories of these women and why they have been left out."
Here is a NPR report on the new memorial.
Friday, April 27, 2018
At the Movies: Resistance at Tule Lake, Film about Japanese American Incarceration & Defiance, Set for National Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel May 6th
Resistance at Tule Lake, Film about Japanese American Incarceration & Defiance, Set for National Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel May 6th
“… a potent piece of history at a time when the United States is once again feeling less than hospitable.” - Mike Hale, The New York Times
Over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in ten camps from 1942-1946, a dark chapter of American history that has taken on renewed relevance in the current political climate. Resistance at Tule Lake tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 who defied the government by refusing to swear unconditional loyalty to the U.S. Though this was an act of protest and family survival, they were branded as “disloyals” by the government and packed into the newly designated Tule Lake Segregation Center. The film, directed by Japanese American filmmaker Konrad Aderer, is having its national broadcast premiere on the WORLD channel as part of May’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programming.
For over seven decades, the story of Tule Lake has remained hidden from the public narrative and school history books, and a taboo subject within the Japanese American community, due to widely shared feelings of shame and family trauma. The dominant narrative of World War II internment has been that the incarcerees behaved as a “model minority,” cooperating without protest and proving their patriotism by enlisting in the Army. Resistance at Tule Lake overturns that myth by telling the story of the overcrowded, highly militarized concentration camp where the U.S. government corralled “troublemakers” who dared to protest their confinement.
Tule Lake Segregation Center, located in northern California, just two miles from the Oregon border, became a virtual pressure cooker where the simmering conflicts between the Caucasian administration and the Japanese American incarcerees exploded into organized resistance and violent suppression. Faced with the uncertainty of the war and the rampant anti-Japanese climate that awaited them outside of camp, more than 5,000 renounced their “worthless” U.S. citizenship. Brought to visceral life with emotionally wrenching interviews, never-before-seen archival images, and stunning color footage taken inside the camp, the story of Tule Lake unravels racially codified standards of “loyalty” and illuminates today’s most urgent discussions of nationality and citizenship.
Resistance at Tule Lake’s national broadcast premiere is on Sunday, May 6 on the WORLD channel at 7pm EST/4pm PST. The feature-length documentary premiered last year at CAAMFest and continues to screen at festivals, schools and community organizations throughout the country, selling out tickets at a majority of their showings. Many audience members have come forward sharing their own long-hidden experiences of wartime incarceration, including family relatives of some of the people referred to in the film.
The film has also sparked intense reactions on how these stories are relevant today under the current U.S. treatment of immigrant families as well as Muslim communities. College screenings have prompted powerful sharing from out-of-status students. Director Konrad Aderer says, “There has been a real sense of being encouraged to engage more with what’s happening today… The DREAMer movement is how the most vulnerable are putting themselves on the line on principle and for survival, as Tule Lake resisters did then.”
WORLD will celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month every day during the month of May with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, in conjunction with a social media campaign for people to share their own stories online using hashtag #MyAPALife.
New Times reports on a new brew that may be of interest to readers of the ImmigrationProf blog.
John Pankauski, owner of West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault, is releasing a beer for Cinco de Mayo that's a tribute to America's "Dreamers." The brewery will jump into the DACA political arena May 2 with the release of its Mexican lager aptly dubbed Dreamers Lager. "I know that politics can be risky business," Pankauski says, "but I felt this was too important an issue to remain silent on."
The oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the travel ban case has dominated the news, and recharged the debate about the legal basis for the ban. Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia offers a "Meditation on Oral Arguments in the Travel Ban Case." The conclusion:
"How the Court will rule remains uncertain. Importantly, the travel ban remains in full effect because of twin orders issued by the U.S. Supreme Court on December 4, 2017 allowing the travel ban to be fully implemented, pending a decision by the Supreme Court. As of this writing the travel ban suspends entry for most nationals from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, as well as select nationals from Venezuela. I hope the statutory arguments are successful and ultimately provide some relief to the thousands of people hurt by this unlawful ban."
ABA president applauds Justice Department decision to keep immigrant education program during review
The ABA Journal reports that American Bar Association (ABA) President Hilarie Bass is applauding the Justice Department’s decision to keep in place a legal information program for detained immigrants during a review of its effectiveness.
The Legal Orientation Program provides basic legal information to 53,000 immigrants a year in federal detention centers in 16 states, Bass said in the statement on Wednesday. The DOJ had previously said it would suspend the program April 30 while the review was conducted. “We are pleased that today’s action reverses that decision,” Bass said.
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Video: USCIS and the Legacy of Ellis Island
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today released a new documentary video, “USCIS and the Legacy of Ellis Island.” From 1892 to 1954, federal immigration employees processed more than twelve million immigrants at the Ellis Island Immigration Station in New York Harbor.
The video tells the story of Ellis Island from the perspective of those who worked there, highlighting the historical connections between our agency’s mission to administer lawful immigration to the U.S. and this iconic port of entry in New York.
“USCIS and its predecessor agencies hold a distinct place in American history because of their important role in admitting immigrants into the fabric of our nation,” USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna said to employees at the premiere. “As employees, we all have an essential duty to honor and preserve that legacy and to ensure it lives on in the work we do today and in the future.”
The video consists of three chronological thematic chapters:
Chapter One: Creating Ellis Island: Introduces the audience to the origins of the federal immigration service, Ellis Island and its role in our agency’s early history.
Chapter Two: Working on the Island: Explores the often overlooked roles of Ellis Island’s employees and their importance to the operation of the nation’s busiest immigration station.
Chapter Three: Remembering Ellis Island: Examines the closing of Ellis Island, discusses its historical legacy, and emphasizes its lasting connection to USCIS.
The result of extensive historical research, USCIS produced the video with the support of the National Park Service, who provided access to Ellis Island’s historic collections and enabled filming on-location at Ellis Island.
How Immigrants Contribute to Developing Countries' Economies is the result of a project carried out by the OECD Development Centre and the International Labour Organization, with support from the European Union. The report covers the ten partner countries: Argentina, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa and Thailand. The project, Assessing the Economic Contribution of Labour Migration in Developing Countries as Countries of Destination, aimed to provide empirical evidence – both quantitative and qualitative – on the multiple ways immigrants affect their host countries.
The report shows that labour migration has a relatively limited impact in terms of native-born workers’ labour market outcomes, economic growth and public finance in the ten partner countries. This implies that perceptions of possible negative effects of immigrants are often unjustified. But it also means that most countries of destination do not sufficiently leverage the human capital and expertise that immigrants bring. Public policies can play a key role in enhancing immigrants’ contribution to their host countries’ development.
Supporting & Protecting Undocumented Students: What Schools, Leaders & You Can Do to Help the Undocumented Community
Given the political uncertainty around DACA specifically and immigration policy in general, this guide is a reminder of what educators and ordinary citizens can do to help undocumented students. While it should not be taken as legal advice, it does provide readers with powerful examples of initiatives schools and students are taking, as well as several useful resources to learn more about immigration policy and its effects on people with undocumented status. Read on to learn how to be an ally for undocumented students.
Founded in 2014, Unshackled Ventures has a simple entrepreneurial vision - help immigrant founded startups succeed faster. Here is the founder's description of the venture:
As a first generation American and a first generation immigrant our pathways first crossed at a startup in 2010. Through our personal entrepreneurial experiences, we saw that our diverse backgrounds led to incredible and innovative thinking. As we worked with some the most successful VCs, we also understood the best partners provide much more than capital - they help alleviate time consuming distractions and obstacles. This is especially needed for early-stage, immigrant founded startups. By bringing together immigration support and venture resources we knew we could support some of the most brilliant minds in America succeed faster.
Unshackled Ventures believes that when we remove the obstacles for diverse teams they are free to tackle the biggest problems in the world. And that makes the world just a little bit better. For all.
Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the U.S. Are Often More Educated Than Those in Top European Destinations: Sub-Saharan immigrants in the United States are also more highly educated than U.S. native-born population
As the annual number of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa to both the United States and Europe has grown for most years this decade, a Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau and Eurostat data finds that sub-Saharan immigrants in the U.S. tend to be more highly educated than those living in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Portugal – Europe’s historically leading destinations among sub-Saharan immigrants.1
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Immediately upon assuming office, President Trump issued an Executive Order terminating what was known as the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) and "reinstat[ing] the immigration [enforcement] program known as 'Secure Communities.'" This program is widely portrayed as the cornerstone of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts for stepped up deportations.
As TRAC reports, recently released ICE removal-by-removal records from Secure Communities—current through October 2017—provide a portrait of deportations of immigrants from each state and county in the nation by the Trump Administration. This report examines first how the level of Secure Communities deportations has changed under the new administration, and then turns to what types of crimes are now being targeted through this program.
Are Secure Communities Deportations Increasing?
The new administration initially did successfully ramp up deportations, although increases in removals of those who had committed serious crimes were modest. See TRAC's previous report with data through July 2017. Data now through October 2017 continue to show considerable month-to-month variability with no further upward trend. The number of those deported under this program - including some who have no criminal record - appear to have stabilized, averaging around 6,200 per month.
It is instructive to note that this number is still somewhat below the level that had prevailed during the Secure Communities years under President Obama. However, it does represent a significant increase above the Nov 2014 - January 2017 period when Obama's Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) replaced Secure Communities.
Here is the audio to the oral arguments in the Supreme Court in the travel ban case (Trump v. Hawaii) this morning. The transcript is here. Reports (and here) see the Court as upholding the travel ban. Amy Howe agrees in her recap of the argument. Commentary is abundant.
As always, it is hard to speculate abut how the Supreme Court will decide a case based on the oral arguments. Prognosticators famously (and wrongly) declared the Affordable Care Act dead after the Court heard arguments.
I listened to the audio of the arguments and am worried that the ban may be upheld. However, I am not certain that hope is lost. The deciding vote in favor of the immigrant in Sessions v. Dimaya, Justice Gorsuch raised questions about justiciability and the propriety of a nationwide injunction, which could lead to a narrow majority holding of limited impact.
There was nothing that surprising in the arguments. Justice Kagan, as well as Justice Sotomayor, seemed worried about the potential for invidious discrimination if the Court upheld the travel ban. (I was happy that Solicitor General Francisco in response to Justice Kagan's hypothetical did not invoke The Chinese Exclusion Case or Korematsu v. United States in defense of the decision of an anti-Semitic President to bar admission of noncitizens from Israel.). The Chief Justice, Justice Kennedy, and others seemed concerned with intervening in the President's decision on a national security matter.
, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University
r, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University
From The Conversation:
The health of children born to unauthorized immigrants – who are U.S. citizens – is affected by local and federal immigration policies. There are as many as 4 million children who have at least one parent who is undocumented.
Along with colleagues at Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab and Oregon Health & Science University, we measure the impact of immigration policy on the health of individuals and communities. Our research reveals the public health benefits of laws that make it easier for unauthorized immigrants to integrate into society.
An Obama-era policy that temporarily shielded some Dreamers from deportation, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, offers a dramatic example of how this has worked at the federal level.
Over 7,000 Bodies Have Been Found at the US-Mexican Border Since the Nineties -- And that’s an underestimate.
Todd Miller for The Nation offers analysis of death on the border -- the deaths along the US/Mexico border resulting from the U.S. government's immigration enforcement policies. The deaths of migrants in the border region -- almost all of them from Mexico and Central America -- began to escalate with the border enforcement measures in the 1990s, which have increased ever since.
From the Bookshelves: The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil