Monday, July 30, 2018
As previously reported on the ImmigrationProf blog, the Trump Justice Department has directed U.S. attorneys to not use the term "undocumented" but to use "illegal aliens."
Nolan Rappaport for the Hill claims that the "debate [over terminology] fosters bad feelings on both sides and diverts attention from the threat of deportation, which is a much more serious matter." He thinks that the focus should be on the legalization of undocumented immigrants, not on what they are called.
I am not sure that I agree and do not believe that it is an "either or" proposition. We can strive to refer to people in human terms and to regularize the status of undocumented immigrants.
UPDATE (July): Paul Schmidt on Immigration Courtside also calls on Democrats and Republicans to push for legalization of the undocumented. He does not weigh in on the question of terminology.
Many observers, myself included, support a path to legalization for the undocumented. Still, the terms of the debate are important. In an article more than twenty years ago, I wrote about the importance of terminology ("Aliens" and the U.S. Immigration Laws: The Social and Legal Construction of Nonpersons", 28 Miami Inter-American Law Review 263 (1997)) -- and use of the terms "aliens" and "illegal aliens" -- in the rationalization of inhumane and harsh legal treatment of noncitizens. President Trump's references to immigrants in disparaging terms (see, e.g., here ("animals"), here (undocumented immigrants "infest" the U.S.), and here (referring to noncitizens from "s---hole countries") are a rhetorical effort to justify extreme measures.
Immigration Court outcomes in credible fear reviews (CFR) have recently undergone a dramatic change. Starting in January 2018, court findings of credible fear began to plummet. By June 2018, only 14.7 percent of the CFR court decisions found the asylum seeker had a "credible fear." This was just half the level that had prevailed during the last six months of 2017. These very recent data from the Immigration Court provide an early look at how the landscape for gaining asylum may be shifting under the current administration. Unless asylum seekers, including parents with children, arriving at the southwest border pass this initial CFR review, they are not even allowed to apply for asylum. As a consequence, individuals who don't pass these reviews face being quickly deported back to their home countries.
The latest available case-by-case court records obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University document that depending upon the particular Immigration Court undertaking the credible fear review, the proportion of asylum seekers passing this screening step varied from as little as 1 percent all the way up to 60 percent - a sixty-fold difference. Since October 2015, for example, at least half passed their credible fear reviews when these were conducted by the Immigration Courts in Arlington, Virginia (60% passed), Chicago, Illinois (52% passed), Pearsall, Texas (51% passed), and Baltimore, Maryland (50% passed). In contrast, few were found to have credible fear when their review took place in Immigration Courts based in Lumpkin, Georgia (only 1% passed) and Atlanta, Georgia (only 2% passed).
Which judge is assigned to undertake this review can also have a dramatic impact. Judges on the Pearsall, Texas and San Antonio, Texas Immigration Courts found as few as 4 percent demonstrated credible fear, while others on the same two courts found 94 percent with such fear.
Previous reports by TRAC and others have long documented wide judge-to-judge disparities in asylum decisions. This report breaks new ground in showing that similar differences also exist earlier in the asylum process in the determination of who is allowed to apply for asylum.
To read the full report, including specifics for each Immigration Court, go here.
"as we mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, we . . . are reminded, sadly, that migrants are too often exposed to disproportionate risks of exploitation and abuse when looking for better employment opportunities away from home.
Every year, millions of migrants are trafficked within and across borders and find themselves trapped in forced labour. In some cases, men and women are coerced into work, enduring violence, threats or psychological manipulation. Often, they find themselves indebted via unfair recruitment processes or employment conditions, all the while facing enormous pressures from their families and communities who may have gone into debt themselves, just to start their job search.
Other forms of exploitation are only slightly more benign – having to toil under dangerous conditions, settling for menial wages, facing hidden deductions and unreasonable restrictions during both work and non-work hours. These abuses, too, harm migrants and violate their rights."
"Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. Children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Additionally, women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims, the report states." (emphasis added).
Donald J. Trump
I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!
6:13 AM - Jul 29, 2018
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CNN reports that President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to push the government into a shutdown ahead of the coming spending deadline in September if Congress does not fund his border wall and change the nation's immigration laws. A shutdown could well influence the outcomes of the midterm elections.
Tara Golshan on Vox looks at what President Trump is demanding with respect to immigration.
Sunday, July 29, 2018
This short (2:57) video from the BBC is a great addition to class discussion about the border. It features a border rancher who talks about the ease of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on his ranch and the evidence he's collected of drug smugglers on his property. That evidence includes surreptitious video (included) as well as detritus in the form of "booties" worn by smugglers to thwart tracking efforts by Border Patrol.
In my own talks with Border Patrol agents, I've heard them discuss how migrants wrap their feet in carpet but this was the first time I'd seen carpet-bottomed booties.
Personally, I'd recommend playing only until 2:04 (stopping after "I was thrilled") which would focus discussion on the border, drug smuggling, and the wall. After 2:04, the featured rancher starts talking about the separation of migrant families at the border.
It is the weekend for inductions into Major League Baseball's coveted Hall of Fame. The ceremony at Cooperstown is later this morning. This year's inductees are Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Jack Morris, Jim Thome, and Alan Trammell.
A two time Immigrant of the Day, Vladimir Alvino Guerrero was born in the Dominican Republic. Guerrero, who has been called "one of the most electrifying and unconventional hitters of his generation," hails from the Dominican Republic. Despite the prevalence of MLB players from the DR, Guerrero is just the third Dominican to enter the Hall of Fame. Prior inductees include Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez.
Guerrero spent 16 seasons in Major League Baseball as a right fielder and designated hitter. He played for the Montreal Expos (1996–2003), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2004–09), Texas Rangers (2010), and Baltimore Orioles (2011). A nine-time All-Star, Guerrero was widely recognized for his impressive offensive production—regularly hitting for power and average—as well as his defensive range and strong throwing arm. In 2004, Guerrero was voted the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP). He helped lead the Angels to five AL West championships between 2004 and 2009 and was voted one of the most feared hitters in baseball in a 2008 poll of all 30 major league managers. Regarded as the game's premier "bad-ball hitter," Guerrero consistently hit balls thrown well outside the strike zone, a skill evident on August 14, 2009, when he hit a pitch after it bounced in front of home plate. With his aggressive batting style, he hit more than 30 home runs in each of 8 seasons and surpassed 100 RBI 10 times, though he had just 2 seasons with at least 65 walks. In the first pitch of the at-bat, Guerrero hit 126 home runs, believed to be the most ever, and put 1,780 balls in play.
On September 26, 2011, Guerrero surpassed Julio Franco as the all-time MLB leader for hits by a Dominican player. (Adrián Beltré claimed the record from Guerrero in 2014.)
Guerrero was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on January 24, 2018, in his second year of eligibility.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Court News: Judge Orders Independent Monitor in Flores Case, Progress Being Made in Reunifying Families
The litigation over the Trump administration's immigrant detention policies continues. There were two major developments yesterday.
CNN reports that Federal District Judge Dolly Gee will appoint an independent monitor to monitor the conditions of detention of migrant children in the US/Mexico border region. Immigration lawyers argued that the Trump administration has been holding children and their parents in inhumane conditions. The government denied the allegations, and opposed the appointment of a monitor. Judge Gee said she reached her decision after seeing a "disconnect" between government monitors' assessment of conditions in facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, and the accounts of more than 200 immigrant children and their parents detailing numerous problems, including spoiled food and foul-smelling water. "There continue to be persistent problems," US District Judge Dolly Gee said during a status conference The judge said she wants an independent monitor to report the facts to her directly, "to cut through disputes over what is happening on the ground."
The hearing was in the ongoing controversy over the "Flores settlement," the 1997 settlement agreement that set standards for the detention of migrant children. The Justice administration sought relief from the agreement so that families could be detained together.
In another case, the federal judge who ordered the reunification of thousands of migrant families says the Trump administration deserves "great credit" for its efforts. But Judge Dana Sabraw also faulted the administration for "losing" hundreds of parents, leaving a significant number of families separated a day after the court-imposed deadline to reunite them. At a status conference yesterday, Judge Sabraw said the priority now must be the hundreds of families that could not be reunited — including more than 400 children who are still in government custody because their parents were deported without them.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
The Trump administration has not fared well in the litigation challenging its immigration enforcement policies. This is the case in the administration's efforts top de-fund sanctuary jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration officers. The losses in courts in California, Chicago, and Philadelphia are piling up. Here is the latest.
Bloomsberg reports that a Federal District Judge Harry Leinenweber in Chicago v. Sessions yesterday issued a 58 page ruling rejecting the U.S. Justice Department's plan to withhold law enforcement grants from so-called sanctuary cities and applied thes ruling nationwide. The city of Chicago had sued the Justice Department, arguing that it’s policies of policing and cooperating with immigrant communities must be upheld. Chicago refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities about the immigration status of a suspect unless they are a known gang members or violent felons.
Immigration Article of the Day: From IIRIRA to Trump: Connecting the Dots to the Current US Immigration Policy Crisis by Donald Kerwin
From IIRIRA to Trump: Connecting the Dots to the Current US Immigration Policy Crisis by Donald Kerwin, Center for Migration Studies
When signing into law the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA, or “the Act”), President William J. Clinton asserted that the legislation strengthened “the rule of law by cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, in the workplace, and in the criminal justice system — without punishing those living in the United States legally” (Clinton 1996). In fact, the Act has severely punished US citizens and noncitizens of all statuses. It has also eroded the rule of law by eliminating due process from the overwhelming majority of removal cases, curtailing equitable relief from removal, mandating detention (without individualized custody determinations) for broad swaths of those facing deportation, and erecting insurmountable, technical roadblocks to asylum. In addition, it created new immigration-related crimes and established “the concept of ‘criminal alienhood,’” which has “slowly, but purposefully” conflated criminality and lack of immigration status (Abrego et al. 2017, 695). It also conditioned family reunification on income, divided mixed-status families, and consigned other families to marginal and insecure lives in the United States (Lopez 2017, 246). Finally, it created the 287(g) program that enlists state and local law enforcement agencies in immigration enforcement and drives a wedge between police and immigrant communities.
The trend of “cracking down” on immigrants did not begin with IIRIRA. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, and the 1990 Immigration Act, for example, expanded deportable offenses (Abrego et al. 2017, 697; Macías-Rojas 2018, 3–4). IIRIRA, however, significantly “ratchet[ed] up” the “punitive aspects of US immigration law already in place” (Abrego et al. 2017, 702), and erected much of the legal and operational infrastructure that underlies the Trump administration’s plan to remove millions of undocumented residents and their families, to terrify others into leaving “voluntarily,” and to slash legal immigration.
In 2016, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) issued a call for papers to examine IIRIRA’s multifaceted consequences. Between March 2017 and January 2018, CMS published eight papers from this collection in its Journal on Migration and Human Security (JMHS). The papers cover the political conditions that gave rise to IIRIRA, and the Act’s impact on immigrants, families, communities, and the US immigration system. This article draws on these papers — as well as sources closer to IIRIRA’s passage and implementation — to describe how the Act transformed US immigration policies and laid the groundwork for the Trump administration’s policies. After a brief discussion of IIRIRA’s origins, the article discusses the law’s effects and subsequent policies related to the growth of the US immigration enforcement apparatus, removal, asylum, detention, the criminal prosecution of immigrants, the treatment of immigrant families, and joint federal-state enforcement activities.
Friday, July 27, 2018
Judges Patel and Jensen
Retired federal judges Marilyn Hall Patel and Marilyn Hall Patel have proposed a novel solution to the 700,000-plus case backlog currently facing immigration courts: enlist the help of retired federal judges.
As Patel told CNN: "We certainly have the expertise. We've handled heavy dockets of cases and we're accustomed with having to get up to speed very quickly in various areas of the law."
From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
As government agencies continue trying but failing to comply with a federal court order to reunite separated migrant children with their parents, it’s clear that President Trump entered new heights in immigration enforcement.
President Barack Obama was dubbed “Deporter-in-Chief” by immigrant rights advocates for good reason. During his eight years in office, his administration formally removed more than three million noncitizens, compared to two million during George W. Bush’s tenure and about 900,000 in the Bill Clinton administration. Even accounting for the removal of millions more without formal proceedings at the border under Bush and Clinton, Obama earned the title. He deserves credit for establishing DACA and providing prosecutorial discretion guidelines that allowed many undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States with their U.S. citizen spouses or children. But his administration removed a lot of noncitizens and upset many immigrant rights advocates by opening new family detention centers in the Southwest in response to the surge in migrants fleeing for their lives from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala in 2014.
Enter Donald Trump. Given his immigration-related executive orders and the multitude of enforcement exploits by his administration, Trump has wrestled away the title of “Deporter-in-Chief” from Obama’s clutch. The Supreme Court has upheld version three of Trump’s travel ban, Temporary Protected Status has been terminated for Haitians, El Salvadorans, and Hondurans, threats of defunding sanctuary cities has resulted in increased cooperation by local law enforcement agencies, DACA is under threat, and he has unleashed enforcement-mined ICE agents to engage in seemingly random arrests and deportations striking fear in immigrant communities across the country.
. . .
President Trump will likely retain his title as Deportation King for years to come. However, his callous family separation policy has done more than solidify his hold on the “Deporter-in-Chief” title. His policies have gone far beyond simple dedication to removing noncitizens, attracting broad condemnation of his abuse of human rights. Trump’s clear transition into child abuse and violating fundamental human rights has earned him a new title: “Abuser-in-Chief.” Read more....
Here is an abstract of the book:
Throughout his presidency, John F. Kennedy was passionate about the issue of immigration reform. He believed that America is a nation of people who value both tradition and the exploration of new frontiers, people who deserve the freedom to build better lives for themselves in their adopted homeland. This modern edition of his posthumously published, timeless work—with an introduction by Senator Edward M. Kennedy and a foreword by Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League—offers the late president's inspiring suggestions for immigration policy and presents a chronology of the main events in the history of immigration in America.
As debates on immigration continue to engulf the nation, this tribute to the importance of immigrants to our nation's prominence and success is as timely as ever.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
A San Francisco coffee company has joined the outcry over the services Salesforce provides to U.S. Customs and Border Protection by turning down a $40,000 contract to serve drinks at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual user conference.
Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters gets opportunities to brew thousands of cups of coffee at massive conferences only a few times a year. So when George P. Johnson Experience Marketing, which contracts with Salesforce to provide catering services for Dreamforce, reached out to Wrecking Ball owners Nick Cho and Trish Rothgeb, the two said they eagerly entered into discussion. . . .
As the Wrecking Ball co-CEOs finalized their proposal, news broke on July 19 that the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services was rejecting a $250,000 donation from Salesforce, which is headquartered in San Francisco, because of its relationship with the customs agency. CBP has been responsible for enforcing the Trump administration’s policy of separating the children of asylum-seekers from their parents, which the administration has since rescinded.
Salesforce announced in March that it had contracted with CBP to help with the agency’s recruiting and “drive efficiencies around how U.S. border activities are managed.”
Thousands of Salesforce customers have since signed petitions asking Salesforce to cancel its contract with CBP. In late June, more than 650 employees also sent an open letter to CEO Marc Benioff demanding the same, according to Bloomberg. Some protested outside their workplace several weeks later. Read more....
Immigration Article of the Day: Taxing Others in the Age of Trump: Foreigners (and the Politically Weak) As Tax Subject by Henry Ordower
Taxing Others in the Age of Trump: Foreigners (and the Politically Weak) As Tax Subject by Henry Ordower, 62 Saint Louis University L.J. 157 (Forthcoming)
Critical tax theory identifies systemic imbalances in taxation that impose disproportionally high tax burdens on groups who lack or fail to exercise political power. This article focuses on foreigners as an ideal taxpaying group because it does not vote. The article identifies some ways in which the Trump administration might seize the opportunity of that political weakness to capture tax revenue from that group without compromising an otherwise anti-tax agenda.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Podcasts are the rage. I listen to a few. And here is one for people interested in immigration!
In the first episode, Alex Aleinikoff speaks with Professor Denise Gilman, Director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, about separated children, zero tolerance, and the border.
Terminology can be important in discussing immigration. And the use of the incendiary term "illegal aliens" has been much criticized. Many newspapers, including the New York Times, no longer use the term.
Through an agency-wide email, the Justice Department has instructed U.S. attorneys to refer to someone in the U.S. without authorization as an “illegal alien” instead of an “undocumented immigrant.” According to CNN, the DOJ cites the U.S. code to make its case: “The word ‘undocumented’ is not based in U.S. code and should not be used to describe someone's illegal presence in the country.”
For commentary on the Justice Department directive on Colorlines, click here.
According to an internal report obtained by CNN, the Trump administration ignored warnings from the State Department that ending protections for Central Americans would strengthen MS-13 gangs. As Sen. Menendez points out, the report “further confirms how the Trump Administration's reckless anti-immigrant agenda jeopardizes our national security interests in Central America and the safety of [Temporary Protected Status] beneficiaries and their U.S. citizen children.” Ali Noorani and Michele McPhee talked about MS-13 a few weeks ago after McPhee's Newsweek (June 2018) cover story.
The United States government is not likely to comply with a second court-ordered deadline of July 26, 2018, to reunify migrant families forcibly separated at the border, Human Rights Watch said today. Only about half of the more than 2,500 families forcibly separated as a consequence of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy are expected to be reunited by the deadline, leaving hundreds subject to unexplained delays. These unconscionable delays are causing severe harm to children and families.
A dozen parents and separated children interviewed at the border and in Honduras by Human Rights Watch in recent weeks described weeks of agony and despair. Parents report being unable to speak to their children, or only being able to speak briefly if they could pay for calls. In some cases, parents spent weeks without knowing where their children were; in other cases, they were deported alone with no information about their separated children, who remained in the US. Some parents said that immigration officials induced them to waive their rights, including to seek asylum, telling them it was the only way, or the fastest way to be reunited with their children. Even for those who have been reunified, the harm to children and family relationships may be severe and lasting.
“Each moment of delay in reunifying these families compounds the extreme harm of ripping them apart,” said Michael Bochenek, senior counsel in the children’s rights division at Human Rights Watch. “The US government does not appear to be taking seriously its responsibility to immediately address the enormous damage it has caused and is still causing.”
“Pablo Z.,” who asked to be identified by a pseudonym, was deported alone to Honduras without his 4-year-old. He told Human Rights Watch he could not communicate with his son for two weeks after they were forcibly separated. One week after his deportation, he finally spoke to his son. “He said he didn’t want to talk to me because he said I left him there,” Pablo said. “When he says this, it makes me cry. I can’t speak. I just want to see him and hug him.”
Lawyers for the Trump administration told a federal court on Monday it had reunited 879 parents with their children so far and another 538 parents had been cleared for reunions and were awaiting transportation. The government also reported that 463 parents of migrant children are “no longer present” in the US, meaning that they may have been deported or departed the country after signing a “voluntary” return agreement.
Many colleges and universities have been increasingly reached out and enrolled students from China. As this New York Times article reports, that may be changing: "President Trump’s confrontation with China is beginning to ripple through American academic and research institutions, as a crackdown on visas for certain Chinese citizens has left the higher education community wondering how it will adapt to the administration’s effort to stop intellectual property theft and slow China’s push for technological supremacy."
Reports of espionage by one Chinese student may contribute to increased vetting of Chinese visa applicants, including students.
Immigration Article of the Day: The Unsung Latino Entrepreneurs of Appalachia by Eric Franklin Amarante
The story of Latinos in Appalachia, when told, is dominated by the plight of migrant workers drawn to meat processing factories or agricultural work, with very little attention paid to Latino entrepreneurship in Appalachia. However, the first generation of migrant workers inspired a surprising collateral entrepreneurial effect: a raft of small businesses owned by (and focused on) the new Latino population surged into small town Appalachia. These businesses, which include restaurants, tiendas, pastelerias, and tortillerias, not only serve the growing Latino population, but also have a tremendously positive effect on local and state economies. These businesses hire employees, rent previously unused commercial space, increase the local demand for goods and services, and provide much-needed tax revenue. The phenomenon of Latino entrepreneurship is an unmitigated positive for small towns that have otherwise experienced great difficulty in producing and promoting small business activity.
This Essay will focus on the economic effect of Latino-owned businesses in Appalachia and will conclude with some strategies that might help support these businesses, including providing Spanish translations of local and state business forms (e.g., formation documents, annual reports, etc.), simplifying state business entity and licensing regimes, and changing the requirements for the visa program based upon business investment.