Sunday, September 30, 2018
CNN has a lovely look at Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya.
Ulukaya is an immigrant to the U.S., from Turkey, who is outspoken about his unabashedly pro-immigrant and pro-refugee views. He also puts his money where his mouth is: Some 30% of his Chobani workforce are refugees or other immigrants.
Ulukaya also strives to help refugees through his own nonprofit, called Tent, "mobilizing the private sector to improve the lives & livelihoods of more than 20 million men, women & children forcibly displaced from their home countries."
This quote from Ulukaya is particularly fabulous: "I have nothing against America first, but 'humanity first too,'" he told CNN.
Here's an older CNN story about Ulukaya that's also interesting:
Saturday, September 29, 2018
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE
The deeply reported story of one indelible family transplanted from rural China to New York City, forging a life between two worlds
In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Under the alias Patriot Number One, he had stoked a series of pro-democracy protests, hoping to change his home for the better. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch.
In Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. Tang, a democracy activist who was caught up in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, is still dedicated to his cause after more than a decade in exile. Karen, a college graduate whose mother imagined a bold American life for her, works part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school, and refuses to look backward.
With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.
TRAC Immigration provides information about the growing backlog of cases in the immigration courts. The backlog is growing and now amounts to almost 800,000 cases, with the immigration courts in California having the largest numbers of pending cases.
This Article argues that we should take a deeper look at the applicability of federal common law defenses in immigration cases. In the rare cases where noncitizens attempt to raise common law defenses, such arguments tend to be dismissed offhand by immigration judges simply because removal proceedings are technically civil, not criminal. Yet many common-law defenses may be raised in civil cases. Additionally, immigration proceedings have become increasingly intertwined with the criminal system. After examining how judges already rely on federal common law to fill in gaps in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), this Article proposes three categories of removal cases where federal common law defenses are particularly viable. The first category involves INA provisions that require conduct to be unlawful without requiring a conviction; the second category involves INA provisions barring asylum, which are closely connected to principles of criminal culpability; and the third category involves certain grounds of removal with no explicit mens rea requirement. Finally, the Article examines some of the legal and practical challenges to prevailing with these defenses in the removal context, drawing on criminal cases where such defenses have been raised to immigration-related charges. The Article concludes that a more principled approach to the use of federal common law defenses in removal proceedings is necessary in order to promote consistent and fair adjudication.
NPR's Planet Money reports that than 13,500 immigrants, mostly Chinese, who were granted asylum status years ago by the U.S. government, are facing possible deportation. As the Trump administration responds to asylum-seekers at the border through detention and more, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Executive Office for Immigration Review are considering stripping asylum status from immigrants who won it years ago. Immigration officials are moving against these immigrants in a sweeping review that federal authorities say is related to a 2012 investigation into "asylum mills." During that probe, federal prosecutors in New York rounded up 30 immigration lawyers, paralegals and interpreters who had helped immigrants fraudulently obtain asylum in Manhattan's Chinatown and in Flushing, Queens. The case was dubbed Operation Fiction Writer.
The U.S. government says the people convicted during Operation Fiction Writer had helped more than 3,500 immigrants, most of them Chinese, gain asylum. Authorities accused them of dumping boilerplate language in stories of persecution, coaching clients to memorize and recite fictitious details to asylum officers, and fabricating documents to buttress the fake asylum claims. In the years after the prosecutions, immigration officials have been reviewing those asylum cases to determine which clients lied on their asylum applications and therefore should be deported.
Friday, September 28, 2018
Immigration Article of the Day: State Anti-Sanctuary & Immigration Localism by Pratheepan Gulasekaram, Rick Su, and Rose Cuison Villazor
A new front in the war against sanctuary cities has emerged. Until recently, the fight against sanctuary cities has largely focused on the federal government’s efforts to defund states like California and cities like Chicago and New York for resisting federal immigration enforcement. Thus far, in this federal anti-sanctuary campaign, localities have mainly prevailed on federalism grounds, based in the Tenth Amendment’s anti-commandeering and anti-coercion doctrines. In the past year, however, the battle lines have shifted with the proliferation of state level laws that similarly seek to punish sanctuary cities. States across the country are directly mandating local participation and courts thus far have upheld those state policies. These laws, like Texas’ SB 4, prohibit local sanctuary policies and impose severe punishments on the cities and officials that support them. This new state vs. local terrain creates doctrinal, political and normative implications for the future of local government resistance to immigration enforcement, which have thus far been under-theorized in immigration law scholarship. This Essay seeks to change that.
This Essay is the first to focus on this emerging wave of state anti-sanctuary laws. In so doing, it makes four contributions. First, descriptively, the Essay documents the upsurge of anti-sanctuary laws that have appeared across the United States, and explains how they differ from prior state enforcement efforts. Second, doctrinally, it argues that the passage of these laws nudges sanctuary cities to unchartered legal territory in immigration law—localism. Under conventional localism principles, state anti-sanctuary laws are in a position to more fully quash local sanctuary policies and effectively conscript local officials into federal immigration enforcement. However, as the Essay’s third point contends, the draconian structure of state anti-sanctuary laws provides a unique context in which to advance what we call immigration localist claims and protect three distinct interests that concern local governments—structural integrity, accountability and local democracy. Fourth, as a normative matter, the Essay contends that immigration localism provides a more accurate descriptive and theoretical account of how current immigration enforcement operates and promotes community engagement on immigration enforcement. Specifically, the reorientation towards localism accounts for the powerful role that cities play in immigration enforcement and decenters the federal government’s dominant role in immigration enforcement. To be sure, this Essay recognizes that casting our theoretical gaze towards local discretion may end up emboldening the most exclusionary impulses of localities and supporting local anti-sanctuary policies. In the long run, however, local discretion in immigration enforcement is likely to better serve the interests of noncitizens and citizens alike.
Forced labor of immigrants continues to be a problem in the United States. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website posted this news release:
The Trump administration's proposed public charge rule is getting much attention. Goleen Samari, a demographer at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco, highlights the public health consequences of the proposed rule in the Washington Post (which took a "time out" from the Supreme Court confirmation hearings). Samari concludes:
"Public-health recognizes that anti-immigrant policies are forms of racism that are antithetical to valuing health for all. These policies endanger and lead to premature mortality among large portions of the population and do nothing to keep Americans safe. In the effort to eliminate health disparities, we must actively work against the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies. We are all Americans, and we must urge Congress to block this proposal so that we can promote the health of all Americans."
There already are claims that noncitizens are being chilled from accessing public benefits because of the proposed rule.
Thursday, September 27, 2018
On Sunday, Kevin highlighted the Department of Homeland Security's newly proposed rules regarding inadmissibility on public charge grounds. Many have been up in arms about the changes - particularly the choices parents will need to face before accepting food stamps or WIC.
But there's another interesting aspect of the proposed rules that Marketwatch has noted. DHS sees value in assessing a noncitizen's credit score. As noted on page 188 of the report:
...DHS also proposes that USCIS would consider an alien’s liabilities and information of such liabilities in a U.S. credit report and score as part of the financial status factor. Not everyone has a credit history in the United States. Nevertheless, a good credit score in the United States is a positive factor that indicates a person is likely to be self-sufficient and support the household. Conversely, a lower credit score or negative credit history in the United States may indicate that a person’s financial status is weak and that he or she may not be self- sufficient.
Pages 425-428 contains the actual proposed language. In relevant part:
§ 212.22 Public Charge Inadmissibility Determination
This section relates to the public charge ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(4) of the Act....
(b) Minimum factors to consider. A public charge inadmissibility determination must entail consideration of the alien’s a...financial status, as follows:...
(ii) Evidence. USCIS' consideration includes but is not limited to the following:... (H) The alien’s credit history and credit score...
This is a fascinating development that's ripe for further research - particularly in light of articles such as this: Discriminatory Effects of Credit Scoring on Communities of Color. I just might have to tackle this.
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
NPR's headline says it all: Funding The Immigration Crackdown At An 'Unsustainable Rate'.
Immigration enforcement, NPR notes, doesn't come cheap. First off, there are the flights to bring undocumented migrants back to their countries of origin. That air transport operation is $107 million over budget this year. That's a lot of Benjamins.
It isn't just ICE Air that's costing money. NPR finds that "ICE's budget for custody operations is a record $3 billion dollars this year — up from $1.77 billion in 2010." And still, "Congress that it's reallocated about $200 million from its current budget away from the Coast Guard and FEMA, among other things, to cover ICE operations."
ICE isn't the only agency seeing the costs of immigration enforcement. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of unaccompanied minors, "moved $260 million from other parts of its budget to cover the expense, including funds that were appropriated for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute."
Congress has noticed. The Senate subcommittee on Homeland Security is the one who characterized ICE's spending as "unsustainable."
And yet, President Trump hopes to spend even more: on a wall and on increased detention.
It'll be up to Congress to exercise the power of the purse to decide which initiatives are worth funding.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Susan Akram: The Trump administration is trying to reduce the number of Palestinian refugees, here’s why it won’t work
Susan Akram on Mondoweiss contends that "[t]he Trump administration’s decision last month to cut $360 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is a purely political decision that has no relevance to the definition of Palestinians as “refugees”, nor to their legal rights. Although highly significant since the U.S. makes the largest single donation to UNRWA of any country, the claim that defunding UNRWA will somehow terminate the Palestinian refugee problem and lead to peace is absurd."
Look out for this documentary featuring immigrant stories from the Haitian community in Tijuana as well as San Diego Border Dreamers, which is coming next week to the San Diego Central Library. The film's website describes the movie as "A film that shares stories about immigrants spanning generations and cultures in modern society."
The independent film, “Letters from Our Elders,” by the Buenpaso Collective, seeks to connect the story of the director’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, with stories of today’s immigrants. The documentary follows two Haitians who came to Tijuana and eventually into the U.S. and three members of San Diego Border Dreamers, a group of young unauthorized immigrants affected by the Trump administration’s changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Monday, September 24, 2018
The Los Angeles Review of Books has an excellent interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen by journalist Christine Buckley. Here's one excerpt, on the question of "good" and "bad" immigrants:
"If you are not in power in your society because you’re marginalized in some way, the terms of your representation are not up to you. And, as always, the terms of your representation are always going to be polarized into “good” and “bad.” Because you’re always in danger of being suspected as “bad,” you always have to prove that you’re “good,” and being good means being exceptional.
"Now, this is a problem, obviously, because people in the dominant group, whatever they are, never have to be accepted. They can rest in their mediocrity, in their averageness, and there’s no problem with that. That’s the privilege of privilege, which they take for granted. They can be mediocre and they’re not going to be deported, for example. And so the challenge is to trouble those assumptions of “goodness” and “badness,” that viewpoint held by the majority or dominant group but also held by the minority population. Because a lot of people in the minority population adhere to that same polarization, because they’ve internalized it. They don’t want to be cast as “bad,” so they’re invested in being “good” and in making sure that everyone in their community or their race is “good,” too."
(forthcoming Oxford University Press, Oct. 2018)
- Develops a new "realistically utopian" theory of immigration
- Integrates normative reflection on the values and principles relevant to public debate about immigration with accessible analysis of immigration law and policy
- Defends the right of states to control immigration while also arguing that states have an obligation to open their doors to refugees and migrants seeking to be reunited with family
CALL FOR PAPERS: California Western Law Review & International Law Journal
BORDER MYTHS: EXPLORING THE MYTHS AND REALITIES OF
U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICIES
Abstracts Due: October 30, 2018
The California Western Law Review and International Law Journal seek articles for their Spring 2019 joint symposium issue on “Border Myths.”
When it comes to immigration policies at the United States borders, many myths permeate the national discourse: myths about who is coming to the United States and how they cross; what makes migration legal or illegal; the impact of migrants on the United States and the communities they join; the rights and responsibilities of migrants and the states receiving them; and the legal responsibilities of the United States to migrants and the larger international community.
The symposium will identify the myths, critically look at the historical context and long-term effects, and propose novel approaches to understanding and addressing these issues at the federal, state, and local levels.
Our hope is to elicit a diverse array of articles written by academics, legal practitioners, community activists, and organizational leaders.
Call for Abstracts
The Symposium Committee invites the submission of abstracts on these issues. Accepted manuscripts will be published in the joint symposium issue in either the California Western Law Review or International Law Journal.
Individuals should submit:
(1) A 500-700 word abstract that discusses the proposed symposium topic and outlines the contents of the paper;
- Abstract should include the title of the manuscript, name, and email address of the author;
(2) The curriculum vitae of the author; and
(3) A cover letter indicating whether the author is interested in participating as a speaker in the Symposium Conference (see below) and whether the author has a journal preference for publication (Law Review or International Law Journal).
Abstracts are due by October 30, 2018 and should be submitted to email@example.com with “Border Myths Symposium Issue” in the subject line. The Symposium Committee will notify finalists whether their proposed manuscript has been selected for publication by November 16, 2018.
Authors who are accepted may submit an essay (between 5,000 and 10,000 words) or an article (between 15,000 and 30,000 words). Our editing staff will be available to assist with textual edits and confirmation of proper Bluebook citations. Manuscripts selected for the symposium issue must meet the following requirements:
- Final manuscript must be submitted by February 4, 2019, in Word format with at least one-inch margins;
- Citations must appear in footnotes and conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Twentieth Edition); and
- The title page should include the author’s full name, his or her academic/professional affiliations, and complete contact information where correspondence can be made.
Authors of abstracts selected for publication in the symposium issue will be invited to participate at a symposium conference to discuss their manuscript on March 9, 2019, at the California Western School of Law campus in San Diego, California. Travel arrangements will be provided for out of town speakers. Honorariums will be paid upon participation in the symposium and receipt of final manuscript.
Abstracts Due: October 30, 2018
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Here is the recently released proposed rule from the Department of Homeland Security. Leaked versions of the rule have been floating around for several months. The DHS headline in the online announcement of the proposed rule is revealing:
DHS summarizes the proposed rule as follows:
"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to prescribe how it determines whether an alien is inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Aliens who seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge, unless Congress has expressly exempted them from this ground of inadmissibility or has otherwise permitted them to seek a waiver of inadmissibility. Moreover, DHS proposes to require all aliens seeking an extension of stay or change of status to demonstrate that they have not received, are not currently receiving, nor are likely to receive, public benefits as defined in the proposed rule.
DHS proposes to define `public charge' as the term is used in sections 212(a)(4) of the Act. DHS also proposes to define the types of public benefits that are considered in public charge inadmissibility determinations. DHS would consider an alien’s receipt of public benefits when such receipt is above the applicable threshold(s) proposed by DHS, either in terms of dollar
value or duration of receipt. DHS proposes to clarify that it will make public charge inadmissibility determinations based on consideration of the factors set forth in section 212(a)(4) and in the totality of an alien’s circumstances. DHS also proposes to clarify when an alien seeking adjustment of status, who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(4) of the Act, may be granted adjustment of status in the discretion of DHS upon the giving of a public charge bond. DHS is also proposing revisions to existing USCIS information collections and new information collection instruments to accompany the proposed regulatory changes. With the publication of this proposed rule, DHS withdraws the proposed regulation on public charge that the former
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) published on May 26, 1999."
Lenka Mendoza, an immigrant mother who could be affected by this change, and a leader of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, commented:
“No parent should have to choose between feeding their children or staying together. Trump wants to hurt my daughter and make it harder for me to take care of her. But we can’t hide our head under the ground now. We must stand together to protect our children and our families.”
Jess Morales Rocketto, Political Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Chair of the Families Belong Together campaign, said:
“Trump is proposing sweeping changes to our immigration system that could impact over 20 million children. He’s changing the rules only to put children at risk and divide our country. Tearing families apart is a choice that we don’t have to keep making. We now have 60 days. It’s up to us to raise our voices and demand that this change not be forced through.”
CNN reports the following reactions to the proposed rule:
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued a statement critical of the news on Saturday following reports on the proposed rule.
"How you contribute to your community — and not what you look like or the contents of your wallet — should be what matters most. This proposed rule does the opposite and makes clear that the Trump administration continues to prioritize money over family unity by ensuring that only the wealthiest can afford to build a future in this country," Hincapié said.
Melissa Boteach at Center for American Progress also criticized the proposal, telling CNN, "This is an attack on working families and says that you would have to achieve the American dream somewhere else before you even come here."
UPDATE (9/24): Here is the CLINIC analysis.
UPDATE (9/25): Dara Lind provides a summary of the proposed rule on VOX.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Brooke Staggs of the Orange County Register reports (and here is a Los Angeles Times report) on U.S. Army veteran Fabian Rebolledo inside his family home in Azusa on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Rebolledo, who served in Kosovo, was deported to Mexico in 2012. After a three-year legal battle, he returned home to Azusa with help from the UC Irvine Immigrant Rights Clinic.
The Trump administration reportedly has been increasingly rejecting please of veteran immigrants for relief from removal.
Hat tip to Dan Kowalski!
Migration Policy Institute and Penn State researchers today took issue with a newly published academic exercise that suggests the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population is at least several million larger than demographers in and out of government have independently estimated.
Responding to a method unveiled in a PLOS One article, the MPI and Penn State researchers find the claim by several academics that the unauthorized population stood somewhere between 16.2 million and 29.5 million in 2016 was built on a foundation of faulty assumptions. Demographers at the Department of Homeland Security, Pew Research Center and Center for Migration Studies of New York, using the same methodology that MPI employs, estimate the unauthorized population ranges from 10.8 million to 12.1 million.
In a commentary and a companion article in PLOS One, the MPI and Penn State researchers, who were asked to peer review the new method, carefully outline why it significantly overstates the number of people who entered the country illegally in the 1990s and who remained.
“We believe these new numbers represent at most an interesting academic exercise but are ultimately greatly off base and thus counterproductive to the public’s very real need to understand the true scope of illegal immigration and how best to address it,” they write in the MPI commentary.
As they note, even researchers in immigration restrictionist groups have concurred there cannot be millions upon millions of extra unauthorized immigrants hidden in the United States, because, in short, people leave footprints that are seen in statistical records—namely in birth, death, school enrollment, housing, and other records.
Read the commentary here.
MPI’s estimates of the unauthorized population, at U.S., state and top county levels, are here.
Ilya Somin and Jack Chin, with John Eastman soon to join, discuss the power to regulate immigration in the U.S. Constitution on CATO Unbound. I think it is fair to say that whether the power to regulate immigration can be found in the Constitution is a more difficult question than one might think.