Wednesday, October 31, 2018

AILA and FastCase Create New Immigration Law Journal


The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Fastcase have partnered to create a new law journal devoted to immigration law, the AILA Law JournalShoba Sivaprasad Wadhia of Penn State Law School in University Park will serve as the inaugural editor-in-chief.


October 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rutgers Law School Job Opening: Practitioner in Residence, Immigrant Rights Clinic

Job Announcement

Rutgers Immigrant Rights Clinic seeks Practitioner in Residence


The Immigrant Rights Clinic at Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, is seeking to hire an experienced attorney in a full-time Practitioner in Residence position, to start immediately. The initial appointment is for one year, although we expect the project to continue thereafter, contingent on funding. The attorney will work with Professor Anju Gupta, Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic.  

In 2018, the state of NJ committed funds to establish a pilot project aimed at providing pro bono representation to vulnerable immigrants in New Jersey. The Immigrant Rights Clinic is one of four partners in this exciting and innovative project. The Practitioner in Residence will lead the project at the law school and will represent detained immigrants in Newark and surrounding areas before the immigration courts and Board of Immigration Appeals. The attorney, working with Professor Gupta, will also coordinate clinical and nonclinical law students providing assistance with the project. 

Position requirements:

  • A J.D. and membership in a bar of any state (NJ bar membership is a plus, though not required)
  • At least 3 years’ experience in immigration law
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Fluency in another language is a plus, though not required

This is a full time, 12-month position. The salary is $80,000 plus excellent benefits through Rutgers University. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume no later than November 15, 2016. The cover letter should address all of the position requirements listed above. To apply, go to:



October 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trevor Noah on the Central American Caravan

Here's a perspective on the Central American Caravan from Trevor Noah of the Daily Show. The full episode is available here


October 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Can International Law Trump Trump’s Immigration Agenda? Protecting Individual Rights Through Procedural Jus Cogens by S.I. Strong


Can International Law Trump Trump’s Immigration Agenda? Protecting Individual Rights Through Procedural Jus Cogens by S.I. Strong, forthcoming 2018 U. ILL. L. REV. ONLINE __.


Recent days have seen a number of actual and proposed changes in U.S. immigration courts, including the call by Donald Trump to deny immigrants all access to courts or judges. This Essay considers the propriety of this and similar proposals in light of certain peremptory (non-derogable) norms of international law known as jus cogens (ius cogens). Jus cogens norms provide important protections against gross violations of core substantive and procedural rights and are often considered the highest within a hierarchy of international legal norms. Some of the most widely accepted jus cogens norms involve prohibitions on genocide, slavery, torture and prolonged arbitrary detention, and the question for this Essay is whether and to what extent certain actions taken or proposed by the Trump Administration violate existing or developing jus cogens norms. After defining traditional and evolving elements of jus cogens, the Essay undertakes a detailed analysis of the content of what might be called “procedural jus cogens” and considers how these principles might operate with respect to the Trump Administration’s proposals to eliminate immigration hearings. The discussion addresses both judicial and non-judicial responses that individuals and members of the international community might adopt should the proposals become reality. Although the current Essay focuses on one particular proposal, the recommendations outlined herein may apply equally to other violations of procedural law, both in the immigration context and beyond. Indeed, the further development of the concept of procedural jus cogens may provide significant protections for numerous individuals not only in the United States but in other countries around the world.


October 31, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Operation Faithful Patriot



Here is the official announcement of the deployment of the National Guard along the US/Mexico Border.  

 "Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, announced plans today to increase the amount of troops assisting the CBP mission on the Southwest border."

Here are the "Key Facts" in the announcement:

1 DOD will deploy more than 5,000 active-duty personnel to aid the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to harden the southern border.

2 The mission is named Operation Faithful Patriot.

3 Today, we have about 800 soldiers who are on their way to Texas — coming from Fort Campbell and Fort Knox, Kentucky.

4  By the end of this week more than 5,200 soldiers will deploy to the Southwest border, joining 2,092 National Guardsmen participating in Operation Guardian Support.

5 The troop deployment will be in support of law enforcement with Customs and Border Protection. CBP has requested aid in air and ground transportation, and logistics support, as well as engineering capabilities and equipment to secure legal crossings, and medical support units.

Here is more information about the deployment.


October 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trump eyeing executive order to end citizenship for children born in U.S. to noncitizens


John Wagner for the Washington Post reports that President Trump is planning to sign an executive order that would seek to end the right to U.S. citizenship for children of noncitizens born on U.S. soil, he said in a television interview taped yesterday.  The move, which would unquestionably violate the Fourteenth Amendment.  For a brief discussion, see Garrett Epps' piece in The AtlanticHere is a summary of the views of 11 legal experts.
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said during an interview with Axios scheduled to air as part of a new HBO series starting this weekend. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”


October 30, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Migrant And Refugee Advocates Call On Trump To Tone Down Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric



People pay their respects at a memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after a shooting there left 11 people dead. Many people see a connection between President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and hate crimes. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Joel Rose for NPR reports that hours after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, President Trump denounced the attack. "The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated," Trump said on Saturday at a campaign rally in Illinois. But some are still troubled by what the president has not said about the synagogue killings. Authorities say the alleged shooter was motivated by hatred of Jews. On social media, the shooter also raged against immigrants.


October 30, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Case for Amnesty

For years, there has been a heated debate on whether the immigration laws should provide a path to legalization for some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.  Matthew Yglesias on Vox offers "The Case for Amnesty" in a cogent essay.  The essay is an abbreviated web version of The Weeds newsletter, a limited-run newsletter through Election Day, that dissects what’s really at stake in the 2018 midterms.  Get the full Weeds newsletter from Matt Yglesias, plus more charts, tweets, and email-only content.


October 30, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Tempest Tossed -- Trump and the "Caravan"--a conversation with Doris Meissner

Supreme Court Asks for SG's Views on Cross-Border Shooting Case

Supreme court

Amy Howe on SCOTUSBlog reports that the Supreme Court today "called for the views of the U.S. solicitor general in Swartz v. Rodriguez, a petition for review filed by Lonnie Swartz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent alleged to have shot and killed a 16-year-old Mexican boy who was walking on the Mexican side of that country’s border with the United States. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit allowed a lawsuit by the boy’s mother, Araceli Rodriguez, to go forward. Earlier this fall, the justices asked the government to file a brief in another case involving a cross-border shooting; both cases hinge on whether the plaintiffs can rely on a 1971 Supreme Court decision allowing a lawsuit seeking money from federal officials for violations of the Constitution."

The case raises similar issues as Hernandez v. Mesa (per curiam) (2017), in which the Court remanded the case for further consideration..


October 29, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Immigrant Drumbeat on Twitter Continues


Despite mail bombers and mass murder in Pittsburgh, President Trump continues to push the immigration button as the 2018 midterm elections near.  Here is a tweet from earlier today:




October 29, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Political Polarization in the US


new PRRI survey released this morning found a majority (54 percent) of Americans feel President Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups, compared to 39 percent who say Trump’s behavior has had no effect and five percent who say he has discouraged these groups.

 More details are below. Let me know if it would be helpful to connect you with a PRRI expert.  

  • While more than two-thirds of black Americans (72 percent) and Hispanic Americans (68 percent) say Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups, white Americans (45 percent) are less likely to hold this view.
  •  Whites with a college degree are significantly more likely than whites without a degree to say Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups (58 percent vs. 38 percent).    
  • The full report, Partisan Polarization Dominates Trump Era: Findings from the 2018 American Values Survey, provides additional analysis on Trump’s job performance and Americans’ views immigration, discrimination, the #MeToo movement, perceptions of foreign influence, diversity among elected officials and the country’s changing demographics.



October 29, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Talking about Immigrant Integration

There often is talk about immigrant admissions and removals but precious little discussion of immigrant immigration.  Anne Gallagher for the World Economic Forum considers immigrant integration and discusses why it often goes undiscussed.


October 29, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

U.S. Trans Activist Seeks Asylum in Sweden

Photo via

Danni Askini is a trans activist from the United States. She currently lives in Sweeden and is seeking asylum there, The Local reports.

Askini states that it is "too dangerous" to work as a trans activist in the United States. She has received death threats for speaking up on behalf of the trans community.

Her case presents an exceptional in-class real-o-thetical.

Have your students assume Sweedish asylum law is the same as U.S. law. Should she get asylum? On what grounds? Does she have a claim for political asylum? What about asylum based on membership in a particular social group? Which is a better avenue and why? What evidence could she point to for fear of persecution? What about the President's efforts to ban transgender individuals from the military? The CDC's ban on the word transgender? The administration's latest move to "narrowly defin[e] gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth"?



October 28, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pittsburgh Suspect's Anti-Immigrant Attacks


The nation is reeling from the senseless killings yesterday in the synagogue in Pittsburgh.  Our condolences to all of the victims and the entire Tree of Life synagogue.  

Ben Collins for NBC News reports that Robert Bowers, the man accused in the shooting rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, frequently posted online about conspiracy theories and made repeatedly threatened Jews. Bowers in fact made a specific threat against Jews hours before allegedly conducting the attack. In the post, Bowers said that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a humanitarian aid nonprofit group that provides assistance to refugees, brought immigrants to the United States to do violence against others.

Bowers frequently posted about the “migrant caravan,” asylum-seekers from Central America. Bowers’ anti-Semitic posts and his apparent disdain for the caravan are tied to a viral image that appears to show refugees hopping onto the bed of a truck that had a Star of David visible on the side. The image has been widely shared on far-right forums and the Russian propaganda operation USA Really. 

HIAS has issued the following statement in response to the Pittsburgh tragedy:

“There are no words to express how devastated we are by the events in Pittsburgh this morning. This loss is our loss, and our thoughts are with Tree of Life Congregation, our local partner Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) of Pittsburgh, the city of Pittsburgh and all those affected by this senseless act of violence. As we try to process this horrifying tragedy, we pray that the American Jewish community and the country can find healing.

As one of the nine national refugee resettlement agencies, HIAS partners with the United States government to resettle refugees as part of the U.S. refugee admissions program. Founded in 1881 as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom. Guided by Jewish values and history, HIAS rescues people whose lives are in danger for being who they are."


October 28, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Don't Be A Lawyer

My Crazy Ex Girlfriend is a show on the CW that intersperses traditional dialogue with dream-sequence song and dance numbers. This week's show featured Don't Be A Lawyer:

Here is one of the most memorable lines: "There are so many other professions that don't turn you into Jeff Sessions."

Also of note, in the midst of the song, an aspiring lawyer inquires "What about human rights law?" The song answers back: "No money, no, no money." Then, "Immigration law?" The answer: "No money, plus it's a bummer."

This is NOT one for the classroom.


October 27, 2018 in Film & Television, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

President Trump to Seal US/Mexico Border?

There has been lost of talk of the Trump administration taking aggressive steps to halt the Central American "caravan."  And the midterm elections are just days away.    

Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti for the Washington Post report that President Trump is preparing to announce a sweeping border crackdown in a speech Tuesday.  According to administration officials, the President is expected to invoke emergency powers to stop migrants from entering the United States and depict them as a grave national security threat.

President Trump is considering steps that would bar migrants from crossing the border and deny them a chance to apply for asylum in the United States, measures that legal scholars and immigrant rights groups say would contravene U.S. laws and international treaties. 


October 27, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Nobel Prize Winners Show the Power of Welcoming Newcomers

Melissa Cruz for Immigration Impact looks at immigrants who won Nobel Prizes:

"When people feel welcomed into a community, great things often happen that benefit the receiving community and even the nation. When newcomers feel accepted and included in a society, it provides them the best shot at harnessing talents they may have otherwise been unable to recognize or pursue.

This has been the case year after year with the Nobel Prize—many are awarded to immigrants and refugees who were given the opportunity to flourish in their new home. The result has been some of the greatest achievements in history, science, literature, and towards peace.

The 2018 Nobel Prize winners are no exception. One of the recipients is a refugee who was able to move from Iraq to Germany through a country-sponsored refugee program. Two other winners—a physicist and economist—are first- and second-generation Americans whose families immigrated to the United States through family-based migration channels."

Read on to hear specifics about some of the Nobel winners.



October 27, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Caravan hysteria is unwarranted

Ruth Ellen Wasem on The Hill responds to the "caravan hysteria" that is gripping President Trump and the entire administration:  "The hysteria over the caravan of Central American asylum-seekers traveling north towards the United States is spiraling out of proportion. A calm review of the facts and the historical context of migration from this hemisphere make clear that the United States has the laws and policies in place to respond humanely — in keeping with our values and our laws."


October 26, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Amy Bhatt, High-Tech Housewives: Indian IT Workers, Gendered Labor, and Transmigration

Jigh tech

High-Tech Housewives:  Indian IT Workers, Gendered Labor, and Transmigration by Amy Bhatt

Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft promote the free flow of data worldwide, while relying on foreign temporary IT workers to build, deliver, and support their products. However, even as IT companies use technology and commerce to transcend national barriers, their transnational employees face significant migration and visa constraints. In this revealing ethnography, Amy Bhatt shines a spotlight on Indian IT migrants and their struggles to navigate career paths, citizenship, and belonging as they move between South Asia and the United States.

Through in-depth interviews, Bhatt explores the complex factors that shape IT transmigration and settlement, looking at Indian cultural norms, kinship obligations, friendship networks, gendered and racialized discrimination in the workplace, and inflexible and unstable visa regimes that create worker vulnerability. In particular, Bhatt highlights women's experiences as workers and dependent spouses who move as part of temporary worker programs. Many of the women interviewed were professional peers to their husbands in India but found themselves "housewives" stateside, unable to secure employment because of visa restrictions. Through her focus on the unpaid and feminized placemaking and caregiving labor these women provide, Bhatt shows how women's labor within the household is vital to the functioning of the flexible and transnational system of IT itself.

Amy Bhatt is associate professor of gender and women's studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is the coauthor of Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest.

October 26, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)