Sunday, March 31, 2019

Immigration Simulations: Looking Beyond Traditional Casebooks in Teaching Immigration Law


Guest Post by Immprof Regina Jefferies:

Despite the whiplash-inducing speed, frequency, and breadth of changes to immigration law over the last two years, administrative policy moves, field office procedural and substantive idiosyncrasies, the complex relationship between state and Federal authority, and the highly discretionary character of immigration enforcement far predate the current Administration (See Motomura, 2014). Teaching the practice and theory of immigration law thus poses numerous difficulties, particularly if approached as "knowledge transfer." Law and policy often change at the drop of a hat, as do the mechanisms and procedures lawyers have at their disposal to advocate on behalf of clients.

In light of this reality, Immigration Simulations: Bridge to Practice provides students with scenarios based upon real experiences and legal materials, while encouraging students to think critically and creatively in identifying and solving problems. The book is written as a novel and guided by directed questions and assignments, immersing students in the stories of real-life clients to provide a birds-eye view of the lawyering skills and substantive law involved in the practice of immigration law. The text follows two primary real-life client stories, designed to provide the experience of working a case from beginning to end. Several shorter, real-life client scenarios highlight particularly challenging aspects of substantive and procedural immigration practice as it stood at the beginning of 2018. As students bring a variety of prior knowledge, learning approaches, and even conceptions of learning to the classroom (Biggs, 1993), Immigration Simulations aids in priming student engagement, linking to self-identified prior knowledge, and sets the stage for open and critical discussion.

Students develop strategies and advise clients on potential courses of action in a diverse range of situations, using real case documents. The book encourages the development of critical thinking skills by inviting students to examine concepts and material in a wider context, and to test their understandings and think creatively about how to apply that knowledge in different scenarios (Ledoux & McHenry, 2004). Rather than working with a set of predetermined facts extracted from a legal opinion, students learn to cut through the noise and identify information to frame and develop cases. Not only do students demonstrate a deeper understanding of the material, they leave equipped to apply their knowledge and skills outside the classroom.

-KitJ posted on behalf of Regina Jefferies

March 31, 2019 in Books, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Call For Papers: Emerging Immprofs @ BYU June 7 & 8


The Works in Progress (WIP) committee for the 5th Biennial Emerging Immigration Scholars’ Conference is now accepting proposals for works-in-progress or incubator ideas. In addition to incubator workshops focused on a research idea, participants are invited to submit proposals for workshops to discuss a litigation or advocacy project that could benefit from group input.

The 2019 Conference will take place June 7 and 8, 2019, at Brigham Young University in beautiful Provo, Utah. If you wish to be considered for a works-in-progress or incubator session, please submit your proposal to [email protected]. Further, this year we are again seeking discussants who will read and comment on the works-in-progress or incubator ideas.

If you want to propose a work-in-progress by email: Please put “ImmProf WIP [Lastname]” as the subject line Please submit an abstract of no more than one page, with a title.

If you want to propose an incubator (for a scholarly or litigation/advocacy project) by email: Please put “Incubator [Lastname]” as the subject line Please submit a description of no more than one paragraph, with a title.

If you would be willing to be a discussant: Please email us if you wish/are willing to serve as a discussant with a list of your areas of expertise.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 8 at 12 noon (PT). We anticipate notifying accepted WIP or incubator proposals by April 14. Final papers will be due on May 17, 2019. We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Please feel free to contact any member of the WIP committee, or conference planning committee, with questions or concerns. More information will be coming soon about the conference and how to register.


The WIP Committee:
Lauren Aronson ([email protected]), Louisiana State University Law Center
Kate Evans ([email protected]), University of Idaho School of Law

Other Members of the Planning Committee:
Sabrina Balgamwalla, Wayne State University Law School
Pooja Dadhania, California Western School of Law
Kit Johnson, University of Oklahoma College of Law
Carolina Núñez, Brigham Young University Law School
Shalini Ray, University of Alabama School of Law


March 30, 2019 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anarchy in the UK? British Parliament Can't Approve Bill to Withdraw from EU


As many of you know, the British Parliament is having a difficult time approving a deal to leave the European Union.  For the latest, which has included Prime Minister Theresa May offering to step down, click here.


Brexit Poster in Brexit Campaign.  Photo Courtesy of Don Roth


March 30, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

President Trump Directs State Dept. to End Aid to 3 Central American Countries

The beat goes on.  Katie Rogers, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. for the New York Times report that President Trump said yesterday that there would be a “very good likelihood” that he would seal off the United States border with Mexico next week, even as he moved to cut off all foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The moves escalated a sustained berating of countries he blames for being unable to stop the flow of migrants trying to make their way north.

“I will close the border if Mexico doesn’t get with it,” Mr. Trump said to reporters. “If Mexico doesn’t stop it.”

At the President's direction, the State Department began the process of informing Congress that it intended to end the foreign aid.

“No money goes there anymore,” President Trump said. “We’re giving them tremendous aid. We stopped payment.”

The State Department has issued a statement saying: “At the secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the president’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”

President Trump has threatened to close off the border and cut off aid to the three Northern Triangle countries several times before and has not followed through. 


March 30, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: The Paper Lawyer by Carlos Cisneros


The Paper Lawyer by Carlos Cisneros.  Publication Date: March 31, 2019.

An attorney takes on her first criminal case in this legal thriller that explores identity, ethics and ambition.

Disgraced real-estate attorney Camila Harrison loses both her lucrative job as a partner in a well-known Austin law firm and her fiancé, a Texas Supreme Court Justice, when emails she sent to a client expressing her racist views are released to the media. She lands in Houston, practicing social security disability law and seeking criminal appointments in federal court.

All too soon she’s working her first federal criminal case, which involves an undocumented Mexican accused of money laundering. Harrison has no sympathy for illegal aliens and just wants to secure a plea deal quickly. The situation becomes more complicated when she gets to know the defendant, Vicente Aldama, and realizes he came to the US to work and pay for the life-saving surgery his young daughter desperately needs. When her private investigator discovers possible improprieties related to Aldama’s arrest, Harrison begins to seriously consider taking the case to trial despite the advice of colleagues and her complete lack of experience in defending high-stakes federal prosecutions.

Gripping, suspenseful and deeply moving, Cisneros’ uniquely original legal thriller asks questions about race, prejudice and the corruption that pervades American society, even as it proclaims to be the most advanced nation in the world with the best judicial system.


March 30, 2019 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wayne State Law Conference: (S)exploiting the Vulnerable: Empowering Future Legal Advocates to Combat Sex Trafficking


Wayne State University Law School, April 12, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Conference:  (S)exploiting the Vulnerable: Empowering Future Legal Advocates to Combat Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking involves commercialized sex acts in exchange for something of value. There are two basic forms of sex trafficking: (1) trafficking adults through force, fraud, or coercion and (2) trafficking children. Far from being a “foreign” problem, sex trafficking has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, as both the internet and substance dependency provide greater access to vulnerability. Vulnerable populations are often the most targeted, including homeless youth, victims of discrimination, asylum-seekers, and victims of domestic violence. Although sex trafficking has become a popular topic, it is rife with misconceptions. Unfortunately, many laws, policies, and practices misplace the emphasis on criminalizing and pathologizing trafficked individuals. This emphasis erroneously prosecutes sex trafficking victims, which subsequently empowers the traffickers.

Advancing a future of effective legal advocacy requires deconstructing misconceptions about sex trafficking and recognizing its often intraracial character. On April 12 at Wayne Law, experts on state and federal sex trafficking laws will explore the current status and future goals of sex trafficking reform. Through a comprehensive assessment, this conference will advance social justice for those who are dedicated to eradicating the exploitation of the vulnerable.

Free admission, open to the public.


March 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 29, 2019

DHS Asks Congress for Expanded Authority to Detain and Deport Migrant Children


CNN reports that, in a letter to lawmakers, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen has requested Congress for the authority to return Central American unaccompanied children to their home countries if they "have no legal right to stay."  The letter was first reported by NBC News.

Nielsen claims that the inability to deport these children has resulted in the daily detention of hundreds of Central American children and ultimately being placed with sponsors in the United States.

Nielsen also proposes measures to allow DHS to keep migrant families in custody throughout their immigration proceedings, as well as a plan for Central Americans to apply for asylum in their home countries.

Here is the letter.

UPDATE (March 31):  On March 29, the Secretary released this "Statement on Border Emergency."  Secretary Nielsen's statement begins as follows:

“Today I report to the American people that we face a cascading crisis at our southern border.  The system is in freefall.  DHS is doing everything possible to respond to a growing humanitarian catastrophe while also securing our borders, but we have reached peak capacity and are now forced to pull from other missions to respond to the emergency.”

“Let me be clear:  the volume of ‘vulnerable populations’ arriving is without precedent.  This makes it far more difficult to care for them and to prioritize individuals legitimately fleeing persecution.  In the past, the majority of migration flows were single adults who could move through our immigration system quickly and be returned to their home countries if they had no legal right to stay.  Now we are seeing a flood of families and unaccompanied children, who—because of outdated laws and misguided court decisions—cannot receive efficient adjudication and, in most cases, will never be removed from the United States even if they are here unlawfully.  The result is a massive ‘pull factor’ to our country.”

The statement concludes as follows:

"Secretary Nielsen sent a letter yesterday to Congress highlighting the severity of the crisis, especially the danger posed to children by the journey to U.S. borders and the realities of a system reaching peak capacity.  This week, after many months of diplomatic negotiations, Secretary Nielsen signed a historic regional compact this week with representatives of the Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—to confront the crisis at the source.  The countries agreed to work with the United States to combat human smuggling and trafficking, crack down on transnational criminals fueling the crisis, and strengthen border security to prevent irregular migration.  The Secretary also met with senior officials from the Government of Mexico to discuss ways to quickly address the crisis and stem historic migration flows through Mexican territory, while ensuring all individuals legitimately fleeing persecution receive appropriate humanitarian protection."


March 29, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Border Officer Secret: He was Undocumented

Here is a "man bites dog" kind of story by Manny Fernandez in the New York Times:

"Marco A. De La Garza Jr. spent nearly six years as a federal officer with Customs and Border Protection, working on the front lines of America’s southern border in Arizona and doing his best to keep undocumented immigrants out of the United States.

A Navy veteran, he was known for going the extra mile: One day, while off duty, he rushed out of a barbecue at his in-laws’ house in Sierra Vista, Ariz., when he spotted an undocumented man being chased by the Border Patrol. He tackled the runner and held him until the agents caught up.

Few knew Mr. De La Garza’s secret: He was undocumented, too."

De La Garza now faces legal troubles.  And he apparently was not the first undocumented immigrant to be employed by the federal government to enforce the immigration laws.  Click this link for more details.


March 29, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Podcast with Professor Rose Villazor on Sanctuary Networks

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee: Immigrants in the Military


Samantha Bee talks with immigration professor Margaret Stock in this look at immigrants in the military.  Funny but scary.


March 29, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Colorado Law Conference (April 5): National Injunctions: What Does the Future Hold?


Colorado Law's Ira C. Rothgerber Jr. Conference on Constitutional Law is an annual Byron R. White Center event that brings scholars and lawyers from across the nation to the University of Colorado Law School for a discussion on a current constitutional issue.

he 27th Annual Rothgerber Conference is Friday, April 5, 2019. This year's conference will focus on the topic, "National Injunctions: What Does the Future Hold?", and will feature a star-studded group of diverse scholars, with remarks by Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General; and Professor Suzette Malveaux, University of Colorado Law School.

Nationwide injunctions have been criticized by, among others, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in challenges to the Trump administration's various immigration enforcement policies.



March 29, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conference Today: Georgetown Law’s 2019 Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights to feature Keynote on “Racial Borders” by UN Special Rapporteur


Right now, Georgetown Law’s Human Rights Institute is hosting the 2019 Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights: “Human Rights and Today’s Vulnerable Migrants.

The 2019 Dash Conference will focus on the human rights of vulnerable with a keynote address on “Racial Borders” by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, E. Tendayi Achiume. Leading experts will explore refugee politics in the first panel, “The Rise of Populist Nationalism and The Politics of Protection,” to be followed by lunch and an expert panel on “Climate Change Migrants’ Rights and Protection Needs.” In the day’s final panel, Georgetown Law’s Human Rights Institute’s Fact-Finding Practicum team will present their new investigation and strategies to protect non-U.S. citizens near Honolulu in “The Price of Paradise: Vulnerabilities to Forced Labor in the Hawaiian Longline Fishing Industry.”


Keynote: E. Tendayi Achiume, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance; UCLA School of Law

Panelists: Andrew Schoenholtz, Human Rights Institute, Georgetown Law ∙Maryellen Fullerton, Brooklyn Law School ∙ Donald M. Kerwin, Jr., Center for Migration Studies of New York ∙ Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Migration Policy Institute ∙ Elizabeth Ferris, Institute for the Study of International Migration ∙ Guy S. Goodwin Gill, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales ∙ Kanta Kumari Rigaud, World Bank Group ∙ Alice Thomas, Refugees International ∙ Melysa Sperber, Humanity United ∙ Ashley Binetti Armstrong, Human Rights Institute, Georgetown Law ∙ The Human Rights Institute Student Research Team.


March 29, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article: The New Latinx 'Repatriation'? Removals, Criminal Justice, and the Efforts to Remove Latinx Peoples from the United States by Kevin R. Johnson

The New Latinx 'Repatriation'? Removals, Criminal Justice, and the Efforts to Remove Latinx Peoples from the United States by Kevin R. Johnson, UCLA Law Review Symposium on Latinx and Criminal Justice


Several historical episodes have indelibly influenced the sense of belonging of generations of persons of Mexican ancestry - and Latinx generally - in the United States. Two powerful examples aptly illustrate this point. During the hard times of the Great Depression, state and local governments, with the support of the U.S. government, “repatriated” approximately one million persons of Mexican ancestry, including many U.S. citizen children as well as immigrant parents, to Mexico. Similarly, the U.S. government in 1954 in the military-style “Operation Wetback,” directed by a retired general, removed hundreds of thousands of persons of Mexican ancestry, including many U.S. citizen children, from the Southwest. Those discriminatory events have shaped the identities of Latinx people in the United States.

History has condemned these episodes of racial intolerance. Nonetheless, we may be seeing history repeat itself, but with even larger numbers of people injured. Ushering in breath-taking changes in immigration law and enforcement, President Donald J. Trump has boldly moved to reduce immigration to, and the number of immigrants in, the United States. This Article contends that, because so many of the measures directly and indirectly target Latina/os, they represent the equivalent of an attempt at a “new” Mexican repatriation– a concerted effort to remove Latinx people, focusing on Mexicans and Central Americans, from the country. Just as the previous campaigns did, the new efforts further encourage Latinx non-citizens, along with U.S. citizen children, to “self-deport” (i.e., leave the country) or to never come to the United States.

Part I of this Article reviews previous efforts to remove persons of Mexican ancestry from the United States, namely what is known as the “Mexican repatriation” during the Great Depression and “Operation Wetback” in 1954. Part II considers the impacts on Latinx of the contemporary efforts by the Trump administration to remove immigrants from the United States, and to reduce legal immigration. It further draws parallels between the “new” and “old” repatriation campaigns.


March 29, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

U.S. has hit ‘breaking point’ at border amid immigration surge?


Kevin McAleenan, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti in the Washington Post report the nation’s top border official warned that the U.S. immigration enforcement system along the nation’s southern boundary is at “the breaking point” and said Wednesday that authorities are having to release migrants into the country after cursory background checks because of a crush of asylum-seeking families with children. Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that the "agency is `reluctantly' performing direct releases of migrants, meaning they are not turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they are not detained, they are not given ankle bracelets to track their movements and they are allowed to leave with just a notice to appear in court at a later date."  McAleenan said that that it is “the only current option we have” because of overcrowding at detention facilities.

But, according to the Post report, apprehensions in February 2019 were at about 66,500 compared to over 220,000 in March 2000.   One can only wonder whether the border is truly at "a breaking point" or whether the claims are simply political theater.



March 28, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Truly Relevant Undergraduate Course: Crime and Justice in the Borderlands

Here is an undergraduate class for students interested in immigration.  And this website documents the experience.

12 Cal State Fullerton juniors and seniors recently participated in Professor Robert Castro’s “Crime and Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border,” a winter session course that explores how justice is rendered at the borderlands and that lets students explore the challenges facing immigrants, law enforcement and the legal system as they intersect on the matters of the border and immigration.

Castro, professor of criminal justice at Cal State Fullerton, combines classroom teaching and online assignments with an immersive study-away experience that gives students a front-row seat to the operational realities and impact that national policies have on communities on both sides of the border.

I wish that I could have taken this course!


March 28, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Turning the Golden State into a Sanctuary State: Report on the Impact and Implementation of the California Values Act (SB 54) in California


In a recently issued report, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus found that California's sanctuary state law, the California Values Act, has been effective in limiting deportations of immigrants. This finding is just one of many in the  first ever detailed report evaluating the impact of the California "sanctuary" law, which went into effect in January 2018.

Titled "Turning the Golden State into a Sanctuary State: Report on the Impact and Implementation of the California Values Act (SB 54) in California" and developed in partnership with the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology, Border Criminologies, and the ICE Out of CA coalition, the report looks at what has happened since then-Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 54 into law in October 2017.  It also makes a series of recommendations to fulfill the goals of SB 54.


March 27, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

National Jurist Law Student of the Year: Nikki Endsley, Fierce Champion of Refugee Rights

The National Jurist Law School Student of the Year is Nicole “Nikki” Endsley, a 3L at Georgetown University Law Center.  She was selected for fighting for refugee rights.  The daughter of a refugee — her mom fled Vietnam at age 14 — Nikki plans to continue this effort after graduation.

Read more about Nikki Endsley in this issue of National Jurist.


March 27, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Robert Tsai: Trump’s Travel Ban Faces Fresh Legal Jeopardy


Robert Tsai in Politico reminds us that the travel ban, after being in effect, could be subject to legal challenges.


March 27, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Music Video: For My Immigrants


World Premiere:
For My Immigrants Music Video

Newest Americans announces the release of the song and music video For My Immigrants, a rousing anthem for Dreamers who believe they “can move any mountain/any wall can be broken.” Our heritage as a nation of immigrants is under attack. Alexis Torres Machado and a team of Dreamers and their advocates are fighting back.

Watch The Music Video




The Story Behind The Song

Alexis Torres Machado was five when his parents brought him to the U.S. from Uruguay. He’s one of the hundreds of thousands of young people who discovered they were undocumented at some point during childhood. As a junior at Rutgers University-Newark, Alexis wrote For My Immigrants on the heels of Donald Trump’s election. What he saw in the news didn’t reflect the people he knew or the experience he had lived, so he channeled his anger into verse. 
“I was tired of all the false claims about immigrants,” he says. “I wanted my people to know ‘You’re not alone. Your voice is heard.’”
Newest Americans brought in our friends Guillermo Brown (Pegasus Warning and the drummer for The Late Late Show with James Corden) and Wynne Bennett (composer and keyboardist for Twin Shadow) to create an original score. Then we enlisted Adam Abada to direct the music video, and rallied some more friends and family—all immigrants, many DACA activists—to be in the video.
Alexis, and all of the collaborators on the song and video, hope that For My Immigrants will empower Dreamers, while encouraging the rest of us to stand with them.


March 27, 2019 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Poland Bashes Immigrants, but Quietly Takes Christian Ones


Check out this NYT piece: Poland Bashes Immigrants, but Quietly Takes Christian Ones. Poland has been vocally anti-immigrant in recent years, with far-right politicians coming into power on a chorus of "Poland for Poles."

But recently, Poland has been experiencing "the largest influx of migrant workers in the country’s modern history — though they are mostly Christians from neighboring Ukraine."

It's interesting to compare this story about Poland with the recent reporting on Hungary accepting Venezuelan migrants. Here are two European nations, both generally anti-migrant, but both accepting certain, limited migrants with a goal towards some sort of cultural cohesiveness.


March 27, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)