Thursday, June 27, 2019
Immigration Article of the Day: The Militarization of Immigration Law: How America’s War on Terror Became a War on the Undocumented by Andrea Scoseria Katz
The draconian turn of U.S. immigration policy in recent years—ballooning budgets and the broadened reach of domestic enforcement agencies like Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the increasing legal precarity of the immigrant population, the massive strain placed on immigration courts and federal criminal dockets—has been thoroughly studied by immigration scholars, who point to important explanatory factors such as the War on Crime launched in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the nativist recrudescence of the 1990s, and failed attempts at system reform in 1965 and again in 1986. Such work, however, has rarely explored the link between immigration law and national security.
This article argues that the rise of terrorism has been one major driver of the immigration law crackdown. With statutes like the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the 2001 PATRIOT Act explicitly linking border control and crime by non-nationals with a larger fight against terrorism, immigration law and national security police came to share sources of statutory authority, patterns and techniques of enforcement, and, not least, common tropes and imagery (“enemy aliens,” “terrorist organizations,” and so forth).
I introduce the concept of policy militarization to explain this process. A militarized sphere of public policy is one increasingly defined in terms of war or crisis. The American preoccupation with terrorist attacks emerged after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Nairobi, but it was the events of September 11, 2001 that hurled the nation into a conflict lacking geographic borders, time horizons, or a clear enemy. “Everything became war,” says a former Pentagon official, to include control over the non-citizen population. As in war, militarized policy features a centralized and heightened administrative response. After the 9/11 Commission deemed “information silos” to blame for the failure to stop the attacks, the national security community spearheaded massive growth in intelligence-gathering agencies and increased data-sharing between them. Immigration agencies grew in size, picked up new tools and techniques imported from counterterrorism, and crucially, adapted their mission to the lens of ever-present foreign threat. Finally, at the level of the political branches, militarized policymaking becomes highly bureaucratic. Security experts take a lead role in designing policy, often at the expense of ordinary legislators and judges, producing a governing regime in which policy is made through administrative, not legislative channels. As a result, rights enforcement and the fixity of legal standards can wane. I call this a state of extralegality, because traditional sources of law cease to truly bind administration action, even though they may shape it. Critics of the administrative state, attuned to the phenomenon of legislative “rules” being replaced by administrative “standards,” may recognize this argument, albeit applied in a new context.
That war and threats of it can trigger the growth of the state is not a new insight. However, as the militarization of immigration shows, the same effects—delegation of responsibility, expansion of executive power, and dilution of legal standards—do not, in fact, require an actual war, but instead can be built on rhetorical foundations and the threatening specter of wars to come.
The first round of the Democratic presidential debates took place last night. Ten candidates -- more than a baseball team -- were on stage. Two Texans, Julian Castro and Beto O'Rourke, went at it on immigration, with Castro extolling O'Rourke to do his "homework" on immigration and, by most accounts, O'Rourke appearing, to be generous, flat-footed.
Seton Hall Law School Center for Social Justice Seeks Practitioner in Residence for New Immigration Project
Seton Hall University School of Law has an immediate opening for a full-time experienced immigration attorney to serve as a Practitioner in Residence in its Center for Social Justice, Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic. This is a year-round position with an initial one-year appointment, renewable for an additional year contingent on funding.
The Center for Social Justice is home to the Law School’s vibrant clinical program including: civil litigation; criminal defense and reentry; equal justice; family law; health justice; immigrants’ rights/international human rights; and impact litigation. In addition, the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic is part of the new Detention, Deportation, and Defense Initiative (DDDI) funded by the state of New Jersey to increase levels of legal representation for detained immigrants. With support from the Essex County Board of Freeholders, we now seek to hire an additional Practitioner in Residence to expand legal representation for detained immigrants at the Essex County Correctional Facility. The Practitioner in Residence will represent detained immigrants before the immigration court and Board of Immigration Appeals. The Practitioner in Residence will work with Professors and Practitioners in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, along with a dedicated paralegal and student externs.
- 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
- Strong preference for bilingual English/Spanish applicants
This is a full time, 12-month position. The salary is $80,000 plus excellent benefits through Seton Hall University. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and list of three references no later than July 10, 2019 to Professor Lori A. Nessel, Director of the Center for Social Justice, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have read any number of stories recently about the conditions at Border Patrol immigrant youth detention centers. I was there and you need to know what I saw. I don't often reach out to you directly, but I felt that it was important for you to understand what is happening in the name of border protection.
FLORES PLAINTIFFS SEEK TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND CONTEMPT ORDER AGAINST CBP FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN'S DEATHS AND SEVERE MALTREATMENT AS CRISIS AT BORDER PATROL FACILITIES GROWS
Co-counsel working with the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law on the Flores case include USF School of Law Immigration Clinic; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; La Raza Centro Legal, Inc.; The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley; National Center for Youth Law; and U.C. Davis School of Law.
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
When We Were Arabs is "an absorbing family history that spans continents and epochs" and the personal history of the author, Massoud Hayoun, who is a member of the Arab diaspora with Egyptian, Moroccan, Tunisian, and Jewish roots.
An excerpt of the NPR book review:
CNBC news reports that the U.S. government’s rhetoric and policies on immigration could “have serious long-term costs,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology President L. Rafael Reif. The relationship between the U.S. and China has been strained in recent months over escalating tariffs. The U.S. has also raised national security concerns about Chinese technology firms like Huawei, against which the Justice Department has filed criminal charges in two cases.
Reif’s message to the MIT community appears in full:
"As we plan for our children’s summer of fun, we should all remember there are Latino immigrant children who are interned in modern day concentration camps–alone, scared, in metal cages, and without adequate nutrition, hygiene, or medical care. They are children, just like our children. Our government and our president are treating them WORSE than animals. There are animal cruelty laws that exist that prohibit people from leaving dogs unattended in inhumane conditions. These immigrant Latino children are receiving no such protections. The contrast between our healthy kids’ lives and the lives of these Latino immigrant children is truly heartbreaking."
A new report profiles the migrants detained by the U.S. government. Based on case-by-case records recently obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, these "snapshots" of individuals held start in September 2016 and now extend through December 2018.
As of December 31, 2018, ICE had 47,486 individuals in its custody. The number of detainees was up 22 percent from the 38,810 persons ICE held at the end of September 2016. A free web app accompanying this report allows readers a detailed look at detention practices.
The most striking change was a dramatic drop in the number of individuals who had committed serious crimes. Despite the increasing number of individuals detained, fewer and fewer immigrants who had committed serious crimes were arrested and held in custody by the agency. Their numbers had dropped by over twelve hundred (-1,253), while total detainees ballooned by over eighty-six hundred (8,676) during the same period. Immigrants who had never been convicted of even a minor violation shot up 39 percent.
The President of the American Bar Association has weighed in on the conditions of detention of immigrant children. See "Statement of ABA President Bob Carlson, re: Detention of immigrant children in poor conditions."
The statements powerfully begins as follows:
"The American Bar Association is appalled by credible reports of hundreds of children being held in unsafe and unhealthy conditions in violation of federal and state law, court settlements and common decency."
The conclusion in similarly strong language:
"The ABA calls on federal authorities to immediately end this inhumane and illegal treatment of children and provide attorney access to facilities operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We urge Congress to pass supplemental appropriations to ensure the appropriate treatment and care of unaccompanied immigrant children in government custody. And we call on the administration to enforce laws and settlements that guarantee humane, minimal standards of care for vulnerable children, no matter how they arrived in our country."
A few weeks ago, as reported in the ImmigrationProf blog, the Department of Justice had an uphill battle in seeking to convince the Ninth Circuit to modify the settlement in the Flores case, which governs the detention of migrant children.
Joe Patrice in a post on Above the Law presents some video of Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian as she argued before the Ninth Circuit and attempted to defend the conditions, including the lack of soap or a tooth brush, under which the minors were detained. It is fair to say that the judges were not sympathetic to the U.S. government's arguments. One of the judges, Wallace Tashima, had been interned as a child during World War II.
From the Bookshelves: The Border: Journeys along the U.S.-Mexico Border, the World’s Most Consequential Divide by David J. Danelo
The Border: Journeys along the U.S.-Mexico Border, the World’s Most Consequential Divide by David J. Danelo (June 2019)
David Danelo spent three months traveling the 1,952 miles that separate the United States and Mexico--a journey that took him across four states and two countries through a world of rivers and canals, mountains and deserts, highways and dirt roads, fences and border towns. Here the border isn't just an abstraction thrown around in political debates in Washington; it's a physical reality, infinitely more complex than most politicians believe.
Danelo’s investigative report about a complex, longstanding debate that became a central issue of the 2016 presidential race examines the border in human terms through a cast of colorful characters. As topical today as it was when Danelo made his trek, this revised and updated edition asks and answers the core questions: Should we close the border? Is a fence or wall the answer? Is the U.S. government capable of fully securing the border?
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Photojournalist Encarni Pindado has been documenting the effects of Mexico's efforts, in response to prompting from the United States, to strengthen its Southern border with Guatemala.
The BBC has a collection of her photographs, including this one of a detention cell in Comitán where a Honduran man and his young daughter await deportation.
The BBC's story not only includes these photographs but also talks about the historic migration patterns from Guatemala to Mexico and how Mexico's new enforcement efforts (including immigration checkpoints and military patrols) are changing those patterns.
Last week I was on the Flores inspection team that visited the CBP facility in Clint, Texas. The media has done a great job covering our findings. Although I have spoken with several reporters, honestly, I'm still processing what I saw and heard. We were permitted to interview minors detained at this border patrol processing. After three days of detailed conversations with many detainees, I came away disgusted and appalled. The declarations of minors prepared and collected by the team will be used put an end to what is happening at Clint. Yesterday, I was heartened when I heard that the vast majority of the children were being moved to ORR facilities where the process of release could begin in seriousness. But today, it was reported that 100 of the children were being moved back to Clint because ORR lacked the bed space. That development is truly disheartening.
I had conversations with several teen mothers with infants as young as five and nine months. I also had individual conversations with 5 and 8 year old boys, three sets of siblings—a 14 year old girl and her 10 year old brother, brothers, ages 12 and 4, and another sister and brother, ages 15 and 13. Several cried as they talked about the conditions and missing their parents. They cried, I teared up. However, I cried hard two times while observing children across the room being interviewed by other team members. One six-year-old girl, alone, began crying. She had been separated from an aunt at the border by CBP officials days earlier. As she cried in the middle of the interview, the attorney working with her took the girl by the hand and walked over to a teen detainee who was holding a two-year-old. It turned out that the teen girl—who was not a mother—had been comforting the toddler and the six-year-old for days out of a sense of kindness. The next day, another attorney was interviewing two siblings—a boy and a girl. The girl, a 7-year-old, was crying unconsolably. The attorney—a woman—picked up the girl to hold and hug her for several minutes.
Because these are minors, they are not supposed to be held by border patrol officials for more than 72 hours. However, the team met many children who had been detained for two to three weeks. Over 350 children were detained at the Clint facility on Monday June 17. Many of the children were unbathed and dirty. Their clothes wreaked; their hair unwashed. Children as young as 2, 3 and 4 years old had been separated from a parent, aunt, or uncle at the border. They were housed in cramped rooms with older children—some of whom cared for the younger children out of kindness. Many of the children have the flu. Two infants were so sick (vomiting, fever, diarrhea) that they were rushed to the hospital for emergency care. Everyone received the same meals day after day that contained no vegetables or fruits. The meals were no different for nursing mothers. Some children reported that they were allowed to go outside and play daily for about 30 minutes; others said they were allowed to go outside only every 2 or 3 days.
ORR is asking for more money to open more space and beds. However, they should be freeing up capacity by doing their processing more quickly. Moreover, these children should not be detained in the first place. The vast majority arrived at the border with a relative (e.g., aunt, uncle). They should not have been separated. They should have been kept together, processed, and allowed to go to their final destinations. In my experience, they will appear at their proceedings, and the government should not worry about folks absconding. TRAC reports that in San Francisco, for example, there is a 98% appearance rate.
The inhumanity of what's going on at the border must be stopped.
Do you want to learn the facts about migrant children at the border? Then check out this two page fact sheet: Children at the Border: What You Need to Know (updated June 25, 2019) by Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic.
The Immigrant Rights Clinic at Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, is seeking to hire an experienced attorney in a full-time Staff Attorney position. Depending on the candidate’s level of experience, the position could be classified as a Senior Staff Attorney position. The start date is flexible, but will ideally be before the start of the fall semester in mid-August 2019. The attorney will work with Professor Anju Gupta, Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, as well as other attorneys in the clinic.
This is a full-time, year-round position. The position is not term-limited and will be ongoing, contingent on funding being renewed. The salary is commensurate with experience, but will be at least $80,000, plus excellent benefits through Rutgers University. The Immigrant Rights Clinic is housed at Rutgers Law School in Newark, a short train ride or drive away from New York City. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume no later than July 10, 2019. The cover letter should address all of the position requirements listed above. To apply, go here.
Death on the Border Chapter 101: U.S. Border Patrol Finds 4 Bodies, Including 3 Children, Near Rio Grande In Texas
Border enforcement along the U.S/Mexico border has human impacts. Migrants regularly die trying to navigate the harsh conditions. Deaths are so common that Wikipedia has a page on the topic.
NPR reports U.S. Border Patrol agents have located four bodies by the Rio Grande in Texas, near the U.S. border with Mexico. Three of the deceased were children — one toddler and two infants — and the other was a 20-year-old woman.
Countries with the most Facebook users, April 2019
Eight of the top 10 countries with the most Facebook users are in the developing world, indicating where the company's attention is likely focused.
The 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report is available in PDF and HTML formats. The PDF is available as a complete one-piece file and as individual sections for easier download. To view the PDF files, you will need to download, at no cost, the Adobe Acrobat Reader. To request a hard copy of the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, please email TIPOutreach@state.gov and provide your mailing address. Please note that due to high demand, your order may not be processed right away.
Here is the first paragraph of the message accompanying the report from the Secretary of State:
"Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes on Earth. Right now traffickers are robbing a staggering 24.9 million people of their freedom and basic human dignity—that’s roughly three times the population of New York City. We must band together and build momentum to defeat human trafficking. We must hold the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable. We must achieve justice for survivors as they rebuild their lives. We must reinvigorate our shared commitment to extinguish human trafficking wherever it exists. There is no time to waste."
Here is the "Briefing by Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons John Cotton Richmond." Ambassador Richmond opened his remarks as follows:
"This morning, Secretary Pompeo released the 19th annual Trafficking in Persons Report. It’s an annual report that assesses 187 countries’ efforts to meet the minimum standards to combat trafficking in persons. It is the foundation of our diplomatic efforts regarding outreach to countries to improve their efforts to combat trafficking around a 3P paradigm: protecting victims, prosecuting perpetrators, and preventing this crime by dismantling the systems that make it easier for traffickers to operate."