Tuesday, June 25, 2019
President Trump long has directed harsh words and policies at immigrants. Consider his threat of mass deportations last week. Such rhetoric has impacts, threatens and scares immigrants. Fear understandably has increased among many immigrant, Latinx, and Asian students on college campuses.
The rise of anti-immigration rhetoric and policies in the United States in the wake of the 2016 elections may be taking its toll on the health of California’s Latinx youth, including those who are U.S. citizens. These are the findings of a new study led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.
The study tracked the mental and physical health of U.S.-born children of Mexican and Central American immigrants in California in the years before and after the 2016 election. It also asked about their sleep quality and their degree of worry about the personal consequences of U.S immigration policies.
Nearly half of the youth reported worrying at least sometimes about the impacts of U.S. immigration policy on their families. Those with more worries also experienced higher anxiety and poorer sleep quality than their peers.
When the researchers compared the youth’s well-being before and after the election, they found that anxiety symptoms increased more markedly among individuals who reported more worry about immigration policies.
The paper describing the results of the study appears in the June 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Pediatrics. Here the "Conclusions and Relevance" from the Abstract:
"Fear and worry about the personal consequences of current US immigration policy and rhetoric appear to be associated with higher anxiety levels, sleep problems, and blood pressure changes among US-born Latino adolescents; anxiety significantly increased after the 2016 presidential election."
Monday, June 24, 2019
People across the twitterverse are taking to the interwebs to challenge the detention of migrant children. The venerable George Takei had this to say:
Feminist writer Jessica Valenti had this take:
Meanwhile journalist (and former Somali-pirate captive) Michael Scott Moore piled a heap of BURN with this attack on the argument made by the U.S. government that conditions for children are "safe and sanitary" despite the lack of soap and toothpaste:
Solitary Voices is a new series on solitary confinement of immigrants recently launched by a team of investigative journalists from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Intercept, NBC News, and other outlets. The series, which includes videos and data analysis, can serve as a teaching and advocacy tool.
The investigation profiles immigrants held in solitary and a whistleblower at DHS. The journalists analyzed and synthesized thousands of pages of records obtained on immigrants detained in solitary by ICE. The results of one of the clinic FOIAs are also cited). Based on this reporting, members of Congress are calling for hearings and demanding information.
Todapresentedy, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review in a consolidated pair of cases involving equitable tolling of the statutory deadline for a motion to reopen. The consolidated cases are Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr and and Ovalles v. Barr. The issue presented is whether a request for equitable tolling, as it applies to statutory motions to reopen removal proceedings, is judicially reviewable as a “question of law”; only "questions of law" are subject to judicial review under the immigration statute. The Fifth Circuit found that it lacked jurisdiction.
Sunday, June 23, 2019
The MPI Spotlight series is an excellent source of reliable reporting and data on immigrants. Two illustrative reports from spring 2019:
Immigrant arrivals to the United States and the makeup of the foreign-born population have been changing in significant ways: Recent immigrants are more likely to be from Asia than from Mexico and the overall immigrant population is growing at a slower rate than before the 2008-09 recession. This useful article collects in one place some of the most sought-after statistics on immigrants in the United States.
The national origins of new arrivals to the United States are shifting, in ways not always fully appreciated. Recent newcomers are more likely to come from Asia, Central America, and Africa, and less likely to be from Mexico. This article offers key demographic information about the 15 immigrant groups that have experienced the largest growth since 2010, including Indians, Chinese, Colombians, Nigerians, and Bangladeshis.
MPI spotlights features postings on specific immigrant groups as well, including in 2019 Korean Immigrants to the United States and Caribbean Immigrants to the United States. An ImmigrationProf post last week highlighted Refugees and Asylees in the United States. A full list of Spotlight reports can be found here.
These MPI reports supplement official government statistics such as the annual DHS Yearbook of Immigration Statistics and noteworthy NAS Report on Integration of Immigrants in the United States.
I found myself driving through Lawton, OK twice this week. Lawton is the home of Fort Sill: a current Army base, former Japanese internment camp, and soon-to-be home of some 1,400 migrant children in detention.
Interesting fact: my very first post for Immprof was about Fort Sill, which is close to where I live in Norman, OK. It's hard to believe that was five years ago.
At the time, Fort Sill was just shutting down its operation of housing child migrants, and Oklahoma's then-governor, Mary Fallin, was worried about the state's responsibility for children released for detention and concerned that the facility might be tasked with housing migrant children again in the future. Fallin called out President Obama for sending children to Oklahoma, writing:
It is wrong for the president to ask Oklahomans to divert their attention and limited resources away from our own children, just as it is wrong for him to ask our military to play host to a large daycare facility for undocumented minors.
Wow. I still can't believe she said that.
But she was right about one thing. Children are coming back to Fort Sill.
NPR has a short story on the detention of migrant children. Migrant children are being held in grim and dangerous conditions at detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border. That is the assessment of lawyers who recently visited the facilities and spoke with children there. One of the lawyers, Warren Binford, a professor at Willamette University College of Law, described the detention conditions for NPR.
NPR reports, after a week of threats of a mass deportation campaign, President Trump is delaying immigration raids that were set to begin this weekend, saying he will give Congress two weeks to make changes to asylum law before dispatching Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around the country to deport undocumented immigrants.
At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019
After the team’s first match in the Concacaf Gold Cup, Yasmani Lopez left the team in order to remain in the US, according to his coach. Skilled Cubans, from doctors to athletes, regularly seek asylum in foreign countries.
It is unlikely that Lopez, like many Central American asylum seekers, will be returned to Cuba. The Cuban Adjustment Act allows any Cuban who has arrived in the United States legally to apply for permanent residency after a year.
Once undocumented and later a lawful permanent resident, Sergio Garcia, who practices at his law offices in rural Chico, California, became a naturalized U.S. citizen this week in a ceremony in Sacramento.
It has been a long road to citizenship for Garcia. He finally became a lawful permanent resident in 2015. Garcia first came to the United States as a child in 1994. Undocumented when he first came, Garcia applied for a visa in 1994 and spent about 20 years waiting “in line” for his "green card." (The delay was the result of "per country" ceilings in the immigration laws that make waits for certain visas very long for citizens of Mexico.). Meanwhile, he earned a degree from California State University, Chico and studied at California Northern School of Law. When he passed the bar exam on the first attempt, the California Supreme Court found that Garcia, although an undocumented immigrant, was eligible for a bar license.
Garcia was admitted to the California State Bar in 2014. He then opened a law office in Chico. And now is a U.S. citizen.
Congratulations Sergio Garcia!
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Walter Ewing: The Changing Face of Undocumented Immigration -- For the first time in half a century, less than half of all undocumented immigrants in the country are from Mexico, growing number from Central America, Asia
For Immigration Impact ("The Changing Face of Undocumented Immigration"), influential immigration analyst Walter Ewing writes that the face of undocumented immigration to the United States has changed significantly over the past decade. For the first time in half a century, less than half of all undocumented immigrants in the country are from Mexico. In contrast, growing numbers are coming from Central America and Asia. Understanding these shifts is key to building a modern immigration system that considers who is arriving, how they are arriving, and from where.
The Pew Research Center estimates that the number of undocumented immigrants fell from an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007 to 10.5 million as of 2017. One of the major explanations for this decline: more Mexican immigrants are leaving the United States each year than the number of those arriving. In fact, the number of undocumented Mexicans in the country fell from 6.9 million in 2007 to 4.9 million in 2017.
NPR reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to begin arresting and deporting thousands of migrant families in 10 cities across the country as early as Sunday. The roundups are targeted at recently arrived migrant families whose cases were fast-tracked by the Justice Department after being sent final deportation orders from a judge and failing to show up for court. Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan defended ICE raids aimed at migrant families in an interview with NPR yesterdayy, saying his agency is only enforcing the law. "My duty is not to look at the political optics, or the will the American people, that's for the politicians to decide," Morgan said. "What the American people should want us to do as law enforcement officials is to enforce the rule of law and maintain the integrity of that system."
CNN reports that the following cities will be targeted for removals, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco.
Ghosts of Gold Mountain: On the Chinese Immigrants Who Changed America and How the Nation (Unfortunately) Punished Them
I strongly recommend the book Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad by Gordon H. Chang. It previously was previewed on the ImmigrationProf blog. I just finished reading this very readable book and found it to offer an incredibly important account of the Chinese immigrants who literally built the western end of the transcontinental railroad and forever changed the United States, revolutionizing commerce in the country and literally transforming the nation.
Chang offers a human account of the role of Chinese immigrants, who often have been rendered invisible in the history books, in the construction of the U.S. transcontinental railroad, which was completed in 1869. He refers to the workers as "Railroad Chinese," most who hailed from southern China and performed the amazing feat of completing the transcontinental railroad through the incredibly rocky and steep Sierra Nevada mountains. Ghosts of Gold Mountain tells us how the workers (almost all men but with a small group of women who, according to Chang, mostly worked in prostitution) lived (including what they ate and drank) in the United States (far from family and friends in China), how they were skilled railroad builders, resisted unfair treatment by their employers, and ultimately how the nation discarded them after their labor was no longer needed. California railroad barons Leland Stanford and Charles and Edwin Crocker feature prominently in the story of the Railroad Chinese and the construction of the transcontinental railroad. Although many initially opposed the use of Chinese labor in railroad construction, the workers proved themselves to be diligent, responsible, and dependable.
Despite their daring achievements, the Chinese workers in the late 1800s were subject to discrimination, the Chinese exclusion laws designed to end immigration from China, and political movements led by white workers and others for their removal. In my opinion, an understanding of how the nation treated Chinese immigrants is necessary to an understanding of the exclusion laws, which continue to influence -- through the "plenary power doctrine" and more -- immigration law and policy.
Like any good book, Ghosts of Gold Mountain got me thinking. I did a little research after reading about the Chinese workers who settled in Truckee, California, a small town near Donner Lake, known for the ill-fated Donner Party. Not far from Truckee, the Railroad Chinese constructed a series of tunnels through granite at high altitudes, including during the harshest of winters. Many Railroad Chinese died. Today, Truckee, where I have vacationed for years, has almost no evidence of the Chinese settlement that was so prominent from 1840-1886. Chinese people were basically forced to leave Truckee. The efforts culminated in 1886; discrimination, boycotts of their businesses and labor, and violence, which later became known as the "Truckee method," basically forced the Chinese to leave the city. In one spectacular case, a group of white defendants were acquitted of the killing of a Chinese man in 1876 in a raid on a house with Chinese workers known as the "Trout Creek Outrage." During the same general time period, a secret white supremacist society known as the "Caucasian League" had hundreds of members in Truckee and thousands throughout the state. At various times in the late 1800s, suspicious fires destroyed parts of the "Chinatown" section of Truckee.
In 1886, California held the Anti-Chinese Nonpartisan Convention in San Jose, which praised the intimidation fires, boycott, and exclusion —the Truckee Method — and adopted it across the state. The Truckee method was successful because it was said to be “lawful and nonviolent.”
Support --- much of it couched as support for white workers -- for the federal Chinese exclusion laws came from California. This historical backdrop thus influenced the Chinese exclusion laws.
Friday, June 21, 2019
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court held that, in a prosecution under 18 U. S. C. §§ 922(g) and 924(a)(2), the U.S. government must prove both (1) that the defendant knew he possessed a firearm and (2) that he knew he belonged to the relevant category of persons barred from possessing one. The Court decided the case in a 7-2 opinion written by Justice Breyer. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Thomas joined. Here is the opinion in Rehaif v. United States
Evan Lee for SCOTUSBlog analyzes the Court's decision and summarizes the decision as follows:
"In order to convict an unauthorized immigrant for gun possession, a federal prosecutor must prove not only that the defendant knew he possessed the gun but also that he knew he was out of immigration status, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 . . . in Rehaif v. United States. The decision will almost certainly lead to collateral attacks on convictions under a much more commonly invoked provision criminalizing gun possession by convicted felons."
Lee notes that, under the decision,
"Hamid Rehaif will be among those who get a hearing on whether he actually knew he was out of immigration status. He had come to the United States on a student visa to study at a university in Florida, but he was academically dismissed. In informing him about his dismissal, the university’s email notified him that his immigration status would be terminated if he did not transfer to another school or leave the United States, neither of which he did. Instead, he stayed in Florida. During that stay, he went to a firing range, purchased ammunition and fired weapons. Hotel staff tipped off the FBI that Rehaif was engaging in suspicious behavior."
Lee further observes that
"In a vehement dissent, Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, protested that the decision will lead to a flood of challenges by people currently incarcerated under Section 922(g), most of them in the felon-in-possession category."
Rust never sleeps. The Trump administration continues its war on the Flores settlement governing the detention of migrant juveniles. Here is a proposed final regulation, courtesy of Lexis Nexis Immigration Law, that is designed to limit the settlement.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement—Final Rule Stage
Abstract: In 1985, a class-action suit challenged the policies of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) relating to the detention, processing, and release of alien children; the case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court upheld the constitutionality of the challenged INS regulations on their face and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion. In January 1997, the parties reached a comprehensive settlement agreement, referred to as the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA). The FSA was to terminate five years after the date of final court approval; however, the termination provisions were modified in 2001, such that the FSA does not terminate until 45 days after publication of regulations implementing the agreement. Since 1997, intervening statutory changes, including passage of the Homeland Security Act (HSA) and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), have significantly changed the applicability of certain provisions of the FSA. The rule would codify the relevant and substantive terms of the FSA and enable the U.S. Government to seek termination of the FSA and litigation concerning its enforcement. Through this rule, DHS, HHS, and DOJ will create a pathway to ensure the humane detention of family units while satisfying the goals of the FSA. The rule will also implement related provisions of the TVPRA.
From the Bookshelves: Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández
Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández
A leading scholar’s powerful, in-depth look at the imprisonment of immigrants addressing the intersection of immigration and the criminal justice system
For most of America’s history, we simply did not lock people up for migrating here. Yet over the last thirty years, the federal and state governments have increasingly tapped their powers to incarcerate people accused of violating immigration laws. As a result, almost 400,000 people annually now spend some time locked up pending the result of a civil or criminal immigration proceeding.
In Migrating to Prison, leading scholar César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández takes a hard look at the immigration prison system’s origins, how it currently operates, and why. He tackles the emergence of immigration imprisonment in the mid-1980s, with enforcement resources deployed disproportionately against Latinos, and he looks at both the outsized presence of private prisons and how those on the political right continue, disingenuously, to link immigration imprisonment with national security risks and threats to the rule of law.
Interspersed with powerful stories of people caught up in the immigration imprisonment industry, including children who have spent most of their lives in immigrant detention, Migrating to Prison is an urgent call for the abolition of immigration prisons and a radical reimagining of the United States: who belongs and on what criteria is that determination made?
Have you explored the Meet the Candidates page on the New York Times? The paper asked 21 of the Democratic candidates the same questions and compiled their responses into short videos.
Question number 8 is "Do you think illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States?" Not to pick favorites, but Elizabeth Warren has a wonderfully nuanced response - talking about the U.S. withdrawal of aid in Central America as a factor alongside destabilized governments and increased gang violence. It's this line of hers that really gets me: "...people are forced to flee for their lives. And as a consequence they end up at the American border whether that's what they really wanted to do or not..." (emphasis mine).
The American Bar Association announced that it will honor Dale Minami with the ABA Medal — the association’s highest honor — during the ABA Annual Meeting in August in San Francisco.
Minami led the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu, an American of Japanese descent who was arrested for refusing to enter an incarceration center in 1942. Korematsu’s case led to the historic challenge of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II in the case Korematsu v. United States.
The ABA Medal recognizes exceptionally distinguished service by a lawyer or lawyers to the cause of American jurisprudence. Previous recipients of the ABA Medal include: Bryan A. Stevenson (2018), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2010), and Justice Thurgood Marshall (1992).
Minami is the first Asian American to receive the award in its 90-year history.
“Dale Minami has devoted a lifetime to breaking down stereotypes and advocating for Asian Pacific Americans,” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “His work in overturning Korematsu is legal legend, but it is just one of many instances in his career where he has fought for the protection of the rights of people who have been discriminated against. His determination and commitment to the rule of law has resulted in countless people receiving justice.”