Wednesday, July 31, 2019
From Dr. Eleanor Chung
"The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful project, led by 10 & 11 year old activist artists, seeks to create 15,000 butterflies to honor the 15,000 children in detention centers. May the symbol of the freedom to cross borders inspire policy change to free 15,000 children in detention."
Here’s how you can help!
- You can make butterflies at home and drop off your kaleidoscopes at one of our drop off locations
- You can sign up to be a Team Captain, and lead a group of your friends, classmates, or community members in making 500-1000 butterflies. Keep reading for more information!
- You can attend a butterfly making event!
- You can host your own butterfly making tables at local events. Click here for an event guide!
- You can lead butterfly making activities at schools or camps or birthday parties or other gatherings!If your teacher or counselor is looking for an art project for school or for camp, suggest that kids make butterflies for this project!
- You can make butterflies with friends and family in your free time!
Susan Martin, former ED U.S. Commision on Immigration Reform and Georgetown Law professor emerita, writes about the Remain in Mexico program and challenges for Center for Migration Studies:
On July 16, the Trump Administration issued a new rule that would significantly reduce the number of persons granted asylum in the United States. It bars consideration of asylum applications from those who transit through countries (other than their own) before attempting to cross the US southern border. In announcing the new policy, Attorney General William Barr noted: “The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border.” The ineptitude of the administration in managing the asylum system has created this crisis, however, not the asylum process itself. This administration has unilaterally made draconian changes in policy without consultation with those within its own bureaucracy who are most responsible for adjudicating asylum decisions. It has also neglected to approach those who represent asylum seekers to explore potential solutions to a problem that has challenged other administrations. Indeed, the Trump administration has done just the opposite, ending or significantly reducing promising programs put in place by his predecessors, such as those that create conditions that allow safe return, make investments in migrant-sending communities, set up refugee screening and resettlement possibilities in home countries, and open regular channels of legal immigration. Its only solutions have been interception, border enforcement and deterrence.
Guest blogger: Jose Ceja
I was pulled over for driving under the influence but the police officer did not read me my Miranda rights, what can I do?
Given the inherent dangers of drunk and drugged driving, DUI and DWI laws are strictly enforced in every state in the U.S. The fact that you have been arrested for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated doesn’t mean that you will automatically be convicted, however. There are viable defenses against DUI/DWI and individuals being arrested have legally protected rights.
Basically, an arresting officer must read a driver stopped for DUI/DWI his or her Miranda Rights:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Miranda Rights were first established in the landmark Supreme Court ruling Miranda v. Arizona (1966). The effect of this ruling is that law enforcement officers must recite these rights to an individual being arrested before interrogating the person or asking about the crime. Moreover, law enforcement cannot interrogate an individual who does not wish to answer any questions. If an individual decides to stop speaking to the police at any point and asks to speak with an attorney, the police must end the questioning immediately.
In short, if the police did not read you your Miranda Rights after a DUI arrest, an experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to get the case dismissed. Whether this is a valid defense option depends on the circumstances of the arrest, however.
When are Miranda Rights required?
Although Miranda Rights must always be read for DUI arrests, these rights only apply after the individual has actually been arrested and informed about the reason for the arrest. Miranda rights do not apply if the individual is questioned before an arrest has occurred. In a typical DUI/DWI traffic stop, however, the police will ask routine questions, like the driver’s name, date of birth, and also request his or her license, registration and insurance card.
During this time, the police are not required to recite the Miranda Rights. The police will also likely ask “have you been drinking tonight?” during their routine questioning to induce the driver to admit to drinking and driving or to detect intoxication of the driver. These questions are investigational, however, and a driver is not required to answer such questions.
Nonetheless, many individuals are not fully aware of their Miranda Rights, or when those rights apply during a DUI/DWI traffic stop. So it is not uncommon for a driver to say something like “I only had one or two beers” which is incriminating and can be used as the basis for an arrest. The fact that the police officer did not inform the driver of his or her Miranda Rights does not mean the case will be dismissed.
In sum, during a DUI/DWI arrest, you must be informed of your rights. Whether your DUI/DWI case will be dismissed due to a Miranda violation, however, hinges on when the officer began the questioning. If all the questioning took place before the arrest was actually made, anything you may have said can be used against you during your DUI/DWI case. If the police failed to read you your Miranda Rights at any time, on the other hand, then it may be possible to get the DUI/DWI case dismissed.
With this in mind, it is crucial to consult an experienced DUI/DWI defense attorney if you have been arrested for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Your attorney will be able to conduct a thorough investigation, which includes obtaining and reviewing the police report and any other evidence such as video from a body camera, to determine if/when your Miranda Rights were violated. Even if the case is not dismissed for a Miranda violation, your attorney can also look to other defense options, such as questioning the accuracy of a breathalyzer test or any field sobriety tests that the police may have administered.
In the end, don’t drink and drive because driving under the influence places you and others at risk of serious injury or death. If you have been charged with DUI/DWI, the best decision you can make to protect your rights, and your driving privileges, is to contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney.
Jose Ceja is lead attorney at Ceja Law Firm
Alanna Vagianos at HuffPost reports on an upbeat US/Mexico border story. Two California professors unveiled three pink seesaws that rest on the border wall ― a playful and fun way to bring “joy, excitement and togetherness” to families on both sides of the border. Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, a professor of design at San Jose State, unveiled the three teeter-totters earlier this week in an Instagram post. The installation was built in a slatted border fence that separates Sunland Park, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, according to the University of California Press.
Immigration judges, attorneys, translators opposed to substitution of video instruction for in-person translaters
The National Association of Immigration Judges, immigration attorneys, and the American Translators Association are criticizing a Trump administration plan to do away with in-person translation for initial deportation hearings, calling it “wrongheaded” and raising concerns about language issues, according to internal emails obtained by BuzzFeed News. According to the plan, which began in New York on July 15, immigrants appearing in initial deportation hearings will receive a video instruction — with subtitles — of the nature of the courtroom proceedings, their rights, obligations, and other frequently asked questions. immigrants will be unable to ask questions of judges during court proceedings unless they happen to have a bilingual lawyer or the judge manages to track down an interpreter who happens to be in the building or uses a telephonic interpreter system that often does not work.
The EOIR claims it has not eliminated interpreters because in-person and telephonic interpreters are available to conduct business after the video advisals are played. They tout the videos as increasing efficiency in overburdened courts.
Immigration attorneys claim that the videos are inadequate ("You can't ask a video a question. You can't ask a video to repeat something. You can't ask a video to rephrase something to make it clear,” said Jeremy McKinney of the American Immigration Lawyers Association) and that it may violate due process: “Individuals in court no longer have a meaningful opportunity to be heard because they literally can’t be,” said Claudine Murphy, an attorney with Immigration Justice Corps. “This is a severe due process violation.” Others point to Executive Order 13166, a rule passed in 2000 in order to improve access for people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). The order, backed by the United States Department of Justice, requires federal agencies to identify any need for LEP services and to subsequently develop and implement a system to provide those services so that LEP individuals have meaningful access to them. In getting rid of in-person interpreters in immigration court, some are concerned that LEP individuals no longer have the rights they have been promised by the U.S. government.
Against the furor of the changes, I recently re-read Valeria Luselli's "Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions," a slim and elegantly written memoir from a volunteer translater in New York's immigration courts that won a 2018 American Book Award (previously reviewed on ImmigrationProf Blog). The book is narrated through the frame of 40 intake questions the translater routinely asked of Central American children preparing for court, most unaccompanied minors. While the task of asking questions and translating answers from Spanish into English may seem simple, she writes:
"nothing is ever that simple. I hear words, spoken in the mouths of chidlren, threaded in complex narratives. They are delivered with hesitance, sometimes distrust, always with fear. I have to transform them into written words, succinct sentences, and barren terms. The children's stories are always shuffled, stuttered, shattered beyond the repair of a narrative order. The problem of trying to tell their story is that it has no beginning, no middle, and no end."
Federal preemption doctrine constrains state power over undocumented immigrants. As courts and commentators focus on disputes over policing and removal, led by sanctuary cities and states, they overlook what I call “financial immigration federalism.”
This Article uncovers emerging forms of financial immigration federalism while also reconsidering familiar forms. Federal tax legislation explicitly eliminated certain tax credits to undocumented immigrants, but states continue to explore expanding them—including by incentivizing employment that is considered illegal under federal law. State entities have supported long-term, owner-occupancy mortgages to undocumented immigrants, which the traditional government-sponsored enterprises do not purchase. And undocumented immigrants, including those with legal work authorization, have long been excluded from federal lending markets for higher education, a vacuum that states have filled with divergent policies. In each of these markets, states and localities act to both expand and limit financial options to undocumented immigrants, a form of immigration federalism.
To analyze tensions between preemption and state sovereignty at the heart of financial immigration federalism, this Article uncovers the legal questions arising from states extending financial benefits to undocumented immigrants, particularly when conditioned on employment and long-term residency. I argue that competing deference regimes, including to state and local tax policy, should play a role in resolving the constitutionality of subnational financial sanctuary (or purgatory). I also consider the case for incorporating subnational intent, as opposed to just congressional or federal intent, in analyzing financial immigration federalism.
Family separation continues as Trump administration policy? NPR reports that the Trump administration continues to separate hundreds of migrant children from their parents despite a federal court ruling that ordered an end to the practice, according to documents filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU said that more than 900 parents and children, including babies, have been separated by U.S. border authorities since U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw, a George W. Bush appointee in San Diego, ordered the government to reunite more than 2,700 children with their parents more than a year ago.
The controversy caused such an outcry that President Trump ordered an end to family separations on June 20, 2018, six days before Sabraw's ruling. Trump's executive order allowed separations only in cases where the parents posed a risk to the child.
Last night, immigration was the second question (health care was first) out of the gate at the second round of Democratic Presidential debates. Nothing surprising came out; the questions focused on Julian Castro's call for decriminalizing border crossing and providing health care to the undocumented. Unlike the first debates, there seemed more of a divergence of opinions among the candidates on the topics.
Tara Golshan on Vox explains the positions of the Democratic presidential candidates on immigration.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Republican lawmakers are suddenly very concerned with asylum fraud. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is proceeding with a partisan asylum reform proposal because his discussions with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin are “going nowhere.” President Donald Trump believes current asylum laws are riddled with “loopholes” that allow illegitimate asylum-seekers to “abuse” the system. Thus, Graham wants to authorize the detention of asylum-seekers—including families and children—for longer periods, because of the “tsunami of people coming and gaming the system.” Graham’s legislation would require Central American immigrants to apply for asylum in their home countries or Mexico and extend current detention requirements. Some Republicans on the committee have sought an even more hard-line approach.
This suspicion of asylum-seekers flies in the face of the United States’ responsibility to uphold human rights. I was privileged to be part of the legal team in the 1987 Supreme Court precedent-setting asylum case INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca. Writing for the majority (which included Justice Antonin Scalia), Justice John Paul Stevens recognized the United States’ international humanitarian obligations to asylum-seekers by interpreting the law’s “well-founded fear of persecution” standard generously: “One can certainly have a well-founded fear of an event happening when there is less than a 50% chance of the occurrence taking place. … There is simply no room in the United Nations’ definition for concluding that because an applicant only has a 10% chance of being shot, tortured, or otherwise persecuted, that he or she has no ‘well-founded fear’ of the event happening.”
Two recent Urban Institute publications suggest that the increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement measures have affected immigrant decisions in everyday life. One offers evidence that immigrant families are avoiding routine activities during which they may be asked or bothered about their citizenship status. The findings:
- About one in six adults in immigrant families reported that they or a family member avoided activities in which they could be asked or bothered about citizenship status during 2018. The activities avoided most were those that risk interaction with police or other public authorities, such as driving a car, renewing or applying for a driver’s license, and talking to the police or reporting crime.
- About one in three adults in immigrant families with a more vulnerable visa and citizenship status—where one or more foreign-born relatives in the household do not have a green card (i.e., are not permanent residents) or US citizenship—reported that they or a family member avoided at least one routine activity. Meanwhile, over one in nine adults in families where all foreign-born family members have green cards or US citizenship reported this behavior.
- Among adults in immigrant families, Hispanic adults were nearly three times more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to report avoiding some activities.
- Controlling for observable characteristics, adults in immigrant families who avoided at least one activity were also more likely to report serious psychological distress.
The other Urban Institute publication concludes that immigrant families are avoiding public benefits in anticipation of the Trump administration's proposed public charge rule. The proposed rule would consider an immigrant’s use of noncash public benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid, as a negative factor in applications for green cards (i.e., permanent residency) or nonimmigrant visas.
As explored in the new brief, chilling effects are widespread and have spilled over to families not directly affected by the rule, including permanent residents and U.S. citizens (likely including many US citizen children). Here are the findings:
- About one in seven (13.7 percent) adults in immigrant families reported that they or a family member did not participate in—meaning they did not apply for or dropped out of—a noncash benefit program in 2018 out of fear of risking future green card status. Among adults in low-income families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, this rate was one in five (20.7 percent).
- Although the proposed rule does not directly affect permanent residents or US citizens, 14.7 percent of adults in families in which all noncitizens are permanent residents reported chilling effects. And in families in which all foreign-born members are citizens, 1 in 10 adults (9.3 percent) reported these effects.
- Adults in immigrant families living with children younger than 19 were more likely to report avoiding benefit programs (17.4 percent) than adults without children in the household (8.9 percent).
- Hispanic adults in immigrant families were more than twice as likely to report chilling effects in their families (20.6 percent) compared with non-Hispanic white (8.5 percent) and non-Hispanic nonwhite (6.0 percent) adults in immigrant families.
- Among adults reporting chilling effects, 46.0 percent reported that they or someone in their family did not participate in SNAP; 42.0 percent did not participate in Medicaid/CHIP; and 33.4 percent did not participate in housing subsidies.
- Most adults in immigrant families reported awareness of the proposed rule (62.9 percent). Among adults who had heard “a lot” about the proposed rule, nearly one-third (31.1 percent) reported chilling effects in their families.
This evidence reveals that although it has not been finalized, the proposed expansion of public charge has already led families to stop participating in programs that help them meet their basic needs. We anticipate chilling effects will be exacerbated once the US Department of Homeland Security finalizes the rule.
The LatCrit, Inc./SALT Annual Faculty Development Workshop (FDW) will take place on October 17, 2019. The FDW will be held the day before the2019 LatCrit Biennial Conference “The Dispossessed Majority: Resisting the Second Redemption in América Posfascista (Postfascist America)” in Atlanta, Georgia.
The FDW is designed for those who are planning to enter or who have recently joined the legal academy. The day-long workshop includes sessions on topics facing prospective, junior, and pre-tenured faculty, while providing generous opportunities to network and form mentoring relationships with established faculty. The FDW is an invaluable learning and professional development opportunity!
Registration for the FDW is free for attendees of the LatCrit conference. Please feel free to e-mail Professor Ron Hochbaum at email@example.com with any questions.
For more information about the LatCrit Conference, please visit http://latcrit.org/content/conferences/latcrit-biennial-conferences/2019-latcrit-biennial-conference-cfp/.
Immigration Article of the Day: Paradoxes of Protection: Compassionate Repression at the Mexico–Guatemala Border
Paradoxes of Protection: Compassionate Repression at the Mexico–Guatemala Border
In this article, we examine a novel set of data from migrant shelters — 16 qualitative interviews with migrants and nine with staff and advocates in the Mexico–Guatemala border region, as well as 118 complaints of abuses committed along migrants’ journeys — informally filed by migrants at a shelter on the Guatemalan side of the border, and an additional eight complaints filed at a shelter on the Mexican side of the border. We document and analyze the nature, location, and perpetrators of these alleged abuses, using a framework of “compassionate repression” (Fassin 2012) to examine the obstacles that migrants encounter in denouncing abuses and seeking protection. We contend that while humanitarian visas can provide necessary protection for abuses committed in Mexico, they are limited by their temporary nature, by being nested within a migration system that prioritizes migrant removal, and because they recognize only crimes that occur in Mexico. The paradox between humanitarian concerns and repressive migration governance in a context of high impunity shapes institutional and practical obstacles to reporting crimes, receiving visas, and accessing justice. In this context, a variety of actors recognize that they can exploit and profit from migrants’ lack of mobility, legal vulnerability, and uncertain access to protection, leading to a commodification of access to humanitarian protection along the route.
Attorney General Narrows Asylum Relief for Members of a Particular Social Group, Denies Relief to Applicant who Fled Cartel Violence
Yesterday, Attorney General William Barr issued a ruling in Matter of L-E-A- to overrule Board of Immigration Appeals precedent, deny relief to a Mexican asylum-seeker who fled cartel violence, and narrow eligibility for asylum based on membership in a particular social group. The Attorney General wrote that "I conclude that an alien’s family based group will not constitute a particular social group unless it has been shown to be socially distinct in the eyes of its society, not just those of its alleged persecutor. . . . Because the record does not support the determination in this case that the immediate family of the respondent’s father constituted a particular social group, I reverse the Board’s conclusion to the contrary."
L-E-A- had contended that contends that he was persecuted by a criminal gang on account of his membership in the “particular social group” defined as the “immediate family of his father,” who owned a store targeted by a local drug cartel.
Monday, July 29, 2019
This paper addresses a prominent issue in the US immigration debate; that is, whether immigrants, particularly those without status, are more likely than US natives to commit crimes and to pose a threat to public safety. It find that immigrants are less likely than similar US natives to commit violent and property crimes, and that communities with more immigrants have similar or lower rates of violent and property crimes than those with fewer immigrants. The few studies on the criminal behavior of unauthorized immigrants suggest that these immigrants also have a lower propensity to commit crime than their native-born peers, although possibly a higher propensity than legal immigrants. Legalization programs, in turn, have been found to reduce crime rates, while increased border enforcement has mixed effects on crime rates. It concludes that a legalization or similar program have more potential to improve public safety and security than several other policies that have recently been proposed or implemented.
President Trump is following up on efforts to deny asylum eligibility to Central Americans who travel through countries on the way to the United States where they might have applied for asylum.
On Friday, the White House announced that the United States and Guatemala have signed a "Safe Third Country agreement" requiring that asylum seekers traveling through Guatemala on their way to the United States be returned to Guatemala and forced to first seek relief there. The agreement would not apply to unaccompanied children or Guatemalans but would apply to many other asylum seekers who cross through Guatemala en route to the United States. AP reports on the agreement here.
Here is the agreement. Download Guatemala Cooperative Agreement with Signature Blocks (ENG) (1)
If implemented, the deal would send many Central Americans back to Guatemala to apply for asylum in a country where there arguably is no system equipped to handle their requests and where they face serious threats of harm.
The following statement is from Royce Murray, managing director of programs at the American Immigration Council:
“Today’s agreement between the United States and Guatemala could put thousands of lives at risk and threatens the very foundations of our asylum system. Guatemala’s under-resourced asylum system cannot realistically process large numbers of asylum seekers nor provide them a full and fair opportunity to make their claims for protection.
“A Safe Third Country agreement with Guatemala is yet another attack on our asylum system and demonstrates the Trump administration’s heavy-handed and relentless effort to turn away asylum seekers at the border. No person should be forced to seek protection in a country ill-equipped to hear their claims and that fails to protect its own citizens.”
On Friday, the Supreme Court granted a stay of a lower-court ruling that had barred the U.S. government from spending $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds to extend President Trump's promised wall along the U.S./Mexico border. The justices were divided along ideological lines: The court’s five more conservative justices voted to grant the government’s request, while the court’s four more liberal justices would not have allowed construction to go forward. Justice Breyer filed an opinion dissenting in part from the stay.
“It’s a sad day when the president is cheering a decision that may allow him to steal funds from our military to pay for an ineffective and expensive wall for which he promised Mexico would foot the bill. This is a deeply regrettable and nonsensical decision and flies in the face of the will of Congress and the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our founders established in the Constitution. As litigation continues, I hope that the courts ultimately reach the correct decision that the president doesn’t have the authority to build his ineffective and expensive wall.”
Sunday, July 28, 2019
One day you are living the American Dream -- a great job, a beautiful family, a stake in the community. Suddenly you are being uncuffed by ICE agents at the Mexican border and told to keep walking. South. Omar Rogel and his family are lucky. They turned this tragedy into a beautiful new life, but one that will likely never again include the country that was the only home they ever knew.
Review by Martin O'Malley: "Thank you John Bohnel and Cast of Character productions, for producing such a thoughtful short documentary. And best wishes for the Rogel-Orwin family and there pursuit of a new life here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. `The family is the first essential cell of human society.' –Pope John XXIII."
Last week, President Trump announced the expansion of expedited removal. The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School in partnership with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center immediately created a toolkit to help advocates provide advice in light of the expansion of expedited removal.
As of July 23, 2019, DHS provided notice that expedited removal will be implemented nationwide, allowing ICE to expeditiously remove those that cannot show they have been present at least 2 years. Under this policy, DHS can remove someone without a chance to present their case in court, without an attorney. The ACLU and AIC intend to challenge this expansion in court. For now, this toolkit helps explain expedited removal to community members and provide advice on how to respond to ICE contact in light of this policy.
The word "sanctuary" has become common in discussions of immigration in the United States. President Trump decries "sanctuary cities," claiming that they undermine enforcement of the immigration laws. Cities and churches --and even some states, such as California -- proudly provide sanctuary to immigrants fearful of removal from the United States.
Nationwide, almost 50 people are in literal sanctuary in churches across the country, and many of these people have deep roots in the United States. But what’s less reported are the practicalities of sanctuary. How do immigrants eat, access supplies they need, maintain their former households, and continue to support their children while living in a church?
In March, Rewire.News immigration reporter Tina Vasquez visited the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia to witness Clive and Oneita Thompson and Suyapa Reyes prepare for their monthly fundraising dinner, the proceeds of which help them cover their monthly expenses while taking sanctuary at the church to avoid deportation. The stories of these families illustrate how people in sanctuary in the United States are keeping themselves afloat.
Read the full piece here.
Penelope Andrews for Slate offers a troubling historical analogy to the Trump administration's immigration raids: "Undocumented people and their families braced for another round of raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers earlier this month. The reports and images of ICE officers staking out homes and arresting people recall a parallel moment in history in apartheid South Africa, where the authorities regularly swept up black people under the `pass laws,' a system that rigidly regulated the movement of black people from so-called homelands to the white urban centers." (Bold added).