Friday, September 25, 2020
The NYT today reports on an overseas citizenship controversy: Did Italy rig a citizenship test to facilitate the transition of Uruguayan-born and just-left-Barcelona soccer striker star Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (El Pistolero) to the Italian club Juventus?
Apparently, it usually takes a while to get Italian citizenship. And the nation's language test is no joke. Yet Díaz sailed through the process.
Why? Well, maybe because Juventus had tapped out its allowed number of non-European Union players. So Díaz needed to become an EU citizen.
Others waiting on Italian citizenship are pissed.
Personally, I don't find this story particularly shocking. I mean, usually we hear about citizenship-swapping around the Olympics. But this is a natural extension of that history.
American University Washington College of Law will be hosting a virtual event on October 6 from 5pm-6:30pm ET entitled Citizenship and Suffrage: Race, Citizenship, and Women’s Right to Vote on the Centennial of the 19th Amendment. The event discusses how citizenship acquisition and citizenship stripping rules barred women from voting even after the 19th Amendment’s ratification. It will also discuss citizenship-related barriers to the vote today.
To register, please visit: https://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration
Immigration Reform.com reports that, since her confirmation in 2017,
"Barrett has two recent opinions regarding the issue of immigration. She authored the dissenting opinion in the case Cook County v. Wolf in June 2020. The 7th Circuit’s decision temporarily barred the Trump Administration from imposing new rules that would exclude potential immigrants from green cards if they were likely to require public assistance. Barrett’s dissenting opinion supported the Trump Administration’s action and argued that Cook County, Illinois’ definition of public charge was too narrow and was not supported by law. The 2nd Circuit Court subsequently lifted that ban in September 2020.
Before that, Barrett wrote the majority opinion in the 2019 case Yafai v. Pompeo. Barrett ruled that the wife of a U.S. citizen could not challenge the denial of her visa application by a consular officer, who suspected the wife of child smuggling."
UPDATE (Sept. 27): Yesterday afternoon, President Trump nominated Judge Barrett for the high Court. Nicole Narea for Vox ("Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has a years-long record of ruling against immigrants") also looks at her immigration record.
Immigration Article of the Day: Sowing the Seeds of Chinese Exclusion as the Reconstruction Congress Debates Civil Rights Inclusion by Lea S. Vandervelde and Gabriel Jackson Chin
Sowing the Seeds of Chinese Exclusion as the Reconstruction Congress Debates Civil Rights Inclusion by Lea S. Vandervelde and Gabriel Jackson Chin, Tsinghua China Law Review, Vol. 12:185
During Reconstruction, Congress amended the Constitution to fundamentally reorder the legal and social status of African Americans. Congress faced the challenge of determining how Chinese people would fit in to the emerging constitutional structure. This article draws on a method of digitizing the Congressional Globe to more broadly explore the arguments about Chinese rights and privileges during Reconstruction. Unlike African-Americans, Chinese were part of an international system of trade and diplomacy; treatment of other people of color was understood as a purely domestic question. In addition, while a core feature of Reconstruction was ending the enslavement of African-Americans and overruling Dred Scott by making Africans Americans born in the U.S. citizens and granting them eligibility for naturalization, for Chinese, Congress chose to leave in place racial restrictions on naturalization, which had existed since 1790. This rendered them perpetual foreigners in America. With regard to labor rights, by abolishing slavery, Congress intended to raise up the freedmen, giving African Americans a chance to work on equal terms with other citizens. In the main, Congress continued to treat the Chinese people as constitutive of the so-called “Chinese question,” a nominalization that ascribed to them features of caste, from which there was little possibility of upward mobility. Congress recognized that some Chinese workers in the U.S. who were building railroads or working in mines might be subject to labor exploitation from bosses and from jobbers, sometimes white and sometimes Chinese. However, rather than intervene to liberate Chinese laborers through laws that would free them from involuntary servitude, and give them fair terms on which to compete, Congress eventually moved in another direction: excluding the Chinese altogether in 1882.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
DHS is proposing to impose fixed end dates on student visas, rather than allowing them to be valid for the “duration of status”. They cite national security risks. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking says comments are due to regulations.gov 30 days from publication date in the Federal Register (likely tomorrow or September 25). The proposed rule is published on the DHS website as well.
Here is the language of the proposed rule; it runs 250 pages and provides the DHS justification for the change: "the Department accordingly is concerned about the integrity of the programs and a potential for increased risk to national security. To address these issues, DHS proposes to amend its regulations by changing the admission period of F, J, and I aliens from duration of status to a fixed time period... This change would provide the Department with additional protections and mechanisms to exercise the oversight necessary to vigorously enforce our nation’s immigration laws, protect the integrity of these nonimmigrant programs, and promptly detect national security concerns."
" The NAFSA: International Association of International Educators opposes the rule, as explained in their NAFSA commentary. They say "As universities and colleges across the country work to welcome highly valued, hardworking international students and scholars to our campuses and communities, their efforts are being undermined by policies and regulations that further close our doors and pull up America’s welcome mat. Students from around the globe come here to study, research and grow in our world-class institutions because they believe that America offers freedom and the highest-quality education—and our nation has thrived because of our strength in diversity, not in spite of it. International students and scholars contributed more than $36.9 billion last year and more than 450,000 jobs to our economy. If we continue to undermine their ability to study and learn here, we devalue their contributions, and our international competitors will continue to benefit from short-sighted policies."
There have been prior proposals to replace "duration of status" with fixed years, as described here. If enacted, this proposed rule would be the latest in a series of policies restricting international students and temporary visas during the Trump Administration, including the rescinded rule to ban international students studying fully remotely and proposals to eliminate or curtail OPT (permitting one-year of work experience at the conclusion of an F-visa).
Please join us through webinar for the 2020 Ainsworth lecture at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law featuring Hiroshi Motomura on "The Immigration System: How Did We Get Here and Is There a Path Forward?" on Friday, October 16 at noon central time. Register here.
2020 sure is a bleak year. It is time for some good sports news. Ryan O'Hallaran for the Denver Post tells about an immigrant from Nigeria who has made it to the National Football League.
Born in Nigeria, Jeremiah Attaochu moved to the Washington, D.C., area with his family in 2001. The story is simple: "Immigrant. High school star. All-time sack leader at Georgia Tech. Second-round draft pick in the NFL. And, after starts and stops in his pro career, a prominent role on the [Denver] Broncos’ defense. Signed last year . . . , Attaochu, 27, is [now] a starter . . . . In last week’s opener against Tennessee, Attaochu had four tackles, including a sack."
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Trump administration expedites appeals to Supreme Court for exclusion of undocumented immigrants from Census 2020
NYU and LDF: Immigration, Equal Protection, and the Promise of Racial Justice The Legacy of Jean v. Nelson
Immigration, Equal Protection, and the Promise of Racial Justice has been rescheduled as a virtual convening to be held online Thursday October 22, and Friday October 23, 2020. This two-day virtual conference will be accessible through Zoom and details will be circulated to registered participants in the days prior to the conference.
The year 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of Justice Thurgood Marshall's groundbreaking dissent in Jean v. Nelson, wherein Justice Marshall called for equal protection to apply to Haitian immigrants, and to prohibit the government from discriminating on the basis of race or national origin.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law are pleased to present a virtual conference exploring the intersection of immigration and racial justice.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Kao Saelee, who came to the United States as a refugee, fought California wildfires while serving a prison sentence in California. An article from the Guardian features his story and his transfer last month to an ICE prison in Louisiana after completing his sentence. Anoop Prasad, an attorney with the Asian Law Caucus (ALC), is quoted explaining: “His story is similar to that of a lot of south-east Asian refugee youth who got resettled in neighborhoods in California that had really high rates of violence, poverty and incarceration.”
A new HBO documentary follows Lizbeth Mateo, an undocumented attorney, in her fight for justice representing a client taking sanctuary in a church.
For a limited time, you may purchase tickets to watch the film here. 50% of ticket sales will benefit The Legal Fund to Protect Asylum Seekers.
Here is a statement from the film’s directors, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci:
We met Lizbeth in 2017 when a close friend was seeking legal representation in immigration court. We immediately knew Lizbeth wasn’t a typical lawyer — the fight for her clients was personal and impassioned.
At its core, Lizbeth’s story demonstrates that sometimes it’s necessary to ignore the law in an effort to fix it. Undocumented leaders like Lizbeth and her client Edith are on the front lines risking everything for more equitable immigration law, and the question is, will our communities and elected officials join them in that fight.
Lizbeth says in the film that: “this country is about giving you the opportunity to actually fight.” We believe she shouldn’t have to fight alone. This film is meant to strengthen Lizbeth’s existing community of supporters so she can continue to keep families, like Edith’s, from being unjustly separated by an inhumane immigration system.
The Inter-American Commission has released the Hearings Calendar. The hearing to discuss the human rights situation of migrants, refugees, and unaccompanied children will take place on October 9, 2020 at 14:00 EST.
The panelists will be: Bill O. Hing (USF), Nicole Ramos (Al Otro Lado), Laura Pena (Non-Profit Immigration Attorney), Ismael Moreno Coto - Padre Melo (Director of Radio Progreso- Honduras) , and Beth Lyons.
You can find the petition submitted in July to request the hearing here. To attend the hearing please REGISTER HERE or you could also watch it through the CIDH Facebook page. Additionally, there will be an online Q&A session right after the hearing for members of the press, orgs, and others and a twitter "Hour of Action" campaign. More information on those two events to come.
The Dare to Dream Project has teamed up with Busboys and Poets to host a book series about immigration topics. The books that have been selected tell stories about people who are effected by America’s broken immigration system. These are not policy or academic reads: they focus is on personal narratives. A different book and talk with the author will happen the 3rd Thursday of every month. A full list appears here.
This month's discussion will focus on John Washington's The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum at the US-Mexican Border and Beyond and take place on September 24. It will be moderated by Noah Habeeb. Register here.
University of Colorado, Boulder: 2020 Jane Menken Distinguished Lecture: Rubén Rumbaut on American Nativism & Immigration Policy
The CUPC Jane Menken Distinguished Lecture in Population Studies is a biennial event which recognizes the enormous contribution that Dr. Jane Menken has made to the study of Population and to University of Colorado Boulder with a lecture by a distinguished demographer.
Title: The Wall: American Nativism, Immigration Policy, and the Great Exclusion of 2017-2020
Abstract: Much of American history can be seen as a dialectic of processes of inclusion and exclusion, and in extreme cases of expulsions and forced removals. An iconic feature of the American story has been the remarkable capacity of this self-professed “Nation of Immigrants” to absorb, like a giant global sponge, tens of millions of newcomers from all classes, cultures and countries. But this phenomenal accomplishment has historically coexisted with a seamier side of the process of nation building, expansion and design. Since colonial times nativist ideologies have framed "foreigners" as threats, demagogues have fanned moral panics about immigrants, and state policies have sought to control the inflow of newcomers or to keep them out of the nation altogether.
This talk will focus on the Great Exclusion of the period spanning the Trump Administration, 2017-2020. A rarity in U.S. history, candidate Trump ran on immigration explicitly as a nativist candidate and won the presidency in the electoral college. “The wall” remains the signature part of his message, although few miles of new wall have been built along the southern border to date (and not a penny has been paid by Mexico), and no legislation has been passed by Congress. Nonetheless, the Trump administration has radically restricted immigration to the United States through hundreds of administrative actions and executive orders, drastically reducing legal family-based immigration, cutting refugee admission to its lowest level since the 1980 Refugee Act was passed, effectively ending asylum in the United States, and causing enormous backlogs in citizenship applications that are preventing eligible immigrants from becoming naturalized. These restrictive policy actions have been further extended and amplified by the administration within the context of the 2020 covid-19 pandemic, adding up to “the most sweeping ban on immigration in American history.”
Bio: Rubén G. Rumbaut is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Over the past few decades he has directed seminal empirical studies of immigrants and refugees in the U.S., from the principal studies of the resettlement of refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 1980s; to the landmark "Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study" (with Alejandro Portes) since 1991; the "Immigration and Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles" study in the 2000s; and "The Second Generation in Middle Adulthood" in the 2010s (with Cynthia Feliciano). Among numerous publications, he is the coauthor of Immigrant America: A Portrait, and Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation, which won the American Sociological Association’s top award for Distinguished Scholarship, and the Thomas and Znaniecki Award for best book in the immigration field. A recipient of the Distinguished Career Award from the ASA’s International Migration Section, he is a fellow of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. [UCI website: http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=4999]
Monday, September 21, 2020
ICE Detention Facilities: Failing to Meet Basic Standards of Care (U.S. House Rep. Com. on Homeland Sec. Maj. Staff Report)
Today the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Homeland Security released a 23-page Majority Staff Report. It's titled ICE Detention Facilities: Failing to Meet Basic Standards of Care.
The Executive Summary of the report highlights two major issues.
OVERSIGHT FAILURES: DHS Oversight of ICE Detention Facilities Fails to Effectively Identify and Correct Deficient Conditions
1. Oversight programs are too broad, too infrequent, and preannounced;
2. ICE’s contractor is ill-equipped to conduct inspections in a manner that successfully identify deficiencies;
3. DHS has few mechanisms to enforce corrections and rarely uses those mechanisms; and
4. ICE contracts with detention facilities that are poorly equipped to meet the agency’s own detention standards.
DEFICIENCIES AT ICE FACILITIES: ICE Facilities Are Generally Clean, But Frequently Fail to Meet Basic Standards of Care
1. With some egregious exceptions, the facilities visited by the Committee were generally clean;
2. ICE detainees frequently face deficient medical, dental, and mental health care;
3. Detention facilities often misuse and abuse segregation; and
4. Detainees face challenges accessing legal services, case information, and interpreter/translation services.
Lots to chew on in this report for those researching detention issues.
CAIR-New York, New Haven Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic File Lawsuit for Muslim Uzbek Husband and Father Assaulted by ICE Agents
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and the New Haven Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic today announced the filing a lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against the United States and three Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for assaulting the plaintiff (Bakhodir Madjitov, a native of Uzbekistan) and violating his constitutional rights during an illegal attempt to deport him in June 2019. At the time of ICE’s attempt to remove Madjitov, a Third Circuit court order was in effect staying his removal.
In a statement, CAIR-NY Legal Director Ahmed Mohamed said:
“Bakhodir has been separated from his family for three years, and he has never held his third child in his arms. Family separation is inexplicably cruel and a stain on America. Family separation is emblematic of a brutal immigration system and its inhumane arms of enforcement.”
“Last year, in an attempt to deport Bakhodir to Uzbekistan, where he is likely to be tortured or killed, ICE violated a federal court order. In the process, ICE agents violently assaulted Bakhodir in a JFK terminal. Bakhodir suffered severe injuries that required him to be transported to an emergency room at a local hospital. This lawsuit seeks to hold the government accountable for its illegal actions. If the government is permitted to remove Bakhodir, the government will escape accountability for the abuse inflicted on Bakhodir.”
The New Haven Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic issued the following statement:
“Bakhodir and his family have endured profound suffering since ICE tore them apart almost three years ago. Bakhodir’s prolonged detention by ICE has always been unconscionable. In June of 2019, ICE’s campaign of cruelty culminated in a brutal assault, after Bakhodir refused to submit to their illegal attempt to force him onto a plane bound for Uzbekistan in violation of a federal court order staying his removal. The lawsuit we filed in federal court last Friday seeks to vindicate Bakhodir’s civil rights and to hold the government accountable for its unlawful and unconstitutional acts. But ICE has once again initiated removal against Bakhodir and is preparing to remove him imminently. If this is permitted to happen, Bakhodir will face almost certain imprisonment and torture, and possibly even death, while the government will escape accountability for violating the law and degrading the values at the foundation of our democracy and legal system.”
In a statement, the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA) and Connecticut Bail Fund Community Organizer Nika Zarazvand said:
“ICE and the Department of Homeland Security are responsible for the prolonged detention and torture of Bakhodir Madjitov, a father of three who has languished more than a thousand miles away from his family since ICE tried to forcibly deport him. Solitary confinement during COVID-19 is torture, but Bakhodir has faced much worse as a result of the medical neglect at Etowah County Jail and faces deportation solely for immigrating to this country. The US government invests millions of dollars in ICE to violently separate parents from their children in the name of national security. We call this practice what it is: human trafficking.”
BACKGROUND ON CASE:
Madjitov is a native of Uzbekistan and has been present in the United States since his lawful entry in 2006. He is a Muslim, a husband to a U.S. citizen spouse, and a father to three native-born U.S. citizen sons. Madjitov is a respected member of our community who worked hard as a home health aide to care for his elderly and ailing patients, and he has been diligently pursuing the legalization of immigration status for which he is eligible.
Madjitov was arrested by ICE in 2017, one week before the birth of his third child—whom he has never held in his arms. In June 2019, ICE attempted to deport Madjitov despite a court-issued stay of removal, which prohibited ICE from deporting him at that time. During that attempted forcible removal, ICE officials took Madjitov to JFK Airport and tried to force him onto a plane bound for Uzbekistan. When Madjitov refused to board, explaining to the ICE agents that he had a stay of removal, the agents responded by beating and tasing him. The physical assault resulted in Madjitov’s requiring medical attention in the emergency room of a nearby hospital.
As an ICE detainee, Madjitov has been subjected to solitary confinement, manual labor, retaliation, and threats, and has contracted COVID-19 in ICE custody. On September 17, 2020, Madjitov was moved to an ICE processing center, in an initial step in to remove Madjitov to Uzbekistan, where he will likely be tortured or killed by the autocratic Uzbekistani government. On September 18, 2020, he was moved to an ICE staging facility—a final step before removal. On September 19, 2020, the government acknowledged that it intends to remove him within days.
Along with the lawsuit, Madjitov’s lawyers have asked a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stay Madjitov’s removal until his lawsuit to vindicate his civil rights and hold ICE accountable is adjudicated. Madjitov’s TRO motion is pending.
To support Madjitov and his family’s efforts to remain united in the United States, a #FreeBakhodir Coalition has been formed. Coalition members are:
Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, Connecticut Bail Fund, Life in My Days, Believers Bail Out, Connecticut Workers Crisis Response, CT Students for a Dream, Make the Road CT, Hartford Deportation Defense; Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY)
The Coalition invites all Americans to visit www.freebakhodir.org and stop the deportation of Bakhodir. Calls to action include signing this moveon.org petition and sending an email letter to ICE officials in charge of Bakhodir’s removal.
CAIR-NY is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
The New Haven Legal Assistance Association is a historic legal aid office whose mission is to secure justice for and to protect the rights of those in our community who are otherwise unable to engage legal counsel.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
The Department of Justice has issued a notice of proposed rulemkaing that would limit the rights of noncitizens before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and immigration court judges. This regulation would eliminate administrative closure for IJs and the BIA, eliminate the BIA and IJs’ sua sponte reopening authority, limit BIA briefing extensions to a maximum of 14 days and require simultaneous briefing by DHS and respondents in all cases, and create a “quality assurance” system through which IJs who don’t like a BIA decision can refer the case directly to EOIR Director McHenry.
Comments are due by September 25, 2020 at regulations.gov.
The USCIS sent stakeholders a message on September 18:
On Sept. 18, we updated our policy guidance concerning residency requirements under section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to comply with the requirements of the recently enacted Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act.
Under the new law, a child born outside of the United States acquires automatic citizenship under INA 320, even if the child is residing outside the United States, in cases where the child is a lawful permanent resident (LPR) and is in the legal and physical custody of his or her U.S. citizen parent who is:
- Stationed and residing outside of the United States as a member of the U.S. armed forces;
- Stationed and residing outside of the United States as an employee of the U.S. government; or
- The spouse residing outside the United States in marital union with a U.S. armed forces member or U.S. government employee who is stationed outside of the United States.
Additionally, the child must meet all generally applicable requirements for automatic acquisition of citizenship, except the residence requirement, under INA 320(a) and (b). In cases involving members of the U.S. armed forces, the child and the U.S. citizen parent (if the U.S. citizen parent is the spouse of the armed forces member) must be authorized to accompany and reside abroad with the armed forces member pursuant to the member's official orders.
In August 2019, USCIS issued policy guidance to align with existing State Department policy and federal law. The new law reverses this prior policy change.
As of March 26, 2020, U.S. citizen parents who are military or U.S. government employees or spouses of military or U.S. government employees, and are stationed outside the United States, can file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, for children residing outside the United States because their children, if eligible under the new INA 320(c), are exempt from the requirement to be residing in the United States. Upon meeting the requirements and traveling to the United States to complete the process, the child will obtain a Certificate of Citizenship.
This change applies to eligible children who were under the age of 18 on March 26, 2020.
For more information, read the updated guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual.
Prior ImmigrationProf blog posts focus on other aspects of military citizenship, including my Denver University law review article, Zachary New's Yale Law Journal article, and numerous writings from Margaret Stock (in reverse order of importance).
This month the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) released a policy brief summarizing five reasons to end immigrant detention. The report contains a wealth of information, data, and history regarding harmful detention practices. For example, the authors track the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in ICE custody in the below graphic. Check out the report for additional analysis.
In an election year, political analysts seek to measure, and capture, the electoral impact of immigrants in U.S. elections. Some of my own writing has focused on this theme -- for example, this essay about citizenship delays that will curtail voting by naturalized citizens who can flip elections (published in The Conversation and Salon) --and has been influenced by UC Riverside political scientist Karthick Ramakrishnan on immigrant political participation, USC sociologist Manuel Pastor 's Rock the (Naturalized) Vote publications, and the National Partnership for New American's Naturalize Now, Vote Tomorrow campaign.
Peter Beinart in The Atlantic pens a thoughtful essay highlighting the cultural and intellectual impact of immigrants on the nation. He begins by noting the role American universities have historically played attracting international talent to the U.S. Once in the U.S., these same international students bring a cosmopolitan perspective to American life and many stay long enough to shape the institutions and ideas for many years to come. This is the trajectory he sees in the lives of Senator Kamala Harris' parents, Shyamala Gopalan and Donald Harris, who met at U.C. Berkeley and joined the fight for civil rights. He sees it in the stories of President Barrack Obama's parents who met at the University of Hawaii. And he sees it in many more stories of post-1965 migration to the United States from Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world that had been sealed off from the U.S.
The resulting intellectual and cultural enrichment, he says, is something liberals eschew. While conservatives have no hesitation framing immigration as a matter of cultural threat, liberal hesitate to make it a point of cultural pride and instead cast their arguments for the value of immigration in terms of economic or other utilitarian benefits to the nation. For example, immigrants have won X prestigious awards or pay Y taxes or contribute Z to the economy through their patents, corporate contacts, and tuition payments.
This line of argument reduces immigration to an electoral ploy, and Democrats often respond by stressing the utilitarian benefits of welcoming people from all over. But the very existence of Kamala Harris and Barack Obama reveals a political effect that can’t be captured by statistical generalizations. Immigration into the United States allows multicultural interactions that produce Americans who can see the country from both within and without.
The article is worth a full read.