Monday, November 30, 2020

Headline of the Day Goes to Vanity Fair

Talk about a headline. Vanity Fair sure grabs attention with this one: STEPHEN MILLER RACES TO F--K OVER IMMIGRANTS ON HIS WAY OUT THE DOOR. The caps are original.

The article only gets saltier.

First, the author, Bess Levin, opens with her "top hits" of the Trump administration's "despicable" immigration policies: "the travel ban, family separation, and spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money on his ridiculous border wall, but also using ICE to terrorize undocumented immigrants, attempting to allow the deportation of 700,000 people who came to the U.S. as children, cutting the refugee cap to the lowest level in history, and generally demonizing anyone who wasn’t born here and making their lives as miserable as possible."

Levin continues: "Behind these policies was World’s Biggest Bastard nominee for four years running Stephen Miller, the 35-year-old adviser who cut his teeth working for Jeff Sessions and defied his upbringing in Santa Monica to become a white supremacist."

Ooof.

Setting aside the tart language, what exactly is Miller trying to do? According to the article, he's looking to do as much as he can before the Biden administration takes over to slow down and limit legal migration with changes to the citizenship test (discussed on this blog here), update the USCIS policy manual regarding grants and denials of visas, limit work permits for immigrants awaiting deportation but not in custody, and limit H1B visas and making them harder to obtain.

-KitJ

November 30, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

International students return to Australia following COVID-19 closures

For the first time since COVID-19 closed its borders to international students on March 20, international students are being welcomed back to campuses in Australia. The 70 students in the first cohort are from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and Indoneisa. They arrived to cheers in the Darwin airport.

A pilot program sought to bring back 350 continuing international students to Canberra was delayed after a second wave of coronavirus struck Melbourne. Priority was instead given to repatriating Australians who had been stranded overseas.

Continued expansion of these programs to return international students will help to revitalize an important educational exchange that brings cultural diversity, intellectual talent, and finances to universities. Before COVID-19, approximately 40% of international students in Australia came from mainland China and brought with them $10 billion Australian dollars per year. Yu Tao, a lecturer at the University Western Australia, explained in The Conversation:

It’s essential to recruit and retain international students to sustain and develop Australian higher education. The loss of international student fee revenue has prompted universities to make large job cuts. Many are expected to downsize. Some might collapse.

Similar dynamics exist in other western countries, including the United States. Increasingly international students are being shut out or made to feel unwelcome for reasons varying from public health, to intellectual property, to restrictionist immigration policies. Others are being educated remotely during the pandemic, with varying levels of effectiveness. Universities worldwide are watching for the impacts of these ddevelopments on future enrollment.

MHC

 

 

November 30, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Hears Arguments Today in Trump v. New York

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SCOTUSBlog  ran a symposium previewing the Supreme Court argument today in Trump v. New York, the challenge to the Trump administration’s plan to exclude people unlawfully in the country from the state-by-state breakdown used to allocate seats in the House. As Amy Howe describes, "[i]f the court upholds the plan and the administration is able to implement it before leaving office, the new method of apportioning House seats could shift political power away from states with large immigrant populations and toward states with fewer immigrants."

Here are the contributions to the symposium:

Date Author Post Title
 
11.28.20 Symposium: A not-at-all disguised attempt to shift power away from Latino voters
11.25.20 Symposium: Trump’s census policy is both fundamentally fair and legally sound
11.24.20 Symposium: Depoliticizing the census through administrative process
11.24.20 Symposium: All foreign nationals should be excluded from apportionment. That’s what the Constitution requires.
11.24.20 Case preview: Justices to review Trump’s plan to adjust census data used for congressional apportionment

UPDATE (Nov. 30 3:45 p.m.):  Here is Amy Howe's argument recap from SCOTUSBlog.  Her bottom line:  The Justices "focus[ed] . . . on whether the Supreme Court could or should weigh in now, and by the end it seemed very possible that they may not resolve the merits of the case immediately – if at all."

KJ

November 30, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

First Latino DACA recipient wins Rhodes

CNN reports that, in second grade, Santiago Potes walked into Marina Esteva's gifted and talented classroom at Sweetwater Elementary School in Miami, Florida, for the first time.

He was an undocumented immigrant from Colombia who entered the country when he was 4 years old. Esteva said she quickly noticed his intelligence and wanted to nurture him toward success.
 
Now, Potes is the first Latino DACA recipient us a Rhodes Scholar.  On Saturday, the Rhodes Trust announced that Potes, a 2020 graduate of Columbia University in New York, would be one of the 2021 Rhodes Scholars.
 
In their announcement, the Rhodes Trust wrote, "Santiago has been a teaching or research assistant for leading professors in physics, philosophy, social psychology and neuroscience, and won numerous college prizes for leadership as well as academic performance. He is widely published on legal issues relating to DACA status, was one of the DACA recipients featured in a brief filed with the Supreme Court to preserve DACA."
 
KJ

November 30, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Faculty Openings: Pace Law School

Pacelawlogo

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace Universityis seeking to fill two tenure-track/tenured faculty positions, to start in August 2021. 

 We invite applicants with teaching and research interests in any of the following areas:  environmental law, natural resources law, sustainable business law, energy and climate law, public health law, contracts law, business law (broadly defined), and tax law.  Applicants whose interests cover more than one of these areas are encouraged to apply.  Pace’s centers of excellence include the Global Center for Environmental Studies, the Energy and Climate Center, the Brazil-American Institute for Law and Environment, the Criminal Justice Institute, the Institute of International Commercial Law, the Land Use Law Center, the Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative, the Public Interest Law Center, and the Women’s Justice Center.

 We welcome applications from candidates interested in doctrinal, experiential, and/or clinical teaching, and we especially encourage applications from anyone whose background and experience will enrich the diversity of our faculty.  Pace is committed to achieving completely equal opportunity in all aspects of University life.

Applications should be submitted here and will be considered on a rolling basis.

 Please direct any questions to our Appointments Committee Chair, Professor Margot Pollans, at mpollans@law.pace.edu

KJ

November 30, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 29, 2020

An Account of the Iran Hostage Crisis: One Iranian Student's Experience

Guest blogger: Yalda Nia, law student, University of San Francisco

There is an inside joke among the townspeople here that we are not from “Boulder”, Colorado, but rather, “the Republic of Boulder.” Why? Because the people here have a unique proclivity to stray from traditional political thought and, sometimes, abandon it all together. Our town is an anomaly. A happy, insulated, unpunctured bubble.

            In the autumn of 1979, my dad, twenty years young at the time, moved into Baker Hall as a sophomore transfer student to the University of Colorado Boulder. My dad was one of the numerous international students from Iran, which accounted for the largest international student population in America during those years, with an F-1 visa.

Newspapers were delivered the November day two months after he moved in -- the year’s most stunning story had broken: fifty-two American embassy officials were taken hostage in Tehran, Iran. Jacque would wait for his turn to use the single TV in the Baker Hall common room while my dad and Ali would eat a quick dinner at neighboring Libby Hall. Together, the three friends would watch the news hour every night for the majority of the Fall 1979 semester. “I didn’t think much of it. It felt just like how it does now when I see news about Iran -- just another conflict in a far-off land,” recounts my dad. “We were more concerned with getting an education.”

            In the spring of 1980, the FBI summoned the international students from Iran to the Foreign Students’ Office on campus. Each student was photographed, fingerprinted, and identified. The ordeal took no longer than ten minutes, according to my dad. No follow-ups. No questioning, besides foreseeable administrative inquiries. Nothing. During the summer of 1980, my dad was hired as a full-time research assistant by the university. How his student visa was not questioned for the number of hours he worked, I will never understand. “And, you know, Boulder people didn’t care either. No one was unfriendly to us. We were just regular college kids, and we were treated as such.”

            Still, in the spring of 1980, after working at the local Burger Chef on Arapaho Avenue and 28th St. for about eight months at $1.90 per hour, bank accounts of every Iranian student were frozen. With university tuition deadlines creeping up, what were Iranian students like my dad supposed to do? A minimum wage job flipping burgers for twenty hours a week wouldn’t get my dad anywhere near the thousands of dollars needed to pay the university. Whatever money my humble grandparents mustered to wire my dad for his education was locked by the government. How could students on F-1 visas stay students, and thereby stay in the country, if they could not pay the university and keep their status as a student? Luckily, for my dad, his boss and friend at Burger Chef offered to loan him the money to pay for school. My dad was fortunate.

            After graduating in 1982 with a baccalaureate in engineering, the F-1 visa that allowed my dad and plenty of other Iranian students to study in Colorado was coming to a quick expiration. There were two options for my dad: either return to Iran or get another visa to stay in America. Subsequent to Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran and Iraq engaged in an eight-year war that would be remembered as one of the worst catastrophes in the Middle East ever. Facing a likely draft and possibly dying from chemical weapons attacks in battle did not inspire a particularly strong urge to return to Iran, as one might imagine.

So, it came time to chart another course to retain his F-1 visa or somehow apply for another visa. He continued studying engineering for another two years for a masters degree. Still, the Iran-Iraq War was not over. After dabbling in a PhD program for several years, the large engineering firm,  IBM, petitioned for my dad to acquire an employee visa, which paved the way for lawful permanent residency status. In the early 1990s, my dad was ultimately granted citizenship shortly before my older sister was born.

I tell this seemingly sleepy story not to relay a testament supporting a common narrative of students’ experiences during the Iran Hostage Crisis, but rather to illustrate the fortunate circumstances that permitted my father to build the solid foundations of a life in America, unlike many others. My father’s story is an exception to the general rule. The same shelter the people of Boulder -- the “Republic” itself -- showed my dad is the same spirit and soul that shined when Boulder formally declared itself a sanctuary city in 2017 before Donald Trump was sworn into office. This happy, insulated, unpunctured bubble is the stable home that afforded my dad and his friends the luxury of a relatively undisturbed college experience.

bh

November 29, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Account of the Iran Hostage Crisis: One Iranian Student's Experience

Guest blogger: Yalda Nia, law student, University of San Francisco

There is an inside joke among the townspeople here that we are not from “Boulder”, Colorado, but rather, “the Republic of Boulder.” Why? Because the people here have a unique proclivity to stray from traditional political thought and, sometimes, abandon it all together. Our town is an anomaly. A happy, insulated, unpunctured bubble.

            In the autumn of 1979, my dad, twenty years young at the time, moved into Baker Hall as a sophomore transfer student to the University of Colorado Boulder. My dad was one of the numerous international students from Iran, which accounted for the largest international student population in America during those years, with an F-1 visa.

Newspapers were delivered the November day two months after he moved in -- the year’s most stunning story had broken: fifty-two American embassy officials were taken hostage in Tehran, Iran. Jacque would wait for his turn to use the single TV in the Baker Hall common room while my dad and Ali would eat a quick dinner at neighboring Libby Hall. Together, the three friends would watch the news hour every night for the majority of the Fall 1979 semester. “I didn’t think much of it. It felt just like how it does now when I see news about Iran -- just another conflict in a far-off land,” recounts my dad. “We were more concerned with getting an education.”

            In the spring of 1980, the FBI summoned the international students from Iran to the Foreign Students’ Office on campus. Each student was photographed, fingerprinted, and identified. The ordeal took no longer than ten minutes, according to my dad. No follow-ups. No questioning, besides foreseeable administrative inquiries. Nothing. During the summer of 1980, my dad was hired as a full-time research assistant by the university. How his student visa was not questioned for the number of hours he worked, I will never understand. “And, you know, Boulder people didn’t care either. No one was unfriendly to us. We were just regular college kids, and we were treated as such.”

            Still, in the spring of 1980, after working at the local Burger Chef on Arapaho Avenue and 28th St. for about eight months at $1.90 per hour, bank accounts of every Iranian student were frozen. With university tuition deadlines creeping up, what were Iranian students like my dad supposed to do? A minimum wage job flipping burgers for twenty hours a week wouldn’t get my dad anywhere near the thousands of dollars needed to pay the university. Whatever money my humble grandparents mustered to wire my dad for his education was locked by the government. How could students on F-1 visas stay students, and thereby stay in the country, if they could not pay the university and keep their status as a student? Luckily, for my dad, his boss and friend at Burger Chef offered to loan him the money to pay for school. My dad was fortunate.

            After graduating in 1982 with a baccalaureate in engineering, the F-1 visa that allowed my dad and plenty of other Iranian students to study in Colorado was coming to a quick expiration. There were two options for my dad: either return to Iran or get another visa to stay in America. Subsequent to Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran and Iraq engaged in an eight-year war that would be remembered as one of the worst catastrophes in the Middle East ever. Facing a likely draft and possibly dying from chemical weapons attacks in battle did not inspire a particularly strong urge to return to Iran, as one might imagine.

So, it came time to chart another course to retain his F-1 visa or somehow apply for another visa. He continued studying engineering for another two years for a masters degree. Still, the Iran-Iraq War was not over. After dabbling in a PhD program for several years, the large engineering firm,  IBM, petitioned for my dad to acquire an employee visa, which paved the way for lawful permanent residency status. In the early 1990s, my dad was ultimately granted citizenship shortly before my older sister was born.

I tell this seemingly sleepy story not to relay a testament supporting a common narrative of students’ experiences during the Iran Hostage Crisis, but rather to illustrate the fortunate circumstances that permitted my father to build the solid foundations of a life in America, unlike many others. My father’s story is an exception to the general rule. The same shelter the people of Boulder -- the “Republic” itself -- showed my dad is the same spirit and soul that shined when Boulder formally declared itself a sanctuary city in 2017 before Donald Trump was sworn into office. This happy, insulated, unpunctured bubble is the stable home that afforded my dad and his friends the luxury of a relatively undisturbed college experience.

bh

November 29, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

20 Books About Immigration Everyone Should Read

Check out this Cosmopolitan list.  One of the first on the list:

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The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri

Here is the publisher's blurb for the book:

"Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel–turned–refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.

Nayeri confronts notions like “the swarm,” and, on the other hand, “good” immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis."

KJ

 

 

November 29, 2020 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Mother, A Son -- and a 1500 mile search for home

Julie Turkewitz and Isayen Herrera for the New York Times tell the story of a young boy and his mother looking for a home in the pandemic.  Sebastián Ventura's "mother, four months pregnant, rushes to keep up. There are hundreds of people on the highway that night, all Venezuelans who had fled their country’s collapse before the pandemic and found refuge in Colombia. Now, after losing their jobs amid the economic crash that followed the virus, they are trying desperately to get back home, where at least they can rely on family. The global health crisis wrought by the coronavirus has played out most visibly in hospitals and cemeteries, its devastating toll clocked in cases and deaths, its aftermath tracked in lost work and shuttered businesses. But a second, less visible aspect of the catastrophe has unfolded on the world’s highways, as millions of migrants — Afghans, Ethiopians, Nicaraguans, Ukrainians and others — have lost work in their adopted countries and headed home. . . . [W]hen the virus hit, Venezuelans living abroad were often the first to lose jobs in their adopted nations, the first to be evicted from pay-per-day apartments in cities like Lima, Quito, and Bogotá, Colombia’s capital."

KJ

November 29, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Playlist: Carlos Santana

How do you feel about swearing in the songs that you play in class? Is is better if the bad language is, well, in another language? Try Migra by Carlos Santana. Appropriate for any discussion of Border Patrol -- though be aware of the "pinche."

-KitJ

November 29, 2020 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

From The Bookshelves: White Ivy by Susie Yang

Cover

I don't know about you, but I like my weekend immigration reading with a heaping side of fiction. Check out the novel White Ivy by Susie Yang. It's a Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club pick! From the publisher:

A young woman’s crush on a privileged former classmate becomes a story of love, lies, and dark obsession, offering stark insights into the immigrant experience, as it hurtles to its electrifying ending.

Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.

Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.

Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.

Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.

Filled with surprising twists and a nuanced exploration of class and race, White Ivy is a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.

-KitJ

November 28, 2020 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 27, 2020

Is Mayorkas the "immigration wizard" who can overhaul exclusionary policies

The Washington Post editorial board joins the chorus of white papers suggesting immigration-related reforms for a Biden Administration. Their article begins by noting the damage done under the formidable "wizard" Stephen Miller: slashing legal migration levels; gutting refugee and asylum admissions; halving the entrance of immediate relatives of current U.S. citizens; and halting the so-called diversity migration program that benefited underrepresented areas like Africa. The editorial board then posits that in order to counter the Trump Administration's changes, President Biden will need to install someone equally with a similarly aggressive vision and adept with the complexities of both immigration law and the administrative process. Alejandro Mayorkas, the nominee for DHS Secretary who previously headed the USCIS, may be the person.

The full article is worth a read. A few lengthy excerpts appear below, focused on legal migration and asylum, two areas that the prior administration wrought the most damage.

Restoring a sane and compassionate immigration system will be largely, though not wholly, within reach of Mr. Biden’s executive powers. He can increase refugee admissions relatively quickly, although it will take time to build back to pre-Trump levels. He can immediately stop work on Mr. Trump’s wasteful wall at the southern border, now funded by cannibalizing dozens of U.S. military programs. He can ensure the renewal of work permits and end the threat of deportation for dreamers, and grant reprieves to hundreds of thousands of migrants whose temporary protected status Mr. Trump tried to remove — even though many have lived here for more than a decade.

It will take longer to undo the hundreds of rule changes the Trump administration used to neuter legal immigration programs, including one that disqualifies green card applicants deemed likely ever to need government benefits. 

Beyond restoration of legal migration via executive actions and regulations, the Washington Post laments asylum.

The politically trickiest part of Mr. Biden’s agenda may be rebuilding the asylum system, which the Trump administration has dismembered under the slander of “catch and release.” No doubt, the country needs a functional process whereby migrants fleeing persecution at home can legally seek asylum here. It will be Mr. Biden’s challenge to rebuild such a system without establishing a magnet for new waves of illegal immigration.

MHC

November 27, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

Supreme Court considers Trump's plan to adjust census based on immigration status

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Mark Walsh for the ABA Journal previews three of President Trump immigration-related initiatives before the Supreme Court.. Two have not yet been scheduled for argument and may be mooted if President-elect Biden moves quickly to change policies.

One involves a policy known as Migrant Protection Protocols, in which immigrants from Central America who passed through Mexico to reach the U.S. border have been returned by U.S. authorities to Mexico while their removal proceedings are pending. The other involves a challenge to the Trump administration’s use of some $2.5 billion in Department of Defense funds to build parts of a border wall with Mexico.

A third Trump administration action will be argued before the Court next Monday. The case raises the specter that the outgoing president will be able to put a stamp on decennial census numbers and the apportionment of Congress that could benefit Republicans for a decade.   Trump v. New York raises the question whether the president may exclude immigrants unlawfully living here from the base population number of the 2020 census that is used for the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here is Amy Howe's preview of the arguments in Trump v. New York.

KJ

November 27, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving! All of us should thank farmworkers

While Thanksgiving may look different this year, at least one thing will remain unchanged: Migrant farmworkers continue to ensure that food reaches our tables. They’re doing essential work in spite of the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on them and continued hostility from the Trump administration, which earlier this month moved to freeze the wages of H-2A workers for the next two years at their current pay, according to NPR’s Dan Charles. The administration estimates that change will yield workers $170 million less in wages annually. 

KJ

November 26, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

33 Unaccompanied Minors Returned to Guatemala in Contravention of Court Order

1920px-Flag_of_Guatemala
Professorsolo2015, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

BuzzFeed News has a shocking story: 33 unaccompanied minors were deported to Guatemala despite a preliminary injunction issued by federal judge Emmet Sullivan that should have prevented the flight.

According to ICE, the agency did not learn of the injunction until the flight had landed in Guatemala, despite the fact that it was issued before the flight had even left the United States.

It's unclear what will happen to the affected children at this point.

-KitJ

November 25, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Biden discusses plans for first 100 days

In an interview with Lester Holt of NBC News yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden pledged he will "send an immigration bill to the U.S. Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America" within his first 100 days in office.

KJ

November 25, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump administration settles lawsuit from U.S. Latinas detained after speaking Spanish

 

NBC News reports that two U.S. women who were detained by Customs and Border Protection after they spoke Spanish at a convenience store in Montana two years ago settled their lawsuit against the Trump administration, the American Civil Liberties Union announced yesterday.

The U.S. citizens, Ana Suda and Martha "Mimi" Hernandez, were talking in Spanish as they shopped for food in May 2018 in Havre, a town about 35 miles from the Canadian border. The Border Patrol officer, Paul O'Neal, "singled out, detained, and interrogated" the women "because he heard them speaking Spanish," the lawsuit alleges.

The women recorded their exchange with O'Neal on video. The video, shows Suda asking the officer why he is asking them for their identifications.

"Ma'am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here, and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here," O'Neal responds. Suda then asks him whether she and Hernandez are being racially profiled; O'Neal responds no.

Here is the ACLU Montana announcement of the settlement:

"Ana Suda and Martha `Mimi' Hernandez, two American citizens detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for speaking Spanish while shopping at a local convenience store in Havre, Montana, have reached a settlement in their lawsuit against the Trump administration. Their lawsuit brought to light systemic racism on the northern border.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Montana, and law firm Crowley Fleck PLLP represent the two women.

Suda and Hernandez were simply standing in line waiting to pay for groceries when CBP Agent Paul O’Neill approached them, commented on Hernandez’s accent, and asked where the women were born. They responded Texas and California, respectively. The agent then ordered them to show identification, and they immediately presented their valid Montana driver’s licenses. 

There was no reason to believe that either woman had violated any law, but O’Neill still detained them in the parking lot. They began filming him, asking him why he targeted them. He said it was because they were “speaking Spanish in the store in a state where it’s predominantly English speaking.” O’Neill offered no other justification for detaining and interrogating them. Watch the video.

Through the lawsuit, it was revealed that local CBP agents have engaged in a longstanding pattern of abusive seizures and investigations. Agents from the local administrative CBP unit — known as the `Havre Sector' — have repeatedly targeted Latinx individuals without justification, often based on their race. One such incident led to a published Ninth Circuit opinion holding that CBP agents illegally detained a group of men in Havre in 2006.

In materials produced as a result of the lawsuit, CBP agents admitted they routinely profile non-white individuals in the Havre Sector. According to a CBP supervisor, `We have a lot of agents here and nobody really has much to do.'

He recounted seeing `two Mexicans' while off duty in a local mall. He was about to report the two shoppers to CBP so that the agency could send an agent — only to find that another off-duty CBP agent had already made the same report.

For these agents, people are suspicious if they do not fit their profile of a typical resident of Havre — i.e., if they are not white.

Evidence uncovered in the suit also revealed that O’Neill was a member of the now defunct `I’m 10-15' Facebook group where CBP agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas, and posted a vulgar illustration depicting U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant.

Through the discovery process, O’Neill also handed over a number of inflammatory and racist text messages confirming his anti-immigrant bias. Watch the video

`As if the racism they experienced at the hands of CBP agents were not enough, our clients also bore the brunt of local backlash as a result of coming forward. They both ultimately left Havre for fear of their families’ safety,' said Caitlin Borgmann, executive director of the ACLU of Montana.

`We stood up to the government because speaking Spanish is not a reason to be racially profiled and harassed.  I am proud to be bilingual, and I hope that as a result of this case CBP takes a hard look at its policies and practices,' said Suda. `No one else should ever have to go through this again.'

`CBP’s behavior was unconscionable and illegal, but sadly not uncommon. This agency must be held accountable,' said Cody Wofsy, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

The settlement involves a monetary sum. Under the Biden administration, the ACLU will continue to hold the federal government and the Department of Homeland Security accountable to the people."

KJ

November 25, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Coordinating Injunctions by Bert Huang

Bert-huang_facultyportrait

Coordinating Injunctions by Bert Huang, Texas Law Review, Vol. 98, 2020

Abtstract

Consider this scenario: Two judges with parallel cases are each ready to issue an injunction. But their injunctions may clash, ordering incompatible actions by the defendant. Each judge has written an opinion justifying her own intended relief, but the need to avoid conflicting injunctions presses her to make a further choice—“Should I issue the injunction or should I stay it for now?” Each must make this decision in anticipation of what the other will do.

This Article analyzes such a judicial coordination problem, drawing on recent examples including the DACA cases and the “sanctuary cities” cases. It then proposes a solution: When faced with a possible clash of injunctions, each district judge should issue or stay her intended relief in accordance with the real-world outcome she thinks the majority of district judges would choose. Following such a shared convention, judges with diverse views will have a better chance of avoiding a clash because their estimates of the majority view are probably more similar than their individual views. And a stay would not signify abandoning a judge’s own views (which are still fully aired in her written opinion) but would instead reflect an awareness that other judges’ views may differ—akin to the existing practice of a stay pending appeal. Notable complications are addressed, including the first-mover advantage of the earliest judge to act; the role of the appeals courts; the possibility of circuit splits; and how such a shared convention might break down.

KJ

November 25, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Fugetsu-Do: An LA Immigration Story

Fugetsu-Do, a confectionery shop in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Little Tokyo, is known for its mochi -- a Japanese rice cake treat. The store has been owned and operated by one family -- the Kito family -- since 1903.

As the BBC notes, the business was started by Seiichi Kito, a Tokyo-trained mochi maker, in 1903. His son Roy joined the business in 1935, but their work was cut short during WW2 when the shop was closed and the Kitos were interned at Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming. After the war, father and son returned to Little Tokyo to restart their business. While they'd stored their equipment during internment, they couldn't pay the demanded back rent to get their equipment out of storage. With the help of an investor, the business eventually reopened in 1946. Roy's son, Brian, took over the business in 1980 and continues to run it today though he hopes his son Korey may take over the business. It's a National Historic Landmark!

You can watch their mochi-making magic here:

The next time you're in LA, you'll know where to stop in for a tasty treat!

-KitJ

November 24, 2020 in Food and Drinks | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dual Roles as Workers and Parents May Account for Steeper Decline in Employment during Pandemic for Immigrant Women with School-Age Children

Fewer than half of all working-age immigrant women in the United States were employed in September, a 7 percentage point swing from their 53 percent employment rate in January before COVID-19-induced job dislocation began, a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis shows.

Immigrant women entered the pandemic-induced recession with unemployment rates similar to those of other groups. Yet they have been among the most affected by pandemic-related job losses, seeing their unemployment peak at 18.5 percent before declining to 11.2 percent in September even as jobless rates for immigrant men and U.S.-born men and women never topped 16 percent and fell below 8 percent in September.

A new MPI fact sheet seeks to explain why immigrant women have been hit so hard by the coronavirus-induced recession, which triggered unemployment levels unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The MPI researchers suggest the drop in employment for foreign-born women may be due, in part, to their often-dual roles as workers and parents.

Immigrant and U.S.-born women alike with school-age children (ages 5 to 17) faced a steeper decline in employment than women without such children, and immigrant women were more likely than their U.S.-born peers to have children within this age range (26 percent versus 17 percent). Thus, the decline in immigrant women’s employment may reflect the difficulties they experienced working while supervising their children’s at-home schooling in many parts of the country where schools were operating remotely.

The concentration of immigrant women in certain labor market niches may also explain their stubbornly high unemployment rate. Overall, they were only slightly over-represented in leisure and hospitality—the industry responsible for almost one-third of all U.S. job losses between January and September. But they were concentrated in several leisure and hospitality occupations (such as waitstaff, maids and housekeepers) that saw the largest job losses. As a result, immigrant women working in that industry had a higher unemployment rate in September than did other workers: 28 percent versus under 20 percent.

The fact sheet, An Early Readout on the Economic Effects of the COVID-19 Crisis: Immigrant Women Have the Highest Unemployment, can be read here. It follows an earlier one contrasting the current labor market dislocations with the last recession, in 2008-09.

KJ

November 24, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)