Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Rutgers Law: Latinx Civil Rights Conference

Thumbnail_Latinx Civil RIghts Poster Black Ink

Three of the nation’s foremost Latinx Civil Rights leaders will take part in A conversation on Civil Rights - including discussions about immigration reform, DACA, Voting Rights and Criminal Justice Reform.

Join today’s Latinx leaders from across the United States for a discussion about the top issues facing the Latinx community, including voter suppression, redistricting, drug policy, and other important matters.

Register for the event here.


April 20, 2021 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Proposals: Global Borderlands: getting to the core of Crimmigration

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Global Borderlands: getting to the core of Crimmigration

Crimmigration has rapidly become the dominant response to human mobility around the globe. It has emerged, ironically, in tandem with growing economic globalization. For capital, national borders have virtually disappeared, while the walls, virtual and literal, are growing higher for workers and others who need mobility to thrive, and even survive.  Race, ethnicity, and personal wealth matter in who gains entry.

This conference will treat crimmigration and bordering holistically as systems nested within economy and society in subtle, and not-so-subtle, ways. In so doing, the conference calls attention to the various 'faces' and experiences of crimmigration and bordering across the globe as well as to a critical examination of the scholarship so far.

Deadline for panels/ individual papers: May 1st, 2021

Please indicate what you are submitting:
- A full or partly-formed panel|
- An individual paper based on finalized research
- Work in Progress 

To apply, submit a (maximum) 500-word abstract, with 5 keywords and a tentative title.
For questions and/or inquiries please email to cinets@law.leidenuniv.nl

This website will be updated after May 1st with further details about the program, the speakers and the registration fee.


April 20, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Oral Argument in Sanchez v. Mayorkas

Defend TPS, photo by Peg Hunter; CC BY-NC 2.0

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Sanchez v. Mayorkas. The case is all about statutory interpretation at the intersection of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and adjustment of status.

The issue seems simple: are TPS beneficiaries who initially entered the United States without authorization eligible for adjustment of status?

Immprofs know that adjustment is only available to those who have been "inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States." 8 U.S.C. § 1255. Naturally, for TPS holders who entered unlawfully, they were not inspected and admitted at the border. Still, the petitioners argue that they were effectively admitted by the TPS process, noting that under 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(f)(4), "for purposes of adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title and change of status under section 1258 of this title, the alien shall be considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant."

We've previously highlighted David Martin's take on this case, which is something of a side-step around the statutory construction issue. Martin argues that the Biden administration should conclude, as the BIA did, that the statutory language is ambiguous and take the opportunity to exercise its "discretion to adopt a new (and better) interpretation that would permit eligible TPS recipients to make use of adjustment of status to obtain a green card." (Biden hasn't done this.)

Writing for ScotusBlog, Maryellen Fullerton describes the lawsuit in the following terms: "Humanitarian, family unity and efficiency goals favor Sanchez and Gonzalez. Reinforcing the penalties for unlawful entry supports the government’s interpretation."

Reading the transcript of oral argument is absolutely fascinating. Sure there's the usual tough questions asking attorneys to justify their interpretations of the statutes at issue. (Kavanaugh described the petitioners' as having "an uphill climb textually speaking.") I'm more drawn to the revelatory moments that show just how hard and technical immigration can be. Like this moment:

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Counsel, I -- I'm sorry, I'm -- I'm lost. Aren't asylum -- people who receive asylum, they're not admitted, but they're in non-immigrant status, aren't they?

MS. SAHARIA: No, they're in asylee status. They are not in non-immigrant status.

This is a question from a justice who genuinely cares about immigration! It's just hard stuff.

Of course, at the end of the day, I'm just disappointed in the Biden administration. It could have just agreed with petitioners' interpretation. The statutory language is open to that interpretation. Instead, it is fighting to block a pathway for TPS recipients to formalize their status in the United States. (At the very same time that the administration is supposedly working on the much harder problem of creating new pathways to legalization of TPS recipients in Congress!) I'm reminded of this ever-great tweet from César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández:

This is me. Angry a normal amount.


April 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: The End of Asylum by By Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, and Philip G. Schrag


The Trump administration's war on asylum and what Congress and the Biden administration can do about it

Donald Trump's 2016 campaign centered around immigration issues such as his promise to build a border wall separating the US and Mexico. While he never built a physical wall, he did erect a legal one. Over the past three years, the Trump administration has put forth regulations, policies, and practices all designed to end opportunities for asylum seekers. If left unchecked, these policies will effectually lead to the end of asylum, turning the United States—once a global leader in refugee aid—into a country with one of the most restrictive asylum systems.

In The End of Asylum, three experts in immigration law offer a comprehensive examination of the rise and demise of the US asylum system. Beginning with the Refugee Act of 1980, they describe how Congress adopted a definition of refugee based on the UN Refugee Convention and prescribed equitable and transparent procedures for a uniform asylum process. The authors then chart the evolution of this process, showing how Republican and Democratic administrations and Congresses tweaked the asylum system but maintained it as a means of protecting victims of persecution—until the Trump administration. By expanding his executive reach, twisting obscure provisions in the law, undermining past precedents, and creating additional obstacles for asylum seekers, Trump's policies have effectively ended asylum. The book concludes with a roadmap and a call to action for the Biden administration and Congress to repair and reform the US asylum system.

This eye-opening work reveals the extent to which the Trump administration has dismantled fundamental American ideals of freedom from persecution and shows us what we can do about it.

Andrew I. Schoenholtz is a professor from practice at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is the codirector of the asylum clinic, the Center for Applied Legal Studies. He is also the director of the Human Rights Institute and the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. He is the former deputy director of the US Commission on Immigration Reform. His publications focus especially on the Refugee Convention and the US asylum system.

Jaya Ramji-Nogales is the associate dean for academic affairs and I. Herman Stern Research Professor at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, where she teaches refugee law and policy and created, along with her students, the Temple Law Asylum Project. In addition to two books presenting empirical studies of the US asylum system coauthored with Schoenholtz and Schrag, she has published extensively on international refugee law and global migration law.

Philip G. Schrag is the Delaney Family Professor of Public Interest Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches professional responsibility as well as codirecting the asylum clinic. He is the author of sixteen previous books and dozens of articles on asylum adjudication, legal ethics, nuclear arms control, consumer protection, legal education, and other topics of public law. During the Carter administration he was the deputy general counsel of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.


April 19, 2021 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Peter Margulies: Biden’s Border Problem, and How to Fix It

Photo of Peter S. Margulies

Peter Margulies on Lawfare offers thoughts on how President Biden should address the "border problem."  He concludes as follows

"the current border situation is a symptom of both short- and long-term policy choices. Policymakers need to get a handle on the rising number of [unaccompanied children], particularly very young children. That effort will require ending the Title 42 program and reforming asylum adjudication, the Flores settlement agreement and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. A show of political will by the Biden administration will be necessary, along with actions by Congress and the courts. Despite the complexity of the problem, a whole-of-government approach can achieve visible results."

Sounds to me as if the proposals fall into the "easier said than done" category.


April 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

More inclusive language for immigrants at ICE, CBP

Washington Post is reporting that the White House has ordered U.S. immigration enforcement agencies such as ICE and CBP to stop using terms such as "alien," "illegal alien" and "assimilation" when referring to immigrants in the United States. Instead, government agencies are required to use the terms "noncitizen" or migrant," "undocumented," and "integration" respectively. The changes reflect a proposal in the Citizenship Act of 2021 announced by the Biden administration on his first day in office that vows to promote "dignity" in the immigation system and to change the culture in the agencies that administer it.

The language change is detailed in memos sent to agency department heads. A prior memo in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services contained a similar directive.  CBP’s top official, Troy Miller, said in his memo:

“As the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, we set a tone and example for our country and partners across the world... We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact. The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”

The offending terms were widely used in the Trump administration. They are also used in the federal immigration statute, the Immigration and Nationality Act. Officials acknowledge that government officials may still need to use the terms in “legal or operational documents” -- such as when filling out required forms -- unless and until the statutory language is changed. Some such changes have been seen at the state and local level, including a California state labor law (2015) that bans the use of the term "alien" in the labor code and a proposed bill to do the same for state laws touching on hosuing, education, natural resources, and education. Some state judges use it in rulings and others do not.

ImmigrationProf blogger and UC Davis Dean Kevin Johnson has described the history and significance of these terms in prior writing (and here), saying that the dehumanizing language rationalizes mistreatment of immigrants.


April 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

America First Caucus Scrapped

Is the Know Nothing Party of the mid-1800s making a comeback?  
Daniella Diaz for CNN that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is scrapping the planned launch of her "America First" caucus after receiving negative feedback from Republican leaders.  Late last week, Rep. Greene's office had announced the formation of the America First Caucus.
Greene now claims that the proposal of her "America First" caucus is "from an outside group that I hadn't read."
The flier promoting the new caucus calls for a "common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" and pushes a series of conspiracy theories about election integrity. It also outlined a nativist argument warning that "mass immigration" poses a threat to "the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture and a unique identity."
The draft states the following under the heading of "Immigration":

"The America First Caucus recognizes that our country is more than a mass of consumers or a series of abstract ideas. America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions. History has shown that societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country. While certain economicand financial interest groups benefit immensely from mass immigration, legal as well as illegal, and the aggregate output of the country increases, the reality of large segments of our society as well as the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture
and a unique identity being put at unnecessary risk is something our leaders can afford to ignore no longer. As such, America’s legal immigration system should be curtailed to those that can contribute not only economically, but have demonstrated respect for this nation’s culture and rule of law. America’s borders must be defended, and illegal immigration must be stopped without exception.

Moreover, we cannot ignore the impact that mass immigration has on reducing job opportunities and depreciating wages for Americans. Further restricting immigration would ensure that American jobs go to American workers. The econometric  evidence and consensus amongst labor economists is that in addition to being a substantial net drain on the public purse,
post-1965 immigrants decrease the capital-to-labor ratio within the national economy, thereby causing a massive shift in the gains of the economy from wage earners to the shareholders and owners of large firms. An important distinction between post-1965 immigrants and previous waves of settlers is that previous cohorts were more educated, earned higher wages, and did not have an expansive welfare state to fall back on when they could not make it in America and thus did not stay in the
country at the expense of the native-born. Another important point of note is the many pauses in immigration that have taken place in this country following a large intake of immigrants. These pauses have been absolutely essential in assimilating the new arrivals and weeding out those who could not or refused to abandon their old loyalties and plunge head-first into mainstream American society. 

A measure of a country’s greatness is the value recognized in being a citizen. As such, we cannot tarnish this important designation by rewarding those who failed to follow our laws at the expense of those who have, which is why amnesty must be rejected in all forms. Additionally, we must abolish unnaturalized birthright citizenship, which actively encourages hostile interests to undermine the legitimacy of democratic self-governance by engaging in subversive `birth tourism' and chain migration. Lastly, federally imposed refugee resettlement programs should be rejected due both to disruption to small communities and the corruption rampant within these programs."



April 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senator Booker Revives Bill To Overhaul Immigration Detention


Official U.S. Senate Picture

Asher Stockler for Law360 reports that U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has reintroduced legislation that would abolish contracts to detain immigrants with private companies and aim to improve conditions at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detention facilities.

The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act would give DHS three years to phase out immigration detention contracts with private operators and county sheriffs. A companion bill, H.R. 2222, was introduced in the House of Representative in late March.


April 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Expanding the Geographies of ‘Sanctuary’ and the Deepening and Contentious Nature of Immigration Federalism: The Case of California’s SB 54 by William Arroacha


Expanding the Geographies of ‘Sanctuary’ and the Deepening and Contentious Nature of Immigration Federalism: The Case of California’s SB 54 by William Arroacha, GLOBALIZATIONS


This article examines the concept and practice of sanctuary jurisdictions in the United States, including its secularization through its codification in state and local laws. It traces the political and legal battles that involve the contentious dynamics in the development and expansion of such jurisdictions. The article will highlight and examine California’s Senate Bill 54 (SB-54), also known as the California Values Act. SB-54 was the first state bill to establish a statewide sanctuary jurisdiction expanding the ‘geographies of sanctuary’ beyond cities and counties. It was a bill enacted in response to the most anti-immigrant policies in contemporary U.S. history under the Trump administration. I will argue that the expansion of ‘geographies of sanctuary’ through state laws fosters more inclusive immigration federalism, directly challenging the enforcement of today’s immigration laws considered by many as unfair and inhumane.


April 19, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 18, 2021

From The Bookshelves: The Crate Escape by Brian Robson


The Crate Escape by Brian Robson is available in kindle format on Amazon. Here's the publisher's blurb:

In 1962, when air-travel was in its infancy, a nineteen-year-old boy who felt trapped in Melbourne, Australia, made up his mind that he was going to return to his homeland in the United Kingdom. He was prevented from doing so by both lack of documentation and the funds required.
Putting an idea to work without the thought of losing his life, he became the first person in history to fly for nearly five days in a crate across the Pacific Ocean.

The Washington Post offered a lengthy write-up on Robson's adventures in flying-as-freight a few days ago. Robson told WaPo that the reason he decided to write about his adventure now was because he's interested in tracking down the two Irish lads he convinced to nail him securely into the crate for shipping.

It's an interesting tale for immprofs across multiple dimensions: why the Welshman went to Australia in the first place (work), why he wanted to leave (working conditions), why he couldn't (work commitment/money/visa rules), and how he sought to bypass all of these problems in shipping himself home as freight instead of traveling as a passenger. Robson's plan went unfortunately awry -- he wasn't shipped directly back to Wales but instead detoured to Los Angeles. And, there, the immigration story gets even more interesting. As WaPo writes: "Robson could have faced charges of illegally entering the United States, he said, but officials instead chose to send him home to Wales, where he had wanted to go all along."

In what is undoubtedly a surprise to no one, Robson has already signed a contract to turn his story into a movie.


April 18, 2021 in Books, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Health Inequity and Tent Court Injustice by Craig Mousin


Health Inequity and Tent Court Injustice by Craig Mousin, AMA J Ethics. 2021;23(2):E132-139


United States law promises refugees they will not be deported until they receive fair, impartial review and determination of their asylum eligibility. In addition to addressing the difficult substantive issues under the Refugee Act of 1980, refugees also carry with them the medical consequences of persecution or fear of persecution, traveling from home for exile, and now, since the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols and other United States policies, long periods of waiting for adjudication under difficult circumstances. Some refugees’ illness experiences, moreover, preclude them from testifying and accurately representing their own interests during asylum adjudication proceedings. This article explains how health inequity compromises the capacity of refugees to successfully demonstrate their asylum eligibility, recounts federal policy changes that exacerbate their health and legal vulnerabilities, and suggests how the United States fails to meet international obligations to refugee-patients.


April 18, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Call For Papers: AILA Law Journal, Fall 2021 Edition


The AILA Law Journal has issued a call for papers for its Fall 2021 edition.

Submission Guidelines: Articles should run 4,500–7,000 words, lightly cited. All articles must be original. However, authors and columnists may reproduce their articles and columns, and place them on their websites, with attribution to and after publication in the AILA Law Journal.

All articles must be submitted via email in Word, as an attachment. All charts, graphs, and, tables should be typed or professionally typeset and must be submitted via email. Articles should not use extensive endnotes. Do not put citations in the text; rather, use endnotes only.

Submissions should include a clearly written, short author biography, author address, direct phone number, and email address. Authors should provide a two- or three-sentence summary of the article. Articles should be written in neutral, third-person voice. “You,” “I,” “We,” and similar terms are discouraged.

Articles must appear as continuous prose, with full sentences. Excessive use of quotation marks should be avoided. They should not be used when referring to a few ordinary words of a speaker or writer. They are appropriate for coined phrases, but only those that are unfamiliar, and only on first reference.

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2021

Submit to: ailalawjournal@aila.org

If you have questions, contact Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, the Editor-in-Chief, or Danielle Polen, Editor, of AILA Law Journal (dpolen@aila.org).


April 17, 2021 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Former President George W. Bush Advocates for Immigration Reform


Official White House Photo

Former President George W. Bush lamented the polarization of immigration reform in a Washington Post op-ed published yesterday.

The op-ed is in line with Bush's longstanding calls for immigration reform but nonetheless puts him at odds with many of the GOP's likely 2024 presidential contenders.

President Bush's op-ed was published ahead of Bush’s interview with CBS’ Norah O’Donnell is set to air tomorrow.  In the interview, Bush reportedly said that he is “ready to re-enter the debate on immigration.”  Bush called for a path to citizenship for “Dreamers,” increased border security, working with other countries to stem the root causes of migration as well a "modernized" asylum system and higher levels of legal immigration, "focused on employment and skills."


April 17, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Biden Administration Wavers on Refugee Admissions: Will It Cave on Immigration or Push for Change?

Eo_1-1-1200x1200Official White House Photo

Despite previously announcing that his administration would increase refugee admissions from the 15,000 designated by President Trump, President Biden announced yesterday that he would stick to 15000 for fiscal year 2021.  As the Los Angeles Times described matters:  "After hours of outcry over the emergency determination, the White House appeared to backtrack, saying in a statement later Friday that Biden instead would announce a new cap next month."  Here is the Statement by Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the Emergency Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2021:

"The President’s directive today has been the subject of some confusion.  Last week, he sent to Congress his budget for the fiscal year starting in October 2021, which honors his commitment.  For the past few weeks, he has been consulting with his advisors to determine what number of refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and October 1.  Given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited, and burdens on the Office of Refugee Resettlement, his initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely. 

While finalizing that determination, the President was urged to take immediate action to reverse the Trump policy that banned refugees from many key regions, to enable flights from those regions to begin within days; today’s order did that.  With that done, we expect the President to set a final, increased refugee cap for the remainder of this fiscal year by May 15."

This is a troubling development.  Will the Biden administration adhere to its campaign promises?  Or will it succumb to pressures to tighten the border in response to what Republicans call a "crisis"



April 17, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Political Misrepresentation of Immigrants in the Census by Ming Hsu Chen


The Political Misrepresentation of Immigrants in the Census by Ming Hsu Chen, New York University Law Review, Vol. 96, 2021


Who is a member of the political community? What barriers to inclusion do immigrants face as outsiders to this political community? This article describes several barriers facing immigrants that impede their political belonging. It critiques these barriers not on the basis of immigrants’ rights, but based on their rights as current and future members of the political community. This is the second of two essays. The first essay focuses on voting restrictions impacting Asian American and Latino voters. The second essay focuses on challenges to including immigrants, Asian Americans, and Latinos in the 2020 census. The essays critique the exclusion of immigrants from the political community because it compromises representational equality.


April 17, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 16, 2021

UCLA Immigration Law and Policy Conference

UCLA Center for Immigration Law and Policy’s first big event: Immigration Policy in the Biden Administration: The First 100 Days and Beyond, a virtual conference over three (non-consecutive) days: April 23, April 30, and May 7, 2021

You can register for each day and find out more about Day Two and Day Three on this conference webpage.


Immigration Policy in the Biden Administration: The First 100 Days and Beyond (April 23, 2021)

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden repeatedly signaled his interest in adopting an immigration policy very different from that of the prior administration. After winning the election, several leaders from the immigrants’ rights movement joined the new administration, suggesting that fundamental change was imminent. As we approach one hundred days into this new era, it has become clear that the Biden Administration will reset U.S. immigration policies. But reset to what?

This conference will bring together important stakeholders to address three central questions: First, what should federal immigration policy look like, both in the Biden Administration and beyond? Second, have the first 100 days put the country on a path toward achieving those goals, or is the reality mixed? Third, what should immigrants’ rights advocates do to achieve the world they want, in terms of both substantive demands and tactics to achieve them?

Introductory Remarks from Faculty Co-Directors Ahilan Arulanantham & Hiroshi Motomura
9:30 - 10:00am

Day 1, Session 1: Lessons from The Infiltrators
10:00 - 11:30am

Nearly ten years ago, the Obama administration adopted an immigration policy purporting to focus on people with serious criminal histories. In this extraordinary panel, we will hear from some of the people behind the award-winning documentary The Infiltrators, which tells the story of a small group of undocumented youth who set out to show this was false by getting themselves detained and -- from the inside -- identifying people without criminal histories. What happened next offers important lessons for how advocates should think about immigrants’ rights work in the years to come.

In this extraordinary panel, we will hear from:

  • Luis Nolasco is a Senior Organizer at the ACLU of Southern California. He was one of the original “infiltrators,” and has spent the last decade working as an immigrants’ rights organizer in the Inland Empire region of Southern California.
  • Alina Das is a clinical professor at New York University School of Law and perhaps the leading attorney defending movement activists against retaliation by ICE.
  • Claudio Rojas is one of the stars of “The Infiltrators,” who was deported to Argentina in 2019 as the movie profiling his bravery was about to premiere.
  • Moderator: Sejal Zota is the Legal Director and Co-Founder of Just Futures Law and an experienced immigrants’ rights movement litigator.

Conference registrants will receive a link to watch the film in advance.

Day 1, Session 2: Immigrants’ Rights Litigation in the Biden Administration:
A Conversation with Cecillia Wang

12:00 - 1:15pm

Cecillia Wang, Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, will discuss her experience leading national immigrants’ rights litigation over the past few administrations and her perspective on pro-immigrant litigation strategy in the Biden administration. Her notable cases include Nielsen v Preap, a challenge to a statute mandating detention without even the possibility of bond for many immigrants, which she argued in the Supreme Court; IRAP v Trump, a challenge to former President Trump’s Muslim Ban, which she successfully argued before the en banc Fourth Circuit; and Melendres v. Arpaio, a challenge to the racially discriminatory practices of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which she won at trial and then successfully defended on appeal before the en banc Ninth Circuit. Cecillia will speak with Ingrid Eagly, Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and a nationally recognized expert on immigration enforcement.

Day 1, Session 3: Should Immigration Detention Be Abolished?
2:00 - 3:30pm

The Biden administration has signaled that it believes there should be fewer people in immigration detention, but it has also made clear that it does see a role for some incarceration as part of the immigration enforcement system. Many advocates are pushing for the total abolition of immigration detention. What is the way forward?

We bring together three distinguished panelists, each with unique perspectives on the issue:

  • Ny Nourn is a Community Advocate for Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus and a former child refugee. She was sentenced to life in prison for her role in a murder, won parole after 16 years, was then sent to ICE detention, and pardoned in 2017.
  • Munmeeth Soni is Director of Litigation and Advocacy at Immigrant Defenders Law Center. Munmeeth has represented numerous detained immigrants against deportation and also participated in systemic litigation on various detention issues.
  • Margo Schlanger is a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. Margo has many years of experience representing prisoners in civil rights suits, represented a class of several hundred Iraqis who challenged the Trump administration’s attempt to execute their removal orders in Hamama v. Adducci, and worked in the Obama administration as part of an attempt to reform the immigration detention system.
  • Moderator: Nina Rabin is Director of the Immigrant Family Legal Clinic at the UCLA School of Law. Her research has focused on documenting the impact of immigration enforcement on women and families.


April 16, 2021 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in TPS/Adjustment of Status Case


Official Supreme Court Photograph

Next Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Sanchez v. Mayorkas.  The case raises the question whether recipients of  temporary protected status are eligible to adjust their status to become lawful-permanent-residents. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that petitioners were not.

A group of immigration law professors submitted an amici brief in support of the Petitioners.   The Constitutional Accountability Center also filed a brief and has a summary of the case here.

John Fritze for USA Today offers some background on the Petitioners:

"Jose Sanchez and Sonia Gonzalez have lived in the United States legally for two decades under a program that lets immigrants from nations enduring natural disasters and armed conflict temporarily avoid returning to their native countries.

But when the New Jersey couple applied for green cards – which would let them remain permanently – they were denied because they initially entered the country illegally." (bold added).

UPDATE (1:45 PST):  Maryellen Fullerton provides a preview of the oral argument for SCOTUSBlog.

UPDATE (April 19):  Here is the transcript to the argument.

UPDATE (April 22): Maryellen Fullerton recaps the argument  for SCOTUSBlog.  Her conclusion:

"Overall the justices appeared unconvinced by arguments for Sanchez and Gonzalez. They expressed reluctance to tackle the Chevron doctrine in this setting, which makes it likely they will conclude the statute is unambiguous. That conclusion would deprive Sanchez and Gonzalez of the ability to adjust their status from temporary to permanent residence in the United States. It would also deprive the government of the ability to exercise discretion in favor of tens of thousands of TPS holders approved by immigration officials to become permanent residents. The government may win this case and tie its own hands."


April 16, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

AILA Calls for Article I Immigration Courts, Immigration Reform


The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) yesterday released "America as a Welcoming Nation: A Roadmap."  It asserts that

"[t]he current system is sorely outdated and badly in need of reform. Congress must act swiftly, using not only its legislative power but also its oversight and budget authorities to secure lasting reform. . . . 
AILA calls upon Congress to put aside partisan divisions and advance solutions that best serve
American families and businesses and preserve our commitment to protecting those fleeing

Asher Stockler for Law 460 (registration required) offers details.  The report calls on Congress to create an Article I immigration court system similar to the bankruptcy courts. It also said immigrants should have a statutory right to counsel in removal proceedings. 


April 16, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Unsettling the Border by Sherally Munshi


Unsettling the Border by Sherally Munshi, UCLA Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 6, 2020


When scholars and lawmakers ask who should be allowed to cross borders, under what circumstances, on what ground, they often leave unexamined the historical formation of the border itself. National borders are taken for granted as the backdrop against which normative debates unfold. This Article seeks to intervene in contemporary debates about border crossing by bringing the border itself into the frame of normative consideration. It does so by exploring the colonial dimensions of the national border and calling attention to the ways in which national borders circumscribe and constrain the political imaginary. Focusing on the United States in particular, this Article seeks to defamiliarize the southern border by resituating it within a widened context of settler colonialism and hemispheric domination. Rather than offer a normative case for building a wall or opening borders, this Article asserts that meaningful engagement with the border question requires that we unsettle the border by critically examining the colonial processes and epistemic formations that naturalize and legitimate it.


April 16, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

From the Bookshelves: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri


The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri  (2020)

What is it like to be a refugee? It is a question many of us do not give much thought to, and yet there are more than 25 million refugees in the world. To be a refugee is to grapple with your place in society, attempting to reconcile the life you have known with a new, unfamiliar home. All this while bearing the burden of gratitude in your host nation: the expectation that you should be forever thankful for the space you have been allowed.

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. 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 falls 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.

Nothing here is flattened; nothing is simplistic. Nayeri offers a new understanding of refugee life, confronting dangers from the metaphor of the swarm to the notion of “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 recalibrates the conversation around the refugee experience. Here are the real human stories of what it is like to be forced to flee your home, and to journey across borders in the hope of starting afresh.


April 15, 2021 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)