Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Op-Ed: Continuing Trump’s pretext to block asylum claims, Biden defies the law and good politics

In commentary in the Los Angeles TimesProfessor Karen Musalo takes the Biden administration to task for continuing President Trump's use of Title 42.  Her opening:

"The so-called Title 42 border closure, which uses the COVID-19 pandemic to justify immediate expulsion or deportation of people fleeing persecution and torture, has always been heartless and illegal. So why is the Biden administration indefinitely continuing this most egregious and unlawful of Trump’s immigration policies? Recent reports confirm that it’s in part because the White House doesn’t want the political repercussions of ending it.

That craven position would be a flimsy defense in court. It’s also simply bad politics."


November 24, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Nerds Podcast

Hey all you immigration nerds out there, this podcast is for you!

Ian Gaines is host of the Immigration Nerds Podcast that covers all things immigration. He has featured on the show many members of our immprof community, including Jennifer M. Chacón and Stephen Yale-Loehr. In the latest podcast, Rose Cahn of the Immigration Legal Resource Center discusses post-conviction relief for immigrants.

Definitely a great podcast to add to your library, or suggest to students interested in learning more about a whole range of topics.


November 24, 2021 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York City Expected to Allow Noncitizens to Vote

I_voted_sticker_Boston_2016The New York City Council is reviewing a plan to allow certain noncitizens to vote in local elections. If approved, the proposal will allow lawful permanent residents and others with legal permission to work to vote. The New York Times estimates that approximately 808,000 residents, the majority of whom are from the Dominican Republic and China, would be allowed to vote if the measure passes. 

New York City's incoming Mayor Eric Adams has supported the proposal, while Mayor Bill de Blasio has not been as supportive but has signaled that he will not veto it if it passes on December 9.

As we have posted here, the question of whether noncitizens should be allowed to vote in local elections has gained increasing attention in recent years. New York City would be the largest municipality to take the step to allow noncitizen voting.


November 24, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Summer Opportunity for Rising 2Ls, 3Ls w/Young Center (Jan. 7 app deadline)

Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights


Application deadline: January 7, 2022.


About the Young Center.

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is a national organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights and best interests—safety and well-being—of immigrant children in the United States. Through the Young Center’s Child Advocate Program, staff and volunteers work to serve as Child Advocate for unaccompanied and separated immigrant children pursuant to the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Our role is to identify and advocate for the best interests of immigrant children, both while they are in federal custody and after they are released, applying federal and state laws and long-recognized principles of the best interests of the child. The Young Center also engages in policy work, advocating with legislators, federal agencies, and other stakeholders to promote consideration of the best interests of the child in all decisions concerning immigrant children and to create a dedicated juvenile immigrant justice system that treats children as children. The Young Center has offices in Chicago, Harlingen, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Washington DC.


About Elizabeth M. Frankel.

Elizabeth M. Frankel (1977-2021) was the first Associate Director of the Young Center. She joined the Young Center in late 2009, as just the third full-time employee, becoming part of a trio of attorneys in Chicago who would develop and implement an entirely new model for advocating for the rights of immigrant children and youth. Today the Young Center has eight offices across the country with more than 80 staff; Liz was involved in the creation and development of each and every office. From 2009 to 2015, Liz taught in the Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. She loved mentoring law students and seeing them use their skills to take pro bono cases or jobs in public interest law.


About the Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship Program.

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights announces the first annual Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship for the 2022 summer. The intent of this Fellowship Program is to honor Liz’s passion for supporting law students as they learn to advocate effectively for immigrant children and families. The Fellowship Program will enable fellows to spend 10 weeks training to zealously advocate for children, and to carry on Liz’s vision of honoring the child’s wishes through careful, strategic advocacy. The Fellows will serve as Child Advocates for individual children, and will also conduct legal research and writing, under the guidance of Young Center staff within the Child Advocate Program. The Fellows will also engage in policy advocacy through ongoing initiatives at the Young Center under the supervision of the Policy Program. Fellows will be based in New York City and will be invited to spend one week of the Fellowship Program in the Young Center’s Harlingen office to understand how immigration patterns, enforcement, and advocacyplay out on the ground along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Elizabeth Frankel Advisory Committee, comprised of Liz’s family, friends, colleagues, and Young Center staff, advises the Young Center regarding the operation of the Fellowship Program.


Fellows will receive a stipend of $10,000 for 10 weeks (40 hours a week). The Fellowship Program will run from June to August 2022, with some flexibility as to individual start and end dates.


The program is open to law students who are rising 2L’s or 3L’s. Preferred qualifications: lived experience/knowledge that lends insight into supporting immigrant children and their families, and bilingual in Spanish and English (oral and written). Additional consideration will be given to law students who come from backgrounds/circumstances which prevent them from engaging in pro bono work during the summer.


Application and Selection Procedures

Interested students should email the following materials to

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Personal statement (2 pages maximum) about the applicant’s relevant experience, interest, and
  • future aspirations with respect to legal work with immigrants and children.
  • Contact information for three references.


The final deadline to submit application materials is January 7, 2022.


Materials will be reviewed by the Fellowship Committee, and interviews with Young Center staff will take place in mid to late January 2022. The Young Center anticipates making offers to potential fellows in late January/early February 2022.


If you have any questions, please contact Priscilla Monico Marin (



November 24, 2021 in Jobs and Fellowships, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Talking To Your Family About Immigration Over Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner, photo by Marcus Quigmire from Florida, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Props to Baptist News Global for their headline: Tips for having a Thanksgiving Dinner conversation about immigrants without choking. The content is as amazing as the headline.

The article starts with What Not To Do: "Your loved ones did not sign up for a Ted Talk." Haha! Yet, really, true. People might be tempted to "counter anti-immigration arguments with a flood of expert references, statistics and Scripture verses about welcoming the stranger," but this form of preaching doesn't work.

What can work? "responses based on kindness and empathy and which avoid personal and partisan attacks." Talk about small things that can build empathy.

This nugget is GOLD: "arguments don’t necessarily have to have winners and losers." "Could we plant a seed?" "Did they walk away feeling hurt? Or did they learn something? Did they feel respected? I think that’s how we can reframe a ‘win’ here.”

Other important points: avoid criticism and find common ground where possible.

Wow. THANK YOU Baptist News Global for offering real, practical advice to those of us who struggle with anti-immigrant family members.


November 24, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Immigrant Detention Cases in New Year


The Supreme Court has set a pair of immigrant detention cases for oral argument in January.  The cases are:

Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez (Jan. 11): Whether a non-citizen who is detained under 8 U.S.C. § 1231 is entitled by statute, after six months of detention, to a bond hearing at which the government must prove to an immigration judge by clear and convincing evidence that the non-citizen is a flight risk or a danger to the community.

Garland v. Gonzalez (Jan. 11): Whether a non-citizen who is detained under 8 U.S.C. § 1231 is entitled by statute, after six months of detention, to a bond hearing at which the government must prove to an immigration judge that the non-citizen is a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) whether, under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(f)(1), the courts below had jurisdiction to grant classwide injunctive relief.


November 24, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

America’s Border Dilemma: Why Biden Has Few Good Options on Immigration

In Foreign Affairs, immigration experts Muzaffar Chishti and Doris M. Meissner of the Migration Policy Institute, take a deep dive into the problems and solutions along the border. They lay out a range of "complex, long-term initiatives" that build "strategies that enable migration to be safe, legal, and orderly." 


November 23, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Stemming Rising Migration from Central America Calls for Tackling Immediate Needs and Root Causes



Photo Courtesy of United Nations Food Programme

Poverty, food insecurity, climate shocks and violence pushed an estimated annual average of 378,000 Central Americans to migrate to the United States over the past five years, highlights a new report. A high price is paid in human and economic costs, including an estimated $2.2 billion a year to travel regularly and irregularly.

Drawing from a unique survey of thousands of migrant-sending households in three Central American countries — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — a joint report by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Civic Data Design Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS), takes an in-depth look at the motivations and costs of migration.

Data collected through face-to-face and online surveys reveals an over five-fold increase over just two years in the percentage of people who considered migrating internationally: 43 percent in 2021, up from 8 percent in 2019. However, only a fraction — 3 percent — actually made concrete plans to migrate. Family separation and high costs associated with migrating were cited as deterrents.

Most migrants, 55 percent, were said to have hired a smuggler at an average cost of US$7,500 per person, while migrating through legal channels came at a cost of U$4,500. For 89 percent of people, the United States was their intended destination country.

The report sheds light on the linkages between food insecurity and migration from Central America, noting that food-insecure people are three times more likely to make concrete plans to migrate than people who are not.

Food insecurity has seen a dramatic rise in Central America as the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and poverty continue to make it harder for families to feed themselves. As of October 2021, WFP estimates that the number of food-insecure people in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras grew three-fold to 6.4 million, from 2.2 million people in 2019.

In addition, migration flows have been driven by violence and insecurity, as well as climate-related shocks such as severe droughts in the Central American Dry Corridor and more frequent and stronger storms in the Atlantic. The devastating twin hurricanes that hit Central America in November 2020 contributed to the deterioration of living conditions for populations that were already vulnerable.

While highlighting the push factors of migration from Central America, the report also presents governments with a blueprint to address its root causes, including initiatives that are linked to economic recovery, livelihoods and food security for people who are most likely to migrate irregularly.

The expansion of national social protection programs that help alleviate poverty and eradicate hunger for at-risk populations is key to stemming migration. For example, cash-based transfers are a lifeline for people in need, allowing families to meet their essential needs. School feeding programs offer more than a plate of food. They support local agriculture and represent savings for poor families.

Furthermore, the report recommends economic development and investment initiatives that are tailored to community needs, giving people the option to seek opportunities at home. These include agricultural programs for smallholder farmers to build resilience to climate shocks, diversify crops and boost production, as well as job training programs for youth and women in rural and urban areas. Creating incentives for the diaspora to invest in public works in local communities would amplify the impact of remittances beyond individual households.

To shift irregular migration to legal channels, the report recommends that the United States and other migrant-destination countries in the region expand legal pathways for Central Americans, for example by increasing access to temporary employment visas.


November 23, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. Immigration Authorities Allegedly Detained Naturalized Citizen For More Than a Month


Logo from U.S. ICE website

Newsweek reports that a lawsuit filed yesterday alleges that United States immigration agents detained a man for over a month even though he was a U.S. citizen.  The ACLU of Northern California and the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus filed the suit. It alleges that after Brian Bukle served a prison sentence in California, he was held in the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Central California for over a month before his citizenship status was verified.

The ACLU press release on the suit is here.  It includes facts on the case and a link to the complaint.  The press release states that

"Civil rights groups in California sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the unlawful arrest of Brian Bukle, a Black resident of Riverside County who has lived in the United States since he was a toddler and has been a U.S. citizen for over 50 years. . . . Black immigrants are significantly more likely to be targeted for deportation. Seven percent of non-citizens in the U.S. are Black, but according to Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), they make up a full 20% of those facing deportation on criminal grounds. Black immigrants are treated disproportionately harshly by ICE–they are six times more likely to be sent to solitary confinement. In addition, Haitian immigrants pay much higher bonds than other immigrants in detention."


November 23, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 22, 2021

From the Bookshelves: The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream Hardcover by David M. Rubenstein

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The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream by David M. Rubenstein 

Here is a description of the book:

"The capstone book in a trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of How to Lead and The American Story and host of Bloomberg TV’s The David Rubenstein Show—American icons and historians on the ever-evolving American experiment, featuring Ken Burns, Madeleine Albright, Wynton Marsalis, Billie Jean King, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and many more.

In this lively collection of conversations—the third in a series from David Rubenstein—some of our nations’ greatest minds explore the inspiring story of America as a grand experiment in democracy, culture, innovation, and ideas.

-Jill Lepore on the promise of America
-Madeleine Albright on the American immigrant
-Ken Burns on war
-Henry Louis Gates Jr. on reconstruction
-Elaine Weiss on suffrage
-John Meacham on civil rights
-Walter Isaacson on innovation
-David McCullough on the Wright Brothers
-John Barry on pandemics and public health
-Wynton Marsalis on music
-Billie Jean King on sports
-Rita Moreno on film

Exploring the diverse make-up of our country’s DNA through interviews with Pulitzer Prize–winning historians, diplomats, music legends, and sports giants, The American Experiment captures the dynamic arc of a young country reinventing itself in real-time. Through these enlightening conversations, the American spirit comes alive, revealing the setbacks, suffering, invention, ingenuity, and social movements that continue to shape our vision of what America is—and what it can be."


November 22, 2021 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Center for Migration Studies of New York: New Demographic Directions in Forced Migrant and Refugee Research

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is pleased to announce the release of New Demographic Directions in Forced Migrant and Refugee Research, a special collection of the Journal on Migration and Human Security (JMHS). This special collection aims to advance forced migrant and refugee research. It considers refugee resettlement and integration in the United States within the broader framework of the literature on migrant integration and reflects on the role that population research can play in promoting successful and healthy refugee resettlement in the United States. Articles in this special collection also explore the ethical challenges of forced migration research, humanitarian work with children and adolescents, the resilience of forced migrant communities, the value of computer modeling for human migration and health, demographic methods for estimating and forecasting migration, and research priorities for US refugees and refugee communities.




The first five articles of this issue are based on five of the presentations at a scientific workshop held in May 2019 in Washington, DC, entitled, “Forced Migration Research: From Theory to Practice in Promoting Migrant Well-Being.” The sixth article evolved from a virtual stakeholder meeting held as a follow-up to the workshop in December 2020, entitled, “Refugee Resettlement in the United States: The Role of Migration Research in Promoting Migrant Well-being in a Post-Pandemic Era.” Both the workshop and the virtual meeting were hosted by the Committee on Population of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with dedicated support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

















November 22, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Food has forever unified people": How Immigrant Food brings "gastroadvocacy" to the table


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

As Thanksgiving brings families and cultures together, food is on our minds.  Food has an incredible power to bring communities together. For Salon Food, Kayla Stewart features Washington, D.C.’s one-of-a-kind Immigrant Food restaurant, showcasing its ability to counter misinformation about immigrants while serving delicious meals. "Food has forever unified people," explained Chief Operating Officer Téa Ivanovic. "For someone unfamiliar with the issues facing immigrants in America, it’s daunting to jump into the complex topic of immigration without a baseline understanding of what immigrants contribute ... But it’s a lot less tough to sit down with a group of friends and learn about how your favorite dishes or flavors have come from immigrant cultures across the globe." 

Stewart writes that "Immigrant Food sought to counter pervasive stereotypes and misinformation about immigrants in the U.S. — and it opted to serve really great food while doing so."

I will need to check out Immigrant Food on my next trip to D.C.


November 22, 2021 in Current Affairs, Food and Drinks | Permalink | Comments (0)

Did Sacramento Sheriff Unlawfully Transfer Noncitizens Into ICE Custody? ACLU Says Yes.

By Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Wikipedia

The ACLU (specifically of N. Cal.) has sued the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department for "unlawfully transferring immigrants to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."

What exactly is the Sheriff's Office doing? According to the ACLU: They are transferring noncitizens to ICE, after the noncitizens have completed their county jail sentences." They are supposed to release them to their families/communities.

Why can't they do this? Well, the California Values Act and California's TRUTH Act limit the ability of any state/local law enforcement agency to work with ICE.

Sidebar shoutout to the ACLU for always making their complaints publicly available. Here's the complaint in this case.


November 22, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration and the Build Back Better Act

NBC News reports that immigration is a key issue of discussion as Congress weighs the Build Back Better Act.

The House bill would grant provisional work permits to about 6.5 million undocumented people in the U.S., under a process known as parole. It is a high priority of progressives and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

But it is not clear that the provision will comply with the Senate budget rules. The Senate parliamentarian has rejected two previous immigration provisions backed by Democrats that would offer a path to citizenship, which the House bill policy would not guarantee.

Some Democratic House members say the party should include an immigration provision no matter what, but Senator Joe Manchin has signaled that he wants to abide by the parliamentarian's advice.

The Hispanic caucus "urges the Senate to protect the work-permits and protections and we are hopeful they will use the Senate rules to build upon them and create an earned pathway to citizenship to further improve our nation's economy," Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., the caucus chair, said in a statement.



November 22, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hacking Migration and Innovation Law Labs

In the Nation ("Hacking Migration"), Sasha Abramsky looks at the cutting edge immigration representation of the Innovation Law Lab.  Its website declares that

"Innovation Law Lab was founded to harness the power of technology, law, and activism all in a single organization to end the mass incarceration of children and mothers in secret jails and inhumane conditions. Innovation Law Lab leverages the work of coders, lawyers, and activists in order to end isolation and exploitation of immigrants and refugees, build permanent pathways to immigrant inclusion, and advance justice."

According to Abramsky's article, 

"The Innovation Law Lab was established by attorney Stephen Manning in 2014, using a combination of private philanthropy dollars and state grants. At the time, during the Obama presidency, Manning and his colleagues realized that huge numbers of immigrants were being deported at least in part because they lacked ready access to legal representation; and that many others were unable to enter the country in the first place because of the metering system that the administration had begun enforcing on the southern border that year."

Click the link above for the entire storty.


November 22, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Immigration Cases Before the Supreme Court This Term


Official Supreme Court Photo

It is still early in the 2021 Term of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The American Immigration Council summarizes the immigration cases currently before the high Court:

1.    Patel v. Garland addresses a judicial review question.  The argument is on December 6.

2.    Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez and Garland v. Aleman Gonzalez:  On January 11, 2022, the Court will hear argument in a pair of cases addressing access to bond hearings for noncitizens in detention.

3.   Egbert v. Boule raises the question whether a federal officer may be held personally responsible for damages—under a case known as Bivens—when the officer violates the Constitution in an immigration-related action.

4.    Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco, California:  In this case, the Supreme Court will consider whether states have the right to defend a government regulation that the United States has stopped defending.  Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia want to defend the Trump administration's “public charge” rule, even though the Biden administration is no longer defending it.

For all the background on the cases, as well as briefs, check out




November 21, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 20, 2021

From the Bookshelves: The Political Philosophy of Refuge


The Political Philosophy of Refuge

About the Authors


How to assess and deal with the claims of millions of displaced people to find refuge and asylum in safe and prosperous countries is one of the most pressing issues of modern political philosophy. In this timely volume, fresh insights are offered into the political and moral implications of refugee crises and the treatment of asylum seekers. The contributions illustrate the widening of the debate over what is owed to refugees, and why it is assumed that national state actors and the international community owe special consideration and protection. Among the specific issues discussed are refugees' rights and duties, refugee selection, whether repatriation can be encouraged or required, and the ethics of sanctuary policies.


November 20, 2021 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Two Notre Dame Law students help mother and daughter win asylum

Two Notre Dame Law students help mother and daughter win asylum

A mother and daughter have been granted asylum in the U.S. after fleeing gender violence in Latin America, thanks in part to Notre Dame Law School students Jacquelyn Aguirre and Elizabeth Wentross.

Aguirre and Wentross, both second-year law students, are participants in this semester’s National Immigrant Justice Center externship. Through the externship, students are given real-world opportunities to practice their legal skills while changing the lives of their clients.

Click the link above for details.


November 20, 2021 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 19, 2021

Immigrant workers could fill labor shortages


As reported widely and experienced everywhere from schools to construction, companies across the United States can’t find enough employees in the COVID-19 economy. Nicole Narea in Vox suggests: bring in more foreign workers.

When the economy is fragile, there’s an instinct to shut borders to protect American workers. And indeed, that’s what the US has done during the pandemic, practically bringing legal immigration to a halt and closing the southern border to migrants and asylum seekers. In a normal year, the US welcomes roughly 1 million immigrants, and roughly three-quarters of them end up participating in the labor force. In 2020, that number dropped to about 263,000.

These instincts counter long-standing economic research that has shown the arrival of low-wage foreign workers has little to no negative impact on native-born workers’ wages or employment. It also overlooks a pressing need for certain types of work that could be alleviated.


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

The Daily: How Belarus Manufactured a Border Crisis



A border crisis has been ongoing along the Poland/Belarus border.  The Daily podcast offers a report on the latest developments.

"How Belarus Manufactured a Border Crisis

For three decades, President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus, a former Soviet nation in Eastern Europe, ruled with an iron fist. But pressure has mounted on him in the past year and a half. After a contested election in 2020, the European Union enacted sanctions and refused to recognize his leadership.  In the hopes of bringing the bloc to the negotiating table, Mr. Lukashenko has engineered a migrant crisis on the Poland-Belarus border, where thousands from the Middle East, Africa and Asia have converged.  What are the conditions like for those at the border, and will Mr. Lukashenko’s political gamble reap his desired results? Guests: Monika Pronczuk, a reporter covering the European Union for The New York Times; and Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times. Sign up here to get The Daily in your inbox each morning. And for an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. Background reading: Poland massed thousands of troops on its border with Belarus to keep out Middle Eastern migrants who have set up camp there, as Western officials accuse Belarus’s leader of intentionally trying to create a new migrant crisis in Europe. Belarusian authorities on Thursday cleared the encampments at the main border crossing into Poland, removing for the moment a major flashpoint that has raised tensions across the continent."

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