Wednesday, November 24, 2021
"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."
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
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."
Report: Stemming Rising Migration from Central America Calls for Tackling Immediate Needs and Root Causes
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.
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."
Monday, November 22, 2021
From the Bookshelves: The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream Hardcover by David M. Rubenstein
Center for Migration Studies of New York: New Demographic Directions in Forced Migrant and Refugee Research
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."
I will need to check out Immigrant Food on my next trip to D.C.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
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 SCOTUSBlog.com.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
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.
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.
Friday, November 19, 2021
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.