Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an Enforcement Lifecycle Report that covers DHS activities in enforcement from 2014 to 2019. A full copy of the report is available here.
The report "describes the final or most current outcomes, as of March 31, 2020, associated with the 3.5 million Southwest Border encounters occurring between 2014 and 2019."
Historically, DHS data systems have been siloed, the report explains. This means that a single immigrant can "touch a dozen or more stand-alone data systems" and the reporting of what happens to them is not integrated.
The lifecycle report changes this. Apparently, they were able to capture "how aliens flow through the immigration enforcement process" by integrating data "from 19 different source systems central to the immigration enforcement process," matching "records by using individual and event identifiers from the different source systems and assigns a new person-level identifier to each unique individual appearing in one or more of the source datasets."
They sum up their findings as follows:
This 2019 Enforcement Lifecycle Analysis describes the final or most current outcomes of about 3.5 million Southwest Border encounters occurring between 2014 and 2019 as of March 31, 2020. It offers a very different lens into the enforcement process than our usual production tables. From 2014 to 2019, the demographic characteristics of aliens encountered at the Southwest Border have shifted away from single Mexican adult non-asylum seekers to Northern Triangle FMUA and UAC asylum seekers.
Encounters with these different groups tend to lead to different paths through the enforcement system, both in terms of whether and how quickly encounters are resolved and what resolution is reached: Encounters with Mexicans tend to lead to repatriations; encounters with Central Americans tend to remain unresolved; and encounters with nationals from countries other than Mexico or the Northern Triangle tend (on average) to lead to relief. Encounters with single adults tend to quickly lead to repatriations, while encounters with FMUAs and non-contiguous UACs tend to remain unresolved. Encounters with aliens who do not claim a fear of return to their home countries tend to be repatriated, while those who claim fear are more likely to remain in the United States and some eventually get relief
Need some positive energy about immigration reform? Watch Judy Woodruff on PBS "Brief But Spectacular talk to f, Gaby Hernandez, the executive director of the Long Beach Immigrants Rights Coalition in California. She is an activist who seeks to empower those in her community to push for better resources and protections. Harnandez shares her Brief But Spectacular take on immigrant justice.
Monday, January 24, 2022
Anna W. Shavers, Cline Willliams Professor of Citizenship Law and associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Law, died this past Saturday.
The University of Nebraska statement states the following:
"A champion of diversity and inclusion on campus, the community and in the field of law, Shavers has been a member of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty since 1989. Her primary area of interest was immigration and its intersections with gender issues.
Prior to coming to Nebraska, Shavers practiced law in Minnesota. She also served as an associate clinical professor at the University of Minnesota, where she established the university’s first immigration law clinic.
At Nebraska, Shavers served in a variety of roles, including interim/acting dean for the College of Law; co-chair of the university’s Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking Planning Team; and a co-leader of the university’s Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity.
A broader tribute to Shavers will publish in Nebraska Today on Jan. 26.
Shavers earned a Bachelor of Science from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and a Master of Science in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned a Juris Doctorate (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota, where she served as managing editor of the Minnesota Law Review. She was admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1979 and the Nebraska bar in 1989."
I knew Anna for many years. She was a warm and wonderful person with her good heart reflected in her immigration scholarship.
The Immigration Article of the Day is Lawyering from a Deportation Abolition Ethic by Laila L. Hlass, forthcoming in the California Law Review (2022).
Here is the abstract:
Carceral abolitionists seek the dismantling of policing, prosecutors, prisons and surveillance in furtherance of a vision of community safety based in investing in robust community resources. Immigration policing, surveillance and detention can be understood as one part of the larger interlocking systems of social control over communities of color through the prison industrial complex. Deportation abolitionists work to end immigrant detention, enforcement and deportation, explicitly understanding immigrant justice as part of a larger racial justice fight connected to resisting white supremacy. This Article maps how the deportation state aligns with the carceral state, tracing two important strains of immigration legal history, which parallel broader policing histories: how the immigration legal system explicitly and implicitly has built racial hierarchies, and the skyrocketing enforcement and detention budget facilitating the militarization of immigration policing. This Article also describes how a number of deportation abolition initiatives emerged to challenge the foundations of immigration law, policy and practices as a racist means of social control, as well as building power in communities to disrupt and shift the very structure of the detention and deportation state. Most of these organizations have few, if any, lawyers on staff. This may reflect efforts to center directly-affected people and creative organizing strategies, or fears about the limitations for lawyers, who at times have a role as an officer of the court, operating within an existing legal system. This Article argues that immigration lawyers interested in moving towards deportation abolition can respond to these tensions. Ultimately, aspiring deportation abolition lawyers can play significant support roles in efforts to radically transform the immigration legal system, as well as in complementary harm reduction efforts, representing those entangled in the deportation system. This Article draws on the intellectual underpinnings and strategies of current deportation abolition initiatives to propose a framework for lawyers seeking to practice a deportation abolition ethic.
"Sonita Gale’s impassioned documentary draws necessary attention to the `hostile environment' the UK government has created for migrants. She draws a through line from the British empire to today’s refugee crisis, connecting it to the Windrush scandal and Brexit.
Case studies filmed during the early days of the pandemic highlight the impossibility of the situation: a Pakistani family of four have British-born children who are ineligible for citizenship; the parents have been granted leave to remain but with `no recourse to public funds'. Elsewhere, an immigrant-led charity that provides hot meals . . . receive a commendation from Boris Johnson but no support from the council."
From the Bookshelves: Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker by Maggie Krell
Here is the publisher's description of the book:
"Insider details from the takedown of Backpage, the world’s largest sex trafficker, by the prosecutor who led the charge
For almost a decade, Backpage.com was the world’s largest sex trafficking operation. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, in 800 cities throughout the world, Backpage ran thousands of listings advertising the sale of vulnerable young people for sex. Reaping a cut off every transaction, the owners of the website raked in millions of dollars. But many of the people in the advertisements were children, as young as 12, and forced into the commercial sex trade through fear, violence and coercion.
In Taking Down Backpage, veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of how she and her team battled against this sex trafficking monolith. Beginning with her early career as a young DA, she shares the evolution of the anti-human trafficking movement. Through a fascinating combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world. She shares powerful stories of interviews with survivors, sting operations, court cases, and the personal struggles that were necessary to bring Backpage executives to justice. Finally, Krell examines the state of sex trafficking after Backpage and the crucial work that still remains.
Taking Down Backpage is a gripping story of tragedy, overcoming adversity, and the pursuit of justice that gives insight into the fight against sex trafficking in the digital age."
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Eileen Gu, a dual Chinese and US citizen, will compete in the Olympics in freestyle skiing Team China. She made the decision a few years ago, explaining on Instagram that it was a chance to “inspire millions of young people where my mom was born” and “promote the sport I love.” At the time, she also told Inkstone that she hoped that her skiing would “unite two nations, both of which are my home.”
Gu, now 18, speaks fluent English and Mandarin. Her mother, Yan Gu, is a native of Beijing and was keen to imprint Chinese culture and values on her daughter after migrating from China to the U.S. Despite being born and raised in San Francisco, Gu has a claim to Chinese citizenship through her mother.
A more comprehensive profile of Gu as an athlete can be found on Redbull, her sponsor for the Olympics and the host for Everyday Eileen. Her key events are Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air. In January 2021, Gu became the first Chinese athlete to win X Games gold, and the first woman to win three X Games medals as a rookie. After her debut at X Games 2021, Gu went on to earn Slopestyle gold, Halfpipe gold and Big Air bronze at the Aspen 2021 World Championships.
It has been one year since President Joe Biden took over the White House and ushered in many promises of immigration reform. On the week of the anniversary, there have been numerous retrospectives. Many reports acknowledge meaningful progress on some aspects of immigration policy reform, including executive orders to rescind or review the most damaging immigration policies from the prior administration, such as the public charge rule, and give him credit for boosting refugee admissions and lifting immigration worker bans related to COVID-19.
The most vigorous critics note disappointments on Title 42 border closures to asylum seekers and the volatile Migration Protection Protocols that keep migrants on the Mexico side of the Southern border. Many accounts note disappointment about the lack of a DREAM Act to expand on protections for undocumented immigrants, even though an actual DREAM Act is contingent on legislative reform and numerous proposals championed by President Biden failed due to Congressional inaction, missing votes, or the parliamentarian's rebuke to using reconciliation procedures (one prospect is folded into the spending bill). The Biden Administration did take direct action to strengthen protections for undocumented youth by utilizing notice and comment rulemaking to formalize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has remained vulnerable to repeated federal court injunctions absent binding regulation. It has not expanded use of parole authority that Vice President Harris and several law professors once contemplated as a meaningful source of protection.
Actual facts and useful graphics summarizing the effects of policies on migration since Biden took office appear in this report from Pew Research.
Moving Forward, 50 Southwestern L. Rev. 208 (2021), is immprof Jennifer Chacón's contribution to the Southwestern Law Review's symposium about Beth Caldwell's 2019 book Deported Americans: Life after Deportation to Mexico.
Here's Jennifer's introduction:
We live in a world of permeable borders. Money, goods, information, and the global elite move across borders almost effortlessly. Corporate entities straddle borders, and governmental policies have transnational effect.
But not everyone moves easily across borders. In the United States, federal laws permit the expulsion and the permanent exclusion of long-term residents. This includes people who never had, or at the time of expulsion lack, authorization to be in the country. It also includes individuals who are lawfully present but whose past conduct renders them deportable. Unlike many legal systems around the world that accord significant weight to equitable considerations, such as a noncitizen's family and community ties when weighing the question of deportability, the U.S. legal system often gives little weight, and sometimes completely precludes, such considerations in removal proceedings. And once individuals are removed from the country, practical and legal barriers to return are often insurmountable, even in the cases of individuals with strong ties to the United States.
The result is a diasporic community in exile: people around the world- but disproportionately in Mexico and Central America-who think about themselves as "American" but have no legal right to return to their affective home. Once expelled, these individuals are placed outside of the frame of this country's perennial discussion of "comprehensive immigration reform." No reform plan on the table in recent years has made room for the globally- exiled victims of an unforgiving system of immigration laws. The impact of the immigration law on the lives of these deportees-and on their families, workplaces, and communities they leave behind-is generally lost to U.S. residents in a fog of motivated forgetting.
The people of the United States of America have always been peculiarly adept at constructing national myths that fail to grapple with, or even account for, past harm. From their erasure of the dispossession and genocide of indigenous people, to their string of broken treaties with native nations, to their failure to make reparations for centuries of slavery, to their seldom discussed, ongoing colonial occupation of various island territories, U.S.atrocities and anti-democratic efforts have been shrouded in a majoritarian silence. Periodic waves of xenophobic expulsion efforts-from the massacre of Chinese immigrants during the Chinese Exclusion era, to the mass deportations of Mexicans residing in the United States in the 1930s and again in the 1950s, to the great expulsion of the last three decades--also weigh lightly on the nation's collective memory.
Beth Caldwell has declined to participate in this exercise of motivated forgetting. In her book, Deported Americans, she bears witness to the stories of the exiled. She recounts what they have lost in the expulsion process: the lives they left behind, and the emotional and material suffering they endured. She tells us how they coped, or failed to cope. She recounts stories of addiction and decline, as well as stories of remarkable resilience and creativity. She explains how long-term U.S. residence permanently marks and disadvantages people, but also how some have turned their experiences as long-time U.S. residents into strengths as they navigate the foreign cultural and economic terrain of their countries of nationality.
Those who care enough about the truth to read Caldwell's book cannot help but be moved by it. Unsurprisingly, her book has provoked a diverse collection of thoughtful responses from some of the best-known scholars working in the immigration field. Their responses are captured in the pages that follow, and I have broadly grouped them here under the rubrics of history, storytelling, and law reform.
We previously blogged about how many immigrants from West Africa lived in the buildings that burned in the Bronx earlier this month. In this New Yorker story (What a Fire in the Bronx Says About Immigrant Life in New York), Alexis Okeowo looks at what the fire reflects about immigrant life in teh Big Apple: "The death of seventeen people, most of them from the Gambia, evoked the city’s long history of failing to provide safe and affordable housing for migrants."
This might not seem like a significant story. But the daily verbal attacks on perceived foreigners continues to undermine the sense of belong of communities of color in the United States.
NBC News reports that a New York couple has been arrested and charged after they were filmed launching a hateful rant against a family on a train earlier this month, calling them "foreigners" and "immigrants with no rights."
Justin Likerman and Kristin Digesaro of Long Island, turned themselves into transit police.
According to the report, Liz Edelkind was with her 10-year-old son, husband and two others, on their way home from a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. They were looking for seats on the trainr and asked some passengers to move to accommodate them when Likerman and Digesaro allegedly started to yell. Edelkind believes they were targeted due to her accent and skin color.
According to the complaint, Digesaro said, “You f——— immigrants, you have no rights in this country. You have no right to ask anyone to move. You don’t even pay taxes.”
Likerman also allegedly said: “F——— foreigners. You take all our resources,” according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Likerman was seen with a beer in his hand and threw beer at the family.
“The couple started to verbally attack me, calling me curse words, immigrant, that I don’t pay taxes, that I have no rights in this country,” Edelkind said to NBC New York.
In video footage of the rant, Likerman is heard saying "“they’re taking over my f——— country.”
“Those words that come out their mouths don’t come out unless you have hatred in your heart,” Edelkind said. “The attack was completely unprovoked, a situation they created.”
Saturday, January 22, 2022
The drumbeat of criticism of the Biden administration's immigration record at the year one mark continues. As reported by NPR,
"As the Biden administration approaches its one-year mark, there's mounting frustration among immigrant advocates at what they see as a growing list of broken promises.
Ambitious plans to overhaul the immigration system have stalled. Trump-era restrictions on asylum are still in place at the southern border — including the public health order known as Title 42, which allows authorities to quickly expel most migrants, and the return of a policy that forces some asylum-seekers to `Remain In Mexico' until their immigration court hearings. And the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) pulled out of settlement talks over financial compensation for families that were forcibly separated during the Trump administration."
As the criticism continues, "[t]he Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [yesterday] announced 22 new fields of study have been added to the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to enhance the contributions of nonimmigrant students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and support the growth of the U.S. economy and innovation." Although the steps have received some press attention, they are unlikely to do much to quell the overall criticism of the Biden administration's immigration record.
Friday, January 21, 2022
Nicole Narea of Vox reports that the U.S. has deported nearly 14,000 Haitians to Mexico since September, according to data released by UN’s International Organization for Migration. In 2021, Mexico received more than 131,ooo asylum applications, of which an estimated 45% were Haitians and their Chilean-born children. Haitians in Mexico "face pervasive racism, and many are unable to work, have no access to medical care, and are targets for criminals," Narea writes.
Mexico is seeing an uptick in Haitian asylum applicants.
The Biden administration continues to enforce pandemic-related border restrictions that have kept out the vast majority of asylum seekers, including Haitians.
It always is good to hear a good immigration story. I have one for you.
Decades after fleeing Afghanistan as a boy, United Airlines pilot Zak Khogyani helped evacuate more than 1,000 Afghans last summer, in some cases traveling in the main cabin and translating for families in flight, Caitlin O’Kane reports for CBS News. "I knew I had to do something," Khogyani said. " … I couldn’t simply just sit on the couch and watch it happen without doing something to help the situation."
Official White House Photo
The beat goes on. Criticism continues of the Biden administration's immigration policies in the President's first year in office. Scott Bixby and Asawin Suebsaeng for the Daily Beast. The report quotes Fernando Garcia, director of the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso, Texas, as saying that “it seems that there is no difference [on immigration] between Democrats and Republicans.”
The report stated that "[o]f more than a dozen immigrant-rights advocates who spoke with The Daily Beast, every one said that the president’s first-year record on immigration issues revealed a mixed bag of enormous strides forward and infuriating backsliding."
Immigration Article of the Day: Overstepping: U.S. Immigration Judges and the Power to Develop the Record by Jayanth K. Krishnan
Overstepping: U.S. Immigration Judges and the Power to Develop the Record by Jayanth K. Krishnan, Volume 2022 Wisconsin Law Review (forthcoming 2022)
In 1952, Congress established a new federal position to be filled by “special inquiry officers,” who were charged with overseeing deportation cases. These immigration judges – as they eventually came to be called – were assigned to work within the Executive Branch – namely, the Department of Justice, and they were to be answerable ultimately to a political appointee, the Attorney General. Importantly, they received specific statutory authority allowing them to “develop the record” during an immigration case. This power enabled immigration judges to assemble evidence and call, “interrogate, examine, and cross‑examine . . . any witnesses.”
Given that many immigrants who appear in immigration court do so pro se, it is certainly understandable why Congress believed it would be beneficial to arm the judge with this power. After all, in the absence of counsel, who else might safeguard these immigrants’ interests? Moreover, the federal courts have uniformly found this statute to be legally valid and normatively valuable as well.
But assume that the immigrant has a lawyer. Should the immigration judge still be able to develop the record in the same way? On this question, the federal courts have not reached a consensus. However, as this study argues, the answer should be no. Instead, an alternative approach is proposed to address this situation – one that allows the lawyer and immigrant-client to opt out of having the immigration judge intervene. The analytical model offered here is especially necessary at this moment because, given the intense political pressure they are under, immigration judges frequently overstep and encroach upon the lawyer-client relationship – often adversely affecting the legal representation being provided to the immigrant.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Today, the Pew Research Center released a new report: One-in-Ten Black People Living in the U.S. Are Immigrants.
Here are some interesting tidbits from the introduction:
- One in ten Black people in the U.S. were born in a different country as of 2019
- In 1980, that number was only 3% or 3 in 100
- Immigrants will continue to fuel the increase in the U.S. Black population
- Roughly 9% of Black people are second-generation Americans
The other segments of the report are:
- The Caribbean is the largest origin source of Black immigrants, but fastest growth is among African immigrants
- Over half of Black immigrants arrived in U.S. after 2000
- A growing share of Black immigrants have a college degree or higher
- Most Black immigrants live in Northeast, South; New York City has largest Black immigrant population by metro area
- Household income, poverty status and home ownership among Black immigrants
- African- and Caribbean-born adults differ on measures of religiosity
Peter Margulies: Ending the Remain in Mexico Program: Judging the Boundaries of Executive Discretion
Peter Margulies on Lawfare uses the December decision in Texas v. Biden by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which rejected the Biden administration’s latest bid to end the “Remain in Mexico” program, as the starting point for analyzing the scope of executive power over immigration. The Department of Justice responded to the Fifth Circuit decision with a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could address the breadth of the executive's immigration power.
From the San Francisco Public Library:
More Than a Wall features photographs by David Bacon that explore the border region of the United States and Mexico and the communities that call it home
On view at the Main Library, Jewett Gallery, February 12 - May 22, 2022
SAN FRANCISCO - For photographer David Bacon, the border region between the United States and Mexico is a land marked by life and death. Each year, at least 300-400 people die trying to cross into the U.S. in search of a better future for themselves and their families. The border is also bustling with life. The once-small towns of Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana are now home to millions of people, many of whom make up the industrial workforce of Southern California, South Texas and New Mexico. Taken over a period of 30 years, Bacon's photographs and accompanying text panels, which are presented in English and Spanish, in San Francisco Public Library's exhibition More Than a Wall explore all aspects of the border region and its vibrant social history.
The photographs trace the social movements in border communities, factories and fields. According to Bacon, "These photographs provide a reality check, allowing us to see the border region as its people, with their own history of movements for rights and equality. By providing this, the exhibition seeks to combat anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican hysteria, and develop an alternative vision in which the border can be a region where people live and work in solidarity with each other."
The photographs were taken in collaboration with Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations (FIOB), the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras and California Rural Legal Assistance. They are featured in a new bilingual book, More Than a Wall, published by the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. Bacon's photographic work is housed in the David Bacon Archive in the Special Collections of the Green Library at Stanford University.
Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, Mixtec professor at UCLA and co-founder of the FIOB, says, "David organically integrates his photographic work with the testimonies of the actors themselves, and provides thorough analysis of critical points in the lives of workers and communities on both sides of the border. The effect is shocking. But he also describes a future with full sharpness that seems complex and full of possibilities - possibilities we may still not fully imagine."
The exhibition opens on February 12 in the Main Library's Jewett Gallery, which is located on the lower level. The public is invited to the opening event, The Media, Art and the Border, which will feature Bacon in conversation with San Francisco artists and photographers about the way the border is represented in media and the arts. Among the participants will be Juan Gonzales, founder of El Tecolote and director of the journalism program at City College of San Francisco; Kim Komenich, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and photojournalism teacher at San Francisco State University, Mabel Jimenez, border photographer and former photo editor for El Tecolote, Brooke Anderson, movement photographer and Juan Fuentes, a celebrated artist and cultural activist.
February 12, 1 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Community Room
Per the City's Health Order, masks are required at all times in the Library.
Click here for more...
About San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles. To learn more, please visit sfpl.org and follow on Twitter @SFPublicLibrary and on Instagram @sfpubliclibrary.
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4252 / firstname.lastname@example.org
January 14, 2022