Sunday, July 31, 2022
John Green is a well-known American author. I've only read two of his books -- The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down -- but aspire the read the remainder as well. You make recognize the names of some of his other works, which have been made into hit movies, including Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska.
Suffice it to say, he's a big deal.
In this fabulous TikTok, John Green talks about why it's such a pain for him to travel into Canada. Short answer: Because years ago he was denied entry for insufficient funds. And now he's always, always subject to secondary screening.
@literallyjohngreen Reply to @bookishbrittany ♬ original sound - John Green
I love this video so much. It is DEFINITELY entering the cannon of videos that I show in class. I will probably use it when talking about inspection at the border. But I might also use it when discussing public charge screening. It's a total winner.
Immigration is part of Masters' pitch,
"For months, Mr. Masters has promoted a specious theory portraying illegal immigration across the southern border as part of an elaborate Democratic power grab. In speeches, social media videos and podcast interviews, he has asserted that Democrats are trying to encourage immigration so their party can dilute the political power of native-born voters."
Medina identifies the source of some of the support for Masters:
"His message has been welcomed by the far right and by white supremacists, including Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist leader; Andrew Torba, the creator of Gab, a social media platform popular with extremists; and Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. Mr. Anglin endorsed Mr. Masters last month, saying that he was “exactly the kind of man this country needs,” and urged readers to volunteer for his campaign. After an outcry, Mr. Masters issued a statement saying that he rejected the support and had never heard of Mr. Anglin."
"This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University’s College of Law, Refugee and Forced Migrations Studies Program and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. The podcast examines new attempts to codify the harmful effects of Title 42 through amending the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bills currently before Congress. Please email or call your elected representative and oppose all of these amendments."
Thanks to Immigration Courtside for bring the podcast to my attention.
Here is the Yale University Press description of teh book:
A sweeping narrative history of American immigration from the colonial period to the present
"`A masterly historical synthesis, full of wonderful detail and beautifully written, that brings fresh insights to the story of how immigrants were drawn to and settled in America over the centuries.'—Nancy Foner, author of One Quarter of the Nation
The history of the United States has been shaped by immigration. Historians Carl J. Bon Tempo and Hasia R. Diner provide a sweeping historical narrative told through the lives and words of the quite ordinary people who did nothing less than make the nation.
Drawn from stories spanning the colonial period to the present, Bon Tempo and Diner detail the experiences of people from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. They explore the many themes of American immigration scholarship, including the contexts and motivations for migration, settlement patterns, work, family, racism, and nativism, against the background of immigration law and policy. Taking a global approach that considers economic and personal factors in both the sending and receiving societies, the authors pay close attention to how immigration has been shaped by the state response to its promises and challenges."
"Having described the deeply complicated, often inspiring, sometimes shameful story of immigration to the United States, Bon Tempo and Diner wish to leave their readers with three thoughts. First, immigrants came, and continue to come, in search of a better life. Second, a “constellation” of government entities at all levels have always shaped immigration. Lastly, the vast amount of immigrants are like you and me, people whose daily lives are full of concerns and dangers, as well as often unexpected opportunities. For all those points, this book makes sound and powerful arguments."
Saturday, July 30, 2022
This edition has been thoroughly updated to capture recent developments in asylum law and policy, including the Trump Administration's policy changes, children's credibility, formulation of particular social groups, the material support bar to asylum eligibility, the one-year filing deadline, ongoing Safe Third Country Act litigation, and reinstatement of removal. The extensive Procedures Appendix has been expanded and thoroughly updated to provide an invaluable resource for practitioners and researchers interested in U.S. asylum processes. In addition, this edition includes numerous unpublished Board of Immigration Appeals and immigration judge decisions In addition, this edition includes numerous unpublished Board of Immigration Appeals and immigration judge decisions and asylum officer training materials in accessible perma.cc format to guide practitioners and researchers. Law of Asylum also addresses fundamental issues such as:
- The meaning of "well-founded fear" and "persecution"
- The five grounds for asylum (race, religion, nationality, social group membership, and political opinion)
- Withholding of removal protection and protection under the Convention Against Torture
- Claims based on childhood status and gender-based persecution"
- When nonstate actors can be considered agents of persecution
- Extensive coverage of gang membership/opposition to gangs
- Elements of proof
- Credibility determinations
- Recent changes in statutory language enacted with the REAL ID Act
- BIA cases on social distinction and particularity"
"As a law professor who routinely took her students to immigration courts for field work, Michele R. Pistone was irked to see how many noncitizens went unrepresented. . . . After obtaining a grant from Villanova, Pistone and a group of faculty designers including lawyers, professors and judges developed the idea into an academic program, now in its third year. The online program, called Villanova's Interdisciplinary Immigrations Studies Training for Advocates — or VIISTA for short — currently enrolls about 90 students from 42 states, with ages ranging from 21 to 85"
July 30 marks the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the day is "set aside to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims and to promote and protect their rights. Trafficking in Persons . . . is a crime and grave human rights violation of enormous scale, which is prevalent in situations of vulnerability.
This year, IOM will be marking this day under the theme Prevent, Protect and Prosecute to highlight the need for action and the importance of having an integrated approach in addressing trafficking. The Organization also joins the United Nations System to raise awareness under the global theme `Use and abuse of technology', since technology is a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking."
The IOM has a countertrafficking webpage.
Friday, July 29, 2022
New Research from TRAC Finds that DHS is Failing to File NTAs Leading to Large Numbers of Dismissals
One out of every six new cases DHS initiates in Immigration Court are now being dismissed because CBP officials are not filing the actual "Notice to Appear" (NTA) with the Court. The latest case-by-case Court records obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University through a series of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests show a dramatic increase in these cases.
As of June 2022, there are some Courts where the majority of all case completions are these dismissals for failing to file the NTA. Leading the list in terms of the number of these NTA closures is the Dedicated Docket hearing location in Miami. Fully 7,700 out of the total of 9,492 case completions during FY 2022 — or 81 percent — were dismissals because the Court had not received the NTA.
While it would appear that a policy which tries to accelerate the scheduling and hearing of cases puts additional pressure on DHS to promptly file the NTA with the Court, other Dedicated Docket locations have below average dismissal rates.
Further, some regular hearing locations have also been experiencing high dismissal rates because of DHS's failure to file NTAs. These include Houston with 54 percent, Miami with 43 percent, and Chicago with 26 percent.
Ten years ago this failure to file a NTA was rare. However, the frequency increased once Border Patrol agents were given the ability to use the Immigration Court's Interactive Scheduling System (ISS). Using ISS, the agents can directly schedule the initial hearing (i.e. a master calendar hearing) at the Immigration Court. Supposedly, the actual NTA is created at the same time, and a copy given to the asylum seeker or other noncitizen with the scheduled hearing location and time they are to show up in Court noted on the NTA.
Thus, the process only requires that CBP actually follow up with the ministerial task of seeing that the Court also receives a copy of the NTA. With the implementation of the Court's ECAS system of e-filing, this should have made the process quick and straightforward. That this is failing to be done suggests there is a serious disconnect between the CBP agents entering new cases and scheduling hearings through the Court's ISS system, and other CBP personnel responsible for submitting a copy to the Court.
This failure is exceedingly wasteful of the Court's time. It is also problematic for the immigrant (and possibly their attorney) if they show up at hearings only to have the case dismissed by the Immigration Judge because the case hasn't actually been filed with the Court.
For a listing of dismissal rates by hearing location, read TRAC's full report at: https://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/691.
There have been many criticisms of the Biden administration's border enforcement policies, including Republicans claiming that his policies have led to increased undocumented immigration. In Cato at Liberty ("U.S. Labor Demand Explains Most of the Rise in Illegal Immigration"), Alex Nowrasteh disagrees: "the biggest explanation for the increase in illegal immigration is the attraction of the number of near‐record number of job openings in the United States." Economists would predict that a tight labor market might attract migrants.
Barrio Libre: Criminalizing States and Delinquent Refusals of the New Frontier is a 2012 book by Gilberto Rosas (Illinois, Anthropology). Consider this your throwback Friday read.
Here's the pitch:
The city of Nogales straddles the border running between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. On the Mexican side, marginalized youths calling themselves Barrio Libre (Free 'Hood) employ violence, theft, and bribery to survive, often preying on undocumented migrants who navigate the city's sewer system to cross the US-Mexico border. In this book, Gilberto Rosas draws on his in-depth ethnographic research among the members of Barrio Libre to understand why they have embraced criminality and how neoliberalism and security policies on both sides of the border have affected the youths' descent into Barrio Libre.
Rosas argues that although these youths participate in the victimization of others, they should not be demonized. They are complexly and adversely situated. The effects of NAFTA have forced many of them, as well as other Mexicans, to migrate to Nogales. Moving fluidly with the youths through the spaces that they inhabit and control, he shows how the militarization of the border actually destabilized the region and led Barrio Libre to turn to increasingly violent activities, including drug trafficking. By focusing on these youths and their delinquency, Rosas demonstrates how capitalism and criminality shape perceptions and experiences of race, sovereignty, and resistance along the US-Mexico border.
A federal district court rebuffed a Biden administration n attempt to lift the Title 42 order barring noncitizen admissions into the United States. An appeal is pending. Stephen Yale-Loehr responds to the opponents of lifting the Title 42 order: Ending Title 42 won’t cause immigration mayhem — It will restore order. The punch lines:
"[T]he fact remains that under Title 42, most people who arrive at our border fleeing violence and persecution can’t even apply for safe haven. At the urging of more than 20 states, a federal judge has temporarily stopped the Biden administration from ending Title 42. States should not turn a public health and humanitarian issue into a political football. We have the capacity as a country to move asylum cases through the legal system in an orderly way — and a moral and legal imperative to do so."
Thursday, July 28, 2022
The National Law Review warns immigrants of the risks of any contact with the marijuana industry, even if the activities do not violate state law:
"As of July 2022, 38 states have legalized the medical use of cannabis to differing degrees. . . . Based on this, immigrants may believe using marijuana in a state that has legalized it will not hurt or impact their immigration status. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as marijuana remains a federally controlled substance. . . . For immigration matters, it is a federal law that controls, and it remains a federal offense to possess marijuana.. . . This discrepancy undoubtedly breeds confusion and uncertainty, and this post aims to shed light on the possible repercussions immigrants could face by using marijuana even in states where it has been legalized."
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has taken the position that "lawful employment in the marijuana industry may defeat the good moral character necessary for naturalization. Earlier this year, a federal court accepted the U.S. government's position.
Immigration Article of the Day: "Do Something Already: Why Congress Should Resolve How the Border Search Doctrine Applies to Digital Devices" by Zev Chabus
The proliferation of digital devices, such as smartphones and laptops, in recent years has led to unresolved legal issues involving searches of such devices at United States border crossings. Currently, four federal Circuit Courts of Appeals are split as to when the border search doctrine, which obviates the need for a search warrant at border crossings, allows border agents to search digital devices and when such a search is considered “unreasonable” under the Fourth Amendment. This Note argues that Congress should resolve this issue by enacting a statute with a reasonable suspicion standard or delineating clear circumstances under which it is permissible for border agents to search digital devices. Furthermore, given the sensitivity of information that many people store on digital devices, any such statute should also include strong privacy protections. This Note explores the approaches of the four circuit courts that have ruled on this issue and examines solutions proposed by legal scholars and politicians. In light of the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari on October 5, 2020, to a case that could have resolved this issue, this Note explains why Congress, not the Supreme Court, is best suited to solving this problem.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Check out the Venezuelan ska band Desorden Público's Los que se quedan, los que se van. It's about the Venezuelans who leave their country to pursue opportunities around the globe but who don't leave without "inmenso... vértigo."
Los que se quedan, los que se van (Those who stay, those who go)
Algún día volverán... (Someday they will come back...)
New Report on The Cost of Solitary Confinement in California Supports Passage of the Mandela Act, AB 2632
A new report published by Berkeley Underground Scholars and Immigrant Defense Advocates details the cost savings that could result from reducing reliance on solitary confinement in California. If passed, the California Mandela Act, AB 2632, would drastically reduce solitary confinement in both criminal and immigration custody in the state. In 2021, New York passed the HALT Act, a bill that provides similar protections to the Mandela Act.
A full copy of the report is available here. Some key findings include:
- Estimated Savings From Limiting Solitary Confinement- Using the Governor’s budget from 2016 and cost estimates provided by CDCR, we estimate between $60 million to $300 million in savings annually from the bill According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, the reduction of solitary units leads to net savings for the state: “Because security housing units require more custody staff than most other units, these conversions would result in net savings.”
- CDCR’s Fiscal Analysis Is Counter to The Facts-Changes undertaken by CDCR based on the Ashker v. Brown settlement document clear fiscal savings from limiting solitary confinement, and demonstrate that CDCR is capable of repurposing existing space As a result of the Ashker v. Brown Settlement, CDCR has already begun to transition some high-security units in CDCR to general population and special needs yards and has undertaken construction to provide programming space in facilities that need it. All costs associated with this transition have been covered by the massive savings generated by this transition.
- CDCR Has Space and Resources- CDCR has an estimated 9,000 specialized beds and already has significant resources that can be dedicated to programming to reduce the use of solitary confinement. The projected decline in CDCR’s future population, coupled with CDCR’s significant investments in programming and rehabilitation will allow CDCR to implement the Mandela Act with minimal fiscal impact.
"the Supreme Court refused to lift a lower court order that had effectively blocked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s 2021 guidelines on immigration enforcement priorities. The Court’s procedural order, which was approved by a 5–4 vote, is unaccompanied by any explanation. It is notable for at least three reasons. It marks the first recorded vote—in dissent, as it happens—of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. It also marks the first 5–4 Court vote divided along gender lines, with five male justices in the majority and four female justices in dissent. Finally—and most ominously—it leaves in place a lower court’s blatant interference with the authority of immigration officials to use their well-established customary discretion in matters of enforcement."
Politico's Sabrina Rodriguez has an interesting article on a meeting that took place this week at the White House between immigrant rights advocates and members of the Biden administration.
According to the article:
Attendees said they saw a clear desire to try and find a path forward for immigration reform. But they also conceded they left with few tangible commitments. “Ideally, we would’ve gotten more tangible and complete answers to some of those questions on … what are their actual commitments, what are their next steps,” Yaritza Mendez, organizing co-director at the progressive immigrant-led group, Make the Road New York, said after the White House meeting. “But we suspected from the get, that it was going to be hard to have that breakthrough.”
The full article is available here.
Aline Barros for Voice of America reports on the Trump administration family separation policy five years after:
"In June 2018, family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border made international headlines after audio of scores of sobbing children screaming for their parents emerged from a U.S. federal detention facility.
. . .
Five years later, court documents show, more than 5,000 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border under a practice known as the zero tolerance policy for unauthorized border crossers. However, it was also used on migrants who presented themselves legally at ports of entry. Parents of 180 children have not yet been found by advocates working with families."
We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.— Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 17, 2018
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
As immigration scholarship is inherently interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary training in methods can be helpful. The Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI) Summer Institute in Research Methods provides a venue to learn new methods. The 10-day workshop (July 25-August 3) features presentations from visiting faculty and interactive workshops for a cohort of graduate students and early career professors (by application).
Topics for 2022 focus on methodology and layer on a substantive focus on climate migration. Here is the schedule:
Monday July 25 – Introductions, ethics and frameworks for understanding migration
Irene Bloemraad: https://sociology.berkeley.edu/faculty/irene-bloemraad
Jenny Van Hook: https://sociology.la.psu.edu/people/jxv21
Sara Curran - https://sites.uw.edu/scurran/
Tuesday July 26 – climate migration – how to model? - retrospective understandings
Fernando Riosema - https://www.colorado.edu/geography/fernando-riosmena-0
What are the analytical strategies to model the effect of past environmental shocks on migration flows? Discussion will include difference-in-difference models, matching procedures, and using climate as an instrument to predict climate-induced crop loss and then the effect of crop loss on migration.
Wednesday July 27 - climate migration – how to model? – future-oriented projections
Mathew Hauer - https://coss.fsu.edu/sociology/faculty/mathew-hauer/
What are the analytical strategies to model the projected climate migration flows, in the future? Discussion will include considering age and migration and using machine learning-like approaches to create and estimate environmental displacement models.
Thursday July 28 - messy (and “big”) data in the study of forced migration
Lisa Singh http://forcedmigration.cs.georgetown.edu/
Katharine Donato - https://isim.georgetown.edu/profile/katharine-m-donato/
How can we use “big data” to study forced migration? How do we draw sound conclusions from messy data? What ethical issues do researchers need to keep in mind when using trace data (e.g., social media information, cell phone data, etc.)
Friday July 29 – migrant flows – development, climate, and mechanisms
Sara Curran - https://sites.uw.edu/scurran/
How do we conceptualize the complex range of mechanisms that link climate change, development and migration? We will consider issues of research design for multi-method, team-based science and individual research projects.
The second week of the training institute shifts to students presenting their own projects that apply the skills they learned during week one.