Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Report on Operation Lone Star

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and ACLU Analytics published a report today that concludes that Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s state immigration enforcement program, Operation Lone Star (OLS), has failed its mission.

The report titled Operation Lone Star: Misinformation and Discrimination in Texas Border Enforcement analyzes arrest data from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and court data.

Findings include:

  • OLS demonstrates racial profiling and unconstitutional policing. Arrest rates for trespassing were significantly higher for Latine people. 96.6% of arrests for alleged trespassing were Latine people.
  • OLS has primarily arrested people accused of low-level offenses like trespassing rather than drug-related offenses, human smuggling, or weapon charges. Nearly 70% of court appearances only had misdemeanor charges.
  • OLS has overwhelmingly prosecuted U.S. citizens and nationals rather than migrants for drug-related offenses, human smuggling, and weapon charges. U.S. citizens and nationals accounted for approximately 75% of all court proceedings for these offenses.
  • OLS has expanded far beyond the border. 13,600 arrests occurred in non-border counties, oftentimes hundreds of miles from the nearest port of entry.
  • The government’s data about OLS is inconsistent across state agencies. In these data sets, there were 38,030 arrests reported by DPS but only 13,306 people appeared before a magistrate as reported by OCA.

Click here to download a video statement from Sarah Cruz.

KJ

May 22, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Campaign 2024: GOP Super PACs Funding Immigration Ads in Battleground States

FROM Immigration Hub:

"Read the latest edition of Hub Highlights below.

Last week, POLITICO reported that One Nation, a right-wing group supported by major GOP leaders and the top GOP super PAC, is investing $70 million more into ad campaigns focused on immigration and cost of living, targeting five Senate battleground states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Montana, Wisconsin and Nevada). The announcement comes off the heels of a new report by the Immigration Hub that found, in the first quarter of 2024, Republican candidates and right-wing groups had spent nearly $40 million on TV ads (not including online ads and other paid communications) attacking President Biden and Democrats on the supposed effects of their “open border” policies. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of Q1 spending:

  • In quarter one of 2024, GOP candidates, PACs, and other groups spent over $38 million to fund 338 anti-immigrant TV ads across federal, state, and down-ballot races in six battleground states (AZ, MI, NC, OH, TX, WI). 
  • The right-wing ads aired over 84,000 times in critical battleground states (AZ, FL, MI, NC, OH, TX, WI) and were viewed almost 2.3 billion times.
  • The top buzzwords employed in the ads were “border” (342 mentions), “crime” (52 mentions), “crisis” (5 mentions), “drugs” (9 mentions), and “wall” (20 mentions). 
  • The majority of immigration ads, across party lines, were placed in North Carolina (40%), Texas (37%), and Ohio (29%).

The outsized spending on anti-immigrant TV ads by the right is already on track to exceed 2022 records, when the right spent over $171 million on immigration TV ads. During the GOP presidential primary, more than $259 million were spent on ads – 21% of those ads mentioned immigration, making the issue the second most discussed in their advertising. AdImpact projects that over $10.2 billion will be spent on political advertising this cycle. In the days to come, we can expect record-breaking investments on these hyperbolic, misleading ads aimed at weaponizing the border and immigrants against Biden and Democrats."

KJ

May 22, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Report: Raiding the Genome: How the United States Government Is Abusing Its Immigration Powers to Amass DNA for Future Policing

DNA
Sponk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology published a new (108 page!) report entitled Raiding the Genome: How the United States Government Is Abusing Its Immigration Powers to Amass DNA for Future Policing. Here are the one-sentence versions of their seven key takeaways:

  1. Since 2020, DHS has added more than 1.5 million DNA profiles to a national law enforcement database.
  2. DHS misleads and intimidates people to get them to submit to DNA collection.
  3. DHS is collecting DNA primarily from people of color, creating new risks for already overpoliced communities.
  4. This massive expansion of federal DNA-collecting power is the result of several low-profile administrative sleights of hand.
  5. The government is exploiting its immigration powers to collect genetic material for policing at a pace that would not be possible using criminal policing powers.
  6. DHS’s DNA collection program violates the Fourth Amendment.
  7. Indefinite government retention of DNA samples poses major risks to individual rights and democratic self governance, given rapidly advancing technology and political instability in the U.S.

I am making my way through the full report. Looks like some excellent new material to include in my fall crimmigration course.

-KitJ

May 21, 2024 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Actress and Activist America Ferrera Appointed International Office for Migration Global Goodwill Ambassador

 

he International Organization for Migration (IOM) today announced the appointment of film actress and social activist America Ferrera as its new Global Goodwill Ambassador.

The IOM press release states in part that:

"Ferrera is an Oscar-nominated and Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award-winning celebrated actress, director, and producer, known for her many iconic roles in TV and film including Ugly Betty, Real Women Have Curves, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Superstore, and most recently, the history-making Barbie, for which she garnered her first Academy Award nomination.

`I could not be more honored to be entrusted with the role of IOM's Global Goodwill Ambassador,” said America Ferrera. “I'm so excited for the opportunity to continue amplifying stories that move us towards better and safer solutions for global migration.'

`The issue of migration has always been so close to my heart. As an advocate, I’ve spent years listening and learning about the experiences and struggles of migrants, and I've had the privilege of witnessing the great value they have to contribute as they pursue happy and healthy lives for themselves and their families. This issue means a great deal to me personally, as I am the daughter of Honduran immigrants to the U.S. and my story is a migration story,' she added."

KJ

May 21, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 20, 2024

From the Bookshelves: The European Integrated Border Management:  Frontex, Human Rights, and International Responsibility by Giulia Raimondo

The European Integrated Border Management cover

The European Integrated Border Management:  Frontex, Human Rights, and International Responsibility by Giulia Raimondo

Here is the publisher's sales pitch:

"What are the human rights obligations of Frontex and its member states at the borders of Europe? Who is responsible when the rights of people crossing those borders are breached? Those are the main questions that this open access book addresses while exploring the evolution of the European integrated border management (EIBM).

The mode of administration of European borders has become a complex and polymorphous affair involving multiple actors working at different levels, with different competences and powers. In this context, borders are no longer lines on a map but enmeshed in a tapestry of different actors and technologies. This evolution not only puts to test the relationship between territory and public power, but it also requires a different understanding of the responsibility for the exercise of that power by a panoply of actors.

This book addresses the challenges related to the implementation of the EIBM and the human rights responsibilities that it can trigger. It entwines two separate but interlaced discourses: the first being a reflection on the concept of EIBM and its human rights impact; the second being the question of the attribution of international responsibility for violations that occurred in the implementation of the EIBM.

The ebook editions of this book are available open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on bloomsburycollections.com. Open access was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation."

KJ

May 20, 2024 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Fetch the Bolt Cutters: Reflections on Racial Capitalism and the NAFTA/USMCA by J. Benton Heath 

Fetch the Bolt Cutters: Reflections on Racial Capitalism and the NAFTA/USMCA by J. Benton Heath, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Forthcoming

Abstract

From the pecan orchards of West Texas, this paper offers a reflection on the utility of racial capitalism as an organizing frame for understanding international trade and trade agreements. The paper is also a tribute to other scholars in this field, whose work long precedes my own. It is an expanded version of a presentation given for an symposium at Brooklyn Law School in October 2023 on Promises and Challenges for the Future of North American Trade, and it is written for readers who may be unfamiliar with this body of work.

KJ

May 20, 2024 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 19, 2024

NPR: Why is immigration a key issue?

NPR Explains... logo

What is happening at the border? Why is immigration such a key issue in the upcoming election? NPR host and immigration correspondent Jasmine Garsd breaks down U.S. immigration policy, conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border and how the system affects Americans. 

KJ

May 19, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Name, Image, and Likeness Deals and Immigration Consequences for International Student-Athletes  by Eric E. Johnson & Kit Johnson

Name, Image, and Likeness Deals and Immigration Consequences for International Student-Athletes  by Eric E. Johnson & Kit Johnson, 76 Oklahoma Law Review 15 (2023)

Abstract

International student-athletes are being sidelined from deals that would allow them to reap financial benefits from licensing their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”). The calls to sideline these students are not coming from the NCAA or even the federal agencies in charge of immigration. The calls are coming from overly cautious universities, attorneys, and academics who incorrectly see NIL licensing as work or employment that is incompatible with the visa obligations of international student-athletes. This Article argues that international athletes can license their NIL without violating their visa terms.

KJ

May 19, 2024 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Trump supporters planning immigration crackdown

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Official White House Photo

A report from The Guardian (UK):

"Donald Trump’s associates are making plans to deport asylum seekers as they try to figure out how to clear barriers to take severe actions to limit immigration during a potential second term.

Backers of the former president, including former administration officials, are prepping executive orders and policy memos to reduce the number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border on day one of a second term for Mr Trump, several people involved told The Wall Street Journal. 

Mr Trump himself has said he’s preparing to implement the largest mass deportation in the history of the US. The measures include speeding up asylum hearings to fast-track deportations, removing protections put in place by the Biden administration covering hundreds of thousands of migrants, and pushing other countries to take back their citizens."

KJ

May 18, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Perennial Eclipse: Race, Immigration, and How Latinx Count in American Politics by Rachel F. Moran

Rachel Moran

The Perennial Eclipse: Race, Immigration, and How Latinx Count in American Politics by Rachel F. Moran, Houston Law Review, Vol. 61, No. 4, 2024, pp. 719-54.

Abstract

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Evenwel v. Abbott, a case challenging the use of total population in state legislative apportionment as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The plaintiffs sued Texas, alleging that the State impermissibly diluted their voting power because they lived in areas with a high proportion of voting-age citizens. When total population was used to draw district lines, the plaintiffs had to compete with more voters to get their desired electoral outcomes than was true for voters in districts with low proportions of voting-age citizens. The Court rejected the argument, finding that states enjoy the discretion to choose among different population bases, including total population.

Since the Evenwel decision, there has been ongoing interest at both the federal and state levels in using alternatives such as citizen voting-age population (CVAP) to apportion representation. So far, the lack of accurate data on citizenship status has stymied these efforts. Even so, the issues in Evenwel deserve more attention than they have received. The choice about how to count when redistricting can have significant ramifications for both partisan power and minority voices. The litigation reveals the ways in which demographic change, especially the rise of immigrant populations, has tested the efficacy of a voting rights jurisprudence that largely focuses on citizens.

After describing the lawsuit and its aftermath, this Article turns to CVAP’s potential impact on political representation. The discussion first draws on the work of law professors Joseph Fishkin and Ilya Somin, both of whom conclude that alternative forms of representation significantly mitigate the shortcomings of the formal electoral process. Professor Fishkin focuses on virtual representation of those unable to vote, while Professor Somin emphasizes foot voting to express individual preferences. This Article suggests the limits of these strategies, especially for the undocumented, and then examines the issues from the perspective of immigrant integration. While most immigrants who are legally present in the United States eventually will be eligible to cast a ballot, those without legal status remain disenfranchised no matter how long they reside in and contribute to their communities.

For that reason, it is important to address how a switch to CVAP will affect the political representation of minority communities with substantial numbers of immigrants. This Article’s concluding section shows how this change might violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act if adopted in Texas. Redrawn maps could result in voter denial if large districts in areas with high proportions of noncitizens depress minority turnout. Under a totality of the circumstances test, altered district lines would be particularly vulnerable because of Texas’s history of electoral discrimination, ongoing racial and ethnic disparities, and continuing polarization. The shift could also lead to impermissible voter dilution. Empirical data reveals that Texans remain deeply divided along both partisan and racial lines. Using CVAP instead of total population would strengthen non-Hispanic white and Republican representation while weakening Latinx and Democratic representation. Those effects would be pronounced and, therefore, should be subject to the most exacting judicial scrutiny. Otherwise, a purportedly race-neutral choice about population count could be manipulated to suppress minority voters’ influence. By considering how the exclusion of those ineligible to vote will harm the minority electorate, courts can retool and revitalize Section 2 jurisprudence to meet the challenges of a changing demography.

KJ

May 18, 2024 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 17, 2024

Consider This Podcast Coverage of Immigration

NPR's Consider This podcast has recently had a number of episodes covering topics related to immigration. Here are two examples:

This story from May 15 has interesting coverage of how a NGO in Matamoros that assists asylum seekers been targeted on social media by "an arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation called the Oversight Project." 

And this story from May 14 features a Girl Scout troop that works with children of recently arrived families seeking asylum and living in temporary housing in New York City.

IE

May 17, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DHS and DOJ Announce a "Recent Arrivals" Docket

On May 16, 2024 DJS and DOJ announced a new Recent Arrivals Docket to expedite case processing in US immigration courts.

According to the agency press release:

This effort will allow DHS and DOJ to more swiftly impose consequences, including removal, on those without a legal basis to remain in the United States and to more swiftly grant immigration relief or protections to noncitizens with valid claims. The Justice Department also submitted to the Federal Register a final rule to promote efficient case and docket management in immigration proceedings.

. . . Under the RA Docket process, DHS will place certain noncitizen single adults on the RA Docket, and EOIR adjudicators will prioritize the adjudication of these cases. The RA Docket will operate in five cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Immigration judges will aim to render final decisions within 180 days, though the time to decision in any particular case will remain subject to case-specific circumstances and procedural protections, including allowing time for noncitizens to seek representation where needed.

The full press release is available here.

IE

 

May 17, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DHS, DOJ Announce Program to Expedite Decisions in Immigration Court Cases

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The Biden administration continues its efforts to exert control over the flow of migrants at the U.S./Mexico border.  

NBC News reports on the latest.  The Biden administration yesterday announced an effort to shorten the time it takes for U.S. immigration judges to decide asylum cases of migrants who unlawfully enter the country in the U.S./Mexico border region.  Migrants released by federal border officials after crossing into the U.S. unlawfully will be eligible to be placed a joint initiative between the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department.  "The effort's objective, senior U.S. officials said, is to speed up the process of granting asylum to migrants with legitimate cases, and rejecting weak cases. "

In the announcement of the new initiative, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated that the "new Recent Arrivals (RA) Docket process to more expeditiously resolve immigration cases of certain noncitizen single adults who attempt to cross irregularly between ports of entry at the Southwest border.

This effort will allow DHS and DOJ to more swiftly impose consequences, including removal, on those without a legal basis to remain in the United States and to more swiftly grant immigration relief or protections to noncitizens with valid claims. The Justice Department also submitted to the Federal Register a final rule to promote efficient case and docket management in immigration proceedings. . . .

Under the RA Docket process, DHS will place certain noncitizen single adults on the RA Docket, and EOIR adjudicators will prioritize the adjudication of these cases. The RA Docket will operate in five cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Immigration judges will aim to render final decisions within 180 days, though the time to decision in any particular case will remain subject to case-specific circumstances and procedural protections, including allowing time for noncitizens to seek representation where needed."

KJ

May 17, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The California Way: An Analysis of California’s Immigrant-Friendly Changes to its Criminal Laws by Evangeline Abriel

Evangeline Abriel

The California Way: An Analysis of California’s Immigrant-Friendly Changes to its Criminal Laws by Evangeline Abriel,   Howard Law Journal, Vol. 66, No. 3, 2023

Abstract

Immigration falls exclusively within the federal government’s purview, and states are generally prohibited from legislating in the area of immigration. At the same time, however, a large number of individuals are subject to deportation, denial of admission, and denial of immigration benefits based upon convictions of state crimes, over which states generally have exclusive authority. At a time when both the federal government and some states seem determined to expand the immigration consequences of even relatively minor criminal con-
duct, is there anything states can do to protect their noncitizen residents? Surprisingly, yes, quite a bit. California, for example, considers the term “Californian” to cover all of its residents, whether they are citizens, lawful permanent residents, or present without lawful status. This approach has led the state to enact a series of changes to its criminal statutes to reduce, in thoughtful and innovative ways, the immigration effect of some criminal conduct. Because the California Legislature is not the final authority in determining whether a
criminal history will result in immigration consequences, its changes are only as effective as their implementation by California courts and recognition by the federal immigration authorities.

KJ

May 17, 2024 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 16, 2024

A Century of Eugenics on our Borders: Centennial of the Johnson-Reed Act / US Border Patrol - an online symposium - May 27-28

Flyer for A Century of Eugenics on our Borders_page-0001.jpg

Click here and here for details.

 

KJ

May 16, 2024 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Immigrant Veterans in the United States

Here is some background on immigrant veterans. "As of 2022, nearly 731,000 U.S. veterans had been born outside the United States, representing 4.5 percent of the country’s 16.2 million veterans."

KJ

May 15, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

National Immigration Forum -- The Biden Administration’s Proposed Rule on Asylum Bars & Other Measures: Explainer

The Biden Administration’s Proposed Rule on Asylum Bars & Other Measures: Explainer considers the operation and proposed impacts of the Biden administration's proposed asylum rules.  Among other things, the Explainer explains that 

"Some advocates raised concerns that the proposed rule and revised USCIS guidance could box out eligible asylum seekers from protection without access to proper due process. In regard to the public safety and national security bars, legal service providers have pointed out potential consequences that may impact domestic violence survivors, people forced into committing crimes (such as trafficking victims), asylum seekers wrongly accused of crimes as part of their persecution, and individuals escaping countries controlled by terrorist organizations. 

The new USCIS guidance has also raised questions for advocates and experts about its potential to return people to danger, given the complexity around internal relocation. These determinations often rely on information from reports or expert testimony on country conditions, an asylum seekers’ own evidence, and careful representation by an attorney. Those resources and information may not be available during the initial screening process when these criteria will now be applied. "

KJ  

May 15, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Migration Policy Institute: A Century Later, Restrictive 1924 U.S. Immigration Law Has Reverberations in Immigration Debate

A Century Later, Restrictive 1924 U.S. Immigration Law Has Reverberations in Immigration Debate

By Muzaffar Chishti and Julia Gelatt

One hundred years ago this month, the 1924 Immigration Act marked a pivotal moment in U.S. history that dramatically limited immigration for decades. Because of the law, which was based on the racist “science” of eugenics, the United States prioritized immigration from Northern and Western Europe, limiting arrivals from Eastern and Southern Europe and barring virtually all immigration from Asia.

A century later, the law's legacy can still be felt in many areas. This article provides an overview of the 1924 Immigration Act and its lingering impact.

KJ

 
 
 

READ MORE

 

May 15, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 13, 2024

Martha's Vineyard Update

In September 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a group of migrants by plane from his state to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. We covered the story multiple times on this blog. (See here, here, here, here, and here.)

I've used the Martha's Vineyard story in different ways while teaching immigration-related courses. One way has been to show students the following twitter exchange and ask them to discuss the merits of U visas for the affected migrants.

Martha_Vineyard

More than a year-and-a-half later, there's now official news on the subject: some of the migrants have been found eligible for U visas. Because of the backlog in U visa applications, they won't get a visa in hand for some time. But they have been granted temporary work permits and protection from deportation.

-KitJ

May 13, 2024 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Biden administration Seeks Change to Flores agreement protecting migrant children

The request to a U.S. district judge, filed last Friday, comes weeks after the Health and Human Services Department published its own rule on safeguards, effective July 1, that Secretary Xavier Becerra said will set “clear standards for the care and treatment of unaccompanied (migrant) children.”

In a motion filed in California federal court, the U.S. government argued that the court supervision has outlived its purpose and new regulations are a better solution to ensure the safety of children.

KJ

May 13, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)