Wednesday, October 21, 2020

DHS Arrests International Students, Threatens College Leaders for ‘Willful Ignorance’ of Student-Visa Program



Karin Fischer for the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security today announced the arrest of 15 international students as part of an investigation into fraud in optional practical training, or OPT, the work program for international graduates. Another 1,100 will lose their work authorizations.

And some college officials will likely have their certification to administer student visas on their campuses revoked as part of the investigation, which is dubbed Operation OPTical Illusion. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of homeland security, college administrators exercised a “willful ignorance or a level of negligence” that would lead to their termination as what are known as “designated school officials” in the student-visa program.


October 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Discussing Ming Hsu Chen's Book Pursuing Citizenship

545 Migrant Children Separated from Parents Cannot Be Reunified


In 2017, the Trump administration began separating families at the Southern border, prosecuting parents for unlawful entry into the United States and placing their accompanying children into foster care.

By the time lawsuits were filed to challenge this program, many parents had already been deported, without their children.

Lawyers were assigned to work on reunifying kids with their parents. Yesterday, they reported that they've been unable to find the parents of 545 children left behind in the United States.

You can read the full court filing at this link.


October 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

An executive order worth $100 billion: The impact of an immigration ban’s announcement on Fortune 500 firms’ valuation


A new study from the Brookings Institution authored by Dany Bahar, Prithwiraj Choudhury and Britta Glennon shows that President Trump’s June executive order restricting entry to skilled foreign workers caused a negative impact to the valuation of Fortune 500 firms equivalent to over $100 billion in losses. “While there may be such long-run adjustments that firms can make when access to skilled labor supply is abruptly constrained, we document that there is a significant short-run negative impact,” they write. “In this particular instance, the June 22, 2020 immigration ban plausibly eroded valuation to the tune of 100 billion dollars for the firms in our sample.” Read the full working paper here.

Here is the abstract to the paper:

"On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO)that suspended new work visas, barring nearly 200,000 foreign workers and their dependents from entering the United States and preventing American companies from hiring skilled immigrants using H-1B or L-1 visas.Exploiting this shock, and using event study methodology analyzing the cumulative average abnormal returns (CAARs) of Fortune 500 companies following this order, we find that the EO statistically and economically significantly caused negative CAARs of up to 0.45%, the equivalent of over 100 billion of US dollars of losses, based on the firms’ valuation be-fore the event. Our results are particularly pronounced for firms that had maintained or increased their reliance on skilled immigrant workers over the prior years."


October 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Activists call for Biden to Bring Immigrants and Immigration into Presidential Debate, Even if NBC and Trump Won't


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On Thursday, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will participate in the second and final presidential debate.  

Immigration was not discussed in the first debate.  Adrian Carrasquillo for Newsweek discusses the push by immigrant activists to press for discussion of immigration.  According to the story, 

"Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), was named to Biden's unity task force by Senator Bernie Sanders, and served as the co-chair on immigration.

NILC's Immigrant Justice Fund is laser-focused on reaching 130,000 persuadable Latino and white women voters in Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. The work has shown Hincapie that Trump's attacks on immigrants don't resonate like they used to and persuadable voters are "hungry" for a different vision of America.

If [the moderator] doesn't bring up immigration, Biden should, Hincapie said.

`He has a history of describing immigrants as a strength to this nation, he believes that at his core,' she said, citing research that showed that pro-immigrant messages focused on an economy that works for everyone increased support substantially. `He should lean into immigrants—not just immigration—as part of our nation whether he's talking about climate or the economy, whether at the debate or on the trail.'"


October 21, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

AILA, Others Sue to Enjoin "Wage Protections" Rule

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Press release:  "17 individual and organizational plaintiffs, including institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and businesses, represented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Jeff Joseph of Joseph and Hall PC, Charles Kuck of Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC, and Greg Siskind of Siskind Susser PC, sued to enjoin, in its entirety, the Department of Labor Interim Final Rule, `Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.' The poorly-drafted, improperly-issued rule did not comply with the procedural rules for rule-making and is substantively arbitrary, incorrect, and irrational."


October 20, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant-Origin Students in U.S. Higher Education


The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has released a new Presidents' Alliance-commissioned and Migration Policy Institute-produced report, Immigrant-Origin Students in U.S. Higher Education, demonstrating that in 2018 more than 5.3 million students, or 28% of all students enrolled in colleges and universities, were immigrants or the children of immigrants. You can view the full report here. You can view our press statement here. 

The report’s findings reveal the growing proportion of first and second generation immigrant students in postsecondary education, the diversity of these students, and their importance for future U.S. labor growth. The report’s findings also show the direct impact and real-life consequences that immigration policies can have on millions of students and families.

Here are some of the key findings:
  • The United States is home to 5.3 million immigrant-origin students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions. First-generation immigrants, individuals born abroad who immigrated to the U.S, account for 1.7 million students. Second-generation immigrants, persons born in the U.S. to one or more immigrants parents, account for 3.6 million students.
  • The proportion of immigrant-origin students as a share of all students in higher education in the United States was 28% in 2018, up from 20% in 2000. Immigrant-origin students accounted for about 60% of the increase in all post-secondary education students between 2000 to 2018.  
  • Immigrant-origin students are a heterogeneous population. The report finds that 63% of Latinx/Hispanic students are first- or second-generation immigrants, as are 85% of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and  24% of Black students.
  • In nine states, immigrant-origin students make up more than 30% of all students in higher education  (CA, FL, HI, MA, NJ, NV, NY, TX,  WA). There are 32 states with at least 20,000 immigrant-origin students in higher education. 

October 20, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Pandemic Continues: U.S. Borders With Canada and Mexico Will Stay Closed Another Month



The U.S.-Canada border at Pittsburg, N.H., in 2017. The U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico will stay closed to nonessential travel through Nov. 21.  Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images

NPR reports that  the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to nonessential travel for at least another month.

The United States and Mexico both have far higher COVID-19 mortality rates than Canada.



October 20, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thoughts on the President and Immigration Law by Cristina Rodríguez and Adam Cox

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This article is part of a Just Security series in conversation with the new book, The President and Immigration Law, by Cristina Rodríguez and Adam Cox. The series brings together voices on immigration policy and reform to comment on the book and to chart a path toward an improved immigration system. Articles in the series can be found here. 

Lucas Guttentag authored this article, which concludes:

"Having demonstrated the power of the presidency, the book’s epilogue invites readers to think more creatively about how presidential power should progress beyond setting negative enforcement policies and instead – or in addition – exercise discretion positively to grant legal protection and benefits to noncitizens. That is a largely unexamined area that urgently needs deeper exploration — and that I hope these insightful authors will pursue next."


October 20, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 19, 2020

OECD: COVID-19 crisis puts migration and progress on integration at risk


OECD stands for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It's an intergovernmental organization dedicated to economic progress and world trade.

Today, the OECD released its International Migration Outlook 2020. The tome is 369 pages long. Yikes.

Let's talk about a big takeaway: COVID-19 has had "a major impact on migration flows," with 2020 projected to be a "historical low for international migration in the OCED area." (Executive Summary, p. 11).

Check out these infographics!



October 19, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Takes Up Border Wall Funding, Migration Protection Protocols Cases


The Supreme Court is filling up its immigration docket for the 2020 Term.   Last week, the Court decided to take up the Trump administration's decision to leave undocumented immigrants out of the Census 2020 count for purposes of congressional districting.

October 19, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Julio Urias, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers

Celebrating the History of ICE 2003-2020



I ran across this "Celebrating the History of ICE 2003-2020" on the Department of Homeland Security website.  It makes for interesting reading.  In listing the highlights of 2012, there is no express mention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.


October 19, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Commentary: Racism in immigration asylum decisions


Gabriela Q. Kahrl (and here) in the Baltimore Sun writes that "racism . . . extends to Black people seeking to immigrate to the United States."  She explains that

"Legal immigration for people deemed Black and brown is exponentially harder than for people who are white. The U.S. immigration system detains and denies immigration applications of Black people at higher rates, according to an analysis by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. It bans them entirely through the Trump-ordered and Supreme Court-sanctioned Muslim ban that targets African countries, including Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia and Chad (still in effect).

Black immigrants are more likely to be deported because they are more likely to have encounters with law enforcement and end up charged and prosecuted for crimes which lead to deportation. Racism is endemic to the immigration system, just as it is to the criminal justice system."


October 19, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Special Report: USCIS Could Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Would-Be Citizens from Voting in November’s Elections



The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) and Boundless Immigration have released a special report entitled “Denying the Right to Vote: Politicization of the Naturalization Process as a Novel Form of Voter Suppression,” which details how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) willful mismanagement of the naturalization process in 2020 has already prevented tens of thousands of would be voters from participating in November’s upcoming elections. The report releases new data demonstrating that would-be citizens are highly motivated to vote -- particularly in several closely watched states for the upcoming Presidential election. It also details specific policies that USCIS can implement immediately to ensure that tens of thousands of naturalization applicants are able to become citizens in time to vote. 

This report provides a summary analysis of the ways that federal officials have consciously sought to politicize the naturalization process during the 2020 election year in what appears to be a novel form of voter suppression. The report also examines the potential impact of this novel form of voter suppression in closely watched states in the upcoming presidential election, and details immediate steps that federal officials can take to mitigate these harms, allowing tens of thousands of additional U.S. residents to become citizens in time to obtain the right to vote.


October 19, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 18, 2020

America's Forgotten: An "Illegal Immigration" Film Generating Controversy



America's Forgotten is a controversial film released on the eve of the 2020 election that looks at "illegal immigration."  Expect President Trump and Vice President Pence to mention the film in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Paul Bond for Newsweek describes the film as "a documentary that explores death, torture and hardship surrounding illegal immigration in the U.S., a topic so sensitive that the film contains the following disclaimer: `Due to the possible political backlash all credits have been voluntarily withheld by the crew of this film.'"

Namrata Singh Gujral made America's Forgotten.  As described by Newsweek, she "is an actor-director who mostly makes narrative, campy Bollywood films that perform well in India, and also made 1 a Minute, a documentary about surviving cancer that stars Olivia Newton-John, Jaclyn Smith, Melissa Etheridge, Kelly McGillis and other famous survivors."

Fox News, not surprisingly, positively features the film.


October 18, 2020 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ramped-up ICE arrests amid Covid outbreaks show 'irresponsible disregard,' Hispanic Caucus says



In a letter to Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, 22 members of the caucus raised concerns over the arrests by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) of more than 200 immigrants in California, North Carolina, and Illinois over the last few weeks.

They also criticized the apprehension of more than 170 immigrants this month in Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, which are all sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agencies.


October 18, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Endless Waits At An Immigrant Camp On The Mexico Border Are Pushing Desperate People To Make Tough Choices


Migrants affected by the Trump administration's inhumane "remain in Mexico" policy Photo: Karen Romero Siu / AFSC

Adolfo Flores for BuzzFeed writes about the growing desperation of Central American asylum seekers waiting in Mexico for hearings under the U.S. Migrant Protection Protocols.  Hew writes:

"`People are getting more and more desperate,' Fernando told BuzzFeed News. `What the US has done has only blocked legal immigration. The people who wanted to go through the process and attend court hearings, a good portion of them have crossed illegally.'

That desperation has forced some to pay smugglers to get them into the US, a route immigrant families generally avoided because they couldn’t afford it and of how dangerously remote the routes are in order to avoid being caught by Border Patrol agents. Others have been sending their kids across alone, not a new practice but complicated by a new coronavirus policy that puts them at risk of being quickly expelled from the US. Some immigrants have been paying criminal organizations that control the flow of people and drugs across the border just for permission to cross the Rio Grande on their own. Many will be caught and immediately sent back."

The MPP policy has been criticized.  Earlier this year, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) released a report detailing its impacts. The report, called Dismantling Asylum: A year into the Migrant Protection Protocols, details the many barriers that this policy creates for migrants attempting to exercise their right to seek asylum in the United States. 


October 18, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Second Presidential Debate Topics Announced, but Health Care and Immigration Aren't Among Them

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Katherine Fung for Newsweek reports that, for next week's final presidential debate, moderator Kristen Welker has released the topics she has chosen for President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The topics:

1.  fighting COVID-19

2.  American families

3.  race in America

4.  climate change

5.  national security

6.  leadership

Left off the list are two key issues of concern to voters: health care and immigration.


October 17, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

James H. Binger Center Annual Immigration Law Forum


Critical Conversations: Racial Justice and the Immigrant Rights Movement by University of Minnesota Law School's James H. Binger Center for New America

Date And Time:  Thursday, November 12, 2020, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM PST, Add to Calendar

Location:  Online Event

The Binger Center’s Annual Immigration Law Forum brings together lawyers, students, advocates and community members to learn from each other and develop tools to continue the struggle to protect human rights, basic dignity and the rule of law.

This year’s forum will engage lawyers and advocates in critical conversations about race. Sessions will address historical lineages and systemic racism in the immigration system with a focus on anti-Blackness, the identity questions that surround how the immigrant rights movement is defined and intersects with other movements, and how community partners across sectors can come together to support noncitizens and advance racial justice. This online virtual conference will be interactive and action-focused, with sessions throughout the day followed by breakout discussions.

The goal of the forum is to empower participants to re-ground their work to invoke long term systemic change and build networks with advocates across the country.

Sessions include:

An Ongoing Crisis: Tracing the Confluence of Systemic Racism in US Law and Policy

-A. Naomi Paik, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

-Nekima Levy Armstrong, Wayfinder Foundation

Whose Story Gets Told: Exploring the Power of Identity in Intersecting Movements

-Alfreda Daniels, Black Immigrant Collective

-Kevin Reese, Voices for Racial Justice

-Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, Navigate MN

Community Action for Racial Justice and Movement Lawyering

-Paromita Shah, Just Futures Law

-Hiroshi Motomura, UCLA

-Tiffany Wilson-Worsley, Northside Achievement Zone

Conversations on How to Move Forward Post 2020 Election

Nana Gyamfi, Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Michele Garnett McKenzie, The Advocates for Human Rights

Jaylani Hussein, CAIR


October 17, 2020 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)