Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Anti-Muslim assaults reach 9/11-era levels, FBI data show

The number of physical assaults against Muslims in the United States reached 9/11-era levels last year, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new hate crimes statistics from the FBI. There were 91 reported aggravated or simple assaults motivated by anti-Muslim bias in 2015, just two shy of the 93 reported in 2001. Separately, the number of anti-Muslim intimidation crimes – defined as threatening bodily harm — also rose in 2015, with 120 reported to the FBI. Again, this was the most anti-Muslim intimidation crimes reported in any year since 2001, when there were 296.



December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

OECD Development Centre: Perspectives on Global Development 2017 International Migration in a Shifting World

OECD Development Centre, Perspectives on Global Development 2017 presents an overview of the shifting of economic activity to developing countries and examines whether this shift has led to an increase in international migration towards developing countries. The report focuses on the latest data on migration between 1995 and 2015, and uses a new three-way categorisation of countries. It describes the recent evolution of migration overall as well as by groups of countries according to their growth performance.It analyses what drives these trends and also studies the special case of refugees. It examines the impact on migration of migration policies as well as various sectoral policies in developing countries of origin as well as of destination, and studies the impact of migration on these countries. The report also develops four illustrative future scenarios of migration in 2030 and recommends policies that can help improve the benefits of migration for origin and destination countries, as well as for migrants. Better data, more research and evidence-based policy action are needed to prepare for expected increases in the number of migrants from developing countries. More needs to be done to avoid situations that lead to refugee spikes as well as to foster sustainable development.


December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alan Thicke, ‘Growing Pains’ Dad, Dies


Sad news this morning.  Canadian-born Alan Thicke, the “Growing Pains” star who played one of the quintessential television fathers of the 1980s, died yesterday. He was 69.

As an actor, he was best known for “Growing Pains,” the multi-camera family comedy that aired on ABC from 1985 to 1992. Thicke played Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist and patriarch of a Long Island family. Working out of the family’s home after his wife went back to work as a reporter, Seaver balanced his professional duties with his role caring for the couple’s three children. Thicke starred alongside Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, and later a young Leonardo DiCaprio.

Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario in 1947, Thicke attended the University of Western Ontario after graduating from secondary school.  Thicke came to U.S. television after having risen to prominence as a host and frequent talk-show guest in his native Canada. 


December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bill Hing Named to San Francisco Police Commission

920x920Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the ImmigrationProf's blog own Bill Hing was appointed yesterday to the San Francisco Police Commission.  Bill, adorned in cool shades in the photo above, will replace former prosecutor and deputy public defender Victor Hwang, who resigned after winning a race for San Francisco Superior Court judge in November.

Congratulations and good luck in your new role, Bill!





December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Papers: IntLawGrrls! 10th Birthday Conference


The blog IntLawGrrls: voices on international law, policy, practice, will celebrate its first decade with“IntLawGrrls! 10th Birthday Conference” on Friday, March 3, 2017. The daylong event will be held at the Dean Rusk International Law Center of the University of Georgia School of Law, which is hosting as part of its Georgia Women in Law Lead initiative.

Organizers Diane Marie Amann, Beth Van Schaack, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, and Kathleen A. Doty welcome paper proposals from academics, students, policymakers, and advocates, in English, French, or Spanish, on all topics in international, comparative, foreign, and transnational law and policy. In addition to paper workshops, there will be at least one plenary panel, on “strategies to promote women’s participation in shaping international law and policy amid the global emergence of antiglobalism.” The deadline for submissions will be January 1, 2017, though papers will be accepted on a rolling basis. Thanks to the generosity of the Planethood Foundation, a fund will help defray travel expenses for a number of students or very-early-career persons whose papers are accepted. For more information, see the call for papers/conference webpage and organizers’ posts, or e-mail


December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Book of the Year: John Lennon vs. The U.S.A. by Leon Wildes



Our Immigration Book of the Year (2017) has a good immigration story, rock 'n roll, an American President, and a worldwide rock star and his famous partner  at the center.  What else could you want in a book?  The Immigration Book of the Year for 2017 is:

John Lennon vs. The U.S.A.: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History by Leon Wildes

For the last few years, one of the hot issues in U.S. immigration law was the expanded deferred action programs proposed by President Obama to protect from removal millions of  undocumented immigrants  in the United States.  In light of that national controversy, the 1972 John Lennon deportation case takes on special relevance today.

New York immigration attorney Leon Wildes tells the incredible story of this landmark case – John Lennon vs. The U.S.A. -- that set up a battle of wills between John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and President Richard Nixon. Although Wildes did not even know who John Lennon and Yoko Ono were when he was originally retained by them, he developed a close relationship with them both during the eventual five-year period while he represented them and thereafter. The book offers the story of their battle with the U.S. government.



December 14, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Captain Florent A. Groberg (France)

Captain Florent A. Groberg (Retired)
U.S. Army; Medal of Honor Recipient; Director, Veterans Outreach, Boeing
Washington, District of Columbia

Recognized as an Outstanding American by Choice by the U.S. government, Florent A. Groberg is a retired U.S. Army captain who was born in Poissy, France. He is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor for his heroism while serving in combat operations in Afghanistan in 2012. As a result of his actions, he sustained the loss of 45 to 50 percent of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum, and a mild traumatic brain injury. Captain Groberg spent his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from August 2012 through May 2015. He was medically retired from Company B Warriors, Warrior Transition Battalion, as a captain in July 2015. 

Captain Groberg is the Director of Veterans Outreach at Boeing in Washington, DC, serving in this position since September 2016. In this role, he is responsible for developing and implementing a company-wide giving and engagement strategy for Boeing’s support of military veterans and their families, and will lead Boeing’s community engagement in the eastern United States. Prior to joining Boeing, Captain Groberg served as a spokesperson for LinkedIn where he was responsible for the promotion of LinkedIn’s veterans program that consisted of a tailored job search tool for veterans transitioning out of the military and into the civilian workforce.

Captain Groberg came to the United States at the age of 12 and was raised in Bethesda, MD. He became a United States citizen in 2001. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland.


December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Undocumented Migrants as New (and Peaceful) American Revolutionaries by Daniel I. Morales

Undocumented Migrants as New (and Peaceful) American Revolutionaries by Daniel I. Morales, DePaul University College of Law November 30, 2016 Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Civil Rights Symposium), 2016

Abstract: This essay situates undocumented migrants in the history of the American revolutionary period. The lawbreaking of both groups produced constructive legal and social change. For example, the masses of American revolutionaries and many of their leading men fought to rid the colonies of hereditary aristocracy. Colonists had come to cherish the proto-meritocracy that had bloomed on colonial shores and rankled at local evidence of aristocratic privilege, like the Crown’s grant of landed estates to absentee English aristocrats.

Today’s equivalent hereditary aristocracy is the citizenry of wealthy democracies like the United States. Hereditary citizens use immigration restrictions to reserve the wealth and privilege of rich-world citizenship for themselves and invited guests. The undocumented peacefully challenge this status quo by migrating and remaining in the United States without permission, securing citizenship for their American-born children, and protesting that “no one is illegal.” In these ways the undocumented seize some of the aristocratic privileges of American citizenship and fight for others. For this and other reasons, the undocumented are contemporary heirs to the revolutionary moment — the true tea partiers of the twenty-first century.


December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Immigrant of the Day: Steve Ly, Mayor of Elk Grove, California (Laos)


Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee

Stephen Magagnani of the Sacramento Bee has a nice story on our Immigrant of the Day, Steve Ly, who recently won election as Mayor of Elk Grove, a suburb of Sacramento.  "When Hmong refugee Steve Ly was elected mayor of suburban Elk Grove . . . was celebrated worldwide. His successful campaign to become the nation’s first Hmong mayor was backed by Hmong in Minnesota and Wisconsin, who contributed more than $10,000 to help him get elected."

“The Hmong in the U.S. have reached a milestone and they’re very happy,” said Ly, 43, who will preside over a suburb of more than 162,000 residents. “I’ve gotten messages from Hmong in China, France, South America. America, Canada, Australia and Southeast Asia.” 

Ly fled communist Laos with his family when he was 4 years old.  The first member of his family to go to college, he graduated from UC Davis, where he worked his way through school as a janitor. He later graduated from law school and works for the Sacramento County Board of Education, where he provides academic support and counseling to youths in juvenile hall. 


December 13, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thriving Communities of Syrian Immigrants Integrate and Succeed in American Society, Are Strong Receiving Force for Syrian Refugees


AP/Brennan Linsley.  Syrian American poet Amal Kassir recites her work during a gathering where immigrants spoke about their lives, Boulder, Colorado, April 2016.

Today, the Center for American Progress and the Fiscal Policy Institute, or FPI, released a new joint analysis providing an overview of the estimated 90,000 Syrian immigrants currently living in the United States, showing their successful integration and contributions to their local economies and indicating ways that they could help create a strong receiving force for the new Syrian refugees settling in their communities.

Using 2014 American Community Survey 5-year data, CAP and FPI’s analysis shows that Syrian immigrants are fitting into and excelling in the United States, both socially and economically, in a wide variety of aspects: learning English; getting good jobs; owning homes; becoming citizens; and starting businesses at impressive rates.

Highlights of the findings in the analysis include:

  • Syrian immigrants are a highly entrepreneurial group: 11 percent of Syrian immigrants are business owners, compared with 4 percent of immigrants overall and 3 percent of U.S.-born individuals.
  • Syrian immigrant businesses are thriving: The median earnings among Syrian business owners are $72,000 per year. This means that they are supporting and growing their local economies, and providing employment.
  • They are well-educated: Syrian men, in particular, are more likely to have a college degree or an advanced degree such as a master’s, doctorate, or professional degree.
  • Syrian immigrants speak English at high levels compared with all immigrants.

“As decisions will undoubtedly have to be made in the near future regarding the fate of Syrian refugees and our country’s response to them, policymakers should take into account that the United States already has a robust and thriving community of Syrian immigrants making contributions and integrating well and is well-suited to facilitate the integration of new Syrian refugees,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute and a co-author of the issue brief.

“Our findings about the successful integration of Syrian immigrants are reassuring and in line with CAP’s and FPI’s previous work on refugees,” said Silva Mathema, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and a co-author of the brief. “The success of Syrian immigrants, like that of other immigrants, is a positive sign that the United States is a place that can provide opportunity for a wide range of people, where immigrants consistently make real contributions to local economies around the country.”

Read the analysis: “Syrian Immigrants in the United States: A Receiving Community for Today’s Refugees,” here.


December 13, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Plenary Power in the Modern Administrative State by Catherine Y. Kim


Plenary Power in the Modern Administrative State by Catherine Y. Kim, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law November 10, 2016

Abstract: Immigration law has undergone a seismic shift. In the past, courts categorically denied review over decisions to exclude, deport, and detain noncitizens, reasoning that the political branches possess “plenary power” to decide such questions without judicial constraint. Today, by contrast, courts not only exercise review over such decisions, they frequently reverse them. This article develops a theoretical account of this shift rooted in non-delegation concerns. It challenges the prevailing scholarly narrative, which attributes the demise of plenary power to growing judicial respect for the rights and interests of aliens, contending that modern immigration jurisprudence is better understood as a response to concerns relating to the scope of delegated administrative discretion. Courts have not altered their assessment of the cognizability of noncitizens’ interests; what has changed is their assessment of whether the unreviewable power to regulate immigration is delegable to agency officials.

A non-delegation theory of plenary power sheds new light on the scope and limits of the doctrine today. The denial of plenary authority to agency officials, who are responsible for the vast majority of immigration decisions, results in the effective demise of the doctrine in the broad run of cases. At the same time, it leaves intact the fundamental core of the doctrine, precluding judicial scrutiny over decisions rendered directly by Congress or the President, regardless of their impact on noncitizens’ rights.


December 13, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today Only: Broadway Musical Allegiance on Screens Nationwide

Today, the Broadway musical Allegiance (about Japanese interment) will be aired in movie theaters around the country. Tickets are still on sale.

I'm sure your plans for the evening can be postponed. Take a night to enjoy Broadway.


Happy theatering!


December 13, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fellowship Opportunity: Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program


The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program is currently accepting applications for the Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellowship. The fellowship provides an opportunity to work on direct representation of individuals applying for asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection, starting in the summer of 2017. The Fellow, who will be housed at Harvard Law School, will assist with the supervision of clinical students and will work closely with experienced attorneys and clinicians at Harvard Law School and Greater Boston Legal Services during the 2017-2018 academic year. The Fellowship will provide teaching opportunities in the form of select lectures in a diverse range of courses; independent writing and scholarship are encouraged. Apologies for duplicative announcements. Interested candidates should apply through the Harvard University Human Resources’ system here.


December 12, 2016 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Curse of the Nation-State: Refugees, Migration, and Security in International Law by Jill I. Goldenziel


The Curse of the Nation-State: Refugees, Migration, and Security in International Law by Jill I. Goldenziel, Marine Corps University-Command and Staff College; University of Pennsylvania July 10, 2016 Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 48, 2016

Abstract: How does international law protect migrants? For the most part, it does not. Of the millions of people who flee persecution, conflict, and poverty each year, international law protects only refugees: those who flee persecution on the basis of religion, race, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees provides critical protections for minorities that must never be diluted. However, it is insufficient to protect the swarms of migrants landing on the shores of Europe and elsewhere, or to guide states on how to protect them while guarding their own security. This article argues that states have always revised international law regarding displaced people to protect their own security interests and changing circumstances of displacement. The time is thus ripe for the creation of an additional instrument of international law to protect the 35 million displaced people who do not meet the definition of “refugee.” To support this argument, this article presents a comprehensive history of refugees in international law, combining primary sources and original interview data to trace how states have used refugee law to protect minority rights, even as state security interests have changed refugee protection over time. In doing so, the article makes two theoretical claims that contribute to growing scholarly interest in the history of human rights law. First, the article argues that refugee law is paradigmatic human rights law, although it is often excluded from the human rights canon. Second, the article claims that refugee law predates the modern human rights regime, challenges its foundations, and extends its claims to universality.


December 12, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Year: First Lady Melania Trump


Photo Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

A previous Immigrant of the Day, soon-to-be- First Lady than Melania Trump is our Immigrant of the Year.  She is a jewelry and watch designer and former model who is married to 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Born in Yugoslavia (now Slovenia), Melania Trump became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 2001 and a U.S. citizen in 2006.  In January, Melania will become the first foreign-born First Lady since Louisa Adams.

Lauren Collins in the New Yorker provides background about Melania Trump.    Melania got her green card in 2001 and became a citizen five years later. As Collins writes, "Melania has expressed little solidarity with less fortunate newcomers."   “I came here for my career, and I did so well, I moved here,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are. You follow the rules. You follow the law. Every few months you need to fly back to Europe and stamp your visa.” 

Melania has expressed support for some of her husband's tough-on-immigration positions.  Still, questions were raised during the campaign about whether Melania always had an authorized immigration status in the United States.



Michele Obama


December 12, 2016 in Current Affairs, Photos | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Happy Human Rights Day!

360px-HumanRightsLogo.svg Featured-image-index
Photo courtesy of United Nations

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year.  The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations. The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.

The day is normally marked both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded.

This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's rights! Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be wide-spread in all parts of the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack.

We must reaffirm our common humanity. Wherever we are, we can make a real difference. In the street, in school, at work, in public transport; in the voting booth, on social media.

The time for this is now. “We the peoples” can take a stand for rights. And together, we can take a stand for more humanity.

It starts with each of us. Step forward and defend the rights of a refugee or migrant, a person with disabilities, an LGBT person, a woman, a child, indigenous peoples, a minority group, or anyone else at risk of discrimination or violence. 


December 10, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Congresswoman will Introduce Bill to Investigate 1930s Mexican Repatriation

The "Mexican repatriation" of the 1930s, the mass removal of persons of Mexican ancestry from the United States in the 1930s that has been documented in the book by Francisco Balderrrama and Raymond Rodriguez, Decade of Betrayal, is a little-known blemish on American civil rights and immigration history.  I have referred to it as the "forgotten repatriation."  This chapter in U.S. history has had a deep historical impact on the sense of belonging of persons of Mexican ancestry in the United States. 


Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) announced today that in the new Congress starting in January, she will reintroduce her bill to establish a commission to study the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930s, and recommend appropriate legislative remedies.  In the 1930s, government authorities and private sector entities undertook an aggressive program to forcibly remove individuals of Mexican ancestry from the United States, including as many as 1.2 million U.S. citizens.  The Congresswoman’s current bill to create the commission, H.R. 6314, has not been considered by the House of Representatives this year.

“It is long past time for us to have a complete accounting of this dark period in our nation’s history,” said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard.  “As the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress, I have been proud to call for the first-ever official inquiry into the Mexican Repatriation.  The commission I have proposed in this bill will help us get the full facts about these removals, and recommend appropriate legislative actions we can take going forward.  This commission will add its voice and power to the continued efforts of advocates throughout the country to ensure the Mexican Repatriation is never forgotten and never repeated.”

During the Mexican Repatriation, men, women, and children of Mexican ancestry were removed from the U.S. in response to public pressure to curtail the employment of Mexican-Americans during the Great Depression.  Massive raids were conducted on Mexican-American communities, targeting individuals of Mexican ancestry even when they were U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents.  The raids also separated these U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents from their families, and deprived them of their livelihoods and constitutional rights.  Many of the people who were removed were never able to return to the United States, the country of their birth.

The commission will consist of seven members, three appointed by the President of the United States, two by the Speaker of the House (in consultation with the House Minority Leader), and two by the President pro tempore of the Senate (in consultation with the Senate Minority Leader).  The commission members will review the facts and circumstances surrounding the Repatriation removals, and the impact of these removals on these individuals, their families, and the United States’ Mexican-American community.  It will also review past directives of federal, state, and local governments that required the removal of these individuals to Mexico, and any other information related to these directives.  Finally, the commission will submit to Congress a written report of its findings and recommendations.

December 9, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bipartisan Bill to Protect DACA Recipients Introduced in Congress


A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill on Friday to temporarily protect individuals eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Senators Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Graham (R-SC), and Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, which would provide work authorization and relief from deportation to individuals who are eligible for the DACA initiative created in 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Click here for further details from Immigration Impact.



December 9, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump's Cabinet Picks: Kelly (DHS) and Puzder (DOL)

Check out this interesting article from the Center for Immigration Studies (yes, the conservative group). John F. Kelly, President-elect Trump's pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, will be the third retired general to lead our immigration agency. The prior two generals were commissioners of the old Immigration and Naturalization Service: Joseph M. Swing (served 1954-1962, appointed by Eisenhower) and Leonard F. Chapman Jr. (served 1973-1977, appointed by Nixon).

Yesterday, President-elect Trump stated that he will nominate Andrew Puzder to lead the Department of Labor., interestingly, published an op-ed in the WSJ last year about immigration. And it wasn't restrictionist! Pudzer emphasized border security and legal immigration, but he also said this:

The best way to protect American workers is to generate economic growth. This is not synonymous with aggressively restricting immigration. Most studies conclude that immigration contributes to economic growth as well as innovation, and research and development.

I'm personally buoyed by Anne Coulter's response to the nominee (though in fairness Elizabeth Warren's response was pretty much the same):

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 1.13.37 PM

Perhaps there will be at least one voice in the room making an argument that immigration can, in fact, benefit the United States.



December 9, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your HONY Uplift

It's been a loooong week. And I don't know how things are shaping up in your neck of the woods, but I'm looking at temps around -20 tonight. So I could use a little bit of cheer. Enter this HONY story, which definitely fits the bill.

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 12.52.30 PM

I love Brandon Stanton's work and his many positive immigrant stories!


December 9, 2016 in Current Affairs, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0)