Friday, June 28, 2024

The Conversation: ICE detainees suffer preventable deaths − Q&A with a medical researcher about systemic failures


The Conversation has a post that blog readers may find of interest.  One recent report by a trio of nonprofit advocacy groups blames preventable deaths of people detained by ICE on inadequate investigations and flawed systems at the agency. The report, Deadly Failures (and here) by the American Civil Liberties Union, American Oversight, and Physicians for Human Rights, documents inadequacies in diagnosis, treatment and emergency response. It points to suicides that might have been prevented with appropriate mental health care and properly managed medication. And it details underlying issues – understaffing and a lack of interpretation and translation services.

The Conversation asked Cara Buchanan, an emergency physician and clinical fellow in health policy and social emergency medicine at the Harvard Kennedy School, whose research the report cites, about research in this area by her team and others, ICE’s track record on detainee medical care and what needs to be done to improve medical care for people in ICE custody.  Check out the Q&A.


June 28, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

TPS Extended for Haiti

Just released: TPS will be extended for Haiti.


June 28, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Positions at Cornell Law

Cornell Law School

Cornell Law School is seeking a project and data manager for a project that provides legal consultations and referrals for DACA recipients in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until position is filled. To apply, please email Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer at[email protected] with a statement of interest and resume.  The person can be remote.

Path2Papers (P2P) is a new pro bono venture that helps DACA recipients pursue work visas and other pathways to legal permanent residency. Housed at Cornell Law School, P2P is one of the only programs in the country that combines experience in employer representation with expertise in evaluating immigration options for DACA recipients. The goal of the project is to move as many DACA recipients as possible onto a long-term path to residence and eventually U.S. citizenship, mostly through employment-based immigration options. 

Responsibilities for the Position

The responsibilities may be adjusted to the unique skill set of the qualified candidate.


  • Manage AirTable database to track workflow and history of client consultations, relevant intake information, reminders, and referrals over time
  • Efficiently manage scheduling of a large number of attorney and volunteer consultations and intakes
  • Work with project attorneys and volunteers on a daily basis to ensure data and workflow steps are current and accurate
  • Independently generate reports, targeted to various audiences
  • Maintain/update public-facing forms for intakes/consultations
  • Maintain a big picture understanding of the needs of the project as well as granular knowledge of the day-to-day flow of intakes and referrals to advise on improvements to workflow.
  • Take initiative in the organization and management of schedules, workflow and information
  • Track project timeline and milestones


  • Assist attorneys with draft legal assessments
  • Assist project members in scheduling outreach events tailored to the needs of the project
  • Assist with creation of promotional/informational materials for the project
  • Participate remotely in advocacy and outreach in the DACA community in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Assist with newsletters and other forms of communication with existing clients
  • Assist project leaders in various unanticipated tasks that may involve writing, organization, or event planning
  • Manage access to project resources, liaising with outside partners
  • Manage pre-meeting preparation 
  • Take notes during meetings and send follow up summaries


  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks and strategies
  • Proficiency with different technology platforms, including database and workflow platforms, and calendar integration software and virtual collaboration tools
  • Ability/interest in managing complex charts and data
  • Ability to streamline workflows 
  • Demonstrated passion for service to the immigrant community
  • Commitment to the project core goal of moving DACA recipients into long-term immigration status
  • Sound judgement in decision-making, high integrity, and respect for confidentiality
  • Ability to move daily tasks forward in support of the project’s larger goals
  • Bachelor’s degree, preferred
  • Immigration law experience, preferred (particularly business immigration)
  • Nonprofit experience, preferred
  • Experience working with DACA recipients, preferred
  • Experience with community outreach, preferred

Position details

  • Contract position
  • Part-time, 10-19 hours/week
  • Potential for additional hours as project grows
  • Position is remote; may involve occasional travel to Ithaca, NY or San Francisco, CA if there is interest
  • Salary: $30-$50/hour; salary commensurate with experience and skillset, as well as responsibilities assigned



June 28, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Two Immigrant Women Law and Policy Fellow Positions


Join Our Team!

NIWAP is Hiring Two Immigrant Women Law and Policy Fellow


NIWAP is currently seeking two Immigrant Women Law and Policy Fellows, one focusing on Family Law, and the other on Immigration Law to join our team. The fellows will play a crucial role in supporting the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) by assisting in the implementation, evaluation, and enhancement of NIWAP’s training, technical assistance, legal research, publications, public policy advocacy, and legal programs.  The primary objective of this role is to support professionals in the field, protect and enhance the legal rights and available services for immigrant women and children who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, child abuse, and/or human trafficking.

The responsibilities will include participating in the planning of training workshops and conferences, including virtual trainings sponsored by the Office on Violence Against Women and the State Justice Institute, such as webinars, peer-to-peer events, community of practice sessions, and in-person trainings. This position will collaborate with and support various stakeholders, including state court judges, court staff, law enforcement, prosecutors, government agency staff, as well as attorneys, advocates, and organizations working to ensure that immigrant survivors and their children can access all of the help legally available under laws governing immigrant rights, women’s rights, violence against women, legal services, and welfare rights. In addition, the Immigrant Women Law and Policy Fellow will be responsible for coordinating technical assistance and assisting the NIWAP Director and Assistant Director in responding to requests for case related and policy assistance from attorneys, advocates, federal and state government agencies, as well as judges, Congress and state legislators. The role will also involve conducting legal and policy research, analyzing key trends, and drafting chapters and training materials on topics related to immigrant crime victims’ legal rights.

To view the complete job descriptions, please click here.



June 27, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Expect Immigration to be a Bone of Contention in First 2024 Biden/Trump Presidential Debate

Eo_1-1-1200x1200 45_donald_trump

CNN Presidential Debate

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will debate this evening, the first debate of the 2024 Presidential campaign.  Expect immigration to be a topic of discussion.

There is a news story that may well come up tonight.  Many news outlets, including CNN, have reported in recent days on a case in which two immigrants have been charged with the murder of a young woman in Texas.  Do not be surprised the tragedy is brought up in the debate.

"Two undocumented Venezuelan men have been charged with capital murder in the killing this month of a 12-year-old girl in Houston . . . . Johan Jose Martinez-Rangel, 22, and Franklin Jose Peña Ramos, 26, were arrested June 20, three days after the strangled body of Jocelyn Nungaray was found in a shallow creek, according to the Houston Police Department. . . . Both men are Venezuelan nationals who entered the US illegally . . . . [E]ach was apprehended near El Paso by US Border Patrol – Martinez-Rangel on March 14 and Peña Ramos on May 28 – and released with a notice to appear in court in the future."

Republicans and conservative media have blamed the tragedy on the immigration policies of President Biden.

“That little girl would be alive today if Biden enforced immigration laws at the border,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on X (see above).

Former President Trump has said as much, saying in a speech over the weekend both suspects “would not have been in our country” if he were president. He also pointed to the cases of two women who authorities say were killed in the past year by men who crossed into the country illegally: Georgia nursing student Laken Riley and Maryland mother Rachel Morin.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “Our hearts are with the families of the victims.”


June 27, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

SCARY THOUGHTS -- Automating Deportation: The Artificial Intelligence Behind DHS's Immigration Enforcement Regime

From Lexis Nexis Immigration:  "The Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with corporations has aggressively pushed the idea that AI will make immigration processing more efficient, more objective and less biased. Many of the same companies pushing AI hype have won lucrative AI contracts with DHS. As our research shows, AI tools are now pervasive at DHS – agency decision makers use AI to make a range of decisions that impact people’s lives, from adjudicating immigration benefits to designating people as `public safety threats' to locating individuals for detention and deportation." Click here for much more.   


June 26, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

US: Border Deterrence Leads to Deaths, Disappearances

From Human Rights Watch:

Border deterrence policies are driving increased deaths and disappearances of people migrating to the United States, said Human Rights Watch and the Colibrí Center for Human Rights. “‘Nothing but Bones:’ 30 Years of Deadly Deterrence at the US-Mexico Border,” features the stories of nine people who died or disappeared while trying to cross the southern US border and of their surviving family members. 

US Border Patrol has reported about 10,000 deaths since 1994, when “Prevention Through Deterrence” was first implemented, but local rights groups at the border believe the number could be up to 80,000, with thousands more disappeared. Most of those dead are Indigenous, Brown, and Black people.

“The number of deaths is shocking, but each death represents a human being, a family, a community,” said Ari Sawyer, US border researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The US government should end deadly border deterrence policies and enact policies that protect human life.” 

Prevention Through Deterrence and its progeny are a set of policies explicitly aimed at forcing irregular migrants onto “hostile terrain” and making crossing the US southern border so dangerous that people are discouraged from even trying. The policies have intentionally funneled migrants into crossing points where there are life-threatening conditions. Deterrence policies include punitive immigration policies and dangerous infrastructure, such as border walls, razor wire, armed soldierssurveillance technology, and, in Texas, river buoys equipped with saw blades and other infrastructure.

Pushed back to Mexico, criminal groups and corrupt state officials systematically target migrants for kidnapping and violence, while missing person reports are rarely resolved and the human remains of migrants—in known mass graves—remain unidentified. 

Former Border Patrol officials who witnessed the initial rollout of Prevention Through Deterrence told Human Rights Watch that the number of people they found dead immediately spiked when the US government began funneling migrants into more dangerous crossings. Predictably, continued border deterrence has driven the death toll higher in the US-Mexico borderlands. 

Over the past three decades, Prevention Through Deterrence and its progeny have proven ineffective at reducing migration and are harmful to both migrants and Border Patrol agents. Agents have said that being required to enforce deterrence policies inconsistent with their values has contributed to the Border Patrol’s record-high rates of suicide.

Former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden have used deterrence to target asylum seekers. The Biden administration, in close collaboration with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has blocked asylum at ports of entry and removed many non-Mexican migrants to Mexico. Documented deaths and disappearances have hit record highs during Biden’s term.

The accounts reflect the different experiences of a range of individuals, and they show the deeply personal and damaging impacts deterrence policies have on families.  Some of the narratives illustrate how families suffer from the unending grief of not knowing what happened to their loved one.

In one case, a 19-year-old woman died crossing the US-Mexico border in the hopes of joining her aunts and making money to send home to her parents, who are both chronically ill. While her aunts are both legal permanent residents in the Unites States, that status did not allow them to sponsor their niece, with whom they were very close.

“How is it possible that I have come to see her for the last time, and she is nothing but bones, when I have waited for her with so much love?” her aunt said when the body of her niece was finally found. 

The US government has a responsibility to safeguard the right to life when it makes border and immigration policy decisions. The US should end deadly border deterrence policies, expand safe and legal pathways to migrate, and support Colibrí’s efforts to collect DNA and identify human remains. 

“No one should lose their life to reunite with family, get a better job, or flee persecution,” Sawyer said. “The Biden administration should reverse course and create a rights-respecting and humane border.” 

“‘Nothing but Bones:’ 30 Years of Deadly Deterrence at the US-Mexico Border  



June 26, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gender Affirming Language in Immigration Court

American Immigration Lawyers Association
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) member Sarah Pitney from Benach Collopy, L Gagne from Acacia Center for Justice, and Shira Hereld from Rocky Mountain Immigration Action Network (RMIAN) describe how advocates, immigration professors, administrators, attorneys, and judges can build a more gender-affirming #immigration court. READ more on #ThinkImmigration: (AILA Blog).
Free for Non-AILA Members, the webinar and practice Advisory.
Zoom Registration Link: Friday September 6th, 2024, 2:30-3:30 pm ET
Co-authors will share strategies and practical examples for using this advisory as a filing as well as teaching tool.  
Webinar is free. AILIA os currently looking at the possibility of CLE credit. 

June 26, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Report: Deadly Failures: Preventable Deaths in U.S. Immigration Detention

The American Civil Liberties Union, American Oversight, and Physicians for Human Rights, with Andrew Free, published a new report today on the persistent failures of medical care and lack of meaningful accountability for deaths in U.S. immigration detention facilities. The report, Deadly Failures: Preventable Deaths in U.S. Immigration Detention, found that 95 percent of deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2021 were preventable or possibly preventable if ICE had provided clinically appropriate medical care. The report also found key problems with ICE’s oversight and investigations of deaths in detention. 

Independent medical experts reviewed more than 14,500 pages of documents obtained from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests regarding the deaths of 52 people who died in ICE custody from 2017 to 2021. From this and other data, the report found:

  • Persistent failings in medical and mental care have caused preventable deaths including suicides, as ICE failed to provide adequate health care, medication, and staffing.
  • Medical staff made incorrect or incomplete diagnoses in 88 percent of deaths, and also provided incomplete, inappropriate, or delayed treatment and medication that in some cases directly contributed to deaths of detained immigrants. 
  • ICE detention facilities failed to provide timely and appropriate emergency care, and take basic precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ICE’s detainee death investigations have allowed the destruction of evidence, have failed to interview key witnesses, and have omitted key inculpatory facts. Medical staff were also deemed to have falsified or made insufficient documentation in 61 percent of detainee death cases.  
  • Oversight processes have failed to result in meaningful consequences for detention facilities, including those whose conditions have caused the greatest number of deaths. 


June 25, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Immigration Briefing for the First Presidential Debate

Two days from now, the first 2024 President Debate on CNN will take place.  NPR has prepared a briefing on immigration and the border, two issues that are sure to come up in thr debate.
 🎧  NPR’s Jasmine Garsd, reporting from the border, says expedited removals have more than doubled recently and that migrant crossings are down over the past few months. She tells Morning Edition that, while some of President Biden’s actions may have had an impact, their effect may be temporary.  
🎤 Ahead of their November rematch, Biden and Trump will participate in the first presidential debate of the 2024 general election, hosted by CNN in Atlanta. Here’s what you need to know about how to watch and what to expect. 
🎧  NPR’s Steve Inskeep asks, “How’s it all going to work, and what, if anything, can we learn?” He invited former presidential speechwriters who worked for George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to the studio. Listen to their conversation here. 


June 25, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Naturalized US Citizen of the Day: Dolph Lundgren

Swedish actor, filmmaker, and martial artist Dolph Lundgren became a U.S. citizen this year. You know, this guy:

By Toglenn - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Not ringing a bell? Try this:

By, Fair use, Link

That's right. Ivan Vasilyevich Drago. The anti-here of Rocky IV. We can now claim him as a U.S. citizen. Congratulations, Dolph!


June 25, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

When someone asks me where I'm really from, I answer with this question

I found this story, which will resonate with many people of color and immigrants, to be worthy of reflection.  Here is the beginning of the story:

"Taking a sip of my drink, a friend of a friend smiled at me.

‘So you moved to London a few years ago,’ she said. ‘Where are you from?’

I’m from the West Midlands,’ I explained in my thick Black Country accent. ‘Born and bred in a town next to Wolverhampton.’

I crossed my fingers that this would be the end of that particular line of conversation, but sadly not. She gave me a look of curiosity, opened her mouth again and there it was, the response I always get.

‘But where are you really from?’

It’s a question I’ve grown to dislike, dread even.

It implies that perhaps I don’t belong here, and that my appearance somehow negates my Britishness. "


June 25, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cruel Indifference: Family Separation at the U.S.-Mexico Border Before and After Zero Tolerance,

The UCLA Immigrants' Rights Policy Clinic in Cruel Indifference: Family Separation at the U.S.-Mexico Border Before and After Zero Tolerance, addresses the common misconceptions that family separation started under the Trump administration and ended under President Biden. The report follows on the heels of Biden’s new executive actions that promise to keep some families already in the United States together, while doubling down on policies that tear families apart at the border.  


June 23, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Colombia can teach Chicago about managing a migrant wave

From NPR:

Chicago has struggled to care for migrants who arrived from the border for the past two years. About 30,000 of them are from Venezuela, where the economy has collapsed. As vast as that number is, it hardly compares to the amount of Venezuelans who have immigrated to neighboring Colombia in the past decade. More than 600,000 have traveled to the capital city, Bogotá. WBEZ's Chip Mitchell and Anthony Vazquez traveled to two cities in Colombia last spring to document how the country has handled their arrival. Through interviews with migrants, public officials, humanitarian leaders and scholars, they learned what Colombia could teach Chicago and other U.S. cities about managing future large arrivals.


June 23, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Associated Press: "Biden's 2 steps on immigration could reframe how US voters see a major political problem for him"


Official White House Photo

Legendary boxing referee, the late Mills Lane, was known as "tough but fair."  President Biden apparently seeks to take a similar approach to immigration as Election 2024 nears.

The Associated Press reports that, in the past few weeks, President Biden has imposed significant restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum. while also offering a legal pathway for hundreds of thousands of undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens.  "The tandem actions . . . give the president a chance to address one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his reelection campaign. . . . While the White House said its most recent actions aren't meant to counterbalance each other, the election-year policy changes offer something both for voters who think border enforcement is too lenient and for those who support helping immigrants who live in the U.S. illegally. They echo the White House's overall approach since Biden took office, using a mix of policies to restrict illegal immigration and offer help to people already in the country."


June 23, 2024 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Where Immigration Meets Philately And Pop Culture

What is the new Alex Trebek stamp? Yes! Trebek was born in Canada and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1998.


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

Friday, June 21, 2024

SCOTUS Today: Dept. of State v. Muñoz

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision today in the case of Dept. of State v. Muñoz. Justice Barrett wrote the opinion for the majority (6) with Justice Sotomayor writing a dissent (joined by Justices Kagan and Jackson).

The case is very reminiscent of Kerry v. Din, a plurality decision. A US citizen spouse wants to bring her husband to the US as an immediate relative. He's interviewed by the consulate and rejected. In Muñoz, the rejection was based on MS-13 affiliation. In Kerry v. Din, the rejection was based on Taliban affiliation.

Muñoz, like Din, made a constitutional argument: "The right to live with her noncitizen spouse in the United States is implicit in the “liberty” protected by the Fifth Amendment; the denial of her husband’s visa deprived her of this interest, thereby triggering her right to due process; the consular officer violated her right to due process by declining to disclose the basis for finding Asencio-Cordero inadmissible; and this, in turn, enables judicial review, even though visa denials are ordinarily unreviewable by courts."

SCOTUS rejected this reasoning, writing: "Like the Din plurality, we hold that a citizen does not have a fundamental liberty interest in her noncitizen spouse being admitted to the country."


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

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Happy World Refugee Day!

On the right, a picture of two young girls smiling and sitting at their desks in a classroom. On the left, a blue ribbon with the inscription "With Refugees". Text under the ribbon reads: "For a world where refugees are welcome".

World Refugee Day 2024

Each year on 20 June, the world celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.
This year, World Refugee Day focuses on solidarity with refugees – for a world where refugees are welcomed. 

Refugees need our solidarity now more than ever. Solidarity means keeping our doors open, celebrating their strengths and achievements, and reflecting on the challenges they face. 

Solidarity with people forced to flee also means finding solutions to their plight – ending conflicts so they can return home in safety, ensuring they have opportunities to thrive in the communities that have welcomed them, and providing countries with the resources they need to include and support refugees. 


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

Resources for Keeping Families Together

LexisNexis Immigration has collected resources on President Biden's "Keeping Families Together" policy:

1.  AILA Doc. No. 24061831, New Actions to Promote Family Unity

2.  AILA President Kelli Stump video

3.  Immigration Impact summary

4.  USCIS website: Process to Promote the Unity and Stability of Families

The UNLV Immigration Clinic has produced a short guide in English and Spanish about what a family who may be eligible for this program can do now, at a time when the program is not yet operational.


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

Immigration Article of the Day: Process [Ill]defined: Immigration Judge Reviews of Negative Fear Determinations by Jocelyn Cazares Willingham

Jocelyn Cazares Willingham

Process [Ill]defined: Immigration Judge Reviews of Negative Fear Determinations by Jocelyn Cazares Willingham, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 1, 2024


In 2023, the Biden Administration announced its plan to enhance the use of summary removals, which are administered and completed by low-level immigration officers without further process unless there is an articulated fear of return by the noncitizen. This fear articulation triggers a fear interview with an asylum officer who determines whether the noncitizen has a credible or reasonable fear of return—a process that the Biden Administration further shortened while effectively imposing a higher fear standard through a recent finalized rule. A negative fear determination results in immediate removal unless the noncitizen requests review by an immigration judge. In 2019, only 15,476 migrants subject to the fear screening process requested review of their negative fear determinations. In most of these reviews, 74.3 percent, the immigration judge affirmed the asylum officer’s negative fear determination, resulting in the humanitarian relief seeker’s deportation as the decision in these reviews is not subject to appeal or further review.

This Article seeks to highlight how the lack of clear process in an immigration judge’s review of an asylum officer’s negative fear determination under 8 C.F.R. § 208.30(g) and 8 C.F.R. § 1208.31(g) leads to an unchecked judicial discretion that can serve as a barrier to justice and humanitarian relief for those fleeing severe harms in their countries of origin or removal. This Article presents the first sustained examination and critique of the immigration judge review process that grounds decisions to expeditiously return migrants. After a review of the literature on this corner of our immigration system, I present some rare insights into this immigration judge review process based on descriptive data collected from an accompanying national survey of immigration advocates with direct experience in these proceedings. I then argue that that the fear screening process in its current form is in violation of the United States’ international and domestic obligations and should be dismantled. The lack of clearly defined procedures and meaningful standards, and the vast discretion afforded to immigration judges in these proceedings result in egregious failures of both process and substance. In the current process, expediency is championed over accuracy—belying the pretense of humanitarianism and charity that cloaks the entirety of our system of humanitarian protection. Lastly, I present some suggestions for reform to minimize the risk of erroneous fear determinations and ensure a fairer process for all migrants—not just those who win the adjudication lottery by being assigned to an immigration judge who approaches review of asylum an officer’s negative fear determination as the migrant’s legitimate opportunity to be heard and questioned.


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