Thursday, November 15, 2018

Census Citizenship Question Triggers Legal and Political Fallout

Read this Migration Information Source piece by Muzaffar Chishti and Jessica Bolter entitled "Census Citizenship Question Triggers Legal and Political Fallout."

Legal and political controversy surrounds the Trump administration's decision to include a question on citizenship status in the 2020 decennial census, the first such inclusion since the 1950 census. This article examines the administration's conflicting statements about the genesis of the plan, concerns that the decision could affect the accuracy of the census, and legal challenges pending in a number of states.


November 15, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rock Legend Billy Idol Now a U.S. Citizen



Yesterday, rock legend Billy Idol, who was born in England, became a U.S. citizen yesterday at a naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles.

Coincidentally, UC Davis law graduate Desiree Cristina Velasco Zavala sang the national anthem at the ceremony.  Here is her post on Facebook:

Today I had the awesome opportunity to sing the national anthem for an event attended by none other than BILLY IDOL, singer of my all-time favorite song in the world-Dancing with Myself! What a huge honor to sing today and have him be in the 1st row-though it was a bit nerve wrecking! I was lucky enough to get some hugs and photos, too. And the judge even asked him how he liked my rendition of the anthem and he said it was great and gave me two thumbs up. Honestly, the BEST work day EVER!!!!





November 15, 2018 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will "The Apprentice" Come Back to Haunt President Trump?


NBC News reports that lawyers suing President Donald Trump over his decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans, Haitians, and Hondurans are seeking unaired footage from the reality television show "The Apprentice" to try to bolster their case alleging the move was racially motivated.

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights has issued subpoenas to MGM Holdings Inc. and Trump Productions LLC demanding any footage shot during the production of the show in which Trump "uses racial and/or ethnic slurs" or "makes remarks concerning race, nationality and/or ethnic background."

Former White House staffer and fellow reality-TV star Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed in a book released in August, "Unhinged," that a tape exists of the president using the N-word on the reality show's set.

The case filed in federal court centers on the Trump administration's decision to end TPS for thousands of noncitizens from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras.  The lawsuit alleges that President Trump's move to rescind the program was rooted in racial animus, citing comments that he made on the campaign trial and in office.


November 15, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Refugee comics? Personal stories of forced migration illustrated in a powerful new way


Emma Parker on The Conversation introduces the reader to a flurry of comics have begun to tell the individual stories of refugees and migrants. Responding to the media coverage of border crossings and refugees during 2015 and 2016, they explore personal journeys, experiences of detention and attempts to make new lives in strange lands.

Parker writes:

"From the New York Times’ Pulitzer-winning Welcome to the New World by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan, to Threads From the Refugee Crisis by Kate Evans, a growing number of artists and journalists are using graphic stories to share real-life experiences of migration. Reflecting this growing interest in graphic reportage, the House of Illustration in London opened a new exhibition in November, Journeys Drawn: Illustrations from the Refugee Crisis, showcasing 40 original works foregrounding the firsthand experiences of refugees and displaced peoples."


November 15, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Set Your DVR for Full Frontal's Holiday Special "Christmas on I.C.E." (Dec. 19, 10:30PM ET/PT, TBS)

Well, that headline pretty much sums it up. Here's a preview to whet your appetite:

I may need to ask Santa for an expanded cable package.



November 14, 2018 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Professor Lenni Benson Honored for Helping Migrants


Lenni Benson, Professor of Law at New York Law School and founder of Safe Passage Project, has received international recognition for her tireless work advocating for unaccompanied immigrant children.  

Every year, Child 10 gathers and awards ten exceptionally bold individuals from around the world for their work in assisting the most vulnerable children in our communities. 

Prize winners will be flown to Sweden in December to participate in a global summit, and Safe Passage will receive a cash prize of $10,000.

Congratulations, Professor Benson!



November 14, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Universities as 'Sanctuaries' by MARYAM AHRANJANI


Universities as 'Sanctuaries' by Maryam Ahranjani  Journal of College and University Law, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2018  


When Donald Trump, a businessman and reality television personality with anti-immigrant views, was elected President of the United States in November 2016, thousands of students, faculty and staff at many colleges and universities around the country implored their institutions to affirmatively declare themselves sanctuaries for undocumented students. Enjoying support both from the estimated 200,000 undocumented university students and other stakeholders, the movement gained quite a bit of momentum, but many contentious battles also have occurred. According to the author’s empirical analysis, only twenty of the more than 5,000 institutions of higher education in the United States have adopted the sanctuary campus designation.

This piece explores the legal and policy implications of the “sanctuary campus” designation and the balance between the goal of the designation and the effects. In concluding that the sanctuary movement should focus on promoting policies and programs, this article argues: 1) there is a lack of clarity about the term “sanctuary,” 2) to the extent that there is agreement about the term, universities already are de facto and de jure sanctuaries and efforts to affirmatively adopt the designation may undermine the presumption, and 3) there are some persuasive political and other reasons to focus on targeted assistance rather than a name that may not mean much.


November 14, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lindsay Harris & Dree Collopy in WaPo: "Trump's Attack on Asylum is Based Entirely on False Claims"

Harris_lindsay Dree collopy

"As immigration lawyers, we know he's just trying to scare you," write Lindsay Harris and Dree Collopy  in an op-ed in today's Washington Postin reference to Trump's asylum policies and rhetoric.  In addition to clarifying the international law basis for asylum and the life-threatening reasons why people seek asylum in the U.S., they take aim at the statistics cited most recently by Trump (such as his claim that only 3 percent of asylum seekers show up to court, whereas DHS's own studies have shown that 60-75 percent of non-detained asylum seekers appear in court) as well as the claim put forth by the Administration that Central American asylum seekers can settle in Mexico.  The op-ed is grounded in the authors' legal expertise, data as well as their experiences representing asylum seekers in the law school clinics they teach (at the University of District Columbia and Catholic University, respectively).


November 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Immigration Article of the Day: When Shadow Removals Collide: Searching for Solutions to the Legal Black Holes Created by Expedited Removal and Reinstatement by Jennifer Lee Koh


When Shadow Removals Collide: Searching for Solutions to the Legal Black Holes Created by Expedited Removal and Reinstatement by Jennifer Lee KohWashington University Law Review


Immigration scholarship has begun to explore the prominence of shadow removals—deportations that are executed by front-line agency officials acting outside the presence of an immigration judge—which now constitute the majority of all reported removals. This Article explores two of the most common forms of shadow removals, expedited removal and reinstatement of removal, and the collision of the two. Expedited removal has typically been perceived as a border enforcement tool, used against persons with limited ties to the United States. Reinstatement of removal exists for persons who enter the U.S. without authorization following a prior removal. The rising use of each streamlined procedure is, on its own, troubling from a fairness, accuracy, and rule of law perspective. But like chemical compounds mixing and creating new substances, expedited removal and reinstatement interact to produce unique situations in which the law renders people forever subject to immediate deportation based primarily on the existence of a brief encounter at some point in the past with a border official. These situations are akin to legal black holes in immigration law, and have not been examined in any of the scholarly literature to date.

This Article is the first to consider the interplay of expedited removal and reinstatement. It traces the operation of the two removal processes, both independently and in combination with each other. It emphasizes the harsh statutory bars on judicial and habeas review, and the resulting inability of the federal judiciary to ameliorate the harshness of removal in this context. The Article then suggests that the use of reinstatement based on prior expedited removal orders fails the basic administrative law requirement that federal agencies demonstrate reasoned decision-making and avoid arbitrary or capricious action. Relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Judulang v. Holder, which applied arbitrary and capricious review in the deportation context, the Article encourages courts to more closely scrutinize the use of reinstatement based on expedited removal.


November 13, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fewer foreign students coming to United States for second year in row

No big surp[rise here.  Reuters reports that fewer foreign students are coming to United States for second year in row.  According to the report, "[n]ew enrollments for the 2017-18 school year slumped 6.6 percent compared with the previous year, according to an annual survey released by the Institute of International Education. That follows a 3.3 percent decline in new international students tallied in the 2016-17 academic year.

Several factors are driving the decrease. Visa and immigration policy changes by the Trump administration have deterred some international students from enrolling, college administrators and immigration analysts said."


November 13, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Study Details Harsh Consequences of Trump’s Deportation Policies


Photo courtesy of Kino Border Initiative

The Kino Border Initiative (KBI), the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), and the Office of Justice and Ecology (OJE) of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States today released, “Communities in Crisis: Interior Removals and Their Human Consequences,” a new report examining the characteristics of deportees and the effects of deportation.

This report details findings from the CRISIS Study (Catholic Removal Impact Survey in Society), which interviewed deportees at KBI’s migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora, and those affected by deportation in Catholic parishes in Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota. The interviews explored: (1) the impact of removals on deportees, their families, and other community members; (2) the deportation process; and (3) the relationship between deportees and their families. The report also includes policy recommendations to mitigate the ill effects of the administration’s policies and promote the integrity of families and communities, including: using detention as a “last resort;” reducing funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and limiting collaboration between police and ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Researchers found that deportees had built their lives, made their homes, and established long and deep ties in the United States. On average, survey respondents had lived in the country for 19.9 years, with more than half having first entered as minors. Ninety-six percent had been employed in the United States, and, on average, had worked nearly 10 years in the same job. In addition, 42 percent of survey respondents had US citizen spouses or partners, and 78 percent had US citizen children. Given these circumstances, it comes as little surprise that 73.5 percent of deportees said they planned to return to the United States.

“The report offers an intimate, often raw look at the human consequences of indiscriminate enforcement and the administration’s deportation policies,” said Donald Kerwin, CMS’s executive director. “And it offers recommendations on how to protect the integrity of immigrants, US families, and communities.”

To download the report, visit here.


November 13, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump preparing to remove Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary?


The day after the 2016 midterm elections, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was out.  Is Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, next?

Nick Miroff , Josh Dawsey and Philip Rucker for the Washington Post report that "President Trump has told advisers he has decided to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and her departure from the administration is likely to occur in the coming weeks, if not sooner, according to five current and former White House officials."

Immigration hardliners who lost at the polls last week, including Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach, might end up vying for the two cabinet positions, both of which play important immigration roles.


November 13, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

At the Movies: Eldorado, a documentary


Eldorado is a 2018 Swiss documentary film directed by Markus Imhoof. It was selected as the Swiss entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.

Drawing inspiration from his personal encounter with the Italian refugee child Giovanna during World War II, Eldorado tells how refugees and migrants are treated today: on the Mediterranean Sea, in Lebanon, in Italy, in Germany and in Switzerland.


November 13, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Profs Weigh in in Right to Counsel for Minors Appeal



Last week, law professors  Judith Resnik and Brian Soucek, with the assistance of the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, filed an amicus brief in C.J.L.G. v. Sessions (now Whitaker), in which the Ninth Circuit has gone en banc to decide whether migrant children in removal hearings have a right to government-funded counsel. The brief focuses on the Supreme Court’s forty years of procedural due process case law applying the Mathews v. Eldridge balancing test. Oral argument is expected in December. Our brief is here

The conclusion of the brief reads as follows:

"Decades of case law makes clear how the Mathews balancing test should be used to analyze procedural due process claims, including those raising the right to counsel in civil contexts. Using the Supreme Court’s test and considering the information in the record about the needs of children, the factual density of immigration claims, and the complexity of the legal questions involved, the conclusion which emerges is that the Constitution requires the appointment of counsel for indigent children in deportation proceedings"


November 13, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 12, 2018

President Trump should withdraw his asylum proclamation


© Getty Images

Nolan Rappport on The Hill calls on President Trump to withdraw the asylum proclamation.


November 12, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling

Goldern state

The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling (Sept. 2018)

In Lydia Kiesling’s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her toddler, Honey. Bucking under the weight of being a single parent―her Turkish husband is unable to return to the United States because of a “processing error”―Daphne takes refuge in a mobile home left to her by her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity.

But clarity proves elusive. Over the next ten days Daphne is anxious, she behaves a little erratically, she drinks too much. She wanders the town looking for anyone and anything to punctuate the long hours alone with the baby. Among others, she meets Cindy, a neighbor who is active in a secessionist movement, and befriends the elderly Alice, who has traveled to Altavista as she approaches the end of her life. When her relationships with these women culminate in a dangerous standoff, Daphne must reconcile her inner narrative with the reality of a deeply divided world.

Keenly observed, bristling with humor, and set against the beauty of a little-known part of California, The Golden State is about class and cultural breakdowns, and desperate attempts to bridge old and new worlds. But more than anything, it is about motherhood: its voracious worry, frequent tedium, and enthralling, wondrous love.


For a review of The Golden State, click here.



November 12, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

There is No "Invasion" at the Border: The U.S. Government’s 2018 Border Data Clearly Shows Why the Trump Administration is on the Wrong Track


In seeking to limit access to asylum for Central Americans, President Trump has claimed that the United States is being invaded and that the nation's security and sovereignty is at risk.  A report by Adam Isacson for WOLA looks at the available data to show that the U.S. government's approach is based on faulty premises:


  1. There is no migrant crisis. In fact, the flow is near its lowest point in half a century. See the table above.
  2. The profile of a typical migrant has changed dramatically over the past five years. Two in five are now children and family members. That has never happened before.
  3. The number of people apprehended by Border Patrol has dramatically decreased over the years, because less people are attempting to cross.
  4. Tough talk, threats, and “zero tolerance” won’t dissuade kids and families from fleeing.
  5. Access to asylum is being throttled at the official border crossings.
  6. Mexico apprehends nearly as many Central American migrants as the United States does. Sometimes, Mexico apprehends more.
  7. It is extremely, vanishingly rare to find suspected gang members mixed in with families and unaccompanied children.
  8. It is extremely rare to find migrants at the border from countries whose citizens the president wishes to bar from entering the United States “until we can figure out what is going on.”
  9. Look for solutions in our asylum process and in our ports of entry. Both are in urgent need of help.



November 12, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy Veterans Day

Veterans day

Click here for national Veterans Day events.

Don't forget about our immigrant veterans.  Here are some "Citizenship Resources for Veterans Day," including a podcast.


November 11, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

High Profile Immigration Hardliners Who Lost at the Polls

CNN reports on immigration hardliners who suffered defeats in Tuesday's midterm elections.




Republican Kris Kobach -- who became a national celebrity in some circles for his attempts to assist cities and states pass laws designed to facilitate immigration enforcement and kick out undocumented immigrants -- lost his bid for governor of Kansas. The Southern Poverty Law Center referred to Kobach as "a leading light of the nativist movement."  Kobach was the principal drafter of Arizona's immigration milestone SB 1070, which the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional.



Republican Lou Barletta -- who also drew national notoriety and touts his support for an anti-immigrant agenda as the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and enlisted Kobach's help to defend it -- lost his bid for a US Senate seat.

As Shareblue reported, "Barletta’s loathsome views and statements about immigrants have catapulted him onto a list of America’s 11 most anti-immigrant Republican nominees, compiled by Mother Jones."



Republican Dave Brat -- who has championed efforts to limit immigration and won in 2014 after making it a focal point of his campaign -- lost his re-election bid for Congress in Virginia.  Congressman Brat's website states the following about immigration:

"When addressing the issue of immigration, we must start by securing our border.  An open border is both a national security threat and an economic threat that our country cannot ignore. I reject any proposal that grants amnesty and undermines the fundamental rule of law. Adding millions of workers to the labor market will force wages to fall and jobs to be lost. I supported legislation that will secure our border, enforce our current laws, and restore an orderly and fair process to allow law-abiding individuals to work towards becoming citizens of this great nation. I also introduced legislation to address asylum reform to ensure families stay together at the border."


November 11, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Catalina Cruz becomes first former 'Dreamer' elected to New York state Assembly


Courtesy Catalina Cruz Campaign


The 2016 elections saw pathbreaking victories for immigrants to this country.  NBC reports from New York that Democratic candidate Catalina Cruz is now the first "former Dreamer" ever elected to the New York state Assembly and the third in office nationwide. Cruz won in a race against incumbent Ari Espinal and Reform Party candidate Bobby Kalotee for New York's 39th Assembly District, which includes Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst in Queens, a borough of New York City and one of the country's most diverse areas.

Cruz immigrated from Colombia with her family and for ten years she lived undocumented in Queens, New York. She eventually gained citizenship after marrying her high school sweetheart.

Cruz's bio on her campaign website reads as follows:

"Catalina Cruz is a DREAMer. She was born in Colombia, came to Queens at the age of nine, and lived here for ten years without documentation. Although her mother had an advanced degree in health care, she had to work menial jobs to make ends meet. As a single mother with four kids, she cleaned offices at night, sold tamales and empanadas at the soccer fields on the weekend, and worked long hours as a nanny during the week. Inspired by her mother’s perseverance, Catalina has committed her career to fight for our community – to ensure our workers, neighbors, and families can not only survive, but thrive.

Catalina Cruz is an experienced attorney and a leader for tenant protections, immigration reform, and workers rights. She most recently served as the Chief of Staff to the New York City Council Finance Chair. Catalina has worked to help pass key legislation protecting workers, women, and small business owners. She has previously served as the Director of the Governor’s Exploited Workers Task Force, helping New York become a national leader in the fight against worker exploitation. This first-of-its-kind task force conducted outreach and enforcement within key low wage industries statewide, including car washes, restaurants, and nail salons, where workers are often victims of wage theft and subject to unsafe work conditions, but do not come forward for fear of retaliation.

Catalina started her career as a housing attorney fighting to help keep low income tenants and seniors in their homes. She currently serves as the president of the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County. For the past 5 years, she has coordinated the Association’s Street Law in Spanish program which mentors students from St. John’s and CUNY law schools and brings “Know Your Rights” presentations to underserved communities. Catalina holds BA from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a JD from the City University of New York School of Law. Catalina lives in Jackson Heights with her husband."


November 11, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)