Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Asylum Claims Jump Despite Trump’s Attempt to Limit Immigration


Ron Nixon of the New York Times reports that the number of asylum seekers jumped nearly 70 percent from 2017, according to Department of Homeland Security data released yesterday, despite the Trump administration's aggressive border enforcement efforts.

Nearly 60 percent of asylum seekers at the border were people in families.

Agency officials attributed the increase to smuggling organizations.

In contrast, immigration advocates, however, said the rise in asylum claims is a result of tens of thousands of people fleeing violence in Honduras and elsewhere in Central America.

Homeland Security officials said the increase in migrants at the southwest border had overwhelmed an antiquated system that was not intended to handle large numbers of people at a single time. They said the ports of entry were devised to process men traveling alone, not families or transgender people.


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

Trump’s immigration policy splits Americans in half, poll says


Immigration long has divided the United States.  So it should be no surprise that the latest poll results show that the nation is divided on immigration.

As reported by PBS NewsHour, more than half of Americans say they disapprove of how President Donald Trump has handled of immigration, according to the latest poll from the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist. Fifty-two percent of U.S. adults surveyed disapproved of Trump’s actions on immigration. Another 44 percent of respondents said they approve of the president’s work on the issue, with an additional 4 percent saying they were unsure.

The partisan divisions on immigration are clear:  91 percent of Republican respondents said they back the president on the issue, compared to just 42 percent of people who described themselves as politically independent and 14 percent of Democrats.


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

Monday, December 10, 2018

On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Karima Bennoune, currently the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, discusses her latest report in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



December 10, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Georgetown Law School Clinical Teaching Fellowship 2019-21, Deadline Extended to Jan. 7

CALS Graduate Teaching Fellowships

Application Deadline Extended

Fellowship Announcement, 2019-2021 Clinical Teaching Fellowship

The Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at Georgetown Law announces that it is now accepting applications for its annual fellowship program in clinical legal education. CALS will offer one lawyer a two‑year teaching fellowship (July 2019‑June 2021), providing a unique opportunity to learn how to teach law in a clinical setting.

At CALS, our two fellows and faculty members work as colleagues, sharing responsibilities for designing and teaching classes, supervising law students in their representation of clients, selecting and grading students, administering the clinic, and all other matters. In addition, the fellow will undertake independent legal scholarship, conducting the research and writing to produce a law review article of publishable quality.

This fellowship is particularly suitable for lawyers with some degree of practice experience who now want to embark upon careers in law teaching. Most of our previous fellows are now teaching law or have done so for substantial portions of their careers.

Since 1995, CALS has specialized in immigration law, specifically in asylum practice, and our docket focuses on presenting asylum claims in immigration court. Applicants with experience in U.S. immigration law will therefore be given preference. The fellow must be a member of a bar at the start of the fellowship period.

The fellow will receive full tuition and fees in the LL.M. program at Georgetown University, and a stipend of $57,000 in the first year and $60,000 in the second year. On successful completion of the requirements, the Fellow will be granted the degree of Master of Laws (Advocacy) with distinction.

Recent holders of this fellowship include Mary Brittingham (1995-1997), Andrea Goodman (1996-1998), Michele Pistone (1997-99), Rebecca Story (1998-2000), Virgil Wiebe (1999-2001), Anna Marie Gallagher (2000-02), Regina Germain (2001-2003), Dina Francesca Haynes (2002-2004), Diane Uchimiya (2003-2005), Jaya Ramji-Nogales (2004-2006), Denise Gilman (2005-2007), Susan Benesch (2006-2008), Kate Aschenbrenner (2007-2009), Anjum Gupta (2008-2010), Alice Clapman (2009-2011) Geoffrey Heeren (2010-2012), Heidi Altman (2011-2013), Laila Hlass (2012-2014), Lindsay Harris (2013-2015), Jean C. Han (2014-2016), Rebecca L. Feldmann (2015-2017), and Pooja R. Dadhania (2016-2018). The current fellows are Karen S. Baker and Faiza W. Sayed. The faculty members directing CALS are Andrew Schoenholtz and Philip Schrag.

To apply, send a resume, an official or unofficial law school transcript, a writing sample, and a detailed statement of interest (approximately 5 pages). The materials must arrive by January 7, 2019. The statement should address: a) why you are interested in this fellowship; b) what you can contribute to the Clinic; c) your experience with asylum and other immigration cases; d) your professional or career goals for the next five or ten years; e) your reactions to the Clinic’s goals and teaching methods as described on the Clinic’s website; and f) anything else that you consider pertinent. Address your application to Directors, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown Law, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 332, Washington, D.C. 20001, or via email (lawcalsclinic@georgetown.edu).

Georgetown University is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer. We are committed to diversity in the workplace. If you have any questions, call CALS at (202) 662-9565 or email us.


December 10, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Right to Be Heard from Immigration Prisons: Locating a Right of Access to Counsel for Immigration Detainees in the Right of Access to Courts


The Right to Be Heard from Immigration Prisons: Locating a Right of Access to Counsel for Immigration Detainees in the Right of Access to Courts 
By the Harvard Law Review

Remote facilities, inadequate visiting rooms, and restricted phone calls create increasingly insurmountable barriers for immigration detainees trying to contact their lawyers. The constitutional right of access to courts provides a path to relief: When the government locks someone up, it cannot also block avenues for challenging that detention. This Note first outlines how immigration detainees can use the right to remove obstructions to contacting counsel. Through their unique circumstances, often both fighting deportation and opposing detention, immigration detainees are also exempt from some of the limits of the modern access-to-courts doctrine and ultimately may be able to use it to vindicate a variety of rights to adequately pursue their cases.


December 10, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump administration seeks to strip more people of citizenship

Robertson_cassandra Irina

Cassandra Burke Robertson and Irina D. Manta on The Conversation criticize the denaturalization effort of the Trump administration:

"U.S. government officials are making a coordinated effort to find evidence of immigration fraud by reexamining the files of immigrants who became U.S. citizens. They are searching for cases where individuals used more than one identity or concealed prior deportation orders before filing for citizenship. Such evidence may provide grounds to strip citizenship from those who allegedly gained it unlawfully."

 According to Robertson and Manta, "[t]he Trump administration has sharply increased the number of denaturalization attempts already, filing 25 cases in 2017 and another 20 during the first half of 2018. We are law professors who have studied the court records in the most recent cases. Our review of the court filings suggests that the government’s litigation procedures carry a disturbingly high risk of mistakenly taking away citizenship from someone who committed neither crime nor fraud."


December 10, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Asylum Denied, Death After Deportation

The Australian Government warns a "High Degree of Caution" when considering travel to Honduras

The Washington Post has the heartbreaking tale of Santos Chirino, a Honduran migrant who sought refuge in the United States.

Chirino had been assaulted by members of the notorious gang MS-13 while living in the United States. He testified against them. And received death threats for his actions.

When deportation proceedings were brought against Chirino himself, he was found ineligible for withholding of removal or CAT relief. (He was apparently time-barred from seeking asylum.)

Chirino was deported to Honduras, where he was murdered alongside his brother.


December 10, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Human Trafficking Survivor Making it in NFL



It is hitting playoff time in the NFL season and here is an upbeat story.

Jonathan Jones for Sports Illustrated reports that, in his first-ever NFL regular-season game, Carolina Panthers defensive end Efe Obada had an interception, a sack, and had a sack-fumble overturned on review.

"Born in Nigeria, Obada was trafficked with his sister from the Netherlands (where he was living at the time) to London when he was 10 years old. We don’t know much else about his story—Obada has never fully shared it—except that at 22 he discovered American football and played in five games for the London Warriors of the BAFA National League. The Cowboys found him on an international scouting trip in 2015, and since then he bounced around four different NFL teams before finally getting a game jersey . . . with the Panthers."

Obada was "discovered" while playing American football for the London Warriors.  The team’s defensive coordinator had been a coaching intern with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.  Obada participated in an unofficial workout for "America’s team" that year and the Cowboys signed him to their 90-man roster.  Obada later was waived and unsuccessfully tried to catch on with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.

Obada ended up in Carolina. The NFL introduced its International Pathway Program for foreign players in 2017, and four players with potential were chosen to join a team’s practice squad and be given an exemption as the 11th player. The NFC South was drawn at random, and the Panthers got Obada.


December 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Private prison companies treat immigrant detainees like convicted criminals—and reap huge profits from the people they hold


Professor Karamet Reiter in the American Scholar critically looks at the treatment of immigrant detainees in private detention facilities.  Here is the beginning of the article, which is well worth a read by anyone interested in contemporary immigrant detention:

"The T. Don Hutto Residential Center is a 512-bed institution that has operated in Taylor, Texas, since the mid-1990s. The word `residential' in its name and the bright pink walls inside suggest a hospitable, domestic space. The layers of chainlink fence, heavy steel doors, and slim window slits suggest something far more sinister. Although the Hutto Center has little of the mystique of America’s more infamous prisons, like Alcatraz or Rikers Island, today it is at the center of an archipelago of private prison and detention facilities run by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)."


December 10, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

More on AG Nominee William Barr

William_Barr _official_photo_as_Attorney_General

Yesterday we learned that President Trump has nominated former AG William Barr to reprise his role as head of the Department of Justice. I decided to do a little Westlaw research - checking out his mentions in Law Reviews & Journals. Here are a few choice snippets, arranged by topic.

Asylum & China

  • "On the last day of the Bush Administration, then-Attorney General William Barr promulgated a rule that would have reinstated the aims of the January 1990 rule and allowed asylum eligibility based on opposition to family planning policies. However, Barr's 1993 rule was never published." (Cleo Kung 2000)
  • "The language of the Barr rule was much stronger than the 1990 version: it turned the discretionary “may” establish a fear of political persecution language into a mandatory “shall,” if an applicant made the proper showing of a fear of persecution based on forced abortion or sterilization" (Meghan Heech 2016)
  • The idea was to overrule Matter of Chang, though this proved ineffective. (Rebecca Bresnick 1995)

Criminal Noncitizens:

  • "Attorney General William Barr proposed increased efforts to deport 'criminal aliens,' stating that '[w]e will not tolerate aliens who come here to prey on the American people.'" (Kevin Johnson 1993 FN 92)


  • "A Department of Justice report called The Case for More Incarceration (1992), promoted by US Attorney General William Barr, for example, argued that “prison works,” urged that the number of people in prison be increased, proposed a major national program of prison construction, and called for the abolition of parole release. Barr's proposals were embodied in proposed legislation that became the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, as amended in 1996. The law unambiguously sought to increase the number of people in prison and the times they spent there." (Michael Tonry 2013)
  • “President Bush's Attorney General, William Barr, touted this piece of data, claiming that'[t]he benefits of increased incarceration would be enjoyed disproportionately by black Americans.'” (Meares 1998)

Unlawful Migration:

  • "Attorney General [Barr] told local law enforcement officials that he wants “to get tough on illegal immigrants who are ‘crashing in the back door.'" (Kevin Johnson 1993 FN 119)


  • "the Attorney General, Janet Reno, and her predecessor, William Barr, did not grant TPS to the Haitians, perhaps because many members of Congress feared that thousands of Haitians, who are really “economic” refugees and not political refugees, would take to the sea and seek asylum in the United States" (Creola Johnson 1994)


  • "As former Attorney General William Barr put it, 'Our conventional criminal justice system is designed to apply to people within our political community, but it doesn't make sense to extend those rights to foreign enemies who are trying to slaughter us. These people are just like the Nazi saboteurs.'” (Amitai Etzioni 2013)
  • "former Attorney General William Barr has even contended that one who has never entered the territory of the United States subjects himself to its jurisdiction and laws by taking actions that have an effect in the United States" (John C. Eastman 2007)

International Law:

  • "The current position is that the President or Congress can, when necessary, override customary international law, because what is customary is not a static concept, but rather an evolving concept. By making judgments which are sometimes out of bounds, the United States plays an important role in shaping those rules. Our Constitution demands that our political branches, and primarily Congress, not let foreign ministries impose rules on the people of the United States without their consent. If customary international law constrains our government from what it considers to be an appropriate response to a situation, it must be rejected.": (R.T. Francis 1993)


  • Barr was one of the individuals who recommended Justice Souter to SCOTUS. (Stephen G. Calabresi 2015).

You can also read works by Barr himself, including his take on "Executive Branch Interpretation of the Law," 15 Cardozo L. Rev. 31 (1993).


December 8, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Attorney General Nominee: William Barr

William_Barr _official_photo_as_Attorney_General

Today President Trump announced that he will be nominating William Barr to be the next Attorney General of the United States. I'll eat crow on this one - I really had my money on Kris Kobach for the position.

Barr already served as the Attorney General, under Bush 41.

Here is the Vox take on Barr: He "will likely be tasked with carrying out Sessions’s agenda on crime and immigration — and his past stint as AG shows he might be up for the task."

A quick search of our blog found only one reference to the man, in this article by Lee Hall in 2004 about migrants and the private prison business: "The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has risen to the occasion, offering bills to support privatization and ensure a flow of detainees. By 1994, ALEC was pressing its policies in Pennsylvania with the assistance of William Barr, Attorney General from the first Bush administration."

So that's cheerful.


December 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Death on the Border: Associated Press Estimate -- At least 4,000 migrants on way to U.S. have died or gone missing in last four years


Mexico–United States barrier at the border of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, USA. The crosses represent migrants who have died in crossing attempts..

It long has been the case that migrants in significant numbers have died while attempting to cross the U.S. border with Mexico.

The Associated Press estimates that '[I]n the past four years alone, almost 4,000 migrants have died or gone missing along [the U/.S./Mexico border] . . . . That’s 1,573 more than the previously known number, calculated by the United Nations. And even the AP’s number is likely low — bodies may be lost in the desert, and families may not report missing loved ones who were migrating illegally.

These Latin American migrants are among about 56,800 worldwide who died or disappeared over the same period, the AP found."


December 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Sovereign Resistance to Federal Immigration Enforcement in State Courthouses" by Sarah Hill Rogerson


"Sovereign Resistance to Federal Immigration Enforcement in State Courthouses" by Sarah Hill Rogerson

Geo. Immigr. L. J., Forthcoming


The federal government has maintained its supremacy over the enactment of immigration laws for over a century. Enforcement of those laws, however, is increasingly a matter of cooperative federalism -- or uncooperative, as the case may be. In response to a recent trend of state and local resistance to President Trump’s stepped-up enforcement regime, immigration authorities have a new strategy: Storm the courts. Increasingly, federal immigration agents are targeting state courthouses, typically in plain clothes, without identification and without warrants, to carry out largely civil apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants. This unprecedented practice, in some cases involving unconstitutional tactics, impairs the ability of immigrant litigants, witnesses and their families to seek and pursue justice in state courts. An unusual alliance of district attorneys and Legal Aid lawyers are speaking out and walking out of courts in protest. Activists and scholars together are looking for legal strategies to curb the practice. This article identifies the normative underpinnings of maintaining courthouses as sensitive locations and illuminates the Constitutional claims that states and individuals may explore to resist or restrain federal immigration authorities from state courts.


December 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Report: Asylum Processing and Waitlists at the US-Mexico border

New Report: Asylum Processing and Waitlists at the US-Mexico border


The report Asylum Processing and Waitlists at the US-Mexico border (December 2018) provides a snapshot of the asylum processing system at the U.S.-Mexico border, with particular attention to asylum seekers waiting in Mexico. It compiles fieldwork carried out in eight cities along the U.S.-Mexico border in November 2018. It draws on in-person and phone interviews with government officials, law enforcement officers, representatives from civil society organizations, journalists, and members of the public on both sides of the border. The report also relies on observations carried out at ports of entry and neighboring areas, and draws from government and legal documents, and news articles to detail current asylum processing dynamics.

This report is the result of a collaboration among the Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California San Diego Center for US-Mexican studies and the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute.

Here is the executive summary:

"For more than two  years, CBP has implemented  "metering" procedures for  asylum seekers in multiple ports of entry across the  U.S.-Mexico border. However, over the  past six months, these practices have become institutionalized and have been extended across the  entire southern border. Currently, CBP officers are stationed at the international dividing line between the United States and Mexico at all ports of entry and provide a similar message­ "there is currently no processing capacity"-to arriving asylum seekers. Instead, each port of entry coordinates with Mexican officials to  accept a certain number  of asylum seekers every day. These shifts in CBP procedures have left lines of  asylum seekers waiting in almost every major Mexican border city.

Yet while CBP officers have standardized their practices, there is no set process for  asylum
seekers on the  Mexican side of the  border. While almost all border cities now have a "list" that functions as a virtual line for  asylum seekers-for  example, the infamous  "notebook" in
Tijuana-the list management  and logistics vary significantly by city. For example, the  actual
list managers have ranged from Grupo Beta (the Mexican government  agency in charge of humanitarian assistance for  migrants) to  civil society organizations to  municipal governments, and the processing steps may entail providing asylum seekers with bracelets or taking their photos after they arrive to the  U.S.-Mexico border.

There are also a range of practices and dynamics in Mexican border cities that block asylum seekers from accessing U.S. ports of entry. In Reynosa, Tamaulipas,  Mexican migration officials stationed near the  international  bridges have stopped all asylum seekers from crossing during the past three months. In Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas and Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Central Americans cannot access the  international border bridges without temporary transit permits. In Matamoros, Tamaulipas there are allegations of asylum seekers having to  pay a fee  in  order to  get on the waiting list, and in Tijuana, Baja California  asylum seekers currently face a three month wait time in order to  make their claim.

This report provides a snapshot of the  asylum processing system at the U.S.-Mexico border, with particular attention to asylum seekers waiting in Mexico. The report compiles fieldwork carried out in eight cities along the U.S.-Mexico border in November 2018. It  draws on
in-person and phone interviews with government officials, law enforcement  officers,
representatives from civil society organizations, journalists, and members of the public on both sides of the  border. The report also relies on observations carried out at ports of entry and neighboring areas, and draws from government and legal documents, and news articles to detail current asylum processing dynamics.


December 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Say It Ain't So, Joe! Undocumented Service Workers Serve the President?


Victorina Morales at her home in Bound Brook, N.J. She left Guatemala in 1999 and unlawfully entered the United States. She started working at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., in 2013.CreditCreditChristopher Gregory for The New York Times

As the nation knows, President Donald Trump has taken seriously the enforcement of the immigration laws.  His efforts to remove undocumented immigrants seems inconsistent with a news report by Miriam Jordan of the New York Times that some undocumented immigrants have worked at a Trump business and directly served the President:

"During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has made Donald J. Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet and dusted his crystal golf trophies. When he visited as president, she was directed to wear a pin in the shape of the American flag adorned with a Secret Service logo.

Because of the “outstanding” support she has provided during Mr. Trump’s visits, Ms. Morales in July was given a certificate from the White House Communications Agency inscribed with her name.

Quite an achievement for an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.

Ms. Morales’s journey from cultivating corn in rural Guatemala to fluffing pillows at an exclusive golf resort took her from the southwest border, where she said she crossed illegally in 1999, to the horse country of New Jersey, where she was hired at the Trump property in 2013 with documents she said were phony.

She said she was not the only worker at the club who was in the country illegally."


December 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: The Landscape of Immigration Detention in the United States


A new report on immigration detention released by the American Immigration Council examines the most recent government data on the United States’ complex, sprawling network of facilities used to detain immigrants. The report, “The Landscape of Immigration Detention in the United States,” by Professor Emily Ryo, reveals that detained individuals were commonly held in facilities operated by private entities and located in remote areas, far away from basic community support structures and legal advocacy networks.

As government officials and policymakers assess additional funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, this report details key aspects of the current U.S. detention system and raises important questions about the implications of further expansion efforts.

The report draws on government and other records for the 355,729 individuals detained by ICE in fiscal year 2015, the year with the most recent publicly available data.

The main findings of the report include:

  • ICE relied on 638 sites scattered throughout the United States to detain individuals, often moving them from one facility to another.
  • About 67 percent of detained individuals were held in privately operated facilities, and 64 percent were confined in a remotely located facility.
  • Detention length was significantly longer in privately operated facilities and in remotely located facilities.
  • Over 48,800 detention facility-related grievances were reported by detainees and community members. The number of grievances was significantly higher in privately operated facilities and in remotely located facilities.
  • Nearly half of detainees (48 percent) were confined at least once in a facility that was located more than 60 miles away from the nearest immigration attorney providing low- or no-cost removal defense services. 
  • The majority (60 percent) of adults who were detained were transferred at least once during their detention, leading to confinement in multiple locations.

“The use of immigration detention in the United States has increased significantly in recent decades, while allegations of civil and human rights violations in detention facilities have persisted,” said Emily Ryo, associate professor at USC Gould School of Law. “The empirical research presented in this report highlights key aspects of immigration detention—issues that could be exacerbated if the government expands detention use further.”

“This study suggests that facilities with private operators and in remote locations require special scrutiny, given that placement in these types of facilities is associated with longer detention length and a higher volume of grievances,” said Guillermo Cantor, research director at the American Immigration Council.  “Comprehensive investigations and independent monitoring focused on these types of facilities are urgently needed to address the ongoing humanitarian issues and legal concerns raised by immigration detention.”

“This report raises important questions about the current immigration detention system and provides information policymakers need to assess the serious implications of expanding detention further,” said Kathryn Shepherd, national advocacy counsel at the American Immigration Council. “As Congress weighs the administration’s repeated requests for a massive immigration enforcement budget, these findings should be central to policy discussions about detention funding, oversight, and reform.” 


December 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Podcast on Birthright Citizenship

Con law

The podcast "What Trump Can Teach About Con Law" with my colleague Elizabeth Joh offers a primer on birthright citizenship in light of the President's recent threat to end it through executive order.


December 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Teaching Interviewing Skills in Immigration Context - Great New Resource by Laila Hlass & Lindsay Harris


(Laila Hlass)



(Lindsay Harris)

Looking for a way to freshen up how you teach interviewing skills in an immigration clinic (or any clinic involving actual clients), externship or a simulation course?  Interested in integrating lawyering skills into teaching asylum and other humanitarian relief in a doctrinal immigration law course?  Or training students for a short-term volunteer opportunity?

Laila Hlass(Tulane) and Lindsay Harris (UDC) have developed a video tool for teaching interviewing skills to law students.  Featured earlier this fall on the Clinical Law Prof Blog, the videos take place in the immigration context and raise a number of common interviewing challenges, including language access issues.  The authors have recorded a great introductory video explaining the project, which is comprised of two interview videos that feature clinical law students conducting client interviews.   The first video involves an initial interview of a teenager seeking asylum in removal proceedings, while the second video involves a monolingual Spanish speaker seeking a U visa. 

Bonus:  a teacher's guide is available for us with the videos, available upon request from Professors Hlass or Harris.   


December 6, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Miami Law Explainer Podcast: Children of the Caravan


Bernard P. Perlmutter of Miami Law discusses legal issues surrounding the Central American “caravan.”


December 6, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Google's ESTA Problem


I teach students about the Visa Waiver Program. I don't, however, go into the fact that individuals hoping to travel to the US on the VWP must complete an Electronic System for Travel Authorization application or ESTA. I may change that going forward, and here's why.

The official ESTA application process costs $14. But according to this report from the BBC, Google ads for ESTA services have led would-be travelers to pay $80 for the same service.

Because of the BBC's investigation, Google is trying to prevent price-inflated ESTA services from popping up as ads in response to the "most common search terms," but the sites "will still appear in the search results."

Interestingly, the same problem exists with programs in Australia and Canada, and Google is working to resolve similar inflated-price advertisements.

I can see this leading to interesting class discussion.


December 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)