Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Fellowship at Michigan State University College of Law Immigration Law Clinic


Michigan State University College of Law invites applications for a two-year fellowship in its Immigration Law Clinic.  Click here for details.


July 19, 2022 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Taming Immigration Trauma by Raquel E. Aldana


Taming Immigration Trauma by Raquel E. Aldana, Cardozo Law Review (Winter 2022).


This article documents the United States’ century-long efforts to humanize our borders. In the end, law has been insufficient to tame immigration law’s enforcement. How the United States enforces borders, however, can and should be more humane. Two important principles should guide this process. First, the United States should recognize that borders’ impacts are as severe as other forms of punishment especially when the means to enforce the immigration power have become indistinguishable from criminal enforcement. Second, human trauma should guide immigration policy toward meaningful inclusion. After significant reckoning over the travesty of shutting our borders, the United States has embraced certain experiences of trauma as grounds for welcoming immigrants or has shown mercy to permit immigrants to stay when family and communal bonds in the United States are strong. Yet, the discretionary nature of these central efforts to humanize borders has not translated to sustaining gains. Borders are still open and shut at the whims of xenophobia and nationalistic tendencies to blame the “other” during difficult socio-political and economic crisis. Moreover, the lack of basic due process protections in immigration law and punitive enforcement practices function as significant barriers that undermine substantially the very efforts to expand immigration’s inclusion.


July 19, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York Post: "Illegal immigration blamed in Uvalde, Texas school shooting: report"


The school massacre at a school in Uvalde, Texas, a town near the U.S./Mexico border, has been in the news for weeks.  Border Patrol officers were called to assist in the law enforcement response to the shooter at the school.

CNN reported that a preliminary report by the Texas House of Representatives investigative committee probing the Uvalde, school massacre outlines failures by law enforcement agencies.  Here is the report.

MaryAnn Martinez for the New York Post reports on an immigration angle on the tragedy:

"State lawmakers who investigated the horrific mass shooting noted in their findings a major problem plaguing Texas border towns as law enforcement increasingly spot vehicles suspected of human smuggling — and said the situation contributed to `relaxed vigilance' at the school during the May attack.

The report explained that when authorities try to pull a suspicious vehicle over, the driver often refuses to stop and speeds away, a dangerous occurrence that frequently ends in a crash and the operator and his passengers abandoning, or `bailing out,' of the car.

Such `bailouts' in Uvalde routinely trigger security alerts for local schools including Robb Elementary. But since the alerts usually don’t amount to danger for the school, they end up being treated a little like the boy who cried wolf, the pols’ report said.

One of the factors `contributing to relaxed vigilance [at Robb Elementary] was the frequency of security alerts and campus lockdowns resulting from a recent rise of ‘bailouts,’ the report said."


July 19, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 18, 2022

The Michael Olivas Writing Institute...This Thursday and Friday July 21-22)


For details, click here.


July 18, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Abuse and Exploitation of Braceros

An interesting recent update to the abuse of Mexican braceros from the LA Times:

Crouching for up to 10 hours between the furrows of a Nebraska field, Fausto Ríos, 17, could trim and separate 70 beets in a single minute with a small hoe. But he paid a steep price.

Under the scorching heat, sweat would bathe his entire body and blind him within minutes. When his legs began to weaken and the pain in his lower back felt as if he were being continuously stabbed, the Mexican immigrant had two tricks to motivate himself and avoid a scolding from his bosses: He had to stay upright as he “walked” on his knees, all the while thinking about getting paid at the end of the month.

Despite the extreme hardships, the job was a godsend for him and millions of other young Mexican men, Ríos says. For immigrant laborers with little or no formal education and a lack of employment opportunities in their native land, laboring in the fields of el norte offered a way out of utter deprivation.

“Being tied to the ground for hours is not easy, but then I was a young man with many dreams,” Ríos murmurs as he stares out the living-room window of his home in Colton, an hour east of downtown Los Angeles. “But some dreams turn into nightmares that must become part of history so that we don’t repeat them. Read more...


July 18, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senate Nears Deal on Guestworker Expansion

From NPR:

Senate Republicans and Democrats are inching closer to a deal on an immigration bill that farmers say if passed could help reduce food prices in part by helping them hire more workers.

This measure, known as the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, is focused mainly on updating the food production workforce, a system some call outdated and that has led to higher food prices especially for dairy, meat and vegetables.

It would do this by allowing more farmers — like dairy and pork producers — to hire temporary workers year-round. Currently, year-round employers cannot use that worker visa program, known as the H-2A temporary agricultural program used by seasonal employers. It would also satisfy some goals for labor rights advocates by providing a pathway to legalization for workers who show a dedicated history of farm work.

But Senate negotiators writing the bill are stuck on a little-known provision centered on those H-2A workers: whether they should be allowed to sue their employers if they believe labor laws have been broken. Read more....


July 18, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A former bracero farmworker breaks his silence, recalling abuse and exploitation


As Congress considers expanding a guest worker program for farm and dairy workers, it is worth considering the nation's experiences with past "guest worker" programs, such as the Bracero Program. Selene Rivera for the Los Angeles Times helps bring to light Fausto Ríos:

"For decades, the 82-year-old has kept his experiences as a migrant farmworker in the bracero program a secret from all but close family members. The father of four felt ashamed to tell his children — Fausto, Hector Hugo, Dora Luz and Jesús Manuel — about the indignities and abuses by unscrupulous bosses that he endured without ever filing a complaint. His children knew only that their father had been a farmworker.

Now a widower, with a damaged back, arthritic knees and a treadmill as his constant companion, he wants to play whatever role he can in exposing, and ending, the long history of racism, wage theft and mistreatment that many farmworkers experienced between the early 1940s and the mid-'60s." (bold added).

Read the story linked above for details.


July 18, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senate nearing an immigration deal on immigration that could also lower food prices?

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would allow dairy and pork producers to hire temporary workers year-round. Currently, year-round employers cannot use the H-2A temporary agricultural program used by seasonal employers. It would also provide a pathway to legalization for workers with a history of farm work.

The story reports that Senate negotiators are stuck on a provision allowing H-2A workers to sue their employers if they believe labor laws have been broken.  That provision's biggest foe is the American Farm Bureau Federation. 

According to another report, "[s]ome U.S. House Republicans, along with agriculture groups, have urged the Senate to pass the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would reform the agricultural guest worker visa program.

The House passed the bill (H.R. 1603) in early 2021 and the Senate has been working on its version."

Earlier this year, Congress member Dan Newhouse (R-WA) expressed the support for passage of the bill and "hosted a press conference with community leaders and advocacy organizations including the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry’s (NCCHM) Raíces y Alas Congress, Americans for Prosperity, AmericanHort, National Immigration Forum, Raíces, The LIBRE Initiative, and several other members of the Alliance for a New Immigration Consensus to urge action on his legislation, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This legislation is a strong workforce solution which will provide certainty to both farm owners and workers through an accessible, employment-based program, and is a key component to his efforts to address border security, Dreamers, and the agricultural workforce."


Stay tuned!


July 18, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Your Playlist: Jesse & Joy

Looking for a new song to add to your immigration playlist? This song isn't new, new (it's from 2017)... but it just might be new to you. Check out Jesse & Joy's Un Besito Más, which translates to One More Kiss.

It's something of a heart-breaker, focusing on U.S. citizen children who have lost a parent or parents to deportation.

Sé que no querías marcharte (I know you didn't want to leave)
Sé que te querias quedar(I know you wanted to stay )


July 17, 2022 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senate candidate, illegal immigration foe, doesn't use E-Verify for his companies' hires


For months, Republicans have made immigration an issue in the fast-approaching midterm electionsKevin Landrigan for the New Hampshire Union Leader reports on how a growing immigration controversy in New Hampshire, far from the U.S./Mexico border:

"Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chuck Morse is adamant about ending illegal immigration and calls for "closing the border right away," but his landscaping firms have never joined the federal program required in nearly half the states to track whether their employees are in the country legally. . . . . A Union Leader investigation determined that none of the five companies Morse created to build his Freshwater Farms garden and landscaping centers use E-Verify, the 26-year-old free and voluntary federal program widely viewed as the best way private employers can detect undocumented workers."

Morse's spells out a standard GOP tough on immigration stance on his campaign website:

'This past year, we saw the greatest number of illegal border crossings in more than 20 years. Border Patrol agents have estimated that at least two million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border since Joe Biden took office. That is greater than the entire population of New Hampshire. In fact, the amount of people illegally entering our country each and every month is roughly equal to the population of Nashua or Manchester!

When Joe Biden was elected, he promised his liberal base that we would have wide open national borders and, unfortunately, he kept that promise."

It is one thing to stake out support for tough immigration enforcement.  It is another for an employer not to utilize tools at his or her disposal to ensure compliance with the immigration laws.


July 17, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Sothern Poverty Law Center: "Cadre of Nativist Groups, Figures Have Long Pushed Replacement-by-Immigration Ideas into Mainstream"


As has been posted on this blog, the Great Replacement Theory, the theory that whites are being replaced by people of color, has ben gett8ing sustained media attention in the wake of the horrible mass murders of African Americans in Buffalo, by a gunman who adhered to the theory.  Politifact recounted that "[a]n online screed linked to the 18-year-old man arrested for killing 10 people in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket repeatedly referenced the racist and anti-semitic "great replacement theory." 

But the great replacement theory is not only promoted by fringe groups.  Caleb Kieffer in a report for for the Southern Poverty Law Center observes that 

"[f]or decades, a network of . . . nativist groups and their political allies have advanced ideas resembling a `great replacement' purred on by immigration, as seen in materials associated with the suspect alleged to be responsible for the mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket on May 14.

The Buffalo suspect cited immigration as a key driver of alleged white displacement in the U.S. in a document circulated online before he allegedly killed 10 people in an act of white supremacist violence. A network of anti-immigrant groups and their political allies have worked to keep this once-fringe `great replacement' conspiracy theory alive by pushing a version of it focused on immigration."

Democracy Now! also reports that the so-called Great Replacement conspiracy theory has been promoted by major far-right media figures including Tucker Carlson of Fox News. “What it does is create a dynamic where believers view immigrants and nonwhite people as an existential threat not only to themselves physically but to their position in society,” says Nikki McCann Ramírez, associate research director at Media Matters for America, who has researched how Carlson uses his show to launder white nationalist ideology. 



July 16, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Franco I Loved: Reconciling the Two Halves of the Nation’s Only Government-Funded Public Defender Program for Immigrants by Amelia Wilson

Amelia wilson

Franco I Loved: Reconciling the Two Halves of the Nation’s Only Government-Funded Public Defender Program for Immigrants by Amelia Wilson, Columbia Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic, 97 Wash. L. Rev. Online 21 (2022) (forthcoming).


Detained noncitizens experiencing serious intellectual and mental health disabilities are among the most vulnerable immigrant populations in the United States. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)’s creation of the National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP) following a class action lawsuit was an important step in finally bringing meaningful protections to this population. EOIR pledged to ensure government paid counsel for those facing removal who had been adjudicated “incompetent” by an immigration judge, as well as other protections for those who had been identified as having a “serious mental disorder” but who had not yet been found incompetent. The NQRP is the first of its kind, and the only appointed counsel apparatus in the immigration court system.

The year 2023 will mark the NQRP’s tenth anniversary. While the program has expanded significantly over the past decade and seen an increase in federal funding, it continues to be plagued by serious limitations, gaps, and due process defects. I should know. I ran the program from 2016 – 2018.

Some of the NQRP’s failings are embedded in the program’s architecture and have therefore existed since its inception; other inequities flow from the evolution of the NQRP over time, and in particular, the development of its two-tiered system of classification of detained noncitizens within the Ninth circuit, versus those outside of it. The program’s deficiencies impact the due process rights—and safety—of the incompetent respondents the program pledged to safeguard; they also force many legal service providers to make ethically fraught choices as they navigate representation of their clients. And finally, the NQRP’s shortcomings reduce judicial economy and inadvertently create an unequal administration of justice within our immigration courts.

In this article I closely examine data, training material, and federal contract information obtained through two Freedom of Information Act Requests to expose critical distinctions between Franco and the Nationwide Policy. I then explain why the differences matter, and what consequences flow to respondents, their attorneys, and the immigration courts.

Finally, I make several recommendations for how to resolve the NQRP’s inequities and weaknesses. The first set of recommendations can be implemented now as EOIR enters into a new federal contractor relationship for management of the NQRP’s nationwide operations. The second set can be instituted at any time, as they are internal EOIR policy decisions that do not require Congressional approval.


July 16, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 15, 2022

Texas Governor should be held accountable for violence against migrants, advocates say


Concerns are growing that Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) latest directive empowering state officers and the National Guard to return unauthorized migrants to border ports of entry could lead to violence, Julian Resendiz reports for Border Report.

"What he is doing is very dangerous," said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas). "I am very concerned that communities like mine will see more acts of violence against immigrants, against Latinos, against residents of the border."  Despite Governor Abbott’s political theatrics, the issue isn’t new. "... People shouldn’t be surprised we have more unauthorized migration if we shut down legal immigration paths," Escobar said.

For more on these concerns, see Cindy Ramirez report in El Paso Matters. 


July 15, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call For Papers--AALS 2023, New Voices in Immigration Law

“New Voices in Immigration Law”
Association of American Law Schools · Section on Immigration Law
Wednesday, January 4 – Saturday, January 7, 2023 (session timing TBD) · San Diego, CA

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2022

The Section on Immigration Law of the Association of American Law Schools invites papers and works in progress for its “New Voices in Immigration Law” session at the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting which will take place in San Diego, CA January 4-7, 2023. This session has not yet been scheduled. We will send updated information when we have it.

This session will be structured as a works-in-progress discussion, rather than as a panel. Selected papers will be discussed in turn, with time for author comments, thoughts from a lead reader, and group discussion.

Submissions may address any aspect of immigration and citizenship law. We also welcome papers that explore these topics from alternative disciplines or perspectives.

Please note that individuals presenting at the program are responsible for their own annual meeting registration fee.

Submission Guidelines: The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2022. Feel free to submit an abstract, a précis, or a work-in-progress. Priority will be given to individuals who have never presented an immigration law paper at the AALS Annual Meeting, works not yet published or submitted for publication, and junior scholars.

Please email submissions in Microsoft Word format to profkitjohnson at gmail.com (Subject: AALS 2023: New Voices in Immigration Law). In your email, please indicate how you meet our selection priorities.

Inquiries: Please direct any questions or inquiries to Kit Johnson (profkitjohnson at gmail.com).


July 15, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call For Papers--AALS 2023, Racism in Immigration Regulation

“Racism in Immigration Regulation”
Association of American Law Schools · Section on Immigration Law
January 4, 2023 – January 7, 2023 (session yet to be scheduled)
San Diego, California

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2022

The Section on Immigration Law of the Association of American Law Schools invites papers for presentation at a session during the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, which will take place January 4-7, 2023. The session day and time will be added to this post when available. Please note that individuals presenting at the program are responsible for their own Annual Meeting registration fee and travel expenses.

The AALS conference theme is “How Law Schools Can Make a Difference,” and the session theme is “Racism in Immigration Regulation.”

Scholars are engaging in long overdue and important conversations about racial justice in the United States. U.S. law and institutions, many have recognized, harbor systemic biases that result in profound racial inequalities. U.S. immigration law and policy are no exception. From the era of Chinese Exclusion to modern distinctions in the treatment of Central American, African, Haitian, and Ukrainian asylum seekers, race has proved to be an important factor in migrants’ access to and experience immigrating to the United States. This historical trajectory raises questions that can inform broader conversations about systemic racism: How should we approach a legal regime with explicitly racist foundations? How does the expressly exclusionary function of immigration regulation affect its application to different groups? What role does the discretion inherent in enforcement of immigration law play in its effect?

Submission Guidelines: The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2022. We welcome submissions at any stage of development, although preference may be given to more fully developed papers over abstracts and paper proposals. Priority also will be given to individuals who have not recently presented a paper at the AALS Annual Meeting. Decisions will be made by mid-September 2022.

Please email submissions in Microsoft Word format to nunezc@law.byu.edu with the subject “AALS Submission- Racism in Immigration Regulation.” In your email, please indicate whether you have previously presented your work at a AALS Annual Meeting, and, if so, when.

Inquiries: Please direct any questions or inquiries to Carolina Núñez (nunezc@law.byu.edu).

July 15, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Nobody is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States

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In Nobody is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States, geographer Reece Jones argues that the U.S. Border Patrol a national police force that operates without appropriate accountability.  ImmigrationProf blogger Austin Kocher moderated a recent virtual discussion of Jones' book.

"In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Jones and the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles discuss the creation of the U.S. Border Patrol in 1924 in the wake of racist immigration laws. Jones shares how a “Wild West” mentality thrived within the service in its early years; how language restricting the Border Patrol’s actions to within a “reasonable” distance resulted in a 100-mile border zone; and how two California public defenders in the 1970s brought four critical cases before the U.S. Supreme Court that dealt a heavy blow to Fourth Amendment rights in the border zone."


July 15, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

REFUGEES SHAPE AMERICA: How those who have fled turmoil in their homelands have contributed to the United States


Megan Duzor for Voice of America features refugees who shaped America.  They include many famous names:

Madeleine ALBRIGHT

Kwity PAYE

Besides providing background on these notable refugees, the story provides background developments leading to various waves of refugees to the United States.


July 15, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2022

News or Sensationalism? Fox News -- "Ohio 10-year-old's alleged rapist is Guatemalan illegal immigrant: ICE source"

Earlier this year, I blogged about the problematic identification of immigration status in crime news stories:

"Because there are many times when a source’s race is irrelevant to the news item, the AP Stylebook careful approach to racial identification thus makes sense.  A criminal suspect’s immigration status should not be included in a crime news story unless it has something to do with the alleged crime.  Otherwise, such a reference is not news but simply exacerbates anti-immigrant and racist passions." 

This Fox News headline is a textbook example of what I was talking about: 

"Ohio 10-year-old's alleged rapist is Guatemalan illegal immigrant: ICE source." 

The crime, of course, is deeply disturbing and tragic.  However, mentioning the suspect's immigration status and national origin in the headline "simply exacerbates anti-immigrant and racist passions."

Moreover, the headline deflects attention from the serious issues about the 10-year old's access to an abortion after the Supreme Court's recent Dobbs decision: 

"The story of the alleged rape was initially published in the Indianapolis Star in the context of the victim reportedly having to cross state lines to Indiana to get an abortion due to the state’s laws. It was cited by proponents of abortion access, who highlighted it as an example of the consequences of access being limited."




July 14, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration opponents are far more passionate than supporters?

Commentary by Professor Alexander Kustov in the Washington Post resonated with me.  He notes that "[s]ome polls have recently reported that Americans have grown friendlier to immigration over the past decades. . . . But U.S. immigration attitudes may not have warmed as much as those numbers suggest. My new research shows that predominantly Democratic voters who support immigration simply do not see the issue as important as do the predominantly Republican voters who oppose it. As a result, opponents remain more politically influential than supporters." (bold added).
I am not precisely sure what to do with this information. but Kustov's analysis helps me explain that the passion of the anti-immigrant Trump base as exemplified by the popular "build that wall" chant at Trump rallies.


July 14, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Puerto Rico NOW!

Thursday, July 28 at 4:00 PM ET
A vibrant island chain in the Caribbean, a multivocal diaspora on the mainland, a US territory – Puerto Rico holds an extraordinary place in the world, encompassing a variety of stories, experiences, and challenges.Join Dr. Elizabeth Alexander (President, Mellon Foundation), Alana Casanova-Burgess (Host and Producer of the WNYC and Futuro Media podcast, La Brega: Stories of the Puerto Rican Experience), Dr. Yarimar Bonilla (Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City), and Daniel Lind-Ramos (Sculptor and Painter) for a discussion about Puerto Rico Now—its powerful multiplicity, its many lessons, and much more.
Register here. More information and future events can be found at mellon.org/events.

July 13, 2022 in Books, Film & Television, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)