Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Job Announcement: Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic Director


It's time to update your resume! The Houston Law Center is looking for a new immigration clinic director.

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) invites applications for a promotion-eligible, non-tenure track clinical assistant/associate professor position and Director of the Immigration Clinic for the academic year 2023-2024. The contract is for nine months, 9/1/2023 to 5/31/2024, the "FY 24 Contract," beginning when classes start in late August 2023 and continuing through the middle of May 2024.

The Immigration Clinic handles all types of family‐based and humanitarian cases, with emphasis on asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture cases, in addition to other violence‐related claims, such as Violence Against Women’s Act, Special Immigrant Juvenile cases, humanitarian parole, and crime victims (U visas). The clinic also handles T visas, and has helped in a variety of Crimmigration cases where the respondents were detained in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention and needed a habeas petition in federal district court.

The Immigration Clinic has a classroom component that meets for two hours a week for 14 weeks over the course of the semester. The classroom component focuses on teaching advocacy skills and substantive immigration law to equip students to represent immigrants before the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review and other federal agencies.

The position will cover the classroom component of the clinical instruction and the case supervision component. The position will also supervise at least two staff attorneys and manage grants that fund the clinic’s work.

More details are at this link. Good luck future Cougars!


August 24, 2022 in Jobs and Fellowships | Permalink | Comments (0)

New on Netflix: Mo


Comedian Mo Amer’s new show, Mo, co-created with Ramy Youssef, is a semi-autobiographical look into the experience of people who resettle here after being forcibly displaced, per Leila Fadel and Phil Harrell of NPR. Set in the suburb of Houston where Amer grew up, the show follows the life of an asylum seeker "in immigration limbo" and reveals "the comedy and tragedy in his family’s tale." Said Amer, "Millions of people are going to relate to this and it can empower them to better their lives. And also people who didn’t go through it can relate to it and have empathy for it." 



August 24, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crossing the Border: How Disability Civil Rights Protections Can Include Disabled Asylum-Seekers

Today, the Center for American Progress published a new report examining how existing disability civil rights protections can ensure that disabled asylum-seekers have access to the protection and services they need throughout the immigration process. The authors detail how the government can apply protections, using the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, for disabled asylum-seekers and eliminate the barriers disabled children and adults face when they apply for asylum.

The report provides an overview of the difficulties adults and children with disabilities face in accessing asylum, the legal issues at the intersection of immigration and disability, and the treatment of unaccompanied children with disabilities. The ADA and other legal tools can be used to reform current immigration detention practices to address the unique challenges disabled people face when seeking asylum.

“The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, federal policymakers, and immigration lawyers should take note of the evidence of discrimination and the unique challenges disabled asylum-seekers face as their protection claims are considered,” said Mia Ives-Rublee, director for the Disability Justice Initiative at CAP. “The ADA could contribute to the potential for building an immigration system that affords disabled asylum-seekers both dignity and due process as they seek humanitarian protection.”

Read the report: “Crossing the Border: How Disability Civil Rights Protections Can Include Disabled Asylum-Seekers” by Trinh Q. Truong, Emily DiMatteo, and Mia Ives-Rublee.


August 24, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Detention Abolition and the Violence of Digital Cages by Sarah Sherman-Stokes

Sarah-Sherman-Stokes-H-1The Immigration Article of the Day is Detention Abolition and the Violence of Digital Cages by Sarah Sherman-Stokes, available now on SSRN here.

Here is the abstract:

The United States has a long history of devastating immigration enforcement and surveillance. Today, in addition to more than 34,000 people held in immigration detention, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) surveils an astounding 296,000 people under its “Alternatives to Detention” program. The number of people subjected to this surveillance has grown dramatically in the last two decades, from just 1,339 in 2005. ICE’s rapidly expanding Alternatives to Detention program is marked by “digital cages,” consisting of GPS-outfitted ankle shackles and invasive phone and location tracking. Government officials and some immigrant advocates have categorized these digital cages as a humane “reform”; ostensibly an effort to decrease the number of people behind bars. This article challenges that framework, illuminating how digital cages disperse the violence of immigration enforcement and surveillance more broadly, and more insidiously, ensnaring hundreds of thousands more immigrants, families and communities.

This article argues that the increasing digitization of immigration enforcement and surveillance is part of a growing, and expansive, geography of violence. Building upon deportation abolition literature situating immigration detention as a form of violence, this article posits that rather than mitigate violence, digital cages create a “violence of invisibility” that is equally, if not more, dangerous. Digital cages, masquerading as a more palatable version of enforcement and surveillance, create devastating harms that are hidden in plain sight, while duping us into thinking them more humane. This article concludes by arguing that digital cages are a “reformist reform” that merely make more efficient the kind of oppressive and racialized violence that has long informed the United States’ immigration enforcement regime. If we truly seek an end to this violence, this article argues for abolition - not just of detention, but of the digital cages next in line to replace detention.


August 24, 2022 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Florida Governor as the Top Gun? Or Maverick?



Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Florida Governor Ron Desantis has embraced a Trumpian approach to immigration.  He also apparently shares the former President's sense of showmanship.

Governor Desantis 

"is cast as a maverick in a new campaign ad. Or more accurately, he’s cast as THE Maverick, Tom Cruise’s character from this summer’s blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick.

In the `Top Gov' spot released late Monday, DeSantis arrives in a bomber jacket and — mirroring scenes from the film — gives a whiteboard lecture, though his is about `taking on the corporate media,' not about pulling 10 Gs during a bombing run. He then zips up his flight suit and walks out onto the tarmac. It ends with DeSantis, helmet on, in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

Check out the video.  Not all viewers liked the ad. The title to Gillian Brockell's story for the Washington Post ("DeSantis fighter jet ad conjures 1988 Dukakis tank debacle") says it all.  For the reactions of a Navy pilot, click here.


Even though I did not care much for the DeSantis ad, I admit to enjoying the Top Gun pair of movies and was in a theater watching Top Gun: Maverick the first Saturday after its release.




August 24, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: An Immigration Solution For Improving Rural Healthcare by Kit Johnson,


An Immigration Solution For Improving Rural Healthcare by Kit Johnson, 124 West Virginia Law Review, 741 (2022)


If you are one of the more than 249 million people who live in urban areas of the United States, more than 80% of the U.S. population, you’ve likely never thought much about your physical proximity to a doctor. Primary care physicians and medical specialists abound in urban America. But if you are among the more than 59 million people who live in rural areas of the country, you may well know the struggle of finding primary care, a specialist, or a dentist. That is because there is a worrying shortage of medical professionals in rural America.

There is a dearth of legal scholarship on the role immigration does and could play in ameliorating the problem of lack of access to medical care in rural areas. Legal academics have apparently not previously engaged with the issue of noncitizen medical professionals—whether in rural areas or more broadly— though practicing immigration attorneys and entities representing interested groups have done so. All things considered, it is a surprising gap in the literature given how desperately the United States needs to bolster its ranks of healthcare workers and how many politicians have looked to migration to solve the deficit.

Importantly, noncitizen medical professionals offer particular promise as a solution to the lack of access to care in rural areas. Healthcare providers who are immigrants, by their very nature as new arrivals to the country, tend to lack established ties to other areas within the United States, making them more likely to stay indefinitely in rural communities—even after an agreed-upon term of service has expired.

This Article begins by describing the shortage of direct healthcare workers in rural areas of the United States. Next, it examines the most promising solution for increasing the number of rural healthcare providers: immigration. It considers a range of immigration laws—enacted, improvable, and imagined— designed to bring noncitizen healthcare workers to rural America. Finally, this Article evaluates and suggests ways of overcoming barriers to healthcare’s immigration solution, such as delayed processing of immigration petitions and intermittent halting of immigration, which can, if not addressed, prompt potential noncitizen healthcare workers to pursue opportunities in other countries.


August 24, 2022 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Bridging the Legal-Scientific Divide in the Treatment of Trauma in Immigration--An In-Person/Virtual Conference

Bridging the Divide Conference Program 9-23-22_kml_bl

A fascinating conference coming up next month -- Bridging the Legal-Scientific Divide in the Treatment of Trauma in Immigration. This looks like a continuation of the work discussed in April 2021 at U.C. Davis (for those who might find it ringing bells). The conference program is here. Note that folks can attend in person (should you be hanging about Ithaca in September) or online. Online folks can sign up for access with this link.


August 23, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: A Study of Pandemic and Stigma Effects in Removal Proceedings by Ian Peacock and Emily Ryo

Peacock PeacockThe Immigration Article of the Day is A Study of Pandemic and Stigma Effects in Removal Proceedings by Ian Peacock and Emily Ryo, now published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and available here.

Here is the abstract:

This study examines how a rapid change in social perceptions of a national-origin group triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic influenced immigration judges' decision-making in US removal proceedings. Using originally compiled court data on removal proceedings decided between 2019 and 2020, we applied a difference-in-differences framework to produce three key findings. First, consistent with theory of event stigma, Chinese respondents experienced a significantly higher removal rate during the early pandemic period. Second, consistent with theory of associative stigma, East and Southeast (E/SE) Asian respondents also experienced a significantly higher removal rate during the early pandemic period. Third, the removal rate declined for both Chinese and E/SE respondents during the later pandemic period, but this decline was more gradual and lagged for E/SE Asian than for Chinese respondents. Finally, increases in the number of cases involving Chinese respondents increased the removal rate for E/SE Asian respondents during the early months of the pandemic. The last two findings suggest that associative or indirect stigmatization may be harder to combat than direct stigmatization owing to the implicit nature of bias underlying associative stigma. This study highlights the socially constructed nature of national origin groups, and the importance of both direct and indirect stigmatization in the production of social inequality.


August 23, 2022 in Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wage theft amidst surge in H-2B guest worker program

Restaurants, hotels, construction firms and other U.S. industries have stolen about $1.8 billion from workers employed in the H-2B nonimmigrant visa program over the last 20 years as it sees record growth, according to a report by Daniel Costa for the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute.

Here are the highlights:

What this report finds: The H-2B program—which allows U.S. employers to hire migrant workers for temporary and seasonal jobs—is growing and will reach its largest size ever in 2022. At the same time, mass violations of wage and hour laws are being committed in the industries that employ H-2B workers. Department of Labor data show that nearly $1.8 billion was stolen from workers employed in the main H-2B industries (which includes both U.S. and migrant workers) between 2000 and 2021.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has been increasing the size of the H-2B program while H-2B workers are in a vulnerable situation. Their precarious immigration status makes it difficult for them to complain when their employers break the law. This report is timely because the Biden administration is currently considering new changes to the H-2B program.

What can be done about it: The Biden administration can issue new regulations that protect H-2B workers and that screen out and prohibit employers from hiring through H-2B if they have a track record of violating wage and hour and labor laws. The administration can also issue new rules to protect workers from employer retaliation and can issue better wage rules.

To understand the context of wage theft, see Rebecca Galemba's TEDxMileHigh Talk on wage theft and her book, Laboring for Justice (Stanford Press 2022, forthcoming in paperback 2023).



August 23, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review of Immigrant California: Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Policy by David Scott FitzGerald & John D. Skrentny

Here is my intro:
"To understand California’s immigration transformation, Immigrant California: Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Policy, edited by David Scott FitzGerald and John D. Skrentny, provides a timely primer on immigrant integration policy, offering a variety of historical, economic, social, cultural, and political perspectives. The book provides valuable lessons for immigrant integration policy for the nation and in effect serves as a capsule summary of the myriad immigration issues facing states from coast to coast.

This review first summarizes the chapters. It then proceeds to identify some questions about immigrant integration raised by Immigrant California."


August 23, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Deep in the Heart of Texas: Judge in Texas border crackdown accused of using racist slur



Official Governor's Photo

It has been said that Texas Governor Greg Abott is "running his own immigration policy." Among his measures has been to bus migrants from Texas to New York City and Washington, D.C.  issuing an executive order allowing the National Guard to return migrants to the border, and more.  

Jolie McCullough for the Texas Tribune (and here for the Daily Beast story) reports that a judge in Governor Abbott's border enforcement operation to arrest and jail migrants on trespassing charges has been accused of using a racist slur against Latino defendants. A defense attorney told the State Commission on Judicial Conduct last week that Judge Allen Amos told her the trespassing defendants weren’t “your regular wetbacks,” according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Texas Tribune.  “They have phones and clothes and all kinds of other things,” Amos reportedly said in July to defense attorney Emily Miller.  Miller is asking the commission to consider whether Amos’ alleged comment violates the Texas Judicial Code of Conduct. Judge Amos would not comment on the complaint but would “have to wait for the judicial ethics people.” 


August 23, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 22, 2022

Migrants Stranded Between Greece & Turkey

PanchoS, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I hear Greece, I think islands. My guess is you do too.

So when I read that 38 Syrian migrants had been stranded on a island between Greece and Turkey, I couldn't make that square with my mental map of Greece. And so, I give you, an actual map. (Look right.)

There is, it turns out, a river that separates the North East corner of Greece from North West corner of Turkey: the Evros river.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wrote about the dangers of crossing the Evros river in 2017. Apparently, drownings (summer) and hypothermia (winter) are common.

As for the migrants now in the news -- they report being on the island for about a month. (Some news outlets say it was only days.) There is no dispute that one child, a girl, died there. All of the migrants have now been relocated to mainland Greece.


August 22, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

An L.A. mob once massacred 18 Chinese people. Now, a push to never forget the racist assault


Gregory Yee for the Los Angeles Times reports that a L.A. mob once massacred 18 Chinese people in downtown Los Angeles,  The killings took place near the old federal courthouse on Spring Street.  Now, there is a push to never forget the racist assault. More than 150 years later, city officials have put out a public call for ideas to memorialize this history.

I had not known of this history until I read a great book about it, The Chinatown War by Scott Zesch).  Click here.


August 22, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Guardian: "The other Death Valley: hundreds of migrants are dying in remote Texas deserts"


Migrant deaths along the U.S./Mexico border are often in the news, with immigration enforcement contributing to deaths of migrants who journey through the desert or take the risk of being smuggled in dangerous circumstances, which recently resulted in mass death near San Antonio.  

In The Guardian (United Kingdom), "The other Death Valley: hundreds of migrants are dying in remote Texas deserts" looks at migrant deaths in Texas, which has a Governor fervently dedicated to immigration enforcement and demonizing immigrantsWith little sympathy for the dead, Governor Greg Abbott instead sought to make political hay out of the migrant deaths in San Antonio and blamed the Biden administration for the deaths.


“Most of the bodies I encounter are already skeletonised,” said a person from the South Texas Human Rights Center, a non-profit based in Brooks  County, Texas, working to put an end to the deaths and reunite families with the remains of loved ones.

The Missing Migrants Project, an initiative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported "deaths of people trying to cross the US border from Mexico in 2021 – more than double the figure in 2015, making it the deadliest land crossing in the world."

Of the four US states along the border, Texas has the longest stretch and the highest number of migrant deaths, according to a report by the University of Texas’s Strauss Center. 


August 21, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Immigrant of the Day: Judge Guido Calabresi (Italy)

Our Immigrant of the Day is Senior U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi, who previously was dean and professor of law at Yale Law School.   Calkbresi and his family fled fascism in Italy in 1939 and came to the United States.

Judge Calabresi is a two-time Immigrant of the Day.

In this conversation, Judge Calabresi shares stories of his family’s flight from Fascist Italy and the ways his childhood shaped his personal and professional life in the United States.


August 20, 2022 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 19, 2022

Inadmissible: An Immigration Podcast


Here is a podcast that may interest Immigration blog readers, as well as law students.  It is titled Inadmissible  Here is how the podcast describes itself:

"Immigration. It’s in the news, it’s in the headlines, it’s a political flashpoint. It generates a lot of sound and fury, a lot of strong ideas and raised voices. And for most of us, it can be hard to sort through all that noise and understand – what is actually going on? What’s legal for people to do, and what’s not? How do U.S. immigration rules affect people’s lives? What is it like to deal with the barriers – both seen and unseen – to people who want to stay in the U.S.? On this podcast, we explore the world of U.S. immigration – from issues that come up in the news like the border, and separation of families, to things you may have heard less about, like the strange and secret world of the immigration courts – to uncover how all of it works, Along the way we talk with lots of people with stories to tell about how immigration has impacted their lives. Hosts Lindsay Goldford Gray and Jennie Guilfoyle work together at a nonprofit called VECINA, that empowers immigrant justice advocates through mentoring attorneys, educating communities, and mobilizing volunteers."

Here is a list of episodes:

Left Behind: The Aftermath of the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Slamming the Door Shut: How the Government is Turning Away Asylum Seekers

"Good Refugees" and "Bad Refugees" - What's Different?

Why We Have Asylum and Refugee Law and Policy



Some "bonus" episodes:

S01 - WTF (Was That Fact?): Will the Termination of the Migrant Protection Protocol Policy Cause Chaos at the Border?

S01 - WTF (Was that Fact?): Are Biden's Immigration Policies Responsible for the Migrant Deaths in San Antonio?

I listened to a couple of the episodes on my daily walk this morning and found them of great interest.

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

International Organization for Migration Director General's Message on World Humanitarian Day 2022


August 19 is World Humanitarian Day.   It recognizes all aid and health workers who volunteer to help victims of disasters and crises.


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

A majority of Americans see an 'invasion' at the southern border, NPR poll finds


With the midterm elections approaching, Republican politicians, including the governors of Florida and Texas (and here and here), have attacked the Biden administration on immigration.  The attacks are having ing an impact, which does not bode well for Democrats in November.     

An NPR poll shows that more than half of Americans say there's an "invasion" at the southern border and a decline in support for immigrants overall.  Here is the new NPR/Ipsos poll,  The poll also found that large numbers of Americans hold a variety of misconceptions about immigrants — greatly exaggerating their role in smuggling drugs into the country, and how likely they are to use public benefits, for example.

Republicans are more likely to hold negative views of immigrants. But the poll found they're not alone in embracing increasingly extreme rhetoric around immigration.  The poll found that a majority of Americans — including three-quarters of Republicans — say it's either somewhat or completely true that the United States is "experiencing an invasion" at the southern border.


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

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigrants as Injuries by Jennifer Lee Koh


Immigrants as Injuries by Jennifer Lee Koh


Litigation filed by states against the federal government has exploded over the past decade across a range of areas, especially in immigration cases. On July 21, 2022, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Texas, in which various states have challenged the Biden administration’s use of enforcement priorities in immigration. Amongst the questions that the Court will hear in the upcoming term is whether the states have standing to bring the suit—an issue on which guidance from the Court is long overdue, and poised to have widespread consequences throughout the administrative state with outsized influence in the immigration context. This Article interrogates the standing doctrine—what it calls the “immigrant-as-injury standing doctrine”—that will come before the Court.Led by the Fifth Circuit and with origins in Obama era immigration litigation, the immigrant-as-injury standing doctrine has developed rapidly over the first 18 months of the Biden administration. This particular iteration of standing doctrine has enabled Texas and other states to assert standing in lawsuits challenging multiple aspects of federal immigration policy, from enforcement priorities to the reinstatement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to the termination of Title 42 expulsions at the border. It focuses primarily on the financial costs caused by the existence of noncitizens within state boundaries due to the anticipated provision of driver licenses and other services including public school education for children, emergency medical costs, and incarceration and related extensions of the criminal legal system. The immigrant-as-injury doctrine tells a story of state powerlessness by invoking the federal government’s dominant role in immigration as a rationale for broadening the circumstances under which states are deemed to possess quasi-sovereign interests due to the costs imposed by immigrants, which provides alternative bases for standing. The threads of the immigrant-as-injury standing doctrine emerge from a common spool: an assertion that the existence of noncitizens who could be deported or detained constitute costs—and therefore injuries—to the states.The Article makes three observations about the immigrant-as-injury theory of state standing. First, the doctrine imbues contested assumptions about migrant humanity with legal significance, and forecloses meaningful opportunities to challenge the conclusion that the existence of immigrants constitute injuries. In doing so, the doctrine furthers the subordination of immigrants and stunts productive legal discourse about migration in the law. Second, the story of the states as marginalized entities relies on blunt and misstated assumptions about the nature of federal power in the immigration sphere. Third, familiar but growing concerns about political polarization in the courts and society are deeply relevant to the rise of the immigrant-as-injury standing doctrine. While the doctrine casts states as victims of immigrants and the federal government, in reality it has an acutely disempowering—and dehumanizing—effect on those who stand to lose the most in the lawsuits. The Court should reject the immigrant-as-injury standing doctrine by applying anti-solicitude principles to the states’ arguments, thus requiring higher showings of injury, causation, and redressability in the standing analysis.


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

Thursday, August 18, 2022

WaPo Short Video Re: Pregnant Ukrainian Refugee

If you like super short video clips for class, this one is interesting. It's only a minute and a half long!

The video gives a very brief introduction to one Ukrainian woman, seven months pregnant, who fled the country's war. It doesn't explain, among other things: (1) why she traveled to the U.S. via Mexico, (2) why she went through 8 countries before the U.S., (3) where her husband is, (4) how it is that her older daughter is with her, (5) what role the Temple Emanu-El synagogue played in her journey. You could treat this video like a fill-in-the-blank exam after completing your work on refugees and asylees -- asking students to provide likely answers to those questions and more.

(And, hey, some of the questions are answered by this, longer, 8:30 min. video.)


August 18, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)