Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Pastor: The unborn are "morally uncomplicated," immigrants are not

In 2018, Pastor Dave Barnhart of the Saint Junia United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama posted this message to Facebook:

“The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It’s almost as if, by being born, they have died to you. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.

Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.

In the wake of the Supreme Court's overruling of Roe v. Wade, Pastor Barnhart's sentiments are once again recirculating online. Appropriately so.

This framework of being "morally uncomplicated" is hardly foreign to the immprof community. I think, particularly, of the work of immprof Becky Sharpless (U. Miami) looking at how we characterize those convicted noncitizens who have spent significant periods of time incarcerated. That work naturally ties into the work of immprof Mike Wishnie (Yale) who coined the phrase "super undocumented."

I wonder if students might find Pastor Barhnart's characterization thought provoking as well.


June 28, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Clerk Who Recognized Same Sex Marriage for Citizenship Dies

This week marked the passing of Clela Rorex, a clerk from Boulder County, Colorado who in 1975 issued a marriage license to a gay couple decades before the movement took root. The Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, and national media have described her legacy for the LGBT community, which is fitting during Pride Month. Governor Polis said in the NY Times article:

“So many families, including First Gentleman Marlon Reis and I, are grateful for the visionary leadership of Clela Rorex.”

Less attention has been paid to Rorex's role in extending a key benefit of marriage: citizenship acquisition for spouses. Those who teach immigration law today may consider the case law straightforward. But until same sex marriage became federally recognized in United States v. Windsor  (2013), it was not settled that a gay citizen could pass on citizenship to his partner. Shortly after Windsor was announced, Janet Napolitano on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security directed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to "review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse."

Although perhaps taught as a historical background in the case book, Adams v. Howerton has long been the lead case on marriage in immigration law. It was the first U.S. lawsuit to seek recognition of a same-sex marriage by the federal government, and it initially failed: the case stands for the proposition that the term "spouse" refers to an opposite-sex partner for the purposes of immigration law. 

Mr. Adams was born in the Philippines. His family moved to the United States when he was 12, and he grew up in Minnesota. Adams became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1968 and was living in Los Angeles, California when he met Anthony Corbett "Tony" Sullivan, an Australian citizen who was visiting the U.S. on a tourist visa. They were one of six gay couples granted marriage licenses by Ms. Rorex in Boulder, Colorado on April 21, 1975. On the basis of the marriage, Mr. Adams applied to the Immigration Naturalization Service for Mr. Sullivan's citizenship as an immediate relative, but he was denied. The denial letter stated that "[Adams and Sullivan] have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots." A revised letter was later sent, explaining that "[a] marriage between two males is invalid for immigration purposes and cannot be considered a bona fide marital relationship since neither party to the marriage can perform the female functions in marriage.

After losing Sullivan's appeal of his deportation order in 1985 and being denied Adams' request for residency by Australia, in 1985 the couple traveled in Europe for a year. Afterward, they returned to the U.S., lived in Los Angeles, and avoided high-profile activism that might attract the attention of immigration authorities. Adams worked for a law firm as an administrator until his retirement in 2010. After retirement, Adams and Sullivan made some appearances at events supporting same-sex marriage. Adams died at his Los Angeles home on December 17, 2012.

Sullivan survived him and, on April 21, 2014, on their 39th wedding anniversary, Sullivan filed a motion with the Los Angeles Field Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reopen and reconsider his late husband's petition for a marriage-based green card which that office had denied. On January 5, 2014, the USCIS approved Adams' immigrant visa petition filed in 1975 on behalf of his husband. Sullivan received his green card in April 2016.

Limited Partnership, a documentary telling the couple's story, was released by Tesseract Films in 2014 and makes for a compelling immigration class!


June 23, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Chinese Laundry Exhibit at Yosemite National Park

We spent our first summer vacation at Yosemite National Park. It was my third visit to the park and much is the same. The scenery in Yosemite Valley remains spectacular: granite rock faces, rushing water falls, popping wildflowers. The unexpected treasure was Mariposa Grove and nearby Wawona, at the south entrance to the park: majestic giant sequoias, scarred from wildfire and yet with leaves reaching for the sky and glistening with afternoon sunlight. Ranger Connie Lau, who was until recently a high school teacher, took us on a walk that prompted us to observe and connect with the natural world. She asked us about our roots before describing the expansive root system that holds steady these giants, the protective devices that keep us healthy such as nutrition and hydration, and what makes us stand tall.  Her last question to the group was about legacy, taking note that the oldest of the sequoias had been dated 3,000 years and that the grove had lived through generations of parkgoers and national affairs. She recommended we consider those who built the paths we walked on... and provided the services that made possible our visits through the decades. That led her to recommend the Chinese laundry exhibit, adjacent to the Wawona Hotel, a few short miles from the Mariposa Grove. 

Drawing on research from Park Ranger Yenyen Chan (who had interned at NPS while a Yale undergraduate), this in-depth feature from the Sierra Club explains that the exhibit opened in October 2021 to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the park and the workers who contributed to and sustained it. The Gold Rush fueled interest in the Sierras and Yosemite Valley. In order to accommodate the visitors, Yosemite built two stagecoach roads and employed Chinese immigrant workers who had grown disillusioned with gold prospecting after the imposition of taxes on foreign miners. In the 1870s, 300 immigrants worked to build roads by carving and blasting a path to the Wawona hotel. In 1882, 250 Chinese workers worked alongside other laborers to build a 56-mile road from Crocker’s Station to Tioga Pass, at 9,945 feet. The Chinese were paid $1.20 per day, while the European American workers made $1.50 per day.

Rangers discovered the humble brown structure and cast aside relics of the Chinese laundry workers who cleaned and pressed clothing and hotel linens for the Wawona Hotel before the structure fell into disuse. This is the site of the new exhibit. Displays showcase historic photographs, artwork, and artifacts found in the park over a century ago. There is a 1915 photo of the beloved backcountry cook Tie Sing with Stephen T. Mather and the Mather Mountain Party as well. There are some interactive activities for visitors, asking them about their experiences with migration or to explain the hardest job they've ever done on a slip of cloth to be hung on a clothes line. The most moving to me was an activity inspired by the tradition of Chinese laundries in America, which would enclose a small piece of paper with Chinese calligraphy into finished pieces of laundry. Visitors are asked to write a note of encouragement to the Chinese laundry workers. The visitors before us wrote notes of thank you for their contributions and their sacrifices. My family, born of Chinese immigrants to the US post-1965, added to their thanks and included an apology for the Chinese Exclusion Act and discrimination that would follow notwithstanding their contributions. We also included assurances that their legacy would be remembered through exhibits such as this one and the small but growing contingent of Chinese American rangers committed to telling their stories.



Yosemite National Park (2)

Yosemite National Park (3)

Yosemite National Park

June 19, 2022 in Data and Research, Food and Drinks, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Asylum Real-o-thetical

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On Monday, Russia's Victory Day, anti-war messages appeared on the Russian news site Lenta. Reportedly (because it turns out translating Russian isn't in my wheelhouse), the slogans included:

  • "Vladimir Putin has turned into a pitiful dictator and paranoiac"
  • “Russian authorities have banned journalists from talking about the negative”
  • "Russia threatens to destroy the whole world"
  • “War makes it easier to cover up economic failures"
  • "Zelensky turned out to be cooler than Putin"

So where does the asylum real-o-thetical come in? With these few lines from the BBC: "two employees of the pro-Kremlin publication took responsibility for the 'performance', adding they were now outside Russia and had written that they would probably need jobs, lawyers and political asylum."

In the Guardian's coverage of this story, the journalists are identified by name and one told the paper: "Of course I am afraid... I am not ashamed to admit that. But I knew what I was doing, what the consequences could be.”


May 12, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The DHS Coloring Book

Chalk this up to things I didn't know existed, but I'm sure my students will find fascinating--The DHS Coloring Book: A Showcase of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the...Jobs We Do. Here's a sample page that your students can color while learning about sanctuary cities.


May 10, 2022 in Books, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 6, 2022

Short Clip Highlights Paperwork Problems for Ukrainian Refugees

This 1 minute and 38 second clip from NBC Nightly News does an excellent job highlighting the paperwork problems facing Ukrainian refugees hoping to find a new home in the United States. It spotlights the "online portal" the U.S. has set up, specifically for Ukrainians. And it highlights the sorts of items that migrants must show to establish their eligibility for the program--a deed to their war-ravaged home, paper vaccine records from hospitals overrun by war.

Lots of fruitful jumping off points for in-class discussion in less than two minutes of video.



May 6, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Podcast: At Liberty's Podcast, "Refugees of Color Matter Too"

A new podcast episode of ACLU's "At Liberty" series highlights the racism in the U.S. immigration system. Definitely worth a listen! Here's the summary description:

This week, we’ll be talking about something that’s on everyone’s mind: Ukraine. After weeks of building forces on the border, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Since then, the UN has reported that nearly 700 civilians in Ukraine have lost their lives – although the true figures are likely much higher. Over 3 million refugees have fled the country, while more than 2 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced from their homes.

There has been an incredible outpouring of support for Ukrainian refugees, with many European countries opening up their borders and setting up systems to process the large influx of refugees. And the Biden administration recently granted Temporary Protected Status (or TPS) against the deportation of Ukrainians living in the United States.

At the same time, many immigrants’ rights advocates and organizers have pointed out that these same protections and supports have NOT been extended to refugees and asylum-seekers from other majority-Black and Brown countries ,like Cameroon, Ethiopia, and up until very recently, Afghanistan. This contrast has been a startling reflection of the anti-Black racism and white supremacy embedded in our systems.

There is no question that Ukrainian refugees must be given access to the protections and support that they need. And, those same protections and supports must be provided to all migrants – to all people who are fleeing dangerous conditions – regardless of their race, their religion, their language, or their nationality.


March 24, 2022 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Spicy Takes on U.S. Citizenship & History by UCSB Undergrads


March 9, 2022 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Memo Re: Case Flow Processing Before Immigration Courts

I was looking through our archives this evening and I couldn't find coverage of this April 2021 memo from the EOIR regarding case flow processing. While it's nearly a year old, and so hardly a current event, I thought I'd make sure that our readers have seen it.

First off, clinicians, yes, I know, you've already seen this. You're living it. I see you!

But pure podium profs like myself may have had this one slip past. For you all, a little background is in order: This April 2021 memo comes under Biden's administration's watch, but it builds off an earlier memo issued in November 2020 during the Trump Administration.

What's this memo all about? It's about moving from in-person hearings (think master calendar hearings) to written pleadings. Here's how the memo describes its goals:

In order to increase docket efficiency, reducing the number of in-person hearings held to deal with purely preliminary and routine matters is an imperative that benefits both the immigration court system and the parties before it by ensuring that cases are effectively managed and those which require a trial are heard more quickly overall... EOIR encourages parties in immigration court to resolve cases through written pleadings, stipulations, and joint motions.

I could see assigning this memo as an in-class exercise in Immigration Law. One could ask students to parse it: What types of cases should be on the non-hearing path? Is there any way to get a hearing if you want one? Or, for more policy-focused discussion, one could ask: What is the goal of this memo? Who does it benefit? Who does it hurt? Why?


February 17, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 14, 2022

Mechanics of Immigration Court Part 1: The Master Calendar Hearing & Filing Applications for Relief

Last week, I attended the ABA Commission on Immigration's webinar entitled Mechanics of Immigration Court Part 1: The Master Calendar Hearing & Filing Applications for Relief.

I signed up for this program because I did not come to teaching immigration law from the practice of immigration law. My route was far more circuitous. And while I adore teaching and writing on the topic of immigration, I don't always have great facility with the practice side of the work. This was a great opportunity for me to pick up some nuts and bolts that my students might be interested to know. And, super mega bonus, one of the teachers was immprof extraordinaire Denise Gilman (UT)!

Now, in exciting news... the webinar has been posted online! In fact, it's right here:

This is especially exciting for me because there will be two more events in this series and I can't make the other live sessions. In case you can, here are the details:

  • Part 2: Corroboration, Preparing Witnesses and Working with Experts.  February 22, 2022 from 12-:15pm Eastern.  REGISTER HERE.
  • Part 3:  The Individual Calendar/Merits Hearing.  March 17, 2022 from 12-1:15pm.  REGISTER HERE

I'll be sure to link y'all to the videos when they make their way to YouTube.


February 14, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Migration is Often Deadly

Yesterday, I noted that the journey to the United States is often deadly for undocumented migrants -- whether they travel across the frozen Northern border or across the treacherous oceans from the Caribbean. Not to mention, of course, deaths that result from traversing the deserts across the Southern border.

It bears noting that unlawful migration anywhere can be deadly. Readers may think that obvious, but I think that fact gets lost in news coverage that focuses so much on "vast hordes of ... people crowding in upon us" and less on the dangers of their journeys.

Just this week WaPo reported that Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard officers shot and killed an infant when they fired upon a ship of Venezuelan migrants looking to enter their nation without authorization. Deaths at the hands of border enforcers isn't unheard of, but, more commonly, irregular migrants face death just because of the circumstances under which they must attempt entry into a country where they are unwanted. As Ingrid noted not long ago, those deaths increased significantly in 2021. (For other compelling coverage of this issue, look to the PBS coverage of crossing the Darién Gap.)

Irregular migration is inextricably linked with the possibility (and in some cases probability) of death. It's up to us as teachers to open our students' eyes to this sobering reality.


February 8, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 7, 2022

Coming to America Is Often Deadly

Two recent news pieces about unlawful migration to the United States have wildly different factual set-ups and, unfortunately, very similar and deadly consequences.

First came the late-January story of the Patel family from India (dad, mom, 11-year-old daughter, 3-year-old son) who tried crossing into the United States from Canada. They walked, in the dead of winter, across the open and unforgiving landscape of Manitoba. They didn't make it. They froze to death.

I've previously blogged about unlawful migration across the Northern border. (See here, here, here, here, here, here.) It's more common that folks are trying to get into Canada from the U.S. because Canada, broadly speaking, is more generous towards asylees. (Cf. here.) But the route is the same. As are the dangers: death, frostbite.

Then came the story just days later: one single survivor of a boat filled with migrants coming from the Bahamas to the United States. The boat capsized, killing everyone but Juan Esteban Montoya Caicedo. Among the dead: his sister.

Like the Patels, Juan Esteban and his sister were not citizens of the country where they landed before migrating. The Patels came to Canada from India. Juan Esteban and his sister came to the Bahamas from Colombia. Both cohorts traveled with family. Both relied on smugglers who had followed the same routes and the same passages before. Both undertook incredibly treacherous journeys that resulted in death.

I don't have a grand point in juxtaposing these two tales. They just haunt me in different ways. One pulls at my greatest fear -- watching a loved one drown -- the other pulls at my lived experience of what it's like to be outside in North Dakota in the dead of winter. I wonder what students would think if presented with these two stories side-by-side.


February 7, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, January 15, 2022

UNHCR Tools for Teaching about Refugees and Asylum Seekers


The UN High Commissioner for Refugees offers simple explanations of refugees, internally displaced people, and stateless people. Their animated videos can be used to in an introductory classroom or even for children. The video above, Who is a Refugee, explains the journey of refugees from a conflict-ridden home country to a more stable host country and the legal obligation to accept refugees who would be persecuted on return to their country. Beyond the initial migration, it explains that some refugees will be able to return to their home country, if conditions stabilize, while others will choose to integrate and remain in their host country. It describes the trauma and other challenges a refugee faces and examples of how a host country can assist with learning the host language, training for work, and learning customs in a community. 


This video explains the asylum-seeking process, including the kinds of proof required, considerations for the adjudicator, and the difficulties an asylum seeker may face while waiting for a determination. For example, it describes housing challenges, work permits, and the uncertainty of not knowing what outcome will be reached. The simple and yet accurate description may be useful to an asylum seeker or volunteer without legal training.


Finally, this video, Who Helps Refugees?, explains ways that individuals and organizations can assist with integration, from donation to practical assistance and friendship.

Because the videos are not country-specific, the spare explanations can be used in many settings. There are many other short videos available from other organization with more personal stories and specific country histories, including TEDx talks here, here, and here.


January 15, 2022 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Silver lining of remote learning for LEP parents

One generalization about immigrants that is often true is that they come from different places and therefore speak different languages.

Those who come to the US as adults lack the same opportunities to learn English that their children have in K-12 public schools, where civil rights laws since Lau v. Nichols require that educational access not be denied on the basis of language.

A happy news story from pandemic times is that the provision of educational software and computers to English language learners during remote learning benefitted parents as well as children. Linking, Empowering, and Advancing Families (LEAF) is a partnership between metro schools and community groups in Nashville, Tennessee that offered such classes. As word got around, classes filled and overflow interest channeleed into other classes. The convenience of home computing or even learning on a smart phone while on-the-go expanded the reach of the program. As a result students began to learn practical vocabulary for ordering food at a restaurant, shopping, and working. Teachers are able to encourage them in their learning.


December 29, 2021 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Immigrant of the Day: Harry Houdini (Hungary)

Harry Houdini, the most famous "escape artist" in America, was born in Hungary. He came to the U.S. with his family at the tender age of four. When he was eight, his father became a U.S. citizen. This was in 1882 and, while I don't know the historical laws on the books at that time, I'm guessing that's when Harry also became a U.S. citizen.

I've got Harry on the brain this week after seeing the below thread from one of my Twitter favorites, the indomitable Jennifer Mendelsohn (she of #resistance genealogy). Apparently Harry lied on his WWI draft registration, attesting that he was born in the United States. Ooof. As Jennifer points out later in the thread, Harry repeated this untruth on "at least five notarized passport applications."

This is DEFINITELY going to be a real-o-thetical in a future class.


December 15, 2021 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Summer Opportunity for Rising 2Ls, 3Ls w/Young Center (Jan. 7 app deadline)

Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights


Application deadline: January 7, 2022.


About the Young Center.

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is a national organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights and best interests—safety and well-being—of immigrant children in the United States. Through the Young Center’s Child Advocate Program, staff and volunteers work to serve as Child Advocate for unaccompanied and separated immigrant children pursuant to the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Our role is to identify and advocate for the best interests of immigrant children, both while they are in federal custody and after they are released, applying federal and state laws and long-recognized principles of the best interests of the child. The Young Center also engages in policy work, advocating with legislators, federal agencies, and other stakeholders to promote consideration of the best interests of the child in all decisions concerning immigrant children and to create a dedicated juvenile immigrant justice system that treats children as children. The Young Center has offices in Chicago, Harlingen, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Washington DC.


About Elizabeth M. Frankel.

Elizabeth M. Frankel (1977-2021) was the first Associate Director of the Young Center. She joined the Young Center in late 2009, as just the third full-time employee, becoming part of a trio of attorneys in Chicago who would develop and implement an entirely new model for advocating for the rights of immigrant children and youth. Today the Young Center has eight offices across the country with more than 80 staff; Liz was involved in the creation and development of each and every office. From 2009 to 2015, Liz taught in the Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. She loved mentoring law students and seeing them use their skills to take pro bono cases or jobs in public interest law.


About the Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship Program.

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights announces the first annual Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship for the 2022 summer. The intent of this Fellowship Program is to honor Liz’s passion for supporting law students as they learn to advocate effectively for immigrant children and families. The Fellowship Program will enable fellows to spend 10 weeks training to zealously advocate for children, and to carry on Liz’s vision of honoring the child’s wishes through careful, strategic advocacy. The Fellows will serve as Child Advocates for individual children, and will also conduct legal research and writing, under the guidance of Young Center staff within the Child Advocate Program. The Fellows will also engage in policy advocacy through ongoing initiatives at the Young Center under the supervision of the Policy Program. Fellows will be based in New York City and will be invited to spend one week of the Fellowship Program in the Young Center’s Harlingen office to understand how immigration patterns, enforcement, and advocacyplay out on the ground along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Elizabeth Frankel Advisory Committee, comprised of Liz’s family, friends, colleagues, and Young Center staff, advises the Young Center regarding the operation of the Fellowship Program.


Fellows will receive a stipend of $10,000 for 10 weeks (40 hours a week). The Fellowship Program will run from June to August 2022, with some flexibility as to individual start and end dates.


The program is open to law students who are rising 2L’s or 3L’s. Preferred qualifications: lived experience/knowledge that lends insight into supporting immigrant children and their families, and bilingual in Spanish and English (oral and written). Additional consideration will be given to law students who come from backgrounds/circumstances which prevent them from engaging in pro bono work during the summer.


Application and Selection Procedures

Interested students should email the following materials to EFrankelFellowship@theyoungcenter.org:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Personal statement (2 pages maximum) about the applicant’s relevant experience, interest, and
  • future aspirations with respect to legal work with immigrants and children.
  • Contact information for three references.


The final deadline to submit application materials is January 7, 2022.


Materials will be reviewed by the Fellowship Committee, and interviews with Young Center staff will take place in mid to late January 2022. The Young Center anticipates making offers to potential fellows in late January/early February 2022.


If you have any questions, please contact Priscilla Monico Marin (PMonicoMarin@theyoungcenter.org).



November 24, 2021 in Jobs and Fellowships, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 18, 2021

Chinese immigrant contributions on display in Yosemite

The National Parks have been trying to expand the reach of their resources to invite more cultures. One initiative that may help is the creation of a new exhibit at Yosemite. The cornerstone of the exhibit is a restoration of a Chinese laundry. The building is dedicated to telling the story of Chinese immigrant workers in Yosemite National Park using text and photos on the walls. Parts of the history that will be highlighted are workers who built major roads, including Tioga Road, north of Yosemite Valley; the contributions of Tie Sing, a cook, to the establishment of Yosemite National Park and the National Park Service; the history of Ah You, who served as head chef of the Wawona Hotel in California for 47 years; and the contributions of Chinese who worked in Yosemite’s hotels.

Sabrina Diaz, who was chief of interpretation and education at Yosemite National Park and initiated the idea of restoring the building (after learning that it was being used for storage), explained to NBC News it is the last remaining laundry building from Yosemite’s early days.

Yenyen Chan, a Yosemite Park ranger who has conducted extensive research on the history of Chinese in Yosemit, told NBC Asian America in 2018 that Sing played an important role in cooking meals for a two-week wilderness expedition in 1915 that was intended to convince business and cultural leaders of the importance of a national park system.

A more extensive description of the exhibit and a video about its recreation appear on the NPS website




October 18, 2021 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Teenage People Smugglers on the U.S./Mexico Border

WaPo's multimedia story The child migrant smugglers of Northern Mexico is definitely worth a read. And look.

The article tells the story of teenage people smugglers operating on the U.S.-Mexico border. Teenagers are particularly suited to this work, the article explains, because the DOJ doesn’t prosecute Mexican minors for smuggling. All bets are off for the 18+ crowd.

The article focuses on one teen in particular and the choices seasoned smugglers like him must make when they age-out of the migrant-trafficking side of cartel business. I won't offer spoilers, but it's intense.

The article includes photos and videos that would be really compelling additions to class.

And there's even a link to a rap song that could be used before your discussion of people smuggling:


October 6, 2021 in Current Affairs, Music, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Teaching with Sunday's Poetry Break: This Matter by Haymanot

If you haven't had the chance to read Sunday's poetry break, This Matter by Haymanot, I highly recommend it.

I write now with a quick follow up to offer an idea about how to incorporate this particular poem into your class.

In 2014, WaPo published this story: In a crowded immigration court, seven minutes to decide a family’s future. The article does a good job of humanizing the incredible time pressures facing immigration judges -- pressures that have only increased as the backlog of cases grows ever larger and immigration judges now have performance metrics to hit. (BTW, if you want an even more recent article than WaPo's 2014, check out this AP one from 2020.)

You could assign one of these newspaper articles alongside Haymanot's poem. Instead of offering facts and figures like the news articles, Haymanot's poem humanizes the same story, from the perspective of the migrant whose future is being decided within these constraints. The news articles are removed, detached. The poem is an explosion of emotion and feeling.


October 5, 2021 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Webinar: Best Practices for Haitian TPS Applications - Oct 1, 2021

CGRS logo   

UC Hastings' Center for Gender and Refugee Studies will be hosting a webinar: Best Practices for Haitian TPS Applications.

This webinar will provide an in depth understanding of legal issues that commonly arise with TPS applications with the Haitian community, such as dual nationality, firm resettlement, and other potential bars. The panel of immigration lawyers will offer best practices for addressing these legal obstacles based on their extensive experience working with Haitian TPS applicants. This webinar is highly recommended for legal practitioners working on Haitian TPS cases..   

Date and Time: October 1, 2021, 12:00pm-1:30pm PDT/3:00-4:30 pm EDT

RSVP here. Attendees may submit questions in advance of the webinar; RSVP for the webinar will remain open until one hour before the start time.


Clarel Cyriaque, Esq.

Peterson St. Philippe, Managing Attorney, Catholic Charities Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc.

Cassandra Suprin, Family Defense Program Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice

Christine Lin, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies


Gabrielle Apollon, Supervising Attorney and Co-Director, NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Haiti Mining Justice & International Accountability Project

MCLE Credit:

1.5 General California MCLE credit; pending approval for 1.5 General Florida MCLE Credit

This training will be recorded and the recording and materials will be emailed to everyone who registers for the webinar.



September 28, 2021 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)