Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Stand Up Routine Guaranteed To Make You Scream Nooooooooo!!!!!

Jimmy O. Yang is an actor, comedian, writer and producer. I guarantee you've seen him before. The only question is whether you are more of a Love Hard or a Space Force kind of Netflix watcher.

A snippet of his standup recently came across my feed. And, let me tell you, I was aghast.

@full.celebs Going To Mexico as an Asian || Part 1 || #foryou #america #jokes #comedу #fyp #foryou #jimmyoyang #funny ♬ original sound - full.celebs

Wow. Just wow. This man is l.u.c.k.y.

Let's take a look at INA § 237(a)(3)(D)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(3)(D)(i), shall we?

Any alien who falsely represents, or has falsely represented, himself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under this chapter (including section 1324a of this title) or any Federal or State law is deportable.

And that's why I started, quite literally, screaming "noooooo!!!!!" at my screen.

But, all's well that ends well I suppose. Jimmy is now a naturalized U.S. citizen. (Hence, why he's comfortable telling this joke.) And this clip shall forever live in my arsenal for teaching about false claims to U.S. citizenship.


November 8, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 16, 2022

Compelling Update from Martha's Vineyard

This video gave me literal chills. The outrage that is apparent in the voice of attorney Rachel Self, who speaks for the majority of this clip, is palpable. I think if you're looking to talk about this topic in class, this would be a fantastic video to kick of discussion.

Note Self's comments regarding how DHS officials completed paperwork -- filling in random addresses of homeless shelters in states far from where they knew the migrants were sent. That's particularly interesting given Ingrid's post from earlier today regarding a generalized practice of listing erroneous addresses (such as nonprofits without a connection to the individual) on migrants' asylum paperwork.


September 16, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 15, 2022

PERM Flowchart

Immprof Lenni Benson (NYLS) recently shared this gorgeous PERM flowchart: 


If you prefer, this downloadable pdf version of the flowchart has additional footnote material. Ooooh, footnotes.

I don't know about you, but my students can't get enough of flowcharts. So it's nice to add this one to the ppt deck when I'm talking about labor certification.


September 15, 2022 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 2, 2022

Teaching Family-Based Immigration: Redux

Am I catching you before you cover family-based immigration this semester? I hope so.

I'm writing to remind you about Ming's June 2022 post about the death of the Colorado clerk who issued a marriage certificate to Adams and Sullivan (of the Adams v. Howerton decision from the 9th circuit that many of us utilize). Her post offers excellent information to really bring that case to life for students.

While I've got your attention, I'll also re-point you to my 2017 post with links to sources for teaching about family-based immigration.


September 2, 2022 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

EU Restrictions on Visas for Russians in Wake of Ukraine War

Swapnil1101, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The BBC reports that E.U. foreign minsters have agreed to take steps that will make it harder for Russian citizens to travel to the European Union. This, of course, is in response to the war between Russia and the Ukraine wherein the E.U., like the U.S., is backing Ukraine.

No one seems particularly happy with the move. Russia is annoyed (naturally). Ukraine and some EU members wanted a total ban on travel, not measures that merely make getting a visa a longer and more expensive process.

I found this news particularly interesting as I've recently finished my immigration law coursework on Chae Chan Ping and the constitutional power to regulate U.S. immigration. The story made me think about the war powers provision of our own constitution, its authorization that Congress shall have power to declare war, and how that power might intersect with immigration decisions during time of war (even if it's not a war we are officially a party to).


September 2, 2022 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Attention Empirical Researchers: DOL's Employment-based Immigration Data


Immprof Lenni Benson (NYLS) recently introduced me to this truly epic resource for empirical researchers: The U.S. Department of Labor's collection of employment-based data.

As the DOL characterizes the data, you'll find:

  • Selected statistics providing cumulative quarterly data by major immigration program;
  • Cumulative quarterly and fiscal year releases of program disclosure data; and
  • Historical fiscal year annual program and performance report information.

Y'all... there is SO. MUCH. DATA.

You want to see who's filing and getting PERM approvals? Done.

You want to see who's filing and getting H1Bs? H2As? H2Bs? E3s? It's all there.

Now, fair warning: The downloadable Excel spreadsheets are so huge just one pretty much took down my work laptop. But for those of you data monsters out there, I've no doubt you're prepared to take this on, dive into the information, and come out with an absolutely fascinating story that I, for one can't wait to read.

Happy digging!


August 31, 2022 in Current Affairs, Data and Research, Teaching Resources | 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)

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Teaching SIVs

For several years now, I've been using this John Oliver clip to teach students about SIVs for wartime translators. It's amazing. I particularly like this segment because, as I've blogged about before, a translator appears on the program and talks with a very flat affect about the murder of his father and the kidnapping of his young brother. I've found this to be a good introduction to discussion of how client trauma presents in wildly different ways and in ways that students may not be expecting.

I plan to continue to use this clip in 2022 because, as you know, the U.S. is still processing SIV applications for wartime translators.

This year, however, I'm adding a second video. Immprof Phil Schrag (Georgetown) recently shared a video about the rescue of an Afghani translator who worked closely with Schrag's son (Sam Lerman -- he's in the video) at Bagram Air Force Base. The video does an amazing job of capturing the chaotic U.S. pull-out from Afghanistan. And it's a terrific leaping off point for discussing both the legal hurdles facing translators who made it out but who still need to navigate the SIV process as well as the hurdles facing those who remain in Afghanistan.


August 11, 2022 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 31, 2022

A Comparative Law Example For Public Charge, Inspection

John Green is a well-known American author. I've only read two of his books -- The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down -- but aspire the read the remainder as well. You make recognize the names of some of his other works, which have been made into hit movies, including Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska.

Suffice it to say, he's a big deal.

And, yet.

In this fabulous TikTok, John Green talks about why it's such a pain for him to travel into Canada. Short answer: Because years ago he was denied entry for insufficient funds. And now he's always, always subject to secondary screening.

@literallyjohngreen Reply to @bookishbrittany ♬ original sound - John Green

I love this video so much. It is DEFINITELY entering the cannon of videos that I show in class. I will probably use it when talking about inspection at the border. But I might also use it when discussing public charge screening. It's a total winner.


July 31, 2022 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Lil Wayne: A Crimmigration Tale

Lil Wayne is an American rapper. So you might be wondering why I'm posting about a U.S. citizen on an immigration blog. 

Here's the thing: Lil Wayne is interesting from an immigration perspective because of his inability to get a visa to play/tour in the UK. Back in 2009, Lil Wayne pled guilty to a weapons charge stemming from the 2007 discovery of a loaded gun on his tour bus. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, though he served only eight months due to good behavior.

Lil Wayne's latest application for a UK visa was denied in June 2022. (He wanted to perform at the Strawberries & Creem festival.) The UK's Home Office (their immigration folks) told Rolling Stone magazine: “Any individual who has been sentenced to a custodial sentence of 12 months or more must have their application refused.”

All-in-all, this tale strikes me as a fun comparative law real-o-thetical to cover in your crimmigration class. You could flip the facts -- make Lil Wayne a UK citizen with the same gun conviction. What would the results be for a US visa to play at a music festival?

Moreover, it would be an opportunity to play one of my all-time favorite SNL clips--Lil Wayne and Eminem on Their Valentine's Day Single:


July 13, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 11, 2022

Immigration Law: An Open Casebook

Cover Half

I am thrilled to introduce Immigration Law: An Open Casebook, the first open-source/open-access casebook on U.S. immigration law. I designed this book to serve as the principal text for a broad-based immigration law course as well as a specialty course on crimmigration.

The book provides explanations and primary source readings regarding immigration law in the United States. Topics include the constitutional bases for regulating immigration, the contours of the immigration bureaucracy, the admission of immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States, undocumented migration, the deportation and exclusion of noncitizens, refugee and asylum law, immigration detention, federal and state immigration crimes, border and interior immigration enforcement, and the law concerning citizenship and naturalization.

The book has a Creative Commons license that allows adopters to add to, delete from, abridge, rearrange, and alter the work as best fits their courses. (See "Notices" inside the book.) The project is similar to open access casebooks offered by CALI's eLangdell bookstore.

The book is available for free download at this link. It is available in both .pdf and .docx format. Paperback versions of the book are available for purchase on Amazon for under $14.

Questions? Adopting the book? Email me: kit.johnson at ou.edu.


July 11, 2022 in Books, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Anti-Racist Curricular Resources from Cardozo

As part of an effort to help faculty identify course specific material related to racial justice, Cardozo Law School has developed a new hub for Anti-Racist DEI Curricular Resources.  The resource is now available to professors at all institutions.  The resource is organized by common law school classes and primarily includes readings focused on the intersection of race (and other DEI topics) and that class.  I looked over the Immigration Law and Constitutional Law sections and found some helpful ideas. Those teaching courses that have less established connection may find it especially helpful.

The Hub Includes:

  • Resources for 1L Courses Recommended readings and other course materials for Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Property Law and Torts.
  • Resources for Upper-Level Courses Recommended readings and other course materials for Upper-Level courses including Administrative Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution & Mediation, Bankruptcy Law, Clinical Education, Contract Drafting, Criminal Procedure, Environmental Law, Evidence, Family Law, Federal Courts, Human Rights Law, Immigration Law, Insurance Law, Intellectual Property Law,  New York Law & Courts, Tax Law and Wills, Trusts & Estates.
  • Professional Development Resources For Professors
  • Background Materials 

MHC (h/t Peter Markowitz)

July 5, 2022 in Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Are You An AAPI Woman Looking To Become A Law Prof? Fri Conference For You.

I imagine many of our readers are immprofs already. But perhaps not. Perhaps you're an aspiring immprof. If so, and if you happen to be an APPI woman, there's a conference you might look into happening this Friday:

I spy immprof Huyen Pham (TAMU) in there. She's bound to have sage advice for you.


July 5, 2022 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 (1)

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

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 5.42.57 PM

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)