New Article: David A. Super, A New New Property, 113 Colum. L. Rev. 1773 (2013). Abstract below:
Charles Reich’s visionary 1964 article, The New Property, paved the way for a revolution in procedural due process. It did not, however, accomplish Reich’s primary stated goal: providing those dependent on government assistance the same security that property rights long have offered owners of real property.
As Reich himself predicted, procedural rights have proven largely ineffectual, especially for low-income people. In the half-century since he wrote, growing wealth inequality and repeated cutbacks in antipoverty programs have produced the pervasive disempowerment he predicted, but concentrated in one segment of society. This is incompatible with a healthy democracy.
Reich found that government largesse had become functionally equivalent to more traditional forms of property. Other analogies to property concepts can also protect low-income people, supporting recognition of the most important assets low-income people have, many of which are relational rather than tangible.
Like long-time trespassers obtaining ownership rights through adverse possession, families that have long lived together in this country should be able to continue doing so despite the unlawful immigration status of some of their members. The law should value the communities that offer mutual support to low-income people in much the same way as it does common interest communities. Principles of equity that long shielded less sophisticated people against sharp operators should be revived to protect low-income people’s homes against abusive foreclosures. And modern Takings Clause doctrine should recognize subsistence government benefits as property.
A regime of property law that secures that which is most essential to the well-being of a broad swath of society, rather than just those items disproportionately held by the wealthy, will best promote social, economic, and political participation by all people.
New Article: Elizabeth Keyes, Defining American: The DREAM Act, Immigration Reform and Citizenship, forthcoming Nevada L.J. Abstract below:
The grassroots movement propelling the DREAM Act and immigration reform forward reveals how the definition of citizenship is undergoing a dramatic transformation, in ways both inspiring and troubling. The DREAM movement depends upon the compelling but exceptional stories of passionate, high-achieving, law-abiding youth who already define themselves as being American, and worthy of legal status. Situating this narrative in the rich literature of citizenship, the article shows how the DREAM movement effectively exposes the disjuncture between the DREAMers’ identity as Americans and their lack of legal immigration status. The article celebrates how this narrative succeeds as a contrast to the prevailing political discourse and how the movement, led by youth from all corners of the globe, radically upends America’s history of deeming people of color unworthy of (and ineligible for) citizenship. The article also presents some unintended consequences of the movement, however, suggesting that the worthiness-based narrative strategy adopted by the DREAMers is both produced by and contributing to ever-narrowing standards for who is deemed worthy of inclusion. These narrowing standards may have negative consequences for the expansiveness of immigration reform more broadly, and even for citizenship beyond the field of immigration. This article explores how the worthiness narrative, which implicitly acknowledges a concept of unworthiness, inadvertently connects to attempts to restrict notions of citizenship, specifically by limiting the principle of jus soli citizenship, extending felon disenfranchisement and instituting voter identification laws.
Call-for-Papers: The Indiana International and Comparative Law Review is hosting a symposium, “Moving to Opportunity: Examining the Risks and Rewards of Economic Migration,” on Feb. 21, 2014 in Indianapolis and a deadline of abstracts of Oct. 18, 2013. More info at the above link courtesy of the legalscholarshipblog.com.
New Book: Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality (David Card & Steven Raphael eds. 2013).
The rapid rise in the proportion of foreign-born residents in the U.S. since the mid-1960s is one of the most important demographic events of the past fifty years. The increase in immigration, especially among the less-skilled and less-educated, has prompted fears that the newcomers may have depressed the wages and employment of the native-born, burdened state and local budgets, and slowed the U.S. economy as a whole. Would the poverty rate be lower in the absence of immigration? How does the undocumented status of an increasing segment of the foreign-born population impact wages in the U.S.? In Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequality, noted labor economists David Card and Steven Raphael and an interdisciplinary team of scholars provide a comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of the latest era of immigration to the U.S.
Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequality rigorously explores shifts in population trends, labor market competition, and socioeconomic segregation to investigate how the recent rise in immigration affects economic disadvantage in the U.S. Giovanni Peri analyzes the changing skill composition of immigrants to the U.S. over the past two decades to assess their impact on the labor market outcomes of native-born workers. Despite concerns over labor market competition, he shows that the overall effect has been benign for most native groups. Moreover, immigration appears to have had negligible impacts on native poverty rates. Ethan Lewis examines whether differences in English proficiency explain this lack of competition between immigrant and native-born workers. He finds that parallel Spanish-speaking labor markets emerge in areas where Spanish speakers are sufficiently numerous, thereby limiting the impact of immigration on the wages of native-born residents. While the increase in the number of immigrants may not necessarily hurt the job prospects of native-born workers, low-skilled migration appears to suppress the wages of immigrants themselves. Michael Stoll shows that linguistic isolation and residential crowding in specific metropolitan areas has contributed to high poverty rates among immigrants. Have these economic disadvantages among low-skilled immigrants increased their dependence on the U.S. social safety net? Marianne Bitler and Hilary Hoynes analyze the consequences of welfare reform, which limited eligibility for major cash assistance programs. Their analysis documents sizable declines in program participation for foreign-born families since the 1990s and suggests that the safety net has become less effective in lowering child poverty among immigrant households.
As the debate over immigration reform reemerges on the national agenda, Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequality provides a timely and authoritative review of the immigrant experience in the United States. With its wealth of data and intriguing hypotheses, the volume is an essential addition to the field of immigration studies.
New Book: Ediberto Román, Those Damned Immigrants: America’s Hysteria over Undocumented Immigration (2013). Overview below:
The election of Barack Obama prompted people around the world to herald the dawning of a new, postracial era in America. Yet a scant one month after Obama’s election, Jose Oswaldo Sucuzhanay, a 31-year old Ecuadorian immigrant, was ambushed by a group of white men as he walked arm and arm with his brother. Yelling anti-Latino slurs, the men beat Sucuzhanay into a coma. He died 5 days later.
The incident is one of countless attacks—ranging from physical violence to raids on homes and workplaces to verbal abuse—that Latino/a immigrants have confronted for generations in America. And these attacks—physical and otherwise—are accepted by a substantial number of American citizens and elected officials, who are virulently opposed to immigrant groups crossing the Mexican border. Quick to cast all Latino/a immigrants as illegal, opponents have placed undocumented workers at the center of their anti-immigrant movement, and as such, many different types of native Spanish-speakers in this country (legal, illegal, citizen, guest), have been targeted as being responsible for increasing crime rates, a plummeting economy, and an erosion of traditional American values and culture.
In Those Damned Immigrants, Ediberto Román takes on critics of Latina/o immigration, drawing on empirical evidence to refute charges of links between immigration and crime, economic downfall, and a weakening of Anglo culture. Román utilizes government statistics, economic data, historical records, and social science research to provide a counter-narrative to what he argues is a largely one-sided public discourse on Latino/a immigration.
New Article: Seyla Benhabib, Birthright Citizenship, Immigration, and Global Poverty, 63 Univ. of Toronto L.J. 496 (2013). Abstract below:
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the world-wide movement of peoples has increased from 175 million in 2000 to 218 million in 2012. Although it is only 3.5 per cent of the world’s population that migrates, the accelerated pace of migrations as well as changing patterns of migrants’ integration and acculturation in host societies have created challenges to devise just citizenship and migrations policies world-wide. How does the control of first entry, citizenship, and naturalization practices by states affect the life chances of the global poor? Is the institution of birthright citizenship justifiable legally and/or morally? This essay considers these questions through a review of Ayelet Schachar’s book, The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009).
Unfortunately it does not appear to be publicly available, though it is available through Project Muse.
Available here — There are too many great articles to list out and the website has them all with abstracts. After the jump is the cut and paste from the Yale L.J. website. If anyone wants to write a post reviewing any of these articles, send it to me and I’ll post it. GREAT STUFF!
Photo Copyright Ezra Rosser 2013
New Article: César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, The Passive Logic of Immigration Detention: Unraveling the Rationality of Imprisoning Immigrants Based on Markers of Race and Class Otherness, 1 Colum. J. Race & L. 353 (2013). Abstract below:
In an effort to explain the massive growth of immigration imprisonment, this Essay explores the use of race and class as tools for policing immigration law. The Essay does this by contemplating the effect of an immigration law scheme that, at its most fundamental, requires sorting desirable immigrants from undesirable immigrants, and that, in recent years, has accomplished this sorting through increased reliance on criminal records. Placing these two features of contemporary immigration law within the context of two decades-old forms of indisputably racialized policing—mass incarceration of black and brown people for criminal law violations and the Supreme Court’s sanctioning of racial profiling in immigration law policing—the Essay concludes that it was inevitable for penal imprisonment trends to taint immigration law enforcement with raced and classed mass incarceration.