Category Archives: Immigration

America’s Response to Child Refugees on the Border is Downright Shameful | Perspectives |

America’s Response to Child Refugees on the Border is Downright Shameful | Perspectives |

Two New Practice Guides: “U Visas for Immigrant Victims of Hate Crimes: A Practice Guide for Advocates” and ” Financial Costs for Youth and Their Families in the Alameda County Juvenile Justice System: A Guide for Advocates”

Two New Practice Guides prepared as part of a Berkeley law clinic program:

New Symposium Issue Published: “Reigniting Community: Strengthening the Asian Pacific American Identity”

New Symposium Issue Published: UC Irvine Law Review has published an issue from a symposium on “Reigniting Community: Strengthening the Asian Pacific American Identity” that has a long list of interesting articles, many of which have poverty law relevance:

Reigniting Community: Strengthening the Asian Pacific American Identity
Denny Chan, Jennifer Chin, and James Yoon

Policing “Radicalization”
Amna Akbar

Pitting Our Youth Against Each Other: Moving School Harassment and Bullying Policy from a Zero Tolerance Discipline to Safe School Environment Framework
Khin Mai Aung

“It’s a Kākou Thing”: The DADT Repeal and a New Vocabulary of Anti-Subordination
Kim D. Chanbonpin

The Invention of Asian Americans
Robert S. Chang

“A Chinaman’s Chance” in Court: Asian Pacific Americans and Racial Rules of Evidence
Gabriel J. Chin

Critical Ethnic Legal Histories: Unearthing the Interracial Justice of Filipino American Agricultural Labor Organizing
Marc-Tizoc González

Citizenship, Voting, and Asian American Political Engagement
Ana Henderson

The Significance of Skin Color in Asian and Asian-American Communities: Initial Reflections
Trina Jones

Nancy Leong

Reconceptualizing Asian Pacific American Identity at the Margins
Julian Lim

Legal Solutions for APA Transracial Adoptees
Kim H. Pearson

“Of the Law, but Not Its Spirit”: Immigration Marriage Fraud as Legal Fiction and Violence Against Asian Immigrant Women
Lee Ann S. Wang

The Unbearable Whiteness of Milk: Food Oppression and the USDA*
Andrea Freeman

An Invisibility Cloak: The Model Minority Myth and Unauthorized Asian Immigrants
Denny Chan

New Article: “Creating Crimmigration”

New Article: César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, Creating Crimmigration, 2013 BYU L. Rev. 1457 (2014).  Abstract below:

Scholars from a variety of disciples have begun to map the contours of crimmigration law, the convergence of criminal law and immigration law, in the United States. None, however, has explained why these two bodies of law, long operating mostly independently of each other, began to intersect with increasing frequency and severity in the closing decades of the twentieth century and not earlier. This Article unravels the political and legal shifts that occurred in the United States during this period to provide a historically contextualized explanation of crimmigration law’s creation. Specifically, this Article contends that, in the aftermath of the civil rights movement, overt racism became culturally disdained and facially racist laws impermissible. Derision of people of color, however, did not cease. Instead, racism hid behind a veneer of facially neutral rhetoric to find a new outlet in laws penalizing criminal activity. A few years later when immigration became a national political concern for the first time since the civil rights era, policymakers turned to criminal law and procedure to do what race had done in earlier generations: sort the desirable newcomers from the undesirable.

New Article: “A New New Property”

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.

Update on the story in Sonia Nazario’s book Enrique’s Journey

Sonia Nazario, the author of Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother (2006), published an op-ed that updates readers on Enrique’s immigration struggles.  For those who want to teach an immigration story as part of a poverty law class, the book is great, as is the associated photo essay.

New Article: “Defining American: The DREAM Act, Immigration Reform and Citizenship”

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: “Moving to Opportunity: Examining the Risks and Rewards of Economic Migration”

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

New Book: “Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality”

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: “Those Damned Immigrants: America’s Hysteria over Undocumented Immigration”

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.