Category Archives: Immigration

News Article: “Fleeing Gangs, Central American Families Surge Toward U.S.”

News Article: Kirk Semple, “Fleeing Gangs, Central American Families Surge Toward U.S.,” New York Times, Nov. 12, 2016.

Report: “Diverted into Deportation: The Immigration Consequences of Diversion Programs in Maryland”

Report: “Diverted into Deportation: The Immigration Consequences of Diversion Programs in Maryland,”American University Washington College of Law Immigrant Justice Clinic & American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (2016). [w/tables and charts]

News Article: “Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt”

News Article: George Packer, “Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt,” The New Yorker, Oct. 31, 2016.

Article: “U.S. Workers Need Not Apply: Challenging Low-Wage Guest Worker Programs”

New Article: Jennifer J. Lee, “U.S. Workers Need Not Apply: Challenging Low-Wage Guest Worker Programs,” 28 Stan.L.& Pol’y Rev. (forthcoming).

With immigration reform stalled once again by United States v. Texas, many turn to the expansion of guest worker programs as a solution to our immigration woes. Low-wage foreign guest workers can fill “bad jobs” that no U.S. workers want. This article shows that guest worker programs are harmful to all low-wage workers by challenging this commonly accepted narrative and exploring how such programs create a cycle that fuels both U.S. worker shortages and the necessity for guest workers.

Scholars have amply criticized guest worker programs because they impair the rights of guest workers and contravene liberal egalitarian principles of social membership. These criticisms about how foreign workers are treated on U.S. soil, however, have been insufficient to tip the balance against these programs. What is missing from this debate is an attempt to understand why guest worker programs persist despite their many flaws. The legal framework broadly delegates power to employers to create U.S. worker shortages and the alternative of the highly productive and compliant guest worker. Cultural narratives operate to mask this reality by tying these phenomena to cultural explanations about low-wage workers. Together they create a climate that is favorable to guest worker programs.

This article’s close examination of these problems exposes why guest worker programs should not be a ready solution for immigration reform. It suggests a new approach to challenging such programs by broadening the lens to consider the plight of the U.S. worker. The U.S. worker can help shift the legal and social norms surrounding such programs by revealing how the fate of all low-wage workers is interconnected by government-enabled degradation of low-wage jobs. This approach suggests new advocacy strategies to eliminate guest worker programs in their current format in order to protect the dignity of all low-wage workers.

New Report: “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration” – National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

New Report: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration, (Sept. 2016).

New Blog Post: “I’ve Got ITINs on My Mind” — post about taxation and immigration.

New Blog Post: Francine Lipman, I’ve Got ITINs on My Mind, The Surley Subgroup, Sept. 24, 2016.

Another Kristof Op-Ed on the inhumanity of deporting Central American refugees

Here.  [My own example from El Salvador is a neighborhood kid with a full scholarship to university who could not go the couple of blocks because of gang threats.]

Op-Ed: “Obama’s Death Sentence for Young Refugees”

Op-Ed: Nicholas Kristof, Obama’s Death Sentence for Young Refugees, N.Y. Times, June 25, 2016

My Letter to the Editor re: Trump’s Plan to Block Remittances to Mexicoo

Letter Wash Post Trump Remittances 2016

Or for those who actually want to read it, here is the link to the letter with a photo of Trump from the Washington Post.

Trump Proposes Blocking Remittances to Force Mexico to Pay for Border Wall

In the the news.  Needless-to-say, I think this is wrong.  My article on remittances, which discusses the dangers posed by this and other forms of capture by sending countries, can be found here.  A related article on the connection between remittances and food security can be found here.