Category Archives: Latinos

New Article: “Tenants Without Rights: Situating the Experiences of New Immigrants in the U.S. Low-Income Housing Market”

New Article: Mekonnen Firew Ayano, Tenants Without Rights: Situating the Experiences of New Immigrants in the U.S. Low-Income Housing Market, 28 Geo. Poverty J. Poverty L. & Pol’y 159 (2021). Abstract below:

Immigrants who recently arrived in the United States generally are not able to exclusively possess rental properties in the formal market because they lack a steady source of income and credit history. Instead, they rent shared bedrooms, basements, attics, garages, and illegally converted units that violate housing codes and regulations. Their situations highlight the disconnect between tenant rights law and the deleterious conditions of informal residential tenancies. Tenant rights law confers a variety of rights and remedies to a residential tenant if the renter has exclusive possession of the premises. If the renter lacks exclusive possession, courts typically characterize the occupancy as a license, treating the renter as a transient occupant with contractual rights and remedies. Situating the experiences of new immigrants within the low-income housing affordability crisis, this Article proposes that courts should steer away from considering tenant status and its associated rights and remedies as a function of exclusive control of the premises. Instead, they should enforce informal tenants’ legitimate interests, impose duties on those who rent out substandard units, and award damages when the rent paid is disproportionately high relative to the condition of the premises.

News Coverage of Poverty: What the Supreme Court Said About the 2020 Census Citizenship Question

News Coverage of Poverty: Kriston Capps, What the Supreme Court Said About the 2020 Census Citizenship Question,, Apr. 23, 2019.

New Blog Post: Out of the Shadows

out of the shadows.pngNew Blog Post: Lauren Hilgers, Out of the Shadows, NY Times Magazine, Feb. 21, 2019.

Nannies and housecleaners have some of the hardest, least secure jobs in the nation. Now they’re organizing to change that.

New Article: Sanctuary Cities and the Trump Administration: The Practical Limits of Federal Power

New Article: Joshua W. Dansby, Sanctuary Cities and the Trump Administration: The Practical Limits of Federal Power, 20 The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice 317 (2018). Abstract below:

On January 25, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order with the supposed purpose of enhancing public safety of the interior of the United States. Part of the Administration’s plan includes threatening “sanctuary jurisdictions,” also known as “sanctuary cities,” with the loss of federal funds for failing to comply with federal law, specifically 8 U.S.C. § 1373.

There are several problems with this plan: (1) there is no solid definition for what makes a city a “sanctuary;” (2) if we accept the Administration’s allusion that a sanctuary jurisdiction is one that “willfully” refuses to comply with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, practically no city constitutes a sanctuary jurisdiction; (3) 8 U.S.C. § 1373, absent specific spending clause obligations, threatens to run afoul of federalism principles as laid out in the Supreme Court case Printz v. United States; (4) the order vests discretionary authority in the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to designate a jurisdiction as a sanctuary; and (5) the stripping of federal funds from “sanctuary jurisdictions” flirts with the prohibition against federal government coercion via threats of defunding as described in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

The Administration’s current plan, represented in Executive Order No. 13768, is a vague, unsophisticated, and an unconstitutional attempt to require states and local law enforcement to assist the federal government with enforcing immigration law. Examining the background of federal power with regards to immigration, the author will examine the Administration’s Executive Order in the context of limitations on federal power, as well as determine ways the federal government can receive local law enforcement’s aid without violating any constitutional principles.

New Report: Entangled Roots: The Role of Race in Policies that Separate Families

New Report: Elisa Minoff, Entangled Roots: The Role of Race in Policies that Separate Families, Center for the Study of Social Policy, November 2018.

By examining the roots of policies that separate families and their entanglement with racial prejudice and discrimination, this report makes the case that we must embrace an alternative path.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): 7 posts you should have seen this week but probably didn’t

In a week dominated by tragedy in Greece, Michael Cohen, and the aversion of trade war with Europe, there’s a lot that got swept under the rug. ICYMI:

(1) Tamar Haspel, The true connection between poverty and obesity isn’t probably what you think, Wash. Post, July 20, 2018.

(2) Myrna Pérez, How the Midterm Elections May Be Compromised,, July  19, 2018.

(3) Charlotte Graham-McLay, New Zealand Grants Domestic Violence Victims Paid Leave,, July 26, 2018. In a shocking reminder of what is possible when individuals in crisis are treated humanely and afforded a small measure of decency…

(4) Dylan L. Scott, Why Trump’s attacks on preexisting conditions are an attack on women,, July 26, 2018. women_afford_care






(5) Dara Lind, Americans are stepping up to show reunited migrant families there’s more to their country than Trump,, July 26, 2018. An informal welcoming committee is offering support — with everything from plane tickets to birthday cupcakes.

(6) Julia Carrie Wong, A year after Charlottesville, why can’t big tech delete white supremacists,, July 25, 2018.

(7) Tal Kopan & Nick Valencia, Exclusive: Listen to separated moms beg for their kids in court,, July 24, 2018.

New Op-Ed: What It Costs to Be Smuggled Across the U.S. Border

New Op-Ed: Nicholas Kulish, What It Costs to Be Smuggled Across the U.S. Border,, June 30, 2018.

New Article: Advocacy in Ideas: Legal Education and Social Movements

New Article: Monica Bell, Tanya K. Hernandez, Solangel Maldonado, Rachelle Holmes Perkins, Chantal Thomas, Olatunde C.  Johnson, Elise Lopez, Advocacy  in Ideas: Legal Education and Social Movements, Columbia University Academic Commons, 2018. Abstract below:

Panel moderated by Professor Olatunde Johnson, featuring Professors Monica Bell, Tanya K. Hernández, Solangel Maldonado, and Chantal Thomas. Introduced by Elise Lopez. This panel is really an opportunity to explore the role of women of color in shaping ideas in the legal academy and in legal discourse more broadly. Everyone on this panel today is a professor and has joined legal academia, but what I think we really want to emphasize through this is that for many of us it begins in law school, where you can engage in shaping ideas through the writing that you do in your courses and in journals, in taking leadership positions in journals, and in organizing conferences like this.

New Op-Ed: How Scapegoating Immigrants Hurts All Workers

New Op-Ed: George Goehl, How Scapegoating Immigrants Hurts All Workers, The Nation, June 19, 2018.

“When people are so dehumanized that forcing kids to sleep in kennels becomes acceptable, the value of life for everyone goes down.”

Immigrant Family Separation Collection: news coverage, volunteer/giving links, and responses to conservative disinformation

MoralsIf you follow my twitter feed (@EzraRosser) you know the family separation at the border really bothers me (it may be connected to the fact that my wife and children are Salvadorans, but I think there are plenty of non-personal reasons to be upset about what we have become). I decided it would be worthwhile to do a post that collects a lot of the news coverage, volunteer/giving/protest information, and responses to the conservative disinformation that is trying to obscure just how evil the Trump administration’s family separation policy is. My op-ed from last week in The Hill is here. But there is a lot coming out about the policy, conditions, and horror so I hope this small collection effort helps people sort through everything. If you have things that would be good to add, please email me and I will add things. It is broken down into sections: A. Overview of the Policy, B. Coverage of Conditions and ICE Practice, C. Responses to Conservative Disinformation, D. Volunteer/Giving/Donation Opportunities, E. Protest Information, and F. Additional Responses.

A. Overview of the Policy

B. Coverage of Conditions and ICE Practice

Not sure how to classify this. . . justifications given by Trump administration officials:

C. Responses to Conservative Disinformation

D. Partial List of Volunteer/Giving/Donation Opportunities (Thanks to Jayesh Rathod!) (if you would like to add more, just email me).

E. Protest Information (Thanks to Jayesh Rathod!)

F. Additional Responses