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: 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.”
If 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
- Dara Lind, The Trump administration’s separation of families at the border, explained, Vox.com, June 15, 2018.
- Camila Domonoske & Richard Gonzalez, What We Know: Family Separation And ‘Zero Tolerance’ At The Border, NPR, June 19, 2018.
- Alvin Chang, Trump’s separation of families at the border: a visual explainer, Vox.com, June 19, 2018.
B. Coverage of Conditions and ICE Practice
- Secret Audio Recording of Immigration Detention Center Reveals Inconsolable Children Calling Out for Their Parents, Slate, June 18, 2018.
These photos were the Trump administration’s attempt to quiet criticism. They’re only increasing critics’ horror, Vox.com, June 18, 2018.
- Toddlers Separated From Parents at the Border Are Being Detained in ‘Tender Age’ Shelters, Time, June 19, 2018.
- Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the U.S. is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children, Wash. Post, June 14, 2018.
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).
- You can sign up to be a volunteer attorney via the following:
- You can donate:
- CARA (listed above) is a consortium of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and various legal service providers. They provide representation to detainees at family detention centers.
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a national non-profit organization that provides legal services to children in immigration court.
- In the DC area, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR Coalition) provides legal services to detained immigrants in Maryland and VA.
- Al Otro Lado is a binational organization that offers legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico.
- RAICES is an immigration non-profit in Texas that provides legal services to immigrant children and families. They’re actively involved in the family separation issue.
- The Center for Gender and Refuge Studies at UC Hastings has been a national leader on gender-based asylum claims and is at the forefront of challenging the recent decision regarding asylum for DV survivors.
E. Protest Information (Thanks to Jayesh Rathod!)
F. Additional Responses
- Bishops across U.S. condemn separation, detention of migrant children, National Catholic Reporter, June 18, 2018.
- Becca Andrews, The Methodists Are Thinking About Ejecting Jeff Sessions Over Family Separations, June 19, 2018.
- Alexandra Petri, How to sleep at night when families are being separated at the border, Wash. Post, June 18, 2018.
- Michelle Goldberg, The Trump Apologists and the Crying Children, N.Y. Times, June 18, 2018.
New Op-Ed: Mirian G., At the border, my son was taken from me, CNN, May 29, 2018.
New Article: Daniel A. Farber, Response and Recovery after Maria: Lessons for Disaster Law and Policy, UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper, May 15, 2018. Abstract below:
Hurricane Maria had a devastating impact on Puerto Rico. The federal response to Maria was slow, leaving much of the population without basic necessities for extended periods. Lives were lost as a result. The federal government failed to rise to the challenges posed by logistic difficulties and strained agency resources due to preceding disasters. The response was hindered by unrealistic planning, by Puerto Rico’s lack of political power in Washington, and by presidential indifference. In the end, despite its much greater needs, Puerto Rico received assistance much more slowly than Houston. This article analyzes the reasons for the flawed response and proposes improvements in future disaster policy. Like Katrina, Maria is a story of how systems failed just when they were most needed by our most vulnerable citizens.
New Article: Marcella Alsan and Crystal Yang, Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities, SSRN (2018). Abstract below:
We study the impact of deportation fear on the incomplete take-up of federal safety net programs in the United States. We exploit changes in deportation fear due to the roll-out and intensity of Secure Communities (SC), an immigration enforcement program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from 2008 to 2014. The SC program empowers the federal government to check the immigration status of anyone arrested by local law enforcement agencies and has led to the issuance of over two million detainers and the forcible removal of approximately 380,000 immigrants. We estimate the spillover effects of SC on Hispanic citizens, finding significant declines in ACA sign-ups and food stamp take-up, particularly among mixed-status households and areas where deportation fear is highest. In contrast, we find little response to SC among Hispanic households residing in sanctuary cities. Our results are most consistent with network effects that perpetuate fear rather than lack of benefit information or stigma.
As someone who has a house in El Salvador, I know there are lots of issues with gangs, BUT this sort of dehumanization (which echos Trump’s earlier statement) should be denounced forcefully. Shame on all those who worked on this and all those who hesitate before resigning when asked to do similar things.
New Article: Denise L. Gilman & Luis Romero, Detention, Inc., SSRN Mar. 2018. Abstract below:
This paper addresses the influence of economic inequality on immigration detention. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) detains roughly 350,000 migrants each year and maintains more than 30,000 beds each day. This massive detention system raises issues of economic power and powerlessness. This paper connects, for the first time, the influence of economic inequality on system-wide immigration detention policy as well as on individual detention decisions.
The paper begins with a description of the systemic impact that for-profit prisons have had on the federal immigration detention system, by promoting wide-scale detention. The resulting expansion of detention has led to ever-increasing profitability for the private prison sector, which allows the companies to exercise even more influence over policymakers to achieve yet higher levels of detention. The influence of wealthy private prison corporations also affects the very nature of immigration detention, leading to use of jail-like facilities that are the product offered by the private prison industry.
The paper then describes the mechanisms by which economic inequality dictates the likelihood and length of detention in individual cases. The detention or release decisions made by DHS in individual cases must account for the need to keep numerous detention beds full to satisfy the contracts made with powerful private prison companies. DHS regularly sets bond amounts at levels that are not correlated to flight risk or danger but rather to the length of time that the individual must be held in detention to keep the available space full. The article presents data, obtained from immigration authorities regarding detention and bond patterns at a specific detention center that bears out this point. The research finds an inverse relationship between the number of newly arriving immigrants in the detention center and the bond amounts set by ICE. During times when new arrivals were few, the amount required to be released from detention on bond was high; during times when there were many new arrivals, bond amounts were reduced or set at zero.
The article also presents another way in which economic inequality affects the likelihood of detention at the individual level. Release and detention are largely controlled through the use of monetary bond requirements, which must be paid in full. The regular use of financial bonds as the exclusive mechanism for release means that those migrants who are most able to pay are most likely to be released without regard to their likelihood of absconding or endangering the community. Wealth thus determines detention rather than an individualized determination of the necessity of depriving an individual of liberty.
The paper urges that the role of economic inequality in immigration detention raises troubling issues of democratic governance and the commodification of traditional governmental functions. The current system also leads to an unjustifiable redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich.
The paper concludes with recommendations for reform. These reforms would help to sideline the influence of economic inequality in immigration detention decision-making.
New Article: Liz Keyes, Unconventional Refugees, 67 Am. Univ. L. Rev. 1 (2017). Abstract below:
Refugees are a flash point for political divisions in the United States and abroad. The enormous personal, moral, and legal challenges posed by the displacement of refugees around the world reveal the dire inadequacies of our current policies toward refugee protection. Children running to border agents at the U.S. southern border are treated as a security threat to be deterred, instead of a vulnerable population needing some level of protection. The numbers of people seeking safety in the United States, while not objectively high, places further strain on an already under-resourced heavily burdened immigration system, which at the end of the day, offers only partial hope to some of those seeking safety. Simply put, our current laws are simply not designed to offer meaningful protection that fits the contours of new waves of forced migration.
This article breaks open a debate that has been caught between the binaries of protection versus deterrence, and instead asks what framework could effectively serve multiple goals, both short-term protection and long-term deterrence and public safety. To do this, it questions our exclusive focus on the protection afforded by the Refugee Convention, and considers what rights to protection might be owed to “unconventional refugees.”
The Refugee Convention’s principle of non-refoulement (or non-return to the persecuting country) imposes significant duties on receiving nations like the United States, while its implementation requires intensive individualized determinations that create great demands on an overstretched immigration system. Its high value comes from the path it creates for refugees to ultimately access U.S. citizenship, and the value necessarily entails a process of great detail and depth. This article considers whether a complementary form of protection for unconventional refugees is appropriate—protection that is perhaps less valuable, but also less complex to administer and easier for the refugees to access.
The article examines precedents in U.S. immigration laws for such a reimagined form of protection, and examines a series of justifications, both philosophical and pragmatic, for such protection. The world is undeniably experiencing a moment where even the Refugee Convention meets considerable political opposition, so the project of developing a new framework is a long-term one, but it is a project that merits thoughtful consideration starting now. The principle of non-refoulement was once novel, and now constitutes a powerful principle of international law. A new principle for protecting unconventional refugees may also be possible, but only if we begin the task of imagining it.
Nathaniel Weixel, Trump officials allow Puerto Ricans to use food stamps for hot food, The Hill, October 3, 2017. [“The Trump administration has granted a waiver so that Puerto Ricans can use food stamp benefits to purchase prepared food in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.”]