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  1. Article: The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families

    by , 10-17-2013 at 09:36 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following article was just brought to my attention. It was written by Joanna Dreby, of the University at Albany, State University of New York, and is entitled: The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families. It was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family last year.

    From the forward:
    In 2011, a record number of foreign-born individuals were detained and removed from the United States. This article looks at the impact enforcement policies have had on Mexican families more broadly and children specifically. Drawing on interviews with 91 parents and 110 children in 80 households, the author suggests that, similar to the injury pyramid used by public health professionals, a deportation pyramid best depicts the burden of deportation on children. At the top of the pyramid are instances that have had the most severe consequences on children’s daily lives: families in which a deportation has led to permanent family dissolution. But enforcement policies have had the greatest impact on children at the bottom of the pyramid. Regardless of legal status or their family members’ involvement with immigration authorities, children in Mexican immigrant households describe fear about their family stability and confusion over the impact legality has on their lives.

    I intend to use this article as evidence in my next cancellation of removal case so I thought I'd share.

    Click here
    to read it in its entirety.
  2. Behind the Security Background Checks

    Before they can receive asylum, every applicant must undergo a security background check. But what exactly does the government check? And how can they learn about an applicant's background when she spent most of her life outside the United States?

    To me, these security background checks have always been a bit of a mystery. I've heard that the checks involve multiple agencies (FBI, State Department, etc.) and multiple data bases, but I did not know much more than that. Now, a recent article has shed some light on at least one type of background check: The FBI's Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) operates the nation's "bomb library," which keeps data on explosive devices used in terrorist attacks. TEDAC is directed by Greg Carl and operates out of Quantico, Virginia.

    Each bomb maker leaves a unique signature.

    TEDAC analyzes the "remnants of improvised explosive devices... in hopes of recovering latent prints from the insurgent bomb makers who crafted them." The Center has created a "comprehensive database of known terrorists for all law enforcement, the U.S. intelligence community and the military to share." The Center has received evidence from the "underwear bomber," the Boston Marathon bombing, and from attacks all across the world. The evidence collected by TEDAC comes from "bombings in as many as 25 countries from as far as the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia, in addition to the United States:"

    More than 100,000 boxes of evidence have been collected so far. They contain more than a million fragments fashioned from ordinary objects, which are barcoded and labeled before going through a wide array of forensic examinations, including toolmark identification, which allows matches of fragments to be made. Every scrap is searched for clues to a bomber’s identity.

    The Center's work seems to be effective. "According to Mary Kathryn Book, a physical scientist with the lab, 'Approximately 60% of the time, we are able to recover prints from these items through fingerprint processing. And then later these prints are searched in our database and we attempt to identify the individuals who left them.'"

    One project that is directly relevant to refugees and asylum seekers is the ongoing examination of IED material from Iraq to determine if "any Iraqi refugees relocated in the United States may be tied to IED attacks, as was the case with two Iraqi refugees based in Kentucky." (I wrote about this issue here).

    Unfortunately, our Congress has decided to cut funds from TEDAC (well, "decided" might not be accurate - they simply slashed and burned the budget indiscriminately). For all of us, there is the concern that we will be less safe due to these budget cuts. For asylum seekers fleeing persecution, it likely also means more delays for security background checks. This means longer insecurity and separation from family. In the unlikely event that Congress gets its act together, we can only hope that TEDAC will receive the funds it needs to keep operating effectively.
  3. The Tea Party's Revenge: Block Immigration Reform. By Roger Algase

    With Wednesday night's 11th hour vote in Congress to reopen the government for three months and raise the debt ceiling for four months, thereby kicking the fiscal can down the road (by a few yards), these issues are now resolved, the GOP leaders have learned their lesson never again to give into the right wing fanatics in their own party, and America can now get back to business, including finally passing immigration reform.

    This, at least, is the message that came out of the self-congratulatory speeches of Harry Reid and other Senate Democratic leaders right after the Senate vote, and, albeit in a more muted and restrained way, in President Obama's comments shortly after, both of them before the House had even voted on whether to accept this short term fix, which actually solves none of the underlying issues.

    So, now that the debt ceiling and government shutdown crises are over, the Republican leaders have been properly humiliated for shutting down the government and threatening a world wide economic meltdown, the president has answered a resounding "no" to a reporter's question about whether this will ever happen again, and the wicked witch of Cruz is politically dead, we can now get on with passing CIR. See the October 16 Reuters article: Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends also mentioned in Immigration Daily's October 16 editorial.

    This is certainly a nice scenario, one which all of us who support immigrant rights hope will come to pass, but it is not one that everyone in America necessarily subscribes to. The Tea Party and their supporters beg to differ.

    Even several hours before the votes in Congress, on Wednesday afternoon, Politico reported that right wing GOP Representative Raul Labrador (Idaho), who until recently, was in the House Gang of Eight that were working and drafting their own version of CIR, is now adamantly opposed to negotiating further on reform. Politico, in its article Raul Labrador: Budget battle hurts immigration push (October 16), quotes Labrador as follows:

    "I think that what [President Barack Obama] has done over the past two and half weeks, he's trying to destroy the Republican Party and I think anything we negotiate right now with the president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind, which is to destroy the Republican Party and not to get good policies."

    Of course, one might point out that the Republican party has been destroying itself and doesn't need any help from the president in this endeavor, thank you, but logic and reality have never been strong points among right wing Republicans and Tea Party supporters.

    As an aside, it is also worthy of note that a certain Senate Gang of Eight immigration reform supporter by the name of Marco Rubio (R-Florida - anyone remember him?) returned to his Tea Party roots Wednesday night by joining 17 other right wing Republican senators (including bitter immigration opponents such as Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Charles Grassley of iowa) to vote against reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.

    The Tea Party lives. And it lives to fight immigration reform. The Washington Post reports that, as far as immigration and other issues are concerned, the Tea Party is bloody but unyielding Tea party activists call bipartisan deal a capitulation: say they are unbowed (October 16).

    Rather than slinking off with its tail between its legs, the Tea Party is vowing to fight even harder. The WP writes:

    "The fight revved up the four year old tea party movement, which is now training its sights on blocking immigration reform and challenging incumbent Republicans up for re-election in 2014.

    'This is not all for naught' said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. 'Fighting for freedom is always the right thing to do. We will take the energy and passion and put it into watching what the House does with amnesty legislation, and then put it into action next year that will involve elections.'

    'We will keep fighting', she added. 'We are not going to go away.'"

    Nor is the wicked witch of Ted Cruz, the Tea Party's hero and an immigration reform opponent, politically dead either, as Edward Luce writes in the October 17 Financial Times: We will be hearing more from Ted Cruz.

    (With regard to Cruz's ongoing demagoguery, once again, and with apologies to ID readers, I cannot resist repeating my favorite Latin quote, from Horace: Non omnis moriar - "I will not wholly die.")

    No one should expect House Republicans to ignore the threats of revenge and retaliation over immigration reform from the people who came within hours of bringing down America's economy, if not the world's financial system, because of their hatred of the ACA - another measure which, like CIR if it passes, will better the lives of millions of brown people, among others who will benefit (if enough qualified foreign IT experts can be granted H-1B visas to get its computer system up and running, that is).

    We will without any doubt be hearing quite a bit more from the Tea Party and its supporters as the battle for CIR resumes.

    Updated 10-17-2013 at 02:15 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


    by , 10-16-2013 at 10:15 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently announced an increase in Form I-9 enforcement. Form I-9 completion and retention is often problematic for companies who place workers at third-party worksites because the Form I-9 documents must be seen in person by the employer or the employer’s representative. The April 2013 update to the US government’s M-274, Handbook for Employers, reconfirmed the best practice for Form I-9 completion in these difficult situations.

    In these instances, the best practice is for the employer to specially designate someone to personally review the documents and complete Form I-9, Section 2, Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification. Ideally this person should be a Notary Public, although the rule allows anyone acting on the employer’s behalf, such as another employee at the worksite.

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  5. Is Anti-Immigrant Racism Fueling the Shutdown and Debt Ceiling Fight? By Roger Algase

    Update: October 16, 1:20 pm

    At this writing, sanity seems to have prevailed in the Senate and a deal to reopen the government and avoid a potentially catastrophic debt default, at least short term, appears to have been reached. It is still not clear if the House will go along.

    But it is becoming even more obvious to more and more people that the Tea Party's racism against brown minorities played a major role in its furious opposition to the ACA and its incredibly destructive campaign to shut down the government and bring about a default.

    In the October 15 Washington Post Harold Meyerson continues with the same theme that Larry Cohen mentioned in his October 14 Forbes Article discussed below. See
    A tea party purge among the GOP.

    Unlike Cohen's article, Meyerson's piece does not mention the Tea Party's hatred of immigrants specifically. But it does mention the Tea Party's zeal to restrict minority voting rights and the Confederate Flag waving of some of its supporters, which are certainly related to its opposition to immigration reform.

    Hopefully, the public will start to realize how serious the consequences of failing to recognize and combat Republican right wing racism are. This may lead to a better chance of passage for CIR, once more American voters understand that the same racist attitudes that shut down our government and threatened to cause a world wide financial meltdown are the main obstacle to enacting immigration reform.

    The original post follows:

    Is it a coincidence that the same people who have been blocking immigration reform have also shut down "nonessential" parts of the government and are threatening to blow up America's and the world's economy? Not according to an October 14 article by Larry Cohen in Forbes, which is not exactly a left wing publication.

    Cohen's article Shutdown Power Play: Stoking Racism, Fear Of Culture Change To Push Anti-Government Agenda makes quite interesting and enlightening reading. More than that, it is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the real reasons why the Tea Party and its allies are so furious at "Obamacare" and so insistent on trying to keep the government shut down and force America to default on its debts.

    Cohen begins:

    "At first it seemed mystifying that reasonable voices didn't prevail to prevent a government shutdown. The scorched-earth effort by the Tea Party caucus and compliant Congressional leaders to undo President Obama's signature accomplishment didn't seem smart in terms of outcome or politics. The anti-government zealots who picked this fight may well have miscalculated; at the moment their strategy looks like a failure.

    But these folks are playing for the long term, building their brand an inflaming their base even as they infuriate the nation. They've also cynically played on - and reinforced - the racial fears of their followers and intensified the polarization of the nation."

    Cohen then goes on to describe the results of focus group studies carried out by Democracy Corps, led by two Democratic political consultants, with three groups of Republicans - evangelicals, Tea party supporters and moderates.

    He also writes:

    "What's striking for the first two groups is how much their anger and political stance is motivated by a dread of cultural changes taking place in this country and their fear and animus toward people of color and immigrants."

    He then quotes from the study:

    "While few explicitly talk about Obama in racial terms, the base supporters are very conscious of being white in a country with growing minorities... It starts with food stamps and unemployment benefits; expands further if you legalize the illegals, but ensuring the uninsured dramatically expands those dependent on government.."

    Cohen continues:

    "There is a desperate quality in the comments and attitudes of many interviewed in these focus groups...They don't like the new multicultural America that Obama represents and feel marginalized and alienated...

    If you have this perspective, you see the demographic shifts occurring in this country, you may fear what will happen when the US is no longer a white-majority nation. You may support election laws that discourage voting and adamantly reject any immigration reform that expands the number of people of color who can vote. And you may support any crisis, manufactured or not, that will bring government to a halt." (Emphasis added.)

    Never mind that Barack Obama, America's first black president, may go down as the president who has deported the most brown people in history. See Fawn Johnson in the National Journal: Actually Obama Has Been Terrible for Immigrants, October 10.

    Never mind that in an asymmetrical battle to uphold democracy and the rule of law against a determined opposition that wants to overturn both and is stirring up racism against immigrants and all people of color in support of its battle, Obama is sticking to the notion of sharply limited presidential power.

    George W. Bush and the Republicans had no such compunctions when they invaded Iraq, passed the Patriot Act and tried to legitimize the use of torture. Nor did Obama himself show much interest in limitations on presidential power when he turned NSA loose.

    Is it not time for the president to suspend deportations of 11 million aspiring immigrants in the interests of standing up against the Tea Party's racist agenda, and to announce on national television that if Tea Party fanatics continue to keep part of the government shut down, he will declare every federal employee essential (except ICE - they have been working so hard - don't they need a vacation?) and raise the debt ceiling on his own using his 14th amendment power in the interests of national security?

    Is Obama afraid that Ten Cruz, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann will impeach him if he acts courageously to stand up for millions of brown immigrants impacted by continuing mass incarcerations and deportations, and for Americans of every race and color who would be devastated by a prolonged shutdown and a failure to raise the debt ceiling? Let them try.

    Updated 10-19-2013 at 12:47 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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