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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Can women severely abused also claim protection under U.S. Asylum laws? Under which of the five (5) protected classes we have discussed would they fall under? Commonly referred to amongst immigration litigators as Matter of RA claims (based on the immigration case of Rose Alvarado), the law is still unsettled, and Kimberly mentions a very important and controversial basis for political asylum in her recent blog entry. Many woman asylum seekers are still waiting for final rules and regulations to be released. In the interim, some cases are denied, while other women simply must wait until final regulations are promulgated. Take a look at the gender-asylum timeline and the law as it has developed at

Next week, we will discuss one of the unfortunate chapters in American immigration policy: The "registration" of predominately Muslim male non-immigrants in the United States. Was the policy similar to the Japanese internment camps? Chapter 3, of "We Are All Suspects Now, (Special Registration in Chicago), discusses one community near Loyola University affected by Special Registration. We will learn about other individuals, as registration impacted their lives, in Thirst Films' documentary, Patriot Acts. We will also discuss the USA PATRIOT Act.

See you next week....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

GIVE ME YOUR POOR, YOUR TIRED, YOUR WEAK.....The words at that Statute of Liberty. Lady Liberty stands in New York Harbor to both welcome the travelers, and once was the first thing many immigrants saw when coming to Ellis Island. She's called "Liberty Enlightening the World", and her torch shines forth as a beacon to those arriving, and those still journeying, promising them hope. She's crowned with a diadem of seven spikes, representing the seven oceans of the world, across which her pilgrims travel to reach her, and she carries a plaque with the date July 4, 1776 written on it - the date when our Republic took its first full breath of life. The statement, "Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..."Liberty stands, stern and unyielding, the guardian of what we in this country have always held most dear. For this week's lecture, we will finish the film Avalon, and discuss Chapter Five of Daniels, "Admitting Displaced Persons.."

Keep these words in mind when we discuss Refugees, Asylees and learn about the immigration courts in American and the asylum cases of Enes Hadzovic, Farah & Umair Choudry, Kennedy Ugiabe and others...