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Monday, December 15, 2008

To the Students of Immigration Policy (SOC370/INTS 398) Thank you all for being a part of Loyola University's only immigration policy course.

Your footprint will be remembered by me and your fellow students for many years to come and while you mostly likely will forget the precise details learned in class, I hope you will never forget the rudimentary principle that immigration law and policy in the United States is a creature not always of common sense or logic but a creature of _____ and _______. I do not need to fill in the blanks for you...

If you enjoyed the class and wish it to continue, please let us know.

The Final Exam is also posted below and individual grades have been emailed to you.

I would also like to acknowledge the follow students' performance this past semester:


I wish you all the best.

---Christopher W. Helt, Esq.

Loyola University of Chicago
Immigration Policy 370 (INTS 398)
December 9, 2008


N.B. Choose only one question to answer from Sets I, II, and III.


READ EACH ESSAY EXAM QUESTION CAREFULLY. When asked to provide examples, provide examples used in class lectures, our film, class blogsite, and/or the reading materials. USE INK PEN.




A. SET # 1:

A.) Who is Nasser Din and Ziaul Hassan? In what context did you learn about them and Why?

1.) who and what were they fighting and why?

2.) Who is Fred Koramatusu and why is he similar to Naseer Din and Ziaul Hassan? What two media sources did we watch in class that were germaine (i.e, associated with or related to) to each?

3.) What law affected each individual? Were the laws affecting each individual upheld (i.e., lawful or “constitutional”)? How so?
(please cite two (2) laws for full credit or more if you like).

4.) Why is the adage, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” apropos here? If not, why not? Please include a discussion of Chapter 3, We are All Suspects Now, in your analysis.

B. SET # 2:

(1) (a) Who is Fred Koramatsu, (b) who are/were the NISEI and what immigration policy/law affected Koramatsu (name the exact law)?
(2) What happened to him? Why?
(3) What event in our nation’s past affected him?
(4) What did Fred Koramatsu and the Guantanamo Detainees have in common, if anything?
(5) Why did he have the final say in laws/policies affecting similar persons like him?


YOU MAY USE THE “IRAC” METHOD TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION IF YOU LIKE. Full Credit will be given either way for a complete answer, but you must identify the issues and note comparisons with material covered in class.


Somewhere in the Gulf of Aden. Tuesday morning, December 9, 2008. The SS Namor, a 656 passenger luxury cruise liner (owned by the Norwegian Government) and considered one of the world's most luxurious cruise liners, is headed for its eventual destination, port-of-Miami, capping its three continent, six country port-of-call.
Passengers on board the Namor range in social class and status, but include Oscar-nominated actress Brangelina Polie, her six adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Vietnam and India, (all United States Citizens by Brangelina's adoptive immigrant petitions (IVs) derivative US citizen status) and her heartthrob husband, Aad Jitt, also a conditional lawful permanent resident (a temporary “green card” holder).

Four-months earlier, August 26, 2008. Hollywood, California. Jitt immigrated to the U.S on a P-1 (entertainer's visa) for his first major motion film in 1991
(Thelma & Louise). He later married actress Anniffer Jiniston, (the couple was
known affectionately in Hollywood as “JJ” who filed for a change of status to a lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder) for him. Because of the widespread
media attention given to the wedding (the wedding photographs were sold to People
Magazine for a whopping 1.2 million dollars), United States Immigration &
Citizen Services (USCIS) processed Brangelina's I-130 visa petition a little
faster than it normally does: It approved the petition in one day (and absent
an interview). The marriage, unfortunately, later resulted in a divorce (having
been consummated) lasting less than the requisite 2 years to consider it to
be a “bona fide” marriage for immigration purposes. As such, Jitt recently received a knock on his door at his Malibu residence from ICE agents, personally handing him a notice from USCIS revoking his conditionally approved residency status (his “green card”) and issuing him a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) before an immigration judge as he now was placed in removal (“deportation”) proceedings awaiting a hearing before immigration judge Judy Rothchild, chief immigration judge at the Hollywood , CA. immigration court.

At the first court hearing (known as “master calendar”), Jitt appeared before Judge Rothchild, with his attorney, Hollywood Holt. Holt denied all allegations and demanded a speedy trial (though he knows that Jitt needs as much time as possible to support his deportation defense).

At immigration court, the government insisted that the supposed relationship and subsequent marriage of the “JJs” was a sham marriage solely for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits (and done only so Aad could continue his film career in the United States). As evidence of this, the government argued that no children resulted from the marriage and the couple rarely lived together. The ICE attorney stated mater of factly, “this is a textbook case of a paper marriage—the respondent [Jitt] was in it [the marriage] for a green card, your honor.”

The most damming evidence produced by the government were phone records and text messages of Jitt and Brangelina during the filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Hold vehemently objected to their admission, but with a packed courtroom of reporters inside, Judge Judy sustained all of Hollywood's objections admonishing him: “You've been practicing long enough counselor to know this is ALL relevant evidence against your client!”

The government also brought in shocking paparazzi photographs of Brangelina and Jitt taken at a remote Caribbean nude beach [depicting both committing unspeakable –and unprintable-- adultered acts]. There was no doubt that Brangelia and Jitt were carnally involved while Jitt was still married! Jitt's official green card
had not even arrived in the mail. One could hear a pin drop as the enlarged
photographs of Brangelina and Jitt were tendered to the judge. There was no
denying the affair now, but does that make Jitt guilty of immigration fraud?
Should he be deported on that basis as the government now contends? He was
clearly out of status (thus an “illegal alien”), as USCIS revoked his I-130, and
he could not file another one. Or could he?

This evidence above was admitted against Jitt, and it was now clear that there was some serious hanky panky going on between Brangelina and Jitt, all while he was still married to Annifer. The judge then found Jitt removable (“deportable”) as charged, as the marriage was less than two years old and under the law Jitt needed to show the marriage wasn’t a sham. Jitt could be deported simply because the marriage did not last two years and thus the conditions to remove his temporary residency were not meet. Attorney Holt knew of the affair, and knew there were only
four ways Jitt could stay here permanently [absent some limited exceptions]: (1)
the visa lottery; (2) an asylum claim; (3) a job sponsor; and/or (3) a family
(visa) petition.

“Hollywood” Holt had a novel idea, however. He would plead that Jitt certainly was removable (deportable) as the two-year requirement was not met, knowing he would lose that argument, but if he avoided the fraud charges, a later marriage
between Brangelia and Jitt would allow him stay here, obtain his permanent greed card (lawful permanent residency) and Jitt would not be deported to his native country, Missouropa (a former soviet bloc country). Missouropa has no political strife, civil war or any other political turmoil and is considered a peaceful, Thespian society (90% of its population are actors). Due to the recent worldwide economic spiral and Missouropa being denied EU status, however, its chief currency, the Guild, is virtually worthless.

If Brangelina, however, could file another family-based visa petition (an I-130
petition) for Jitt once they are married, the Judge could grant him a
continuance while the visa peititon was pending with USCIS. Jitt then would not
be deported. That was the plan of attack or defense for this case, Holt

This time, Holt also knew USCIS wouldn't approve a subsequent visa petitioner between the two in a timely fashion (as the first one), especially
since the government now was alleging fraud. But he nevertheless needed to buy time for his client. The case was ultimately continued until 2012 for status.

With the court hearing now more than 3 years away, Brangelina and Jitt enjoy taking a break from acting, having both worked on the recent US Presidential Campaign ,
and donating much money and time to causes they believe in: World hunger,
continued Katrina relief, and immigration reform. They both decide to take a cruise on the SS Namor. The children come with them.

Time on the cruise ship also allows Brangelina and Jitt quality time with their
family and a welcomed respite from the paparazzi, as the luxury cruise liner
screens its travelers very carefully. Every passenger on board in accounted
for and a thorough background check is made to ensure no guests are
photographers or anyone else from the media for that matter.


(A) (1) Can Jitt stay in the United States legally? (2) How so? (3) identify all the issues present in this fact pattern; (4) What procedure must he pursue, as we have learned in Class? (4) what are some of the problems he faces? (5) what audiovisual segment did we watch in class which parallels Jitt’s story and what are the similarities in that piece with Jitt’s predicament?


(B) Using Ngai’s discussion of Just vs. Unjust Deportation, discuss (1) why AAD JITT SHOULD BE DEPORTED OR NOT? (2) Cite specific examples used in class similar to Jitt’s predicament in our discussion of just vs. unjust deportations in society. (3) why do court delays (or continuances) help immigrants like Jitt? (4) Who else did we see in class that was in need of a long court continuance and why? Please specify by name.


Gulf of Aden. December 9, 2009. Traveling the crystal clear, sea green waters of the Gulf of Aden, a body of water just South of the Red Sea, is the SS Namor.
The ocean waters touch the shores of both Somalia to the West and the Saudi
Arabian Peninsula to the North. The nautical course traveled by the SS Namor is
both majestic and biblical, but also efficient. Both industrial tankards,
fishing ships, scrap heaps and tourist vessels alike traverse this course.

The gulf’s treacherous waters are home to dangerous “man-eating” species, human and otherwise. Below the water’s surface live deadly man-eating piranhas; above the water live another life threatening creature: Pirates. Yes, just like Blackbeard and his crew from centuries past lurk the modern day equivalent, who cruise theses waters in search of defenseless prey.

These modern-day buccaneers, who seemingly have ported through a time warp, originate from the war-torn lawless country of Somalia. Somalia, a predominately Muslim country, once was a majestic and proud land, today is defined by severe civil strife, clan-based murders, genocide, and anarchy. These pirates, like the piranhas deep below, must feed on their prey to survive: Famine and fear of starvation motivate the pirates. They are both fearless and vicious and have nothing to lose.

Composed chiefly from scrap metal heaps and rope, the small rag-tag boats or “skiffs” are diminutive in comparison to large vessels like the Namor. As the skiff approaches the ship, its captain, believing it to be stranded refugees and seeing a white distress flag waving, navigates towards the boat. Thus today the Pirates have found their victim: the SS Namor. Once the Namor is alongside the skiff, a burlap bag is removed, revealing a grenade launcher, and an anti-tank missile launcher, all remnants of U.S. troop intervention in Mogadishu in the early 1990s. Five-men and one woman, brandishing aka-47 automatic machine guns, one with a shoulder-strapped grenade launcer, board the ship. The Namor is commandeered by the Pirates in less than 10 minutes.

At least 50 passengers then are murdered on the deck of the Namor, when one of the Pirates’ shoulder rocket launchers accidentally fires. One of the passengers killed instantly from the blast is the famous actor, AAD JITT. His wife Brangelina Polie and their USC children are floors below and are not injured. The captain is also murdered and with no knowledge of the ships navigational system, the attempted hijackers are forced to surrender to German and U.S. maritime military vessels.

The Namor eventually arrives to the U.S., docking at the port-of-Miami in flames. With smoke billowing throughout the morning Miami sky, passengers are carried off of the ship, many on med-vac stretchers.

One of the individuals carried off the ship is Idel Hussain (pronounced EE-DEL), the only female accompanied with the Pirates.

After it is discovered that she was not an official passenger she is detained, placed in the Miami Detention Center, and interrogated by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).

After a “credible fear interview” by ICE, it was learned that Idel was 16-years-old and forced to sail on the skiff with the other pirates, one of whom she claimed to be her husband. She also stated that in Somalia, it is common for young woman to undergo a horrendous procedure. She also told ICE officers something horribly shocking—a story that not one ICE officer believed at the time: Idel claim that she (as well as most all woman in Somalia) were subjected to a form of genital mutilation which only females were subjected. Idel was forced to undergo this horrific procedure, she claims, when she was about 11 years old.

She went on to discuss this in detail: commonly referred to as infibulation and in Somalia, called "Pharaonic circumcision"), she claimed Eighty percent (80%) of all genital procedures for women and girls consist of this form which is the most harmful form. Of the remainder, the less radical or Type I (commonly referred to as clitoridectomy and in called "sunna" by Idel) is practiced mainly in the coastal towns of Mogadishu and Kismayu. The procedures leave a lifetime of physical suffering for the women. She described many Somalis mistakenly view this procedure as a religious obligation. The concept of family honor is also involved. It is carried out to ensure virginity. Because virginity of daughters and family honor are related, it is believed that the family’s honor will also remain intact if the daughters are subjected to this procedure. Women who have not undergone this procedure, Idel described, may be thought of as having “loose morals”. A girl who has not undergone it will result in less bridewealth for her father and brothers. Either way, Idel claims she had no choice in the matter. She also claimed she had to accompany her husband aboard the skiff or she would be killed by her husband.
Felling sympathy for Idel, she was further asked by ICE officers if she feared the government upon returning to Somalia. She stated that there is no government in Somalia and thus there is no government to fear.



A.) The Pirates survive and are taken into custody by ICE. Once fingerprinted, it is learned that two of the men had been admitted to the Untied States previously with visitor visas. One admitted to successfully commandeering a cargo ship in between his visits to the U.S. If biometrics had been used, (ie if the Somalia government had agreed to share its fingerprints to U.S. intelligence) clearly, one of the pirates would have not been on board resulting in the death of at least one American (and Aad Jitt). (1) Make a case, for or against why biometrics should be used for immigration enforcement. Include in your analysis a definition of biometrics. What did our guest speaker from the FBI believe and why? (2) Do we need to be more vigilant as to who enters the United States on a temporary basis or not? (3) should we fingerprint all visitors (non-immigrants or NIV visa holders) who come to the United States? Why or why not? (4) What liberties/privacy interests are involved, if any?


B.) (1) Is there a basis for asylum here? By whom? (2) Provide the definition of political asylum as discussed in class, in Ngai or both. (3) What are the five (5) bases of asylum--what must it be on account of? Please name the five. (4) What asylum case did we see from class (which guest speaker?) similar here? (5) What would the asylum case here be “on account of” (i.e, which one of the five (5) above would it fall under? and why? (6) What policy issues may be present which may serve as a hurdle to obtaining safe haven here in the United States? (7) Finally, what are Idel’s chances and what conditions would she be subject to if she pursues an asylum case in the U.S., based on what we discussed in class and the 60 Minutes piece we watched on detention of immigrants?

1B) Fred Koramatsu was a naturalized citizen of Japanese decent. Mr. Koramatsu was detained under Executive Order 9066, which was enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Basically, Koramatsu was detained for occupying a Military Zone, by the Secretary of War, and he was placed in a Japanese Interment Camp. Mr. Koramatsu was/is referred to as an NISEI, which is in Nagai and our class discussions an A2 or a second generation American Born citizen of Japanese decent. As stated earlier, Mr. Koramatsu (Now will be referred to as Mr. K.) was detained under executive or 9066, which gave the Secretary of War, absolute power to detain persons of Japanese decent in Interment Camps because of the beginning of WWII. Mr. K fought his detainment, in the Internment Camp, all the way to the Supreme Court. The case can be found in any law research database for reference. Furthermore, Mr. K. challenged his detainment as being unconstitutional. While Mr. K. lost his case before the high court, the court cited that his detention in violation of 9066 was lawful because he was being detained for the criminal violation of occupying a military zone; however, the court never fully addressed the constitutionality of native born Americans of Japanese decent being detained in these camps, but they articulated, in their opinion, that the detainment of American citizens was, at the very least, was Constitutionally Suspect, but this was not the issue before the court at the time. However, in my opinion, in our day and age, and with the evolution of our jurisprudence, had Mr. K challenged his detainment in our current society and before this court, he may win, but that is only a brief opinion. Mr. K was detained because of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. At this point in time, all people of Japanese decent were considered to be suspect as a result of the attack. The government did not know what Japanese Americans would sympathize with the Empire of Japan. So, every member of Japanese decent was detained and relocated to Internment Camps. The commonalities of Mr. K. and the detainees at Gitmo are similar in a sense. While was able to use the appellate process, Mr. K did not receive due process of law in his exclusion and relocation to an internment camp. The same can be said for the detainees at Gitmo. Some are American citizens, but yet, because they have been labeled as Enemy Combatants, in the War on Terror, they have been denied Due Process of Law, one of our fundamental foundations in this country. Thus, Mr. K. had the final say, when he filed an Amicus Brief * (A Friend of the Court Brief), on the behalf of the detainees in Gitmo. I may be paraphrasing, but, he did not want the government to make the same mistakes it made during WWII by denying Due Process of Law to American Citizens, once again. However, as a matter of fact, I believe Mr. K held that as long as people were detained on US Soil, which Gitmo technically is US soil because it is a Military Installation; all persons detained here were entitled to some Due Process of Law.


Issue: Whether or not Jitt can remain in the United States lawfully as a permanent US resident?

Rule: Marriages lasting less than two years do not constitute a bona fide marriage; therefore the petition for permanent status is denied.

Analysis: The general Rule, in this case, is stated very clearly. In order for a marriage to be valid, in the eyes of immigration, it must last a period of at lest two years. This is not the case. The Petitioner entered the US on an entertainer’s visa, which was converted to an application for Permanent Status following a marriage. The marriage resulted in a divorce, which does not meet the threshold of the two year minimum. Moreover, the Petitioner contends his marriage was not a sham; however, clearly, the evidence points to that fact. The couple rarely resided together, the relationship bore no children, and the Petitioner carried on an affair, while married, with another woman. As we proceed, do we think that adultery amounts to Moral Turpitude? I think so, because the Petitioner was married at the time of his affair. However, it is the year of 2008 and the case has been continued until 2012, and his current relationship can result in another marriage. The conclusion will support my finding.

Conclusion: The facts here are very clear. Jitt was married to woman while carrying on an affair during his marriage. His first marriage has resulted in a divorce, which does not meet the threshold of a 2 year minimum to obtain a Green Card/Lawful Permanent Status for a family sponsorship. Thus, the Petitioner, Mr. Jitt is eligible for deportation, and the deportation is just under the law. He rarely lived with his spouse, bore no children during his marriage, and carried on an affair with another woman. Adultery is certainly an offense of Moral Turpitude in our society. While we can entertain the issue of a job sponsor, there are certainly an ample amount of actors, certainly capable, of playing in roles that Jitt would be sponsored for. Therefore, the deportation against Jitt remains just. His native homeland is a peaceful nation with no political strife, civil war, or other political turmoil; however, the country and its currency are worthless. We will concede that Jitt is certainly well off financially due to his blockbuster roles, and his economic financial viability does not only reside in Missouropa. Thus, his deportation does not meet the threshold of persecution under financial distress because his wealth is global. Also, an asylum claim is out of the question because there are no relevant facts that point to a well founded fear of persecution. Therefore, under the objective factual analysis, the deportation would be approved; however, and this is a hypothetical, if Jitt was to marry again, and file another petition for permanent status, and meet the threshold of the two year requirement, his petition may be approved. But we do not deal in hypothetical, and given the fact that, currently, there is no change in marriage status, Jitt will be deported for the aforementioned reasons.

3B) Yes, there is a basis for a claim of Asylum. Idel could wage a claim of Asylum. Asylum must be based in a well founded fear of persecution due to the association of political Ideology, membership in a social group, race, gender, and nationality. While there is no government to fear because of the current status in Somalia, there is a state of lawlessness, which any state of nation has an obligation to preserve the right of law. Idel has been basically castrated by her parents against her will, which rises to a level of persecution. Meaning, she would be a member of a social group, which is uncircumcised and therefore persecuted in this country. Not to mention, this procedure seems to be a bit barbaric in a Westernized Ideology, thus resulting in a level of persecution because of the membership in a social group. Further, it appears, while customary, she was forced into a sense of indentured servitude because her refusal to board the vessel without her husband was met with severe consequence, death. In my opinion, this also rises to the level of persecution because there is no government to protect her from this way of life. Therefore, on the basis of the aforementioned facts, Idel would be granted Asylum because of her well founded fear of persecution due to the government of Somalia, which theoretically is non-existent but there is a government structure of some sort, inability to protect her. Also, she was not given any choices as to her membership in any social group; this also appears to meet the threshold of persecution because the government cannot control the group

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

This week marks our last class meeting and our final exam review session. I am grateful to you all for allowing me to be a part of your Loyola experience and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. let me also say that your participation in the Great American Immigration Debate on this blogspot served as the additional reading material for this course (and maybe the most important!). Thank you for all of your entries and comments during the semester...

I look forward to seeing you (and reading about you in the future) in the future. Below is the study guide for the final Exam which will take place DECEMBER 9, 2008. YOU WILL HAVE THE ENTIRE PERIOD TO TAKE THE FINAL EXAM.

--Christopher Helt, Esq.


THE FINAL EXAM COUNTS FOR 20% (or 20 points of your overall grade). It will be in essay format and require you not only to know the subject matter covered in class but you must be able to apply it.

You may use the IRAC method of answering the essay questions for one or all of the exam questions, depending on what is asked and your preference. I will be available by email or telephone before the exam for you. I can also meet with you if you have any last minute questions, depending on our schedule (I will be in town this week and next).

Everything we covered in class is fair game for an essay question on the final. There will be three questions to answer, from a choice of two or three. You will have the entire period to answer the exam. To keep everyone honest, their will be essay questions related to the reading material, especially since there was not an enormous amount of reading material assigned the second half of the semester.

Pay particular attention to the following:

I. DEFINITION OF ASYLUM-be able not only to define it, but know the five bases. Be prepared to cite class lectures and DANIELS, NGAI. Be able to identify a specific fact pattern or scenario similar to what you have heard about from out guest speaker, Farah Choudry, Class Lectures, Audiovisual and blog spot entries. There may be a question on the final exam taken directly from one of your entries or comments.

II. PATRIOT ACTS FILM-who were the individuals portrayed in the film? (Tariq Moti and Mohammad Tariq). See handout given in class (profiling illegal immigrants in the U.S.), Chicago Tribune Article "Tossed out of America" on our class blogspot, the Chicago Lawyer Article "New Era In Immigration Law". (1) What was this law all about, (2) who did it affect, (3) what was its stated purpose, and (3) was it "legal"? (4) Is it still in existence today? Know chapter 3 of Nguyen, and Sadru Noorani and Qadir. How did their lives parallel those depicted in Patriot Acts? Be prepared to provide specific examples in the reading material and the film.

III. KNOW NSEERS ("Special Registration"), the time period why it was implemented and who was affected. Be able to identify similarities in this law with other laws affecting individuals such as the Japanese Internment camps.

1. Japanese Internment Camps refers to the forcible relocation and internment of approximately 110,000 Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans to housing facilities called "War Relocation Camps", in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Know why and its justification.

2. Know the similarities between 9/11 and another unfortunate incident in our history, on December 7, (1941): PEARL HARBOR. What policy changes were effected and what laws were enacted as a result and why? The terms remember 9/11, and we shall never forget are just about identical to the slogans "remember Pearl harbor"-- (remember the poster passed out in class?) what is their significance?

3. KNOW THE LEGAL BASIS TO PASS ANY IMMIGRATION LAW. YOU MAY BE ASKED TO APPLY THIS TO A CERTAIN FACT PATTERN NOT SEEN BEFORE. You may be asked to use the IRAC method to answer the ESSAY QUESTION (see below). Please be prepared to compare the past with the present:

Whereas the special registration program only involved non US citizens, over 60% of the internees were American citizens. President Franklin Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones", from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast. This is discussed in Ngai and you should be very familiar with the readings or what was covered in class on this topic. Know our class discussions!

IV. CLASS LECTURE ON "aliens" and U.S. Citizens from country "A." Be able to justify why immigration laws are made (yes, there are based on "politics and economics" as we have learned--but how are they upheld as "constitutional"). Again, know the legal basis, fair or unfair (just or unjust) upon which to pass any immigration law in the United States.

III. UNJUST vs. JUST DEPORTATIONS-KNOW HOW THIS AFFECTS immigration law and whether to deport individuals or not from the U.S. See Ngai discussion of this topic. Know handout on Naseer Din and Ziaul Hassan family from our class field trip. Know the role of Immigration Judges and their limited authority, as discussed in class.

IV. Finally, know the "IRAC" method of answering an essay exam questions: (1) ISSUE, (2) RULE, (3) ANALYSIS, (4) CONCLUSION. Why is it used? Why is it important? Know that: Immigration laws are often hidden/justified by current public sentiment, economic motivations: (i.e., NSEERS, Deportations of DIN, Hassan family). Oftentimes there is a lot of unrelated yet inflammatory facts associated with immigration (remember the GERALDO RIVERA vs. BILL O'REILLY DEBATE, i.e., are we letting illegal aliens who are drunk drivers stay here). IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU BE ABLE TO objectively parse away irrelevant facts to get at the real issues. This is the purpose of the IRAC methodology of answer exam questions. If appropriate, cite the 60 Minutes segment about widows left behind due to immigration laws where common sense DO NOT GO HAND IN HAND WITH THE LAW: Many viewers (and lawmakers in Congress) were shocked at this segment. DOES THIS COME AS A SUPRISE TO YOU, based on what you have learned during this semester? These laws may be unfair, but can they be supported legally in our society? WHY? (refer to our friend, FRED KORAMATSU. Did he have the last say after all?).

BE PREPARED TO TIE IN THE PAST WITH ANY HYPOTHETICAL FACT PATTERN GIVEN ON THE FINAL EXAM: If you know this--you will be able to identify and answer any type of essay question asked of you.

Please call email me or make an appointment to see me if you have any questions.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

THE ELECTION IS OVER. We have our first class this week (and our last class blog entry assignment) knowing who will lead our nation now and the most obvious question to ask is WILL CHANGE HAPPEN IN IMMIGRATION WITH THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION?

Although economic concerns reduced immigration issues to nearly a "nonissue" by the time the presidential campaign drew to a close (when last year it was arguably THE most important issue, second only to the war in Iraq), political experts believe it was largely responsible for the record turnout of Latino voters Tuesday, 66% of whom supported Barack Obama.

According to national exit poll results analyzed by the Pew Hispanic Center, only 32% of Latinos voted for John McCain, in spite of his track record as a proponent of immigrant-friendly reforms (remember last years McCain-Kennedy bill, losing 60-64 last June?). That total represents a significant drop from what President Bush received in 2004, receiving between 40% and 44% of the Latino vote that year and 35% in 2000...

But the heated immigration debate that dominated headlines two years ago, when hundreds of thousands marched in cities across the country and demanding CIR (Comprehensive Immigration Reform) may have been the catalyst that sent Latinos to the polls. WAS IT BECAUSE OF THEIR DESIRE TO EFFECT CHANGES IN OUR IMMIGRATION SYSTEM?

A large number of Latino voters this year were casting ballots for the first time, suggesting that efforts by national and local Latino organizations to encourage legal residents to become U.S. citizens and participate in the political process paid off, AP concludes.

Interestingly, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced right after the election that 1,051,640 people became U.S. citizens between Oct. 1 of last year and Sept. 30, setting a record. we shall soon see whether Most of them who were able to vote--most likely voted for Obama.

The nonpartisan National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials estimates that between 9.6 million and 11 million Hispanics voted in the election, compared to a U.S. Census estimate of 7.6 million in 2004. Latinos comprised 9 percent of all voters this year, compared to 7 percent in 2004, according to Associated Press exit polls.

Nationwide, the AP polls suggested about two-thirds of Latino voters chose Obama over Republican John McCain. About three-fourths of Hispanics under the age of 30 supported Obama.

In Florida, where President Bush won 56% of the Latino vote in 2004, Obama earned 57% of the Hispanic vote to McCain's 42%. Obama won three-fourths of Latino votes in Nevada, and nearly 7 in 10 favored him in New Mexico, where he would have lost without them, according to a recent AP story.

Gone are the significant inroads by Bush among Hispanic voters (Take a look at our blog spot from last year, below). Bush won over many in 2000 by saying he would build a solid relationship with Vicente Fox, then president of Mexico. Their relationship later soured, AP correctly points out.

In 2004, Bush won 40% of the Hispanic vote.

So a more obvious question to ask is: HAVE HISPANIC VOTERS CREATED A NEW ELECTORATE MAP? If so, and immigration may be the most important political issue for Hispanics now, then by simple deduction, majors changes in immigration are coming...

-Christopher Helt, Esq.

Aida said...

To the question « Have Hispanic voters created a new electorate map?” I deeply believe that the answer is yes.

With 14 percent of the U.S. population, the Latino “minority” accounted for over 8% of the electorate in this election. “While I know how powerful a community you are, I also know how powerful you could be on November 4th if you translate your numbers into votes.” says Barack Obama on his web page dedicated to Latinos: During the campaign both Senator McCain and Senator Obama tried hard to get Latinos’ support by making appearances in front of major Hispanic organizations such as The National Council of La Raza or LULAC back in July. The courting of the Latino vote started in the early stages of the primaries. I remember how Bill Richardson’s endorsement -the Hispanic governor from New Mexico- was coveted after he dropped the race in January.

Hispanic voters created a new electorate map not only because of their growing voting population but they literally influenced the candidates’ strategies as well as the outcome in this election. Indeed, Latinos voted overwhelmingly for Obama but they also helped him carry “battleground” sates such as Colorado, Nevada, Florida and New Mexico.

For the anecdote, I was with the Obama campaign in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the weekend of Get Out The Vote (GOTV) prior to Election Day. The main activity of GOTV is canvassing: volunteers knock on doors, ask people if they are registered to vote, if they know where their polling location is, offer them a ride to the polls… Local organizers in Milwaukee had a “code” for Hispanic neighborhoods –they were colored purple on a map of the city-. On November 1st, I went with one of the other Chicago interns in one of the Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. As a second-generation immigrant, my friend is fluent is both languages, which made her an incredible asset for the campaign. We had also had campaign literature in both English and Spanish. All this to show how many efforts were made by the campaign to get the Hispanic vote: “The Latino community holds this election in its hands” (Barack Obama at the NCLR annual conference in San Diego).

1:01 PM

Teresa said...

There is a potential for a mass mobilization about immigration change. These individuals who will be the mass, who might happen to be Latino, have an important voice, but I do fear for a grouping of such a diversity of people as one unit comprised of only one race. It is dangerous for politicians to think the only issue Latinos must care about is immigration. I also don’t think it is only Latinos who are concerned about the future of immigration. We are a whole nation of immigrants from all over the world. If properly educated on our history, we all should care. As much as I have hope for Obama and this change and hope dream initiative we currently attempt to have faith in, I really don’t think his immigration policy is all that different than that of McCain. So I am unsure I claim an immigration victory in the election of Obama.

On April 5th, 2006, Barack Obama discussed the debate going on in the Senate about CIR: "It behooves us to remember that not every single immigrant who came into the United States through Ellis Island had proper documentation. Not every one of our grandparents or great-grandparents would have necessarily qualified for legal immigration. But they came here in search of a dream, in search of hope. Americans understand that, and they are willing to give an opportunity to those who are already here, as long as we get serious about making sure that our borders actually mean something."

Now, as I look up his official views on immigration on his “Blue Print for Change” website his thoughts have seemed to change (except for his thoughts on strengthening the border). With response to “bringing people out of the shadows, “Obama and Biden support a system that requires undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.” So now we tell people to go to the back of the line and jump through more hoops. Didn’t he recently say that all of our grandparents didn’t come here in a way that would have qualified for legal immigration? Did they have to jump through hoops and go to the back of this line because they didn’t qualify for one of the four ways? I am pretty sure the answer is no. My grandparents were embraced and welcomed by the Statue of Liberty into the land of promise as the weak huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Last night, I was shopping in a grocery store on Bryn Mawr. Two Mexican men behind me were buying six packs of Modelo. An angry white woman pushed past them and clearly yelled, “Excuse me.” As she finished paying and was about to walk out the door, the men were apparently in her way again. She yelled, pushed her way out the door, and clearly stated for everyone to hear, “No wonder people don’t like illegal Mexicans!” I felt discouraged and disappointed as I paid for my groceries. We really have a long way to go as a nation with concern to immigration on the small local level and the larger national level.

11:59 PM

all of the above said...

I don't have any empirical data to back this up, but re: your question about whether or not the huge immigrant marches of two years ago impacted this election, but I think the answer is definitely yes. A sign that was seen at every immigrant protest I was at and every one I saw in the media were signs that read, "Hoy marchamos, mañana votamos" - "today we march, tomorrow we vote." I think that community organizers in the Latina/o immigrant community here have taken that slogan seriously, and have really done the groundwork that has helped lead to this huge voting shift--both in terms of registering voters and engaging Latinas/os on the issues, making them realize that an Obama vote was really in their best interests.

On the other hand, a commentator being interviewed on NPR the other day ( said that a big reason that Latinas/os voted Obama was "bread and butter issues," the economy in particular. Another NPR story talked about how the economic downturn is hurting Latino/a immigrants, both documented and undocumented, particularly badly ( Regardless of why they voted for Obama, though, I do think Latinos/as will now be seen as a more important demographic to court in US politics.

As a personal note, I have often wondered why Latinos/as have been as supportive of Republicans as they have been in the past (besides social issues--I know that many Latinos/as are fairly socially conservative). Sure, there are Republicans like McCain who have supported decent immigration reform, but there is that crazy split in the party between people like McCain and Rep. Tom Tancredo, the crazy xenophobic dude who Geraldo talks about in his book. While the Democrats certainly have their own xenophobic elements, they have not been as vocal as the Republicans'.

12:24 AM

Nikki said...

Have hispanic voters created a new electoral map?

Yes. I read in a Chilean news report just before the election that Obama reached out to the hispanic population by pitching a commercial in fluent spanish, urging the population to vote. This commercial is important for two reasons. One, that our border with Mexico is important. I believe that Obama's ability to reach out to the hispanic population helped win the battle ground states like Florida and New mexico.

Another important aspect to this commercial, was that a Chilean news reported it. I think it is important to realize that this election doesn't have implications just for hispanic people in the US, but for hispanic people in other countries, and for that matter, around the world. Obama will be the leader of the US, but also a leader for the world. When I studied abroad in Chile, I was struck by the amount of people who knew about politics in the United States. They were able to name the candidates that were nominated, and those who they sought fit to be our next president. How many of us know the president of Chile? This goes to show, that the decision of this election will continue to effected many other countries.

The media plays a huge role urging people to vote. Especially when South American countries are showing their support for a particular candidate. In the chilean newspaper, not only did they report on Obama's commercial, but Fidel Castro's support for Obama as a candidate. It is not doubt that media coverage like this will spark other hispanic voters to be apart of the politics in the United States.

1:38 AM

Dara said...

I agree that the electorate map is changing. How that will play out in changes to immigration policy will be interesting. While I believe that change is coming, I’m not sure how much and how soon it will come. In Obama’s “Blueprint for Change”, the focus on immigration reform begins and ends with illegal immigration. I have heard him speak about the usual ideas: securing borders, keeping families together and bringing people out of the shadows but not on issues outside of illegal immigration. I believe that the focus on illegal immigration is important but also limits discussions to one part of a much larger problem. Will new policy changes improve the adjustment and processing of immigrants that are out of status or in the deportation process? Will new policy changes review enforcement methods and policy for civil liberty violations? I am not clear and perhaps even a little less hopeful that the new administration will make addressing the broken system and not just the illegal immigration issue a priority. Accomplishing the proposed goals related to illegal immigration without corresponding reform to the system will result in millions of people being added the already backlogged, inefficient and dysfunctional immigration system.

Diana writes,

In response to the question of whether an Obama administration will bring immigration reform, I think it is still to be determined. Yes, Latinos came out in record numbers and voted for him and the logical answer would be that he should bring immigration reform, but I don’t think it is that easy. As a senator, he played both sides of the aisle on the issue.

Also, immigration reform is not the number one issue of Latinos. Their number one issues are similar to the rest of the electorate: the economy, education, and ending the war. However, Latinos, those who are citizens, residents and undocumented have suffered a tremendous anti-immigrant backlash which was fueled by the Republican party. I think it was in response to this backlash that Latinos came out in records numbers for Obama.

We need to see who President-elect Obama surrounds himself with and how he deals with the pressing concern of the economy. As we learned in class, immigration is a creature of politics and economics. It is becoming evident that there are other issues he’ll need to deal with before solving the immigration problem. This could become difficult for the Democratic party in general if the Latino electorate is not happy with the Obama administration when it is time for his re-election.

bosslet said...

I think that the future Obama administration will responsible for an improvement in our current immigration system but I don't think that the change that will be inacted can be considered comporable to the desired 'comprehensive immigration reform.' It appears as though the Obama campaign has chosen it's immigration policy as one of it's 'middling' policies that places their candidate in a more centralized political position to make him more attractive to moderate and more conservative voters. Of course now that the election is over I think that the rhetoric coming out of the future administration will become more and more liberal.

The change that will occur under Obama that looks most promising will likely involve the opportunity for current illegal workers to pay a fine and begin the process of normalizing their status. Unfortunately it also appears as though Obama is seeking to crack down more on workers who are currently without status. This is a clear separation from more liberal and progressive views on immigration. Further funding of the bureaucracy as well as port and border facilities is also a top priority for the Obama administration which would indicate a strong inclination to enforce current laws involving immigration.

1:51 PM
Michael said...

If this year proved to hold a greater turn out of Latino voters than before, what does that say about the issue of immigration? For me, I often hear people speak of Latinos and undocumented immigrants as if they’re one and the same, as if to be Hispanic in the US implies you are here illegally regardless of where you were born or what citizenship you hold. As Geraldo Rivera said in his book when an angry critic told him to go home to wherever he came from, he responded by pointing out that he was born in Harlem, NY. When the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials estimates that between 9.6 million and 11 million Hispanics voted in the election, this goes to show that when we speak of the Hispanic minority in the US, we are not necessarily referring to border hopping illegals as is often portrayed. This great turn out of voters who come from Latino backgrounds (or at least who check off the Hispanic on the voter demographic form) are no less American citizens than those who come from Irish, Italian or even Chinese backgrounds. In my opinion, the fact that American citizens who have Latino heritage and are expressing their political interest in this country proves that the electoral map is changing. I suppose I tend to be an optimist and idealist in situations like these, but I hope to see this participation in a national, united event such as this as a sign of integration. Again ideally speaking, I’d also like to see demographic reform so that by identifying yourself in one way or another wouldn’t also immediately stigmatize you or make you no more than a number for one group or the next. I think citizens of the United States should be able to cast a vote for their preferred candidate without worrying about how it will affect the demographic, census or question their status as an American.

Tania said...

Like most of my classmate I believe that the electoral map is changing or better yet, last week elections proved that it has already change.

During the first semester of this year i was studying abroad in Mexico and I was able to see for myself how most people in Mexico were interested in the elections.

Most people that I talked to wanted obama to win not only because they home for a new immigration reform but mostly becuase of the ecenomy. The Economy was for both mexicans leaving in Mexico and mexicans leaving in the United States one of the most important issues. There is a saying in Mexico that "si a E.U.A le da gripa a Mexico le da pulminia" -if the U.S.A gets a cold than Mexico gets pneumonia' this refers to any financial crisis faced by the U.S.A

3:50 PM

AnnaW said...

Will change happen in immigration with the Obama administration?
It is clear that some change will occur under the Obama administration in terms of immigration reform, but how much and what kind of change is unclear. Obama voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform, voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government, voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security, votes YES on establishing a Guest Worker program, voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship, supported the DREAM Act for the children of illegal immigrants, and voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities”; yet he also voted YES on buliding a fence along the Mexican border, and wants there to be a high penalty fee that illegal immigrants have to pay in order to be able to stay and get in the back of the line for citizenship.

Obama is definitely a proponent of stronger border security and wants to require that undocumented workers go to the back of the line so they do not get citizenship before those who applied legally. He believes that illegal persons should not be able to work in the US; therefore, there needs to be a push to crack down on employers who are hiring illegal immigrants and are taking advantage of them.
Obama is pushing for comprehensive immigration reform in a country where the immigration system is broken; it is going to take a while for any of the policies, be they good for immigrants or bad, to be implemented.

3:56 PM

Zubeyir said...

It seems like Diana outlined what I would say about the issues we are discussing. Having said this, I think that we still need to see what Obama will actually do with the immigration policy. We like most others expect that Obama presidency will be relaxing for the immigrant at least in comparison to 8 years of Bush administration which was fostered anti-immigrant sentiments and policies. That, I think, effected the ways many immigrant voted and Latino community is no exception. I have heard that Muslim immigrants had voted for Bush in 2000 election because of his conservative policies regarding issues of family and morality. However, they voted against him in 2004 simply because of the hardships Muslims encountered during his first term of presidency.

However, I don't think that Latino community was only and primarily concerned with immigration policies like Muslim immigrants. Again, this is not to say that they were not concerned with issues of immigration. Issues of immigration is only among many factors that affected voting behaviors of Latino community. I agree with Diana that they mostly voted on the basis of their economic concerns as 8 years of Republican administration fell behind economic prosperity of Clinton administration. Obama's call for change appealed and reached to Latino communities as they wanted to see a more prosperous future. I think that Latino communities, in this regards, show that they are less bounded with ideological issues when it comes to the decision of whom to vote. They mostly voted for Bush in 2004, if I am not wrong, and they turned to Obama in 2008. That, I think, indicates that Latinos will not hang on to Obama no matter what. What matters most is their, like many others', economic well-being. Who ever seems more promising in that regard will get the majority Latino votes unless they show sarcastic anti-immigrant sentiments.

10:53 PM

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

At the time of this entry, none of those who particpated in our informal class survey believe that we should deport individuals from the United States.

Nikki writes,

I found this article online. I thought it was interesting because it talked about asylum of sexual orientation. And it also discusses the role of judges, similar to the article about the immigration courts for this week's assignment.

This article gives a different perspective for those wanting asylum for being a lesbian or gay. The article raises the question of those who might be "pretending" to be gay to stay in the US. Is deportation the answer, if they are returning to a homeland of unsafe circumstances. Some are not even able to utter the word of their sexual orientation. check it out...

nh said...

I found this article online. I thought it was interesting because it talked about asylum of sexual orientation. And it also discusses the role of judges, similar to the article about the immigration courts for this week's assignment.

This article gives a different perspective for those wanting asylum for being a lesbian or gay. The article raises the question of those who might be "pretending" to be gay to stay in the US. Is deportation the answer, if they are returning to a homeland of unsafe circumstances. Some are not even able to utter the word of their sexual orientation. check it out...

3:49 PM

nh said...

With the upcoming election next tuesday, I think it's important to consider both candidate's side on immigration.

Here's Barack Obama's stance:
In his opening quote about immigration he discusses how the immigration law system in broken, and it's necessary to fix the system. He has a plan to bring people out of the shadows, work with Mexico and try to keep families together.

Here's John McCain's view:
McCain also agrees that the immigration laws are broken and seeks a two-step process reform, which involves securing the boarders and then comprehensive immigration initiatives for a secure nation.

This is an article from Miami Herald that looks at both sides and the similarities and differences:
IMMIGRATION POLICY: McCain, Obama hold similar views on immigration - Rivals John McCain and Barack Obama both claim to be champions of immigration reform, which could be an issue for each in his respective party.

If this doesn't work, you can find in loyola's World News through the electronic articles.

Do you think that Obama and McCain are similar on their views? What reform might accomplish more?

2:26 PM

AnnaW said...

I drive down Devon Avenue every day to get to Loyola, and never have I paid more attention to the store-fronts, restaurant names, and the faces of the people on the sidewalks than I do now that I have seen the movie about the Patriot Acts that we watched in class last week. I think that one of the reasons that the movie had such a big impact on me was because I drive through that neighborhood every day.
Something that struck me was that it was said in the movie was that before the Patriot Acts, the Indo-Pakistani neighborhood was a lot more vibrant- there were more stores and restaurants- but I have always thought that that neighborhood was lively anyway. I started commuting down Devon in 2006. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is hard for me to imagine how much more alive the area must have been before people started getting deported because it seems so full of culture and vibrancy today.

Ngai opens chapter 2 with a discussion of the Immigration Act of 1924 that effectively created a “new class of persons within the national body- illegal aliens-whose inclusion in the nation was at once a social reality and a legal impossibility” (Ngai, 57). She says that the restrictions placed on immigrants raised problems that were “administrative…juridical…and constitutional (do illegal aliens have rights?)” (Ngai, 57). I find this question of whether or not illegal aliens should have rights to be ironic in a country that was founded on Christian values. As Christians we believe that every person is equal because he or she has been created in the image and likeness of God; so if every person is equal, shouldn’t every person have rights? Yes, it is necessary for every country to have laws regarding immigration, but shouldn’t people (be they legally or illegally residing in the United States of America) be treated with the dignity and respect that is due to them? It seems to me that deporting people en masse does not respect their rights as human beings.

8:06 PM

Kip Young said...
October 31, 2008
Inquiry Targeted 2,000 Foreign Muslims in 2004
WASHINGTON — An operation in 2004 meant to disrupt potential terrorist plots before and after that year’s presidential election focused on more than 2,000 immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries, but most were found to have done nothing wrong, according to newly disclosed government data.
The program, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, received little public attention at the time. But details about the targets of the investigation have emerged from more than 10,000 pages of internal records obtained through a lawsuit by civil rights advocates. Parts of the documents were provided to The New York Times.
The documents show that more than 2,500 foreigners in the United States were sought as “priority leads” in the fall of 2004 because of suspicions that they could present threats to national security in the months before the presidential election and the inauguration. Some of those foreigners were detained and ultimately deported because they had overstayed their visas, but many were in this country legally, and the vast majority were not charged.
The internal reports show that immigration agents questioned the foreigners about what they thought of America, whether violence was preached at their mosques, and whether they had access to biological or chemical weapons. A sampling of 300 cases turned over by federal officials showed that none of those interrogated were charged with national security offenses. Fewer than one in five were charged, most of them with immigration violations.

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Richard Rocha, would say only, “Due to ongoing litigation, ICE is not at liberty to provide any comment.”
Officials said they were not aware of any similar programs now under way.
At the time of the 2004 operation, the immigration agency said publicly that it was tracking leads in an effort to disrupt potential terrorism plots, but emphasized that its investigations were being conducted “without regard to race, ethnicity or religion.”

But the records showed that 79 percent of the suspects were from Muslim-majority countries, according to an analysis by students at the National Litigation Project at Yale Law School, who obtained the records, as did the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Each group sued for the records under the Freedom of Information Act, and both say the operation showed that the government was using ethnic profiling to identify terrorism suspects.

“This was profiling,” said Michael Wishnie, a professor at Yale Law School who helped lead the research effort. He added that the findings raised questions about both the effectiveness and the propriety of the program.
“The resources devoted to this were enormous,” he said, “but the results clearly were not.”

The issue of ethnic profiling in counterterrorism programs has taken on added significance because of new Justice Department guidelines that go into effect Dec. 1 and give investigators even broader authority to open terrorism investigations without evidence of wrongdoing. The American Civil Liberties Union and other rights groups argue that the new guidelines will allow federal investigators to make targets of Muslims, Middle Easterners and others without evidence of links to terrorist groups.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the administration began a series of efforts that strained relations with Muslims and Arab-Americans in particular. The detention of more than 700 illegal immigrants as terrorism suspects — often for months at a time without lawyers — generated a blistering report from the Justice Department on the “unduly harsh” treatment of the prisoners. Follow-up efforts in 2002 and 2003 led to the questioning of thousands of Muslims and Middle Easterners as well as measures requiring that immigrants from some countries register their presence with federal authorities.

The investigations conducted in the fall of 2004 were part of what federal authorities called Operation Front Line. It was unusual in that it relied on intelligence data from across the government to identify “priority leads” and then conduct interrogations in October 2004, just before Election Day.
One foreigner, in the country on a student visa, was asked his “opinion of America,” according to internal investigative reports. He responded that he was “living the American dream and cared greatly for the equal opportunities, rights and values that are afforded in America.” Another person, from South Asia, was asked about a mosque he attended and told an agent that “the mosque did not espouse any radical or fundamental form of Islam or denounce the United States in any way.” A third visa holder was asked if he owned any chemical or biological explosives. He said he did not.

The Homeland Security Department announced several hundred arrests at the time, mostly of visitors whose visas had expired, but the records obtained in the lawsuit show that the scope of the operation reached much further. More than 2,500 people were interrogated, with more than 500 arrests for immigration violations like overstaying visas.

A former immigration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because aspects of the program remain classified, said the operation analyzed data, gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies, to identify people who might pose particular threats to national security. “I think the intelligence we were getting was bona fide and mineable, and we were doing the best we could to follow it up,” the former official said.

Kareem Shora, national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he considered the findings a “slap in the face” because they contradicted the claims of American officials.
“It is very disappointing to see that despite all the reassurances that they were not profiling people, this comes out,” Mr. Shora said. With nearly 80 percent of the targets in the 2004 operation coming from Muslim nations, he asked, “how can you tell us you’re not focusing on people from these countries?”

Julia Preston contributed reporting from New York.

11:31 PM

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

[D]eportation is . . . exile, a dreadful punishment, abandoned by the commom consent of all civilized peoples. . . That our reasonable efforts to rid ourselves of unassimilable immigrants should in execution be attended by such a cruel and barbarous result would be a national reporach.


The above quote is from Chapter 2 of Ngai's Impossible Sujbects: Illegal Aliens and The Making of Modern America.

THIS PAST WEEK, we visited the Chicago U.S. Immigration Court, and observed a number of individuals facing imminent deportation from the United States. I invite you to post comments and/or questions. See you next week...

Christopher Helt, Esq.

Dara writes,

For me the immigration court experience was profound in sharing the very personal side of what has become a controversial "topic" of discussion and debate. Beyond the politics and even economics is the reality of injustice. I don't think it is possible to see a situation like Mr. Din's or Mr Hassan's and not develop a sense of outrage and feel compassion for their families. Again, the question of Constitutionality surfaces.

To say the immigration system is broken is an understatement that became even more apparent in seeing the court proceedings. Hearing the years spent processing cases, many of which seem to be based on errors and technicalities and realizing the amount of money and manpower used is beyond wasteful. The figuratively fine line determining lawful and unlawful status looks more like a noose (to me).

Teresa writes...

I had mixed feelings upon arrival at the immigration court. I assumed I would immediately loathe the judge, scorn the prosecuting attorney with eyes of judgment, and leave feeling even more enraged with the immigration laws of this country.

Contrary to my anticipation of dramatic decisions, NOTHING HAPPENED. Even cases which were supposed to be decided were postponed to a later date for various reasons. When I say moved to a later date, I mean a year to a year and a half from now. Wow. I can't even imagine how one plans his or her life under such circumstances. If you are unsure you can even remain in the United States, I assume you would do your best to set up "back up plans" somewhere else. If you are raising a family, how do you simply live without being constantly fearful and anxious?

As I sat outside the hearing room, I looked at everyone present. The lawyers, naturally, stuck out like sore thumbs. I wondered what brought them to the job. I was fascinated with the large presence of people's families. This does not surprise me because it is important to support loved ones and show the judge a life actually exists in the United States. What I did wonder was how these families were able to continually come back to court. Time off of work, pulling children out of school, and continued legal fees are not luxuries everyone can afford. In this respect, the court system seems to be incredibly disrespectful of people's time and lives.

I did not hate the judge. I found her, instead, to have a warm and friendly demeanor. I found not loathing for the Honorable Jenny, but I still got a sick feeling in my stomach when I thought of the power she has over people's lives. I was not impressed with the government representative. His stacks of paper and routine distribution of fingerprinting instructions made him seem indifferent and apathetic to the people fighting for their residence in the United States. I wondered what the outcomes for so many diverse people would be. I left with mixed feelings. I was ashamed of the immigration court system. I also felt responsible. As a daughter of immigrants from Italy and Norway, my families never faced a similar process of starting or continuing a life in the United States as those I witnessed in the courtroom. As a citizen of the United States, I question what my role has to be in the restructure of our immigration system.


Immigration, the act of one coming to America to live either temporary or permanently, is a creature of politics and economics. Laws and policies towards immigrants in the United States are created and, in fact driven by, political or economic bases. In Daniels' Guarding the Golden Door, for example, we read about immigration laws created to restrict Chinese immigrants (The Chinese Exclusion Act), (ANY EXAMPLE cited in Daniels is acceptable--Senator Sumner or any of today’s outspoken members of Congress, Senator Frist from Tennessee, etc.), based on an economic basis, as labor movements feared Chinese immigrants were injurious to the economy, taking jobs away from others. Any example from Geraldo Rivera's HIS PANIC acceptable.

B.) Why does one want to “Come to America” (the U. S.) permanently? What are the Four (4) ways, generally, an immigrant can stay permanently in America? List each one, provide any examples from any class discussions, lectures, the film Avalon or (if applicable) or from the reading material for each one.


As we saw in the film Avalon, (or cite Enes Hadzovic from Kosovo reading material--facing persecution in his home country or Victor C-) individuals come to America for one (or a combination) of three reasons: To (1) reunite with family already here in the United States, (2) for economic reasons or to (3) flee persecution (problems in their homeland: War, severe civil strife, etc.).

There are four (4) ways to come to america permanently, with limited exceptions.

Generally, individuals permanently and lawfully come to the U.S. via (1) a family member in the U.S. who sponsors them; (2) a job sponsor (employment-based green card petition) sponsor; (3) political asylum; or (3) the visa lottery. Each have their own specific requirements. In class, we listed to Victor C- who was not one of the 4, but one of the exceptions; we watched Simka from the film Avalon come here as a refugee, reuniting with his long-lost sister; we discussed how people who are married to United States citizens can file for their spouses, and the various preference categories in the family-based green card category: spouse of citizens and green card holders, sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, children over the age of 21 who are citizens, and siblings of U.S. citizens. The family based visa immigration system is a large "tree" but one without many branches. There are only four branches or relatives that can be sponsored or peitioned for. The Visa lottery is difficult and it’s just like its sounds: a luck of the draw, similar to any other “lottery.”

A). What are the (2) two different types of visas in America (United States)? What is the difference between the type types? Is one better for immigrants than the other? Why is one type of visa similar to a pond frog on a Lilly pad?


The two types of visas allowing individuals to enter the U.S. lawfully are immigrant AND non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas (or “IVs”) allow one to stay permanently in the United States (i.e, green card holder) and non-immigrant visas (or “NIVs”) are temporarily.

Immigrant visas, which are permanent (such as through family, a job, or visa lottery) commonly are referred to as "green card" holders once they arrive in the United States. They are immigrants coming to American to reside here permanently. Visas are issued outside the U.S. to allow one to enter lawfully. Non-immigrant visas are temporarily and if one stays in the U.S. past the time permitted, they suffer severe immigration law consequences. In that respect, IVs are better and they are permanent, and NIVs are not, they expire and the immigrant must return after a time period, depending on the type of NIV one enters the U.S.

As for NIVs, there are many types or categories, almost as many as in the alphabet, but the road never leads to a green card for these immigrants. In other words, the permission to stay in America is temporary and the immigrant must leave the United States before their non-immigrant visa time expires. If they overstay they violated their status and suffer severe negative immigration consequences, both if they wish to return someday to the United States (3/10 year bar for example), or if they wish to apply for another longer non-immigrant visa while they are here. They could also be deported for overstaying their non-immigrant visa. This is similar to Frog on a Lilly pad: The frog in the pond can leap from one Lilly pad to another, but the Lilly pad is slowly sinking (the NIV status) and the frog can leap from one to another (change NIV status), but the second the frog touches the water it drowns (or the water is poison!). Those who overstay their visas are considered unlawfully present and make up those considered “illegally present” in the U.S. (along those who enter illegally from the beginning).

A.) What is the Writ of Habeas Corpus? Cite examples from Daniels’ Guarding The Golden Doors, lectures, or class discussions. How was/is the “Great Writ” used to help immigrants in the United States? Why is it needed? In other words, why do immigrants in America need it or don’t they?


Essentially, the Writ of Habeas Corpus or the Great Writ, suspended only once during the President Lincoln administration, is a lawsuit filed on behalf of immigrants against the United States Government filed protect rights or obtain rights—asking the government to do or not to do something to help immigrants in the U.S. Daniels, says that the Writ and the decision which followed, provided the “foundation for immigration law [and] arose of struggles on the West Coast among Chinese immigrants, government officials and federal judges over the enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion laws. Though on the margins of society, Chinese in their resistance to exclusion laid claims to principles and practices, habeas corpus, due process…that were the heart of Anglo-American jurisprudence. This lawsuit protected immigrants who were subject to discrimination and other anti-immigrant laws and policies. It has had profound affected their rights, then and today. In class, we learned from class lecture the Writ of Habeas Corpus is a strong arrow in the quiver of immigrants to protect their rights, stop them from imminent deportation for example.

B.) What is the “Dualistic Attitude” towards immigrants in American society? Cite Daniels and Class discussions. What laws have we read about or discussed which restrict immigration? What groups or law makers did we read about who sought to restrict immigration and why?


The “Dualistic Attitude,” mentioned in Daniels’ Guarding the Golden Door, simply stated, involves loving our past yet hating our present. Our society seems to have wonderful feelings about our nation’s immigration past. Yet we fell today that our immigration system is “broken,” and often blame today’s immigrants for problems with our economy (they take away “American jobs”) for are cause for national security concerns (many feel that allowing illegal immigrants in the U.S. or lax immigration laws correlate with terrorism, for example) Others feel that some immigrants break down the social fabric and contribute to the social ills of our society. Overcrowding in schools, the welfare system, etc. The familiar phrase, “We Are A Nation of Immigrants,” for example is familiar to all, and brings to mind the romanticism we have with our immigration history. In realty, however, the obstacles that many early immigrants faced when first coming to America, whether Chinese or Irish, for example, have been severe. Past immigrants faced tremendous prejudice and discrimination in society, and the inscriptions on Statute of Liberty, for example, has been an oxymoron.

Many laws described in Daniels [any laws discriminating against early immigrants is acceptable here] were enacted simply to exclude certain immigrant groups from enjoying certain privileges enjoyed by other immigrant groups or U.S. citizens, discussing the value system of early immigrants, yet we know certain immigrant groups were discriminated against and treated unfairly. Laws and polices were passed severely limiting...(describe or cite examples from Daniels here).

Based on Rivera’s HIS PANIC,(1) define Chicano, Hispanic, and Latino.
What are the differences, according to Mr. Rivera between these terms. Why
are they relevant, according to Mr. Rivera?(2) Would the La Unica Grocery
store/restaurant be considered a Latino, Chicano or Latino establishment?(3)
Back up your answer using the definitions you just provided above.


(1) Any reference to Spain is acceptable for Hispanic, Latino any reference to Central and South America. For Chicano, any reference to Rivera's use of the term and Mexicans is acceptable. For La Unica, any conclusion is acceptable whether Latino or Hispanic or Chicano as long as it is backed up with logical conclusions [i.e, its Chicano because most of its cusomers are from Mexico or the owner is Mexican or former owner Cuban therefore a Latino establishment--or a combination of the two based on Rivera definition. Alternatively, you must state that it cannot be defined as it doesnt fit into Rivera's definition--but you must support your conclusion by providing the definition given by Rivera and contrast it with your own analysis].

(C) (1) What was the “family business” for the Ks in the film? (2) What ethnic
group was the family from? What country? (3) Compare other past immigrant
groups from Daniels and those today and what jobs, if any, are some
immigrants “associated with.” (4) Are there stereotypes? Is that a liability or
an asset for them, and why? Is that fair? What other immigrant groups have
had similar or different job associations? Compare other myths, realties and
implications of associating the Chinese with railroad workers, or the Irish with
saloons or law enforcement, Latino landscapers, Germans (and farming), etc.
or pick your own immigrant group. (5) What were some of the stereotypes of
yesterday’s immigrants in Avalon and today’s immigrant groups? (6) Can you
truly associate a job with a certain ethnic group? (7) Is that fair? What are
some of the implications for these immigrants, both positive and negative.

(A) In what way (1) did Avalon demonstrate how some immigrant families pooled
money together for other newly arriving family members to America?
Provide an example from the film. (2) Did that change for later arriving
family members to America? Do today’s immigrants provide financial
support or any support for other family members coming to America? In what
way? (3) What comments does Geraldo Rivera make in HIS PANIC about
immigrant families? (4) What are some similarities between his comments
about “family” and examples seen in Avalon?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This past week we watched the first half of Avalon, and then fast forwarded to a present day immigration issue in America: Biometrics. Our guest speaker from the FBI who spoke to us about the use of biometrics, I must say, served as an eye opener. As a group, we must seriously consider its growing use in the United States, as it is likely to replace other security measures such as online passwords or PIN numbers...

Our speaker lauded its use. And he certainly may be correct. There is no doubt that the use of biometrics has assisted in the arrest of many criminal aliens. As our guest speaker noted, the impartialty of the data obtained certainly avoids certain potential stereotypes. Many of these sterotypes joined with the use of Biometrics--unfortunately-- as we will read about-- have been used to profile certain immigrants in law enforcement operations ("Special Registration" of Mostly Muslim non-immigrants). Our guest speaker has been in the trenches, and it may have been difficult at times speaking to an audience like you. As he said, he often deals chiefly with suspected criminal aliens or suspected terrorists. He has no doubt been hardened with the very harsh reality that many individuals wish to come to the U.S. to harm us. He is on the front lines, so to speak, attempting to fight for our right to express ourselves freely. I don't think he (or most of us) would disagree with that.

The American Bar Association, on the other hand, is very, very concerned with the use of immigrant racial profiling. And the use of Biometrics has been a part of certain unfortunate chapters in our recent American jurisprudence. We will soon read about them.

As noted by the ABA on its website, there has no doubt been unfortunate use of racial profiling in the immigration context, as the ABA summarizes important events, legal and otherwise here:

"In stark contrast to the prohibited use of race profiling in criminal law enforcement, the U.S. Supreme Court stated in 1975 that "Mexican appearance" constitutes a legitimate consideration under the Fourth Amendment for stopping a person to verify his or her immigration status. (See United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 886-87 (1975).) Such race profiling in immigration enforcement disproportionately burdens persons of Latin American ancestry, the vast majority of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful immigrants. The harms range from embarrassing and humiliating the persons stopped to undermining the status of all Latinos in U.S. society. Race-based immigration enforcement contributes to the fact that 90 percent of the people deported from the country are of Latin American origin (U.S. Dep't of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, "INS Sets New Removals Record," Nov. 12, 1999), when only about one-half of the undocumented population is Latino. (U.S. Dep't of Justice, 1998 Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 240 (2000) (Table I).) This helps reinforce and perpetuate the erroneous stereotype that all Latinos are "foreigners."

In United States v. Montero-Camargo (208 F.3d 1122 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disregarded the contrary language in Brignoni-Ponce and held that the Border Patrol cannot lawfully consider "Hispanic appearance" in deciding to make an immigration stop. The court based its holding on that fact that "Hispanic appearance" is a weak proxy for immigration status. It also relied on the fact that under the current interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court has made it clear in recent years that all racial classifications are constitutionally suspect. (See, e.g., Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U.S. 200 (1995) (invalidating a program using racial classifications in an effort to increase government contracting with minority businesses).)

The Lawfulness of Race Profiling in Immigration Law Enforcement
In Brignoni-Ponce (422 U.S. 873, 885-87 (1975)), the Supreme Court held that an immigration stop by the Border Patrol violated the Fourth Amendment because Border Patrol officers relied exclusively on "the apparent Mexican ancestry" of the occupants of an automobile. The Court further stated, however, that "[t]he likelihood that any given person of Mexican ancestry is an alien is high enough to make Mexican appearance a relevant factor" in an immigration stop (emphasis added)."

It is this constant give and take that we must be aware. There is no doubt that under our "social contract" we may give up certain liberties to have other, much more important ones--but what about the risk of overreaching by the government. Our government, like corporations, is run by human beings. No one is perfect. The concern of an Orwellian type of abuse--at least potentially--may always be there in anytype of pervasive constant "monitoring" system--whether that be video cameras on intersections or fingerprinting (or photographing, retinal scanning) of immigrants.

Also, in March of 2008, for example, the alleged (by Congress) widespread abuse of the FBI's authority to secretly obtain Americans' telephone, internet and financial records drew pointed questioning from a key U.S. House of Representatives panel.

As promised by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel "chided" U.S. Department of Justice Glenn Fine and FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni about an internal audit released publically that detailed the FBI's missteps and illegal use of an investigative tool known as "national security letters".

"The department has converted this tool into a handy shortcut to illegally gather vast amounts of private information," Conyers said, "while at the same time significantly under-reporting its activities to Congress."

That being said, I think some of your comments about the future use of biometrics was well taken.

I leave you with this image: Does it have any relevance to last week's discussion? Does the imgage reflect some of your concerns with the use of Biometrics?

See you next week...

Micah said,

(all of the above said...)
One of the dangers inherent in this technology, as with many other state-of-the-art devices used in similar ways, is that because it is considered so cutting edge, it is seen as foolproof. And because it can deliver its results instantaneously, legal action (such as deportation) can be undertaken extremely quickly, before a case can be really examined as it should be.

I am not sure this speaks to the question of constitutionality, but this technology also seems to be the latest in a string of measures that criminalizes everyone whether or not we have ever committed crimes or ever will commit crimes. And since the technology is being used in particular on immigrant groups, it will be unfairly and disproportionately used to gather data on immigrant groups... thus treating all members of racial groups traditionally associated with immigrant status in this country (e.g. Latinos and Asians) as suspect, as potential undocumented immigrants. To me, it seems destined to be used in a way that smacks strongly of racial profiling.


Nikki said...

I agree with Micah, that this technology could cause more problems and raise more concerns then it would help; like gathering data and being used as a census and racial profiling. It seems all too easy of a solution or "goal of safer America" (20).. Relying too heavily on something like this can cause tremendous problems, and as mentioned in the article, "technology is not perfect" (10). Although they are working to improve certain faulty areas, especially with facial recognition, it still seems like these kind of errors can still occur and will never be completely certain with 100 percent accuracy, that a person entering the US is in fact a terrorist.

1:36 PM

Aida said...

I do not see anything wrong with biometrics if it can prevent or at least dissuade terrorists or criminals in general from entering a country. I had to get a biometric passport to come to the United States and I had no problem with that.
I am much more concerned by the fact that after 9/11 some people such as politicians or the media have taken advantage of the situation by playing on the voters’ fear and came to equate illegals with potential terrorists. It seems to me that passing repressive bills on immigrants or building a wall are not very efficient ways to fight against terrorism… Geraldo Rivera makes a good point when he says that “The Saudi Arabian attackers had all entered the United States legally and then overstayed their legally obtained tourist visas” (p.115). So in the case of criminals trying to enter the country, I think that biometrics is definitely useful.
And as far as civil liberties are concerned, I am more comfortable with the idea of having my fingerprints and picture entered in a database than with the fact that the FBI can search my telephone, email and financial records under the Patriot Act.

5:44 PM

Monday, September 08, 2008

This week begins our third week and there will be a slight change to our course-material schedule, due to one of our guest speaker's scheudling requests. As such, for next week's Rivera reading assignment, •GERALDO, Chapter 6, “Importing Terror” (Week 4 reading assignment) will be due before next week's class. Please review the syllabus for clarification or email me directly. Please also read pp. 6-16 of the PDF email handout, "Biometrics."

This week we will be be viewing the flim, Avalon. At our the break, however, we will be meeting with one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's supervisory agents in the global inititives unit, "T.L." (We will resume our viewing of Avalon the following week).

FBI Special Agent L____'s presentation will give much illumination to last week's discussion of immigration and terrorism in the United States. His presention will also encompass border issues, global security, immigarion and terrroist issues, and "BIOMETRICS," the U.S. government's use of fingerprinting immigrants--and "other" technology to monitor immigrants inside America (and globally).

Aside from the PDF hand out on Biometrics, there are some things you should know about Biometrics and Immigration in the U.S. How biometric identification works, in sum, is as follows:

Several basic steps are required to make biometric information—our personal physiological features--useful in a contemporary security context.

First, "our" data must be collected as a reference. That's me and you. In order to "catch" a suspected member of a terrorist network, for example, one must compile or collect this information in advance.

That fingerprint, retinal scan, or "facial characteristic map" must first be on record so that it can be used as a reference when the suspected criminal tries to make it through an airport or cross a country border.

State of the art computer programs then use established algorithms to cycle very quickly through their entire collection of references to find a match. If the person crossing the border matches an existing reference at an extremely high threshold, for example, and that reference is for a suspected criminal, then the biometric system has done its job. What are some of the inherent problems with this sort of system? Courld it endanger any constitutionally protected rights? What, if anything, can be done to ensure privacy, for example?

Also, to those who particpated in the blog assignment last week, your thougtful comments are well taken. Well done! Finally, please see below for the Avalon Film Study Guide.

See you next week...

Christopher W. Helt, Esq.

Micah said,

(all of the above said...)
One of the dangers inherent in this technology, as with many other state-of-the-art devices used in similar ways, is that because it is considered so cutting edge, it is seen as foolproof. And because it can deliver its results instantaneously, legal action (such as deportation) can be undertaken extremely quickly, before a case can be really examined as it should be.

I am not sure this speaks to the question of constitutionality, but this technology also seems to be the latest in a string of measures that criminalizes everyone whether or not we have ever committed crimes or ever will commit crimes. And since the technology is being used in particular on immigrant groups, it will be unfairly and disproportionately used to gather data on immigrant groups... thus treating all members of racial groups traditionally associated with immigrant status in this country (e.g. Latinos and Asians) as suspect, as potential undocumented immigrants. To me, it seems destined to be used in a way that smacks strongly of racial profiling.


nh said...

I agree with Micah, that this technology could cause more problems and raise more concerns then it would help; like gathering data and being used as a census and racial profiling. It seems all too easy of a solution or "goal of safer America" (20).. Relying too heavily on something like this can cause tremendous problems, and as mentioned in the article, "technology is not perfect" (10). Although they are working to improve certain faulty areas, especially with facial recognition, it still seems like these kind of errors can still occur and will never be completely certain with 100 percent accuracy, that a person entering the US is in fact a terrorist.

1:36 PM

Aida said...

I do not see anything wrong with biometrics if it can prevent or at least dissuade terrorists or criminals in general from entering a country. I had to get a biometric passport to come to the United States and I had no problem with that.
I am much more concerned by the fact that after 9/11 some people such as politicians or the media have taken advantage of the situation by playing on the voters’ fear and came to equate illegals with potential terrorists. It seems to me that passing repressive bills on immigrants or building a wall are not very efficient ways to fight against terrorism… Geraldo Rivera makes a good point when he says that “The Saudi Arabian attackers had all entered the United States legally and then overstayed their legally obtained tourist visas” (p.115). So in the case of criminals trying to enter the country, I think that biometrics is definitely useful.
And as far as civil liberties are concerned, I am more comfortable with the idea of having my fingerprints and picture entered in a database than with the fact that the FBI can search my telephone, email and financial records under the Patriot Act.

5:44 PM