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March 16, 2017

"Crisis Migration" Conference and Related Events

Today brings a wealth of immigration-related events to King Hall. The Crisis Migration conference, co-sponsored by the School of Law and the Max Planck Institute, among others, has brought together leading scholars from around the world.

I am participating in the panel on "Crisis Migrants and Public Welfare Policies as Immigration Enforcement: The United States." Other conference participants from King Hall include Professors Leticia Saucedo, Brian Soucek, and Rose Cuison-Villazor, as well as alum Jihan Kahssay and law students Sylvia Cunningham, Stephanie Medina, Sara Ehsani-Nia, and Kyle Edgerton.

In addition, during the lunch hour, the California International Law Center presented "Refugees in Europe and South Africa" by Ulrich Becker of the Max Planck Institute and Dean Letlhokwa George Mpedi of the law school at University of Johannesburg. In the afternoon, renowned immigration attorney and MacArthur fellow Margaret Stock spoke on "Refugees and National Security."

February 1, 2017

King Hall Faculty Members Join CAPALF Statement Condemning Trump Executive Order

The Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty, or CAPALF, has issued a statement on President Trump's recent executive order. The statement is signed by several of King Hall's own Asian-American law faculty, including Afra Afsharipour, Anupam Chander, Gabriel "Jack" Chin, Thomas W. Joo, Rose Cuison Villazor, Lisa Ikemoto, Madhavi Sunder, and Yoshinori "Toso" Himel '75.

An excerpt:

We, members of the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty, condemn President Trump's executive order, issued on January 27, 2017, which suspends U.S. refugee admission for "nationals of countries of particular concern," and applies to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including persons already legally authorized to enter the United States and, at least initially, lawful permanent residents.

The United States has made the grave mistake of discriminatory exclusion before.  The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first federal law to enact a wholesale ban on immigration on the basis of race, ethnicity, or nationality.  It remained in effect until 1943, and was not fully dismantled until 1965.  Congress banned other immigration from Asia from 1917 to 1952.

Asian American history teaches us that wholesale exclusions and bans of an entire people on the basis of race, ethnicity, or national origin are not only morally and constitutionally problematic, but also counterproductive to actual national security objectives.

Visit the CAPALF website to view the full statement.

January 15, 2016

Immigration Article of the Day: "The Mediterranean Migration: A Clash of Titans' Obligations?" by Barbara Miltner

Cross-posted from Immigration Prof Blog.

Here's my pick for Immigration Article of the Day for the blog:

The Mediterranean Migration: A Clash of Titans' Obligations? by Barbara Miltner, UC Davis School of Law, December 2015, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall/Winter 2015, Vol. XXII, Issue I, UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 476

Abstract: Nearly 670,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean to reach European shores in the first ten months of 2015. The influx has been characterized as the greatest migration crisis since World War II. The associated death toll is equally alarming. In April alone, over 800 migrants died in the largest maritime refugee disaster on record, provoking calls for an immediate response. Following an emergency summit, EU leaders reacted by launching new criminal anti-smuggling measures and an intensive maritime surveillance program in the Mediterranean, among other measures. The response has been criticized for its emphasis on militarized border control strategies at the expense of humanitarian protection measures in relation to maritime rescue and asylum screening. Certainly, such an enforcement-oriented approach to border controls is not new, but it is legally problematic. This article examines the latest European response to the Mediterranean migration crisis from an international legal standpoint. It considers aspects of the proposal with regard to the roles and conduct of individual member states, as well as those of the EU border control agency Frontex. The article examines recent jurisprudential developments, both within and beyond the European sphere, to highlight new and emerging legal limitations on state actors at sea.

October 8, 2015

Los Angeles Times Op-Ed: The refugee tragedy in our own backyard

On September 11, three UC Davis students, Aldo Martinez Gomez, Amanda Whitney, and Anita Barooni, and I went to provide a free legal orientation to refugees detained in the Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield. The students and volunteers met with over 250 refugees and immigrants from all over the world, providing pro se assistance, self-help materials, and legal support. However, we also left feeling a bit defeated because the need was so overwhelming, and the people were desperate for more meaningful legal assistance.

The students' outrage and courage inspired me to write this opinion piece for The Los Angeles Times with my friend and colleague, Jayashri Srikantiah at Stanford.

I did not want what we witnessed to remain invisible, because in the words of MLK, "In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

 

October 1, 2015

TIME Ideas: Borders Should Be Checkpoints, Not Roadblocks, to Migrants

I was invited to contribute an essay to TIME Magazine's "Ideas" section.

The result is this: "Borders Should Be Checkpoints - Not Roadblocks - to Migrants."

An excerpt:

The Syrian refugee crisis unfortunately is simply the latest mass migration to challenge the global community. Just last summer, for example, the U.S. was the destination for tens of thousands of women and children fleeing rampant gang violence in Central America. Many other contemporary examples of large movements of people—Haiti, Africa and Vietnam—come to mind.

How do we as global community respond to large-scale migration flows caused by civil war, mass disaster or severe economic deprivation? Unfortunately, the law performs the worst in the situation where it is needed the most. Tight controls over numbers of people admitted do not help address mass migrations of people. More liberal admissions are urgently needed.

International law and the law of individual nations should be more open and admit migrants who want to work in low- and medium-skilled (as well as high-skilled) jobs that are highly valued by the economies of Western nations, which have experienced dwindling labor forces with decreasing fertility rates. We should show our true commitment to the global community by welcoming refugees fleeing violence, natural disaster, and lack of opportunity with open arms, not try to stop them from entering the country.

Read the full essay at TIME Ideas. Thanks to TIME for the opportunity!

January 27, 2015

Frontiers of Immigration International Conference

UC Davis School of Law faculty were important contributors to the Frontiers of Immigration International Conference, an event sponsored by the UC Davis Temporary Migration Cluster on January 22-23.


Panel discussion with King Hall faculty including G. Jack Chin, Rose Cuison-Villazor, and Leticia Saucedo

Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and researchers from around the world, the conference included discussions on the economic effects of immigration, skilled immigration, immigrant integration, immigration from Asia and Latin America, international economic development, and policy and legal reforms. Among a star-studded group of scholars, Gabriel "Jack" Chin, Rose Cuison-Villazor, and Leticia Saucedo spoke on a panel on Asian and Latino immigration. I spoke on the closing panel speculating about the next 20 years of immigration policy.  Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, herself an immigrant from Greece, offered the concluding remarks to the conference.

As I have said often, King Hall has among the best immigration law faculty in the United States. They regularly make us proud as they exchange ideas and policy proposals -- and hold their own -- among leading economists, sociologists, historians, and other scholars from around the world.  We all should be proud that the School of Law has strength in an area that has become one of the most pressing policy -- and social justice -- issues of modern times.

November 25, 2014

Immigration in the News

Cross-posted from the Dean's Blog.

President Obama's recent announcement that he would take executive action on immigration reform set off a frenzy of media coverage of immigration issues, and I'm proud to say that many reporters turned to King Hall faculty for information and commentary. 


Faculty and students gathered at King Hall to watch the President's televised address.

In the past few days, I've spoken on immigration issues with KXTV, the Sacramento Bee, Impacto Latin News, National Public Radio, PolitiFact.com, KCRA-3, and Capital Public Radio, and also published an op-ed in "Room for Debate" on  the New York Times website. Professor Jack Chin has also been very active, commenting for KCRA-3 and Yahoo! News, and it was especially nice to see Jack and Professor Leticia Saucedo on another KCRA-3 report that included live shots of the emotional reaction from UC Davis students to President Obama's actions.

Meanwhile, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced on November 21 that UC Davis School of Law will host an exciting new pilot program that will expand legal services available to undocumented students at UC campuses without law schools: UC Merced, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego and UC Riverside. The program, one of the first of its kind in the country, will operate out of the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic, offering our students the opportunity to represent clients in immigration court and before immigration agencies under the direction of staff attorneys.

Our faculty has a long tradition of active engagement in the most pressing legal issues of our time.  It's great to see that continuing with regard to immigration reform.