Immigration

Those in favor of hunting down illegal immigrants who come to this country looking to better themselves will probably view this story as a victory. They’ll skip right past the part where we find out that the illegal immigrant in question came to this country when he was four. Instead they’ll accuse this guy of “taking” a spot that should have gone to a deserving American.

A spot at Harvard University…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harvard Student v. Border Patrol”

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, the lawsuits are coming for Arizona’s new immigration law. First up, the ACLU. Bloomberg reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union is leading a court challenge to Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigration, claiming the measure would allow unconstitutional racial profiling by police.

A group of civil rights organizations led by the ACLU also alleges that the law interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a complaint filed today in federal court in Phoenix. The group claims in addition that the statute infringes the free-speech rights of day laborers in the state.

It’s not surprising that the ACLU is taking the first shot at this. The Department of Justice might not be far behind….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Arizona, Here Come the Lawsuits”

Given how desperate legal job seekers are getting, one law firm is doing away with interview niceties.

The job market is like a vast desert. Those crawling through it are desperate for a little drink of employment. In order to get a sip from this firm, though, applicants have to go through some serious hoops.

A tipster says:

Ever heard of an open house interview before? For lawyers, at that?

An immigration firm based in Manhattan’s financial district sent out an interview invitation to applicants last weekend. Here’s the intro:

Date: Sat, May 15, 2010 at 2:02 PM
Subject: Open House Interview

Dear Immigration/Criminal Defense/In-House Counsel Attorney Applicant:

We have received your resume and CV and would like to invite you in for an Open House Interview today from 3-6 PM. During the week it is very busy so this is the main reason. The payscale is $25 per hour or $50,000 per annum, depending on experience, with 30 billable hours required per week on your assigned cases. If selected you will be expected to commence employment on Monday at 9 AM. Our law office is located at the address below.

Please note the time sent; the time of the interview; and the fact that the pay is $50K, “depending on experience.” The relative good news is that if they like you on Saturday, you start two days later. Though you may have to be stripped and searched for lice and a criminal record before entering the building Monday morning.

It gets worse…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Terrible Tales From Desperate Job Seekers: Immigration law applicants get the Ellis Island treatment”

Ted Vogt, University of Arizona 3L and Arizona Representative

Arizona’s harsh new immigration laws are causing debate across the country. Apparently, having to show your papers for being brown might not conform with federal law. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is considering getting involved, threatening to file a federal lawsuit against the state, according to the Washington Post, based on the “doctrine of ‘preemption’ — arguing that the state’s law illegally intrudes on immigration enforcement, which is a federal responsibility.”

As we’ve written before, the national debate has caused some local acrimony at the University of Arizona College of Law. Third-year law student Ted Vogt was appointed to the Arizona State House of Representatives in March, and voted yes on two of the controversial bills. Prior to becoming a state politician, he was voted by his classmates to represent the class as a student speaker at the Law Center’s graduation ceremony in May.

As the immigration debate heated up though, some students regretted their decision to give Vogt a platform. They said they wanted him to step down or they would protest by holding big signs, turning around when he speaks, handing out flyers, and demanding “a certified copy of his birth certificate” before he will be allowed to talk. A vicious debate broke out on the law school list-serv, between those who oppose and support Vogt, those who oppose and support the new immigration laws, and those who see the laws as fundamentally racist.

The dean has weighed in on the debate, stating that he is in support of both Vogt and those who wish to protest him. We also reached out to funny 3L and now-controversial politician Ted Vogt and have a statement from him…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Update on Ted Vogt and the Immigration Law Controversy at the University of Arizona”

Posner.jpgShould Judge Richard Posner leave the Seventh Circuit and run for president? He certainly has the beginnings of a platform.
And, despite some possible leftward drift, Judge Posner’s tendencies still seem to point in a libertarian direction. From The Atlantic:

1. Remove all limits on the immigration of highly skilled workers, or persons of wealth. (This should be done gradually, so as not to increase unemployment while the unemployment rate remains very high.)
2. Decriminalize most drug offenses in order to reduce the prison population, perhaps by as much as a half, which will both economize on government expenditures and increase the number of workers. (Again and for the same reason, phase in gradually.)
3. Curtail medical malpractice liability, which increases medical costs gratuitously (because the courts are very poor at identifying actual malpractice) and, more important, engenders a great deal of very costly, and largely worthless, “defensive medicine.”

These are just the first three planks. Check out the rest of Posner’s policy proposals — he’s more willing than most sitting judges to opine on current affairs (see also his many books) — over here.
Is Paul Krugman a Realist or a Dreamer? Toward Refocusing on Economic Growth [A Failure of Capitalism/The Atlantic]

Haiti earthquake January 2010.jpgYesterday the United States officially halted the deportation of Haitian illegal immigrants, on a temporary basis. The New York Times reports:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Haitian deportations would be halted “for the time being,” without specifying a time period. Immigration officials said it was clear they could be putting Haitians’ safety at risk by sending them back to a country staggering from the vast destruction of the quake. About 30,000 Haitians in the United States are facing deportation orders, immigration officials said.

One could argue that there is a great and unfair disparity in U.S. immigration policy regarding Haitians as opposed to other Caribbean nations, like Cuba.
But it’s usually a bad idea to make long-term policy in the middle of a tragedy and crisis.
Still, the move from the Obama Administration here is different than the reaction of the Bush administration when hurricanes ravaged the island in 2008. Details, and a correction, after the jump.

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champagne glasses small.jpgWarning: The penis-to-vagina ratio in this week’s column is quite high. If you’re already on the mailing list for Rick Santorum 2012, you may want to avert your eyes — or go make fun of sissy-boy John Kerry for helping plan his daughter’s wedding.
Our fabulous finalist couples:

1. Sebastian Dungan and Lavi Soloway
2. Adam Levine and Janson Wu
3. Alisha Bhagat and Mark Egerman

Read more about these newlyweds, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 10.11: Five Guys”

baseball.jpg* Republicans slam Obama for his “empathy” standard for his SCOTUS nominee, citing an earlier speech on the Senate floor emphasizing a different standard. [The Washington Post]
* Speaking of Obama, is he “the best lawyer to occupy the U.S. presidency since William Howard Taft”? [Foreign Policy]
* The Yankees held a moot court in a room off the clubhouse. Would you want to face a jury of Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon? [The New York Times]
* The Justice Department has arranged for the first Guantanamo inmate to be tried in a New York court. [The Washington Post]
* Shuttered Chrysler dealers may have a tough time fighting their closures in court, due to the freedom that bankruptcy laws give courts to tear up contracts. [The Wall Street Journal]
* Immigrants are being deported in the middle of their court cases. [The Los Angeles Times]

Lindsay Harrison front steps SCOTUS.jpgLindsay Harrison at One First Street. Photo by Patrice Gilbert.

Earlier this year, we conducted an interview of Lindsay C. Harrison, an associate in the Washington office of Jenner & Block. In January, Lindsay had the privilege of arguing before the United States Supreme Court — in her first oral argument ever. We chatted with her about the argument she presented in what was then Nken v. Mukasey and is now Nken v. Holder: what she wore, how she prepared, who was mean to her at argument.

This morning, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case. And even though Lindsay took the “liberal” position, she prevailed — by a 7-2 margin, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the Court. Congratulations, Lindsay!

Here’s a summary of the decision, from the ABA Journal:

A court of appeals retains its traditional authority to grant stays in deportation cases, despite a 1996 statute that limited the circumstances in which courts may block the removal of aliens, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 7-2 opinion…..

The government had argued that a provision in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 limited the circumstances in which stays could be granted. The Supreme Court disagreed, saying the statutory provision — on injunctions blocking the removal of aliens — leaves intact the court’s traditional authority to grant stays….

Harrison says the decision is “a critical victory” for [Jean Marc] Nken. “It’s a case that could really literally mean life or death for my client,” she says. “If he were deported while his appeal was pending, he is likely to be killed or jailed or tortured in Cameroon.”

As Lindsay told us in our earlier interview, she and her colleagues at Jenner in D.C. have devoted hundreds — by now, thousands — of hours to the case (pro bono). It looks like the Chicago office of Jenner isn’t the only one that can burn the midnight oil.

(Digression: One tipster is skeptical of the claim that Jenner’s office in Chicago is busy round-the-clock: “Amusing article about a condo owner who can’t sleep because her new next door neighbor, Jenner & Block, leaves its lights on all the time. Every lawyer in Chicago knows that Jenner is faking it — it’s like the guy who slips into the office on Sunday for two minutes, just to be seen by anyone who happens to be there.”)

This afternoon, we caught up with Lindsay Harrison over the phone. Our interview, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Update: Jenner & Block Associate Scores SCOTUS Win”

white glove.jpg

* Michael Jackson “beat it” without paying his legal bill. [The Daily Breeze]

* Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain testified for 2.5 hours yesterday in New York in Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office, but wouldn’t say which employees got some of the $3.6 billion bonus pie before the merger with B of A. How are we supposed to know which men to date when we get laid off? Kidding….[Bloomberg]

* More than 100 clients of a man who pretended to be an immigration lawyer got free advice from Lawyers at the New York City Bar Association. [The New York Times]

* SCOTUS had a big day yesterday, ruling on a Utah union case and a case involvingIndian reservations, and hearing arguments on environmental cleanups. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first to ask questions. [ABA Journal]

* In Houston, a Republican on the congressional judiciary has called for the impeachment of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, aka the groper we’ve been writing about, who is still hoping to get retirement funds from the state. [The Houston Chronicle]

* Show me the money. Lawyers, bankers, and accountants stand to make $1.2 billion in fees from GM’s bankruptcy. [Bloomberg.com]

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