Lawful Assembly Podcast Episode 22: Suffer the Little Children

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University’s College of Law, Refugee and Forced Migrations Studies Program and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. The podcast requests that you send comments to the federal government before midnight eastern standard time on Tuesday, January 25 providing ideas to end the policies that have led to family separation and lengthy detention of asylum seekers.  The Biden administration has recognized the human tragedy caused by these policies and has requested your ideas to ensure the United States never engages in such policies and practices again.

ACTION STEP

You can use either of these links to send your ideas to the Task Force.

The National Immigrant Justice Center has provided the direct link to the request for comments:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/10/2021-26691/identifying-recommendations-to-support-the-work-of-the-interagency-task-force-on-the-reunification

A coalition of groups has put together this link for Immigrant Justice at:

https://immigrationjustice.us/advocacy/take-action/ensure-family-separation-never-reimplemented/?utm_source=fbt&utm_medium=ptnr&utm_campaign=famsep#/112/

You can use any resources or background material you find persuasive, but please make sure your comments uniquely represent your views.  Do not simply copy and paste someone else’s comments unless you add why you find them persuasive.  You can add your personal experience or why you believe the United States should end family separation and detention of asylum seekers.

The quotes from the Biden administration regarding the human tragedy of family separation and the goals of the Task Force can be found in the Background information produced by the Department of Homeland Security at:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/10/2021-26691/identifying-recommendations-to-support-the-work-of-the-interagency-task-force-on-the-reunification

Paragraphs 181 and 182 of the U.N Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva, January 1992) can be found at: https://www.unhcr.org/4d93528a9.pdf

The Supreme Court found that the Handbook provides “significant guidance” in INS v. Cardozo-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 420, 439, fn. 22 (1987).

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights can be found at: https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/.  (Adopted December 10, 1948)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child can be found at:  https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx (Adopted November 20, 1989).

For a discussion of how United States asylum policies have fallen short of the protections of the CRC, see Craig B. Mousin, “Rights Disappear When US Policy Engages Children as Weapons of Deterrence,” (January 1, 2019), AMA Journal of Ethics, Vol. 21, Number 1: E58-66, Available on SSRN at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3317913

The National Immigrant Justice Center has several resources providing ideas that would end or minimize family separation.  You can find the letter it submitted to DHS at:  https://immigrantjustice.org/sites/default/files/uploaded-files/no-content-type/2022-01/Family-separation-policies-NIJC-comment-2022-01-19.pdf

This NIJC blog provides short summaries of issues of concern:  https://immigrantjustice.org/staff/blog/biden-administration-routinely-separates-immigrant-families.

NIJC also prepared this short video on family separation:  https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:ugcPost:6889620108780584960/

The Detention Watch Network provides several resources to more fully understand the extent of immigration detention as the United States has established over 200 locations throughout the nation.  See, for example, “Immigration Detention 101,” at: https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/issues/detention-101

or “Communities Not Cages,  A Just Transition from Immigration Detention Economies, (2021) at: https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/default/files/reports/Communities%20Not%20Cages-A%20Just%20Transition%20from%20Immigration%20Detention%20Economies_DWN%202021.pdf

Need more information?  Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Program invites you to a Families Belong Together program on Monday, January 24 at 7 p.m. (EST).  You may register for more information at:  RSVP here.  Speakers will share their expertise about the latest updates in immigration policy and the ongoing horrors of family separation.

Thank you for joining this effort to meet the Task Force’s goal “to ensure that the Federal Government will not repeat the policies and practices leading to the separation of families at the border.”   Please share this podcast’s request with others to lend their voice to ending these tragic policies and practices.

Episode 19: Expedite at What Cost?

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University’s College of Law, Refugee and Forced Migrations Studies Program and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast requests listeners to file comments opposing DHS and DOJ proposed regulations governing Credible Fear Screening by Asylum Officers.

ACTION STEP: You can file comments opposing part of or all of the proposed regulations before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Tuesday October 19.  CLINIC, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., has provided a sample template that provides instructions and helpful arguments to prepare and then submit your comments.  https://uchastings.app.box.com/s/qxj0pz0e7ehn8a1yontxz7gwvddad3ng

If you are unable to meet this Tuesday’s deadline, please consider corresponding with the White House and your Senators and Representative to oppose these proposed regulations.  The template offers sample language you might find helpful in communicating with elected representatives.

These proposed regulations, in the alleged name of effectiveness, efficiency, and streamlining, may preclude many deserving asylum seekers from obtaining a full and fair hearing before an Immigration Judge, and therefore, be denied asylum and other remedies.  DHS and DOJ have invited members of the public to comment on the proposals.  The template above offers a relatively simple way to respond.  The template provides significant information and resources on the failings of the proposed regulations.  You can submit your comments and also view the proposed regulations and explanation at:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/08/20/2021-17779/procedures-for-credible-fear-screening-and-consideration-of-asylum-withholding-of-removal-and-cat#open-comment

You may find more information on the proposed regulations in a summary by the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at:   https://uchastings.app.box.com/s/651zlybechnqq4ktk5rllihkybih9mx0

Jeffrey Chase’s quote comes from his blog, “The Need for Full-Fledged Asylum Hearings,” October 6, 2021 at: https://www.jeffreyschase.com/blog/2021/10/6/the-need-for-full-fledged-asylum-hearings

The $15 million-dollar contract with the GEO Group is cited in Rafael Bernal, “US Faces Daunting Task in Relationship with Haiti,” October 10, 2021 at:

https://thehill.com/latino/576036-us-faces-daunting-task-in-relationship-with-haiti

More information on how private for-profit detention corporations undermine our nation’s commitment to access to attorneys, due process, and commitments made to asylum seekers can be found at:    Statement of the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Hearing Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation & Operations Oversight of ICE Detention Facilities: Examining ICE Contractors’ Response to COVID-19 July 13, 2020, https://immigrantjustice.org/sites/default/files/content-type/commentary-item/documents/2020-07/NIJCStatement_HouseHomelandSecurityCommitteeHearing_2020-07-13.pdf

More information on tent courts and the difficulty attorneys face in meeting with clients to prepare cases can be found at, Mousin, Craig B., Health Inequity and Tent Court Injustice (February 1, 2021). AMA J Ethics. 2021;23(2):E132-139, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3777549

 

Lawful Assembly Episode 18: Fear of Freedom


This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast contends that United States discrimination against Haitians over the last two centuries has created a moral obligation to Haiti and its residents.  Most recently, efforts to swiftly deport Haitians, contrary to the Refugee Act’s non-return requirement, reveals how efforts to restrict Haitian asylum-seekers over the last forty years has contributed to the continual denigration of asylum protections under the Refuge Act of 1980.

ACTION STEP:  The United Church of Christ offers you a way to promptly inform your representatives that deportations to Haiti must cease at:  https://p2a.co/MnT2c4m

A petition to stop Haitian deportations:

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-the-petition-demand-that-the-biden-administration-halt-all-deportations-to-haiti?source=2021EndDeportationstoHaiti_NIJC&referrer=group-national-immigrant-justice-center&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=daa3e06b-7fb9-41d5-90db-1f488e4d0344&sl_tc=button

For additional information on the history of United States responses to Haiti and Haitian asylum seekers, Azadeh Erfani of  the National Immigrant Justice Center’s writes:  “President Biden, It is Past Time to Protect Haitian Asylum Seekers, at:  https://immigrantjustice.org/staff/blog/president-biden-it-past-time-protect-haitian-asylum-seekers

An American Immigration Council report on Haiti can be found at: Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, “Del Rio Migrant Camp Shows How Biden Administration Is Not Living Up to Its Promises” at:

https://immigrationimpact.com/2021/09/21/haitian-migrant-camp-biden-promises/#.YVSS8S1h1fE

See also, Raymond Joseph, former envoy of Haiti to Washington, “Haiti Cries Out: Where is President Biden, as My Countrymen Swelter Under a Bridge in Texas,” https://www.nysun.com/foreign/haiti-cries-out-where-is-president-biden-as-my/91660/

Former Justice Harry A. Blackmun’s quote from his dissent is at page 208 in Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, 509 U.S. 155, (1993).  His other quotes in the podcast are from his law review article, “The Supreme Court and the Law of Nations,” 104 Yale L.J. 39, 44 (1994). (https://www.jstor.org/stable/796983).

Professor Peniel Joseph’s quote can be found at: “This Is the Story of Haiti That Matters Most,” (August 20, 2021) at: https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/20/opinions/haiti-earthquake-flooding-assassination-revolution-joseph/index.html

Professor Annette Gordon-Reed’s quote can be found at:  “We Owe Haiti A Debt We Can’t Repay,” (July 21, 2021) at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/opinion/haiti-us-history.html

Lawful Assembly – Episode 15: Home

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  This podcast links the loss of homes felt by many of the freed slaves after the Civil War, including George Floyd’s great-great grandfather, with the loss of home many refugees face when forced to flee their nations due to state sanctioned violence and the consequences of the breakdown of the rule of law.  We face challenges both at our borders, but also when we contribute to the conditions that force families to flee their homes.  We need to address ways to provide the rule of law and justice for all.  The story of George Floyd’s family history and the loss of his great-great grandfather’s 500 acres comes from Toluse Olorunnipa and Griff Witte, “Born with two strikes, How systemic racism shaped Floyd’s life and hobbled his ambition,” https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/george-floyd-america/systemic-racism/

Senn High School, located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, is one of the most diverse high schools in the nation.  Its students and their families speak over 80 languages and claim over 60 nations as their birth homes.  Congratulate its graduates and learn more about our neighborhood high school at:  https://www.sennhs.org

Frederick Douglass’ call for simple justice comes from David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass Prophet of Freedom, (N.Y., 2018), 558-59.

Rev. Garrison   Frazier and the black leaders’ activism in Savannah, Georgia comes from Eric Foner, Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877, (N.Y., 1988), 70.

 

Action Steps:

Information about the Community Renewal Society’s Juneteenth film screening of “Crawford: The Man the South Forgot,” can be found at:   https://www.communityrenewalsociety.org/events/juneteenth-film-amp-discussion   You can find some of the current programs CRS sponsors to seek simple justice toda at: https://www.communityrenewalsociety.org/platform?sectionscroll=just-economy

Information on the National Immigrant Justice center and the “We Are Home” campaign,  can be found at:  https://immigrantjustice.org/press-releases/civil-rights-groups-send-letter-dhs-secretary-calling-meaningful-opportunity-return

Information of the proposed Berta Caceres Human Rights Act of 2021can be found at:

https://soaw.org/BertaAct2021

 

 

Lawful Assembly – Episode 14:

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. President Biden recently responded to a national outcry protesting the limitation of refugee resettlement in this fiscal year to 15,000 refugees and reversed his decision, raising the goal to welcome 62,500 refugees.  This podcast encourages advocates to encourage the administration to achieve that goal and collaborate with resettlement agencies to revitalize the public-private partnership that will continue to benefit our communities.

President Biden’s announcement can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/05/03/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-refugee-admissions/

The specific numbers allocated for this fiscal year can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/05/03/memorandum-for-the-secretary-of-state-on-the-emergency-presidential-determination-on-refugee-admissions-for-fiscal-year-2021-2/

Chicago refugee resettlement programs include:

Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago: www.ecachicago.org/project/give-clean-water/

Heartland Human Care Services: www.heartlandalliance.org/program/rics

RefugeeOne: www.refugeeone.org/

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago Refugee Resettlement Program: https://www.catholiccharities.net/GetHelp/OurServices/RefugeeResettlementServices.aspx

World Relief Chicagoland Refugee Resettlement: https://chicagoland.worldrelief.org/resettlement/

Susan Gzesh’s article on an alternative allocations for refugee resettlement can be found at:  https://www.justsecurity.org/75799/why-must-central-american-asylum-seekers-risk-their-lives-to-reach-the-us-there-is-an-alternative/

Lawful Assembly 11: Building a Welcoming City

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, founder and former Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast celebrates the thirty-sixth anniversary of former Mayor Harold Washington’s Executive Order 85-1 that prohibited city agencies, including the police, from cooperating with the enforcement activities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  After the Chicago City Council enacted an ordinance sharing Mayor Washington’s goals twelve years ago, the City Council recently added new amendments to Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, signed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on February 23, 2021.   The podcast commends the activism of the Chicago Immigration Working Group for its efforts to build a truly welcoming city.  To that end, that Group reminded all that “to be a true welcoming city, Chicago must start to divest from criminalization, begin to invest in our communities, and ensure true police accountability.” (press release celebrating the new amendments which includes the list of the diverse groups that constitute the Chicago Immigration Working Group):  https://www.icirr.org/News/Welcoming-City-Ordinance-is-a-win-by-and-for-our-communities%2C-but-work-remains-to-be-done

For more information on Chicago’s response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and Mayor Harold Washington’s issuance of his Executive Order 85-1, see “A Clear View from the Prairie: Harold Washington and the People of Illinois Respond to Federal Encroachment of Human Rights,” 29 S. Ill. L. J. 285 (Fall, 2004/Winter, 2005):

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2997657

 

Lawful Assembly 9: To Do A Blessing

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, founder and former Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  Inspired by the Rev. Dr. Silvester S. Beaman’s benediction from the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on January 20, 2021, this podcast urges those seeking to reform immigration law to seek our common humanity.  Recognizing the whirlwind of changes in immigration and refugee law from 2017 to the present, the podcast suggests we have to consider what we owe to those who have contributed to the growth of our nation as we reconsider how best to reform our nation’s laws.  To listen to the benediction of the Rev. Dr. Silvester S. Beaman, Pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Delaware, see:  https://bethelwilmington.org

To read more of how Abraham Lincoln understood his motivation for the Emancipation Proclamation, see, Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg, The Words That Remade America, (Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y., 1992) pp. 143-44.

For a compilation of the many changes that occurred within immigration law and policy since 2017 and some of the projected proposals for change, see:  https://www.aila.org/advo-media/issues/all/first-100-days

Episode 7: Can It Be Fair Process?

Can It Be Fair Process Without a Fair Process to File an Asylum Application?

This episode is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. He responds to the federal government’s proposed regulations that would change the time limit for filing an asylum application before an Immigration Judge. These proposed rules will hinder the ability of individuals to pursue cases without lawyers and increase the difficulty of pro bono representation by volunteer lawyers.   We encourage you to file your own comments opposing part or all of the proposed procedures and asking the government to withdraw the entire proposed rule.  To assist you in obtaining a link to the proposed procedures or in filing your comment, you may incorporate your remarks into one of the templates provided by the following:

Our colleagues at the National Immigrant Justice Center have provided sample comments and a link to file comments at:   https://immigrantjustice.salsalabs.org/protectasylum/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4dcbbfd7-b673-4263-9b92-abc70008cc18

You may also find the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s template at: https://www.aila.org/takeaction#/89

Both websites provide additional information on how the proposed regulations prevent bona fide applicants from litigating their cases.  To be accepted by the government, please ensure your comments are filed on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Friday, October 23, 2020.

The critical point remains that you choose at least one element of the proposed rules that you believe is incompatible with our nation’s commitment to fair process to achieve justice and make your voice heard.

If you are curious about the details necessary to file a complete asylum application, you can view the ten-page form and the instructions at:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-589

 

Please note, American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh,  760 F.Supp. 796 (N.D. Ca. 1991), was actually settled on January 31, 1991 instead of 1990 as stated in the podcast.    

 

 

Episode 4: Help Our System of Justice Work Best

This episode is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, founder and former Executive Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center which later became the National Immigrant Justice Center (www.immigrantjustice.org), and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. He responds to the federal government’s proposed regulations that would limit the discretion of Immigration Judges and change the procedure for appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  These proposed rules will hinder the ability of individuals to pursue cases without lawyers and increase the difficulty of pro bono representation by volunteer lawyers.   Cumulatively, if implemented, they will harm our communities and undermine our system of justice.  We encourage you to file your own comments opposing part or all of the proposed procedures and asking the government to withdraw the entire proposed rule.  To assist you in obtaining a link to the proposed procedures or in filing your comment, you may incorporate your remarks into one of the templates provided by the following:

Our colleagues at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. have provided sample comments and a link to file comments at:  https://cliniclegal.org/resources/federal-administrative-advocacy/clinic-template-comment-eoir-proposed-rule

You may also find the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s template at:

https://www.aila.org/takeaction#/88

Both websites provide additional information on how the proposed regulations restrict access to the courts and prevent bona fide applicants from litigating and their cases.  To be accepted by the government, please ensure your comments are filed on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Friday, September 25, 2020.

The critical point remains that you choose at least one element of the proposed rules that you believe is incompatible with our nation’s commitment to fair process to achieve justice and make your voice heard.

Justice Ginsburg’s law review article, “In Pursuit of the Public Good: Access to Justice in the United States,” 7 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 1, 8 (2001) can be found at: https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1534&context=law_journal_law_policy

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals case can be found at page 8 of Meza Morales v. Barr, 2020 WL 5268986, (7th Cir.).

The TRAC Immigration report from Syracuse University on “The Life and Death of Administrative Closure” can be found at:  https://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/623/ (September 10, 2020).

Please share this podcast and links with members of your community or faith organizations, family members and friends.  Encourage them to file comments to help ensure that our nation continues its commitment to a fair process and access to justice.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Episode 2: New Opportunity to Oppose Proposed Regulations Precluding Asylum Eligibility

 

This episode is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin founder and former Executive Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. He talks about responding to the federal government’s proposed regulations that would make asylum seekers ineligible for asylum and related remedies based on purported public health considerations.   We encourage you to file your own comments opposing part or all of the proposed procedures and asking the government to withdraw the entire proposed rule.  To assist you in obtaining a link to the proposed procedures or in filing your comment, you may incorporate your remarks into one of the templates provided by the following:

The National Immigrant Justice Center’s template.

If you are concerned about unaccompanied minors or children refugee issues, you can use the Young Center’s template.

Both websites provide additional information on how the proposed regulations restrict access to the courts and prevent bona fide applicants from presenting their cases for asylum.  To be accepted by the government, please make sure your comments are filed on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Monday, August 10 2020.

For additional information on the pretext of the public health need for these proposals, see:  https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/new-asylum-ban-recycled-pretext-proposed-rule-would-illegally-unjustly-bar-many-asylum

 

Please share this podcast and links with members of your community or faith organizations, family members and friends.  Encourage them to file comments to help ensure that our nation continues to offer shelter for refugees in need.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.