Politico: Federal appeals court clears way for undocumented teen to get abortion

Politico: Federal appeals court clears way for undocumented teen to get abortion

I was quoted in a Politico article on October 24 regarding a federal appeals court decision that an undocumented pregnant minor can receive an abortion. The 17-year old is being held in a federally-funded shelter in Texas after crossing the border last month, where she was immediately apprehended.

In this article I responded to Judge Karen Henderson, a George H.W. Bush appointee. Henderson said in a separate dissenting opinion that the undocumented teen lacks constitutional rights, including the right to an abortion. And she criticized the Trump administration for refusing to address that issue.

“That’s what [Henderson’s] beef is. This person was caught at the border and never formally made an entry. People who just made it into the country and don’t have any ties here, do they have any constitutional rights? Do they have the full panoply? This is really the gray area. Nobody has a clear answer.”

The full article is here: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/24/federal-appeals-court-clears-way-for-undocumented-teen-to-get-abortion-244115

The Future of STEM OPT

The Future of STEM OPT

Last year’s ruling on STEM OPT (optional practical training for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) granted students in those fields a three year post-graduation authorization to work in the United States. This year, the future of that ruling is in question.

Speaking with Bloomberg BNA, I stated that there would surely be a court battle if the program was rescinded. I added that any argument that STEM OPT was somehow illegal would be very dubious. One likely argument ICE could claim is that the regulation is an economic disadvantage to American students. Yet, we’ll just have to wait and see exactly how they go about rescinding STEM OPT, if they do.

I also spoke with The PIE News (Professionals in International Education) to explain the legal case for maintaining STEM OPT:

“A federal court has already held that the Department of Homeland Security had the statutory authority to publish a rule extending OPT to students in STEM fields. The court noted that since at least 1947, the immigration agency has interpreted the immigration laws to allow foreign students to engage in employment for practical training purposes. During all that time, Congress acquiesced to that interpretation.”

The Bloomberg BNA article is at https://www.bna.com/work-program-foreign-n73014470707/. The PIE News article is at https://thepienews.com/news/us-work-restrictions-harmful-to-economy/.

Huffington Post: How St. Louis’ Only City Synagogue Became A Safe Haven For Protesters

Huffington Post: How St. Louis’ Only City Synagogue Became A Safe Haven For Protesters

A recent piece by Huffington Post details the events of Sept 15, when a peaceful protest became violent and dozens of protesters sought refuge in a nearby synagogue. In the U.S., churches have long served as safe havens. Today, many have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, which isn’t a declaration protected by law but is generally respected. “As a purely legal matter… the immigration agency can if it wants to, come into a church to arrest someone,” I said on the matter. However, ICE’s policy as stated on its website is not to focus on “sensitive locations” like “places of worship” in order to “enhance the public understanding and trust.” Whether the Trump administration will test the boundaries of this policy or not remains a question at this time.

Read the full story here.

 

Trump Travel Ban 3.0 More Likely to Survive a Court Challenge

Trump Travel Ban 3.0 More Likely to Survive a Court Challenge

I recently spoke with Deutsche Welle on the third revision of President Trump’s travel ban. The new travel ban is more likely to survive in court, as it bars only certain people from certain countries rather than everyone from a given country. The proclamation includes North Korea and Venezuela, which, as non-Muslim majority countries, which shifts the narrative of the travel ban away from being a Muslim-targeted one. This new, more narrow version of the travel ban may be a success for Trump.

Read the full interview here.

DACA Phaseout is Chance to Rethink Policy, but RAISE Act is Wrong Answer

DACA Phaseout is Chance to Rethink Policy, but RAISE Act is Wrong Answer

In six months, the Trump administration will wind down the DACA program, which gives Congress an opportunity to not only help DACA participants, but to look at the big picture and ask ourselves fundamental questions. These questions start with “Who should we admit to the U.S.?” “how many people,” and “what kinds?”

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia have introduced the RAISE Act in an attempt to provide new answers to the critical questions. But the plan, backed by Trump, is an overly simplistic solution to a complex issue. Given the provisions within the RAISE Act, it would reduce legal immigration by 50% within the next decade.

As far as Trump, Cotton and Perdue are concerned, the United States should only admit immigrants who are wealthy, speak English and have science, technology, engineering and math backgrounds. But they fail to address crucial questions.

Read the full piece on USAToday, here.

Trump Administration Officially Moves to Rescind DACA; U.S. States and Immigration Groups Fight Back

Trump Administration Officially Moves to Rescind DACA; U.S. States and Immigration Groups Fight Back

I spoke with various media outlets in the wake of Tuesday’s news that the Trump administration would phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program, introduced under Obama, was a stop-gap way to prioritize who would be put into deportation proceedings while Congress took up the issue of immigration reform. This left Dreamers with a sort of quasi-legal status, vulnerable to a subsequent presidential policy reversal. It also leaves Dreamers who mount legal challenges to Trump — based on commitments made on the assumption that DACA would continue — subject to a judge’s finding they should have known it could be easily undone.

This past August, I and another 100 law professors signed a letter supporting the legality of Obama’s decision to enact DACA. In an interview with Mother Jones on September 5, I stated that the program’s creation was lawful and a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion. “Nobody has the money or number of officers to be able to round up and deport 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, so every president has to prioritize which ones they want to target. President Obama used that same prosecutorial discretion that other presidents had used before him to decide that the people we call Dreamers, as long as they have not committed any crimes, were really low-priority for deportation, and therefore he decided to defer their deportation for two years and along with that give them the opportunity to get work permits.”

In another interview with CNN, I explained that a court might rule that President Trump had a legal basis to terminate the program unilaterally because President Obama created the DACA program unilaterally through an executive action. However, given the current state of politics, it’s going to be hard to see how DACA can fit into the very busy legislative schedule to get done in the next six months.

The full list of articles I was interviewed for is here:

Featured image from LA TImes: http://www.trbimg.com/img-59aeb857/turbine/la-na-pol-trump-daca-20170904