Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Freemasons in Post Revolutionary Cuba

My colleague, Jorge Romeu,  has announced the circulation of three new works on freemasonry in Cuba.     

Les informamos que el Analisis Demografico de la Masoneria Cubana, en la segunda mitad del Siglo XX, realizado para su presentacion en la Gran Logia de Cuba con datos suministrados por esta, y que aparecera en sus publicaciones a finales del verano, se encuentra en la red.  [noting the availability of "Demographic Analysis of Cuban Masonry, in the second half of the twentieth century," which was presented in the Grand Lodge of Cuba, online.]

Comunicamos que el borrador final para comentarios, del trabajo sobre La Masoneria Cubana y su Contribucion a la Sociedad Civil, a presentarse en la 20 Conferencia Anual de ASCE (Asociacion para el Estudio de la Economia Cubana) en Miami, en Julio proximo, se encuentra en la red. [reporting that the final draft for comment of the work Freemasonry and its contribution to Cuban Civil Society, to be presented at the 20th Annual Conference of ASCE (Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy) in Miami in July, is on line.]

Por ultimo, el borrador final para comentarios, del trabajo Una Mirada Alternativa de la Sociedad Civil en Cuba, basado en la revision critica de esta literatura y realizada para apoyar las tesis del trabajo sobre la Masoneria en Cuba, tambien esta en la red. [Lastly, noting that the final draft  of the Work, An Alternative Look  at Civil Society in Cuba, based on a critical revision of the standard literature and testing the tesis of the role of freemasonry in Cuba, is also available online].

The Cuban Revolution has produced a substantial amount of irony.  In its relationship with freemasonry, perhaps one can see the development of another.  Consider Christopher Hodapp, Masonic Conflicts in Cuba, Freemasons for Dummies, May 29, 2010. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

SB 1070 and the Latino/a Vote: Is Texas Turning Blue?

Frank Valdes and Steven Ramirez have been arguing on this blog that SB 1070 is a product of Republicans and that Latinos/as should take note of this fact the next time they vote. There is now evidence that Latinos/as may be reaching the same conclusion. In a major political development, Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry is now tied with Democratic candidate Bill White in the race to become the governor of Texas. In February, Governor Perry was leading by six points according to PPP. What happened? PPP explains: "The race is tied now, and the movement since the previous poll has come completely with Hispanic voters." (Tom Jensen, Immigration Bill Fallout In Texas, Public Policy Polling, June 22, 2010).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Forum on SB 1070 at the University of Florida

This is part of a report on a forum on SB 1070 sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, that was held on Wednesday, June 16, 2010. The complete report is available at:

[Professor Pedro] Malavet addressed the law and its implications from a standpoint of culture and race.

"Laws like this reflect a level of anti-Hispanic, anti-Latina/Latino sentiment that will have a most pernicious effect on citizens," he said.

Malavet, who was born in Puerto Rico, expressed concerns about racial profiling that will occur because of the law, based his own personal experiences and the experiences of other Latino and Latina citizens.

"Can any of you right now, right here prove that you’re a citizen of the United States?" he asked. "And the other question is 'why would you be asked to prove that you’re a citizen of the United States by a law enforcement officer?'"

Latinos and Latinas are often categorized or thought of as one race in the United States, even though they are a multi-racial ethnic group, but this leads to racism based on the outward appearance of being foreign, Malavet said.

"I think that one of the reasons why we see laws like SB 1070 is not really concern over immigration, legal or otherwise. I think it is about us; it is about Latina and Latino citizens and it is about the fact that we are going to be the largest identifiable group within the United States in the coming century."

The Latino and Latina population is estimated to have increased by over one-third between 2000 and 2009, he said.

Latinos and Latinas have always been viewed in the United States as racially inferior, Malavet said. Perceptions and stereotypes of Latinos and Latinas have even shifted during the history of the U.S. to uphold this viewpoint.

"We have been citizens of this country since before it was this country," Malavet said, "and if you think about it, the two largest Hispanic groups in the United States are Mexican-American and Puerto Ricans; not one of us came to the United States at the time our territories were first conquered by this country, the United States came to us."

"Everybody who values citizenship in this country needs to understand that we are the most successful multi-cultural democracy in the history of the planet, and we will continue to be only when we value that diversity and fight the racism that SB 1070 reflects," he said.

Friday, June 25, 2010

One Federal Judge to Hear All SB 1070 Cases

United States District Judge, Susan Bolton, will preside over all the cases seeking to overturn the new Arizona immigration statute. Two of the cases were already pending in her court in Phoenix, AZ and on Friday she transferred the other three cases to herself. Judge Bolton was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton. (One Judge to Consider all Challenges To Arizona Law,, June 25, 2010). The judge will have much work to do in this complex litigation as there are a number of motions to dismiss in the cases as well as the MALDEF/ACLU motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of the draconian immigration law pending a final decision on the merits. The judge will have to decide the motion for a preliminary injunction soon as the law--SB 1070-- is set to go into effect on July 29, 2010.

A Recent Interview...

Below is a portion of an interview concening the legality of SB 1070 with EL Proceso, Mexico's leading politcal Magazine:

1. Is this law unconstitutional? Why?

The constitutional challenge to Arizona's SB 1070 will likely be that it is preempted by existing federal immigration law, and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the United States Constitution. While this question will likely be litigated for some considerable time, I believe the law is preempted by United States federal law.

The SB 1070's stated purpose is to assist in enforcement of federal laws against illegal immigration. The law apparently seeks to prevent successful preemption attacks by tracking federal definitions and placing state law enforcement officials in the service of enforcing federal law. However, most legal experts on immigration already believe and the federal government will likely take the position that Arizona's new law conflicts with and goes far beyond federal enforcement policy. The fact that Arizona tracks federal definitions makes it more likely that the law will be seen as unconstitutional for at least two reasons. As noted legal expert Professor Jack Balkin recently observed: "Arizona will not be able to justify the law on the grounds that it has only incidental effects on federal immigration policy;" and , "it will be more difficult for Arizona to argue that the scope of its new law is not already occupied by the federal scheme and that the law does not interfere with federal law's balancing of the relative costs and benefits of adopting particular enforcement policies."

Another related reason that the Arizona law will likely be struck down is that, while purporting to be helpful, it actually interferes with the federal government by engaging in over-zealous draconian measures. While purporting to be of assistance to federal immigration authorities, what appears to be at play is a political statement by the leaders of Arizona that evidently assert that " since the federal government is apparently not doing enough to address immigration, the state of Arizona will protect its own borders, irrespective of what the federal government thinks. If the above is in fact so and the law is seen to go beyond federal law, the more likely it will be seen to be in violation of federal law and unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. In other words, Arizona will more likely than not be seen as interfering with the supreme law of the land--Federal Immigration Law.

Thus the key question is whether SB 1070 does in fact go beyond federal law and thus interferes with federal law or does it simply replicate and enforce federal immigration law?

As a recent study by Arizona law professors Gabriel J. Chin, Carissa Byrne Hessick, Toni Massaro, and Marc L. Miller noted, SB 1070 does not simply mandate the enforcement of federal criminal and civil immigration laws. It creates new state crimes with different elements than similar federal crimes, it creates mandatory penalties that are different than the discretionary penalties in the federal statute, and it appears to remove the policing and prosecutorial discretion that is inherent in federal immigration enforcement. Any mandatory directive to state law enforcement to enforce federal law would transfer discretion in federal immigration enforcement from federal actors to the state. This preemption concern is heightened by the creation of distinct state crimes and penalties aimed at the same or similar underlying act as the federal immigration provisions.

Certain crimes under SB 1070 do not exist at the federal level. They include section 5A, making it illegal for a driver to stop and attempt to hire or to hire and pick up passengers, if that action impedes traffic; for a person to get into someone’s vehicle in order to be hired; or for an illegal alien to apply for work or solicit work publicly in the state. Most of this is aimed at day laborers and those who hire them. Another example: Section 2H allows any citizen to sue an official or agency in the state who "adopts or implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law." And section 2B of the new law requires law enforcement officers to try to check the immigration status of anyone they lawfully stop if they have "reasonable suspicion" the person might be an unauthorized immigrant. (More on this provision later).

For the fairly exhaustive reasons stated above, SB 1070 is likely to be seen as interfering with federal immigration policy and not at all assisting it, and is therefore likely to be held unconstitutional under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause.

2. What are the legal bases to challenge the SB 1070?

Please see my answer to question number one. I believe it is fairly exhaustive.

3. Is There any chance to stop this law before take effect?

The only real likelihood of this happening if a court in one of the several law suits challenging this law issues an order enjoining state officials of implementing this law. While I believe the law should and will be ultimately struck down, I believe an injunction stopping the state of Arizona is not likely to occur in the near future.

4. Do you think the White House will challenge this law?

I know from a variety of sources as well as public statements by Attorney General Holder, the federal government is researching the matter and may very well bring suit to stop Arizona's efforts. However, much like the suits that are already ongoing, this process, if commenced, will take considerable time in the court system. I wish they would contact some legal academics that have been examining this issue for some time now. We might be able to assist them in moving things along at a bit of a faster pace.

5. What are the technical aspects of the process (How long it’s going to take, etc).

Realistically, the only option, both politically and legally, are in the courts. This is a slow process--likely a year will pass, in the best case scenario, for an order enjoining Arizona. The other options would be federal legislation on the matter, but there does not seem to be the political will in the United States for such action. In fact, a contrary position is more likely to be politically acceptable--we are quick to build fences and less dedicated to protect civil and human rights of much needed undocumented workers.

The only other option would be an executive order by the President forbidding Arizona from taking this action. Such an order would be at best constitutionally problematic, though it would be the fastest solution. Thus, because an executive order will likely be successfully challenge this option is not viable.

6. If this law is unconstitutional, why are the leaders of Arizona doing this? Is just a

political statement?

As you and you readers may vey well know, the United States has had a somewhat schizophrenic relationship with immigration--when we believe they are needed, we welcome immigrants, when we believe we have reasons for concern--wars or the economy--we make them scapegoats. Thus, I believe we have a political statement is at play here. I actually believe some people misguidedly believe immigration is at the heart of America's problems. This belief however is not based on facts, as some of my own works have shown, many views of immigrants and their impact are based more on fear and ignorance rather than facts and actual economic data. It is easy to get votes and political clout when one has an easy target, and unfortunately there are very few targets more vulnerable than undocumented workers. Fortunately, we have organizations and individuals prepared to stand up and challenge these erroneous beliefs

What we need is a counter-political statement by both those in Mexico and within the United States. As the head of your state warned our Congress, Mexico is a nation-state that is economically important to the United States. Perhaps your country should use that power to have anti-immigrant officials pay--literally in their pockets-- for their positions. Here, Latinos and Latinas need to use their pocketbooks as well, but we also need to be heard in the polls. We need to respond to any anti-immigrant, anti-Latino laws with our votes! As the old Latin saying goes, we need to exclaim " Presente" and "Ya Basta" with hateful efforts.

Citizenship and Its Exclusions

Congratulations to our prolific editor Ediberto Román for the release a few weeks ago of his latest book published by New York University Press. The press website is:

Here are the flap cover details on this important new book:

Citizenship and Its Exclusions

A Classical, Constitutional, and Critical Race Critique

Ediberto Roman

Citizenship is generally viewed as the most desired legal status an individual can attain, invoking the belief that citizens hold full inclusion in a society, and can exercise and be protected by the Constitution. Yet this membership has historically been exclusive and illusive for many, and in Citizenship and Its Exclusions, Ediberto Román offers a sweeping, interdisciplinary analysis of citizenship’s contradictions.

Román offers an exploration of citizenship that spans from antiquity to the present, and crosses disciplines from history to political philosophy to law, including constitutional and critical race theories. Beginning with Greek and Roman writings on citizenship, he moves on to late-medieval and Renaissance Europe, then early Modern Western law, and culminates his analysis with an explanation of how past precedents have influenced U.S. law and policy regulating the citizenship status of indigenous and territorial island people, as well as how different levels of membership have created a de facto subordinate citizenship status for many members of American society, often lumped together as the “underclass.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Sustainable Puerto Rican Hobby and The BP Oil Spill

The inestimable and unimaginable horror of the BP Oil Spill reminds the nation with unmitigated restraint several critical issues impacting the future and beyond. Specifically until the nation lessens its nightmarish and unholy addiction to oil and other resource depleting practices this generation fails not only the planet but also our children and their future. Against the backdrop of this mind numbing environmental disaster a recent news article nonetheless managed to shed a bit of light on an otherwise gloomy news day of the BP oil spill.

Each summer and every other Sunday in Chicago's Puerto Rican community a number of individuals and families constituting the Chicago Cruisers bike club wait for the “blast of a brass horn.” [1] Why? The horn initiates a bicycle trip to a Chicago landmark. The bikes however are beyond the simple and stripped down two tire bikes of my youth.

In contrast these bikes are customized with “sparkly or crushed-velvet banana seats; balloon tires; re-chromed handlebars with speedometers, side-view mirrors” and some even have attached boom boxes. Cruiser member Luis Maldonado for example customized his newer model with a 6 x 9 inch bass speaker, car stereo CD player and an iPod! From Maldonado’s bike crooned “salsa singer Victor Manuelle.”

Many of the bikes have both the U.S. and Puerto Rican flags and the name of their bike club. The owners of these works of art share a “passion for vintage bikes—mostly 26-inch Schwinns.” A partial scope of the Schwinn models includes “Phantoms, Typhoons and Apple or Orange Krates” with many members scouring flea markets or garage sales looking for bike component parts. My favorite are bikes with family histories such as ten-year-old Alejandra who inherited her Sting-Ray Orange Krate from her grandfather who rode the bike to grade school.

I found the above article encouraging because rather than add to the intensive and craziness of Chicago traffic the Cruisers pedal to area highlights and thus are not exploiting the limited natural resources mother earth offers. The Cruisers remind us that the nation has to disentangle itself from its over reliance on oil and gas and further allow a glimpse into the anti-bike norm that the U.S. promotes.

While Chicago has some bike paths, the high volume and pressures of urban traffic and addiction to the false norm that the road “belongs to automobiles” fails bike riders. When Lansing, Michigan, could have constructed a network of bike paths near MSU, area residents protested and in a city with huge massively wide roads, placed students at risk. In one instance for example a driver and vehicle killed a young MSU student while she was attempting to cross from one side of campus to the next.

In contrast, to the anti-bike norm other nations such as Sweden have constructed amazing bicycle paths that traverse urban and rural areas. On all my trips there I witnessed teachers and students heading for school outings and numerous others heading for work on their bikes in all sorts of inclement weather. Beyond the pro-bike culture Swedish towns are also heated collectively from steam that is fed from city steam plants. Thereby offering a sustainable approach away from oil and gas while also keeping costs down in heating area homes. The BP oil spill accordingly offers an opportunity.

Specifically the U.S. must fundamentally re-examine current federal leasing of public lands. Yet it must go beyond harmful leases with defects that permit ad hoc exploitation, injury to wildlife and which jeopardize the livelihood of area communities. At a core level the nation must adopt bona fide policies and practices and incentives to promote if not accelerate sustainability. For a start it could turn to indigenous customary practices in areas of scarce natural resources that allowed their survival into the present.[2] Finally while cars serve a purpose in certain situations, the “car as king of the road culture” must not only shift but also promote sustainable and alternative practices.

In sum this author sends mil gracias to the Chicago Cruisers for their addiction to Schwinn bikes with a Puerto Rican cultural twist. Honestly how can our antepasados who witnessed the exploitation of the natural resources of their communities not help but shine blessings on the Cruisers for a hobby that also reaches beyond an addiction to vintage bikes.

[1]This blog drives from a much appreciated news article. See Serena Maria Daniels, Tricked-out Classic Schwinns Inspire Nostalgia and Respect While Bringing Together Parents and Kids In A Hobby for The Ages, Chicago Trib. June 16, 2010, at 1.

[2]In the past as in the present indigenous communities continue confronting harm that endangers area resources and thus their survival. For a couple of examples reference the acequias of New Mexico that distance indigenous custom and practice from the industrialization of rural communities, or the ongoing systemic housing development of huge mansions in rural areas that threaten the cultural survival of Indian nations.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mexico Enters SB 1070 Litigation

In an indication that the Arizona immigration statute has done serious damage to our nation's international relations, Mexico has submitted an amicus brief in the MALDEF/ACLU case, opposing SB 1070. Asserting that Mexico has a right to protect its citizens, Mexico contends that "SB 1070 creates an imminent threat of state sanctioned bias or discrimination, resulting not only in individual injury, but also in broader social and economic harms to its citizens, undermining Mexico-U.S. relations." Among other things, Mexico argues that SB 1070 will result in unconstitutional "racial profiling reminiscent of African-American discrimination." Mexico's amicus brief in support of plaintiffs is here: (

Experts Prepare to Act...

> The Rebellious Lawyering Institute
> September 23-25 2010/Bishop?s Lodge, Santa Fe, New Mexico
> On every front, Arizona presents major challenges: how do we influence public perceptions? litigate effectively? lobby to avoid similar laws or to enact better ones? organize communities? learn and teach about law enforcement practices? assess the wisdom of and ways to implement boycotts? Not surprisingly, no one group or no single strategic scheme dominates current thinking about and action in Arizona ? much less across the United States or in other countries. Instead an often heated and fractured debate shapes compatible and divergent paths.
> Because of the significance of this crisis, the Rebellious Lawyering Institute has specially designed a training focusing on (1) how we can best stand up to Arizona and (2) what the Arizona experience can teach us about preparing for and avoiding the copycat actions of anti-immigrant and racist forces in other states. In designing this special training, we have drawn on the wisdom of many and look forward to working with you in Santa Fe.
> A Big Heads-Up about Hotel Reservations:
> New Mexico?s beautiful fall attracts lots of events and guests to Santa Fe, so please do book early. If you book a room at Bishop?s Lodge on or before July 15, 2010, you can secure a special conference rate (mention Rebellious Lawyering-
> Hotel=219&Chain=6361&template=GC&shell=TL&arrive=9/22/2010&depart=9/25/2010&adult=1&child=0&group=1009REBELL)
> From July 15 forward, you may still reserve a room at Bishop?s Lodge but only if rooms are available and only at the regular rate. Or of course you may book your stay elsewhere in Santa Fe. Please do book early, though.
> See you in September,
> Kip Bobroff, Tara Ford, Bill Ong Hing, Gerald P. L?pez, Shauna Marshall ? and the many close friends and allies who will be with us in Santa Fe.

Nebraska Town Making Immigration Policy..

Arizona isn’t the only jurisdiction taking the fight against illegal immigration into its own hands.

Fremont, Nebraska–a place most of you have probably never heard of–voted yesterday to ban illegal immigrants from renting property or landing a job in the 25,000-person town, the AP reports. The law requires town officials to evaluate the citizenship status of any person renting property, while employers must check the status of would-be hires using a federal database.

The vote could make the Cornhusker state meatpacking town the latest battleground in a national fight over immigration ignited in April by an Arizona law that would allow law enforcement officials to stop people they think might be in the country illegally.

The ACLU has already vowed a court challenge to the Fremont law, with the head of the group’s Nebraska branch decrying the measure as a violation of federal law. The Fremont ordinance, she said, is “completely out of step with American values of fairness and equality.”

Some town residents interviewed by the AP had a different take. “I don’t think it’s right to be able to rent to [illegal immigrants] or hire them,” said Trevor McClurg. “They shouldn’t be here in the first place.”

But if past experience is any guide, McClurg may be out of luck. Federal courts have a track record of rejecting similar ordinances, including a Hazleton, Pennsylvania provision that would have penalized landlords and businesses for dealing with illegal immigrants, according to the AP. And a federal judge also rejected a Farmers Branch, Texas ban on renting to those in the country illegally.

By Clifford M. Marks

Arizona Governor's Brief In support of Motion to Dismiss MALDEF/ACLU Complaint

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's brief in support of her motion to dismiss the MALDEF/ACLU complaint is now available here: ( ). In it, the governor continues to argue, among other things, that plaintiffs lack standing to assert their constitutional claims because their fears that they will be subjected to racial profiling under SB 1070 are too speculative. In addition, the governor argues that SB 1070 is not preempted by federal law because it does not regulate "who should or should not be admitted to the country." The governor's brief does not specifically address the finding and analysis by four Arizona law professors that the text of SB 1070 authorizes and may require racial profiling (

Legal Experts Are reactng to SB 1070 ...

The Organizing Committee of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities recently voted to relocate our March 2011 conference from Tempe, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada. We did so in response to Arizona's recent immigration law, SB 1070, and out of concern for our membership, should the law be in force next spring. We wish to thank Dean Paul Berman and those at ASU law school who welcomed and supported us in planning the conference, and who have been very understanding of our decision to relocate it. We also wish to thank Dean White of UNLV law school and Jay Mootz, who have graciously and generously facilitated our last-minute relocation. We hope to see you all in Las Vegas, March 11-12, 2011.

A Call for Participation in the 2011 conference soon will be posted here and distributed to the ASLCH listserv.

We have also located our next two conferences, though we have not yet set dates. We will convene at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Fort Worth for our 2012 conference, and we will convene at Birkbeck University of London for our 2013 conference. Many thanks to all those at Texas Wesleyan and Birkbeck for agreeing to host us!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hierarchical Identity in the Americas Explored in New Book

Professor Tanya K. Hernandez, a professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, where she teaches Comparative Employment Discrimination, Critical Race Theory, and Trusts & Estates, has written a new book with Professor Robert J. Cottrol, a professor of law at George Washington University Law School, where he teaches constitutional and criminal law. The new book is entitled, The Long Lingering Shadow: Law, Liberalism and Cultures of Racial Hierarchy and Identity in the Americas(UNC Press, 2010). Professor Hernandez and Cottrol collaborated on the book because although they teach in relatively different areas of the law their research focuses on the influence of legal institutions and social processes on race relations in the United States and Latin America.

I had the opportunity to hear excerpts and commentaries regarding The Long Lingering Shadow at an Author Meets Reader Session at the recent Law & Society Association Annual Meeting, as a side bar, our very own Professor Laura E. Gomez, University of New Mexico is President of Law Society for the next two years (viva Laura!). The readers commented on the relevant, and important contribution that The Long Lingering Shadow will make to the existing body of legal, sociological, and historical literature. The readers were Professors Raymond T. Diamond, Louisiana State University, Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School, Seth Racusen, Anna Maria College, and D. Wendy Greene, Samford University.

I was particularly intrigued by Professor Finkelman’s comment. He stated that the law governing slavery in the Americas altered from the British common law by designating that the race of a child would be determined by the race of the mother not the father. This legal change resulted in a denigration and objectification of a dark woman’s body, and it removed any legal consequence from a white man engaging in sexual relations, consensual or otherwise with a dark woman. The result of such a legal definitional change was that--there would be no ramification for the use or misuse of a dark woman’s body. Professor Finkelman believes that unfortunately, remnants of this socio-legal paradigm are still in existence today. The Long Lingering Shadow addresses many of the socio-legal paradigms that are remnants of colonial power in the Americas. However, according to Professor Cottrol, the book does not discuss the gender power dynamics that is endemic within the Latin American culture, and to a large extent, the American culture, but perhaps that is a topic for a different book.

Lydie Nadia Cabrera Pierre-Louis

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bye-Bye Betty

After four years on the air, the unprecedented television show Ugly Betty disappeared from the small screen earlier this year, causing Latinas/os, sexual minorities and smart consumers of popular culture to lament the loss. Reflecting a general view, the Associated Press recently described the lead character as “an educated, hard-working and family-oriented Latina, who was ambitious and career-driven.” But Betty was not a stereotype. On the contrary, Betty’s life on the show depicted the gritty realities and human aspirations that made this series edgier and livelier than most. Betty comes from a working-class Mexican immigrant family, whose father confesses to his American-born children that he, himself, is undocumented...a wildly relevant storyline. In addition, Betty’s life also reflected the role of sexual minorities in this society, including gay and transgendered characters depicted in substantive, non-stereotypical ways. Betty’s life on the show featured the rich diversity and complexity of contemporary Latina/o lives and communities in these United States.

Over the years, Betty’s work in the world of high fashion fueled her aspirations of personal glamour, a destination that she incrementally but finally achieved at the end of the series. By then, the quintessential underdog had become a self-confident and radiant woman. This non-stereotyped Latina and her family and friends became a cross-over hit precisely because they depicted life as we live it.

In return, corporate masters played with the scheduling of the show, disrupting viewer habits and leading to declining ratings that resulted in this cancellation over the objection of many fans who argued for more of Betty. But don’t give up just yet. I’ll bet you that bye-bye Betty is only for now...keep a look-out when she comes back and let’s welcome her right when she does!


'Betty' big on issues for gays, Latinos

'Betty' is sweetly entertaining to the end

By Frank Valdes

Governor Brewer Moves to Dismiss MALDEF/ACLU Complaint

Even as the United States is on the verge of entering the complex SB 1070 litigation (Randal C. Archibold and Mark Landler, Justice Dept. Will Fight Arizona On Immigration, The New York Times, June 18, 2010), Arizona Governor Jan Brewer moved to dismiss the MALDEF/ACLU complaint, Friendly House v. Whiting, in the Arizona immigration litigation. The governor appears to be following the same legal strategy that she took in the two earlier motions to dismiss. The governor argues that plaintiffs lack standing to assert their claims because they have failed to show that they will suffer harm and that federal law does not preempt the Arizona immigration statute. (Deborah Stocks,, June 18, 2010). Meanwhile, the Arizona political structure continues to show signs of stress as Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has withdrawn from representing the State of Arizona in the SB 1070 litigation. Governor Brewer had objected to his representing the State because Goddard has said that he opposes the new immigration legislation. (Ginger Rough, Goddard Withdraws as Lawyer in Immigration Suits, The Arizona Republic, June 19, 2010).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pluri-National States and Poly-Legalism in Bolivia--Indigenous Justice, Lynching and Constitutional Order

In 2009 Bolivia adopted a new constitution.  The Bolivian Constitution can be accessed here in the original Spanish.   English version HERE
On February 7th, 2009, Morales inaugurated the new constitutional era in Bolivian by enacting the New Bolivian Constitution, proclaiming the initiation of a new socialist communitarian state in Bolivia and celebrating the change of a political system that was inherited from the Spanish empire. Today, 36 indigenous communities and groups have the right to territory, language and their own communitarian justice. The new Bolivian Constitution also allows Morales to seek a second term of 5 years as President of Bolivia.
The Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia,The New Bolivian Constitution Grants More Rights to the Previously Forgotten Indigenous Citizens, Oct. 12, 2009.   The Constitution  includes a number of important innovations generally overlooked by a global elite academy.  See, e.g. Larry Catá Backer,Democracy Part VII: Constitutionalism and Indigenous Peoples in the Bolivian Constitution, Law at the End of the Day, December 9, 2007; Larry Catá Backer, An Apartheid for All Seasons: Bolivia and its Autonomy Movements,   Law at the End of the Day, May 3, 2008.

One of the more interesting changes introduced by the Bolivian constitution wad the creation of autonomous and constitutional status  based not on territory but on membership in ethnic or racial communities.  Beyond the recognition of constitutional personality, the 2009 Constitution recognizes the legitimacy of justice systems traditional to these constitutional communities--especially those of indigenous communities.    But like all pluralist efforts that are enshrined within hierarchical legal systems--like that essential to notions of constitutionalism--the moment comes when autonomy comes into conflict with the superior legal order.  That appears to be happening now in Bolivia as legislators try to mediate tensions between notions of indigenous justice and the basic protections accorded under the Bolivian constitution itslef under the superior guidance of the national legislature. 

Recently those tensions reached a boiling point.  The issue was, depending on one's perspective, either one of the expression of the power of indigenous peoples to execute offenders in accordance with their traditions, or  lynching.  Mabel Azcui, Fears Grow of Dual Justice System as Bolivian Clans Take Law Into Own Hands, El País (English Version), June 16, 2010.       
The Bolivian Congress last Friday approved legislation further empowering indigenous communities by recognizing their right to administer traditional laws and punishments.  The move cam after  a series of lynchings were reported in the media in recent weeks raising concerns that the country was effectively sanctioning a parallel system for Indian groups.
Id.  But the law raises more jurisdictional questions than provides answers.  The most recent set of incidents have highlighted these issues.  They involve the executions by Indian communities of several police officials accused of corruption and of another person accused of sexual crimes.  Id.  In the later case, "the Indians took [the accused] from his home, whipped and beat him to death in front of a school and later buried him."  Id.  The bodies of the police officials were returned only on a promise that the State would not initiate criminal prosecutions nuder Bolivian law for the actions taken under Indigenous law.   Id.  But, that has not prevented the families of the slain officers from seeking justice through the invocation of their own law systems.  And it is in that effort that the great clash of law systems within Bolivia is likely to take place.
Last week, the families decided to initiate legal action against the Indian communities and said they were considering filing charges against government officials and police commanders for dereliction of duty.  The Indians of Uncia say that the lynching is part of the Indigenous justice system, but the government rejects the argument.
Id.  The political opposition in Bolivia has taken up the issue.  Norma Piérola, an opposition lawmaker has  sought to limit indigenous jurisdiction.  She is especially concerned that Indigenous law decisions be subject to judicial review within the court system of the state.  In any case, the "government says that indigenous representatives must now outline their justice system, and submit it to Congress.  It adds that lynching would not be recognized as part of the indigenous justice system." Id.  But that, of course, begs two questions--(1) what is lynching ; and (2) who gets to decide the issue.  Beyond that, Bolivia provides an interesting constitutional wrinkle on the problems of multi-jurisdiction, now applied not to territorial but to cultural, racial or other groups recognized as constitutionally distinct. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Secretary of State: U.S. To Intervene in SB 1070 Case

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, says that the United States will intervene in the SB 1070 litigation to challenge the new Arizona immigration statute. (E.J Montini, Hillary Says Feds Will Sue Arizona over SB 1070, The Arizona Republic, June 17, 2010). If this is the case, the United States had better act soon as the cases seem to be moving quickly with a motion for a preliminary injunction pending as well as two motions to dismiss. If the U.S. intervenes, this would seem to strengthen plaintiffs' claims especially the claim that the State of Arizona is unconstitutionally invading the federal government's power to regulate immigration.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is Michigan Following Arizona?

Michigan HB 6256 - Copycat Bill of Arizona's SB 1070

06929'10 DRM HOUSE BILL No. 6256
June 10, 2010, Introduced by Reps. Meltzer, Marleau, Lund, Walsh, Knollenberg, Haines,
Rogers, Kowall, Rick Jones, Proos, Ball, Calley, Kurtz, Crawford, Horn, Daley, Moore
and Haveman and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
A bill to provide for the determination of the immigration
status of persons present in this state under certain
circumstances; to allow for the enforcement of immigration laws in
this state and the detaining and transportation of persons
unlawfully present in the United States; to allow for certain civil
actions; and to provide for certain civil fines and criminal
Sec. 1. This act shall 1 be known and may be cited as the
2 "immigration law enforcement act".
3 Sec. 2. (1) An officer or agency of this state or a political
4 subdivision of this state shall not limit or restrict the
5 enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full
6 extent permitted by federal law.
06929'10 DRM
(2) For any lawful stop, detention, 1 or arrest made by a law
2 enforcement officer or law enforcement agency of this state or a
3 law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency of a political
4 subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other state law
5 or local ordinance, where reasonable suspicion exists that the
6 person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States,
7 the law enforcement officer or agency shall make a reasonable
8 attempt, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of
9 the person unless the determination may hinder or obstruct an
10 investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have his or her
11 immigration status determined before the person is released. The
12 person's immigration status shall be verified with the federal
13 government pursuant to 8 USC 1373(c). A law enforcement officer or
14 law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement officer
15 or law enforcement agency of a political subdivision of this state
16 may not solely consider race, color, or national origin in
17 implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the
18 extent permitted by the constitution of the United States or the
19 state constitution of 1963. A person is presumed to not be an alien
20 who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person
21 provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the
22 following:
23 (a) A valid Michigan operator's or chauffeur's license.
24 (b) A valid Michigan state personal identification card.
25 (c) A valid tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal
26 identification.
27 (d) Any other valid United States, state, or local government
06929'10 DRM
issued identification if the issuing entity 1 requires proof of legal
2 presence in the United States before issuance.
3 (3) If an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States
4 is convicted of a violation of state or local law, the United
5 States immigration and customs enforcement or the United States
6 customs and border protection shall be immediately notified when
7 the alien is discharged from imprisonment or is assessed a fine for
8 the violation.
9 (4) A law enforcement agency may securely transport an alien
10 who the agency has received verification is unlawfully present in
11 the United States and who is in the agency's custody to a federal
12 facility in this state or to any other point of transfer into
13 federal custody that is outside the jurisdiction of the law
14 enforcement agency. A law enforcement agency shall obtain judicial
15 authorization before securely transporting an alien who is
16 unlawfully present in the United States to a point of transfer that
17 is outside of this state.
18 (5) In the implementation of this section, an alien's
19 immigration status may be determined by either of the following:
20 (a) A law enforcement officer who is authorized by the federal
21 government to verify or ascertain an alien's immigration status.
22 (b) The United States immigration and customs enforcement or
23 the United States customs and border protection pursuant to 8 USC
24 1373(c).
25 (6) Except as provided in federal law, officials or agencies
26 of this state or political subdivisions of this state shall not be
27 prohibited or in any way be restricted from sending, receiving, or
06929'10 DRM
maintaining information relating to the 1 immigration status of any
2 individual or exchanging that information with any other federal,
3 state, or local governmental entity for the following official
4 purposes:
5 (a) Determining eligibility for any public benefit, service,
6 or license provided by any federal, state, local, or other
7 political subdivision of this state.
8 (b) Verifying any claim of residence or domicile if
9 determination of residence or domicile is required under the laws
10 of this state or a judicial order issued pursuant to a civil or
11 criminal proceeding in this state.
12 (c) If the person is an alien, determining whether the person
13 is in compliance with the federal registration laws prescribed by
14 title II, chapter 7 of the federal immigration and nationality act.
15 (d) Pursuant to 8 USC section 1373 and 8 USC section 1644.
16 (7) A person who is a legal resident of this state may bring
17 an action in circuit court to challenge any official or agency of
18 this state or a political subdivision of this state that adopts or
19 implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of
20 federal immigration laws, including 8 USC 1373 and 1644, to less
21 than the full extent permitted by federal law. If there is a
22 judicial finding that an entity has violated this section, the
23 court shall order that the entity pay a civil penalty of not less
24 than $500.00 and not more than $5,000.00 for each day that the
25 policy has remained in effect after the filing of an action
26 pursuant to this subsection.
27 (8) The court may award court costs and reasonable attorney
06929'10 DRM
fees to any person or any official or agency 1 of this state or a
2 political subdivision of this state that prevails by an
3 adjudication on the merits in a proceeding brought pursuant to this
4 section.
5 (9) Except in relation to matters in which the officer is
6 adjudged to have acted in bad faith, a law enforcement officer is
7 indemnified by the law enforcement officer's agency against
8 reasonable costs and expenses, including attorney fees, incurred by
9 the officer in connection with any action, suit, or proceeding
10 brought pursuant to this section in which the officer may be a
11 defendant by reason of the officer being or having been a member of
12 the law enforcement agency.
13 (10) This section shall be implemented in a manner consistent
14 with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil
15 rights of all persons, and respecting the privileges and immunities
16 of United States citizens.
17 Sec. 3. (1) In addition to any violation of federal law, a
18 person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien
19 registration document if the person is in violation of 8 USC
20 1304(e) or 1306(a).
21 (2) In the enforcement of this section, the final
22 determination of an alien's immigration status shall be determined
23 by 1 of the following:
24 (a) A law enforcement officer who is authorized by the federal
25 government to verify or ascertain an alien's immigration status.
26 (b) A law enforcement officer or agency communicating with the
27 United States immigration and customs enforcement or the United
06929'10 Final Page DRM
States border protection 1 pursuant to 8 USC 1373(c).
2 (3) A law enforcement officer or agency of this state or a
3 political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color,
4 or national origin in the enforcement of this section except to the
5 extent permitted by the constitution of the United States or the
6 state constitution of 1963.
7 (4) This section does not apply to a person who maintains
8 authorization from the federal government to remain in the United
9 States.
10 (5) Any record that relates to the immigration status of a
11 person is admissible in any court without further foundation or
12 testimony from a custodian of records if the record is certified as
13 authentic by the government agency that is responsible for
14 maintaining the record.
15 (6) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable as
16 follows:
17 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), by imprisonment for
18 not more than 20 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.
19 (b) For a second or subsequent violation, by imprisonment for
20 not more than 30 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Arizona Governor Moves to Dismiss Two SB 1070 Cases

Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, represented by one of Arizona's largest private law firms, has moved to dismiss two complaints in the SB 1070 litigation: (1) Frisancho v. Brewer, brought by an American citizen who lives in Washington D.C., who is not represented by an attorney, and who alleges that he will suffer injury when he travels to Arizona in the Fall of 2010 because he will likely be racially profiled and asked for documents which would establish that he is in the country legally and ( 2) Salgado v. Brewer, brought by a Phoenix police officer. The Governor takes a similar legal strategy in each case. As to the Frisancho case, the plaintiff Roberto Frisancho alleges that he will be coming to Arizona to do research on the "Chandler Roundup" which he alleges involved an operation by Arizona authorities to apprehend undocumented immigrants which ended up costing "the City of Chandler $400, 000 for the settlement of lawsuits in which plaintiffs alleged that they were stopped and questioned based solely on their apparent Mexican descent." Despite this, Governor Brewer contends that his complaint should be dismissed because the plaintiff Frisancho lacks standing to bring the claims in the complaint inasmuch as he will not "suffer, an actual, imminent injury" as a result of SB 1070. Governor Brewer argues that the plaintiff's fear of injury is too speculative and merely conjectural because SB 1070 and Supreme Court case law do not permit him to be reasonably suspected of being in the country illegally solely on the basis of his Latino appearance. Similarly, Governor Brewer moves to dismiss the Salgado complaint on the ground that the plaintiff police officer, David Salgado, lacks standing because he has failed to allege facts showing that he will suffer an actual injury. In addition, Governor Brewer argues that federal law does not preempt SB 1070 because "SB 1070 does not regulate the terms upon which aliens may enter and remain in the country"and "does not intrude upon the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration."

For the brief in support of the Governor's motion to dismiss in the Frisancho case see:

For the brief in support of the Governor's motion to dismiss in the Salgado case see:

Eighth Annual LatCrit-SALT Junior Faculty Development Workshop

LatCrit, Inc. (LatCrit) and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) are pleased to invite you to the Eighth Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop (FDW), immediately preceding the LatCrit XV program. This annual workshop is designed for critical, progressive, and social justice oriented pre-tenure professors, including clinicians and legal writing professors, as well as those who may be contemplating a teaching career. More senior members of the profession, are welcomed and encouraged to
attend, share their experience, and serve as resources and mentors.

The FDW is designed to familiarize critical, progressive, and social justice oriented junior faculty with LatCrit and SALT principles and values and support them in the scholarship, teaching, and service aspects of professional success. In addition, the FDW seeks to foster scholarship in progressive, social justice, and critical outsider jurisprudence, including LatCrit theory, among new and junior faculty, students, and practitioners.

The FDW aims to cultivate a community of scholars interested in the continuation of this and similar projects over the years. Please inform your progressive and critical colleagues who are interested in making social justice central to their teaching, scholarship, and activism about this event. To facilitate community building through shared experiences and the exchange of ideas, it is hoped that all participants will attend the entire workshop. The Junior Faculty Development Workshop will be held on October 7-8, 2010 at University of Denver-Sturm College of Law, immediately preceding LatCrit XV Conference, October 8-10, 2010.

For further information regarding the Junior Faculty Development workshop, please click here. For further information regarding the LatCrit XV Conference, please click here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Obama is No Kennedy?

As I write this my “Latinos for Obama” button sits on my desk gathering dust. Recent Gallup polling reveals a spiraling decline in President Obama’s once substantial support among Latino/as, particularly those interviewed in Spanish and likely to be immigrants. That decline seems directly linked to Obama’s tepid support of comprehensive immigration reform in a year when most Latino/as expected a strong push for change. Instead, the legislative headline of the year has been Arizona’s foray into racial profiling.

Latino/a dissatisfaction with a Democratic president is nothing new. Fifty years ago, Latino/as voted in concert to a degree not seen since the 1960s, giving John Kennedy 85 percent of the Mexican American vote in 1960. Four years later, Lyndon Johnson garnered 90 percent of that vote. Despite the affection of the Latino/a community for Kennedy, his administration ultimately frustrated many Latino/a leaders who campaigned for him and expected more Latino/a appointments and more involvement in formulating Latin American policy. Johnson, too, disappointed the Latino/a community when his hawkish and expensive military policies starved his other war, on poverty. These seeds of discontent grew into the separatist La Raza Unida Party in the late 1960s and 1970s, which viewed the two political parties as “a monster with two heads [Republican and Democrat] that feed from the same trough.” Candidates from that outsider party never entered the political mainstream, meaning our choices, particularly at the national level, will continue to be candidates who ultimately frustrate the ideals of the Latino/a community.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Are MALDEF, the ACLU and Other Groups Likely to Win In Lawsuit Against SB 1070?

As discussed in a previous posting on this blog, MALDEF and other plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of SB 1070 pending a final decision by the federal court on their claims. In order to secure a preliminary injunction, plaintiffs must show a likelihood of success on the merits of their case. As a result, a decision by the federal court on this motion will give us an indication as to how the federal court views the plaintiffs' chances of winning the case. As part of their effort to show that plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their claim that the Arizona law is unconstitutional, plaintiffs' brief in support of the motion for a preliminary injunction offers a key opening argument:

"First, SB 1070 is a brazen and improper usurpation of the federal government's constitutional role in immigration regulation. Section 1 of SB 1070 makes that intent plain: "the legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona." "Attrition through enforcement" is an immigration policy that some advocates have urged the federal government to adopt, but it is not federal policy. SB 1070's provisions "are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens ...." Governor Brewer further asserted at its signing that SB 1070 addresses a problem that "the federal government has refused to fix."...Indeed, SB 1070 does not even purport to target an area of local concern separate from immigration policy, but instead openly seeks to implement Arizona's immigration policy choices because of disagreement or disappointment with the federal government. This is plainly unconstitutional: in our federal system, Arizona may not overrule the federal government's immigration policy or unilaterally correct its perceived failures."

The brief may be found here (http://

Is Plyler v. Doe in danger of being overturned?

From immigration profs blog:

Russell Pearce Wants to Take On Plyler v. Doe
Even though the Supreme Court held in 1982 that a state cannot discriminate against undocument children in public school education (Plyler v. Doe) and in 1889 that the children of undocumented immigrants born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens (Wong Kim Ark), Arizona State Senator, Russell Pearce, wants to take on the Supreme Court apparently. Pearce is the author of SB 1070. Further proof that Pearce is an evil man.

Michael Sheridan writes for the NY Daily News:

First, Arizona targeted undocumented immigrants. Now the state's eyeing their children.

A state senator is looking to draft legislation that would keep children born in the United States to parents who are in the country illegally from becoming citizens, as well as making them pay tuition to attend public schools.

"My issue is protecting the taxpayers. You can't come here illegally and not be a legal resident and expect the taxpayers to pick up your tab," State Sen. Russell Pearce told the Arizona Capitol Times.

The Arizona Republican is looking to draft legislation that will target the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

Pearce called this "policy" from the Constitution "a magnet that attracts illegal immigrants."

Separately, the senator wants children whose parents are in the United States illegally to pay tuition to attend public schoools.

By Professor Bill Hing

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Official Blog post....

Nuestras Voces would like to welcome Professor Pedro Malavet, a law professor at the University of Florida. He is a prolific author and an engaging writer. Here is his first post as one of our editors:

Why I Always Carry my Passport

I just got back to my home in Gainesville, Florida, after almost three weeks traveling to Uruguay and Argentina via Brazil. Naturally, I had to carry my United States passport during this trip and presented it whenever I crossed an international border at an airport or seaport. But my passport remained in the hotel room safe when I was not in transit.

In the United States, however, my passport is almost always with me. I have been carrying it whenever I travel internally and at most times on a daily basis since September 11, 2001, when I realized that racial profiling would become rampant, especially during travel.

Do I “look” Arab, Middle-Eastern, Mexican, Puerto Rican? Can you tell the difference? More importantly, how will any random U.S. law enforcement official classify me for whatever subjective purpose he or she might have?

Defenders of Arizona’s SB 1070 say that it is not about racially-profiling Latinas/os generally, especially Latina/o citizens of the United States. I do not believe these claims, and actual conduct makes me even more skeptical. Take the case of Eduardo Caraballo. Like me, he was born in the United States territory of Puerto Rico has thus been a citizen of the United States from the moment of his birth. He has spent most of his life in Illinois. He was arrested in a Chicago suburb because local police found a stolen car in a storage facility at his place of work. While he maintains that he did not know the car was stolen, the arrest appears to be a legitimate initial intervention by law enforcement of the type required by the Arizona law, and his guilt or innocence on the stolen car matter will be determined in due course.

But when his mother came to post his bail, she was told that he could not be released because he was subject to an “immigration hold” and to possible deportation as an undocumented immigrant. The police had “reasonable suspicion” that he was an undocumented immigrant and referred the matter to federal immigration authorities. Again, just as required by the Arizona law. Caraballo’s mother presented authorities with his identification and his birth certificate issued by Puerto Rican authorities. He was then interrogated by federal immigration authorities about Puerto Rico —a place he had left as a toddler and had little memory of— apparently in order to determine the bona fides of the documents. The paperwork was apparently not enough for the authorities, the answers to the questions were unconvincing to the interrogators. All of these subjective judgments by local and federal authorities, in spite of the kind of identification that is generally described as acceptable for anyone else, led to the detention of Mr. Caraballo. It was not until his congressman intervened that he was released from the immigration hold.

Can you prove that you are a U.S. citizen, right here, and right now? I am not taking any chances.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

MALDEF and Other Civil Rights Groups Seek Preliminary Injunction Against SB 1070

MALDEF, the ACLU and a coalition of civil rights groups continue to apply pressure in the historic litigation against the new Arizona immigration statute. On Friday, the groups filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the Phoenix federal court seeking to enjoin the implementation of SB 1070 pending a final decision by the court on the constitutionality of the new immigration law. The groups argue that such an extraordinary remedy is necessary in order to prevent persons of color in Arizona from being terrorized through racial profiling and incarceration. The groups also contend that such an injunction can help head off other states from enacting similar draconian immigration statutes. (Sheryl Kornman, MALDEF Asks Federal Court to Block SB 1070, KGUN9-TV, June 5, 2010; Dustin Gardiner, Civil Rights Groups Ask Court to Block Immigration Law, The Arizona Republic, June 5, 2010).

Congrats are in order...

While the bloggers at Nuestras Voces often focus on challenges facing the Latina and Latino community, today we want to say a huge "Felicidades" to the new Dean at UCLA Law School!!! Not unlike many of the bloggers here, Dean Moran has long written on social justice issues and has mentored many Latina and Latino academics. She is among the first wave of Latina/o Law Professors,and continues to achieve great hieghts.We are so proud of our mentor, and we honor and celebrate her today!!! Here is more about her latest achievement:

Rachel F. Moran appointed dean of UCLA School of Law

Rachel F. Moran, the Robert D. and Leslie-Kay Raven Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, has been selected as the eighth dean of UCLA School of Law. Moran will be the first Latina dean of a top-ranked U.S. law school.

"I'm very pleased to welcome Rachel Moran to the UCLA community. As a long-standing University of California faculty member, she is well acquainted with the university's unique role in higher education," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "Her record of scholarship has earned her the highest regard among her peers, and I am confident the School of Law will continue to thrive with her visionary leadership and commitment to academic excellence."

"It is an honor and a privilege to serve as dean of UCLA School of Law," Moran said. "This is a very special place with an outstanding faculty, talented students, dedicated staff, distinguished alumni and generous benefactors."

Moran, who teaches torts, education law, and race and the law, will assume the role of dean and professor of law on Oct. 15.

"UCLA Law is a great law school and, just as importantly, a great public law school," Moran said. "Long-standing traditions of access, innovation, excellence and service are a critically important part of the institution's mission. I look forward to working with the UCLA Law community and campus leadership to preserve these core commitments as we build upon the school's many strengths and accomplishments. Together, we can prepare a new generation of lawyers with the knowledge, skills and ethical compass to make a difference."

Moran, who joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 1983, received a distinguished teaching award from the Berkeley campus in 1995. From 1993 to 1996, she served as chair of the Chicano/Latino Policy Project, and from 2003 to 2008, she was director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. Moran served as president of the Association of American Law Schools in 2009.

Moran has published and lectured extensively on education law and policy, family law, and civil rights and anti-discrimination law. She is the author of "Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance" (2001), co-author of the fourth edition of "Educational Policy and the Law" (2002) and co-editor of "Race Law Stories" (2008). Her most recent publications include "Let Freedom Ring: Making Grutter Matter in School Desegregation Cases" (63 University of Miami Law Review 475; 2009) and "Terms of Belonging" in "The Constitution in 2020" (Jack M. Balkin and Reva B. Siegel, eds.; 2009).

Following her undergraduate education at Stanford and law school at Yale, Moran clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and worked for the San Francisco firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. In addition to her position at Berkeley, she was a founding faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, and she has served as a visiting professor at UCLA Law (2002, 1988), Stanford Law School (1989), New York University School of Law (1996), the University of Miami Law School (1997) and the University of Texas (2000).

"The selection of Rachel Moran as the next dean of UCLA School of Law is a great triumph for our law school. Rachel Moran is a respected and accomplished legal scholar, an excellent and dedicated teacher and a terrific institution builder," said Stephen C. Yeazell, UCLA Law's interim dean. "I am confident that under her leadership UCLA School of Law will reach the next level of excellence."

Moran, who was born in Kansas City, Mo., and raised in Yuma, Ariz., succeeds Michael H. Schill, who served as dean of UCLA Law from 2004 to 2009. Yeazell will return to his full-time position on the UCLA Law faculty.

The UCLA School of Law, founded in 1949, is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training, and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession.

By Lauri Gavel June 04, 2010 Category: Campus News

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bipartisan Dreams of Immigration Reform

Yesterday I attended an all-day meeting as a commissioner with the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs, a legislative-created organization seeking equality for Oregon Latino/as. Our guests included a teleconference with a Washington D.C. political strategist who discussed the dismal prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in the coming months unless the Gulf oil leak subsides. She stressed the need for bipartisan support for any reform to move forward. I remarked that if I had a t-shirt it would read “We had bipartisan support for comprehensive reform with the Kennedy/McCain coalition and all we got was a lousy Secure Fence Act.” I then queried whether Latino/as instead should pursue piecemeal reform. In other words, chase the DREAM Act and the AgJobs Act to at least give some relief to undocumented farm workers and college students, or those who dream of college. The strategist’s response was pragmatic and persuasive—having garnered bipartisan support in the past these alluring pieces might successfully pass, leaving the vegetable on the plate of the more challenging question of the status of millions of undocumented immigrants. As the argument goes, the only incentive to get what Latino/a families deserve and want is to hold hostage the issues more appealing to the conservative base—helping farmers save their crops with a ready supply of cheap labor, and helping keep the most educated young immigrants in our country.

But I am pessimistic about the prospects for a comprehensive package passing anytime soon. As reform drags on through the years, reform proposals become even more enforcement-oriented and the most challenging piece Latino/as desire—a pathway to citizenship, becomes more tortuous. I wonder if, a bit like game theory, by choosing this option we may end up with the worst case scenario—a country that increasingly fractures as Arizona did and where public opinion turns even more against any prospect of citizenship for undocumented immigrants under the flawed reasoning this somehow rewards unlawful behavior. Both the DREAM and the AgJobs Act eventually would fall victim. We would be left with piecemeal enforcement legislation of the Secure Fence variety at the federal level, while states in turn would respond to the futility of such enforcement-only models by following Arizona’s lead of mean-spirited local laws. While the country fractured, farm laborers supplying our food and undocumented Latino/a youth dreaming an American dream would fall victim to the aspiration of a bipartisan comprehensive strategy to supposedly fix immigration for the long-term.

Piecemeal reform may be less than desirable and less than what Latino/a immigrants and this country deserve, but this draconian alternative awaits.

Here they (Republicans) Go Again!

By now, no doubt, everybody knows about Arizona’s racial profiling law, SB1070, signed by the governor into law in late April. But some key take-away points are being lost in the ensuing controversy. Among these is the political bottom line for Latinas/os in the United States today and in the future.

Since the early 1980’s, Republicans have pretended to woo Latina/o communities as a counterpoint to black support for the Democratic Party locally, both and nationally. This wooing worked oftentimes because Republicans appealed to the “traditional” beliefs and “family values” that many Latina/o communities in the United States share based on home country cultures: a product of Spanish colonialism, most Latina/o homelands are Hispanized former colonies marked with a high degree of religiosity and related social attitudes, like patriarchy and heterosexism. Targeting “wedge issues” like these, which emphasize “culture war” conflicts about “social” agendas, Republicans figured they had found a nifty way of seducing Latina/o voters into voting against their broader interests on national issues, as illustrated by the poltics of immigration policymaking. Yet, in 2008, after years of disaster and deception, Latina/o voters sided with the Democrats by a substantial margin. But who knows what will happen later this year in the mid-term elections, much less in 2012 during the next Presidential electoral cycle. What is happening in Arizona today should clarify the minds of confused Latinas/os.

Here is what I mean: the Arizona law was introduced by state Senator Russell Pearce, a Republican...all 35 Republicans in the Lower House voted for the the Senate, all (but one) of the Republicans voted for both houses, Democrats unanimously refused to support the bill...finally, Republican Governor Jan Brewer took the final step in unleashing racist nativism yet again in this country. This entire process was split right down party lines: with the exception of one rational Senate Republican (Sen. Carolyn Allen), every Republican in the House, Senate and Governor’s Mansion rammed this bill down their people’s throat—to use a phrase from the moment—while the Democrats consistently opposed this reinstitutionalization of racism. Clearly, this partisan law is an all-Republican affair. Remember that every other November, and vote accordingly!


By Frank Valdes

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Journalists Critical of SB 1070...

Please take a read of an in-depth article from It is a blog that prides itself on bieng non-partisan. They quote one of our bloggers on the racial pofiing aspect of the law.

The following is a brief glimpse of the story:

Browse > Home / Articles / Arizona’s ‘Papers Please’ Law
Arizona’s ‘Papers Please’ Law
It's not just a mirror image of federal law, and allows some profiling. But, in theory, no more than what the courts permit already.
June 3, 2010

We’ll leave it to others to decide whether Arizona’s new immigration law is a good thing or a bad thing — but here we try to straighten out some of the confusing factual claims. First, a quick summary. Contrary to what the law’s defenders often say, the new statute does more than merely mirror federal law. For example:

It’s a state crime for an illegal immigrant to apply for a job, or to solicit work publicly.
The law also makes it a misdemeanor for a citizen driving a vehicle to stop to hire anyone if that "impedes" traffic.
Citizens will be able to sue officials or agencies whose policies interfere with vigorous enforcement of federal immigration law.
On the much-discussed issue of whether the law permits or encourages "racial profiling," we find:

The amended law allows police to consider "race, color or national origin" when deciding whether to ask somebody for proof of citizenship, but only to the extent already deemed constitutional by the courts.
It remains to be seen how police will interpret the law’s anti-profiling language in practice. State officials tell us they have yet to work out what factors police should be trained to use to establish "reasonable suspicion" of illegal status.
Federal officials are open to criticisms similar to some of those being made about Arizona’s law. A federal manual for training state and local officials says they may consider whether a person has a "thick foreign accent" or looks "out of place" when deciding whether to ask them about their immigration status.
Finally, we examine a widely circulated chain e-mail written by an Arizona state senator who supports the law, and find her claims to be misleading. The violence against ranchers that she describes is real, but it is the work of Mexican crime cartels, not illegal immigrants.


Frog: "Reading helps you know what you're talking about."Recently, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer posted a video that uses a frog puppet to mock critics of the state’s new immigration law for not having actually read it. We’re asked to sing along with the amphibian as he croaks, "reading helps you know what you’re talking about."

Well, we’ve read it (take that, frog!). Below, we try to address a few of the questions and misperceptions that seem to go hand-in-hand with the get-tough statute that targets illegal aliens.

According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, there were an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants living in Arizona in 2008. The state wants that number to drop. In its first paragraph, the new law says that "the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona."

Doesn’t the Arizona law just mirror federal immigration law?

Brewer has responded to critics of her state’s law – commonly referred to as S.B. 1070 – by saying it replicates federal law.

Brewer, April 30: Our law mirrors federal law. So, why is it bad for Arizona to mirror federal law? No one was crying out in the wilderness about the federal law being wrong or racial profiling. I don’t get it. It’s spin.

To a degree, she’s right. Arizona’s new statute contains provisions that criminalize, at the state level, certain conduct that’s already a violation of federal immigration law. For instance, immigrants are required under both state and federal laws to carry their alien registration documents or other applicable records at all times – in federal law that’s under 8 USC sec.1304 and 8 USC sec. 1306.

Other parts of the state law, though, don’t exist at the federal level. They include section 5A, making it illegal for a driver to stop and attempt to hire or to hire and pick up passengers, if that action impedes traffic; for a person to get into someone’s vehicle in order to be hired; or for an illegal alien to apply for work or solicit work publicly in the state. Most of this is aimed at day laborers and those who hire them.

Another example: Section 2H allows any citizen to sue an official or agency in the state who "adopts or implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law."

And section 2B of the new law requires law enforcement officers to try to check the immigration status of anyone they lawfully stop if they have "reasonable suspicion" the person might be an unauthorized immigrant. (More on this provision later).

But why the outcry? These people are here illegally, right?

There are plenty of features of the law that critics find objectionable. Among them are the penalties. Under federal law, violations of immigration statutes by someone in the U.S. illegally may in some cases be punished with a jail sentence but are often penalized by deporting the individual instead, if the government proves its case to a judge through a comprehensive set of procedures. Arizona, lacking the authority to deport anyone, will enforce jail sentences laid out in its new law for, say, failing to carry one’s immigration authorization documents or soliciting day work by the side of the road, said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, a pro-immigrants’ rights group. While the federal system is far from perfect (thousands of people are locked up in federal detention centers indefinitely awaiting deportation decisions), the addition of new immigration crimes at the state level with jail time attached isn’t the answer, she added.

Some Arizona police chiefs and other state officials oppose the law, in no small part because of the provision allowing citizens to sue them, as described above. Fans of that measure see it as a way to get authorities to enforce the law. But Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris suggested it’s at best superfluous in terms of helping local law enforcement combat serious crime.

Harris, April 30: Proponents of this legislation have repeatedly said that the new law provides a tool for local law enforcement, but I don’t really believe that that’s true or accurate. We have the tools that we need to enforce laws in this state to reduce property crime and to reduce violent crime, to go after criminals that are responsible for human smuggling, to go after criminals that are responsible for those home invasions, kidnappings, robberies, murders.

He and some other Arizona chiefs say the statute could actually hurt their efforts to fight serious crime because they will have to devote time and resources to enforcing the immigration provisions. The law also will make illegal immigrants who are crime victims or witnesses more leery of cooperating with law enforcement, they predicted.

Perhaps the single biggest reason this law is so controversial is that immigration – like, say, foreign policy – always has been the purview of the federal government. The feds’ authority is rooted in Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power to "establish a uniform rule of naturalization." As a practical matter, said Kevin Johnson, an immigration law expert and dean of the University of California at Davis School of Law, it’s unworkable for states to have their own immigration laws, "just like states can’t have their own foreign policies." He noted that "the federal government is more inclined to consider the national interest." For that reason, Johnson believes that legal challenges to the law – several have already been filed, and the Obama administration is also considering a lawsuit – are likely to succeed under the federal preemption doctrine, which is based on the Constitution’s Article VI, clause 2. Known as the supremacy clause, it says that federal law shall bind "judges in every state" even if state law contradicts it.

At the same time, at least 22 other states are considering legislation similar to Arizona’s.

Does the law allow racial or ethnic profiling?

There’s been so much controversy about this question that the legislature went back and amended the law the week after it was signed by the governor. The final version requires police to try to determine the immigration status of any person who has been stopped, detained, or arrested and "reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien." Could reasonable suspicion be based on skin color or a Mexican accent? Here’s what it says:

Senate Bill 1070: A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution.

The unamended version said race et al., couldn’t be the "sole" factors. But the statute doesn’t detail what "reasonable suspicion" might include. And the phrase "except to the extent permitted" by the federal or state constitutions leaves even more ambiguity, because courts have upheld the use of race or ethnicity in some circumstances. In an annotated version of the law reprinted by The Arizona Republic, University of Arizona law professor Gabriel Chin writes that there are "many open questions" regarding whether race could be used in enforcing S.B. 1070. But he also said, "I am deeply surprised that anyone construes this law to prohibit racial profiling."

Ediberto Roman, a professor of law at Florida International University, goes even farther. "It’s pretext to try to suggest that there is no discriminatory purpose," he told us. "Given that there is a lack of any other basis in terms of how they’re going to enforce it, it’s pretty clear that we’re looking to focus on a particular target group."

Though the law only allows officials to ask for proof of citizenship in the case of "legal stop, detention or arrest," this doesn’t limit the questioning to suspected criminals — it can include those who are detained as victims of or witnesses to a crime, or people accused of violating local ordinances like noise laws or loitering laws. Roman is concerned that police will be more likely to both stop and to question those who they think look like immigrants. "The legislature was pretty careful in following criminal procedure notions, but it’s the discretion in how the law enforcement will use criminal procedure [that] is how the racial profiling comes into play," he said.

For the ull story please go to:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

City of Tucson to Arizona Governor: We'll See You In Court

Even as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was expressing confidence about prevailing in the litigation over SB 1070 (Julie Weiner, Arizona Governor is So Excited for Possible Legal Entanglement With the Federal Government, Vanity Fair, June 2, 2010), the pressure from anti-SB 1070 forces continued to shake up the Arizona political structure, as revealed in filings in the Tucson federal court. The City of Tucson, which had been named as a defendant in the Tucson federal court litigation against SB 1070, Escobar v. Brewer, today has responded to the plaintiff police officer's complaint by, in effect, taking the side of the plaintiff and asserting cross-claims against its co-defendants Governor Brewer and the State of Arizona. (Steve Nunez and Brian Pryor, City of Tucson Joins Officer's Lawsuit Against SB 1070, KGUN-TV, June 2, 2010). The City of Tucson's cross-claim alleges that the new Arizona immigration statute is unconstitutional. Plaintiff's attorney, Richard Martinez, praised the action of the City, observing that it is "rare" for a "governmental entity" to concede that "a statute is unconstitutional." (Id.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Rule of Law: Arizona Law Professors on SB 1070

Four Arizona law professors, Gabriel Chin, Carissa Hessick, Toni Massaro and Marc Miller have published an extensive analysis of the new Arizona immigration law -- SB 1070 ( Significantly, the authors conclude that despite the statements of some proponents of the law, including the Governor of Arizona, that the statute prohibits racial profiling, in fact, the "text of [SB 1070] authorizes racial profiling." (Id.) And, indeed, the statute may "require the use of race" in enforcing the law. (Id.) In addition, the authors argue that the proponents of the bill have so far failed to identify a legitimate "source of state authority to generate immigration policy." (Id.) This timely analysis should be very useful as the complex litigation over this matter moves forward toward resolution.

SB 1070--Legal Experts' Overview

A recent report from three Arizona law professors confirm much of what the bloggers here have been saying for several weeks. Among other things, they confirm the new law endorses racial profiling and creates new criminal violations beyond federal law. Below is some of the relevant language, for those of you that cannot download the report, as well as a link too the report. I hope to recruit these authors to a book deal for my series.

II. Some Basic Questions and Answers

What is racial profiling?

We define racial profiling as using race as a factor in an investigation, stop, or arrest, other than where there is a description of a particular suspect’s race. This is a common way to define racial profiling, though not the only way. But we think this definition accurately and usefully identifies when race is, or is not, a critical factor in the exercise of police powers. Defining racial profiling
in this way does not answer the question of when the use of race in deciding whether to stop, search, examine or arrest a person is legal or illegal.

Does SB 1070 authorize racial profiling?

Yes, the literal text authorizes racial profiling. But the interpretation and application of SB 1070 with regard to race remain uncertain.
Although public officials have stated that the legislation prohibits racial profiling and that profiling is not otherwise legal, these statements are not consistent with the text of the statute or with existing law. The law says that law enforcement officers “may not consider race, color or national origin . . . except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution.” A.R.S. 11-1051(B). Decisions by both the United States Supreme Court and the Arizona Supreme Court have identified “ethnic factors” as a relevant consideration in enforcement of
immigration laws, and have further determined that the U.S. Constitution allows race to be considered in immigration enforcement. United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 886-87 (1975); State v. Graciano, 653 P.2d 683, 687 n.7 (Ariz. 1982) (citing State v. Becerra, 534 P.2d 743 (1975).

2 As we will discuss, an equally important question is whether race would influence law enforcement, even if the statute had stated that race may not be a factor in decisions to stop or request information, and even if the statute is interpreted to forbid racial profiling despite its current language. The unavoidable issue is whether race so pervades the underlying determination of immigration status that it will inevitably infect law enforcement decisionmaking, either explicitly or implicitly.

Does SB 1070 require racial profiling?

Again, on the text, apparently yes, but this could be limited by the application or interpretation of the statute, and some proponents argue the answer is “no.” The statute prohibits restricting enforcement of immigration law “to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.” A.R.S. § 11-1051(A). As explained above, federal law permits racial profiling. Under A.R.S. § 11-1051(G), any legal resident of this state may sue an agency that violates § 1051(A). A law 2 See also Kevin Johnson, How Racial Profiling in America Became the Law of the Land: United States v. Brignoni-
Ponce and Whren v. United States and the Need For Truly Rebellious Lawyering, 98 Geo. L.J. 1005 (2010).

Does SB 1070 authorize arrest or detention based on race alone?

No. However, few arrest laws or policies anywhere operate based on race alone, without regard to other factors, such as location or conduct. Even the most explicit forms of racial profiling use race as a factor along with other factors (for example, the Arizona Department of Public Safety was accused of stopping motorists on the highway on the basis of race, and entered a consent decree with the ACLU). SB 1070 allows Arizona police officers to consider race as a factor.

May Arizona police arrest or stop based on undocumented status alone?

Yes. Under existing precedent, state and local law enforcement can arrest for violation of federal offenses. Almost all people who came here without any documentation and do not have authorization to be here committed some criminal violation of federal immigration law, such as entry without inspection in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1325. Therefore, being undocumented will often constitute probable cause for this offense. In addition, SB 1070 makes clear that an officer
can arrest for any deportable offense. A.R.S. § 13-3883(A)(5).

Are people in Arizona now required to carry identification?
Not generally. However, for decades federal law has required non-citizens to carry immigration documents issued to them. 8 U.S.C. § 1304(e). Also, SB 1070 makes possession of acceptable identification evidence of citizenship, A.R.S. § 11-1051(B), so it is prudent for everyone to carry identification so status can be proven on the street rather than waiting in jail while records are checked.

How can the police tell if someone is undocumented?

They can ask. The police need no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to ask any question of any person, so long as officers do not create the impression that answers are required. So a common way for the police to determine immigration status will be for them simply to ask an individual where they were born and how they got to the United States. Police can also evaluate the totality of the circumstances. If a person does not admit to being undocumented, law enforcement may still determine immigration status based on assessment of the facts and circumstances. Relevant considerations include apparent race, clothing, language used and accent, the location of the encounter, origin and destination of travel, and behavior of
the individuals, such as whether they are nervous or angry.

What is the purpose of making state crimes based on violations of federal law?

Disagreement with federal immigration policy. Arizona police already have power to arrest for federal immigration crimes. Ordinarily, there is a tremendous advantage in handing over federal offenders to the federal government: The United States assumes the cost of prosecution and incarceration. However, for various reasons, the federal government prosecutes only a fraction of low level immigration offenders, just as it prosecutes only a fraction of, say, tax offenders. The new law gives Arizona the ability to prosecute based on violations of federal law that the
federal government itself would decline to prosecute.

Does SB 1070 Simply Replicate and Enforce Federal Immigration Law?

No. SB 1070 does not simply mandate the enforcement of federal criminal and civil immigration laws. It creates new state crimes with different elements than similar federal crimes, it creates mandatory penalties that are different than the discretionary penalties in the federal statute, and it appear to remove the policing and prosecutorial discretion which is inherent in federal immigration enforcement.
Any mandatory directive to state law enforcement to enforce federal law would transfer discretion in federal immigration enforcement from federal actors to the state. While a shift in the balance of power between federal and state actors when enforcing federal law might raise issues of preemption, the preemption concerns, discussed later in this memorandum, are heightened by the creation of distinct state crimes and penalties aimed at the same or similar underlying act as the federal immigration provisions.

Here is the lin to the full report: