Inequality Inquiry >> Category

Immigration Under the Biden Administration: An Interview with Attorney Erin Schutte Wadzinski

November 15, 2021

Interview by Grace Anderson* After four years of anti-immigrant, “Build the Wall” rhetoric from the previous presidential administration, President Biden came into office with promises to revitalize our nation’s immigration system. Almost a year into the Biden administration, JLI Staff Member Grace Anderson checks in with immigration attorney Erin Schutte Wadzinski, owner of Kivu Immigration…

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Biden’s Private Prison Ban Must Include ICE Detention

March 16, 2022

By Katie McCoy* Our incarceration-focused immigration system needlessly locks up hundreds of thousands of noncitizens each year. The number of people incarcerated in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody was 15,000 when President Biden first took office, and it now hovers near 29,000. Sixty-nine percent of those detained have no criminal history. Many ICE detention…

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An Illogical and Harmful Assessment: Credibility Findings in Trauma Survivor Asylum Applicants

April 18, 2022

By Linnea VanPilsum-Bloom* The current focus on and process for establishing credibility in asylum application interviews is illogical and harmful. A person who seeks asylum in the United States will either request asylum affirmatively, by applying to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or through their potential removal in Immigration Court. In either process, the…

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Birthright Citizenship: An Unqualified Right?

October 31, 2023

By: Elise Skarda* The concept of birthright citizenship has been mentioned in the news frequently recently. Many conservative presidential candidates are calling for an end to birthright citizenship,[1] though it is an unqualified constitutional right. So what is birthright citizenship, where does it come from, and why is it unconstitutional to qualify it? Birthright citizenship…

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Locking the Door to the Country on the Way Out: The Trump Administration’s Final Attempt to Eliminate Protections for Asylum Seekers

January 22, 2021

Only weeks before the expiration of the Trump presidency, his Administration sought to create an alarming regulation that opponents have called “the death knell” to asylum law and protections for vulnerable migrants. Check out this post from staff member Katie McCoy, as she outlines the proposed rule and the situation that the Biden-Harris Administration inherits.

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A Supreme Court unto Himself: The Disastrous Effects of the Attorney General’s Self-Certification Power on Immigration

February 13, 2021

The Attorney General has the power under 8 U.S.C. § 1103(g)(2) and 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(h)(1) to overturn BIA decisions, as well as circuit court precedent, on nearly any immigration case they see fit. This expansive power was given to the Attorney General long ago, when most immigration functions were housed under the Department of Justice. Now that immigrations functions are spread across a range of entities at the federal level, the status quo is problematic. This article examines the Attorney General’s power to self-certify cases to themself, the problems it raises in terms of rationale, due process violations for asylum candidates such as L-E-A-, and larger constitutional issues.

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The Injustice of Inconsistency: Language Access in Judicial Proceedings

April 25, 2021

Rachel Pokrzywinski Judicial proceedings are often stressful. The stress is only compounded for an individual who must navigate the complex legal system in a language they are not proficient in. To ensure that these individuals receive adequate guidance and representation, federal law requires that, in all federal judicial proceedings, certified language interpreters must be provided…

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