San Diegans have been treated to a feel-good immigration story for the holidays as related here and here. According to the press reports, Marco Chavez, a 45 year old honorably discharged former U.S. Marine, who was convicted of a crime in 1998 and deported for it in 2002, returned to the United States with permission on December 21, 2017. As the news stories tell it, Mr. Chavez’s conviction was for animal animal cruelty involving a dog. The crime was construed…

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Congress passed the immigration laws within the separated powers organization of our government so a goofball president cannot unilaterally cancel Congress’s “finely reticulated regulatory scheme.” If the President wanted to ban people from coming to the United States, he should have gotten Congress to pass such a law. State of Hawaii v. Donald Trump, decided today. Posted December 22, 2017.  


A recent Los Angeles Times story reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) often arrests and tries to deport United States citizens. Proving that a person is a citizen is tricky business. On one way American immigration and nationality law is easy is when it comes to citizenship – be born here and you are a citizen (except for exceptions, like diplomats). But what about people not born in the United States? Imagine a U.S. citizen couple on a vacation…

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Judge Harry Pregerson died on November 25, 2017. He was a friend to the alien. Judge Pregerson believed that the law was supposed to do good. He believed that justice and goodness were not separate concepts. He was probably wrong about this, which is why he dissented so much. His dissents (and his majority opinions, too), to me, were meaningful in two ways. First, it was satisfying to know there were powerful people who thought that being sensitive to the…

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