Professor Michael Vastine joined the faculty of St. Thomas University School of Law in 2004, where he is a tenured professor of law and Director of the Immigration Clinic. A frequent conference speaker and author, he is also a leader of the immigration bar, with extensive service within the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). From 2011-20, he was elected to serve on the AILA South Florida Chapter Board of Directors, including a term as Chair of the Chapter. Professor Vastine’s AILA national-level service includes multiple terms on the Federal Litigation Section Steering Committee, Annual Conference Planning Committee, and Amicus Curiae Committee. His impact litigation principally relates to immigration and crimes, including the lead case at the Florida Supreme Court establishing the constitutional rights of immigrant defendants to effective representation by their criminal counsel, and multiple cases at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit delineating the immigration consequences of Florida convictions involving controlled substances. Additionally, he has represented AILA and other community-based organizations, as amicus curiae counsel, in forums ranging from the Board of Immigration Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, in matters including the constitutional limits of indefinite detention of immigrants, the due process rights of the physically deported, and the immigration consequences of state crimes. In 2013, Professor Vastine received the AILA (National) Elmer Fried Award for Excellence in Teaching.
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Labor-Friendly Seafood Initiative
March 6, 2019 - April 21, 2019
The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy, member of the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT), is proud to join the CCOAHT’s Labeling for Lent Campaign for 2019.
What is the Labeling for Lent Campaign?
The Labeling for Lent Campaign is an initiative launched by CCOAHT to urge seafood suppliers that are engaged in cleaning up their supply chains to label their packaged products. Through labeling, consumers can make informed, labor-friendly seafood purchases and help combat labor trafficking in the seafood industry.
The United States imports approximately 80% of the seafood we eat.1 However, recent studies have found severe cases of forced labour and human trafficking in the fisheries sector. Victims often suffer from illness, physical injury, physical and sexual abuse, and even death aboard fishing boats. Many are forced to work under horrendous conditions aboard vessels for months, years, or even their lifetimes.2
This year the CCOAHT’s Labeling for Lent will focus on an initiative to persuade Costco to provide traceability information at the point of sale for Kirkland Signature seafood products sold in their stores.
Be a responsible consumer and help eradicate human trafficking in the seafood industry. Here is how you can become part of the solution:
- Download, sign and mail the postcard to Costco Wholesale Corporation.
- If you are an organization and would like to join the campaign, you can order Labeling for Lent postcards at: https://goo.gl/forms/uBQHDZIC0vb1vXZl1
- Learn how to be an ethical consumer at: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/
- Buy Fair Trade products at your local stores. If unavailable, look for the country of origin on products. Download the Sweat & Toil app on your phone or visit, www.dol.gov/ilab/reports/child-labor/list-of-goods/, for a list of products and countries to avoid.
- Visit Apostleship of the Sea to learn more about mariners: http://www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk/
- Visit USCCB/MRS’ Anti-Trafficking page to learn about their efforts in the maritime industry: www.usccb.org/stopslavery
- Human Trafficking in the Maritime Industry (download)
- How Slave Labor Feeds the Seafood Supply Chain (download)
- Pope Francis and Responsible Consumerism (download)
- Labeling for Lent Social Media Graphics (download Graphic 1 and Graphic 2)
Watch the extraordinary story of how commercial imaging satellite intelligence helped in the rescuing of more than 2,000 slaves captive on remote Indonesian islands.
Video Credit: DigitalGlobe, See Freedom, https://explore.digitalglobe.com/see-freedom.
Seafood from Slaves
Former fishing slave, Myint Naing, returns home after being enslaved for 22 years.
Video Credit: Associated Press, Tortured Fish Slave Returns Home After 22 Years (June 30, 2015), https://www.ap.org/explore/seafood-from-slaves/myanmar-fisherman-goes-home-after-22-years-as-a-slave.html.
 See National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Global Wild Fisheries, Fish Watch, https://www.fishwatch.gov/sust#_ftnref1ainable-seafood/the-global-picture (last visited Mar. 25, 2019).
 International Labour Office, Caught at Sea: Forced Labour and Trafficking in Fisheries, at v (2013), https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—declaration/documents/publication/wcms_214472.pdf (last accessed Mar. 25, 2019); See also DigitalGlobe, See Freedom, https://explore.digitalglobe.com/see-freedom.