Bloggings On Immigration Law And Policy
by Greg Siskind
September 06, 2011
Lamar Smith is pushing for swift passage of his E-Verify mandate bill. While the bill would likely face a tough battle in the Senate, many wonder whether the President would sign or veto it. The White House has been a strong advocate for E-Verify, but it also knows that enforcement-only bills are hugely unpopular in immigrant communities.
So recent comments by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano are telling:
Of course, this isn't really comprehensive immigration reform, but that's okay in my opinion. Interestingly, Napolitano is quoted saying E-Verify "can and should be part of (comprehensive) immigration reform." Note that the Houston Chronicle reporter has put "comprehensive" in parenthesis assuming that Napolitano meant comprehensive reform. But I think she probably meant exactly what she said - just reform. Efforts to pass a comprehensive immigration bill have gone nowhere now for seven years and the politics have only gooten worse. But piecemeal immigration reform is an easier lift and it could be that we get some important reforms like the DREAM Act, perhaps AgJobs and skilled worker reforms in exchange for an E-Verify mandate. I'd take that deal if it were on the table, though I know many in the pro-immigrant community will reject anything less than perfect. But we all know that the perfect solution is the enemy of the good one.
If Perry can avoid demagoguing on the issue (as it appears he is trying), Obama will have a real challenge in the fall keeping Latino voters in the Democratic column.
Lovely. When reporters asked why this happened, they get the typical useless (and insulting) response:
This is right up there with refusing to comment based on concern for the privacy of the person who has been wronged.
President Obama should be worried about Governor Rick Perry for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is his potential appeal to Latino voters. Perry probably has the most moderate record on immigration of the GOP candidates (though John Huntsman can be counted among the reasonable). Granted, Perry has been trying to sound tougher lately, but in his years as governor of a conservative state, he has avoided demagoguing on the issue and has pursued commonsense policies. His predecessor, George W. Bush, pursued a similar strategy and performed much better with Hispanic voters than most in his party.
But as the New Republic reports, Perry needs to figure out a way not to upset Tea Party activists over his record on immigration - or at least please them enough on other issues that they downplay this issue. If Perry wants my advice (ha!), I would tell him to closely study the polling data. He will see that while many of the hard right voters who go to the polls in the primaries harbor pretty tough immigration views, it is only a tiny minority of voters who make immigration one of their major issues. In other words, if they like you on everything else, you're going to get some latitude on immigration. Resist the temptation to run to the right on immigration. You don't need to do that to win the nomination and if you can avoid it, you'll gain rich rewards in the general election.
The California state Senate has passed a bill that would allow residents who are illegally present in the state to qualify for state financial aid. They're already eligible for in state tuition and will be on an equal footing with the rest of the state's residents if the bill becomes law. From the Los Angeles Times:
President Obama, do you really think there are enough criminal immigrants to meet your quota? From Citizen Orange:
From the ACLU:
This is a travesty. From the Houston Chronicle:
DHS' lame excuse for how this happened? According to the Chronicle:
In the mean time, other cases around the country seem to have been closed under the new policy so this is no excuse for a case like this. Obviously, the denial of the green card based on the marriage not being bona fide was clearly an error so this case should never have been denied in the first place. Now another injustice has taken place. DHS needs to make this right and take the steps to bring this father and husband back to America where he belongs.
Louis Gohmert (R-TX), a member of the House Immigration Subcommittee, makes outrageous statements on immigration all the time, but this was pretty over the top. Media Matters reports and has provided the clip below.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.