It will go nowhere in the Senate and would obviously be vetoed, but it's one more reminder of how Congress has completely abdicated its role in immigration law. States wouldn't be legislating in immigration if Congress was actually passing the necessary reform bills.
Good for them. Kansas' House has rejected a bill that would force illegally present immigrants to pay non-resident tuition at state universities even if they otherwise meet the state's residency requirements.
The White House is no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts. The President and Vice President have come out in support of legalizing same sex marriage. Yet the Department of Homeland Security is still deporting same sex spouses as if nothing has changed. One way the President can offer very tangible proof that his actions support his rhetoric is to just end deportation proceedings in these cases. 17 Senators (16 Democrats and an independent) sent a letter to Secretary Napolitano this past week urging them to stop the deportations. I would also add that if DHS is not prepared to begin accepting spouse green card petitions for same sex couples, they should use its parole authority to give a legal status and employment authorization while the courts sort this out. They have that power and ought to be using it.
[Update]: House Speaker John Boehner says the GOP will defend the Defense of Marriage Act's application in immigration cases that are being litigated. Remember, this aspect of DOMA has nothing to do with state's rights. It's only about the federal government recognizing marriages in states where same sex marriage is legal. It doesn't involve forcing states that haven't passed marriage equality laws from recognizing marriages performed elsewhere.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the White House is trying to sabotage his version of the DREAM Act by “ordering” activists not to work with him so that President Obama can maintain his hold on the Latino vote in the 2012 election.
“One of the things that already been documented is that the White House has been — the articles that have been written, two or three by now, the White House has been calling in DREAM Act advocates and asking them, almost ordering them, not to work with me on this issue,” Rubio said Thursday on the Laura Ingraham radio show. “They have been counting on using this issue as a wedge issue in October to drive up turnout.”
What I think is really happening is that Rubio would like to be able to portray Democrats as secretly not being interested in moving forward on the issue of finding a legal status for this sympathetic population and mainly being interested in cultivating Latino votes.
Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wasn't going to sit back and fall in to that trap, however. He's challenging Reid to put up or shut up by actually releasing language for his bill. What I'm guessing would happen is that Reid would then actually force the bill's consideration (with or without Rubio's sponsorship). When Democrats overwhelmingly support it and Republicans largely vote no, it would be hugely embarrassing for the GOP who will be perceived as being against even Republican written pro-immigration bills.
That's why I'm pretty sure we're not going to ever see Rubio's language. I think Rubio was counting on Democrats opposing his measure. Now that this is not playing out according to script, I'm betting that we never see this bill. Hope I'm wrong.
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.