Rep. Tancredo recently commented that we should nuke Mecca if terrorists who happen to be Muslims nuked a US city. We believe Mr. Tancredo's position is legally and morally flawed. According to the laws of war, the US in such a situation would be justified in retaliating directly against locations where the terrorists are and against the military targets of those countries who aided and abetted these terrorists. Religion cannot provide military or moral justification for a US attack against Mecca or Medina. Although Rep. Tancredo's comments are not criminal, they likely constitute conduct unbecoming a member of the House of Representatives. If the Republican Party decides to take punitive action against Mr. Tancredo, at least three options present themselves: admonishment by the House, admonishment by the House Republican Conference, and most importantly, similiar actions taken by the Colorado State Republican Party, perhaps culminating in revocation of Mr. Tancredo's Republican party membership. While we make no claim to be experts either in military law or in political procedure for expelling members of a party, the purpose of our comment is the incident's clear connection with immigration policy. Rep. Tancredo's misbehavior represents a golden opportunity for the Republican Party to get rid of one of the main obstacles (Rep. Tancredo) to achieving its goal of a long-term Republican majority in Congress. If the Republican Party chooses to take no action, we suspect that it will be to prevent Rep. Tancredo from gaining even more support from the misguided as a result of punitive efforts against his ill-advised and counter-productive comments.
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Bonnie Gibson and Lori C. Melton write "The new form I-9 does not modify Section 1 of the I-9 to require an American employee to choose between affirming citizenship or status as a "U.S. National."
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The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics issued the Annual Flow Report on the number and characteristics of persons who became LPRs in the United States during 2004.
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Gary Endelman's article, "A Nation at Risk: Immigration and the National Interest" (7/27/05 ID) advocates for the elimination of all family-based immigration preference categories except for the spouses and children of LPRs and offers two justifications. The article assumes, without any supporting evidence, that family immigration is only "social outreach or international self-help" and not in the best interest of the US. Second, his article appears to believe that the elimination of most family-based immigration categories would be justified because "[w]hile most Americans love their siblings and adult children, they do not live with them." Empirical evidence contradicts Mr. Endelman's first assertion. An Urban Institute and the National Science Foundation study found that "[f]amily-based immigrants may actually do more to create new businesses and services, and compete less with the native born." (see H. Duleep and M. Regets, "Employment-Based versus Family-Based Immigration.") That article also cites to other studies which show "[i]mmigrant communities that are facilitated by family ties may lead to development of businesses that would not otherwise be developed (e.g. Korean immigrants going into low-income areas to start businesses)." Mr. Endelman's second assertion is a very narrow view of family that doesn't accurately reflect the actual experience of many U.S. citizens and LPRs. Even when family members don't live together, they play a crucial role in one another's lives. Families come together to start and run businesses. They take care of one another in times of economic, physical, or emotional hardships. Having your family in the U.S. strengthens your ties to this country. Not being permanently separated from one's family is an important consideration for many of the best and the brightest that the U.S. hopes to attract. I hope that Mr. Endelman will take these factors into consideration in the future before dismissing family immigration so quickly.
J. Traci Hong, Esq. Director, Immigration Program
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium
In response to R.Sugiharto's, letter (7/27/05 ID), his letter has put the record straight by stressing much on immigration based-on merit rather than on family connection. Skilled personnel may be given opportunity to migrate (restricted to graduate only). And abolish the visa lottery. Canada is issuing immigrant visa to graduates only.
The Congressional Research Service Report on employer sanctions (7/26/05 ID) is an invaluable resource for attorneys and employers alike. But as a Report to Congress, I would have hoped it would have done more than merely regurgitate the law, and that it would have provided legislators with some statistics on the lack of success the government has had in enforcing this law. Although employer sanctions for I-9 violations have been the law since 1986, the sad fact is that employer sanctions are not presently being enforced by CIS (their own admission), except in rare and outrageous cases that hit the news, like the Wal-Mart cleaning contractor case, or Tyson Foods chicken processors case. As the CRS Report reveals, the intent of the legislature was, through employer sanctions for hiring undocumented aliens, to stop illegal immigration to the US. This was the trade-off, the quid pro quo, for the enactment of the 1986 Amnesty. Those not around for the dismal failure of the 1986 Amnesty Program, and who are now proponents of yet another amnesty for law breakers, should sit up and take notice that the 1986 Amnesty Program did not accomplish its goals, and that, notwithstanding the law, there are more illegals in the US today than in 1986. Now, politicians again offer "solutions" to the growing problem of illegal immigration by offering a short-sighted, unworkable, guestworker program, talk of another amnesty, and other suggestions certain to again bloat the immigration system, again leaving it over-worked and under-funded. As folksingers Peter, Paul and Mary sang in the 1960's, "When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
Thankfully, it seems that Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo does not have the IQ or even the so-called "emotional intelligence" to get much further politically. In a Florida radio interview on Friday, in response to a question as to how the US should react if extremist Muslims used nukes in the US, Tancredo stated that: "You could take out their holy sites." The interviewer then asked: "You're talking about bombing Mecca?" to which Tancredo responded: "Yeah." Although I am not surprised by Tancredo's hateful positions as they have been evidenced by his anti-immigrant propaganda over the past several years, I am glad to see that he is unable to control his tongue by making such clearly divisive, hateful, and highly inflammatory comments. This will hopefully assure that he does not get too much further politically. Apparently the White House has criticized these remarks and some groups have asked for Tancredo's resignation. Despite this, Tancredo stands by his statements. If he keeps this up, Tom Tancredo and Tom Sneddon will share more than just first names, but the same dim political future. One can only hope.
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