Ours To Lose
It is a fallacy to believe that in the incoming 110th Congress, there will be many newly-elected moderates/conservatives in the Democratic caucus. Writing in Roll Call on November 16, 2006, noted political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said "... I met dozens of Democrats running in 2006 - no, not everyone, but most of them - and I canít find much more than a couple who merit the label "conservative." Thatís not meant to be either criticism or praise. Itís merely a statement of fact ... Virtually all of the Democrats I interviewed were pro-choice, favored rolling back President Bushís tax cuts and sounded traditional Democratic themes on education, the environment and foreign policy ... Now let me be very clear about my point. Iím not saying that itís good or bad that most of these Democrats are likely to be pretty typical members of their party. Iím only saying thatís where they fit. A bunch of conservative Democrats didnít win election last week."
The idea that immigration reform prospects early in 2007 must be limited because the Democratic caucus may have too many moderate/conservative Democrats who will resist liberal immigration laws is hogwash. However, there have been numerous press reports since the election which paint a grim picture for rapid progress on significant immigration benefits legislation in the early weeks and months of 2007. Here's why we have had this mis-information campaign.
Immigration lobbyists closely allied with liberal Democrats realize full well that they are now, for the first time since 9/11, on the offense, not defense. They realize full well that they are now on the cusp of enactment of major immigration benefits bills. However, with this new perspective has come hubris. Many of them now think that S. 2611 (the amended McCain-Kennedy bill) which would have granted legalization to 5 million, established significant quota relief for both employment and family immigration, established a modest guest worker program, etc does not go far enough, and is too punitive in its other provisions. In order to increase the reach of legalization, reduce punitive provisions, etc, they are pursuing what is essentially an all-or-nothing strategy. The immigration lobbyists' attitude appears to be that unless they get the original un-amended McCain-Kennedy or better, they would rather have no relief at all for the next several years.
We believe that the window of opportunity on immigration benefits is much smaller than most people think. We need not just a bill, but a conference report, in weeks, not months. Perhaps the memories of divided government have faded inside the Beltway. The last time we had a different party in charge at either end of Pennsylvania Ave (in the Clinton years), we had an ugly political climate, and legislative grid lock. There is every reason to believe that the same might happen again in a few months. Once the new Democratic staff are hired, and once the subpoenas from the new Democratic Chairs start to flow, Washington DC will be all-ugliness all-the-time. Furthermore, when last in the opposition pre-1994, the Republicans proved that they were masters of obstruction (does any immigration lobbyist relish the idea of crossing swords with the master-parliamentarian Mr. Lamar Smith, who will do everything in his power to destroy immigration benefit hopes from his new perch as ranking member of the House Judiciary committee?).The window of opportunity is only a few months (not the many months till the start of the 2008 Presidential season).
We believe it would be more prudent to pursue a limited strategy in early 2007 of obtaining a "down-payment" on comprehensive immigration reform. Perhaps we could just get DREAM, or just move the registry date from 1971 to IRCA's date, or perhaps, Congress could return to the business left unfinished on the morning of 9/11/01, when the House was to have voted on a Senate-passed extension of 245(i). We do not believe that the prospects of comprehensive immigration reform would be in any way damaged by getting a down-payment in hand first (a bird in hand is worth two in the bush). If later, we can get more reform, the immigration champions on the Hill will be heroes. If not, immigration champions will then be able to hold their head up high and say that at least they got something concrete in hand from this historic opportunity now before us.
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Second Issue Of PQ: The PERM Quarterly
The second issue of PQ: The PERM Quarterly features the following:
CD-ROM Table of Contents:
- Recently Emerging Issues By Joel Stewart
- In-Job Experience: Why We Need It and How We Can Still Get It By Gary Endelman
- Ask The Editor By Joel Stewart
- Professional & Trade Journals Under PERM By Nathan Waxman
- Joel Stewart's BALCA Review By Joel Stewart
- First PERM BALCA Decision By Careen B. Shannon
- BALCA's Health America Decision Doesn't Go Far Enough By R. Blake Chisam
- Federal Court Litigation By Sam Udani
Note: The first issue of PQ: The PERM Quarterly was mailed to every purchaser of THE PERM BOOK for free. To continue to receive future issues of PQ: The PERM Quarterly, you must be subscribed. To subscribe, please see here.
- Matter of HealthAmerica, No. 2006-PER-00001 (BALCA, Jul.18, 2006)
- Darby v. Cisneros, 509 U.S. 137, 125 L. Ed. 2d 113, 113 Supreme Court. 2539 (1993)
- Carlson Letter On PERM Modification
- FAQ On Public Disclosure System
- FAQ On Extended RIR Conversion Date
- Training And Employment Guidance Letter No. 7-06
- Public Disclosure System from OFLC
- Federal Register Notice on RIR Eligibility Date
Today's Immigration Policy Debates: Do We Need a Little History?
Donna R. Gabaccia writes "But if humans are indeed a migratory species, migration is not the exception but the rule; it is not necessarily a problem to be explained or to be solved but merely a fact of life. Whether or not humans are biologically pushed toward mobility is another question. Yet, those on both sides of today's debates agree that being sedentary is normal and that immigration is indeed a problem requiring a solution. And both sides agree that the best solution to the problem is some form of restriction."
CRS Report On Proposals In The 109th Congress To Split The Ninth
Circuit Court Of Appeals
The section entitled "Caseload and Immigration Cases" in this CRS report discusses immigration in the context of the Congressional discussion on the 9th circuit.
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Readers can share their professional announcements (100-words or fewer at no charge), email: email@example.com. Readers interested in learning about featuring your event or conference in Immigration Daily, see here. To feature your newsletter in Immigration Daily, see here.
The Housing Divide: How Generations of Immigrants Fare in New York's Housing Market By Emily Rosenbaum and Samantha Friedman, NYU Press, 304 pp. From the description: "The authors argue that ... Blacksóregardless of generationódisadvantaged relative to members of other racial/ethnic groups in their ability to obtain housing in high-quality neighborhoods ... [The authors'] findings suggest that the future of racial inequality in this country will increasingly isolate Blacks from all other groups. In other words, the 'color line' may be shifting from a line separating Blacks from Whites to one separating Blacks from all non-Blacks." More info at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/081477590X/
Readers are welcome to share their comments, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (300-words or fewer preferred). Many letters to the Editor refer to past correspondence, available in our archives.
Ms. Stock claims (ID 12/26/06) that Sgt. Rascon was an undocumented alien and bases that conclusion on an Armed Services Committee hearing on July 10, 2006. I have no reason to dispute this, but it must be noted, that an apparently official Army website (GoArmy.com), merely says of Sgt. Rascon, "Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Alfred Rascon immigrated with his family to California, where he attended school and grew up thinking he was an American. It was not until after he enlisted in the Army in 1963 that he discovered he was not a citizen." The proper classification of people into the various US immigration categories to which they belong is important: citizen, permanent resident, nonimmigrant, or illegal alien (either overstay or entered without inspection). I could find no websites by doing a Google search on "Alfred Rascon" that ever mentioned that he was an illegal alien - only that he was not a citizen when he entered the military. In fact, the GoArmy.com website specifically says Sgt. Rascon "immigrated with his family". If Ms. Stock is correct, Sgt. Rascon did not immigrate, he entered illegally and that is not immigrating - so the official Army version is incorrect and misleading. Under what circumstances are undocumented aliens permitted to enlist during wartime? May I now, in this time of "war", advise young illegal alien clients enlist in the military with impunity? May I assure them that, without using phony ID, they will be welcomed, enlisted, not subjected to deportation, and so long as they serve honorably, can expect to receive US citizenship? Or is the privilege of citizenship only available to the cheats who sneak into the US military under color of false documents, serve honorably and receive US citizenship under the 2002 presidential decree?
David D. Murray, Esq.,
Newport Beach, CA
Other than the CUNY certificate program listed in your classifieds (ID 12/26/06), is anyone
aware of any other such programs? An internet search failed to yield
additional information on immigration law certificate programs.
Re Mr. Fels' article (ID 12/26/06) , OSI was created after the Holtzman Amendment (circa
1978) established it for the purpose of identifying
and removing former Nazis who have lived in the US, usually for many years, without incident.
Since coming to the US most of them have become
model citizens. Whatever service the individual
targeted has performed was most often at a low level
within the Waffen SS or some other Nazi organization.
OSI's efforts have not been without severely adverse
and unfair consequences. For example, OSI brought a case in Cleveland in which the
alleged perpetrator was a guard at a concentration
camp known as "Ivan the Terrible." The action by OSI
resulted in having the man extradited to Israel where
he was tried for war crimes. The trial resulted in a
not guilty verdict based on the finding that the man
was not in fact the alleged sadistic and maniacal
guard. Even after putting Mr. Demjanjuk through this
severe ordeal, he was returned to the US where OSI
has continued to target him simply on the basis of his
having been a guard at a concentration camp.
There are numerous difficulties for those targeted by
OSI, including the ability to find competent counsel
to represent them, the extreme embarassment brought
upon US born children and relatives, who bear
the brunt of the cost of litigation, the difficulty in
finding defense experts who are willing to testify,
the extreme inequality in resources available to OSI
versus those available to the defense, etc.
OSI is an organization which has outlived its purpose
to remove individuals allegedly involved in Nazi
persecutions. It should instead turn its efforts to
those who have entered the US as refugees
but might have done so after active participation in
atrocities in more recent conflicts.
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