For the laws to be respected, they must be respectable. The cruelties and indignities visited by today's immigration law on immigrants are such that America's immigration laws are not now respected by anyone. Yes, there is that fanatical, nazi-like (and indeed un-American) faction which insists that the travesty passing for the law today deserves respect (these are the enforcement-first mujahadeen). We have no doubt that these extremists would have opposed the Boston Tea Party also (and on the same grounds too - obeying the law, however unjust, comes first with these folks). Some misguided fools have always existed in every historical period in every large community, so it is scarcely surprising that we have these among us today. It is wrong to pretend they dont exist. Such a move would be an ostrich-like strategy that some in the bar advocate. We disagree with this approach, since we don't believe that wishing is going to make the Tancredos of the world go away - they need to be confronted head-on, as the Revolutionists confronted the British loyalists in Boston. Open confrontation is all that is necessary here, not negotiation. Lets put the bigots aside, and look at America instead.
Large numbers of Americans are uncomfortable with immigrants, and wish they would all just go home. In fact, many Americans would like to see legal immigration reduced, not increased (something the business immigration community would do well not just to note, but to understand). It is a long hard road of education ahead to explain to these Americans that America is the home of today's undocumented aliens, that they are not going anywhere, and that documented Americans had better start welcoming their undocumented neighbors, since no one has any other alternative. Immigration is, and will remain for another generation, one of the top issues in national politics, and hence addressing undocumented immigration is going to have to come before high-skilled immigration. Those who want more H1B numbers without working towards at least some form of mild legalization, are mistaken as to their chances of success in getting skilled visa relief, since they are not giving sufficient weight to the new position that undocumented immigration now occupies in national politics. It is futile to wish it were different, and unrealistic to think that it will be different in the foreseeable future.
Equally, those who advocate for immigrant rights should understand that the adjustments that America must make for the undocumented are so large, and so emotional for many, that many compromises will be politically necessary. Among these are the following. The path to permanent residency will not only be a long one, but the first laws will have no such paths, this will have to come later. Many shibboleths will have to be discarded entirely. For legalization to happen, Family Based 4th preference will be abolished, and parents will likely be removed from the Immediate Relative classification. There is a good chance that the DV lottery will be abolished, and that refugee numbers will not just be cut, but entirely stopped for many years. Business is at the immigration table too, and it will be making plenty of sacrifices of its own. Advocates for extended families and for mercy for immigrants will have to wait for their turn which will likely be years in coming.
None of these will be easy for any side - those who would see immigration cut back, those who would want more legal immigration (either family immigration or business immigration), those who want legalization. All sides at table will rightfully demand, and receive, their pound of flesh. It is inaccurate to assess legalization as the 800-pound gorilla or as the beast that must be tamed before turning to other matters. When Congress thinks about immigration today, legalization is front and center in immigration policy. And how Congress eventually goes about dealing with legalization will set the context for both family immigration and business immigration (as also for DV and refugees). The past is dead, we have to look at the future with clear eyes, unclouded by visions and terms of the past.
Wednesday, June 25th is the deadline for the Thursday June 26th phone
session on "Dealing with Dependents and Understanding the Unpredictable Visa Bulletin", the curriculum is as follows:http://www.ilw.com/seminars/aprilB2008.pdf
CRS Report On Border Security
The Congressional Research Service updated its report styled "Border Security: Barriers Along
the U.S. International Border"
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Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Pittsburgh, PA - Fujitsu Consulting, an international IT services
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U.S. deporting Christian pastors
"U.S. immigration authorities have stepped up deportations, but rather than pursue illegal aliens, they have chosen to evict America's church ministers from the country instead."
ICE's Newest Trick: Deporting Valedictorians
"I've written about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials' schoolyard antics before, but the recent news that ICE is planning to deport a California high school valedictorian just affirms my view that these immigration authorities need to get out of the schools."
Time to refocus on immigration
"We are not going to make 12 million people go "home," especially with many of them having nowhere that is more home than the place where they've been living and working for years. It's time to put this subject on the front burner again."
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.
I finally understand: Santa Claus is real, the Pope isn't Catholic, the fact that Jim Roberts' letters regularly and approvingly quote political extremists is just a coincidence, and Mr. Roberts has no racial biases. Simple, isn't it?
Sid Lachter, Esq.
I write in unaccustomed agreement with Roger Algase's letter of June 20th and addendum of the 23rd. I have only one quibble with the closer, "This was always our policy when most immigrants were white. Is this too much to ask now that most immigrants are not?" I would not venture that Hispanics are not generally white. It isn't race that drives these debates so much as culture and, to a lesser but significant extent, economics (see the immigration opinions of Samuel Gompers, most black voters nowadays or your typical teamster at any time in history). Nativists are not nuts, not usually malign and not always wrong (c.f. those rare but real communities whose public relief budgets are overstretched by large numbers of the undocumented) - just generally over-alarmed. We cannot be a republic in any meaningful sense unless we are a nation of laws, but for the laws to be respected, they must still be respectable, and the extremes and repeat players in the immigration debate have larded the code and regs up with so much contradictory malarkey that the immigration "system" creaks along in a most disreputable way, pleasing no one while pandering to everyone. It isn't exactly inhumane as much as over-bureaucratized and alarmingly unpredictable.
As for the whole debate on Christ's position on giving away public goods, the Apostles practices such a policy in Acts and abandoned it after even God's direct intervention in striking sinners dead failed to produce the proper results in a community of the saved which remained chock-full of sinners. God abandoned having a king for the Jews and he abandoned third-party forced charity. We lawyers may have IOLTA, but I am nearly as leery of corporate mercy as I am of visiting the sins of the father upon the son.
Re : Mr. Murray's and Utterback's letters (ID 6/23/2008), All nations have their own immigration laws to serve the very same purpose which is "protectionism", and ridiculously they expect others to liberalize their trade and immigration laws if they benefit their own citizens or exporters to other nations.
In our relationship with other nations we must expect the same reciprocal treatments. As we want protectionism, so they will engage in the same or even worse protectionism. It's all about bargaining positions. Brazilians fingerprint and photograph only US citizen visitors, Chinese levies $ 100 for a visitor visa for US citizens but cheaper for other nationalities. As we try to impose duties on imports and giving free welfare in form of subsidies to protect our inefficient producers and businesses so other nations will retaliate by imposing even higher duties on anything made in USA. Human beings always seek for survival, be them Jesus' parents, Israelis and Chinese in diaspora, white Europeans seeking new life and colonies in the new worlds or our amigos from the South today. Under what rights and virtue that "the laws of the lands" can supersede and restrict this very basic human right and instinct if not to serve the selfish and double standard interests' of nativists that hate the reality that they have to compete by merits in this life as well.
Jesus summarized the law in one principle: "Do to others as you would want them to do to you." This ethical principle epitomizes human moral obligation. It is clear that preference is given to what we would call the "moral law,". In most instances undocumented workers have not come here "uninvited", and they do not stay here unemployed. The purpose of them being here is not to "invade or overthrow", but simply support families. Our society looked the other way while benefiting from cheap labor, services and goods for a very long time. We have experienced good and bad results, and many unintended consequences but we can never say we were not complicit in the bargain. Now it is our moral obligation to do the right thing. Our entry policy is a separate issue from the issue of what to do with the 6.6 million mixed status families that contain US Citizens and undocumented family members already here. There is also the issue of the workers we have been exploiting, and the victims of torture, asylum seekers, and refugees we are treating inhumanely. There is a clear moral imperative to humanely deal with this situation.
It is the intolerant letter of R. Gittelson who: "who digs a hole so
deep, he can't climb out, but attempts to keep digging anyway" as well
as that of R. Algase (6/24/08 ID), neither of which can truthfully frame
their criticisms. How then can we expect a different standard from their
advocacies of more entry and amnesties. That my letter (6/23/08 ID)
implied that: "all 'true' American citizens are unsympathetic to the
viewpoint of immigrants" is a complete fabrication. The "traitor" and
"accountable" comments were the quoted words of Mr. Gheen of ALI which
are shared by many. How can harmful policies expect not to be challenged
and held accountable as the D. Utterback letter (6/24/08 ID) letter
agrees? The RA letter is just as irrational in attempting to discredit
respected America First advocate Pat Buchanan by citing a long ago
opinion about a century old matter which is entirely immaterial as to
the relevancy of his sound positions today. The "Hispanicization" of
America by Aztlaners because of excessive entry numbers and "Protocols"
policies or agendas are facts that rightfully concerns most of US. Both
RG and RA letters need to put away their magnifying glasses in looking
for ways to be offended in order to posture name-calling, repudiation
and condemnation and follow the responsible positions of the alcohol and
tobacco industries in limiting and mitigating the known effects of the
excessive use or advocacy of their products. This would preclude any
CIR amnesty in favor of restricted entry numbers, secured borders,
deportations, employer sanctions and similar measures. To do otherwise
is against America's best interests.
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