How Obama Can Win
Both conventions are over, both candidates have shored up their bases. Now
political strategists on both sides are counting the electoral votes and
planning their end game for winning the election. Everyone knows that this
is going to be a close election, like 2000 and 2004. At this point national
polls do not matter, and neither do firmly Democratic or firmly Republican
states like New York or Texas. The election is fought, won and lost in the
swing states. What are the toss-up states this time? From a review of the
best analysis across the web, more and more strategists on both sides seem
to be moving towards the conclusion that Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico are
the key swing states (for an example of such analysis, see:
http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/nation/09/15/0915latvote.html). Further, the largest group of voters up for grabs in these states is
Hispanic voters (for a detailed analysis of Colorado and the Hispanic vote
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/08/swing_state_review_colorado_1.html). What we say above is the current conventional wisdom among
the majority of the professional politicians involved in fighting and
analyzing this Presidential race. Now, lets turn to immigration.
It's a safe bet that immigration is issue number one for Hispanics in the
SouthWest. There's a good chance that immigration will decide this
Presidential election. For the last two years, despite Democratic majorities
in Congress, there has only been a lot of talk, and no immigration benefits
have been delivered (however, the Democratic Congress has supported massive
enforcement with huge appropriations). Nevertheless, Mr. Obama promised
earlier this week to take on immigration in the first year of his
presidency. Not to be outdone, Mr. McCain soon after promised on Univision
to begin work on immigration reform on his FIRST DAY in office. However, we observe that both Mr. Obama
and Mr. McCain are trying to have their cake and eat it too - talk the good
talk on immigration, but do absolutely nothing - while immigrants starved of
immigration benefits suffer miserably. Fortunately, however, since the
immigrant vote is critical this election, something can be done about this
state of affairs, particularly by Sen. Obama.
What can Mr. Obama do to win? Win over the Hispanic immigrant voters in CO,
NV and NM whose top-most political issue is immigration benefits. Don't
repeat the mistake of Mr. Gore and Mr. Kerry of taking the Hispanic
immigrant vote for granted. Mr. Bush won in 2000 and 2004 essentially by
getting a good chunk of the Hispanic vote in key swing states. Mr. McCain
has an excellent track record on immigration and, like Mr. Bush, is fully
capable of swinging a large block of Hispanic voters his way in CO, NV and
NM to win the election, if Mr. Obama gives him an opening. Mr. Obama should
act NOW, and get his Democratic friends in Congress to enact the modest
immigration benefits currently pending before Congress as a good-faith
down-payment. Additionally, he should commit publicly and loudly to
comprehensive immigration reform in the first 100 days of an Obama
Presidency. Not only will this put Mr. Obama in the White House but it will
earn Democrats the well-deserved gratitude of Hispanic voters for many
election cycles to come. If Democrats want to make it really difficult for
Sen. McCain to win this election, Sen. Reed can schedule a vote on AgJobs
and DREAM in the next few days. That would force Sen. McCain either to vote
for these much-needed bills thereby dampening the enthusiasm and voter
turnout of the racists in his base, or to vote against these bills which are
very popular among the immigrant voters in CO, NV & NM, thereby losing these
states and the election. Thanks to the Democratic party's control of
Congress, Mr. Obama has options now that Mr. McCain does not. We urge him to
use them and do something for immigration benefits before Congress adjourns.
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New 2008-2009 Edition For Robert C. Divine
Immigration Practice by Robert C.
Divine & R. Blake Chisam is an invaluable supplement to Kurzban's with a
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Consular Corner: September 2008
Liam Schwartz presents the latest news from Consuls the world over.
Bloggings On Immigration Law And Policy
Greg Siskind shares the latest entries as of September 17, 2008 on his immigration law and policy blog.
Immigrants Of The Day: Jessica Alice Tandy of London, Bhagat Singh Thind of India, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon of India
Kevin R. Johnson celebrates the achievements of these immigrants.
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DOL Files Opposition Brief In Fragomen Suit
The Department of Labor filed its second opposition brief opposing Fragomen's motion for preliminary injunction.
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Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
New York - Troutman Sanders LLP, an international law firm, seeks immigration paralegal. Ideal candidate possesses: four-year degree plus a paralegal certificate (ABA-approved preferred); 2+ years of business immigration experience; ability to read, write, and speak Korean preferred; knowledge of preparing H, L, O, E non-immigrant visas, I-140 petitions and adjustment of status applications; experience with multi-national corporations, start-up companies and PERM applications; must have excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, initiative, strong client relations skills and be a quick learner by relating individual tasks to the "big picture" issue in complex business transactions. If interested, please visit http://www.troutmansanders.com/careers/paralegals/ to apply online.
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Help Wanted: Immigration Professional
Secaucus, NJ - Ernst & Young LLP seeks Visa & Immigration Manager to manage and administer the visa and immigration work for firm's expatriate and international business travelers. Manage firm's external immigration providers, ensure all expatriates and business travelers are in compliance with host countries' immigration laws, manage firm's International Travel Compliance (ITC) policy. Oversee and monitor ITC hotline call volume and provide appropriate consultation or resolution as needed. Stay current on emerging legislation and assess its impact on firm business. Responsible for monitoring volume and review costs of outsourced arrangements. Oversee work and supervise a team of 5. Bachelor's degree, 5-7 years immigration experience, global immigration preferred. Experience working with government agencies, foreign embassies
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McCain, Obama Trade Blame for Failure of Immigration Reform
The future of immigration reform has almost been left out of the presidential election debates, although mutual accusations are growing between Barack Obama and John McCain about who stymied the 2007 reform plan.
Should US Immigration Officials Halt Workplace Raids? No
Every time the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency stages a major raid to arrest illegal immigrants, it causes a stir among those who say the federal agents are hurting businesses and breaking up families.
Immigration In The Hot Seat
A new Franklin & Marshall poll shows that Lou Barletta, the Republican mayor of Hazleton, has opened a sizable nine-point lead on Kanjorski, even though the economically depressed district is leaning toward Democrat Barack Obama in a year when few Democrats in Congress are seen as in jeopardy.
Immigration Position Outlined By League Of Women Voters
After two years of studying legal and illegal immigration, the national League of Women Voters organization outlined its position in detail.
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Immigration Event - Washington, DC
AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest is pleased to host, "Transatlantic Law Forum: Citizenship in Europe and the US". Thurs, Oct. 16, 2008, 9:00 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
Friday, October 17, 2008, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
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Where do they stand on immigration - McCain and Obama? (09/16/08 ID comment). John McCain claims that if he becomes president, he will not push for any immigration reform until the Department of Homeland Security confirms our borders are secure, whatever that means, so don't hold your breath for immigration reform under a McCain/Palin administration. Also, McCain changed his position on "comprehensive immigration reform", which would legalize 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US and recently said he would not vote for the legalization bill he previously proposed. Barack Obama, in contrast, recognizes that US Immigration laws must be overhauled. Obama supports "comprehensive immigration reform" that includes "a pathway so that [immigrants] can earn citizenship, earn a legal status, start learning English, pay a fine, go to the back of the line, but they can then stay here and they can have the ability to enforce a minimum wage that they're paid, make sure the worker safety laws are available, make sure that they can join a union." Congress has slept on the issue of immigration for so long the country is inundated with illegals, both overstays and border jumpers. While this blatant violation of the law is intolerable, Congress and the general citizenry must shoulder the blame. Just as children, adults will get away with what they are allowed to, and working illegally in the US has been an accepted way of life in the US for decades - just ask any employer who "can't get along without them." Punish employers, not illegals, but stop illegals and overstays from continuing unlawful behavior in the future through strict enforcement of immigration laws, while at the same time expanding legal immigration to realistically meet the needs of the nation.
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
I was shocked to see the conclusion stating "We expect to see almost all of the original McCain-Kennedy bill become law during the first six months of a McCain Presidency" (09/17/08 ID comment). What planet is ID on? During this election, McCain has turned his back on everything he claimed to have stood for – including honesty and integrity. Instead he has sold his soul to the worst elements in his party. Nothing indicates he has the physical and mental strength to combat the neo-cons and actually accomplish any immigration reform. Another republican presidency will be eliminate any hope of immigration reform.
Meaghan Tuohey-Kay, Esq.
I applaud ID's editorial and predict both that ID will get outraged and hostile letters from many readers and further that, though ID is on opposite sides of the immigration issue from Mickey Kaus, both ID and he are correct that McCain's election is the best hope for significant immigration reform (09/17/08 ID comment). Since I would love to see millions in entrants to the housing market even for purely selfish reasons having to do with my home's net worth, I think a few million legal immigrants along with "legalized"/"amnestied" recent illegals with full access to credit markets for homes will do great things for home values.
Honza Prchal, Esq.
Please stay with the facts, not your political editorializing (09/17/08 ID comment). I am an immigration lawyer for 25 years, a McCain supporter and Republican and proud to be all of the above.
Pnina Graff, Esq.
I guess the problem is: Which McCain will we get? Will we get the one that coauthored CIR in 2006, or the one that "heard the voice of the American people" and backtracked as a presidential candidate (09/17/08 ID comment). But assuming ID is correct and we get our old friend Maverick McCain back, the timing of legislation in Congress is not his to dictate. In the Senate, that perogative belongs to Senator Reid as Majority Leader. Despite ID's contention that democrats have done virtually nothing since 2006, it was Senator Reid who in 2007 brought back CIR, citing it as a "major priority" both to him and to the country. Of course the effort failed because of the June 28, 2007 cloture vote. Much work from democrats, including Obama, went into that effort. We are in agreement that more could have been attempted, but without 60 votes, nothing would have gotten out of the Senate.
If the rest of ID's analysis is correct, and the Democrats in Congress have other major pieces of legislation ahead of them before they take on immigration, it won't matter who the president is. If McCain wins the presidency, it will only be after a rancorous election, and I really don't see the Democrats with their ubermajority needing or even wanting to reach out. If CIR is still the endgame, legislation will have to come to the floor sometime in mid to late 2009, because there will be the mid-term elections in 2010 and I'm fairly sure the Democrats will want to see the dust settle as quickly as possible. Anyway, that's just my take. Thanks for a good and thought-provoking piece.
Peter Ashman, Esq.
I am a bit surprised at the undue credit ID gives Senator McCain in ID's 09/17/08 comment "McCain Kennedy Reborn." The Republican nominee permitted his party to include the most anti-immigrant sentiment in its platform presented at the RNC Convention. He has publicly stated that he would no longer support the very bill that he worked so hard to achieve bi-partisan support for. He has not allowed the topic of immigration to come up in his campaign for fear that it will alienate the conservative base which is responsible for killing the bill that bore his name. Most offensively, he has lied in his advertising about Senator Obama's record on immigration when he often voted in a similar manner on the very same bill.
To assume that Senator McCain as President (or Governor Palin, should anything happen to the 72 year old cancer survivor) will automatically revert to his prior positions on the subject is naive at best and underestimates the power that the neo-conservative movement evidently holds over the one time "Maverick." It saddens me to see a champion of immigration rights join the ranks of restrictionists, but it worries me more to think that the immigration community would continue to have faith in someone who has turned his back on us. If Senator McCain failed to get his own party to reflect his views on immigration in its platform, how would he ever be able to lead them towards immigration reform so desperately needed?
Joan Duffy Mody, Esq.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry after reading ID's 09/17/08 comment arguing that having John McCain in the White House would be good for immigration even if, as expected, the Democrats control Congress. Surely this comment must have been written as some kind of spoof? Aside from the fact that two parties at loggerheads over every other issue are unlikely to agree on this most contentious and emotional one of all, how can anyone possibly trust Senator McCain any longer on immigration or anything else? Is there any of his principles left that he has not betrayed in order to curry favor with the Republican far right whose support he has decided is essential to winning the election, whether immigration, torture, offshore oil drilling, Bush tax cuts, or selecting an unqualified, narrow minded far right Neanderthal with no foreign affairs experience to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? And if he wins the election with help from far right extremists, who are America's most vocal of all immigrant-haters (and he cannot win any other way), can anyone seriously think that they will let him forget what he owes them for a single instant? Dream on, ID, dream on.
Roger Algase, Esq.
New York, NY
I just can not believe ID's position on Obama/McCain (see 09/17/08 comment). It is very apparent that ID has not been listening to what McCain actually says. He is for enforcement first until the governors of all the border states certify to the secretary of homeland defense that the borders are secure. How many years does ID think that will take?
Robert L. Reeves, Esq.
Why does ID refer to Obama as President Obama and McCain as Mr. McCain (see 09/17/08 comment)? ID also seems to speak respectfully of Obama and in your characterizing of McCain's policies it appears that ID is mocking him. At least ID gives McCain credit for trying to pass some kind of immigration reform. Sorry to complain, but ID's bias is very obvious.
Eugene Stilianopoulos, Esq.
I find ID's argument to be both myopic and dangerous for anyone seeking CIR (see 09/17/08 ID comment). First, McCain has established priorities including extending the Bush tax cuts, eliminating congressional earmarks and cutting federal spending and I see no reason why he will thank the conservative base who helped to ensure his election by turning against them immediately on immigration reform unless its to pass purely enforcement-oriented measures. Second, please remember that President Bush was also allegedly in favor of immigration reform and was in favor of the McCain-Kennedy bill as well -if President Bush was unable to push congress to pass CIR how can anyone feel that a President McCain will be more likely to immediately push for passage. Finally, Senator Obama has frequently asserted that immigration reform would be a "top priority" in the first year of his administration. Just as recently as a few months ago during the Republican primary debates, Senator McCain noted that he wouldn't have even voted in favor of the McCain-Kennedy bill based on the need to focus on enforcement first. In fact, he has restated on several occasions since the bill died that he has heard the will of the American people that border security must be achieved initially before any consideration may be given to providing rights for immigrants. The best evidence concerning Senator Obama's fervent support for immigration reform was his recent speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington where he pledged: "I will make it a top priority in my first year as President ... because we have to finally bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows." I urge everyone who has an interest in immigration reform to do everything they can to help Senator Obama to become President and finally bring so many out of the shadows.
Rusten Hurd, Esq.
ID and I must be watching two McCains (see 09/17/08 ID comment). The McCain that I have been listening to and watching has changed position on nearly every subject including immigration, at least twice. This is no longer the McCain that was for a sensible immigration policy. This McCain has been insistent on "securing our borders first". This McCain needs his base. His base is anti-immigration and very harsh to immigration. The 1996 McCain base led by Newt Gingrich was equally harsh and the effects of their exhibition of power and might are still being felt all over the immigrant and immigration landscape. This was notwithstanding the fact that Bill Clinton was President. How could ID have forgotten so soon?
The current slight majority of Democrats in Congress is completely ineffective because the neocon minority in Congress has completely paralyzed them. There is not much they can do with such a slim majority. Why would a rapidly becoming neocon McCain want to give congressional Democrats something they can claim to have won? Why would a McCain want immigration as his major achievement considering the sharp opposition of his base to immigration? Why would a
Congress dominated by Democrats find it so hard to work immigration into its
four major policy interests according to ID? Why are two bodies (Congress and Presidency) that are perfectly aligned on this issue more dysfunctional than two bodies that cannot be said to be in agreement on this issue. How can we base our decision on the twilight, if not dimmer chance that McCain will
stab his neocon base in the back? How can any immigration practitioner advocate what is obviously very deadly to our business? This analysis is not only shallow; it appears there is something else that ID is not telling us. Be courageous. Say it.
Joseph St. Daniel, Esq.
I agree that, for purposes of desperately needed immigration reform, a Democratic Congress and a McCain White House is our best hope (see 09/17/08 ID comment). I disagree, however, that the Bush era has been the worst in memory for immigration advocates. If my memory serves me faithfully, both IIRIRA and AEDPA were signed into law by President Clinton without so much as the counterfeit of a struggle. The problems our clients face today is not the enactment of new and tougher immigration laws. Rather, it is the rigorous and often over-zealous enforcement of existing laws enacted under a Democratic president and a Republican Congress. In so far as Senator McCain's other plans for our country if elected president, to quote ID, his wanting to stay "in Iraq for 100 years", "not seeing health care crisis" and wanting to "drill all over the map", seems more like an 'Obama in 08' pitch rather than a critical analysis of whom would be best suited to actually lead. It's therefore a bit hard to take those sorts of comments seriously, don't you think?
A better comparison might be that McCain has already presented an immigration reform plan, with great bilateral support, fought his own party for it and has a sound grasp of the problem whereas Obama has yet to even articulate a solid position on the subject, let alone a viable solution. In my opinion, it is better to have fought and lost than to have surrendered without a fight.
Samuel D. Blanco, Esq.
I cannot help but respond to ID's editorial (09/17/08 ID comment). I agree with ID's conclusion. My Democrat immigration attorneys need to come to the same conclusion, however, given the other issues on their agendas believe they will forsake immigration for the others. As to ID's representations of McCain's position on all the other issues, ID is so far off base it is almost laughable. Maybe ID was trying to be funny, but I take offense to any false presentation of positions in a critical election. Shame on ID.
Joel H. Paget, Esq.
My guess is that if McCain is elected, Washington will be so embroiled in conflicts over all the other issues that immigration reform legislation will go on the back burner (see 09/17/08 comment). Moreover, the extreme wing of the Republican Party (symbolized by Palin) will undermine any reform efforts by McCain. Aside from that, a McCain and possibly Palin presidency will unleash forces on the Right on many issues, not only immigration, that will blur over into scapegoating immigrants even more than at present for our economic woes, crime rates, etc. In short, disaster.
Now ID and its group of lawyers are entering into politics, perhaps in an attempt to agitate the illegals here in our USA to assert their "rights" (see 09/17/08 ID comment). Contrary to ID's statement that the Bush administration did not aid and abet, and try in every way to give them amnestry, the facts indicate otherwise.
This is in response to ID's presidential political analysis (09/17/08 ID comment): the worst case scenario is that the Democratically controlled Congress reintroduces the McCain-Kennedy (in honor of Ted Kennedy) immigration bill prior to the election. This forces McCain to either support it, alienating the Republicans or to oppose it, flip-flopping from his previous stance. The bill dies, never to be reconsidered again. The worst case scenario.
I know that the new citizens who are the immigrants of yesterday has the upper hand but this is not going to changed the bigotry and fear of some of the congressmen and senator per se (09/17/08 ID comment). We need this bill but the balance that it will pass is not weighing well.
Gladys C. Farris
McCain has totally succumbed to the right wing of his party (09/17/08 ID comment). His maverick days are long gone. ID's speculation that he will have the incentive to buck his party on anything is pure speculation. Furthermore, he will appoint sufficient right wing judges that ID can forget about any pro-immigrant decisions.
I never really cared too much about politics and most especially, the Presidential election (09/17/08 ID comment). The reason being, I have yet to earn my right to vote. Members of my family are lifelong Democrats, they admire and respect the former President, Bill Clinton and his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton. They have considered supporting Senator Obama, just so Democrats can take back the White House. I first noticed John McCain in one of the early Primary Debates, when the likes of Tom Tancredo, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee were so determined not only to drive away undocumented immigrants but to strip them of their basic human rights and needs. In the midst of all those people, he said one phrase that will stick with me for the rest of my life and made him my hero. John McCain said "we have to remember, they are God's children as well". These men were criticizing him for sponsoring the bill that will give the undocumented a decent life and a possible shot at the American dream. He did not waiver, he stood up for the voiceless, most powerless people in the US, so they could come out of the shadows and build a better life for them and their families. I researched everything that I can about him, learned about his life and his courage especially his time in Hanoi, Vietnam where he was a POW for more than 5 years. He served his country since then, becoming the next President will enable him to serve us all and I mean not just the Americans, the legal immigrants, but all of us.
For the pending bills in congress, would ID please include the link of websites where we can direct our letters to congressmen(women) or senators. I think, this would be helpful to a lot of people (09/16/08 ID comment).
Editor's note: Our Comment urged immigration advocates to contact their local newspapers and television stations and explain why immigration is good for America, we continue to urge our readers to reach out to local media contacts.
I was amused by ID's comment that it would take most of a President Obama's first term to deal with the Iraq war, universal health care, budget/taxes, and energy policy (09/17/08 ID). I am not sure there are politically acceptable solutions to any of those problems, regardless of which party is in the White House or how much time is spent on them. But there are critical problems that can be solved. For instance, the new administration can work with the Congress on preparing USCIS and the FBI to deal with a legalization program. Without adequate preparation, legalization almost certainly will produce unconscionably long delays on all benefits applications. Of course, the applications could be processed without significant review or real background checks, but that essentially would be selling lawful status to anyone who can pay the application fees. Neither extreme is desirable.
I appreciate ID's analysis of the possible outcomes of the two presidential campaigns with respect to immigration reform (09/17/08 ID comment). I can only say, "damned if we do and damned if we don't".
I am appalled that ID would encourage its subscribers to vote for McCain; how incredibly short-sighted (09/17/08 ID comment). Obama is an all-around progressive and will be much better for immigrants (and non-immigrants for that matter) in the long run. While I agree that immigration will not likely be a priority for the new Obama administration in the first year, I completely disagree that McCain will make it a priority right away. He has essentially renounced his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform and has said that he was wrong about pushing for it.
So, you tell us that we have to hope to see Mc Cain in the White house? (09/17/08 ID comment). This election will be decided in five states, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida. Beside Ohio, all the other state has a big latino population. If Obama win in Colorado, New Mexico in Ohio is already leading) will have to pay back the latino voters, which means that he will need to pay back what he got.
I have been reading ID comments for several years and i must tell you that your political bias is obvious. while writing as a "commentator" allows ID this ability, your comments are often without basis and over the top. Today's comments (09/17/08 ID) push the limit.
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