Obama Pelosi And CIR
Immigration advocates have been concerned about the priority that President
Obama assigns to immigration. A New York Times report dated January 10th
said "On issues like immigration and climate change, Mr. Obama may focus on
narrow moves first." A more recent report in the Arizona Daily Star dated
January 18th says "the consensus is that the economic crisis will put
immigration on the back burner until late this year or early 2010." All this
has led to the anti-immigrationists gleefully crowing that "The outlook for
[CIR] is so bleak that even Obama's 'immigration transition team' — two law
professors, Tino Cuellar of Stanford University and Georgetown's Alexander
Aleinikoff — has nothing to say."
However, we have consistently held that it is Congress which makes laws, and
that the Obama administration's priorities would serve as guidelines only
for Congress, nothing more. So lets take a look at where the Senate and the
House stand. Since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago, the
Senate twice tried to enact significant benefits - once with CIR vide
Kennedy-Kyl, and once with DREAM. Both times, the Senate failed to achieve
cloture (unlike the situation four years ago, when the Senate succeeded in
passing McCain-Kennedy), but still, at least the Senate tried. In the
current Congress, Senate Majority Leader Reid has already signaled
immigration to be a top-ten priority and introduced a place holder bill. The
contrast with the House is marked. With Ms. Lofgren as chair of the House
immigration subcommittee, few hearings and fewer markups of any immigration
benefits bills proceeded even in subcommittee, and there was no floor vote.
In the current Congress, Rep. Lofgren has apparently been silent on
Now comes news that Rep. Lofgren has been promoted to Chair the House
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. It is possible that Speaker
Pelosi will permit Ms. Lofgren to keep her gavel at the Immigration
subcommittee despite the effects of her promotion on Ms. Lofgren's time and energy.
This would be unfortunate, for two independent reasons. Firstly, it may
signal that the House Democratic leadership has decided that not much effort
will be needed in the immigration subcommittee in this Congress, thereby
permitting Ms. Lofgren to wear both hats without unduly straining her - in
this case, the House Hispanic Caucus may well see this as a declaration of
war on immigrants by the Democratic leadership. Secondly, Ms. Pelosi has two
much better options readily at hand, both to send a message of friendship to
an important part of her caucus, and to free up Ms. Lofgren for her
now-loftier responsibilities as full Committee chair. These alternatives are
Ms. Jackson-Lee or Mr. Gutierrez as House Immigration Subcomittee chair.
Both are stalwart champions for legalization, and it is quite likely that
the House will become a hot bed of activity on the legalization front once
either of these two takes the gavel.
We urge the Democratic leadership in the White House, and both Chambers of
Congress to take heed of recent analysis of the November 2008 election which
shows that "according to exit poll data, Obama actually performed about
seven points worse among Hispanics in Colorado than did Kerry" and that the
Upper Midwest appears to be trending Republican. The Hispanic vote continues
to be important to Democratic victories, and it will be absolutely pivotal once
the country's honeymoon with Mr. Obama fades into a memory. Acting on
immigration benefits without delay is necessary if winning in elections is
the goal, replacing the now-promoted Ms. Lofgren with a more activist
Immigration Subcommittee chair is a good idea for pragmatic Democrats.
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Cyrus D. Mehta writes "When a noncitizen who is in violation of status, by overstaying a visa or entering without inspection, is placed in removal proceedings, at issue is whether an Immigration Judge (IJ) can grant adjournments until such time that he or she is eligible for adjustment of status through the approval of a visa petition or labor certification application."
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Greg Siskind shares the latest entries as of January 14, 2009 on his immigration law and policy blog.
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President Obama Halts Regulations
Rahmn Emanuel on behalf of President Obama issued a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies requesting that all new or pending regulations be halted.
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I have long said that CIR was a buzzword for amnesty and Thomas Roach's excellent article (01/21/09 ID) is verification of that position. But we need more than CIR, America's immigration laws should be totally rewritten, not patched and bandaged to accomodate the whims of special interest groups or pork barrel politicians pandering for the ethnic vote. I understand and sympathize with the plight of the 12-million illegals present in the US, but I do not advocate an amnesty as proposed - it failed in 2008 for good reason. Although noble in its intent, the amnesty proposed by Mr. Roach and others, requiring that the applicant: (1) prove a strong work history in the US; (2) prove payment of all back taxes, (3) have no serious criminal history, (4) have no serious immigration violations, (5) learn some English, (6) pay a significant fine, and (7) be required to go to the back of the immigration waiting line before attaining legal status simply will not work. First, it will not work because if we send these people to the back of the line, it will be decades before they legalize, and what will we do with them in the meantime? Second, the payment of back taxes will probably eliminate 50 to 75% of them, and proving a "strong work history" in the US is so subjective as to create nothing but bureaucratic confusion. If we are going to have an amnesty, just have one simple form, a self-petition, accompanied by payroll records from a US employer for three months prior to application showing taxes were paid, do a criminal background check and give them a green card. Then, write the law to say there will never again be an amnesty and enforce our immigration laws. It is really just that simple.
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
I'd like to remind folks here, none is immune from the competition locally or globally, yes, include who brag themselves as Mohawk Americans, or First Nations people (01/21/09 ID). US or Canadian citizenships are not a sure guarantee for good jobs with good salary and entitlements and rights to restrict other human beings who happened to be born in India or China not to be able to market their labor and skills for better compensation globally from any willing buyers and consumers. None should have right to establish labor monopoly and restrict free competition to jack up their salaries and rip off consumers in general.
Competition should exist so none should take anything for granted, including just being a lucky Mohawk American.Vigorous worksite enforcement is the answer for preventing illegal immigration not walls not jailing people, we make employers to pay fines and compensate their undocumented workers including the cost to travel back to their home countries, but we must get real that sending back 12 millions people means 12 millions less consumers, tax payers and workers, mean many businesses will close down, many banks, restaurants, groceries etc. will lose businesses. What we need here is a common sense workable solution that I will write in my next letters.
Contrary to the R. Algase Letter of Jan.
21st, the correct interpretation of the 14th Amd. is that an illegal alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is her baby. The Supreme Court confirmed this
restricted interpretation of citizenship in the "Slaughter-House cases" [83 US 36 (1873) and 112 US 94 (1884)]. In Elk v.Wilkins, the claimant was considered not an American citizen because the
law required him to be "not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the US, but completely subject to their political
jurisdiction and owing them direct and immediate allegiance". The Court
essentially stated that the status of the parents determines the
citizenship of the child. This is only common sense. To qualify children
for birthright citizenship, based on the 14th Amd., parents must owe
"direct and immediate allegiance" to the US and be "completely subject"
to its jurisdiction. In other words, they must be US citizens. In 1889,
the Wong Kim Ark Supreme Court case once again concluded that the status
of the parents was crucial in determining the citizenship of the child.
The current misinterpretation of the 14th Amd. is based in part upon the
presumption that the Wong Kim Ark ruling encompassed illegal aliens. In
fact, it did not address this, but rather determined an allegiance for
legal immigrant parents based on the meaning of the word domicile. Since
illegal alien parents do not have legal domicile in the US, the ruling
clearly did not extend birthright citizenship to children of illegal
alien parents, rather the ruling strengthened the original intent of the
14th Amd. which was not to facilitate illegal aliens defying US law and
obtaining citizenship for their families, nor obtaining benefits at
taxpayer expense. Congress should clarify this to stop the abuse.
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