I disagree with Immigration Daily's June 9, 2003, editorial introduction to the correspondence between immigration attorney Greg Siskind and an individual named Rob Sanchez. Sanchez apparently runs a website addressing issues relating to H1-B visas, and does not hesitate to venture into ad hominem attacks based on hate, anti-Semitism, anti-immigration, and animosity towards AILA. Ordinarily, I am too busy working on immigration issues and trying to achieve justice under the current law, to get involved in this level of questionable diatribe. I dare to presume that many of my colleagues feel the same. However, the tone and content of Immigration Daily's editorial comments on June 9, 2003, and the underlying "point-counterpoint" warrant a response.
First, whatever one thinks of capitalism, the hateful rantings of "Rob Sanchez" in the exchange between Siskind and Sanchez are hysterical and objectionable. Apart from the merits of the exchange, Sanchez describes Siskind as the "enemy" and identifies Siskind by presuming to know his income and his religion.
Second, for what its worth, Siskind "bit" and responded, sharing his personal reasons for practicing immigration law, and proceeded with a lecture about his view of the benefits of capitalism and libertarianism. He also went on and explained his personal views about his family background and his faith. He concluded with a discussion endorsing George W. Bush, Milton Friedman, and libertarianism.
I do not agree with the views expressed by either Siskind or Sanchez, and I dare say, hopefully, the positions represented do not define the views of the majority of Immigration Daily readers, immigration practitioners, AILA, or those interested in immigration. I also do not presume to suggest to Immigration Daily what it might feature in its e-pages. However, I do take issue with Immigration Daily's editorial endorsement of the position of Greg Siskind (and, by default, Siskind's anti-immigration opponent) in the debate it has chosen to feature and the way in which it has chosen to feature it.
Specifically, Immigration Daily declares that "many opposed to the H-1B visa are in fact socialists" and congratulates "Mr. Siskind. . . . [for bringing out] this oft-ignored point in detail and color." Having decided to publish the exchange, Immigration Daily misses the point and unfortunately and inappropriately further politicizes the issue.
The question of whether support for H-1B status is or is not a mainstream position, or a view endorsed by established or prominent practitioners (as representative of the views of the immigration practitioner community), does not turn on whether one ultimately holds a view supportive of capitalism or socialism -- it certainly does not reflect whether one is a libertarian or a socialist. There are, undoubtedly, important issues related to H1-B status that warrant consideration, but whether one is a socialist or a capitalist are not among them. For example, issues of educational and corporate training opportunities for US citizens, including scholarships or aid enabling poor people or those released from prison after serving felony sentences to enter college, obtain scholarships, or study IT and other skills that may be in demand, are certainly important points that merit attention.
The Immigration Daily editorial highlights what it apparently believes to be the fact that "many anti-immigrationists, including those opposed to the H-1B visa, are in fact socialists." What are you doing Immigration Daily? Do you wish to introduce or support the re-introduction of the McCarthyism of the 1950s as an adjunct to the current Bush administration policies? It is not such a long road from here to there. From your prior editorial positions, I cannot believe that is the case. There is absolutely no basis to take such a position, unless you are willing to swallow wholesale the "Rob Sanchez" view that only "socialists," ie, bad, 'evil' people, would oppose an H1-B program and only libertarians or pro-capitalists would support it.
Lory Diana Rosenberg
Defending Immigrants Partnership, National Legal Aid and Defender Association
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