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Senators Durbin and Grassley have succeeded in slipping in a number of foolish protectionist provisions in S.744 that will impose all sorts of new taxes and disruptive restrictions that will make the H-1B program a lot less efficient. The provisions will also probably result in the US being sued under the GATS, the world trade in services treaty. The National Foundation on American Policy has a new report warning of the consequences of some of these proposed changes.
From the National Immigration Law Center:
Court Rejects Alabama's Request to Review the State's Anti-immigrant Law
Eleventh Circuit Appeals
Court Ruling Blocking Law's Criminalizing Acts of Kindness Remains in Place
The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the state of Alabama's request to review
a provision of the state's anti-immigrant law that was blocked by the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit last year.
In February, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange petitioned the Supreme
Court to consider the provision of the law that criminalizes neighborly acts of
kindness, or Section 13, the "harboring and transporting" provision. This
provision criminalized individuals who engaged in routine daily activities with
The circuit court has blocked most of Alabama's anti-immigrant law as
unconstitutional, including provisions that would have chilled Latino student
access to Alabama elementary schools.
Last summer, the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona's SB 1070, which
served as a model for the Alabama law. The Court ruled that much of the Arizona
law was unconstitutional because it interfered with federal authority over
"The Supreme Court has rightly struck another nail in the coffin of laws that
attempt to sanction racial profiling," said Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for
the National Immigration Law Center. "Alabama's legislators, both at the state
and at the federal levels should take note: they, like the rest of the country,
should move forward, not backward, to bring our immigration laws in line with
our societal and economic needs."
"The Supreme Court's decision to not hear the case was expected," said
Sam Brooke, staff attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "The high court
invalidated most of Arizona's immigration law last year, stating unequivocally
that immigration is a federal issue and states may not create their own
enforcement schemes. That is why the lower courts already blocked Alabama's
law." Mr. Brooke further noted, "We need meaningful and comprehensive
immigration reform from Washington, D.C. Hopefully the lessons learned from
H.B. 56 will motivate Congress to act quickly to address this pressing issue."
Court made the right decision not to hear this case," said Cecillia Wang,
director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "All the lower federal courts
- and the court of public opinion - have said no to divisive state laws like
this one, and Americans have moved on to support immigration reform that
creates a new common sense immigration system."
The Eleventh Circuit has also blocked the following provisions of the law:
10, which criminalized failing to register one's immigration status
(blocked by the Eleventh Circuit);
11(a), which criminalized the solicitation of work (blocked by the
11(f) and (g), which criminalized day laborers' first amendment right to
solicit work (blocked by the District Court in Birmingham and not
27, which infringed on the ability of individuals to contract with someone
who was undocumented (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit);
28, which requires the immigration verification of newly enrolled K-12
students (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit).
Today's order from the Supreme Court came in the
parallel case of United
States v. Alabama, but the provisions were also challenged by
private plaintiffs in HICA
v. Bentley. The civil rights organizations involved in HICA v. Bentley, the
class-action challenge to Alabama's anti-immigrant law, include the Southern
Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama,
the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American
Justice Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the
National Day Laborers' Organizing Network, and LatinoJustice-PRLDEF.
House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Immigration Subcommittee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) held a joint press briefing today to announce they would not wait on the House Gang of Eight and would consider individual immigration bills on different aspects of reform. Goodlatte's move is expected to put pressure on the House negotiators to accelerate their work an introduce their bill in the next few weeks.
Whether the Judiciary Committee will vote to provide a path to citizenship is far from clear. But Senator McCain made it clear to the House that they shouldn't bother passing immigration reform without a path to citizenship as that would not be acceptable to the Senate.
The Senate, in the mean time, is ready to move in to mark up mode. Senator Leahy has said they'll start on May 9th and amendments are due in on the 7th.
As strong as Marco Rubio has been on pushing immigration reform in the Senate, former VP presidential candidate Paul Ryan looks to exceed those efforts in the House, according to this by Benjy Sarlin in Talking Points Memo.
The Cato folks have posted the video of the program at the Capitol today in which I participated. I talked about sections of the bill I liked that the media hasn't discussed. Alex and Tim, the other panelists talked about the guest worker provisions as well as why immigration reform is important to protecting our homeland security. I was getting over a pretty bad cold so if my voice sounds off a bit, you'll know why.