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  1. Give DREAMers a break, hardliners a bone with GOP immigration bill. By Nolan Rappaport


    It has been more than 30 years since the passage of the last comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The main reason for this, probably, is the fact that the Democrats have refused to go along with the Republican demand for effective interior enforcement of our immigration laws.

    IRCA was based on an agreement to create a legalization program for undocumented immigrants who already were in the country in return for interior enforcement measures that would prevent a new group of undocumented immigrants from taking the place of the ones being legalized.

    The Democrats got a legalization program, but the enforcement measures the Republicans were supposed to get were never fully implemented.

    Ö..

    Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has provided the Democrats with a chance to show that they are ready again to accept a bill that includes effective enforcement measures. He has introduced a bill that combines serious enforcement provisions the Republicans want with benefit provisions the Democrats want.

    To read the rest of the article, go to Ė
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...dliners-a-bone

    Published originally on The Hill.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    About the Author
    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as the immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.

    Updated 01-12-2017 at 10:19 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. What immigration enforcement measures is the Senate planning to legislate in 2017? By Nolan Rappaport


    AL.COM / JOHN SHARP
    Senator Jeff Sessions

    The chairman of the
    Immigration and the National Interest Subcommittee, Senator Jeff Sessions, provides an Immigration Handbook for his Republican colleagues on his website
    . It describes immigration problems that the Senate should address and suggests the following enforcement measures.

    The Obama Administration is leaving President Elect Donald Trump with an immigration court crisis that the handbook does not address. During the month of October, the courtís backlog reached 521,676 cases, which made the average wait for a hearing 675 days. Congress needs to address this crisis or assist President Elect Trump in forcing undocumented aliens out of the country without deportation proceedings, such as with the stipulated-removal program that President George W. Bush used in 2004.

    I suggest a legalization program to reduce the number of cases in immigration court and the population of deportable aliens generally. It could be limited to undocumented immigrants who pass extreme vetting.


    • Mandatory E-Verify to protect American jobs and wages.


    While it is not possible now to deport millions of undocumented aliens, it is possible to make staying here less desirable. For instance, most of them come because employment is available here. This is referred to as ďthe job magnet.Ē Employer sanctions were established in 1986 by the Immigration Reform and Control Act to make it more difficult for undocumented immigrants to find employers willing to hire them. E-Verify is a voluntary, Internet-based system for determining whether prospective foreign employees are authorized to work in the United States. It was established originally in 1997, as the Basic Pilot Program. These programs have never been implemented on a large-scale, nationwide basis, and I doubt that they ever will be.

    Prakash Khatri and I have proposed focusing on a different magnet, the fact that it is so easy for American employers to exploit undocumented foreign workers. Thatís what draws unscrupulous employers to unauthorized workers. With additional resources, the Labor Department could address employee exploitation purely as a labor issue by targeting industries that are known to exploit undocumented foreign workers using its authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


    • Ending tax credit and welfare payments to illegal immigrants.


    This would make it difficult for undocumented immigrants who cannot find work to stay here, but I suspect that the failure to deal with these problems is due more to lack of funding to implement current legislation than it is to a need for additional legislation.


    • Closing asylum and refugee loopholes.


    One of the problems with asylum grants is that the immigration judges are not applying a uniform standard. TRACís report, Judge-by-Judge Asylum Decisions in Immigration Courts FY2009-2014, shows extreme discrepancies in the grant-rates of the immigration judges. An asylum seeker might have only a 15% change of being granted asylum all the way up to a 71% chance depending on the particular judge assigned to hear the case. The Board of Immigration Appeals is supposed to deal with such problems. If Senator Sessions becomes the Attorney General, he will have authority to replace current Board members with new ones who can ensure uniformity in asylum grants.

    President Elect Trump will have sole authority under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to set the number of refugees. He will be required to consult Congress, but he will not need its approval.


    • Cancelling federal funds to sanctuary cities.


    Senator Sessions is referring to cities that have adopted measures that seek to thwart federal efforts to identify and apprehend unlawfully present aliens within their jurisdictions. Sanctuary cities face the risk of losing billions of dollars. Consequently, the Trump Administration should be able to succeed in ending this practice with support from Congress.


    • Empowering local officials to coordinate with ICE officers.


    Unless the immigration court backlog crisis is resolved, this would just increase the number of apparently deportable aliens who cannot be deported.


    • Establishing criminal penalties for visa overstays.


    This would give aliens who overstay the right to counsel at government expense, which would be very expensive. Moreover, our federal criminal court system would not be able to accommodate such a large increase in its caseload. The latest available data show that prosecutions for illegal entry, illegal re-entry, and other criminal immigration violations accounted for 52% of all federal prosecutions in FY2016.


    • Ending catch-and-release on the border with mandatory detention and expedited deportations.


    This refers to the practice of processing undocumented aliens caught making illegal entries and then releasing them if they promise to return for their hearings. This is done because ICE does not have the facilities needed to detain them. Will the Republicans provide sufficient detention facilities? They have not been willing to do this in the past, and the numbers are much larger now with the present backlog in the immigration courts.


    • Suspension of visas to countries with high overstay rates or those that wonít repatriate criminal aliens.


    Overstay rates already are a basis for participation in the Visa Waiver Program(VWP). Nationals from non-VWP countries need visas, which are issued on a case-by-case basis. Although the visa overstay rate of an alienís country may be a factor, other factors might make overstaying too unlikely to warrant denying the visa application on that basis.

    Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes discontinuing visas to nationals of a country that does not accept or unreasonably delays the return of its nationals, but I do not think this authority has been used yet. And I do not think it would make much difference. In FY2015, ICE released 19,723 criminal aliens who were subject to final deportation orders and only 89 of these releases were the result of countries refusing to repatriate their criminal aliens.


    • Mandating completion of the exit-entry system.


    A fully implemented entry-exit tracking system would make it possible to compile lists of overstays, and this would be useful for determining whether Visa Waiver Program countries should be allowed to remain in the program. It, however, would not tell ICE where the overstays are located.


    Published originally on Huffington Post.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...=1481151544811

    About the Author
    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as the immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.










    Updated 12-07-2016 at 10:32 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Will the filibuster save the Democrats from an onslaught of Republican legislation? By Nolan Rappaport



    11/15/2016 07:05 pm ET


    MIKE REED

    The power of a Senator to block legislation

    The Republicans were able to hold on to their majorities in the House and the Senate, but that does not mean that the Democrats will be unable to stop an onslaught of Republican legislation. The Republicans only have 51 members in the Senate, and they will need a super majority of 60 votes to stop the Democrats from blocking legislation in the Senate with a filibuster. Ironically, though, it does not take a super-majority vote to lower the 60-member threshold to a simple majority.

    AP
    The Senate Rules provision that makes filibusters possible is paragraph 1(a) of Rule XIX, which states that:

    When a Senator desires to speak, he shall rise and address the Presiding Officer, and shall not proceed until he is recognized, and the Presiding Officer shall recognize the Senator who shall first address him. No Senator shall interrupt another Senator in debate without his consent, and to obtain such consent he shall first address the Presiding Officer, and no Senator shall speak more than twice upon any one question in debate on the same legislative day without leave of the Senate, which shall be determined without debate.

    With some exceptions, Rule XIX permits Senators who have been recognized to speak indefinitely, and the Senate cannot vote on a bill if any senator wants to be recognized to debate it. Filibusters, however, can be stopped by a cloture motion. Also, Rule XIX provides that, “no Senator shall speak more than twice upon any one question in debate on the same legislative day without leave of the Senate, which shall be determined without debate.” This is called, “the two-speech rule.”

    How does a filibuster work?


    When a senator has been recognized, he can begin a filibuster with a long speech. When the first Senator concludes his speech and yields the floor, another Senator will seek recognition and continue the debate. The debate can proceed in this way until all the participating Senators have made their two speeches on the pending question. Then the filibustering senators can offer an amendment or make some other motion to start a new debate and continue their filibuster on the new topic.

    If a bill is particularly important to the majority, the majority leader might be willing to invest the days or even weeks that can be required to out wait a filibuster. Another consideration is the amount of business that the Senate has to complete. In the first months of a session, there may be very little business that is ready for Senate floor consideration. In that situation, an extended filibuster will not prevent the Senate from timely action on other legislation. This changes near the end of a session when time is running out.

    Cloture


    Cloture was adopted by the Senate Rules Committee on March 8, 1917 to permit the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote. In 1975, the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture to three-fifths, which is 60 votes. The cloture procedures are governed by paragraphs 2 and 3 of Rule XXII. A cloture motion will say, “We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate upon [the matter in question].” The Senate will vote on the cloture motion one hour after it convenes on the second calendar day after the cloture motion was filed.

    The Democrats were thinking about reducing the 60-vote cloture threshold for Supreme Court nominees if Hillary Clinton had been elected.


    Before Clinton lost the election, Democratic Senator Harry Reid said that Democrats should curtail the filibuster if they were to win the White House and Senate only to run up against persistent use of the tactic by Republicans. He claimed that he had laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate.


    During a Huffington Post interview on October 28, 2016, vice presidential candidate Time Kaine said, “I was in the Senate when the Republicans’ stonewalling around appointments caused Senate Democratic majority to switch the vote threshold on appointments from 60 to 51. And we did it on everything but a Supreme Court justice.”


    Kaine was referring to the fact that in November 2013, then Senate Majority Leader Reid pushed through a change in Senate rules that reduced the threshold from 60 votes to 51 votes to end a filibuster blocking Senate approval of executive and judicial nominees. The Senate voted 52 to 48 to change the rules by rejecting the opinion of the presiding officer that a super majority was required to invoke cloture. According to Reid, “To the average American, adapting the rules to make Congress work again is just common sense. This is not about Democrats versus Republicans. This is about making Washington work — regardless of who’s in the White House or who controls the Senate.”


    Will the Republicans reduce the 60-vote cloture threshold to a simple majority to be able to stop filibusters in the 2017 session?


    Maybe not. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that America expects results, which will require Democratic cooperation. McConnell is a strong believer in the traditions and practices of the Senate, and he believes that the filibuster is crucial to protecting the rights of the minority. “I don’t think we should act as if we’re going to be in the majority forever.” But this is not a guarantee. If the Democrats block President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee or important legislation, McConnell could face great pressure to reduce the 60-vote cloture threshold to a simple majority.


    Initially published on Huffington Post.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...=1479312982009


    About the Author
    Nolan Rappaport
    was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as the immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.







    Updated 11-16-2016 at 11:20 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Schumer is wrong; if Hillary Clinton is elected, immigration reform will be impossible. by Nolan Rappaport

    WASHINGTON TIMES

    In an interview with CNBCís John Harwood, Senator Charles Schumer said that his Schumer-McCain immigration reform bill passed the Senate by a vote of 68-32. According to Schumer, in the next congress, the mainstream conservatives in the Senate and House, who are a majority, will say to the 50 congressmen on the hard right who seem to tie things in a knot, to go take a hike. Schumer, Clinton, and Ryan have all said that they will support immigration reform and some kind of international tax reform if it is tied to a large infrastructure program.

    The Senate has passed two major immigration reform bills, but both were opposed by a majority of the Senate Republicans. On May 25, 2006, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, S. 2611, with a vote of 62 yeas and 36 nays. Only 23 Republican senators voted for it; the other 32 Republicans and four Democrats voted against it. On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S. 744, with 68 yeas and 32 nays. This time, only 14 of the Republicans voted for it; the other 32 voted against it. As could have been expected, both bills were dead on arrival when they reached the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

    I am only aware of one successful immigration reform bill that had such one-sided political support, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), which was an extremely harsh Republican bill. Ironically, IIRIRA was signed into law as part of a larger bill by Hillaryís husband, Bill. Billís formalstatement at the signing ceremony explicitly acknowledged that he was in favor of strengthening the rule of law by cracking down on illegal immigration. The pertinent part of his statement reads as follows:

    This bill, ... includes landmark immigration reform legislation that builds on our progress of the last three years. It strengthens the rule of law by cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, in the workplace, and in the criminal justice systemówithout punishing those living in the United States legally.

    The obstacle to comprehensive immigration reform today is that the Democrats and the Republicans have very different attitudes towards legalization. The Democrats believe that the 11 or so million undocumented aliens in the United States should have lawful status because they deserve it and it is the right thing to do. The Republicans, however, believe that the undocumented aliens are in the United States in violation of our laws and should be deported.

    But there is a way around that deadlock, the wipe-the-slate-clean deal that was the basis for the passage of the last comprehensive immigration reform bill thirty years ago, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Faced with the realization that the 2.7 million undocumented aliens in the United States at that time were never going to be deported, which is just as true about the 11 million undocumented aliens we have now, the Republicans agreed to legalize the undocumented aliens who were already in the United States in return for an enforcement program and a secure border that would prevent a new group of undocumented aliens from taking their place. The Democrats got their legalization program but the promised enforcement program was never implemented and the border was never secured. By the beginning of 1997, the 2.7 million legalized aliens had been replaced entirely by a new group of undocumented aliens.

    I believe that the Republicans would agree to the same deal now if they were assured that this time, they would get border security and interior enforcement before a legalization program is implemented. The problem is that the Republicans would never trust Hillary Clinton to implement interior enforcement and without interior enforcement, border security is impossible. Knowledge that an undocumented alien will not be deported once he has reached the interior of the country is a powerful magnet that will draw undocumented aliens here from all over the world. This would be particularly true of aliens who can come here under the Visa Waiver Program.

    At a Democratic Presidential Debate on March 9, 2016, Hillary Clinton said that if she is elected, she would not deport any undocumented alien children and she would only deport undocumented adult aliens who have criminal records. As president, she would enforce the immigration laws humanely by focusing resources on detaining and deporting immigrants who pose a violent threat to public safety. And she is still making these promises.

    Ironically, immigration reform would be possible if Donald Trump is elected. If he tries to carry out his promise to deport the 11 million undocumented aliens, which already has been whittled down to deporting the criminals ďand then weíll see,Ē he will come to the same realization that previous Republican leaders have faced. It canít be done. The Donald, however, is a proud man and he sees himself as a great deal maker. I would expect him to view bringing the two parties together on a comprehensive immigration reform bill as a great challenge. Being an experienced businessman, as opposed to being a politician, I would expect him to look for a compromise that would meet the essential needs of both parties instead of trying to achieve an outcome that would advance the agenda of his party. And he could be counted on to implement enforcement provisions and secure the border. My prediction is that the outcome would be a second Immigration Reform and Control Act, IRCA of 2017.

    Published originally in Huffington Post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...=1476841945194

    About the Author
    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as the immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.






    Updated 10-19-2016 at 05:55 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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