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  1. California Republicans Embrace Immigration Reform to Survive. By Roger Algase

    While House Republicans are busy pandering to Tea Party anti-immigrant bigotry, a different message for the GOP is coming out of California. An August 19 POLITICO article: California Republicans turn to immigration to fight extinction starts off:

    "Republicans in Washington are taking a piecemeal approach to immigration reform - a strategy that could give the party's most polarizing figures a month's long platform to pop off about illegal immigrants.

    California Republicans have a much different line: Shut up and get it done.

    The divide boils down to simple math for California Republicans, who know they can't win elections here without the support of Hispanic voters.

    11 of the 15 districts held by Republicans are a quarter or more Hispanic - and some of them are prime targets for Democrats who need 17 seats to take back the House in 2014.

    But Republican leaders in Washington also face a much different picture nationwide: More than 100 GOP districts have close to no Hispanic voters.

    So while some Republicans in Washington might argue that there's no need to tackle reform with a pathway to citizenship, California Republicans believe they must - or face extinction."

    POLITICO goes on to quote Ruben Barrales, a former adviser to President George W. Bush who is now the head of Grow Elect, an organization dedicated to electing minority candidates across the state, as follows:

    "I cringe when I hear certain members speak."

    POLITICO continues:

    "Lesson One: Shut up about border security."

    The article also quotes Barrales as saying that Republicans should be focusing on the positive with immigration, and how it is making America stronger and California one of the best places to live. He also says that by the end of 2013, Hispanics will outnumber whites in California.

    The link is:

    dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=BA3059A4-93FD-4B08-95D9-D3325E1CD395

    Some California Republicans (though not all - Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who represents a rich conservative district in Orange County, is staunchly opposed to reform and others are sitting on the fence) are getting the message that America is becoming a more diverse country, in which white voters no longer call all the shots.

    When will that message get through to the House Republicans in Washington? Will it get through in time to save CIR?






    Updated 08-19-2013 at 09:17 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Is CIR a Communist Plot? A New Zealand Tea Party Supporter Thinks So. By Roger Algase

    As long as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is around to refer to Latino immigrants as dogs and "drug mules", there will be no shortage of homegrown lunacy in the movement to kill immigration reform. But even the most dedicated US citizen immigrant-haters may have to look overseas if they want to find real talent in their specialty.

    If there were such a thing as an extraordinary ability visa for anti-immigrant bigotry, a good place to look for someone who might qualify as being among the few at the very top of his field would be Christchurch, New Zealand, the home of far right firebrand writer and US Tea Party supporter Trevor Loudon.

    Loudon, it seems, has made a "discovery" about US immigration reform which even its most rabid opponents (to borrow from Steve King's use of canine imagery) in the US seem to have overlooked: it is all a Communist plot.

    Writing on a site called gulagbound.com Loudon offers his 'insight' into where the support for immigration reform is coming from. His title is self-explanatory: Communists Push 'Immigration Reform' - Only the Tea Party Can Stop Them

    Citing what he claims to be a July 1 CPUSA National Committee report supporting CIR, Loudon writes:

    "Why is the Communist Party so hell-bent on 'immigration reform'? Because they understand that Latinos vote at least 70% Democrat. That 12 million more Latino voters will turn the entire Southwest, including Texas , into an impregnable Democratic party stronghold.

    That will effectively turn the United States of America into a Democratic one-party state -
    for all time.

    As the Communists and Socialists effectively control the Democratic party, it will be game over for liberty...

    The Tea Party CAN AND MUST stop this treasonous deal going through."
    (Emphasis in the original.)

    The public statements against reform by anti-immigrant House Republicans may be somewhat more restrained. But Trevor Loudon's rants may express the bitter hostility to CIR that they, or at least their Tea Party constituents, feel better than anything than even Steve King might be willing to say in public.

    It is also not a coincidence that during the civil rights era, one of the most common canards leveled against Martin Luther King and many other opponents of racial segregation was that they were allegedly carrying out a Communist agenda. King, especially, was subjected to severe harassment by FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover.

    This is only one of many similarities between the fight for equality and human rights for Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern and black immigrants now, and the battle for justice and equality for African-Americans a half century ago, which is also still continuing in the face of white supremacist opposition.

    Updated 08-19-2013 at 07:42 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. CIR vs. RRR {Republican Right Racism): Which Will Prevail? By Roger Algase

    If immigration supporters ever hope to see comprehensive reform go into effect, they cannot continue to ignore or downplay the elephant in the room which is blocking reform now. That elephant has a name - Republican Right Racism ("RRR"). If this sounds unkind, impolite or politically incorrect, so be it. But that is the reality.

    Immigration advocates would like to give House Republicans the benefit of the doubt - to pretend that their insistence on doing reform "piecemeal", their constant postponements of taking up reform on the House floor, their anxiety to avoid any conference with the Senate, are all merely different paths to the ultimate goal of reform. But how much longer can we continue to fool ourselves and pull the wool over our own eyes?

    The battle over reform is not about process, tactics or strategy. It is about whether 11 million brown-skinned people will be allowed to stay legally in the United States, and to do so on terms which will put them on a path to eventual citizenship and full equality.

    Accomplishing this would require confronting and overcoming a long history of racism and white supremacy going back to America's beginnings, as investigative reporter and author Robert Parry argues in his July 12 article in consortiumnews.com Ignoring the GOP's White Racism.

    Parry describes how America's white slaveholding aristocracy was able to make Jeffersonian "small government" democracy the basis of the Constitution in order to preserve its privileges against a Federal government led by people who looked toward the eventual end of slavery. He also describes how, as we all know, this eventually led to secession from the Federal government followed by the Civil war, and then to the Southern "states rights" movement during the time of racial segregation and oppression lasting up the 1960's civil rights era.

    He then describes how the Nixon "Southern strategy" ushered in the modern era of Republican support for white supremacy under the code words "small government conservatism", and how this undercurrent of racism is continuing today in the form of opposition to any kind of federal action which would benefit large numbers of non-whites, such as the Affordable Care Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

    (One might even include the GOP's fanatic opposition to abortion in this category, as so many African-American and Latino women are served by the clinics which the Republicans are trying to close down in state after state.)

    Parry writes:

    "Yes, but the 'receding roar of a white America' [referring to a phrase used by New York Times columnist David Brooks] is, in a sense, what we have been hearing about for most of the nation's history, as whites have engaged in genocide against Native Americans and kept African-Americans first in bondage and then in a de facto second class citizenship. One could add to this ugly picture the discriminatory treatment toward Hispanics along the Southern border and against Asian-Americans, mostly in the West...

    Yes, it may be true that today's demographic numbers are making it harder for racist whites to continue to impose their will on the country, but it could also be argued that white supremacy has never been as endangered as it is today. Which would explain why today's white anger is so white-hot...

    So one should not assume that the Republican Right will not try to create a Second Jim Crow era by gerrymandering congressional districts, spending vast sums on propaganda, and suppressing minority votes through ID laws and other subterfuges."

    Preventing millions of non-white people from remaining and working legally, and from ever becoming US citizens; militarizing the Southern border to stop new immigrants from arriving, forcing millions of Latino, Asian, African and Caribbean immigrants to "self-deport" by denying them legalization and work permits, and. above all keeping "D&D", the detention and deportation machine, running in high gear, are all part of the larger strategy of preserving Republican Right Racism.

    RRR is the real reason why CIR may fail. RRR will also turn all its guns (no pun intended) on Plan B if the Obama administration tries to promote racial equality through legalization by executive action.

    To be continued.



    Updated 08-18-2013 at 02:27 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Federal Judge Chastises USCIS..... again !

    In what has become a common occurrence, a Federal judge has spared no feelings in decrying a decision taken by a USCIS agency. The latest was the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals wherein the Court stated of the USCIS agency action, "An agency must give reasons for abandoning a precedent. The citation of the case by the Board is incomprehensible, and the government’s argument is nonsense." In a case last year, another Federal judge reviewed an H-1b denial from the California Service Center, and declared that the examiner's reasoning and behavior “constitute[ed] a litany of incompetence that presents fundamental misreading of the record, relevant sources, and the point of the entire petition” and suggested that USCIS “should afford a bare minimum level of professionalism, diligence, and reasoning.” Ouch. In yet another Federal Circuit case, this one from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Judge charged the USCIS with an improper understanding of the law and with unilaterally creating and imposing new standards of evidence not required by the law. All of these decisions demonstrate a common theme by the USCIS ignoring established law and precedent and creating its own standards to achieve its desired goal of a denial. When your mandate is to deny a certain percentage of cases due to misguided visions of national security, protection of the U.S. worker, prevention of outsourcing, dissatisfaction with the current law Congress passed or even simply illusions of grandeur, it is easy to justify ignoring the rule of law. In a pure Machiavellian sense, the end goals are all seemingly good, why not break the rules. Will a new Secretary of Homeland Security mandate that the Service Centers stop creating law and simply apply the law ? Probably not; the culture of no is so deeply imbedded in the USCIS that a personnel cleansing would be needed to change it. Can Federal Court decisions like the ones cited above affect change ? Maybe; if enough individuals and U.S. employers who suffer from clearly incorrect decisions take to the Federal Courts, the political pressure created may force change and if not, at least you will get the decision you deserve and under the EAJA, the government may even be required to pay your attorney fees. This post originally appeared at Hammond Law Group's Views on Business Immigration blog.
  5. Is the White House Running From Plan B? Should it Show More Spine? By Roger Algase

    Disappointingly but not surprisingly, the White House is showing signs of running away from Plan B. i.e. legalizing up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants by executive order, just when starting to implement it incrementally (as I suggested in my August 16 post) would help thousands of people who deserve and urgently need relief from deportation right now. I will discuss this in more detail in my next post.

    In his August 16 blog: Dems divided over immigration "Plan B"
    Greg Sargent of the Washington Post reports that a behind the scenes argument is taking place among Democrats and immigration advocates over whether the White House should move toward Plan B in order to put pressure on House Republicans to enact comprehensive reform.

    He writes:

    "Some have pushed the Plan B idea in the media to increase pressure on Republicans to support legislative reform, by getting them to fear Obama would legalize the 11 million himself if they don't do it on their own terms. But others, including, sources say, the White House - think floating the idea is not only substantively absurd, but is also politically a mistake, because it only takes the pressure off Republicans on immigration by allowing them to slip back into the fight-Obama-tyranny-at-all-costs-mode."


    Sargent explains further:

    "But some inside the reform movement are calling on folks to shut up about this idea. It may be a non-starter to begin with. In political terms, the thinking is that the conservative backlash to reform has yet to materialize, and House Republicans are feeling pressure to act in a way they haven't in years. So it's folly to give GOP base voters who may not be all that worked up about immigration something to get genuinely excited about - a secret, dastardly Obama scheme - which also gives Republican lawmakers a way to claim the opposition can't be trusted and to slip into the anti-Obama battle mode."

    Sargent also quotes Frank Sharry, head of America's Voice, a leading pro-immigrant organization, as follows:

    "The White House is very unhappy with any mention of executive action...They're looking for a legislative victory and have no intent

    ion of playing politics. The last thing they want is a distracting conversation about administrative action. They fear Republicans will think they're up to something when all they're up to is passing legislation."

    Sargent quotes Sharry further:

    "Most in the immigration reform movement are focused on one objective, which is passing legislation this year...Legislation is a permanent solution for millions. At best, executive action is only a temporary reprieve, and then only for some."

    The above arguments may make sense, as conventional wisdom always does, but they also assume that there may still be a realistic chance of eventually persuading a majority of House Republicans to go along with legalization. Speaker Boehner has made clear numerous times that without support from a "majority of the majority", no bill that incudes legalization will ever come to the floor of the House. There is no reason not to take him at his word.

    Moreover, House Republicans are reluctant to pass any reform measure which could go to a Senate-House conference. Some optimists, anxious to put a positive spin on all this, argue that maybe there will be some movement in the House in January (when the distraction of 2014 election campaign will already be well under way) if not this October, that a few Republican Congressmen here and there may be willing to meet with immigration supporters, that there may be fewer angry CIR opponents going to town meetings this month than there were ACA opponents going to meetings in 2010, etc.

    But what if this is all just grasping at straws? As of mid-August, 2013, legalization shows every sign of being on life support in the House, which might better be called a Hospice as far as immigration reform is concerned.

    What have immigration reform supporters actually gained from their strategy of conciliation, compromise and consent to let their opponents call most of the shots? The Senate has passed a bill which, while including legalization and a path to permanent residence and citizenship which resembles Odysseus' 20-year trip home to Ithaca in many respects, also contains a number of features which represent real steps backward toward a racially discriminatory immigration past, such as eliminating sibling and diversity green cards, not to mention imposing onerous new H-1B restrictions.

    But even this imperfect bill has been treated with nothing but contempt and derision by the House majority, which is insisting on enforcement first before there can be any real movement to reform. Maybe it is time for America's Deporter in Chief to show a little more spine and begin to implement Plan B now or in the very near future if the House continues along its current path of letting CIR die a slow death. I will suggest one way to begin implementing Plan B in a way that might attract the least amount of backlash and provide the best chance of withstanding any legal challenge in an upcoming comment.

    The link to Sargent's article is:

    www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/08/16/dems-divided-over-immigration-plan-b/?print=1

    "


    Updated 08-19-2013 at 06:29 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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