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  1. Why Employers Don't Do a Good Job Complying with Immigation Law

    by , 07-24-2011 at 06:41 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Stuart Anderson writes at about just how complex immigration law can be by  interviewing my friend Daryl Buffenstein, the co-author of a new (and excellent) 2,000 page treatise on employment immigration law.
  2. Report: 44% of all of Obama's Deportations triggered by Traffic Tickets and Non-Violent Crimes

    by , 07-22-2011 at 06:49 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Politico has reported that during the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, the Obama administration deported 393,000 people. *Half of the individuals deported by the Administration were considered "criminals."

    Sounds good on paper right?

    Well, let's take a closer look at a breakdown of the number of "criminals" being deported. *Of the approximately 196,500 "criminal" deportations, 7% (13,755) were were individuals with traffic violations, 23% (45,195) had minor drug violations, and 14% (27,510) had drunk driving violations.

    I'm not saying that it is ok to break the law, especially when it relates to driving under the influence or the purchase or sale of illegal narcotics. Obviously it is not.

    What I am saying, however, is that Obama's claim that his deportation policies focus on targeting the "worst of the worst" criminal aliens is a load of horse manure.

    Pardon my French.

    These statistics reveal what many/most of us have been saying since Obama's election: this President is deporting as many people as humanly possible, and is completely ignoring the promises he made to work towards the goal of just and humane immigration reform.

    I really don't care who runs for office in 2012, I just know I won't be voting for Obama.

    Updated 09-16-2016 at 09:44 AM by MKolken

  3. Bloggings: Why Obama's willingness to sell out on the budget negotiations is a bad sign for immigrants, by Roger Algase

    Danielle Beach-Oswald has done a superb job of describing the details of anti-immigrant laws that have been adopted in states in the deep South such as Alabama and Georgia. By doing so, she makes it easier to understand the full extent of the irrationality and hatred motivating these laws. Should anyone be surprised? These two states were at the center of the resistance to racial desegregation during the Civil Rights era in the 1950's and 1960's.
    Alabama was the home of Governor George Wallace and Sheriff Bull Connor. It was in Alabama that Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his letter from Birmingham jail and Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white person, setting off the Montgomery bus boycott. Georgia was the home of Governor Lester Maddox, who became famous by standing in the doorway of his store with an ax handle to keep any black person from entering. Those two states, though by no means the only Southern states to do so, were also known for their lynch mobs, their laws banning interracial marriage and their battle cry: "Segregation Forever!"
    Anone who thinks for a single instant that the history of racial segregation and persecution in those two states half a century ago has nothing to do with their extreme anti-immigrant laws today is deluding himself. But anyone who thinks that the danger of extreme anti-immigrant laws with the objective of making life intolerable for all Spanish-speaking and other minority immigrants is limited to state legislatures, inside or outside the old South, is also deluded.
    H.R. 3447, passed by the Republican House of Representatives in late 2005, in some ways would have made the Alabama and Georgia laws read like a pro-immigrant bill of rights by comparison. The 2005 House bill, for example, if I recall correctly, would have made each day in the US without authorization a separate felony punishable by up to five years in prison. It would have imposed the same penalty on anyone, including a US citizen, who provided assistance to anyone who was in the US illegally. Fortunately, the bill never made it to the Senate, where it had no chance of passage in any event.
    If the House bill had become law, the jails might have been full of American emergency room doctors, lawyers advising immigrant clients, or, possibly even bus or taxi drivers who failed to check the immigration status of their passengers; and restaurant customers who tipped a waiter without asking to see the person's papers first, or store clerks who sold merchandise to customers without doing the same. Yet, 2005 was a golden age of immigration tolerance compared to today.
    The two major parties were making an historic effort to reach a compromise on immigration reform, with the active support and involvement of the president, not just empty words. If Congressional Republicans could produce a lunatic fringe immigration bill such as H.R. 3447 back in 2005, when the economy was going well and there was no such thing as the Tea Party, it does not take much imagination to guess what kind of immigration laws they would pass if they were able to take control of both Houses of Congrsss and the White House next year.
    But where does the greatest danger of what could amount one day soon to a Congressional moratorium on all immigration come from? There is a good argument that it comes from the current debt ceiling negotiations between President Obama and the Congressional Republican leaders. But wait a minute. What connection is there between immigration and the budget? Am I trying to say that there might not be enough money to keep the immgration system going? Not at all. True, there may be some very nasty budget cuts or shutdowns ahead, but that is not the main point.
    The government can always find a way to keep whatever programs it wants to in place. No matter what happens with the debt ceiling or the credit rating of the US, there will always be money for "Secure Communities" and e-verify. Of that, we can be sure. My point is quite different. John F. Kennedy, before becoming president, wrote a book called "Profiles in Courage". If someone were to write a book today called "Profiles in Cowardice", the opening, middle  and closing chapters would unquestionably be about Barack Obama.
    It is hard to think of an issue that the Obama has not caved into the Republicans on since becoming president, including adopting their "enforcement-only" immigration agenda lock stock and barrel (OK, granted, he has not yet adopted their gun control policies, so maybe my phraseology in this sentence is a little misplaced). But, aside from immigration, few things are more outrageous and a betrayal of everything he campaigned for than his overeagerness to give away the store on social safety net issues, such as Social Security and Medicare, without insisting the the rich begin to pay their fair share of taxes. 
    Not only the Tea Party pro big business fanatics, but all Republicans, now know, if they never did before, that the president is a soft touch who can be had on any issue, not just the budget. Even if Obama were not already rushing to deport more than 400,000 people each year, far beyond the wildest dreams of even the most anti-immigrant Republicans during the Bush era, all immigrant haters will understand that if Obama can rip up the social safety net for American citizens in his eagerness to surrender the Republicans, he will have no hesitation in throwing even more immigrants under the bus too.
    Ultimately, Obama's readiness to sell out his principles on any issue is something that may be beyond the capacity of a political analyst to understand. It may require the skills of a psychologist. The president's actions on immigration so far are no exception.
  4. ICE Should Fire Insubordinate Agents

    I wrote recently about the ongoing insubordination at ICE.* The most recent flare up involves a dispute over a new memo, Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens.* The memo basically prioritizes who should be deported and directs ICE to target criminals and people who pose a security threat over aliens with equities in the U.S.* I read the memo, and it is pretty non-controversial.

    Where's Trump when we need him?

    The ICE Union disagreed and posited that the memo was a backdoor amnesty (this despite the fact that the Obama Administration has been deporting record numbers of illegal aliens and, as these statistics show, has re-prioritized deportations to focus on criminal aliens).* Chris Crane, President of the National ICE Counsel, had this to say about the memo and the Obama Administration:
    Any American concerned about immigration needs to brace themselves for what's coming... this is just one of many new ICE policies in queue aimed at stopping the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws in the United States. Unable to pass its immigration agenda through legislation, the Administration is now implementing it through agency policy.
    In my prior post, I tried to give the Union the benefit of the doubt, even though their claim seemed unfounded.* Now, several immigration experts, including a former general counsel of INS under President George W. Bush, have reviewed the controversial memo.* They conclude that the memo is "perfectly consistent with existing law on the use of prosecutorial discretion and serve[s] to guide its sound exercise in immigration law enforcement decisions."
    The experts' conclusion-and a plain reading of the controversial memo-makes it painfully obvious that the Union's complaints are baseless.* Worse, the attacks, such as the quote from Mr. Crane above, seem blatantly partisan in nature. *
    It is frankly shocking that ICE and DHS would tolerate this type of insubordination.* My guess is that the Administration is too cowed by right wing bullies to do anything about the problem (witness the Shirley Sherrod fiasco).* It's past time for the Obama administration to stand up to this sort of nonsense.* ICE should fire the insubordinate agents immediately.
    Originally published on the Asylumist:*
  5. Bloggings: Deportation - the battle between humanity and hate goes on, by Roger Algase

    The 7/20 ID issue has a link to a 7/18 article in the Huffington Post called "Americans Married To Immigrants Push For Reform". Among other items, it relates the story of Hope Mustakim, an American citizen married for the past year to Nazry Mustakim, a 31 year old immigrant from Singapore who was brought to the US legally as a child and has had a green card since 1992. Like many other people caught in the trap of IIRIRA, the harsh immigration law rammed through a Republican-controlled Congress in late September 1996 in the dead of night without debate, and attached to a "must pass" military appropriations bill barely over a month before a presidential election, Nazry is facing deportation because of a minor drug possession conviction dating from the time  he was a teenager. 
    Even though he has been drug free for the past five years, according to the article, Nazry faces deportation because an immigration judge has no discretion to grant relief in this kind of case. Nazry is now in immigration detention and his American wife can only see him through a glass window. This is, certainly, a heart-breaking story, but many of us have become desensitized because  stories like this are so common. One does not even need a drug conviction to be guilty of an "aggravated felony" triggering mandatory revocation of one's green card and automatic deportation. A couple of drunk driving convictions may be enough.
    Then why mention this story at all? "American family is broken up by draconian anti-immigrant law imposing drastic consequences for dark-skinned foreign citizen convicted of relatively minor offense years ago." What else is new? Forget that not only the rights of immigrants are involved in this type of case, but the right of an American citizen to choose whom to marry, something that the Supreme Court, in a different context, has held to be among our most cherished and fundamental liberties.  
    Forget the injustice of tearing someone away from his family and banishing him from this country forever for a crime that, if committed by an American, would most likely result in nothing more than a short jail term at worst. We are all too used to this kind of inhumanity in our immigration system, to the practice of treating immigrants as if they were less than fully human, to make much of a fuss about it. There was a time in Europe when a child could be hanged for stealing a loaf of bread. Get over it. Life moves on.
    The point of this comment, therefore, is not to reflect on the harshness and cruelty of the deportation action that Nazry Mustakim is facing, along with untold hundreds of thousands, or millions, of other foreign born people in similar situations. Instead, I will focus on only two aspects of the article. First, why was a harsh immigration law such as IIRIRA passed at the time that it was? Surely not for economic reasons. Has anyone heard about the "Great Depression of 1996?" I haven't. Maybe I have missed something. 
    What about terror? Yes, that was a concern, and a legitimate one. The World Trade Center had been attacked in 1993. But it would be another five years from the passage of IIRIRA before September 11, 2001. IIRIRA had some anti-terror provisions, but that was not the main reason for its passage. The main reason, or at least one of the main reasons, was to trap immigrants like Nazry Mustakim, who was neither a terrorist, a violent criminal, nor posing any danger to society, for minor crimes, and use these minor crimes as an excuse to kick them out of the country. 
    To put it plainly, IIRIRA was enacted in large part becasue of a white "backlash" over the fact that for the previous three decades, since 1965, America had started to welcome immigrants from every corner of the globe, regardless of skin color. Many articles and comments written at that time in the popular media, not to mention a book such as Peter Brimelow's racist anti-immigrant "Alien Nation", published in 1995, leave no doubt about that. 
    The other point that is striking about the Nazry and Hope Mustakim story is the reaction to it among Huffington Post readers. As we all know, the Huffington Post is not exactly Fox News.  Far from being a right wing hate site, the Huffpost is considered among the more liberal publications in America, and is certainly sympathetic to immigrants. Otherwise, this story would not have been published at all. Therefore it is all the more shocking (if one can be shocked by anything in immigration today) that there were so many hate comments left by Huffpost readers in reaction to the story. 
    Aside from the predictable comments of the "Criminal go home!" variety,  there was a slew of vitriolic attacks against Nazry for being an "illegal alien" despite the fact that he came to the US legally as a child and has been a lawful permanent resident for almost 20 years.  Other comments attacked the couple's "fake marriage", even though there was no question that the relationship was genuine. As if to underscore that point, Hope Mustakim posted replies to many of the negative, hate filled comments, patiently pointing out Nazry's positive accomplishments - overcoming addiction, always having been in America legally, etc.
    It is as if Hope Mustakim had to remind the other blog posters that her husband is a human being, something that neither they, nor our deportation-addicted immigration system, seem willing to accept. Hate vs. humanity - the struggle for immigrant rights continues.
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