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  1. Gay Activist Quits GOP Over Bigotry. Is Immigration Any Different? By Roger Algase

    Huffpost Gay Voices
    reports that Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of the conservative gay group GOProud has left the Republican party and registered as an independent. See Jimmy LaSalvia, Former GOProud Founder, On Republican Party's 'Cultural Disease' , Aaron Schock (January 20).

    The article quotes LaSalvia as saying:

    "I did say I was embarrassed to be a Republican...The 2012 election is when I really came to the realization that no matter how hard we tried, no matter how fast support grew, there were still anti-gay forces in the Republican party...They tolerate anti-gay people and that shows a cultural disconnect and they're so out of touch that I think you can't fix it."

    Huffpost also quotes LaSalvia as follows:

    "'It's not just about the issue of marriage,' LaSalvia said. 'It's bigger than just a single issue. It's just about a cultural disease that just can't be fixed. The fact that last week when Agema went on an outrageous anti-Muslim rant - unless that kind of behavior is denounced, it stains everyone.'"

    According to the same article, LaSalvia also charged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republican leaders with lacking the backbone to stand up against the forces of intolerance.

    This article does not specifically mention immigration. But are Boehner and the other GOP leaders doing any better on standing up against bigotry against immigrants than they are in the case of bigotry against gays?

    If they were, CIR would have been passed and become the law of the land many months ago. But maybe there is a difference. We don't read very much about gay leaders who try to make excuses for Republican hate.

    As Jimmy LaSalvia shows, they are not afraid to call the GOP leaders out for failing to condemn bigotry in their party. So why are immigration advocates still pretending that somehow, we can expect reform, "piecemeal" or otherwise, to come (one of these years) from House Republican leaders such as Boehner and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), when these leaders are afraid to take on their party's anti-immigrant bigots?

    Can there be any other motive besides lack of backbone to stand up against prejudice against Latino, Asian and black immigrants for the House Republican leaders' insistence on making draconian border security and internal enforcement poison pills conditions of any deal that they might be willing to reach on immigration reform (if they are willing to reach a deal at all)?

    As Jimmy LaSalvia says in connection with gay rights, are the Republicans who are blocking immigration reform, whether outright, or by slicing and dicing it "piecemeal", also suffering from a "cultural disconnect" in their party that is too big to be fixed?

    Updated 01-21-2014 at 06:05 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Is South Carolina the Future if we Skip Immigration Reform?

    by , 01-20-2014 at 07:57 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Franco Ordonez, the immigration reporter for the McClatchy nationally syndicated news service, looks at the South Carolina immigration law which is tougher than in most states and has also been enforced to a greater extent than in states that have been in the news more (Arizona and Alabama, I'm talking about you).

    My colleague Bruce Buchanan (who many of you may know from his compliance blog here at ILW) is quoted at the end of the article regarding the impact of labor relations on state enforcement activity:

    Most of the toughest laws are in the South, but observers see the potential of those laws bleeding north.

    The matter might return to Kansas, where conservatives have total control of the government.

    Michigan and Wisconsin, both of which have conservative governors, recently passed right-to-work laws that limit union activity. Bruce Buchanan, a former trial specialist for the National Labor Relations Board, said the issues might not be the same but the politics were similar.

    “I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them go after state immigration laws,” said Buchanan, who now advises employers on immigration compliance for Tennessee-based Siskind Susser. “The argument is the federal government’s not doing their job. We’re going to have to do it for them."

    The one bright spot is that momentum really shifted more than a year ago and few states have been successful of late pushing for rules like South Carolina. Some of that is due no doubt to court cases ruling against states and states taking a wait and see approach to what Congress does. And some may be due to the improving health of the US economy. But I have no doubt that the fight in state legislatures on these issues will continue for a while to come.

  3. Democrats About to Have to Make Some Tough Choices

    by , 01-20-2014 at 07:37 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    The Hill reports on the dilemma Democrats face. Clearly, the GOP leaders in the House are not going to offer a set of principles nearly as good for immigrants overall than what has been passed by the Senate (though there are some provisions - such as those related to guest workers and certain provisions related to high skilled workers that may be more immigrant-friendly in the House versions). The House is likely going to more closely tie legalization provisions to enforcement benchmarks and not include a special path to citizenship designed to ensure that most of those legalized eventually get green cards. And they're likely going to include provisions designed to give states more authority to enforce immigration law. Republicans will need more than just a few Democrats to sign on so the question is going to be how far House Democrats are willing to go to make a deal. The Democrats are wisely not making concessions before bills are introduced, but they'll probably want to respond quickly after the Republicans introduce their principles later this month. My hope is that they will keep an open mind rather than reflexively shut the door on a deal. I'm cautiously optimistic that's the approach that will be taken.

    Updated 01-22-2014 at 07:47 AM by GSiskind

  4. Letters of the Week: Jan 20 - Jan 24

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as a comment below.

    by , 01-20-2014 at 02:27 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    MU's Chris Musillo is a featured speaker on the Continuing Legal Education panel, Consular Processing for Experts. Interested attorneys can register for the session at Discussion topics include: nonimmigrant intent, visa eligibility, preparation for the visa interview, and post-interview issues.

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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