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  1. Rachel Maddow and Erika Andiola Talk about the Impact of Obama's Record Deportations

    by , 12-04-2013 at 09:41 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following segment from the December 3, 2013, Rachel Maddow Show includes Erika Andiola, co-founder of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, addressing the human impact of President Obama's record deportations, and the advocacy that is necessary to keep families together.

    Updated 12-04-2013 at 10:12 AM by MKolken

  2. Boehner Hires McCain's Immigration Expert. A Good Sign for Reform? By Roger Algase


    Update, December 4, 10:40 pm:


    And here is a more cynical possibility. Could Boehner's hiring a key staffer with such a pro-immigrant reputation be meant purely as window dressing, or as a bone to pro-reform advocates, while he continues his do-nothing policies toward reform? In this interpretation, FAIR's angry tirade against Tallent might have been staged managed in order to help insulate Boehner against criticism from the pro-immigrant forces.

    But probably I may be reading too much into all of this.

    Update, December 4, 5:25 pm:


    Judging by the vitriolic email from FAIR which Greg Siskind quotes in his December 4 Immigration Daily blogging, my comment that the anti-immigrant lobby would be apoplectic over John Boehner's hiring of Rebecca Tallent, John McCain's former immigration reform point person, appears to have been accurate.

    I hope that my expectation that Boehner will stand his ground and keep her in this new position will also turn out to be accurate. I very much doubt that FAIR's email will be the last time that America's right wing bigots will be attacking Tallent.

    To the contrary, it may the opening salvo in a protracted war aimed at intimidating the Speaker, whose anxiety to protect whatever is left of his right wing is well known, into firing her.

    My original post follows:

    Could House Speaker John Boehner be preparing a Christmas surprise for immigration reform advocates? Politico's Seung Min Kim reports that the Speaker has hired a new immigration policy staffer, Rebecca Tallent, currently the director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

    Kim also reports that Tallent is a former chief of staff to Senator John McCain and was his point person on immigration policy during the last major immigration reform effort in 2007.

    Meanwhile Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass), grandson of Robert Kennedy and great nephew of Ted Kennedy, is joining the immigration reform fast on the National Mall.

    For both of her stories, see Politico: Rep. Joe Kennedy joins immigration fast (December 3).

    I suspect that the kill reform, deport 'em all Tea Party/Heritage Action crowd will be apoplectic over the announcement that Boehner is hiring McCain's former top immigration aide. I wouldn't be surprised if we see some explanations by Boehner in the next few days that Tallent will just "one of many" staff members involved in immigration, and that no one should "read too much" into the fact that she has been hired.

    Nor would it be out of character if there were behind the scenes right wing efforts to get Boehner to dump Tallent, or at least demote her after she begins work on December 4.

    One hopes not, but if there are any such efforts, it could be a good sign for reform, perhaps the most positive sign since last June, if Boehner holds fast to his decision to give Tallent this critically important responsibilty.

    Hiring Tallent might also mean that the dedication and determination of the brave pro-reform fast participants are having some effect.

    Updated 12-04-2013 at 09:46 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

    Tags: -1' Add / Edit Tags
  3. Boehner Hires Highly Respected Pro-Immigration Advocate as Immigration Point Person

    by , 12-03-2013 at 03:25 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Rebecca Tallent of the Bipartisan Policy Institute and a former John McCain staffer who helped the Arizona Senator lead on immigration reform on 2006-2007 is joining Speaker John Boehner's staff to help as a special assistant to deal with immigration policy. At BPI, Tallent has served at the helm while the organization has promoted comprehensive immigration reform. With the announcement of Tallent joining the Boehner team, the conventional wisdom on the Hill has been instantly transformed and reform looks like it might again be getting ready to advance. That certainly seems to be the case if you look at the email I got from the anti-immigrant group FAIR which is in hysterics over the news:

    Speaker Boehner Hires Amnesty and Open Borders Advocate to Spearhead Immigration Effort in the House

    If it wasn’t already clear where the House Republican leadership stood on immigration, it is now. On Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner announced the hiring of Rebecca Tallent to be his immigration policy advisor. Tallent was most recently the director of immigration policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center, a business oriented group promoting amnesty and massive increases in permanent and temporary immigration. Prior to that she worked for Sen. John McCain and helped draft the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bills of 2006 and 2007.

    Tallent’s hiring indicates that the only real difference between the Senate sell-out of American workers and taxpayers, S.744, and the approach we are likely to see taken by the House in 2014, is the number of times President Obama will be required to sign his name. It is evident that the Speaker’s step-by-step approach to immigration reform does not entail waiting for empirical evidence that our borders are secure and that immigration laws are being enforced before the demands of the illegal alien and cheap labor lobbies are considered.

    In fact, Tallent’s prescription for ending illegal immigration is legal admission on demand. In an interview on C-SPAN in March, Tallent said, “The best things we can do for our border security is to have a realistic guest worker program that reflects the number of people who want to come every year.” In other words, immigration policy should be regulated only by the desire of people from other countries who want to work here and the desire of American businesses to employ them, without regard for the impact on American workers and taxpayers.

    The hiring of Tallent confirms that Boehner’s refusal to conference on S.744 is purely a matter of procedure, not a repudiation of the Senate bill itself.
    President Obama and Senate leaders have already said that they do not care what bill serves as the vehicle to get them to their desired objective of amnesty and massive immigration increases, just as long as they get there. It is clear, as a result of Tuesday’s announcement by Boehner, that the legislative vehicle will be different, but the destination will be the same.
  4. Immigration Dreaming in California

    by , 12-03-2013 at 11:19 AM (Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government)
    Immigration Dreaming in California -- Assembly Bill 263 Will Bring Nightmares to the State's Employers


    http://www.nationofimmigrators.com/assets_c/2013/12/California%20palms-thumb-350x449-25429.jpg
    “California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.” ― Don DeLillo, White Noise

    “Political corruption, social greed, and Americanized quasi-socialism can ruin even the most wonderful places. California proved that.” ― Tiffany Madison

    As a transplant from Michigan who has thrived in California since settling here in 1982, I've come to expect sneering and cynicism heaped upon this lovely, blessed state. The foregoing quotes are of the genre, California sniping, expressed most frequently as Jack Frost approaches elsewhere, biting the rest of the country into its perennial frenzy of Golden-State envy. We Californians are used to that kind of seasonally-induced, sour-grapes hurling.

    But sometimes our state legislature and our governor, the monk formerly known as Moonbeam, take actions that all but invite ridicule.

    Recent examples are plentiful, as my colleagues at Seyfarth Shaw, Dana Peterson and Coby Turner, noted in their Nov. 26 posting in the aptly titled, California Peculiarities Employment Law blog ("California Employees Have Even More Protections to be Thankful for This Year").

    Today's post will focus on just one section of one of two new laws critiqued in the Peterson-Turner post. Section 4 of Assembly Bill 263, effective January 1, 2014, adds this new provision (Section 1024.6) to the state's Labor Code:

    1024.6. An employer may not discharge an employee or in any manner discriminate, retaliate, or take any adverse action against an employee because the employee updates or attempts to update his or her personal information, unless the changes are directly related to the skill set, qualifications, or knowledge required for the job.

    The new section sounds innocuous. Of course no employer should be allowed to assail an employee who merely updates or tries to update "his or her personal information." The transgression seems apiece with that cardinal California sin of violating one's "personal space." The devil, however, is in the subtext.

    Consider these common scenarios:

    #1: An employer, aware that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is increasingly auditing and penalizing employers for violations of the immigration-paperwork requirement to maintain proof of every new hire's identity and employment eligibility on Form I-9, decides to conduct a voluntary audit of its I-9 records. The employer discovers mistakes or finds copies of identity documents and work permits that, on second look, appear to be less than genuine. It wants to take corrective steps to mitigate any fines ICE might impose.

    #2: An employer receives a Social Security Administration letter (a no-match notice) announcing that the employer's payroll tax contributions tied to particular employees' social security numbers (SSNs) contain information that conflicts with the SSA's own records associated with the earmarked SSNs. Or, an employer receives word from its health insurance carrier or pension administrator that the SSNs of certain employees do not square with SSA data. This employer likewise wants to fix the problem and minimize potential fines before ICE shows up.

    Assume that in scenarios #1 and #2, the employer first checks its own records and finds no reason such as a clerical error or typo to explain and resolve the discrepancy. The employer then approaches the affected employees, explains that a discrepancy has been noted, and asks the employee to provide an acceptable explanation with documentation that resolves the discrepancy and demonstrates that the individuals in question have the right to work in the United States. Failing the tender of acceptable evidence, the employee will be required to sign a new Form I-9 to verify identity and employment eligibility.

    Rather than provide the requested documentation, each of the employees instead informs the employer that s/he has adopted a new name, a new date of birth, a new marital status, or other newly embraced "personal information" and then presents seemingly genuine and relevant original documents of identity and work authorization to confirm the change.

    Today, before Assembly Bill 263 takes effect, an employer is allowed to terminate the individual's employment if the submission of inconsistent personal information violated company policies requiring that employees be truthful in all of their dealings with the employer. AB 263 takes away that power to sanction employee dishonesty. Moreover, since the law also prohibits employers "in any manner" from discriminating, retaliating or taking any "adverse action against an employee" who has updated his or her personal information, AB 263 may even prohibit an employer from investigating whether the newly provided personal information is accurate or likewise false or flawed.

    Suppose the employee(s) in fact lacked the right to work in the U.S. and had merely purchased a new set of papers from the local fraudulent-document purveyor. Under federal immigration statutes and regulations, an employer may not hire or continue to employee an individual whom the employer "knows" lacks the right to work in the United States. Knowledge of a person's unauthorized employment status can be actual or constructive, as provided in 8 CFR § 274a.1(l):

    The term knowing includes not only actual knowledge but also knowledge which may fairly be inferred through notice of certain facts and circumstances which would lead a person, through the exercise of reasonable care, to know about a certain condition.

    In other words, an employer who is aware of certain unexplained facts (such as an "update" of "personal information"), but turns a blind eye to circumstances that seem suspicious or at least worthy of further inquiry, will be treated as knowing the facts that a reasonable investigation would have revealed. Thus, if the workers were indeed unauthorized but the employer did not investigate the circumstances out of fear of violating the no-adverse-action prohibition of AB 263, ICE would likely fine the employer on two separate grounds. The fines would be not just for a deficient I-9 but also for the more serious "knowing-continuing-to-employ" offense.

    What should the employer do? Depending on the facts at hand, the better approach would likely be to follow federal immigration law which probably preempts and trumps AB 263. See, Arizona v. United States, the Supreme Court case which tossed out almost all of Arizona's SB 1070 on federal-preemption grounds. Employers presented with personal-information updates should be prepared to defend against state charges under AB 263 by maintaining that merely conducting a reasonable investigation of the facts to determine if an employee is authorized to work in the U.S. is not a form of discrimination, retaliation or adverse action under the new California law. But since California is indeed peculiar, employers should also be prepared to fight the good fight if organized labor, state authorities or the courts disagree. At least the weather is nice.

    Updated 12-03-2013 at 11:33 AM by APaparelli

  5. State Push-Back Against Immigration Holds for Minor Crimes

    by , 12-03-2013 at 09:41 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Two States are pushing back against the Obama administration's overtly punitive deportation hold policies bringing some "common sense" to the enforcement of our immigration laws.

    At the State level in Massachusetts, two Bills have been introduced. The Trust Act, H.1613, prevents State officials from handing over immigrants released by judges and magistrates to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. The Safe Driving Act, H.3285, allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license if they pass the test and have liability insurance.

    At the local level in the State of Washington, the King County Council voted on Monday to refuse to honor federal immigration authorities’ requests to hold immigrants arrested for low-level crimes. Individuals convicted of serious crimes, such as violent assaults, sex crimes, and mid-level offenses including burglaries, still may be subject to an immigration hold. The purpose of the measure is to afford individuals the ability to report crimes that they would ordinarily overlook out of fear that a family member would be deported if the police got involved. The hope is to build trust between local police and the immigrant community.

    Common sense indeed.

    Statistics show that only about a third (38%) of all individuals subject to an ICE immigration hold nationwide have any criminal record. This statistic includes individuals convicted for minor traffic violations, i.e., driving while brown. If you exclude traffic violations and marijuana possession from the 38% statistic only 26% of all individuals subject to an ICE detainer have any conviction. Considering the fact that only a small percentage of the deportation filings in the Immigration Courts are based on alleged criminal activity, these State-wide efforts should be supported.
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