The Associated Press has reported that U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has blocked a new Utah Immigration Law that enables police officers to check the citizenship status of anyone taken into custody.
The only thing Obama is pushing with his empty immigration reform rhetoric is his reelection campaign. This President has deported more immigrants than any other President in history over a similar period. He maintains the executive authority to suspend deportations of DREAMers and others, but elects not to use it in favor of an enforcement-driven immigration policy. He is a liar and a sham, and those of us in the immigration reform community aren't buying it anymore.
Today, Attorney General Eric Holder has vacated a deportation order of an individual that is in a same-sex civil union with a United States citizen. General Holder has specifically ordered the case to be remanded to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for the purpose of determining the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as it relates to obtaining benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
General Holder has specifically ordered the BIA to determine:
whether a same-sex partnership or civil union qualifies an individual to be considered a “spouse” under New Jersey law;
whether absent the requirements of DOMA, a same-sex partnership or civil union would otherwise qualify an individual to be considered a “spouse” for immigration purposes;
what, if any, impact the timing of an alien's civil union should have on a request for discretionary relief from deportation; and
whether a non-citizen that is in a same-sex partnership or civil union with a United States citizen has a “qualifying relative” for immigration purposes in order to satisfy the exceptional and unusual hardship requirement for cancellation of removal.
Although this is a groundbreaking decision, it should be pointed out that the Board of Immigration Appeals generally does not rule on constitutional issues and questions of law, and must apply the existing law of the land at the time of the review. It would have been much more comforting to see the Attorney General render a decision that specifically states that noncitizens in same-sex civil unions with United States citizens are considered a "spouse" for immigration purposes, and are fully entitled to obtain immigration benefits as a result of such union.
In basic terms, the Attorney General punted on the issue.That being said I am cautiously optimistic that we may have just seen the very first step in the long journey towards the provision of immigration benefits for same sex civil unions.
NPR has reported that the Detroit office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is being accused of "aggressive and overzealous tactics." The article reports an incident involving Ruben Torres, a third generation United States citizen that was pulled over driving home from work.
ICE questioned Mr. Torres about his citizenship for more than an hour despite the fact that he provided the agents with a valid driver's license, his automobile registration, and other documents. ICE officials are looking into it. I'm not holding my breath.
Does anyone else find it painfully ironic that United States citizens are being racially profiled on this President's watch?
The President is meeting with the Hispanic Caucus today, his third immigration related meeting in three weeks. The White House has indicated that this meeting will be about: "the importance of fixing our nation's broken immigration system to meet our 21st century economic and national security needs so that America can win the future."
The President continues to tell his base that he can't do anything about immigration reform without Republican assistance. Given that this is true, wouldn't it make sense for the President to invite some Republican lawmakers to the White House to lay a foundation for a grand compromise?
Just looks like more political posturing to me.
Parenthetically, I wonder if the President's record of deporting more immigrants over a two-year span than any President in the history of the United States will come up.
Today the Immigration Policy Center released a legal memo that examines whether or not President Obama’s hands are really tied by Congressional inaction on immigration reform. The memo explains how much executive power the President has to stop his own administration from deporting more immigrants than any President in history.