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Goodlatte's immigration reform bill has room for compromise. By Nolan Rappaport

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© Greg Nash

Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) immigration bill, the Securing America’s Future Act (SAFA) may be the last chance this election year to pass a bill that would help the Dreamers. It needs more support, but he should be able to get it from the Democrats.

First, however, he needs to overcome the negative impression some Democrats have of him and his bill, which is expressed in this commentthe ACLU made when SAFA was introduced:

“This bill should be viewed for what it is — an obvious attempt by longtime anti-Dreamer lawmaker Rep. Bob Goodlatte and his allies to derail a legislative solution for Dreamers.


“The policies in the new legislation are a collection of hardline provisions designed to sabotage, rather than advance, the possibility of a bipartisan breakthrough.”

The best approach may be to revise SAFA to include a statutory DACAprogram with a legalization program that would not become available until the bill’s enforcement measures are implemented. Also, Goodlatte should remove enforcement measures that are not needed to prevent a recurrence of what happened the last time the Republicans agreed to a legalization program.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) legalized 2.7 million people, but 10 years later, there were 5 million new undocumented aliens. The enforcement measures that were supposed to prevent illegal immigration in the future were never implemented.

Highlights
from SAFA:

Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...for-compromise

Published originally on The Hill.

About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.





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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    The Hill, (which is the same publication that Nolan's article originally appears in, and which cannot reasonably be accused of bias against Trump or the Republicans), reports that Goodlatte's bill is causing wide anxiety and concern even among conservative Hispanic leaders who support Trump on other issues and would be the ones most likely to be willing to try to work with his administration (and its Congressional supporters) to reach a compromise om immigration.

    http://thehill.com/latino/378873-gop...-conservatives

    Overall, the obvious purpose of this bill is to reduce Hispanic immigration (and other non-white immigration, especially from what Trump has called the "shithole countries" of sub-Saharan Africa, a region which especially benefits from the diversity visa lottery), legal as well as illegal, to the United States.

    Can anyone deny with a straight face that this is a key purpose, if not the main purpose, of the Goodlatte bill, no matter which specious arguments they may use to conceal or gloss over the obvious racial "animus" behind this proposal and other similar ones which Trump has either proposed himself or is on record as supporting (such as Trump's own "Framework" and the Cotton-Perdue RAISE Act)?

    Nor is it any excuse that the Goodlatte bill does not expressly call itself "An Act to Reduce Hispanic and other Non-European Immigration to the United States" or contain any provisions openly referring to ethnicity.

    Even the infamous Chinese exclusion laws of the late 19th century did not refer to Chinese people by race - only by nationality.

    And the notorious 1924 "national origins" immigration act (which both Adolf Hitler and Trump's own AG, Jeff Sessions, wrote about favorably nine decades apart) nowhere stated in its text that Jewish immigrants were undesirable for America - even though clear legislative history showed that this was an important objective for its supporters.

    Instead, this law, which, according to wide agreement among historians, added to the death toll in Hitler's ovens and gas chambers during the Holocaust, merely cut off all but a few visas for countries where most of the world's Jews lived.

    The same was true for other unwanted immigrants, whether from heavily Catholic Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, or from Asia and Africa.

    The Goodlatte bill and the other proposals that Trump supports mentioned above all operate on the same principle.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-18-2018 at 10:41 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Can Nolan also spare us any further distorted references to the Jordan Commission of two decades ago?

    Many of that commission's recommendations relating to legal immigration were the exact antithesis of proposals that Trump is making now, especially concerning legal family immigration, which that commission praised, while Trump calls it "horrible".

    http://cmsny.org/publications/martin-barbara-jordan/

    And the notion that a distinguished African-America civil rights leader such as Barbara Jordan would have been concerned about whether there were "too many" non-white immigrants coming to the United States, which is the main reason that Trump and his Congressional supporters want lower levels of legal immigration now; or that she would have, like Trump, favored immigrants from "countries like Norway" over ones from what Trump has called "shithole countries" in Africa and the Caribbean, is too absurd to merit further discussion.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-18-2018 at 01:52 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I spent many hours working on a compromise proposal that might be acceptable to both parties. Instead of telling me I did a good job, or a bad one, and offering suggestions on making my proposal more acceptable, Roger makes comments such as these:


    • Goodlatte's bill is causing wide anxiety and concern even among conservative Hispanic leaders who support Trump on other issues;
    • The obvious purpose of this bill is to reduce Hispanic immigration;
    • Especially from what Trump has called the "shithole countries;"
    • The obvious racial "animus" behind this proposal ; and
    • "An Act to Reduce Hispanic and other Non-European Immigration to the United States;"
    • Even the infamous Chinese exclusion laws of the late 19th century did not refer to Chinese people by race - only by nationality.


    I wonder what the drafters of the Constitution would have said if they had known that freedom of speech would be used to make constructive political discourse impossible.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 03-20-2018 at 09:36 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I have never criticized Nolan for supporting compromise immigration legislation in principle. In fact, Nolan has frequently argued that immigration reform should take the political needs of both parties into account, and this is also eminently reasonable in principle.

    But at the same time, Nolan has blamed the Democrats in a number of recent comments for failing to pass immigration reform when they controlled both Houses of Congress and the presidency. But if the Democrats had rammed through their own bill when they had the chance without Republican input, would this not have gone against Nolan's own advice to take the interests of both sides into account?

    As for the US Constitution, most people interpret the first amendment as guaranteeing the right to disagree with someone else's opinion, just as I frequently do in response to Nolan's comments on immigration.

    Isn't opposing views what free speech is all about?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-27-2018 at 04:53 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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