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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Nobody Puts Kobach in a Corner

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Wouldn't it be funny if Kris Kobach's middle initial were K? Just sayin'.


Kris has managed to remind voters twice in 24 hours that the GOP is the anti-immigration party. The Romney advisor is representing a bunch of ICE agents in a suit against the White House claiming they're being forced to violate the law in implementing DACA. Good luck with that one, Kris. Hope your clients are paying you on a contingency basis given the recent court decisions overturning the Arizona and Alabama laws you personally crafted.


But the lawsuit is just the sideshow. You may have put the nail in the coffin for any hope Mitt Romney had for a decent showing with Latino voters. You singlehandedly got the entire Republican Party to walk the plank with you by pushing through the anti-immigrant language from the 2008 Republican platform that was going to be deleted when saner heads in the GOP started to worry that Romney will suffer the same fate - or worse - with Latino voters that McCain faced.   From Huffington Post:



Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the author of Arizona's SB
1070 immigration bill, ensured on Tuesday that the Republican Party
platform will also have his fingerprint.


During a meeting of the GOP platform committee in Tampa, Fla., Kobach
called for the party to officially back increased border fencing and
the E-Verify employment verification system, and to go after two
immigrant-friendly initiatives: in-state tuition for some undocumented
young people and so-called sanctuary cities. Those measures were in the
2008 Republican platform but had been dropped from the draft this year,
Politico reported.




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  1. Jack's Avatar
    "Good luck with that one, Kris."

    Do you have a legal opinion on the provisions Kobach refers to below which presumably are the basis of the ICE agents' suit?

    Kobach wrote:

    In 1996, Congress inserted several interlocking provisions into the law that require deportation when Executive Branch officials become aware of illegal aliens.

    Congress enacted these provisions explicitly to force the executive branch to place into removal proceedings virtually every illegal alien encountered by federal immigration agents. The exceptions allowed by the 1996 act are very narrow, to be applied only in extraordinary circumstances (such as aliens seeking political asylum).

    In other words, the "prosecutorial discretion" that Obama claims he is ordering ICE agents to exercise no longer exists, because Congress eliminated it in 1996.

    Congress acted out of frustration that the Clinton administration was using its discretion to let several thousand illegal aliens walk free. Today, Obama is claiming to use the same now nonexistent discretion to let 1.4 million illegals walk free.

    Here's the technical explanation:

    * 8 U.S.C. ? 1225(a)(1) provides that "an alien present in the United States who has not been admitted . . . shall be deemed for purposes of this chapter an applicant for admission."

    * This triggers 8 U.S.C. ? 1225(b)(2)(A), which mandates that if the immigration officer determines that the alien is unlawfully present, the alien must be placed in deportation proceedings: "In the case of an alien who is an applicant for admission, if the examining immigration officer determines that an alien seeking admission is not clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted, the alien shall be detained for a proceeding under section 1229a of this title."

    * The proceedings described in 8 U.S.C. ? 1229a are the deportation (or "removal") proceedings of the US immigration courts.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_dream_order_isn_legal_4WAYaqJueaEK6MS0onMJCO
  2. Another Voice's Avatar
    Well with Romney not getting any African American votes, Latino votes or women votes I guess all the hope is with the base and voter suppression efforts.
  3. George Chell 's Avatar
    Insubordination has become a major problem in the US government. First, the soldiers are involved in politics..if this happened even in a country such as India, all of them will be rounded up and court marshalled. Now, we have ICE guys questioning what was a political decision by an elected politican...wonderful! With the sequester coming I wish KKK good luck with border fencing and ICE staffing especially if defense cuts are exempt as Romney and Ryan want! Then the GOP will probably ask us to patrol the border for free!
  4. Sal's Avatar
    Greg,
    As an immigrant who has lived in the South for 7 of my 11 years: went to graduate school here, settled down, saw our start-up firm grow from a handful to 30, bought a house, bought three cars, volunteered for churches and tornado relief, it greatly pains me how deeply rooted the anti-immigrant beliefs are of the South Eastern states. Case in point in the last few days: http://www.governorbryant.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Executive-Order-1299.pdf.

    In my years here, I have directly or indirectly provided job opportunities (hired employees, consultants, contractors and their offshoot service providers) for at least 50 American citizens and I am not even a permanent resident (that is another story!).

    I have been through multiple election cycles here (2004, 2008 and this one) and the stifling anti-immigrant bs that is being ratcheted up in the run-up to the elections, especially by the GOP and its allied groups is just incredible.

    As many other sources have pointed out, this election season has been especially divisive and filled with vitriol unlike none others before; at least very true in my experience.

    I fear that at the end of this election cycle, I will just no longer be able to put up with this and just move to Canada or Australia not because I want to but I am forced to. I desperately want to be woven into the fabric of my adopted country where I "grew up" but it doesn't want me to.

  5. Jack's Avatar
    The House Judiciary Committee has obtained internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents, which show that the Obama administration is cooking the books to achieve their so-called 'record' deportation numbers for illegal immigrants and that removals are actually significantly down - not up - from 2009.

    http://judiciary.house.gov/news/082412_Administration%20Cooks%20the%20Books.html

  6. Amused's Avatar
    Nothing will ever satisfy you will it Jack? Illegal entries are at their lowest in a long time. Even by the Republican interpretation there is plenty of deportation activity going on. Why is it not a good time to reach a reasonable compromise between enforcement, legalization and reform? What are you waiting for?
  7. Jack's Avatar
    "Illegal entries are at their lowest in a long time."

    The economy blows. If that ever changes, there is nothing in place to prevent illegal presence once a person illegally enters or overstays a legal entry.


    "there is plenty of deportation activity going on."

    I am into prevention. Deportation is slow, expensive, and the deportee can simply return.


    "a reasonable compromise between enforcement, legalization and reform"

    "Nothing will ever satisfy you will it Jack?"

    You have it backward--nothing will ever satisfy anti-enforcements and they have no incentive to go along with enforcement after they get what they want. I am a good faith bargainer and would take amnesty in a second in exchange for just two simple prevention policies--housing and employment verification--and lower legal immigration. The catch is that the amnesty is forever and the anti-enforcement interests have no interest in prevention. Any enforcement legislation would be vulnerable to suit, watering down, outright repeal, and "prosecutorial discretion". The amnesty would strengthen those anti-enforcement forces immensely and make their obstructionism even more brazen. Lower legal immigration never even comes up--CIR bills always increases it. Even if by some miracle it were lowered in a bargain, it is not possible to "lock in" a lower level.

    In a nutshell, I would be willing to bargain but have little reason to believe that I'd get the benefit of the bargain from obvious bad faith bargainers. What one side wants is irrevocable while the other will be fought tooth and nail before the ink is dry. Hard to reach a compromise under such a circumstance when it's so easy for one side to play the other for a fool. Once you give the amnesty, your only bargaining chip, you know what will happen so why give it? That is why anti-enforcements are so eager to bargain and pro-enforcements so hesitant--it's an advantageous, easily breakable deal for one and a sucker bet for the other.
  8. Another Voice's Avatar
    Jack as usual has the short sided view of life and immigration.....

    "The economy blows. If that ever changes, there is nothing in place to prevent illegal presence once a person illegally enters or overstays a legal entry."

    If the economy is not in good shape is not the fault of the immigrants. Fences and a police state is not the way to solve this reforming the system so people can immigrate legally and taking out the incentive to do it otherwise is a smart way to go, that thing called brain does work if you decide to use it.

    "I am into prevention. Deportation is slow, expensive, and the deportee can simply return."

    Prevention via a multi billion dollar fence and creating a police state is just as expensive if not more that deportation. Updating the current immigration system on the other hand may actually make the US some money in mutliple ways, just have to take the blinders off Jack and some antidote for the hater Kool Aide if it exists......

    "You have it backward--nothing will ever satisfy anti-enforcements and they have no incentive to go along with enforcement after they get what they want."

    No actually he has it about right nothing will ever satisfy the anti-immigrant community until they have a police state and Jim Crow laws are back in the US. And offcourse nobody in their right mind would bargain with that after all this IS supposed to be the land of the FREE....not the free if you show us your papers please!!

  9. George Chell 's Avatar
    "I am into prevention. Deportation is slow, expensive, and the deportee can simply return."

    So am I. But, I will not support cutting education and programs for the needy to build a border fence. Ask Grover Norquist to waive his anti-tax increase pledge.
  10. George Chell 's Avatar
    "No actually he has it about right nothing will ever satisfy the anti-immigrant community until they have a police state and Jim Crow laws are back in the US. And offcourse nobody in their right mind would bargain with that after all this IS supposed to be the land of the FREE....not the free if you show us your papers please!!"

    Absolutely right..the anti-immigrant community's vision for America....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosewood_massacre

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zSsQoXo5yg

    When black people say they are against immigration, I simply show them the above clip and ask them whether they want to return to a Florida where racist whites were a majority, and their faces become small and they no longer argue with me. Actually one guy once told me if Asians and Hispanics were not around, they would really go after black people.
  11. George Chell 's Avatar
    We have major competition competing for skills....

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/oppn-urges-lift-in-skilled-migration/story-fn3dxiwe-1226441391955
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