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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

OBAMA SPEECH PART 3

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Well, it was pretty much what we were expecting. The speech could largely have been the same one given countless times by other Administration officials not just from this White House but from the last one as well. The difference is that in the past, there was some reason to believe that the President could actually achieve something. Not today.


If anything, I'm more skeptical now than I was before. For several reasons -


1. The President pleaded - again - to being helpless to fix the problems in the system without action by Congress. He even said that "that's how democracy works." But as the Chief Executive, the President already has been granted enormous power by Congress to fix problems in the system. Why is he not using them? To say that only Congress can act is neither factually or constitutionally true, the way he is justifying not acting - that it's beyond his power - is insulting. He should simply say that he doesn't CHOOSE to act, not that his hands are tied. This is the President who has talked about having an adult conversation with the public. Let's hear it then.


2. The President is right that many more criminal s have been deported than the past. But he is not telling the whole story. Deportations of non-criminals are sky high as well. The President has stated that we've given the Republicans what they demanded as far as enforcing first. But what are the consequences if they don't come to the table. Clearly, most of the "enforcement first" types were really just "enforcement only" types who didn't want to be seen as anti-immigrant. They've just played the White House and gotten exactly what they wanted without ever entertaining any notion of yielding on the rest of immigration reform. The President could use deportation policy as a form of leverage to get them to the table, but there is nothing in his remarks that hint that might happen.


3. The President's big action plan is asking people to log on to Whitehouse.gov to receive emails and twitter posts supporting reform. And to have more "conversations". Seriously? That's your action plan? You're expecting anyone to get excited about that? 


If the President simply wanted to use today's speech to act as a marker to indicate to Washington that he's going to be putting a lot of energy into reaching a deal on immigration, then that's great. Maybe he's working behind the scenes to craft a deal with moderate Republicans. If so, then more power to him. But there's little evidence he's talking to anyone on the other side. Which makes today's speech not so big at all.

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Comments

  1. Anon's Avatar
    This speech is an insult to the intellect of the many people (both legal and illegals) waiting for reform all these years. Common. How many years do the legals have to wait and will be held hostage to this CIR crap. Answer is : Ever!!!!
  2. Fabrizio's Avatar
    there is truth that he brings to the surface and is that american people need to feel held hostages by the economically unsound immigration policies are still on the books, not the immigration insiders, geeks, and yes of course victims of the system... most american do not know what the ordeal is and only one side is painted when discussing the issue.... democratic and public debate cannot hurt the cause for reform and justify more aggressive or progressive actions in the upcoming years...
  3. Another Voice's Avatar
    Federal Judge Blocks Utah Immigration Law, sound familiar?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/10/utah-immigration-law-_n_860222.html?fbwall
  4. My 2 cents's Avatar
    I can't agree with you more Anon.
  5. jkl's Avatar
    A simple administrative action that would allow for EAD and AP travel documents for all who file I-140 would bring a great relief for all legal immigrants waiting years for priority dates to come current. Why isn't anybody from the interest groups such as businesses proposing such measures to the Congress or administration? I think that would be doable within the existing laws,no?
  6. gg's Avatar
    greg, towards the end of the speech i think i heard the president say that he would like to first reform parts of immigration where there is already bi-par support. he mentioned visa reform and dream if i am not wrong. maybe his plan is cir through piecemeal.
  7. Frank W.'s Avatar
    Greg Siskind states the following:
    "1. The President pleaded - again - to being helpless to fix the problems in the system without action by Congress. He even said that 'that's how democracy works.' But as the Chief Executive, the President already has been granted enormous power by Congress to fix problems in the system. Why is he not using them? To say that only Congress can act is neither factually or constitutionally true, the way he is justifying not acting - that it's beyond his power - is insulting. He should simply say that he doesn't CHOOSE to act, not that his hands are tied. This is the President who has talked about having an adult conversation with the public. Let's hear it then."

    Suggestion:
    The organization(s) that represent Immigration Lawyers in the United States should deliver an open letter to President Obama addressing in detail the points you have just mentioned.

  8. Frank W.'s Avatar
    Some thoughts...

    "Maintaining the status quo with regard to the millions of illegal immigrants living in the US threatens our security and fuels the underground economy. To address these problems, DHS has long envisioned legislation establishing a broad-based legalization program to register and screen this population, excluding individuals who pose a security risk, and legalizing those who qualify and intend to stay here. To register and screen these applicants effectively, DHS has proposed a two-phase process. During Phase 1, eligible applicants would be registered, fingerprinted, screened and considered for an interim status that allows them to work in the US. Successful applicants would receive a biometric-enabled, tampered-resistant credential. During Phase 2, applicant who had fulfilled additional statutory requirements would be permitted to become lawful permanent residents."

    http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/dhs_draft_memo_09222010.pdf

    If the leaked memo is indeed genuine, then it is fair to assume that the Executive Branch has already designed a systematic plan to proceed with the legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States as soon as the necessary conditions are met.
    Government procedures, like the ones proposed by this document do not emerge as a pure coincidence. They are part of a much greater scheme and ongoing events pertaining to National Security, the economy and other factors tend to corroborate that.

    The current show (Obama's immigration speech in Texas) is only a smokescreen to keep entertained the ignorant masses of this country.
  9. I 539 Forms's Avatar
    At least it brings more attention to this issue.
  10. amnjr's Avatar
    "Suggestion:
    The organization(s) that represent Immigration Lawyers in the United States should deliver an open letter to President Obama addressing in detail the points you have just mentioned.


    Posted by: Frank W. | May 10, 2011 at 10:26 PM"

    AMEN! Why has this Administration's fecklessness and duplicity been tolerated for so long?

    Upon his inauguration, I expected IMMEDIATE Administrative fixes in addition to CIR. The dope I was, I thought all we had to do was wait until 01/21/2009. By May 2009, I was apoplectic, not only with the P, but the CIR advocates who said and did NOTHING!

    Enough! Luis Gutierrez should not be the only public figure denouncing the Obama betrayal on immigration reform.
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