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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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I've written a number of times that we need to think about pursuing piecemeal immigration reform and give up on the notion of a comprehensive solution. The reason for this is simple math - you need Republican votes in the Senate to make it happen and the Republican Party has moved so far in to the Tea Party camp that it can't even muster a single pro-immigration voice. Lindsey Graham was that sole voice for much of 2009, but he walked away from the table in the spring and his latest pronouncements on the topic indicate that much like his predecessor in the role, John McCain, he has decided to abandon his prior views and go all out in the other direction. McCain has become the "finish the dang fence" Senator. And Graham just told Fox News he plans to introduce legislation to amend the US Constitution by repealing the 14th Amendment guarantee to birthright citizenship. That particular position is usually a telltale sign that someone is an anti-immigration extremist.

So for those pro-immigration groups out there who still think they can get the votes on CIR, this latest development ought to be a wake up call that it's just not happening. Time to move on to Plan B.


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  1. Jim's Avatar
    Time to move on to plan B, indeed. And no more comments such as there is no chance of piece-meal legislations if not part of CIR w/ "path to citizenship".

    It should be crystal clear by now that CIR is not going to happen and that simply is the reality.

  2. Jim's Avatar
    From the start, I did not think Graham was serious at all. I think I mentioned it here a few months ago that I think he was just pretending to be co-operative to delay things by giving false hopes that there can be a CIR bill.

    That seems to be the GOP tactic. Ask for long debates, put out amendments, ask for more time for discussions, etc... Make an impression that there is hope for co-operation and real constructive debates/discussion but in the end the answer is still 'NO'.

  3. Adi's Avatar
    Do they have votes for piecemeal?
  4. Adi's Avatar

    Apparently that memo last week was for Army families.
  5. Adi's Avatar
    Some arguments for piecemeal:

    Especially this part,

    "Republican presidential candidates have an interest in getting the divisive immigration issue "off the table" for 2012 and stopping the party's hemorrhage of Hispanic voters. So do party luminaries such as Jeb Bush."
  6. Another Voice's Avatar
    I agree with the assessment of your posting but how do you know that the dems will get republican votes on anything immigration!!! I am for ANY relieve to anyone out there that needs help but in the current climate.... I just do not see anything happening!!
  7. George Chell's Avatar
    No CIR is going to happen! But rest assured that as long as they are after the illegals they will not come after the legals. Once they deal with the illegals they will come after legals and try to reduce immigration, including skilled immigration. Happened in the UK, it is now happening in Australia. It is legal immigrants that they would like to go after but illegals are keeping them busy.
  8. George Chell's Avatar
  9. Jim's Avatar

    "Some arguments for piecemeal:

    Especially this part,

    "Republican presidential candidates have an interest in getting the divisive immigration issue "off the table" for 2012 and stopping the party's hemorrhage of Hispanic voters. So do party luminaries such as Jeb Bush."

    Thanks, Adi. That just proves further that piece-meal legislations do really have better chances than CIR.

  10. Jim's Avatar

    Thanks for that link, George.

    I think a good compromise and possibly the saving grace for GOP right now and to prevent further divisiveness among them is to pass some much needed piece-meal legislations.

    That should appease some Evangelicals and at the same time not anger the hardliners as long as there is no legislation resulting in "path to citizenship". If there is going to be a "path to citizenship" somewhere or getting almost the same effect it should not be through Congress and the GOP party not involved. The leaked memo esp. if all the proposals there (particularly the expanded TPS) is adapted should provide the cover for the GOP.

  11. George Chell's Avatar

    In this era of dishonesty and deceit that is one of the most brutally honest pieces I have ever seen by all actors including the journalist..I will address the issue in the following post...myself being very honest and I am honest about my opinion in when I say that as long as they focus on illegals, they will not come after the legals. To me it is very clear, that going after the legals works..even in a booming economy such as Australia, the opposition party has drawn level with the labor by emphasizing cuts in legal immigration including skilled immigration. Australia does not have an illegal problem and hence it is a open season on legals including wealthy ones from Asia. Assaults on foreign students has become much so, the foreign student enrollment has fallen by 50% while in Canada it increased by 30% and in the US by 20%. The US universities bluntly told the Obama admin that if they restrict foreign students by sec 2149b), they will be in serious financial trouble and would come to the government for TARP bailout. Due to the presence of foreign students at least the private ones are sitting on a pile of cash..thanks to the bigotry of white Australians...nothing new there!

    Now back to the "anchor baby" issue and Lindsey Graham. There are several can of worms it opens. But, the first question, Greg, and other immigration lawyers need to ask Graham one main question:

    How does Graham reconcile his pro-life stance with his stance on anchor babies. After all he and others have been campaigning to restrict abortion funds in places such as Mexico...not just public funds but also private ones. Is he surprised that his actions and the actions of his fellow so-called pro-lifers result in more Mexican babies and more anchor babies? Does Graham and the pro-life stance end with the child being born or is his pro-life stance for white babies only?

    Then there are other issues which need to be addressed:

    (1) Does this apply only to people where both parents are illegal or does it apply to children born to an illegal as well as US citizen? Based on one drop rule, I would think that the children of a citizen and illegal would be an illegal. Can Graham specify this?

    (2) When an illegal has a baby and claims that the American father abandoned her, are they still going to deny citizenship to the baby because it cames from an illegal's womb?

    (3) If a white American girl comes to the court and says that she was raped by an illegal will Graham force her to carry the baby to term and then deny it the US citizenship because the father is illegal or presumed one, or would Graham compromise his principle as he has done in this case and gives her the right to abort the child? Based on what he has done with anchor babies I will not be surprised if he flip flops on abortion based on political expediency.

    (4) Finally, are they going to determine that every abandoned Hispanic baby's legality, and if found illegal or could not be determined is Graham going to advocate that the baby taken by the ICE and abandoned in a Mexican orphanage?

    All these issues need to be addressed during the debate. So, yes I want a congressional debate and people like Chuck Shumer need to nail Graham and his fellow birth righters.

  12. George Chell's Avatar

    The honesty in this report is very telling by the reporter and by the ones interviewed...

    "State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, who is pushing for a tough Arizona-style immigration law for Texas, said evangelical ministers who promote immigration reform risk losing their congregations and the White House in the future."

    "It could cause a divide in the right. There's no question about it," Berman said. "The right in Texas, the Baptist, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the people on the right, just don't want to see that happen. So, they might be causing problems within their own churches."

    Absolutely truthful! What he says is that the white skin worshipping pagans masquerading as Christians will leave the congregations....something I have always reiterated and now indirectly it is out of the mouth of the anti-immigrant.

    "Berman said he believes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is a path to creating Democratic voters."

    "There's 25 million in the United States - you can't listen to the 8 million to 12 million numbers that come out of Washington every day - you're going to create an instant 25 million Democrats," Berman said.

    "I don't think these evangelical leaders understand that."

    Very true...because many in the GOP including Lindsey Graham are white skin worshippers masquerading as Christians!

    "But for evangelicals, Land said there also is a practical reason to support immigration reform.

    Some of the greatest growth in the Southern Baptist Church is among Hispanics who have been converted."

    Very honest! Comes down to money. Of course, Mormon Church went after money in Mexico...but they dont like the idea of Mexicans living next to them in places such as Arizona...again many in the Mormon church have a long legacy of white skin worship. One Mormon openly told me that they will all meet in heaven but they dont like the idea of non-whites marrying into their families...Russell Pearce and other white skin worshippers included!

  13. Jim's Avatar
    "The honesty in this report is very telling by the reporter and by the ones interviewed..."

    Yet another good article. Thanks for posting the link, George.

    I would like to quote a comment from that article:

    "Even if they did create the pathway to citizenship *how many illegals would actual pay the fines and learn English and apply legally.* I don't think very many. You would still have to deal with the illegals that would not want to be bothered by the paper work. "

    He's correct. However, those 'illegals' that does not want to register, pay fines, learn English, etc.. are the ones whom no one will feel sympathy anymore if caught and deported. He was given a path and still chooses not to go with and so deport he must.

    And if that's the case then what's there to be scared of by the opponents of path to citizenship?? Surely, some will try and fail to comply with all the requirements and since they have to register first before they get into the program then they are going to be a lot easier to track and some may even just self-deport or voluntarily just leave. It would be the few that will not even bother registering and trying - they are the ones that needs to be hunted down as most likely hiding something and/or are criminal elements.

    But even then, by providing them an option for path to citizenship it would be much easier to deal with the ones who won't bother at all since path to citizenship would have segregated the illegal immigrants into certain groups and of course those who have registered will have criminal background checks.

    It's all about leading them out of the shadows and then hunting down those that remains in the shadows.

    At the very least, the job of dealing with the illegals would significantly be easier once segregated into groups as compared to piling them into one big group.

  14. Jim's Avatar
    "Land said what evangelical leaders are promoting is not amnesty. He said immigration reform should first secure the border and then the *path to citizenship should be a decade-long process of registration, paying fines, learning English and applying for citizenship behind those who followed the legal route."*

    "The idea that there is the political will to extricate 12- to 14 million people and return them to their home country of origin is delusional," Land said. "You start thinking about all the ugly pictures that would emerge if it was tried, any political will that was mustered would be dissipated pretty quickly: parents being separated from their children; children returned to countries they've never seen."

    Land is correct. The whole process is going to be long and hard. And as I have said many times before maybe even the one requirement of having to learn English and hopefully having to pass a standardized English exam like IELTS or TOEFL w/c legal immigrants have to go through is part of then not many will succeed but they would have been registered and taken out of the shadows w/c would be the whole point!!

    So, what the illegals get out of it?
    1) A chance to earn it, 2) Security that while they are registered and still undergoing the long and arduous process & trying to comply with all the requirements they are not going to be deported and hunted down

    So, what the US Gov't get out of it?
    1) It frees up resources as they only have to hunt down and focus to deport those who haven't even registered w/c more likely (but not all) maybe criminal elements
    2) Those who registered and ultimately fail, will be easy to track down and be deported and some may even just voluntarily leave. Saving lots of resources for the Gov't

    It's a win-win. The antis should realize that majority will not be able to comply with all the requirements and that path to citizenship would just make it easier and more humanely deport people. Not to mention a lot less expensive. The fees to come from registration may even be enough to cover everything or at the very least fund part of it.

    And if the GOP and the antis just let the administrative fixes seen in the leaked memo go through then they would have gotten their cake and have eaten it too as that would have left their name out from the whole thing. The perfect cover for them.

  15. KR's Avatar
    RIP CIR 20XX
  16. George Chell's Avatar

    Thanks for the comments. But, would like you to respond to my comments on Lindsey Graham.
  17. Jim's Avatar
    I think Graham is a wolf in sheep's clothing and potentially more dangerous than Tancredo and other antis.

    Never trusted him from the beginning and my hunch was right that he is only pretending to co-operate with Schumer with CIR. He's only intention was to delay and delay and give false hopes but in the end the answer is still 'NO'.

    As for the anchor baby issue and his so-called pro-life stance I think as you've said I feel that he can flip-flop anytime.
    He doesn't have principles. At least with Tancredo and other antis we know their stance and they are consistent.

    As for the US switching from Jus soli ( to another form would mean changing that part of the US constitution. I don't know how hard or easy would that be.
  18. George Chell's Avatar
    Changing part of the constitution is near impossible, and that would take on average fifteen to twenty years based on recent history. NY, IL, VT, MA, RI, CT, MD, NJ, CA, WA, HI, OR, MN, NV, FL and NM wont vote for it...even if it gets past that stage...and by 2020 AZ might not vote for it either unless all the Hispanics leave. However, I think we need to have a debate. Meanwhile here is evidence,that if racists and xenophobes dont have illegals to deal with, they will come after legals and try and reduce legal immigration...this one from Australia....even in excellent economic times....

    "Very strong support is recorded for Tony Abbott's lower immigration target, and the Coalition are favoured as best party on immigration."

    Let this be a warning...AZ whites are far worse than the Aussie variety..if they did not have the illegals, Pearce will come after Asians and even the rich variety as in the case of Australia. Everyone wants a one way street...particularly the Aussies...they all love to work in Singapore and Hong Kong but dont want Asians in Australia!

  19. My 2 cents's Avatar
    Let Graham do away with the 14th Amendment retrospective from the day Christopher Columbus landed on American soil. I am agreeable to that.
  20. USC's Avatar
    This is just a cheap shot gimmick. The Cans need the Senate, the House, and both legislatures in 38 States. They don't control anyhing to even get this out of committee.
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