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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

DID JOE WILSON MAKE UP STORY ABOUT PRACTICING IMMIGRATION LAW?

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Yesterday Congressman Joe Wilson talked to reporters about his claim that the President was lying about immigrants having access to health care subsidies under the President's health care plan. According to the NY Times:

"I'm for immigration," [Wilson] said, adding that he had been an immigration
lawyer
, although he did not specify exactly what he had done. "But
people who come toour country and violated our laws, we should not be providing full services."

It struck me immediately that this would be bizarre if true. Going from representing immigrants to being a member of the virulently anti-immigrant Immigration Reform Caucus and getting an A- rating from anti-immigrant group Numbers USA as well as support from the anti-immigrant fundraising group ALIPAC would show a dramatic tranformation in one's views. 

I've been practicing immigration law in the South for nearly 20 years and know a lot of my fellow immigration lawyers in this region. I didn't recognize the name Joe Wilson from West Columbia, South Carolina. So I decided to call some of my friends in the Carolina immigration bar - including some from Columbia - and no one is aware of Congressman Wilson ever handling immigration matters

South Carolina's immigration bar is not large. And immigration in the state has only been substantial in recent years. Wilson left private practice in 2001 so the odds of him having an immigration practice that escaped the notice of the state's handful of other immigration lawyers is extremely remote.  

Did Congressman Wilson - who is making national headlines for calling the President a liar - lie to the national media about his being an immigration lawyer? If so, why? Was it somehow to make it seem like his incorrect reading of the health care bill's immigration provision was accurate?

Congressman Wilson can clear this up by producing evidence of having filed immigration cases and actually having knowledge of immigration law. Former immigration clients of Joe Wilson - speak up and show the world your former lawyer is not the liar he accuses the President of being!

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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    No need to find out whether he was an immigration lawyer. The fact that he belongs to the HIRC means he is not for immigration..and the fact that he says that he is for immigration itself is a plain lie. HIRC is made up of racists such as Nathan Deal and Marsha Blackburn or those pandering to racists...they want a moratorium on immigration. So Joe Wilson cannot be for immigration. Therefore he is a LIAR..end of the story!
  2. AD's Avatar
    This whole episode is an attention seeking drama pandering to the constituents and becoming a hero. Who talks about Joe wilson this much? Lets not give him what he wanted. Hit the ignore button
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    seeking drama pandering to the RACIST constituents who belong to all white country clubs such as Forest Hills outside the state capital.
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Methinks he deserves a nomination to the Real Househusbands of Hilton Head. Sarah Palin should move in next door.
  5. Another voice's Avatar
    It seems like the typical Republican hypocrisy...."I do not hate immigrants, just illegals" Same thing that people like Lou Dobbs say every night!!! He is trying to look like a non-racist, but in SC come on....
  6. SC's Avatar
    I have personally met Joe Wilson at a political function some years ago and he made a short speech about his background at this event. If I remember correctly, he made the following statements:

    (a) that he was or had been involved with the Congressional committee on immigration matters

    (b) he had worked as an immigration attorney prior to taking on his responsibilties in Congress

    I have no idea if these statements are true (I have no reason to believe they are false either). But certainly, his claim to have worked as an immigration attorney is not new.
  7. Cheyanne Dog Soldier's Avatar
    Of course he is an immigration lawyer. He emigrated himself from Columbia, South Carolina to Washington, DC and has finally gotten his 15-minutes that he has been so long waiting to get. However, he should recall the words of the Chinese saying, "Watch what you wish for."
  8. Annabelle 's Avatar
    Fantastic! An anti-immigrant immigration attorney and legislator. Not only does he try to make immigrants' lives miserable through his work in Congress, but he also made money off of those immigrants!!!
  9. James J.  Sielicki's Avatar
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............Have you all forgotten the "Congressional Decorum" bestowed on President George W. Bush in his speech to joint Congress in 2005?? (Boos and shoutouts in case you have forgotten). What a bunch of hypocrites you are.....typical liberal radical Democrats.
  10. Dennis Braves's Avatar
    Does not tradition itself teaches us that "royalty demands respects always"? So I hate to add that not only is Mr. Wilson a racist, he's also a rebel. And if a rebel, how can he be opting for the leadership of this great nation. He's been weighed and found a liar - 'cos he claimed to be for immigrants which he's not.
  11. Dennis Braves's Avatar
    One more thing I need to add here is that the time has come for all to realize that racism is no longer acceptable in any modern society. The blacks alone wouldn't have elected Obama to the white house, and neither the white alone could have done the same thing. It takes large collections of polls from both racial groupd to elect anybody to the white house, or any other political positions. So if Joe Wilson is aspiring to make a breakthrough in his political career he'd better change his perceptions on race - period
  12. Dennis Braves's Avatar
    Joe Wilson has also raised his fingers against a sitting president of this great nation. That's a total insubordination against a President. It's also clear that "he who refuses order from superiors cannot exert orders or people". He's thus become notorious for rebelling against the president and claiming to be who's not and whom he'll never be due to his racial standing. Wow| looks like his political ambition is doomed at last
  13. Cheyanne Dog Soldier's Avatar
    And to think that he told his dear Mother that he played piano in a cat house.
  14. Green Card's Avatar
    From a humanitarian perspective, our fellow human beings, who migrate to support their families, continue to suffer at the hands of immigration policies that separate them from family members and drive them into remote parts of the American desert, sometimes to their deaths. This suffering should not continue.

    Now is the time to address this pressing humanitarian issue which affects so many lives and undermines basic human dignity. Our society should no longer tolerate a status quo that perpetuates a permanent underclass of persons and benefits from their labor without offering them legal protections.
  15. eb5 investor visa's Avatar
    While I understand that few immigrants will qualify for an easy immigration method such as an eb5 investor visa, I still cannot find much sympathy for people who choose to break the laws of the nation then not only expect, but DEMAND they be given not only equal, but SUPERIOR rights and privileges.
  16. GEOFF's Avatar
    ok, someone has to say it.

    Joe Wilson.....YOU LIE!
  17. eb5 green card's Avatar
    It may be as harmless as him overextending himself a bit. Perhaps he worked on some immigration cases in an unofficial capacity. Maybe he gave advice to immigrants in need of an expert. While he may never have officially been an 'immigration lawyer,' that does not at all necessarily mean that he was being intentionally manipulative.
  18. Green Card Lottery's Avatar
    Federal immigration law determines whether a person is an alien, the rights, duties, and obligations associated with being an alien in the United States, and how aliens gain residence or citizenship within the United States. It also provides the means by which certain aliens can become legally naturalized citizens with full rights of citizenship. Immigration law serves as a gatekeeper for the nation's border, determining who may enter, how long they may stay, and when they must leave.
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