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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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Apparently, House Democrats are thinking along the same lines as I wrote a few days back and will move forward with immigration reform this year rather than waiting until after the election as many had assumed.  For more on the logic of this move, see my post from last week.

In the mean time, some are urging John McCain to run to the right on immigration and pursue a restrictionist agenda. I've written a separate piece on why this would be a mistake for McCain and now the Wall Street Journal is weighing in with a similar warning. McCain's past immigration position has actually had more appeal with Republicans than talk radio show hosts would you to believe and the Arizona Senator should not go wobbly on his commitment to real immigration reform.


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  1. Sean D's Avatar
    "Apparently, House Democrats are thinking along the same lines"

    What is your source for this comment? I read the WSJ article and the two you wrote but I can't find anywhere that says that the Dems are actually thinking of doing this. Do you have any proof? Or is this just a theory?
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    McCain needs to run on a guest worker program with path to residency given on a case by case basis. All those folks who are married to US citizens, and have children and have lived here for several years and whose papers are not in order because of the bungling by DHS or hard to understand rules should be given amnesty first. This would fit in with the GOP family values unlike those who claim to possess family values but want to rip families apart such as Tom Tancredo and Marsha Blackburn. Oh I forgot. For them family values stop with white people.

    One more thing. If the Dems really want to cause problems for the GOP and hold McCain's legs to the fire, I suggest that they wait till the summer to push on this. Otherwise they give a third party candidate such as the closet racist Ron Paul, who fraudulently claims to be libertarian an opening.
  3. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Sorry, Sean. I accidentally forgot to put the link in the post. I've corrected that now.
  4. texanmom's Avatar

    Any idea what the text of the legislation may be? All of us do not have access to the Roll Coll.

  5. Another voice's Avatar
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in capitol hill and the campaign trail. Also where will Bush come down on this if he has to some how defend or shield McCain, I guess he would have to be for it to make it a none issue on the campaign. Its a move that definetly will put the republicans on the defensive McCain will probablly stick to his record rather than to look like a flip flop to conservative takl radio which he will never please.
  6. Another voice's Avatar
    Impact or new Arizona anti-Immigrant laws is being hardly felt already!! They want to run ttheir own state guest worker program, I guess they did not hear about the Colorado experience.

    Study Foresees the Fall of an Immigration Record That Has Lasted a Century

    Rules Eased to Expedite Green Card Applications
  7. AAV's Avatar
    I hope people like you, dem legislators and other advocates for illegal immigrants will be fair-minded and the new legislation would include provisions to reduce the huge backlog of employment based legal immigrants who have followed all the laws of the land faithfully.
  8. Another voice's Avatar
    If it reflects the same principles as the 2006 CIR version there is help for evreyone including those "who have followed all the laws of the land faithfully." Greg has a posted version of the bill posted on the website.
  9. legal forever waiting forever's Avatar
    Greg has a posted version of the bill posted on the website.

    another voice...can you point me to this?
    the roll call article does not really address EB immigrants at all as best i can see, and while that does not mean much either way, i hope high skill relief will not be focussed on H1B issues only.
  10. 's Avatar
    This approach of granting onetime visa is much more sensible compared to failed Z visa proposal which did not have any conditions whatsoever. This proposal is good because it gives a hope for many people and makes sure that no separate treatment is given to undocumented.
  11. Another voice's Avatar
    CIR Bill 2006
  12. D's Avatar

    If only they could get their act together and pass something reasonable. It's a maddening that they can't see reason and put an end to all the crazy laws that are showing up all over the country these days.
  13. Beppe's Avatar
    Hi Greg,
    in your opinion, how many change has this bill to pass?
    Zero or Below Zero?
    Yesterday great debate between Chris Matthew and a right wing Talk radio about Immigration.
  14. USC's Avatar
    Let me begin with an apology. I would have posted a link rather than posting the entire article below. However, I received this as an email and a link is unavailable. It is well written and relevant to those that travel internationally.

    Again, my apologies for the breach in etiquitte in being unable to provide just a link.

    Does the Government Have the Right to Read Everything on your Computer?

    These days, our hard drives are almost like extensions of our lives. The data there can tell others a lot about our personal and business lives. Many folks have files containing formal letters, informal email messages and even transcripts of super-informal chat sessions. In email and chat, especially, they may say things in a joking manner that would result in disapproval or even legal action if they were taken seriously. Or they may, in all sincerity, confide intimate details about their thoughts and lives and those with whom they live. They may also have personal financial information, such as tax returns and other documents.

    If we use our personal computers for work, we may have all manner of information on them pertaining to our companies and clients. We may have memos and correspondence and contracts containing trade secrets or the details of confidential deals. We may have credit card or account numbers of our customers and other information about them that they would not want released to anyone else.

    Even if you keep your documents on a secure server instead of the local machine and you're careful to delete your email messages regularly, there may still be a lot of information that can be had by examining your temp files, web browser's cache files and other locations on your hard disk where data can hide.

    This becomes more of a problem when the computer holding all this is a portable. And an increasing number of people are now using laptops as their only computers. Of course, there are lots of ways you can protect the data on your laptop in case the computer is lost or stolen, as we discussed last month over on VistaNews in "Keeping your Portable Computer Safe" (Jan. 17 edition) at

    But it's not just thieves you may have to worry about accessing your information if you travel, especially if you travel internationally. In the name of security, government agents can seize your computer or other electronics devices. Some are even demanding that the computer owners provide their passwords.

    And when we say "government agents," we aren't just talking about regimes in countries that don't have constitutions or bills of rights. Most people aren't aware of the power that U.S. Customs has to search you and your things when you cross a border. Think you're protected from searches without probable cause by the sixth amendment? Think again - that prohibition doesn't apply to "border searches" by Customs agents. They can search your person - and your computer - just because they want to.

    The matter is, however, under review in the federal courts. While those courts have always upheld the exception to the probable cause requirement for searches of persons, vehicles, etc., privacy advocates contend that searching our hard drives goes beyond looking for dangerous or illegal items and comes very close to "mind probing" for "thought crimes." Read more about this here:

    Meanwhile, if you're planning a trip abroad, you might want to think twice about what's on your laptop's hard drive before you embark. At the very least, back everything up and leave the backup at home in a safe place. There have been reports of agents not just viewing data but also erasing it (either deliberately or accidentally).

    What about encryption? Can't you just encrypt all your data so the agents can't read it? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, you can - and you might not have to reveal the password (at least, if you're suspected of criminal activity). In a recent case, a man suspected of having child pornography on his laptop when crossing the U.S./Canadian border got a ruling from a federal court that requiring him to give up the encryption password would violate his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. You can read more about that one here:

    How about within the U.S.? Even if you don't cross any borders, there are circumstances where your laptop could be seized and searched without a warrant. Another exception to the probable cause requirement for conducting searches is called "search incident to arrest." This means if you're arrested - on any charge, including a traffic violation - police can search your vehicle, briefcase and whatever you might have with you, whether or not there's any probable cause that those things contain evidence of a crime. As the law stands now, that could also include your laptop or smart phone. Read an article about this here:

    Of course, you don't have to worry about that, because you aren't going to do anything to get you arrested, right? You're probably right - but perfectly innocent people do occasionally get arrested, for reasons ranging from mistaken identity to overly exuberant police officers who don't know the law (as a former cop myself, who still occasionally teaches criminal justice and police academy courses, I've seen more than my share of rookies who don't yet know or understand the laws as well as veteran officers who aren't aware of changes in the law that make what was arrestable last year legal today). A search of your hard drive under those circumstances probably won't turn up anything legally incriminating - but it's still going to feel like an invasion of privacy.

    What's the point? Don't assume that the information you store on your computer can't or won't be perused by government agents at some time or another. Be aware that joking comments about wanting to "kill" someone you're angry with or noting that your friend "must have been smoking some really good stuff" could very well arouse suspicion of wrong doing if they fall into the wrong hands. Sure, such mistakes will probably eventually be recognized for what they are, but in the meantime, you could suffer plenty of inconvenience (at best).

    What do you think? Should the government have the power to search your hard drive at the border, in the interests of national security? Should the police be able to do so if you're arrested for something completely unrelated to your computer? Or should those who have done nothing wrong just not worry about it? Tell us your opinions at
  15. kalifornian's Avatar
    To AAV :

    The 'legal' doesn't count much here . Politicians will be more interested in big vote banks.
    Note : I have tunnel vision of legal class of immigrants.

  16. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    No, Kalifornian, you have your own tunnel vision. Not everyone is like you.
  17. K's Avatar
    Forget about our tunnel vision, Hope you really do something for illegals apart from picking on legal immigrants. This person thinks he/she is a mother Teresa because he/she does the lip service to illegals.
  18. 's Avatar
    Guys just look the posts posted by supporters of illegal immigration here , They want to hijack the whole system for themselves. These people are illgeal and they behave this way ,You can only imagine what will happen to immigration system when these 12 to 20 million people become citizens.
  19. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Look at the bigots here. All them care about is how many brown people will come to the US after their relatives obtain citizentship.
  20. 's Avatar
    Worse yet, their relatives will get an opportunity to come legally. That really *****!
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