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Letters of the Week: July 18- July 22

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  1. Joseph Whalen's Avatar
    One item of specific interest is coming before the U.S. Supreme Court....

    Wednesday, Oct. 12:

    Judulang v. U.S. (10-694) -- reviewing whether a lawful permanent resident who was convicted by guilty plea of an offense that renders him deportable, but who did not depart and reenter the United States between his conviction and the commencement of removal proceedings, is categorically foreclosed from seeking discretionary relief from removal under former Section 212(c) of the INA.
  2. Honza Prchal's Avatar
    In Danielle Beach-Oswald 's otherwise interesting and believable article, A Lesson to Be Learned from Alabama, she writes "Currently, 4.2% of Alabama's workforce consists of undocumented workers." I am extremely skeptical of this number. I live in one of the most immigrant heavy counties in the state and I think it is high even for Jefferson or Baldwin Counties, though perhaps not for raspberry farm country during harvest season.
    I am curious as to the source of the 4.2% number. It sounds like something manufactured by a group of immigration alarmists ("They're takin' over!! Defend our womenfolk and jobs and take back our streets!!") or some group that assumes America is inherently racist and needs to lay back and enjoy total surrender over immigration policy ("Half the people here are illegal anyhow and we all rely on them, so have a heart you hate-filled racist knuckle dragger. To the barricades!!").
    I am not a huge fan of Alabama's almost Swiss (but not nearly so harsh) policy, largely because it is confusing to local government long ignorant of such matters, still not educated about them by Montgomery and because it seems a remedy for a non-problem. Alabama lacks Arizona's or California's breakdown of many parts of the regulatory state resulting in noticeable lawless zones exacerbated by large numbers of undocumented residents in the grey economy. I've never driven through anything like Imperial Valley here, even in the most rural areas and deepest inner cities. If the 4.25% statistic is correct, I have one less argument against the law.
    I might even support that law if the 4.2% statistic is correct. If our immigration system really is so broken that 1/20 Alabama workers is illegally present, and with our massive surplus labor pool in the black Belt, maybe the law isn't such a waste of time and effort after all. We still need federal immigration reform, but 1/20 is a lot, and there is something to be said for "self-help" by the states, though it surely could be done better. Perhaps this sort of thing will finally catch the attention of folks in DC who might totally redesign our over-complicated (why, for example, is the Department of Labor even involved when it admits it lacks the expertise necessary to fulfill its "role" in immigration) and tottering legal immigration system. it may be worth chasing illegal immigrant crime victims away from help from the police if our Rube Goldberg system gets reformed, or at least if the population of illegal immigrants gets contained before we become like the late Roman Empire, ruled by local grandees and kinship networks operating outside the law.
    But I don't think it is correct, at least not without some serious convincing.

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