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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Democrats About to Have to Make Some Tough Choices

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The Hill reports on the dilemma Democrats face. Clearly, the GOP leaders in the House are not going to offer a set of principles nearly as good for immigrants overall than what has been passed by the Senate (though there are some provisions - such as those related to guest workers and certain provisions related to high skilled workers that may be more immigrant-friendly in the House versions). The House is likely going to more closely tie legalization provisions to enforcement benchmarks and not include a special path to citizenship designed to ensure that most of those legalized eventually get green cards. And they're likely going to include provisions designed to give states more authority to enforce immigration law. Republicans will need more than just a few Democrats to sign on so the question is going to be how far House Democrats are willing to go to make a deal. The Democrats are wisely not making concessions before bills are introduced, but they'll probably want to respond quickly after the Republicans introduce their principles later this month. My hope is that they will keep an open mind rather than reflexively shut the door on a deal. I'm cautiously optimistic that's the approach that will be taken.

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Updated 01-22-2014 at 07:47 AM by GSiskind

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I respectfully disagree with Greg. The whole point of immigration reform was to get immigration reform, not more Republican enforcement-only measures. The Republicans are acting as if Romney had won the 2012 election.

    If the Democrats cave in on all the GOP enforcement poison pills, he might just as well have won.

    One also has to ask if the House Republicans are serious about willingness to legalize any significant number of unauthorized immigrants under any circumstances, or whether they will move the goalposts (also known as "principles") yet again, even if immigration supporters give in to the Republicans' latest impossible demands.

    Notice also, how quickly the battle moved away from citizenship to legalization, and how the Republicans are now showing their true colors by threatening to kill that too, unless their enforcement poison pills are accepted.

    And suppose that immigration supporters are foolish enough to accept these latest GOP poison pills. I can then see the GOP leaders' final offer. "We will accept provisional legalization for half a million immigrants - after 11 and a half million have been deported, not before,"

    As the gay activist I referred to in my January 21 post said, the Republican party is too tainted by bigotry to be able to accept any reasonable compromise. This is why even that word itself has become a dirty word among House Republican leaders with regard to immigration, not just same sex rights.

    It is time for reform supporters to stop being played for suckers by the House Republicans - and to concentrate, with the help of Latino and other minority voters, on making sure that there are fewer Republicans around when the new Congress comes to town in 2015. Otherwise, there will never be anything like the kind of immigration reform that the American people voted for in 2012 and still overwhelmingly support.

    There will only be even more severe anti-immigrant "enforcement- only" persecution, masquerading, Orwellian- style, under the name of "reform".

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-22-2014 at 12:32 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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