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Obama's Cynical "Support" for Dems' Immigration Discharge Petition. By Roger Algase

Rating: 3 votes, 3.67 average.
President Obama is taking his cynical game of pretending to support immigration reform while continuing to deport more than 1,000 people a day to a new level. On March 26, he issued a statement saying that he "applauds" the efforts of House Democrats to force a vote on immigration reform through a discharge petition - which has almost no chance of success.

See Seung Min Kim's article in POLITICO: Obama endorses House Dem immigration push (March 26).

As Kim writes in her article:

"And some [pro-reform] activists were highly critical of the discharge petition, calling it nothing more than a political stunt."

She also writes:

"'House Democrats should focus on pressuring the White House to halt deportations and provide administrative relief for our families," said Cristina Jimenez, the managing director of United We Dream, a nationwide coalition of immigrant youth. 'They cannot simply seek political cover by gathering meaningless political signatures while standing on the sidelines and refusing to take action to ease the suffering in our communities.'"

Obama's hypocritical policy of talking a good game on immigration reform, while letting either his inner Tea Party sympathies or his cowardice in refusing to take on the Tea Party anti-immigrant bigots directly determine what he actually does about deportation, also makes no sense for the Democrats politically.

If the president continues to "stand on the sidelines" while more than two million minority men women and children are deported by his administration in only five years, no one should be surprised if Latino, Asian and other minority voters, as well as millions of pro-immigrant white voters of good will, also stand on the sidelines in this fall's election, thereby assuring a Republican Senate, Republican gains in the House, and an irrelevant presidency during the following two years which could well be a prelude to a Republican takeover of the White House in 2016.

Based on past GOP performance, Republican control of Congress and the White House would in all probability put an end to any chance of immigration reform for a decade - or a generation.

It would also in all likelihood lead to attempts to turn the clock back on immigration - even more deportations, efforts to nullify the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright US citizenship, criminalizing the entire immigration system, and giving bigoted state and local officials even greater immigration enforcement powers than the ones which the Supreme Court took away in Arizona v. US in 2012 - all in the interests of maintaining a white supremacist America.

Cristina Jimenez, who is quoted above, is unlikely to be the only pro-reform advocate who will be asking in the coming months whether the House Democrats should be putting more pressure on Obama to use his administrative power over immigration enforcement, which the federal courts have long recognized, to scale back or halt the deportations until the Republicans finally agree to pass immigration reform.

That might actually produce some results in persuading America's Deporter-in-Chief to change direction. In contrast, empty political grandstanding with a discharge petition that has no real expectation of being approved may make good headlines, but it is unlikely to accomplish anything.

______________________________________________
Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been practicing business immigration law for more than 30 years. His practice includes H-1B and O-1 work visas, and green cards though PERM labor certification, EB-1 extraordinary ability and opposite sex or same sex marriage, as well other immigration and citizenship cases. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

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Updated 03-27-2014 at 08:49 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Jack2's Avatar
    Obama's hypocritical policy of talking a good game on immigration reform, while letting either his inner Tea Party sympathies or his cowardice in refusing to take on the Tea Party anti-immigrant bigots directly determine what he actually does about deportation
    I don't put much effort into trying to read Obama's mind or predict what he will do. No one knows what he really thinks or can predict what he will do because when principle is lacking, anything is possible. E.g., His repeated flip-flopping between what he can't (and can) do administratively is simply absurd regardless of which side you are on.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    This is one of the few times when I would almost agree with Jack2.

    Roger Algase
  3. Roy Watson's Avatar
    While it is refreshing to see someone look more objectively to what the president does rather than what he says, I believe you may be a little too simplistic in your analysis of the Republican party. The last time I checked, it was a Republican president who proposed a legalization program. It was a Republican president who held an Oval Office program to propose a farm worker program that would allow temporary workers (primarily from Mexico) to enter the US to work, but then return and not stay, thus benefiting both the worker and the farmers and ultimately the US. The Democrats are not the altruistic supporters of fairness they are so often painted out to be. They support legalization for two reasons. One, because it provokes dissension among Republicans and thus it polarizes their votes, and two because the unions - desperate for more members so they can contribute more money to the Democrats - accept that the 11 million are here and are working, but they can't really join unions (and be forced to contribute dues to support Democratic candidates) unless they are recognized as lawful. That also explains why Democrats do not support additional unskilled worker provisions. They don't want anyone who is not a union member to compete. Republicans do not vote "lock step" on whatever leadership says, which makes any blanket statement so unfair since there is no "single" voice. There are a considerable number of Republicans who support immigration reform and almost all (even the small number who continue to block progress on the issue of legalization) also support expanding employment visas on all levels. To paint all Republicans with one single brush is a disservice to everyone, and continues to simply divide people rather than trying to bring them together to achieve a common goal. It also ignores the very real possibility that if the Republicans do gain control of the White House (and possibly even the Senate) then there is a very strong chance that real immigration reform will happen. Immigration reform that benefits all of us and does not just throw billions of dollars at border control. That is, unless of course everyone again just reflexively jumps on the band wagon and - as they did with President Bush who fought bitterly with members of his own party to try and propose legalization - simply bash it because it is coming from a Republican. Who knows what might have been? But I wonder, if we could have already had legalization (instead of two million deportees) had some of the same people who automatically attacked Bush's proposal last time had really done something unusual and instead of criticizing the plan because it had flaws had said something along the lines of, "Thank you Mr. President for this excellent idea. May we work WITH you to improve this proposal?" I don't know. Call me crazy, but I think it would have worked.

    Roy J. Watson, Jr.
    Boston, MA
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Mr Watson might want to read my comments a little more carefully. I have never claimed that the Republicans have been monolithic on Immigration. Moreover, I have strongly praised Republicans who have stood up for reform, including Senate Gang of Eight members such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

    They have not been afraid to face criticism and vilification in their own party for supporting reform.

    I have also praised former President George W. Bush for standing up to the bigots in his own party to support the failed reform bill in 2007, as well as for having deported far fewer people than Obama.

    But, Mr. Watson, we also have to look at reality. Reform was killed by House Republicans after being passed by a Democratic Senate with support from only 14 Republicans last year.

    Even prominent Republicans such as Colin Powell have had to speak out against racism in their own party. If the Republicans are not in fact the party of hate against Latinos and African-Americans, they are doing their best to create that appearance.

    Roger Algase
    Updated 04-08-2014 at 12:04 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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