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Schumer is wrong; if Hillary Clinton is elected, immigration reform will be impossible. by Nolan Rappaport

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WASHINGTON TIMES

In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Senator Charles Schumer said that his Schumer-McCain immigration reform bill passed the Senate by a vote of 68-32. According to Schumer, in the next congress, the mainstream conservatives in the Senate and House, who are a majority, will say to the 50 congressmen on the hard right who seem to tie things in a knot, to go take a hike. Schumer, Clinton, and Ryan have all said that they will support immigration reform and some kind of international tax reform if it is tied to a large infrastructure program.

The Senate has passed two major immigration reform bills, but both were opposed by a majority of the Senate Republicans. On May 25, 2006, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, S. 2611, with a vote of 62 yeas and 36 nays. Only 23 Republican senators voted for it; the other 32 Republicans and four Democrats voted against it. On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S. 744, with 68 yeas and 32 nays. This time, only 14 of the Republicans voted for it; the other 32 voted against it. As could have been expected, both bills were dead on arrival when they reached the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

I am only aware of one successful immigration reform bill that had such one-sided political support, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), which was an extremely harsh Republican bill. Ironically, IIRIRA was signed into law as part of a larger bill by Hillary’s husband, Bill. Bill’s formalstatement at the signing ceremony explicitly acknowledged that he was in favor of strengthening the rule of law by cracking down on illegal immigration. The pertinent part of his statement reads as follows:

This bill, ... includes landmark immigration reform legislation that builds on our progress of the last three years. It strengthens the rule of law by cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, in the workplace, and in the criminal justice system—without punishing those living in the United States legally.

The obstacle to comprehensive immigration reform today is that the Democrats and the Republicans have very different attitudes towards legalization. The Democrats believe that the 11 or so million undocumented aliens in the United States should have lawful status because they deserve it and it is the right thing to do. The Republicans, however, believe that the undocumented aliens are in the United States in violation of our laws and should be deported.

But there is a way around that deadlock, the wipe-the-slate-clean deal that was the basis for the passage of the last comprehensive immigration reform bill thirty years ago, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Faced with the realization that the 2.7 million undocumented aliens in the United States at that time were never going to be deported, which is just as true about the 11 million undocumented aliens we have now, the Republicans agreed to legalize the undocumented aliens who were already in the United States in return for an enforcement program and a secure border that would prevent a new group of undocumented aliens from taking their place. The Democrats got their legalization program but the promised enforcement program was never implemented and the border was never secured. By the beginning of 1997, the 2.7 million legalized aliens had been replaced entirely by a new group of undocumented aliens.

I believe that the Republicans would agree to the same deal now if they were assured that this time, they would get border security and interior enforcement before a legalization program is implemented. The problem is that the Republicans would never trust Hillary Clinton to implement interior enforcement and without interior enforcement, border security is impossible. Knowledge that an undocumented alien will not be deported once he has reached the interior of the country is a powerful magnet that will draw undocumented aliens here from all over the world. This would be particularly true of aliens who can come here under the Visa Waiver Program.

At a Democratic Presidential Debate on March 9, 2016, Hillary Clinton said that if she is elected, she would not deport any undocumented alien children and she would only deport undocumented adult aliens who have criminal records. As president, she would enforce the immigration laws humanely by focusing resources on detaining and deporting immigrants who pose a violent threat to public safety. And she is still making these promises.

Ironically, immigration reform would be possible if Donald Trump is elected. If he tries to carry out his promise to deport the 11 million undocumented aliens, which already has been whittled down to deporting the criminals “and then we’ll see,” he will come to the same realization that previous Republican leaders have faced. It can’t be done. The Donald, however, is a proud man and he sees himself as a great deal maker. I would expect him to view bringing the two parties together on a comprehensive immigration reform bill as a great challenge. Being an experienced businessman, as opposed to being a politician, I would expect him to look for a compromise that would meet the essential needs of both parties instead of trying to achieve an outcome that would advance the agenda of his party. And he could be counted on to implement enforcement provisions and secure the border. My prediction is that the outcome would be a second Immigration Reform and Control Act, IRCA of 2017.

Published originally in Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...=1476841945194

About the Author
Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as the immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.






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Updated 10-19-2016 at 04:55 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    This comment has been updated as of October 23 at 10:57 pm:

    One of the best summaries of what Donald Trump and his candidacy mean for America is in an article by Francis Wilkinson in the October 21 Bloomberg News called: Trump is a Lesson in Dignity and Democracy which states in part as foll

    "Ever since he began his campaign, Donald Trump has waged a sustained assault on democratic norms and democratic dignity. The first phase attacked individuals, Mexicans followed by Muslims. Trump targeted vulnerable minorities, as demagogues do, but he also belittled and taunted his Republican primary opponents...

    Trump's lashing of Megyn Kelly...provided the cathartic template for his general election campaign against Hillary Clinton, which reached Peak Nuremberg with the general spectacle of mobs chanting. "Lock her up."

    It's impossible to calibrate the cost of this. The racism and misogyny and xenophobia...

    Trump is a walking, talking violation of democratic virtue. He fraudulently calls the election, democracy's foundational institution, rigged, and makes no promise to abide by its results. He attacks the free press and encourages his thuggish followers to threaten journalists."


    I am sorry that I cannot find a link to the above story that works. I will post one as soon as I can locate it.


    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    My original comment follows below:

    It would be nice if there were any reality to Mr. Rappaport's sanitized, rose-colored expectations for Donald Trump to come to his senses somehow after being elected (if he is), and turn into Donald the Deal maker instead of Donald the Dictator or Trump the Torturer, which has been the image he has been creating for himself ever since he opened his campaign by spewing hatred against Latino, and later on Muslim immigrants, and vowing drastic retaliation against anyone who opposes him, including, most recently. threatening to lock up Hillary Clinton, the only person who stands between him and the presidency.

    If one looks back at history, many people thought that Adolf Hitler would behave reasonably once he took power too. Instead, he murdered 6 million Jews and set off a war in which 60 million people died.

    Trump is not a mass murderer or an anti-semite. In that sense, it would be unreasonable, even absurd, to compare him with Hitler. But, like Hitler and many other dictators around the world, Trump has all the earmarks of an autocrat.

    It would be nice to think that he would like to make deals with his adversaries. Maybe he would. Or maybe, based on at least some of his threats, he would try to send then to prison, if not to Guantanamo, instead.

    Roger Algase
    Updated 10-23-2016 at 09:59 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    The article is about Hillary, not Trump.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 10-20-2016 at 01:07 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Umm, is anyone having a little arithmetic problem in discussing Nolan's article? As I read his article, there are two full paragraphs devoted to Hillary Clinton, with a total of 21 lines (plus a couple of words of line 22). They are followed by one paragraph, which is entirely about Donald Trump, consisting of 19 lines. Therefore, whoever wrote above that

    "The article is about Hillary, not Trump."

    was apparently only reading half of Nolan's article - well, about 51 per cent, to be precise.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 10-20-2016 at 05:18 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Now, to continue, having demonstrated by irrefutable mathematical proof that Nolan's above article is only a difference of two lines away from being just as much about Donald Trump as it is about Hillary Clinton, let us look a little more closely at the actual content of Nolan's whitewashed image of Trump as an experienced businessman, deal maker and negotiator who, in Nolan's words, could be expected to "look for a compromise that would meet the essential needs of both parties" on immigration reform.

    There are just a few things about this assessment that don't quite jibe with the reality of Donald Trump as we have been seeing him on the campaign trail and at the presidential debates, and as we know about his business and public policy statements background.

    Let us, for the moment, overlook that fact that Trump has been involved in over 3,000 lawsuits, not something that any lawyer normally regards as a sign of willingness to compromise, and instead focus on his actions in the political sphere, which is what the debate over immigration reform is all about. First, it is undeniably true that Trump's knee-jerk reaction to any criticism or opposition by is to threaten a libel lawsuit in order to silence his opponents, most recently in his evidently now abandoned attempt to sue the New York Times over a sexual harassment allegation in one of its stories about him.

    On October 19, at the final presidential debate, we heard a great deal from Trump about protecting and bolstering the 2nd Amendment, but nothing about respecting the 1st Amendment. (To digress, Hillary Clinton missed a great opportunity to slam Trump on this point, as well as his disregard for the due process and birthright citizenship protections of the 14th Amendment - but that is another story.)

    Can anyone possibly think that free speech would survive very long once someone who wants to "open up" the libel laws and send American citizens to Guantanamo (if Nolan wants the link to that statement, i will be glad to provide it) has access to the enormous coercive powers of the government?

    Another attribute of a compromiser and negotiator is someone who accepts reality and facts, even when they are against him. Very possibly, Trump may be used to doing that in the business sphere; it is unlikely that he would ever argue that Trump Tower or one of his resort hotels has more floors, rooms, or square footage than it actually does (though there are disputes over whether he really has as many billions of dollars to his name as he claims, not to mention Trump, University, Trump Foundation, etc., etc.,) but in the political sphere, facts and reality mean nothing to him.

    If he is behind in the polls, it is because the electoral system is rigged against him. If next month's election goes against him, he will "look at" the situation to see whether he will accept the result, i.e. keep us "in suspense" about whether he will play by the rules of a democracy.

    At the previous debate, Trump threatened to put Hillary Clinton in jail if he is elected president. Could Nolan explain how that would serve the "essential needs of both parties"?

    I could go on and on, but I will instead conclude with only one out of many possible examples of a point that is directly relevant to any president's ability to negotiate with the other party about immigration reform - respect for the truth.

    Let us look at the issue of Syrian refugees. Nolan has used up a great deal of ink arguing that not enough is known, or can be known, about Syrian refugees in order to make it safe to admit them to the United States. As I have indicated in my own Immigration Daily responses to Nolan's contention, I believe that this argument is unjustified, and that it comes within the ambit of what one of America's most respected federal appeals court judges, Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit, less than three weeks ago referred to as "nightmare speculation" about Syrian refugees in a case involving Trump's running mate, Exodus Immigration v. Pence.

    I have even argued that Nolan's suggestion (if I understand his point correctly) that Syrian refugees might possibly turn out to be ISIS infiltrators is not very different from the unfounded suspicions during the 1930's that Jewish refugees might be "Nazi spies".

    But at least Nolan's arguments are coherent and have some basis in reality. Syria is in fact on the US terrorist sponsor list, even though one can argue about the significance of that fact. ISIS (even though it did not exist when Syria was originally put on the list almost 40 years ago, and even Donald Trump does not claim that today's Syrian government supports ISIS) is a very real and extremely serious danger to the US. Some US officials have in fact questioned our ability to find out all that needs to be known about Syrian refugees, just as Nolan claims.

    Nolan's approach is therefore that of rational, even though in my opinion, flawed argument. But, in contrast, look at Donald Trump's statements about Syrian refugees at the October 19 debate, as quoted by Slate.com

    "She [Hillary Clinton] is taking in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who probably, who are definitely, in many cases, ISIS aligned, and we now have them in our country, and wait until you see - a great Trojan horse. Lots of luck, Hillary - thanks for doing a great job."


    Since Nolan so often claims that I am making up "unsubstantiated" charges against Donald Trump, I will provide the link (I also personally watched Trump make these comments on television at the debate, as Nolan no doubt also did himself):

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slate...s_of_luck.html

    Hillary Clinton has let in "tens of thousands" of Syrian refugees who are "definitely, in many cases, ISIS aligned"?

    The reality, of course, is that even though President Obama has admitted exactly 10,000 Syrian refugees, and that Hillary Clinton (to her credit, in my view) supports letting in up to five times this number, there is not the slightest evidence so far that even one single admitted Syrian refugee has any connection with ISIS whatsoever! Even Nolan cannot dispute that.

    But reality has not stopped Donald Trump from making the wildest, most outrageously false charges against immigrants in the past, and it is not stopping him from doing so now, as the above statement clearly shows.

    Is this someone who is likely to be interested in negotiating a comprehensive immigration reform agreement that would serve the "essential" needs of both sides in the immigration debate?

    LOTS OF LUCK WITH THAT.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    PS: One of Nolan's favorite criticisms of my comments is that I allegedly make ad hominem (for those who don't know Latin - "personal") accusations against Donald Trump, someone whom I don't know, have never met and have no connection with whatsoever.

    To answer Nolan's Latin with Latin (which I will admit I enjoy doing - it is a shame that teaching this vitally important language and its magnificent literature has fallen into disuse in the United States), i would respond that my comments about Trump are not ad hominem, but are ad verbum and ad acta, i.e. (id est, itself a Latin phrase), based on his words (verba) and deeds (acta).

    Nolan might wish to go back to his Latin dictionary and review the difference.
    Updated 10-20-2016 at 05:52 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Umm, is anyone having a little arithmetic problem in discussing Nolan's article? As I read his article, there are two full paragraphs devoted to Hillary Clinton, with a total of 21 lines (plus a couple of words of line 22). They are followed by one paragraph, which is entirely about Donald Trump, consisting of 19 lines. Therefore, whoever wrote above that

    "The article is about Hillary, not Trump."

    was apparently only reading half of Nolan's article - well, about 51 per cent, to be precise.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    You are right if you look at the article that way, but the subject nevertheless is why Schumer is wrong in predicting immigration reform if Hillary wins.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 10-20-2016 at 01:06 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Yes, the statement that this article is mainly about Hillary Clinton's alleged inability to bring about immigration reform because the Republicans supposedly would not trust her to do so (why not? because of Paula Jones, Vince Foster, Benghazi or the emails?) is admittedly half true. Only 49 percent is an ode to Donald Trump's alleged ability and willingness to negotiate a CIR compromise instead.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Let us, for the moment, overlook that fact that Trump has been involved in over 3,000 lawsuits, not something that any lawyer normally regards as a sign of willingness to compromise, and instead focus on his actions in the political sphere, which is what the debate over immigration reform is all about. First, it is undeniably true that Trump's knee-jerk reaction to any criticism or opposition by is to threaten a libel lawsuit in order to silence his opponents, most recently in his evidently now abandoned attempt to sue the New York Times over a sexual harassment allegation in one of its stories about him.

    What was the outcome of the 3000 lawsuits? If you want to look just at the fact that he was sued, what about the fact that Hillary has been investigated by the FBI on suspicion of violating national security law when she was the DOS secretary. But I agree that he doesn't take criticism well.

    On October 19, at the final presidential debate, we heard a great deal from Trump about protecting and bolstering the 2nd Amendment, but nothing about respecting the 1st Amendment. (To digress, Hillary Clinton missed a great opportunity to slam Trump on this point, as well as his disregard for the due process and birthright citizenship protections of the 14th Amendment - but that is another story.)

    These are just unsubstantiated conclusions.

    Can anyone possibly think that free speech would survive very long once someone who wants to "open up" the libel laws and send American citizens to Guantanamo (if Nolan wants the link to that statement, i will be glad to provide it) has access to the enormous coercive powers of the government?

    I am not familiar with these claims, which again are unsubstantiated. Moreover, I don't see how he would be able to do such things without congressional support in any case, i.e., legislation.

    Another attribute of a compromiser and negotiator is someone who accepts reality and facts, even when they are against him. Very possibly, Trump may be used to doing that in the business sphere; it is unlikely that he would ever argue that Trump Tower or one of his resort hotels has more floors, rooms, or square footage than it actually does (though there are disputes over whether he really has as many billions of dollars to his name as he claims, not to mention Trump, University, Trump Foundation, etc., etc.,) but in the political sphere, facts and reality mean nothing to him.

    What are you saying now, that a politician doesn't stick to the truth with all of his talking points?

    If he is behind in the polls, it is because the electoral system is rigged against him. If next month's election goes against him, he will "look at" the situation to see whether he will accept the result, i.e. keep us "in suspense" about whether he will play by the rules of a democracy.

    My memory isn't very good anymore, but haven't several presidents claimed that the outcomes of their elections were illegitimate? Wasn't Al Gore one of them?

    At the previous debate, Trump threatened to put Hillary Clinton in jail if he is elected president. Could Nolan explain how that would serve the "essential needs of both parties"?

    He has threatened to appoint a special prosecutor. He expects that to result in putting her in jail. And he isn't the only one who thinks that would happen if her emails were investigated by politically neutral prosecutor.

    I could go on and on, but I will instead conclude with only one out of many possible examples of a point that is directly relevant to any president's ability to negotiate with the other party about immigration reform - respect for the truth.

    What? Politicians have to be honest with each other to cut deals? What country are we talking about?

    Let us look at the issue of Syrian refugees. Nolan has used up a great deal of ink arguing that not enough is known, or can be known, about Syrian refugees in order to make it safe to admit them to the United States. As I have indicated in my own Immigration Daily responses to Nolan's contention, I believe that this argument is unjustified, and that it comes within the ambit of what one of America's most respected federal appeals court judges, Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit, less than three weeks ago referred to as "nightmare speculation" about Syrian refugees in a case involving Trump's running mate, Exodus Immigration v. Pence.

    How many times do I have to repeat myself before you hear what I am saying. Agency officials appointed by Obama who are in a position to know such things have said that we do not have any access to information from within Syria. NO ACCESS.

    I have even argued that Nolan's suggestion (if I understand his point correctly) that Syrian refugees might possibly turn out to be ISIS infiltrators is not very different from the unfounded suspicions during the 1930's that Jewish refugees might be "Nazi spies".

    I have never said they will turn out to be ISIS infiltrators. I have only said that we should not bring refugees here from a country on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list it we can't do a meaningful background investigation on them. Even Hillary says she wouldn't bring Syrian refugees here who can't be vetted properly. She just hasn't explained how that is possible without information from within Syria.

    But at least Nolan's arguments are coherent and have some basis in reality. Syria is in fact on the US terrorist sponsor list, even though one can argue about the significance of that fact. ISIS (even though it did not exist when Syria was originally put on the list almost 40 years ago, and even Donald Trump does not claim that today's Syrian government supports ISIS) is a very real and extremely serious danger to the US. Some US officials have in fact questioned our ability to find out all that needs to be known about Syrian refugees, just as Nolan claims.

    The need to do background investigations is especially important when the refugees are coming from a country on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, and that would be just as true if ISIS had never existed.

    Nolan's approach is therefore that of rational, even though in my opinion, flawed argument. But, in contrast, look at Donald Trump's statements about Syrian refugees at the October 19 debate, as quoted by Slate.com

    "She [Hillary Clinton] is taking in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who probably, who are definitely, in many cases, ISIS aligned, and we now have them in our country, and wait until you see - a great Trojan horse. Lots of luck, Hillary - thanks for doing a great job."


    Since Nolan so often claims that I am making up "unsubstantiated" charges against Donald Trump, I will provide the link (I also personally watched Trump make these comments on television at the debate, as Nolan no doubt also did himself):

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slate...s_of_luck.html

    Very good, Roger, you have substantiated one of your claims, and I agree that it was a stupid thing to say. If you want to limit your criticism of Trump to the fact that he says some stupid things, I will agree with you.

    But reality has not stopped Donald Trump from making the wildest, most outrageously false charges against immigrants in the past, and it is not stopping him from doing so now, as the above statement clearly shows.

    Back to unsubstantiated claims.

    Is this someone who is likely to be interested in negotiating a comprehensive immigration reform agreement that would serve the "essential" needs of both sides in the immigration debate?

    I stand by the things I said in my article. But apparently I didn't make the Trump section as clear as it should have been. I think he would be able to negotiate an agreement on immigration reform because I wouldn't expect him to care whether his party would like the agreement. In contrast, Hillary can't agree with the republicans because it would violate her views on who should be deported.

    PS: One of Nolan's favorite criticisms of my comments is that I allegedly make ad hominem (for those who don't know Latin - "personal") accusations against Donald Trump, someone whom I don't know, have never met and have no connection with whatsoever.

    To answer Nolan's Latin with Latin (which I will admit I enjoy doing - it is a shame that teaching this vitally important language and its magnificent literature has fallen into disuse in the United States), i would respond that my comments about Trump are not ad hominem, but are ad verbum and ad acta, i.e. (id est, itself a Latin phrase), based on his words (verba) and deeds (acta).

    Nolan might wish to go back to his Latin dictionary and review the difference.

    But you know I don't think you are basing your Trump views on what he actually has said or on anything he has done. With the exception of the stupid Trump remark you substantiated in your present comment.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 10-20-2016 at 01:06 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am glad to see that Nolan agrees with me that at least one of Trump's comments which I have quoted verbatim was unjustified. There are a numerous others i could mention if I had more time, such as that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were "founders and MVP's of ISIS" that a large percentage of Mexican immigrants (both legal and illegal - Trump did not distinguish) are "criminals" and "rapists"; and that Muslims around the world are filled with "hatred" for America, to mention only a few.

    The list of vile, despicable, personal attacks that Trump has made against Muslim Gold Star parents, an Hispanic Miss Universe winner and a long list of other women and political opponents in general is a long one, and a matter of undisputed public record. If Nolan hasn't been following the news about these statements during this past 18 months, i will be glad to provide a more detailed list on another occasion.

    Roger Algase
  9. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Attempting to brush off Trump's numerous false and degrading statements about political opponents, women, African-Americans, Latinos and Muslims as merely "stupid" is not a real response, unless one wants to acknowledge that basing a political campaign on hatred and lies is also "stupid", which is certainly true.

    Unless it works - as it did for Adolf Hitler, who was the embodiment of evil but very far from stupid; or as Donald Trump and his supporters have been hoping it will work for him.

    Roger Algase
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