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Obama is to Blame for the Failure of Immigration Reform

There has been a lot of casting of blame for this last weekend's vote against a sensible and compassionate immigration bill that would have given hope and a future to hundreds of thousands of immigrant children. Most of the pointing fingers direct blame at the Republicans for their "filibuster" of the DREAM Act. Without dispute the Republicans have, in fact, adopted a virulent anti-immigration position that will ultimately lead to minority status for the party. But Republicans are not the reason the DREAM Act failed. Everyone knew that Republicans would not vote for the DREAM Act. The only three Republicans who did vote for the DREAM Act either are leaving Congress or do not have a concern about the right wing of the party. So, if the Republicans are not to blame, who is? President Obama and the Democrats. Really.
Here are 5 reasons why President Obama is to blame for the failure of immigration reform.
1. Five Democratic Senators abandoned the party and voted agai…

Is the Dream Act really about race?

Gabe Gonzales of the Huffington Post posted some interesting thoughts about race and the Dream Act. On December 13th he stated:

"I want to thank and applaud the candor of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher from California and Glenn Beck of Fox News. They finally had the courage and audacity to say what so many of us knew to be true but would never admit. The immigration debate is not about law, not about fairness, not about justice. It's about race. Plain and simple. It's about the fear of more brown people coming into our society, our culture. When debating the DREAM act, Rohrabacher said, "This legislation not only increases the burden on our hard-pressed government programs and services, but will give foreigners who are here illegally preference over non-minority citizens." Non-minority citizens. Hmmm. That's an interesting phrase. Whatever do you mean Rep. Rohrabacher? We all know what he means. "Non-minority citizens" means "white people.&…

An Open Letter to Senator Isakson

Lino Rodriguez, an attorney at Kuck Immigration Partners, responds to Senator Isakson's Mean spirited response to a request that he be a DREAM Act Sponsor
Dear Senator Isakson,

First off let me say that I hope, and pray, that the DREAM Act succeeds, as it is both fiscally and humanely a step in the right direction. As a constituent I am deeply disappointed in your stance on the matter. In your e-mail you write:

• “I believe the DREAM Act would reward those who have obtained an education in a system in which they have not contributed.”

With all due respect, this is simply not the truth. These children and their parents pay into our system daily through sales taxes, property taxes, and even income taxes (through the use a Tax ID number). Moreover, these families boost our economy through their day to day spending. To say that they have not contributed to the system is a gross overstatement.

Many of these young adults have taken it upon themselves to continue their education while pa…

A Discussion on Fox News - Atlanta About Immigration

You know, when you appear on Fox News that the questions are going to be tough. That is what I love about this discussion--Tough questions, Tough answers:



Russ and I spoke both before and after this segment about Immigration and Immigration Reform. What I admire about him, is that he get both sides of the debate and understands that we are all going to have to settle somewhere in the middle.

The Next Goal--Eviscerating the 14th Amendment

I originally posted this at the AILA Leadership Blog.The next goal of the anti-immigration crowd is to eliminate what some call “birthright” citizenship. This is a derogatory way of saying the following: If you are born in the United States, you are a citizen by right of birth in the United States. This was not always the case in America, at least as it applied to African Americans or Native Americans. It took the Civil War, and the 14th Amendment, to ensure that anyone born in the United States “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is a United States Citizen. Have no doubt about it, despite what you will read below, the anti-immigrant movement, including folks like new Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, and new Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach have plans in the works to try to destroy this fundamental and well settled constitutional issue. For folks like Pearce and Kobach (see the picture above from his campaign website) the overriding concern is not the rule of law (i…

Purported Voter Fraud and the "Illegal" Bogeyman

Yikes--just when you thought this election season could not get any crazier. Last Wednesday, a Tea Party Congressional candidate from Arizona, Jesse Kelly, appeared on the Mark Levin show. Kelly stated that "rumors" were floating around that "Mexicans" were going to be bused in to vote against him in the election.LEVIN: You’re gonna have to squeeze out every single vote there plus some because they’re gonna pull their dirty tricks like they always do, Jess.KELLY: They already are down here. We’re already getting reports of voter fraud. Especially in one of the counties in my district there is actually rumors — people have video of them busing people across from our southern border. We’re a border district. They literally bus people across from Mexico to have them vote at the polls on election day, give them a meal, and then bus them back. So we’re really fighting against that down here.You can listen to this segment here in case you cannot believe what you read:T…

Immigration Wants to be Your Friend

Recently U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a memo to its immigration officers explaining how to do “unannounced cyber site-visits” on petitioners and beneficiaries of applications filed with the agency. That's right, Immigration wants to be Your Friend! Now Immigration intends to look at your social network to check up on you, and possibly use what they find against you in an effort to deny your application.The memo advises immigration officers on how to set up profiles on social networking sites (e.g.. Facebook, Myspace, Hi5, Buzznet, etc.), and search for petitioner and beneficiaries on cases they are reviewing.This virtual visit, as detailed by USCIS, “provides an excellent vantage point for [immigration fraud investigators] to observe the daily life of beneficiaries and petitioners who are suspected of fraudulent activities.” You also need to understand that USCIS supposes that every petition presented to them is fraudulent, so USCIS will be doing th…

What is going on in Nevada with Immigration ?

We are two weeks out from the election, and silly season is in full bloom, from a candidate in Delaware who does not understand the Constitution, to a candidate in Kentucky, who may or may not have worshiped Aqua Buddha, to perhaps the wackiest candidate of all in Nevada, Sharon Angle (the first "Asian" in the Nevada State Legislature).
This week two significant things happened that bring home how the immigration "thing" remains a strong undercurrent to this election.
First, Sharon Angle told a group of Hispanic youth at a Hispanic youth group meeting over the last weekend (trying to defend her anti-Latino/anti-immigration ad), that some of them "looked Asian" to her so how was she to know who was Hispanic anyway:




Second, a Republican funded and led group, Latinos for Reform, has run an ad in Nevada urging Latinos not to vote (for Democrats) because Democrats have not delivered on their promise of immigration reform.




While is it true that the Democrats …

Senator Hatch Offers Another Non-Solution to the Immigration Mess

This week Senator Hatch (R. Utah) offered an anti-immigration bill to the Democratically controlled Senate. This bill, known as the "STRENGTHENING OUR COMMITMENT TO LEGAL IMMIGRATION AND AMERICA’S SECURITY ACT" (truly an ironic name) is nothing more than the same political gamesmanship that Senator Hatch claims that Senator Reid engaged in by seeking passage of the DREAM Act.
Senator Hatch says his bill would do the following: Require eligible states, counties and cities to participate in the Secure Communities or 287(g) programs or forego compensation for incarceration expenses;Specify that illegal aliens may only be paroled or granted deferred action on a case-by-case basis; mass paroles and deferrals would be prohibited;Preclude applicants who are members of known criminal organizations and gangs from getting visas to come to the U.S.;Require the Homeland Security Secretary to create a mandatory exit procedure for foreign visitors to the…

Kris Kobach and the Anti-Immigrationists Loses Another One

In his unending quest to turn America into an anti-immigrant nation, preying on peoples' fears and turning neighbor against neighbor, Kris Kobach has lost another of his crusades. In Lozano v. Hazelton, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of the District Court Judge and rejected Kobach's argument that states and localities have the ability to regulate immigration in any way, shape, or form.
While this is a significant victory for the constitution and for sane people everywhere, it is not the end of the story. The news media is parroting a press release put out by the Federation Against Immigration Reform ("FAIR") claiming this decision "obstructs local efforts to control immigration." Of course it does! Hallelujah! Do we really want every state and locality in America passing its own immigration laws? Really? Do we really need 50 different state laws and innumerable city and county laws all dealing with immigration and immigr…

USCIS Knows What Its Problems Are. Will It Now Fix Them?

Recently, the USCIS conducted a survey of more than 5,000 “stakeholders” (folks who care about and participate in the U.S. immigration system in some way). These stakeholders were asked to identify the key areas of concern for them. The USCIS has now released its initial report from this survey, identifying the areas of concern most frequently raised by stakeholders. The report is enlightening.This initial report lists the following areas of concern, in order, that USCIS will address:National Customer Service CenterNonimmigrant H-1B (specialty occupations)NaturalizationEmployment-Based Adjustment of StatusFamily-Based Adjustment of StatusEmployment-Based Immigrants Preference Categories 1, 2 (priority workers, professionals and holders of advanced degrees) and 3 (skilled workers and professionals)Refugee and Asylum Adjustment of StatusForm I-601 (Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility)General Humanitarian ProgramsEmployment Authorization and Travel DocumentsThe USCIS h…

Senator Schumer, You are Wrong!

Last Week Congress passed its first major piece of immigration legislation in several years. The Border Security Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 5875)Besides the fact that the bill itself is a joke–passed without debate, study or analysis as to its effectiveness, there are two major problems–Funding of the $600 Million Dollars Bill, and the “Real” purpose of the bill.First the “real” purpose of the bill–Schumer and other Democrats have barked loudly that the bill is intended to shut the mouths of border crazies who refuse to discuss any change to our nightmarish national immigration policies until America is safely tucked inside a sealed bubble, invulnerable from entry by anyway but the purest foreign national. Senator Sessions from the border state of Alabama, who can only be described as absolutely crazed on the issue of immigration, responded to this strategy:Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York was hopeful that the bill would bring Republicans back t…

New Pro Se program coming to Charlotte Immigration Court

The Charlotte immigration court plans to implement an orientation program, run by volunteer immigration attorneys, for everyone who is in immigration court for the first time and who does not already have an attorney. This program will mirror the volunteer attorney programs in the San Francisco and San Antonio immigration courts.
Each person will have an opportunity to speak with a volunteer immigration attorney for about ten minutes. The attorney will do a quick analysis of each case and provide each person with a list of documents to bring to an immigration attorney. They will also be provided with a list of immigration attorneys who have meet certain competency requirements. The program is scheduled to start sometime in October of 2010.

GOP candidate for Governor announces Arizona-style immigration bill for Florida

According to an examiner.com report, Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum, and a GOP gubernatorial candidate, yesterday announced a bill to be introduced in the Florida Legislature that will rival Arizona’s embattled immigration law.This requirement of “reasonable suspicion” – legal buzz words that mean something less than “probable cause”, sets this bill apart from the Arizona law, according to McCollum. The bill also allows judges to consider a defendant’s immigration status when setting bond amounts and in allowing prosecutors to bring higher-level charges against illegal immigrants and stiffer sentences at conviction.Also different than the Arizona law, the AG’s bill would not allow citizens to sue police agencies for failing to enforce the law – this would instead be left to the Attorney General’s office. Employing illegal immigrants would also become a violation of state criminal law, and the bill would require businesses to use the federal E-Verify program before hiring any…

The LDS Church, Russell Pearce, and Compassion

How did Russell Pearce become the face of the LDS Church to Hispanics? For those of you who do not know him, Russell Pearce is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) and the State Legislator in Arizona (formerly regarded as a extreme but who now has become “mainstream” in Arizona politics), who is responsible for working with Kris Kobach and the folks at FAIR to develop extreme forms of anti-immigrant legislation, including SB 1070. How did a man who is intolerant toward immigrants become the face of the LDS Church in Arizona?
To preface that answer, you have to understand how contrary his stand is to the work the Church is doing with Hispanic. The LDS Church actively engages Hispanic communities in Arizona and throughout the United States through its Spanish speaking congregations and its missionaries. Many Church member give hundreds of thousands of hours of volunteer service to help these congregations. The Church’s mission and vision is one of…

SB 1070 is Dead–Where to do we go from here?

In her decision on the constitutionality of Arizona’s SB 1070, Judge Bolton was quite specific as to what provisions were unconstitutional:Applying the proper legal standards based upon well-established precedent, the Court finds that the United States is likely to succeed on the merits in showing that the following Sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law:Portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070 –A.R.S. § 11-1051(B): requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that personSection 3 of S.B. 1070–A.R.S. § 13-1509: creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien registration papersPortion of Section 5 of S.B. 1070– A.R.S. § 13-2928(C): creating a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, …