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Showing posts from July, 2010

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, …

An Amnesty–Is That Legal?

I was driving to court recently down a highway in Atlanta when I drove past a toll booth with a HUGE sign on it. The sign read “AMNESTY.” I thought: “wait a second! Amnesty” is a dirty word, literally unmentionable in polite company. How could there be an “Amnesty?”On my way back to the office, I passed the toll booth again. Again, the sign was there. This time I slowed down (a little), and noticed it was a “Toll Amnesty.” This toll “Amnesty” is apparently a regular event in Georgia. I explored a little more about this “Amnesty,” trying to understand how a toll “Amnesty,” turning illegal drivers into legal ones is permitted, but an “Amnesty” that would turn “illegal” people into legal people is not. I dug around a little on the Internet and found some information about the reason for and the goal of this toll “Amnesty:”What is the toll violation amnesty program?Normally, the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) charges a $25 administrative fee, as provided by Georgia law…
The Immigration Debate Continues–This Time in UtahWednesday, July 14th, 2010
In state associated with people who know and understand persecution, the release by an “anonymous” group of alist of people it claims are illegally in the United States was distrubing. The list is intended to cause panic and concern. The Governor of Utah has correctly already started an investigation into how such a list was compiled and who published this list, given the sensitive and apparently incorrect information it contained, and the damage such information can do to person and their children. But, there is a larger issue here just privacy and security concerns. It is good that the list was published. Don’t get me wrong. It is not good for the people and their families on the list. It is not good for image of the state of Utah. But, rather, it is good that this list is out there, because it shows the inflammatory nature of the debate on immigration enforcement and reform. Sometimes the truth is sa…

Suing Arizona—What Choice is There?

From my Op-Ed today in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:There is no surprise in the Obama Administration’s lawsuit to stop enforcement of Arizona’s immigration law–SB 1070. President Obama must defend federal authority to act exclusively on immigration law. The Supreme Court has long held that states cannot impinge on federal authority, unless those state laws are “consistent” with Federal law. Arizona’s SB 1070 is not consistent with federal law, despite protestations to the contrary. SB 1070 goes far beyond that 1940 law on which it claims to be based and which was designed to round up Japanese, German and other “enemies“ in a time of war.Everyone understands the frustrations associated with undocumented immigration. But the Obama Administration (nor any Administration) cannot tolerate 50 different states passing 50 different state laws on a federal issue like immigration. It is already a nightmare in the context of E-Verify. If President Obama does not act, he gives tacit a…

Don’t Get So Uptight. It’s Only a Guideline.

Many people in the immigration field are familiar with the “policy” memorandum issued in January 2010, known as the “Neufeld Memo” on H-1Bs. The law firm of Greenburg Traurig recently sued USCIS over this outrageously inappropriate and legally irresponsible change in policy. In response, the USCIS has just filed a response arguing that a Preliminary Injunction against the Neufeld Memo should not be granted. You are going to love the reason why: Moreover, the guidance memorandum at issue in this case is not subject to the notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the APA. USCIS’s memorandum merely sets forth a general and flexible framework to guide agency adjudicators in the exercise of their discretion. The memorandum simply refines the contours of an already existing legal norm set forth in the agency’s regulation. Under these circumstances, the memorandum falls well within the contours of a policy statement or interpretive guidance, as defined by the D.C. Circuit, and is acc…