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Newt Gingrich's Immigration Plan -- Rhetoric Is No Plan At All

Newt Gingrich introduced a unique concept into the Republican primary debate—an attempt at a quasi-rational approach to fixing our broken immigration system.  While Newt has received mostly derisive comments from the Right, focused almost exclusively on calling his idea an “amnesty” plan, the reality of his plan is very different.  It is NOT an amnesty plan.  But more importantly for those who understand the urgent need, Newt’s plan will NOT fix our broken immigration system. 
Start with the obvious, there must be willing participants in Congress to work with any president to solve a problem of this magnitude.  As Newt himself has pointed out, both President Bush and President Obama have tried a “comprehensive” approach to immigration reform, and failed miserably.  In today’s Congress, with a large contingent of elected representatives who view any law that in any way assists an immigrant as “amnesty,” Newt’s plan is dead on arrival.  A recent “piecemeal” bill that passed the Republic…

Seven Reasons Why the Georgia Legislature Should Repeal HB-87

Recently the Alabama Attorney General called on the Alabama State Legislature to repeal parts of Alabama's horrid anti-immigration law (HB 56), because of the "unintended" consequences of the bill (frankly, what happened was not unintended). Because of the similarity between the two laws, Georgia's Speaker of the House, David Ralston was asked whether Georgia Legislature would repeal part or all of HB 87, Georgia own anti-immigration law. HB 87 has caused almost a half a billion dollars in damage to the Georgia economy (along with untold suffering in Georgia's immigrant communities) without any noted or reported positive effect.
Speaker Ralston plainly stated that the Georgia Legislature would NOT do anything to repeal HB87. While it understandable why a politician would not admit that a pet bill he shepherded and pushed through the state legislature was simply bad law, it is also clear that Speaker Ralston is facing a challenge on his RIGHT in the upcoming …

What You Should do to Prepare Yourself if You Are Arrested by ICE or Deported

If you are in the United States without proper immigration papers, it is important that you prepare for the possibility, particularly in today's environment, that you will be arrested by ICE and deported from the United States. You SHOULD MAKE A PLAN NOW for what you would like to have happen to your children and your property in case you are arrested or deported. You do this by completing a "Power of Attorney" form. In doing so you are designating someone to be your agent and giving them power of attorney over everything you own. This can be a scary thing. You must pick someone you trust, particularly because their powers become effective the moment you sign the power of attorney form. That means that they can go into your bank accounts and sell whatever property you have here in the United States. (You can offset this by keeping the documents locked in your house and tell your agent where the forms are once you are arrested. You can also give it to your attorney fo…

The Georgia Immigration Enforcement Review Board

Section 20, of Georgia's HB 87, created the "Immigration Enforcement Review Board" (IERB) The creation of the IERB was a surprise addition to HB 87 in its last substitution in the House, and never had a public hearing. There is no legislative history about the IERB's purpose, although it is now clear from Rep. Matt Ramsey's statements to the press that it was the Association of City and County Governments (ACCG) that pushed for the IERB, in lieu of the even crazier idea of letting private citizens sue state officials.

The PURPOSE of the IERB

The primary purpose of the IERB, which is now filled by seven white men with virtually no experience in immigration law and is attached to the Department of Audits and Accounting, is to:

(1) Conduct a review or investigation of any complaint properly filed with the Board;
(2) take such remedial action deemed appropriate in response to complaints filed with the Board, including holding hearings and considering evidence;
(3) make a…

The Obama Amnesty--NOT!!

From my friends at www.stopnotariofraud.org.
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S IMMIGRATION ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT AN AMNESTY. IT DOES NOT GRANT LEGAL STATUS OR WORK PERMITS. IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN SIGN-UP FOR! THERE IS NO “SAFE” WAY TO TURN YOURSELF IN TO IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES. CONSULT AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION CASE OR STATUS. STOP NOTARIO FRAUDDon’t become a victim of dishonest immigration consultants often known as “notarios.” Immigration consultants, notary publics, and notarios cannot represent you in the immigration process. These people—especially notarios—prey on immigrants, often from the same ethnic community as the notarios themselves.NOTARIOS WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND YOUR DREAMS!Many noncitizens find out that they will never get their green card or other immigration benefits because an unqualified immigration consultant or notario unlawfully working as an immigration lawyer destroyed their dreams.PROTECT YOUR FAMILY’S DREAMSTo avoid fraud, use your …

Many Undocumented Immigrants Without Criminal Records Facing Deportation Will Stay In U.S.

According to the Huffington Post, the Obama administration said it will allow many illegal immigrants facing deportation the chance to stay in this country and apply for a work permit, while focusing on removing from the U.S. convicted criminals and those who might be a national security or public safety threat.That will mean a case-by-case review of approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants facing possible deportation in federal immigration courts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in announcing the policy change.Advocates for an immigration overhaul have said that the administration, by placing all illegal immigrants in the same category for deportation, has failed to live up to its promise to only deport the "worst of the worst," as President Barack Obama has said."From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities," Napolitano wrote a group of senators supporting n…

Georgia's Secure Document List--So What.

The Georgia Attorney General just issued his Secure and Verifiable Document List, as required under HB-87, Georgia's Anti-Immigration Law. This list brings to mind the First Rule you need to know when a State passes an Anti-Immigration law. That rule is summarized in one word--"meaningless." That's right. The List, as written, is meaningless. The List changes NOTHING about Georgia law and how people can use documents in Georgia.

The main reason that Rep. Matt Ramsey wanted this part of HB 87 in place was to stop the use by Mexicans of a document known as a "Matricula Consular." The Matricula Consular is a secure document, issued after a lengthy process of identification verification by the Mexican Consulate. It is certainly as secure as a Georgia Driver's license. But, since it gave the impression, apparently, to Rep. Ramsey that people were using a Mexican ID documents to apply for benefits in the U.S. for their US Citizen children, he wanted it done aw…

The Oral Argument on HB 87

The Plaintiffs' litigation team, of which I am proud to be a part, just left oral argument in front of Judge Thrash. Omar Jadwat and Karen Tumlin both did a terrific job in their arguments on the constitutional issues and the severe harm that will befall immigrants, US citizens and permanent residents if HB 87 is allowed to go into effect.

Judge Thrash had numerous questions for the government lawyer, who argued, incorrectly that if all these undocumented people wanted to, they could just fix their status and become legal. The most honest thing the government attorney said, after repeat questioning by the Judge, was that US citizens who drive around their parents who are undocumented, and take them to the sore for groceries, and while doing so commit a traffic offense absolutely face arrest and jail for transporting and harboring. In fact, the government attorney compared such an activity (helping your mom get groceries) is just like cocaine possession. When she said this an aud…

Oral Argument on HB87

In the courtroom. Counsel table for plaintiffs is full with 6 attorneys all prepared to argue the various aspects of the motion. Three government counsel from The state attorney General's office are also here to argue their case. Judge Thrash had said in an earlier status conference that he was "known to rule from the bench" so hopefully he will do so today in favor of the Plaintiffs.

Karen Tumlin and Omar Jadwat are the lead attorneys on oral argument for the plaintiffs. We expect to start the arguments at 10 am.

No blogging allowed so I will report back in after the hearing!

HB 87- The Preliminary Injunction Hearing

Today Federal District Court Judge Thrash will hear both OUR request for a Preliminary Injunction to temporarily stop HB 87 from going into effect (or at least parts of it), AND the State of Georgia's Motion to Dismiss parts of the cas, and some of the Defendants. I plan on live blogging the oral arguments and decision of the Judge, if permitted. If not, I will post immediately after the hearing.
The reasons for granting the preliminary injunction are simple, but the standard is quite high, so there are no guarantees that it will be granted. The arguments by the government for their Motion to Dismiss are without any legal merit, but they were obligated to make the attempt. Ultimately the fate hundreds of thousands of people rests in the hands of Judge Thrash, a Clinton appointee who has been known to rule from the bench, and is someone who is bold enough to stand up to the Georgia State Legislature and say "no, you cannot violate the Constitution!"
More to follow.

U.S. Warns Schools Against Checking Immigration Status

U.S. Warns Schools Against Checking Immigration Status By KIRK SEMPLEFederal officials issued a memorandum to the nation’s school districts on Friday saying it was against the law for education officials to seek information that might reveal the immigration status of children applying for enrollment.Civil liberties advocates and others have complained in recent months that many school districts are seeking children’s immigration papers as a prerequisite for enrollment. Some state and local officials have also considered bills to require prospective students to reveal their citizenship or immigration status.“We have become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, of students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status,” said the memo, from Justice and Education Department officials. “These practices contravene federal law.”The letter cited a 1982 Supreme Court

What HB 87 Means for You, Your Business and for Georgia (and it's not good)

The dust has settled and it appears clear that Governor Deal will sign HB 87. We are now left with the detritus of Rep. Matt Ramsey's "work" on the most anti-immigration bill passed by a state legislature in modern times. The question everyone is asking is "what does this mean for me?"Let's take a look at what the individual sections mean for the people, businesses and the economy of Georgia.As we prepare to bring litigation in Federal Court, the starting point for that litigation and the starting point for anyone who looks at this bill must be the title of the bill. It is called the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011." HB 87 then says that this bill contains the following actions:
Provides penalties for the failure of a public employer to utilize E-Verify;Requires certain private employers to utilize E-Verify;Provides for the offense of aggravated identity fraud;Provides for the investigation of "illegal alien" statu…