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Showing posts from February, 2011

What Part of Your Oath of Office Don't You Understand?

I have been thinking a great deal recently about all of these state immigration bills proliferating around the United States, and the direct affront that many of them are to the U.S. Constitution. I wonder, do you violate your oath of office as an elected official, whether it be at the local or state level, if you advocate for and work to pass a bill that you know is unconstitutional? We are not talking about just advocating for a change of law within the parameters of the Constitution, but rather actively working to subvert the Constitution and Constitutional principles.
For example, a state senate committee from Arizona's state legislature recently approved a bill . . . that would deny automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, a measure designed to set up a possible U.S. Supreme Court case on the issue. [...]
Sponsors of the automatic citizenship bill approved by the Senate panel hope it will prompt a court interpretation on an element of the 14th Amendment …

Utah's common sense and humane treatment of immigrants

With all of the anti-immigrant state legislation going around it's nice to see that Utah has adopted a common sense approach to immigration reform.Official text of Utah Compact declaration on immigration reformDeseret News - Published: Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 11:00 a.m. MST A declaration of five principles to guide Utah's immigration discussionFEDERAL SOLUTIONS: Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries — not Utah and other countries. We urge Utah's congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Utah.LAW ENFORCEMENT: We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement's professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code. FAMILIES: Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. …

Why A Company Should NOT Self-Audit Their Own Forms I-9

Much has been made recently of the increased ICE enforcement activity against employers. The majority of this enforcement activity is directed towards the Form I-9 and whether or not employers have either properly completed the Form, or have somehow knowingly hired individuals who are not authorized to work.In support of this enforcement activity, in May 2010, ICE released the “ICE Guide to Administrative Form I-9 Inspections and Civil Monetary Penalties.” That agency field manual provides insight into the administrative procedures and penalty scheme for administrative inspections for the agency’s special agents and forensic auditors. This “fine guideline” only briefly discusses the remedial impact of “auditing” a company’s Forms I-9 PRIOR to ICE serving a Notice of Inspection on the company.There have been countless seminars over the last several years talking about the need for Human Resource (HR) professionals to “audit” their own Forms I-9, and even describing how this auditing sh…

Testimony Before the Georgia House Judiciary Committee on HB 87

I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about HB 87. My background in immigration law goes back more than 20 years. I practice law here in Georgia, I teach immigration law at the University of Georgian as an adjunct professor of law. I am the past national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. I testify today as an expert in immigration law. There are good public policy reasons to not pass this bill. Others I am sure will discuss those. I want to focus on the legal reasons why this bill is not ready for passage.The title of this bill is the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011. It does not, however, reform illegal immigration or its enforcement. This bill will cause the state and its local governments to face increased litigation, fail to carry out the purported mission of this legislation, and will result in increased costs and taxes to local governments and businesses in Georgia. It will do all this because it does not comport wit…

It It Walks Like a Duck . . . .

Yesterday during the second public hearing on HB 87 before the Georgia General Assembly's House Judiciary Committee, the bill's author and at least two sponsors presented a rather startling new tactic. They each stated, and the Chairman did so quite vociferously, that "HB 87 is NOT like the Arizona law." The Chairman argued that it was very different from the Arizona, without actually distingushing how his allegation of non-similarlity was actually correct.
So, if HB 87 contains at least three of the controversial provisions found in the Arizona law, how is it NOT like the Arizona law? If HB 87 has as its primary purpose to chase immigrants out of Georgia, how is it NOT like the Arizona law? If HB 87 will have the same deliterious effects on the economy and small business, how is NOT like the Arizona law?
Mr. Chairman, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then, it is a duck. HB 87 (and its companion piece SB 40), is like the Arizona law. You can say …

How Much will SB 40 and HB 87 Cost?

Why is no one asking how much SB 40 and HB 87 will cost the state of Georgia taxpayers? The startling numbers for the similar Utah legislation just came down--$11 Milllion Dollars! And that is in a state a third the size of Utah. Ask your Georgia Legislature today--how much "enforcing" federal law is going to cost the State of Georiga.

SB 40—The Emperor STILL Has No Clothes, or Exhibit A in Why States Should Not Attempt to Legislate on Immigration Matters

If you thought HB 87 was the wrong path to follow to try to fix the problems associated with illegal immigration, then do not get on the SB 40 Super Highway.SB 40 has so many inconsistencies, incongruities, and flat out confusing sections that if by some miracle it is passed, it would never see the daylight of its effective date.
As with HB 87, it is not just the intent of this bill that matters.The actual wording of the bill, and its changes to Georgia law, are essential to an understanding why this bill will NOT stop illegal immigration, will NOT stop bad actor employers from hiring people who are undocumented, and will NOT in any way solve the problems associated with a broken FEDERAL immigration system.
SB 40 is much shorter in length than HB 87, and somewhat less expansive in its scope.Yet, it still manages to violate the constitution, misquote federal law, and create penalties for innocent mistakes.For example, the private right of action that is so pervasive in HB 87 is simply no…