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Saturday, October 9, 2010


THIS WEEK IN IMMIGRATION: 
www.immigrationimpact.com
Why is the Obama Administration So Afraid of Administrative Fixes to Our Immigration System?
This week, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was clearly channeling her predecessor, Michael Chertoff, as she touted  her Department's remarkable progress in enforcing immigration laws. Not only did she proudly announce that DHS had a record-breaking year for deportations, but she clarified that local law enforcement cannot opt out  of the Secure Communities program once it's in place. Moreover, she made it clear that DHS is not a warm and fuzzy place, noting that the separation of families couldn't be helped until we had comprehensive immigration reform. She also gave a resounding "no" when asked if the Department contemplated any major deferral of removal programs as suggested by a series of leaked memos. And, virtually repeating the mantra of Secretary Chertoff, Napolitano insisted, "This department is about enforcing the law that we have." But concerning administrative fixes to our immigration system, Secretary Napolitano and the Obama Administrative should be taking their cue from the Bush administration. Read more...

Supreme Court to Hear Two Cases Affecting Immigrants, Including a Case Challenging a Recent Anti-Immigrant Law
This week, the United States Supreme Court opened its October session. Among the cases it will hear is a challenge to a state law that sanctions employers for hiring unauthorized workers. This is the first case challenging the recent influx of state and local laws attempting to regulate immigrants and immigration and an opportunity for the Supreme Court to assert the federal government's constitutional right to set immigration law. In the second immigration case, the Supreme Court must decide whether former citizenship law provisions - which imposed a five-year residency requirement for U.S. citizen fathers, but not mothers - violate equal protection. Read more...

Nativist Group Unhinged Over GOP's "Pledge to America"
The nativist Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is apoplectic over the Republican Party's recently released "Pledge to America." Apparently, the GOP's professed commitment to "establish operational control of the border," "strengthen visa security," and "work with state and local officials to enforce our immigration laws" isn't tough enough - or unrealistic enough - to meet FAIR's high standards. In a shrill and fact-free press release, FAIR complains that immigration was "barely a blurb" in the Pledge, and then claims - without a shred of evidence - that pouring more money into worksite immigration enforcement would amount to a form of "economic stimulus" that would magically "protect American workers" and "raise wages." FAIR's press release concludes by presenting its own "serious and effective immigration plan," which includes a laundry list of just about every costly, ineffective, and destructive immigration-enforcement policy which has ever been tried. Read more...

Utah Leaders Balk at Arizona-esque Immigration Enforcement Bill
With midterm election campaigning well underway, some  local candidates are lifting up state and local immigration enforcement legislation as a means to garner public support. Unfortunately, as is often the case when politics meets reality, not everyone is on board with local enforcement laws like Arizona's SB1070 - key provisions of which were enjoined by a federal district judge in late July. Over the last few months, state leaders in Ohio, Idaho, Nebraska and Houston have either heavily edited or voted not  to pursue state immigration measures, citing costly lawsuits, court battles and the dubious constitutionality of such laws. This month, state leaders in Utah are also balking at an immigration measure modeled on the controversial Arizona law. Read more...

Sen. Menendez Aims for Lame Duck, Urges Advocates to Focus on Policy of CIR 2010
There can be advantages to going it alone. Despite two years of repeated attempts to get a bipartisan immigration reform bill in the Senate, Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Leahy (D-VT) finally said "enough" and introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010  (CIR 2010) last week. Plenty of people have pointed out that the bill was introduced just as Congress left Washington to go into full-time campaign mode, leaving Sens. Menendez and Leahy virtually alone in Washington to promote their new bill. On a conference call Friday, however, Sen. Menendez said he aims at moving the bill during lame duck session or next Congress, but urged advocates and the media to focus on the merits of the bill, rather than the timing. (Other immigration bills passed during lame duck include the LIFE Act and NACARA.) Read more...

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