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Posts tagged ‘Immigration Reform’

Comprehensive Immigration Reform On Horizon? Not so fast.

Lamar Smith: Mastermind behind destruction of immigrant families.

Steve King: a particularly nasty hater of immigrants.

Ever since President Obama was re-elected, there has been a deluge of politicians, including  prominent Republicans in Congress such as the John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, harping on about passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  Could it all just be talk?

In an article titled “After Post-election talk of immigration reform, the inevitable reality check.” , Lesley Berestein Rojas provides two compelling arguments on why immigration reform could just be a pipe dream:

First, Congress is busy with the “Fiscal Cliff.” Or in other words, trying to keep the sinking ship of the U.S.’s economy afloat just a little longer with the usual stop-gap measures.

Second, a big part of the Republican party has and always will be virulently anti-immigrant.

So far, the new esprit de corps hasn’t spread to Republicans on the House immigration subcommittee, which could act as the conservative firewall against new legislation. The committee is packed with members who support limited immigration and oppose legal status for illegal immigrants.

The retirement of subcommittee chairman Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., at the end of the year could lead to the elevation of vice chairman Steve King, R-Iowa. King has been an archenemy of immigrant advocates and last year introduced a bill to eliminate automatic citizenship for children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.

Although Democrats have a tattered record on immigration, the Republican party has been the driving force behind nasty, anti-human immigration laws and policies. Lamar Smith, a Republican, was the author of the 1996 laws that were designed to address illegal immigration yet only achieved the arbitrary destruction of hundreds of thousands of families.

The President should be honest with the public for once.

If reform is unlikely, tell us. Absent a concrete possibility of reform actually passing, President Obama should expand DACA and consider other similar relief for their families, as suggested by Donald Stump.

The Republican Presidential Primary: A contest (mostly) in Dehumanization

The 2012 Republican presidential primary is a ghoulish spectacle, especially when the candidates are called on to offer their sage advice on what to do about the United States’ immigration problem.

First, Herman Cain grabbed headlines by supporting an electric fence at the border. For unrelated reasons, Cain was forced to drop out of the race.

Now there is a new tough guy (woman) on immigration: Michelle Bachmann. She has recently said in a debate that she would deport all undocumented immigrants. Of course, she did not provide a feasible plan to do so:

[I]t would be enforcement: Enforcement both at the border but also by the [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents. Right now the ICE agents — those are the agents in the interior of the country who are tasked with enforcing the law — they are not enforcing them and we also have sanctuary cities now where they don’t enforce the laws on deportation. I think that what we simply need to do is to start enforcing the laws which we are not doing and begin the process of deportation,”

How Bachmann can state that ICE agents “are not enforcing” immigration laws is a mystery. I see ICE agents enforcing the law every day, and Barack Obama’s administration has been racking up record deportations. Unfortunately, Bachmann is pandering to the dehumanization base, Americans who are bent on deporting as many people as possible, irrespective of whether it makes any sense.


The unrealistic and headline grabbing statements by the likes of Bachmann bolster Barack Obama’s chances of re-election. In a general election, folks like Bachmann would have zero chance of winning the presidency. It would simply alienate too many important voter blocs, including Latinos.

The only Republican candidate that has bucked the trend has been Newt Gingrich. Mr Gingrich had this to say on immigration:

“If you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.

“I don’t see how the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century.”

If Gingrich comes out as the Republican candidate for the Presidency, Obama should be concerned. Mr. Obama will no longer be able to use the “look how bad the other guy is” tactic when speaking about immigration to the Latino community. Let’s hope reason wins and both parties will be forced to act rather than speak when it comes to immigration reform.

Immigrants as Pawns: The 2012 Presidential Elections.

Neither the Republican or Democratic party are really interested in addressing reform of the United States’ immigration laws.

The clearest example, from the Republican camp, comes from the Tea Party darling Herman Cain, who has gone as far as advocating an electric fence to stop illegal immigration:

From the New York Times:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Saturday that part of hisimmigration policy would be to build an electrified fence on the country’s border with Mexico that could kill people trying to enter the country illegally.

The remarks, which came at two campaign rallies in Tennessee as part of a barnstorming bus tour across the state, drew loud cheers from crowds of several hundred people at each rally. At the second stop, in Harriman, Tenn., Mr. Cain added that he also would consider using military troops “with real guns and real bullets” on the border to stop illegal immigration.

Mr. Cain went into the fine details of his plan:

“It’s going to be 20 feet high. It’s going to have barbed wire on the top. It’s going to be electrified. And there’s going to be a sign on the other side saying, ‘It will kill you — Warning.’” At an earlier rally, on the campus of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tenn., he added that the sign would be written “in English and in Spanish.”

Since these comments, Mr. Cain has stated that he made in “jest.”

Objectively speaking, a candidate should not be joking about killing human beings for committing at the very least a misdemeanor crime. But this type of fierce rhetoric by the GOP allows Democrats to look a better alternative without having to lift a finger.

As most know, under the administration of Barack Obama, deportations have skyrocketed past the levels of his predecessor, George Bush. Moreover, little, if any, meaningful administrative reform has been achieved under the current administration.

In the end, the actions of the politicians should be given more weight than the words, no matter how revolting or appealing the latter may be.