I had a very spirited exchange in the comment section to my friend and colleague Roger Algase's recent blog. Roger is an excellent attorney, and much smarter than I, so I appreciate the opportunity to voice a response to his always well written blogs. We mostly agree on both the facts and the law, but there appears to be one sticking point where we simply can't get over the hump. It relates to the upcoming Presidential election.
I'll take the liberty of paraphrasing Mr. Algase, and Roger please feel free to chime in with a response, as your thoughts are always welcomed and appreciated. In sum, Mr. Algase is throwing his support behind President Obama's reelection campaign as a result of his justifiable fears that the eventual Republican nominee will be adversely detrimental to the cause of immigration reform, and most importantly, immigrant rights. Of this there is no disagreement.
Our disagreement is principally over whether it is short sighted to turn our backs to President Obama, akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I argue that, to the contrary, supporting President Obama's reelection will in the long term retard the advancement of immigration reform and immigrant rights, that President Obama's administration is the one making the water dirty, and that they all need to be thrown out, dirty suds and all.
Although Mr. Algase points out that President Obama is the lesser of two evils (this point is debatable), this does not in any way detract from the fact that Obama's immigration enforcement and deportation policies ARE EVIL.
Should Obama win reelection immigration reform will continue to be ignored, and the Administration will deport another million immigrants. As such, supporting Obama's campaign for his second term sends the message to the Democratic party that they can continue to turn their back to immigration reform, while ignoring the torture, rape, abuse, and in some instances murder of immigrants unlawfully detained in immigration detention, while the Administration advances the goal of deporting more immigrants than at any time in history, enforcing racist and homophobic policy positions in the process.
Because the Democrats (rightly) believe that the immigration reform vote will come regardless of their (in)action(s), there is no motivation for the party to champion the issue after the election. The only way that this reality will change is if the Democrats lose the CIR vote to a third party candidate, and subsequently the Presidency in 2012. If this does happen, in 2016 the Democrats will finally be forced to understand the significance of effectuating fair and humane immigration reform, championing the issue, and putting an end to the destruction of hundreds of thousands (millions) of families through deportation, while taking meaningful steps to clean up the abuses permeating the immigration enforcement and detention system.
That is called foresight.
If Obama wins reelection while garnering the immigration reform electorate, I can tell you with 100% certainty that there will be another million+ immigrants deported, and we will be no closer to immigration reform than when he promised to address the issue in his first 100 days in office.
The point being, supporting the Deporter in Chief enables this President, and his party to ignore the very issue that he absolutely needs to maintain the office.
Respectfully, I implore all of you to stop being the enabler. Do not support this President.
If it means that we will see no immigration reform in the next four years under a Republican administration, so be it, because I guarantee you one thing, we won't ever see it in an Obama Presidency, and there is no possible way that a Republican can do worse than what we have seen under Obama.
To be blunt, Obama has done more damage to immigrants, the cause of immigration reform, and to the Constitution than any President in history, and that specifically includes George W. Bush.
Needless to say, labeling Obama as a disappointment, or a failure, is the understatement of the millennium.
So I ask you this, how many immigrants need to be rounded up, and thrown into solitary confinement, where they are raped, tortured, abused, and murdered before the issue is no longer an inconvenience to the goal of reelecting a man merely because he is the lesser of two evils.
Vote third party in 2012, and give a voice to the voiceless.
Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law – including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).