Article By Asa Hutchinson, Undersecretary At DHS
Today's Featured Article is by Asa Hutchinson, Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security. He writes "We will take steps to arm immigration and customs inspectors with
the timely information they need to carry out their No. 1 priority: to find
terrorists or the implements of terror before they can do harm to
Americans." The immigration law community has just as much to fear from the
next terrorist incident as anyone else in America, so we welcome this
statement. What we are particularly gratified to hear in Mr. Hutchinson's
statement is the fact that the leader of the new heir to the Border Patrol
is clearly implying that hounding the undocumented is not the #1 priority
of the Border Patrol, and rightly so - such hounding would make our country
less secure by taking away resources from the anti-terrorism function. Mr.
Hutchinson goes on to say "We will take immediate steps to unify the chain
of command, so key immigration and customs officers take their direction
from only one manager. This immediately will improve communications and
increase accountability." Such creativity is long overdue in our federal
government, and we wish him the best in this and other similar initiatives.
We are, however, concerned about another statement in his article where he
says "We will be working to ensure that immigrants are here in compliance
with our laws. Those who are, we welcome with open arms. Those who are not,
we will deal with fairly, but firmly." Here, Mr. Hutchinson shows his
ignorance of how our immigration laws actually work, or rather, don't work.
The reason why we have large numbers of immigrants here without lawful
documentation, is that our laws do not offer proper avenues for these
immigrants to obtain the legal documents they want, and should have. We are
confident that honest members of the law enforcement community in the DHS
will come to realize that just because Congress legislates arbitrary
immigration laws into existence in defiance of the laws of economics and
contradictory to the facts of reality, does not give those arbitrary laws
any moral or practical basis. The lesson that our immigration laws are
unenforceable may need to be learned the hard way. To the extent that Mr.
Hutchinson's team at the DHS energetically pursues its anti-terrorism
mandate, we will strongly support their actions. To the extent that they
mistake their mandate to hound terrorists, and start hounding busboys and
gardeners instead, we will strongly oppose their actions. Here's wishing
them the best on March 1st.
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Improvements Are Coming
Asa Hutchinson, Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security, writes "One of the problems to fix is that many key employees lacked access to the information they needed to do their jobs effectively. That's about to change".
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Immigration Law News
INS Extends Special Registration Deadline
The INS extended Special Registration deadlines, and permitted nonimmigrant aliens of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia to timely register on or before March 21, 2003, while nonimmigrant aliens of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, or Kuwait have been permitted to timely register on or before April 25, 2003.
INS Designates Additional Ports-of-Entry for Departure of Aliens Subject to Special Registration
The INS provided the public with an expanded list of ports through which nonimmigrant aliens who have been specially registered may depart from the US.
Senate Democrats Say FY03' Omnibus Bill Cuts $613M From INS Budget
Senate Democrats stated that the FY03' Omnibus Appropriations bill recently passed by the Senate dramatically reduced funds available for homeland security priorities. Specifically, the bill cuts $613 million from the INS, resulting in cuts to the Entry-Exist system, which tracks the arrival and departure of non-US citizens, and the construction of border security facilities.
Sentence Imposed On Revocation Is Not Sentence Probated
In US v. Compian-Torres, No. 02-50211 (5th Cir. Feb. 18, 2003) (revised), the court revised its Jan. 29, 2003 opinion where the court held that a sentence imposed on revocation is actually imposed as described in the Sentencing Guidelines and not probated as excepted in the Commentary to the Guidelines.
Police Chief Confuses Homeland Security With Crackdown On Undocumented
The Rapid City Journal of Rapid City, SD reports on the arrest of some
undocumented Mexicans and quotes the Police Chief "While these subjects are
not believed to be connected to any terrorist incident or organization,
this incident illustrates the positive effect the individual has in our
efforts toward safer communities and homeland security."
Americans Confuse Immigrants And Immigration
The Observer-Dispatch of Utica, NY reports "A national survey released
today by Hamilton College and Zogby International has found that though
most Americans would like to see tighter immigration restrictions, they
have positive feelings about immigrants as a group."
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Letters to the Editor
Daniel M. Kowalski's letter to the Editor opines that the use of the term illegal alien is improper or at least too harsh and that we should refer to them as
undocumented or something less offensive. Those who wish to be strictly accurate will continue to utilize the former term which as he states, includes the INS, the BIA and the Courts. From the dictionary, illegal: "Not according to or authorized by law." and alien: "Relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government". So illegal alien is the precise, legal term to employ for those who circumvent our borders and/or immigration policies. Then why do so many people want to violate the great
specificity of the English language by labelling those who enter our country illegally with titles like undocumented workers? Because they are afraid of the R word (racist) which is used to describe anyone who speaks out against this travesty of those who invade our country and/or to ease the conscience of those who assist them. For such xenomaniacs and patriotic challenged souls, there are a plethora of similar terms available. Some of them besides undocumented, and undocumented workers, are: undocumented
immigrants, undocumented Mexicans, immigrants, illegal immigrants, illegal residents, foreign-born, foreign-born
workers, foreign-born inmate, foreign-born newcomers, lower-wage illegal workers, migrant workers, alien absconders, guest
workers, border crossers, foreign nationals, Mexicans, Mexican nationals, Mexican-born expatriates, Hispanic immigrants, Spanish
speakers, Hispanics, under-banked, under-served population, newcomers, illegal newcomers, poor immigrants, entrants,
Hispanic Community citizens, border jumpers, visitors, or Latinos. However, in using these, one should not further delude him or her self into thinking that any of these terms are the correct one as, in fact, these are the "phony" terms. Under the US Code of Criminal Justice, USC. Section 1325, foreign nationals who illegally enter the US are criminals. What part of illegal alien is so hard for some to understand, accept or say?
R. L. Ranger
In response to Mr. Anderson's letter, I don't claim greater knowledge of the US economy than Mr. Greenspan (or even as great). I do however, probably have more knowledge of immigration issues and policy than he has--or at least as much, particularly when you consider that immigration policy is not just a matter of economics. In fact, Mr. Greenspan himself has previously indicated that he is not advocating a particular immigration policy--his area is monetary and fiscal policy, not immigration policy.
If Mr. Anderson in his response doesn't think his local economy needs or is using illegal workers, fine. But I repeat, if they need workers, as he does claim, why are they not using the existing legal means of obtaining them, such as H2-A and B, or green cards? Or are they? Mr. Anderson's letter evades the question.
Daniel M. Kowalski's letter to the Editor referring to a headline in the Feb. 18, 2003 issue of Immigration Daily reading "INS Repatriates 89 Illegal Aliens to Nigeria", brings light to the long-standing semantic debate of what to call the various groups of non-US citizens, particularly those living in the US in violation of the law. We must call them something, and what we call them should clearly reflect exactly what they are.
To me, it is simple. Illegal aliens are people who entered the USA without documentation, or as INS says, without inspection. If we wish to be more politically correct, they may also be called "undocumented aliens", because they entered without documentation. So what's the fuss? Political correctness, domestic engineer rather than maid? come now.
Then, there is the overstay, a person who entered the US on a valid visa, only to allow their authorized stay expire. This class of person is not an illegal, although one might argue they are illegal, because they have illegally (or unlawfully) overstayed their visa but we are talking semantics here, and if you refer to them as an illegal, it clouds the meaning of illegal, and their must be a difference, because horses are not cows, even if they do both have four legs and tails . The import of all this semantic vivisection? Quite simply, most illegals cannot adjust to permanent residence within the US, even if they marry a US citizen (unless they qualify under 245(i) - the big loophole in the law), while, overstays can, in certain instances, make such adjustment. A big difference, and the difference is not just semantic, it's real, and it's the law.
So there, it's easy. The term illegals refers to a specific group of aliens unlawfully present in the US, while overstays apply to another, and never the twain should meet - although arguably, they are both undocumented. But caution. Don't ever refer to either of these two groups as immigrants - they simply have not immigrated - a word that itself has a dear meaning, as any US permanent resident or recent US citizen will tell you. And no, I will not discipline myself, as Mr. Kowalski's letter suggests those of us in the field do, to use any other terms or illogical rehtoric, politically correct, or not - I just call it like I see it, politically correct, or not, and to me a rose by any other name remains a rose, and illegal aliens remain illegal aliens, not immigrants.
Sorry if I am not politically correct, at least I am semantically observant, as well as rudely opinionated.
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA.
The war is imminent; the war is off. It's on, then off again. Who knows what will happen in Iraq but we must always be alert within our own borders as the war against terrorism wil never go away. The first step is tightening our borders and making it more difficult to enter the US legally. The second step is preventing illegal entry altogether. The "we need more illegal aliens to pick our fruit so let's support another 245i amnesty" argument has run its course, not to mention how demeaning it is to latinos who are depicted as the fruitpickers and other menial laborers in need.
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