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Immigration Daily March 13, 2003
Previous Issues
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Editor's Comments

The Iraqi War's Effect On Immigration

A war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq appears inevitable, and perhaps imminent. We would like to offer our thoughts on the war's likely effect on immigration law and practice. From that perspective, the most important aspect about this war is that it will inevitably end. And when the war is over and done with, a host of significant consequences are likely to follow for immigration practitioners. Here are some of them.

  • The war has been so long in the political/diplomatic build-up that it has become one of the largest negative factors hanging over the economy right now. Once the war is over, the economy will likely breathe a sigh of relief, and may soon begin to recover even more strongly. This will likely light a fire under the job market, and prospects for all job-seekers, including yet-to-come immigrants, are likely to improve sharply.
  • With a recovering economy, the single most important weapon in the hands of the anti-immigrationists will be removed, and prospects for major and meaningful pro-immigration legislation in this Congress will be good.
  • The end of the war will most probably see a huge American military presence in Iraq for many, many years to come. This will make possible aggressive anti-terrorist actions throughout the Middle East. We cuurently do not much freedom of covert and overt action against the terrorists there. Increasing success against the terrorists will take away the most important emotional tool in the hands of the anti-immigrationists. The anti-immigrationists will be stripped of their fig-leaf of national security, being left only with their core, and unpopular, racist arguments.
In short, we see the end of the coming war as a boon to the field of immigration law.

We note that majorities of both pro-immigrationists and anti-immigrationists appear to be against the war, albeit for different reasons. The pro-immigrationists rationale against war is in sync with their largely left-wing politics. The anti-immigrationists are just as passionately against the war with Iraq on the grounds that the "real" war is against Mexico, which is "invading" the US, and that a war against Iraq distracts from this.

We do not ordinarily delve into larger political issues (such as this one), and when we do, we confine our comments to the immigration law perspective. In this context, we trust that our comments above will be helpful.


Curriculum For New Seminar On Employment Immigration Strategies

ILW.COM is pleased to announce the curriculum for our new seminar covering the latest hot topics in employment immigration, including I-9 enforcement and case law, hiring discrimination, and much more. Led by Cynthia Lange, head of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy P.C.'s IRCA Compliance Practice Group. Many new speakers to be announced shortly. The curriculum for this seminar series is as follows:

FIRST Phone Session on March 27:

What's new in I-9 enforcements and case law?

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Criminal I-9 enforcement and could it affect your clients?

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  • Recent criminal cases across the country
THIRD Phone Session on May 6:

Avoiding discrimination at the time of hiring: What advice to give your clients?

  • Is document abuse still alive?
  • What questions may you ask in recruiting
  • Discrimination considerations in terminations and reductions in force
  • Balancing national security and discrimination concerns

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Featured Article

The Acosta Doctrine And Gender Asylum: An Immigration Reform Perspective On Matter of R-A-
Michael Hethmon presents a critical analysis of this landmark asylum case.

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Immigration Law News

EOIR List Of Suspended And Expelled Practitioners
The Executive Office for Immigration Review of the Department of Justice updated its list of Suspended and Expelled Practitioners.

Attorney General Ashcroft Praises Padilla Decision
Attorney General Ashcroft released a press statement and said, "The Justice Department is pleased with the D.C. Circuit Court decision dismissing the challenge to the legality of the detention of aliens at Guantanamo."

DHS Secretary Ridge Speaks On Entry-Exit System
During remarks in Washington DC, DHS Secretary Ridge said, "We are a rather incredible place because we are a nation of immigrants. But we have to develop an entry-exit system in response to the reality, new reality of the 21st century."

DOJ Director Of Public Affairs Comstock Comments On Padilla Decision
The Department of Justice Director of Public Affairs Comstock issued a statement on the Jose Padilla decision and said, "The Department will review today's opinion in light of our duty to take all steps possible within the law to protect the American people."

White House Names Whitley, Aguirre, Jr. And Garcia To Positions Within DHS
President Bush made several personnel announcements, declaring his intentions to nominate Whitley as DHS general counsel and to nominate Aguirre, Jr. as director of the Bureau of Citzenship & Immigration Services. He also announced his intention to nominate Garcia, as Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

No Well-Founded Fear Of Persecution Where Consistent, Detailed, Credible Testimony Not Established
In Abraham v. Ashcroft, No. 02-1684 (3rd Cir. Mar. 5, 2003), the court said that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) properly determined that Petitioner, who purported to be from Sudan failed to establish a well-founded fear of persecution because he failed to produce consistent, detailed, and credible testimony, and that the contradictions in his testimony regarding the heart of his claim supported the conclusion that he had not done so.

No Jurisdiction To Review District Court's Denial Of Downward Departure
In US v. Hernandez-Roman, No. 02-4188 (4th Cir. Mar. 10, 2003), the court said that the district court's refusal to grant Petitioner a downward departure was based on its belief that it had the discretionary authority to grant the departure and was therefore not subject to appellate review.

Federal Appeals Rules Guantanamo Bay Detainees May Not Challenge Detention
The New York Times reports that while the lawyers argued that Guantanamo "is in essence a territory of the US," the judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that was not so in strict legal terms. "Cuba - not the US - has sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay," the panel said, citing the lease agreement between Cuba and US that explicitly reserves sovereignty to Havana.

President Bush Announces Intention To Nominate Atlanta Attorney Whitley As DHS General Counsel
Yahoo Finance reports that as the top lawyer in the DHS, Whitley will serve as chief legal advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and direct the work of more than 1,500 department lawyers handling a wide range of legal tasks.

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Help Wanted - Experienced Immigration Attorney
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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
The subject of many letters to the editor has been a solution for the immigration problem. My own particular concern has been a solution for the immigration problem of the Mexican workers. I have written my opinions many times and am always considerate of the views of others. R.L. Ranger in his letter of March 10 wrote: "The solution now is to deport them [sic. the illegal aliens], not try to accommodate them [see www.deportaliens for details]." I searched the referenced web site for the details of a deportation plan in order to review it; but all I found was an article of instruction on " How to Report Illegal Aliens" (i.e. instructions on how to report individuals for deportation whom one may suspect are undocumented). I find it to be totally un-American to report for deportation someone unknown on the suspicion of that individual, perhaps, being in this country illegally. It is shameful. As a solution, it does absolutely nothing. It is about as productive as trying to capture the ocean by pouring pails of seawater down a hole in the sand. This is no plan. It inflicts unnecessary and cruel hardships on individuals who do not warrant such mistreatment. It reminds me, one who is old enough to remember, of Sen. Joseph McCarthy back in the 1950s who under the guise of his "Fight for America" ruined the careers of hundreds of innocent men by accusing them falsely of being associated with communism. This sleazy bully was so shameless that it prompted one defense lawyer at the Federal hearings to exclaim: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Richard E. Baer

Dear Editor:
RL Ranger's letter to the editor shows a lack of knowledge on the subject. He states that Native Americans were mostly nomadic so the European settlers somehow had a right to this land. That is a factually inaccurate statement at best and an outright fabrication at worst. The Native Americans were grouped in large highly organized tribes each of which had leaders who met with the leaders of other tribes in an attempt to manage all of the issues that arose. Sort of like the UN or our government. He also asks why the Mexicans or any other culture has the right to unlimited migration to the US. First, I am not for unlimited migration. But, Id say that other people have the same moral right to migrate to the US as the original European settlers did. If RL feels the European settlers had an unfettered right to migrate to the US then Id say other groups have the same right. If on the other hand, he admits that the Native Americans that were living here when the settlers showed up had the primary right to this land and that the Europeans unjustly stole this land from them and attempted to commit genocide by wiping all of them out and that the European settlers did not have an right to migrate here in unlimited numbers, Ill agree with him, and agree that today, we need reasonable, non-discriminatory, limits on immigration. Also, what does it mean that immigrants that are here today are cultural threats. Whose culture? I know that my culture, inner-city Black man, is nothing like RL Rangers culture. America is made up of people all over the world. If he wants a monochromatic country he is in the wrong place.

Chicago, IL

Dear Editor:
In response to Richard E. Baer's letter, I did not claim in my letter that Catholicism (or any religion) was a force in Mexican politics. In fact, it is the very impotence of Catholicism in dealing with Mexico's problems which was the point of my letter: despite widespread acceptance of the religion, at least on the face, the Church has not succeeded in eradicating political corruption and social inequities. It may very well have contributed to them, albeit inadvertently, by strictures against birth control which resulted in the overpopulation and poverty fueling immigration to El Norte. The Church also, based on the US example, has its own house to look to for cleaning. It is the failure of its teachings in Mexico which is leading it to push for the US to take up the slack, by bending our immigration policy to favor Mexican immigrants. Not coincidentally, this immigration is also reinvigorating in the US a Church which has been threatened by declining membership. In this, the Church is no different than any other special interest group--ethnic identity groups, labor unions, politicians seeking Hispanic votes, employers seeking cheap labor. And lest I be seen as picking on the Catholic Church, much the same can be said of other religious groups (Mormons, for example) who have been active in missionary work in Latin America and see immigration as a natural extension of their efforts and a way to build their membership here. I once asked in an immigration chat room, whether those professing "Christian values" as a basis for immigration policy would be as eager to support the immigration of large numbers of poor Muslims (whose religion is also trying to establish itself as a force in the US and globally) as they are poor Mexicans. Perhaps Dr. Baer and his supporters would be kind enough to give me an answer. The silence in response to my question in the chat room was deafening.

Ali Alexander

Dear Editor:
It is interesting that ideas get exchanged, and re-exchanged, in the ILW.COM Letters to the Editor column, but it appears nobody on any side of the issues is listening; only venting unwaiverable and unchanging points of view, in some cases exhibiting a lack of understanding of immigration law and the history of immigration law. Frankly, the discussion about illegal immigration on ILW.COM has become stale, and the discussions among a handful of contributors are becoming boring and repetitive. Since nobody has offered a viable solution, let's put this beleaguered discussion to rest, lest we all fall asleep. In a nutshell, it appears we have divided into several groups: First, there are the ultra liberal advocates of the premise "they are poor, but nice and deserving people, so let them all in". Second, there is the group that believes illegal immigration should have severe penalties and no rewards, and that legal immigration should be the only way to enter the US. Third, there are those who believe that legal immigration should be severely curtailed or abolished, because "there are jes' too many of them damn feriners a'comin to "our" country" - you know, the bigots (probably very WASP - but whose ancestors immigrated to the US just like people today want to, and probably for the same reasons) .Everyone knows who you are . . . the just plain close-the-Golden-Door advocates of anti-immigration (the "them and us" advocates) who use ILW.COM to vent their own personal fears and frustrations, for who knows what personal reasons. (Sigmund Freud may want to be consulted here.) Now, someone will undoubtedly point out that I have missed an ideological group of zealots, and I apologize for any denomination of opinion I have omitted. But enough already with this tired old diatribe of "viewmanship". I challenge all of you to begin working on ideas to accomplish "real world" solutions to US immigration problems - whatever your view may be - because so long as we have disparate economics on the Southern Border, we will have illegal immigration. That is an undeniable premise, based on the theories of "the carrot and the stick" and "build it and they will come". Quite simply, the US will continue to have illegal immigration unless a workable solution is achieved.

David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach

Dear Editor:
A charitable posture to the poor, or to anyone, according to the Good Book as well as civilized society, is an admirable attribute. But, the references there seem to all apply to the character of individuals, not to government policies. A false, solicitude towards the poor, the children or other such "victim" or helpless class, is also commonly utilized in crass, hypocritical ways by some, including politicians seeking election or passing a bill "for the children", con men setting up a "charity for the helpless" or even various groups justifying their existence. Which category recent letter expressions of concerns for the downtrodden should be placed, only that individual and a Higher Up, knows for sure. Original settlors to America came not only for economic opportunity, but more importantly, for liberty, not for Socialism's benefits as there were none. The classic treatise defining the difference was written over 150 years ago by Frederic Bastiat in "The Law". Many Americans today question our direction as well as the phenomenon of mass immigration and the effect upon our (former?) liberties. Migrants today seem more interested in social and economic benefits than in preserving the liberty and freedom that created American prosperity (now endangered), or because of their experience, they may just be unawares. Many might be more useful and happy remaining in their own cultures, fostering freedoms and opportunities in their own lands, making what political changes that need to be made there (if ready for them), as we did and try to here, without the ordeals of disruption, separation and relocating that many do-gooders call for which is a weakening burden upon US all. Trying to crowd so many other cultures here seems to be diluting what Americans have laboriously achieved from the dregs of historical oppression. There is much more at stake than "the plight of the illegal". Our Founding Father's primary concern was: "The plight of freedom". How can we be an example of liberty to the world if we succumb to this dilemma? Indeed, the controversy and heated discussion in this forum testifies to the similar frictions throughout our society, contrary to the romantic, idealistic beliefs and proclamations of utopia made by many advocates, regardless of sincerity.

RL Ranger

An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney. Send Correspondence and articles to Letters and articles may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium. Opinions expressed in letters and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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