The Significance Of March 6th
It appears that the 111th Congress will turn the corner on immigration
benefits legislation. The betting appears to be that the Republicans will
pick their battles carefully after the recent drubbing at the polls, and
perhaps they will hold their fire on immigration, and will oppose the expected
health care initiative instead. In the Senate at least, things are clearer as to where to start
the debate - while Kennedy-Kyl went down to a resounding defeat,
McCain-Kennedy easily passed - so a benefit-heavy approach appears to be the
winner over an enforcement-heavy one.
The opening salvos over immigration in the 111th Congress will be fired very
early, before March 6th, which is when E-Verify runs out of authorization
absent an act of Congress. Sen. Menendez (hopefully joined by like minded
allies) will not permit re-authorization for E-Verify without establishing
the principle that the 111th Congress is benefits-minded on immigration.
This first battle will indicate how we should expect the rest of the 111th
Congress to go on immigration, and the immigrant community will be watching
every actor in this early fight closely. The Senate has a number of options
on how to proceed (as below, together with our comments):
We strongly suspect that some variant of the third option is what Congress
will ultimately end up doing. It is unlikely that the action will all be on
the Senate side - the House has much to prove after the debacle of the
Sensenbrenner bill in the 109th and the do-nothing 110th. House Democratic
leaders may well be preparing the March 6th surprise, particularly since
this would be an appropriations measure, which the Constitution requires the
House to originate. No matter what happens, or does not happen, March 6th is
the critical day to watch - the die for immigration benefits in the 111th
Congress will be cast by then.
- Enact E-Verify for 5 years without benefits - unlikely given the
immigrant-friendly composition of the 111th.
- Enact E-Verify for 5 years with benefits, such as recapture of 500,000
visas - this is the option that Sen. Menendez was pushing in the 110th
- Enact E-Verify for a few months with benefits, such as recapture or the
rebirth of 245i in the form that the Senate passed and which was before the
House in the morning of 9/11 - this is the best option since it would ensure
that the antis have a stake in CIR, and would re-establish 245i as national
policy without benefiting too many folks prior to CIR (perhaps a few tens of
thousands would benefit by the extension of 245i to the mid-August 2001
deadline of the old bill).
We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Raising Your Rates: When And How to Do It
Edward Poll writes "An age-old question for lawyers--all businesses in fact--is: when and how can prices be raised."
Homeward Bound: Recent Immigration Enforcement And The Decline In The Illegal Alien Population
Steven A. Camarota and Karen Jensenius for the Center for Immigration Studies write "The evidence indicates that the illegal immigrant population may have declined by over one million in the last year."
Immigrants Of The Week: Padma Lakshmi, Oded "Max" Brenner, and Frank Gehry
Greg Siskind honors immigrants of the week.
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USCIS QAs On Honduran And Nicaraguan TPS Re-registration Extension
USCIS issued questions and answers on the extension to the re-registration period for nationals of Nicaragua and Honduras who have been granted Temporary Protected Status.
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Sen. Majority Leader Comment Marks Monumental Shift In Immigration Reform Prospects
Given this new political reality, all signs point to a monumental shift in how immigration reform may be taken up and tackled in the 111th Congress.
Options Abound for Executive Action On Immigration
The new administration can use executive orders, departmental reviews, regulations and personnel appointments to affect policy without Congress having to weigh in.
Undercover Immigration Agent Charged With Taking Kickbacks
A federal undercover agent investigating an Ecuadorean-Chinese smuggling ring accepted cash kickbacks and other gifts from a paid U.S. government informant involved in the probe of the illegal migrant network, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.
Latinos Pin Hopes Of Immigration Reform On Obama
Although they initially leaned more toward Hillary Clinton, Latinos threw support to Obama by 67% nationwide, increasing their turnout, delivering several key states and gaining clout in the Democratic party.
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Readers are welcome to share their comments, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (300-words or fewer preferred). Many letters to the Editor refer to past correspondence, available in our archives.
I definitely agree with Kevin Dixler's letter (11/25/08 ID) on needing a DHS Secretary who has experience in densely populated major metropoolitan communities and isn't a politician who does not have a reputation of appeasing the opposition rather than informing it. Her strong stand against the border wall is unlikely to be carried into a DHS job.
Paul Good, Esq.
I entirely agree with Kevin Dixler's letter (11/25/08 ID) about Janet Napolitano. No one who signed the harshest anti-immigrant "enforcement" (read "persecution") law in the country or who wants to put National Guard soldiers on the Mexican border should be considered for DHS Secretary. The last thing we need is for a Democratic president to try to do a right wing end run around the Republicans on immigration.
Roger Algase, Esq.
New York, NY
What will the cost, to American taxpayers, to give cheap citizenship ("amnesty" to all by those paying for it) to all 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants? What is the cost for their then free health care? What is the cost to get them to learn and speak English? (Will taxpayers be required to buy each illegal a Rosette Stone "English" class?) What's the cost to administer these folks and their "path to citizenship"? How's it ever going to work, especially since our govenrment can't keep track of them now? How much corruption will be involved? Will drug dealers get special assistance? How will this nonexistant "back of the line" work? (When will be told the "back of the line" does not exist?) And, if the border is never secured, how many more illegals will be be importing? How can we American taxpayers possibly pay for this huge importation of poverty? How will our kids pay for this? They can't.
Regarding ID comment (11/25/08 ID), here we go again! Two so-called "Hispanic/Latino" lawmakers demanding "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" (CIR), which the vast majority of us in the real world understand to clearly be another bite at the apple of amnesty for immigration law violators.
Let us be clear about one thing: these law violators are not in any "shadows" by design of the U. S. government. They are "in the shadows" by their own choice, by their own wanton, willful violation of our known immigration law and procedures.
While lawbreaker appeasers like Menendez and Gutierrez seek to blame the U. S. government for the presence of all these illegals, and seek to demand that action be taken to apply procedures to them that do not include their rightful deportation because "the economy would not survive without them", there are several million beneficiaries of lawful petitions for immigration who are patiently awaiting their turn for legal entry outside of the US. Will Menendez and Gutierrez demand "special accelerated entry" status for those truly law-abiding foreigners who are just as capable of keeping our economy afloat as are all those who chose to enter illegally, or enter legally, then ignore the generous terms of their legal admission for temporary stay?
Are these two willing to give up the current family-based chain migration that gives priority to blood relationships rather than the economic, academic needs of the country? Many of those whose approved petitions are currently in the USCIS/US State Department pipeline are qualified family members who, like the siblings of my spouse, are in fact persons who possess educational levels, work experience, and even language skills that are immediately applicable to our economic needs.
J. E. Smith
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