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Immigration Daily August 12, 2010
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Comment: Better Fish To Fry

Congressional GOP leaders have recently sought to question long-settled common law on birthright citizenship the doctrine of jus soli which guarantees citizenship based solely on the geography of birth, with exceptions only for children of diplomats and occupying armies (the exceptions and the common law rule both date back to centuries before there was an American Republic). Influential GOP leaders outside Congress have come out swinging against this folly by Republicans in Congress. A member of the Reagan White House writes in the Wall Street Journal "Instead of amending the Constitution to eliminate anchor babies the ugly term opponents of birthright citizenship use to describe these U.S. citizens Republicans should be helping them become good Americans." As Politico reports, she is joined by "former aides to both Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush condemn[ing] the calls by top Republicans to end birthright citizenship". According to news reports, other figures including anti-immigrant TV crusader Lou Dobbs and former GOP Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Alan Keyes, have indicated that the Congressional GOP leadership is going too far.

Perhaps the GOP leaders intend only to further ignite the coals of discontent among their base, to ensure better turnout in November, thus possibly capturing the House. In other words, perhaps this is strictly political, and in their hearts the GOP leaders accept the common law on birthright citizenship. If so, they are playing with fire here - taking the risk of upsetting the stability that the clear jus soli rule provides may have many unintended consequences insofar as Constitutional issues are concerned, "when it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change". Republicans gains in the next Congress do not appear contingent upon using this particular argument, no matter how anti-immigrant a tone the GOP wishes to cast itself in politically.

However, perhaps GOP leaders are genuinely keen on re-examining one of our fundamental national tenets. If so, they may be under-estimating the effects of what will inevitably ensue the genie they thus unleash will not go back in the lamp. It is not a coincidence that the common law rule on citizenship was re-stated in the 14th amendment after the greatest cataclysm our Republic has ever suffered the Civil War. While another Civil War, this time over immigration, may seem an impossibility right now, so would Republican support for a review of birthright citizenship have seemed just a few years ago. GOP leaders should pause before going too far down this perilous road.

In short, questioning birthright citizenship makes neither tactical nor strategic sense for the GOP. GOP leaders ought to have better fish to fry.

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Focus: The Immigration Compliance Book
The Immigration Compliance Book, Editors Angelo A. Paparelli, L. Batya Schwartz Ehrens, and Dan Siciliano features contributions from Jason Burritt, Francis E. Chin, Philip C. Curtis, Laura Danielson, John Fay, Bonnie K. Gibson, Richard Gump, Douglas D. Hauer, Susanne C. Heubel, Loan Huynh, Jay Jorgensen, Susan Kelly, Adam Ketcher, Cynthia Lange, Kevin Lashus, Robert F. Loughran, Kristin Major, Johanna Marmon, Cyrus D. Mehta, Maggie Murphy, Michael Patrick, Julie Pearl, Justin A. Rymer, Olivia M. Sanson, Lynn O. Tarran, Vinh C. Trieu, Steve Trow, Greg Wald, Matthew Warren and Michael J. Wildes. The Table of Contents is as follows:

  • Editors' Introduction
  • Understanding I-9 Concepts
  • I-9 Advanced Topics
  • Employer E-Verify Considerations
  • E-Verify Advanced Topics
  • DHS Enforcement Through ICE Raids and Audits
  • Specialty Topics
  • Resource Materials
For more info on this book and to order, see here (fax version, see here).

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Help Wanted: Immigration Professionals
Washington, DC - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers unique Senior Executive Service (SES) career opportunities in Washington, DC. USCIS will be accepting applications for several SES positions starting, July 23, 2010 through August 20, 2010. Therefore, if you are interested you must act fast. If any of these challenging and rewarding careers interests you, please review the official vacancy announcement located on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) USA jobs website. Please be sure to search for and reference vacancy announcement numbers below. Chief, Office of Public Engagement (Vacancy number: EXSER/10-037CIS); Deputy Associate Director, Management Directorate (Vacancy number: EXSER/10-038CIS); Deputy Director, California Service Center (Vacancy number: EXSER/10-039CIS) Visit us online at EOE.

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Boston, MA - Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. seeks immigration legal assistant who will report to immigration section manager and supports immigration attorneys. Prepare H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN, and E-1/E-2 visas and PERM application; file business and employment-related immigration documentation under supervision of attorneys; extensive communication with clients and government agencies; assist on special projects as assigned. Bachelor's degree and minimum of 4 to 8 years business immigration experience required; excellent customer service skills; strong communication skills; must be organized, detail oriented, responsive and have excellent follow through skills; multi-task and work independently; strong sense of accountability and ownership of projects; ability to prioritize workload effectively; flexibility to work overtime when necessary. Please send resume to

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Publisher:  Sam Udani    Legal Editor:  Michele Kim                        ISSN:   1930-062X