Posts Tagged ‘illegal immigration’
September 14th, 2010 at 10:41 pm
Liberals Larding Up Defense Bill with Illegal Immigrant Giveaways
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Proving, even in the midst of election season, that there’s no depths to which Harry Reid won’t sink, CNN reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.

The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Reid called the DREAM Act “really important” and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.

So, let’s get this straight: at a time when illegal immigration has become such an epidemic that portions of Arizona have basically ceded their sovereignty — and at a time when federal entitlements are hemorrhaging out of control — the Senate Majority Leader wants to prioritize honor roll amnesty and a new entitlement for those who are here illegally (the DREAM Act allows illegal immigrants in American colleges to receive student loans and work study money)? And he’s willing to hold funding the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan hostage to it? The DREAM Act may be “really important” to Reid. To the rest of us, it looks “really irrelevant” and “really destructive”.

August 12th, 2010 at 5:56 pm
Census Data: One of Every Twelve Births to Illegal Immigrants
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Amid the national debate over whether to amend the 14th Amendment to prohibit automatic birthright citizenship for “anchor babies” of illegal immigrants, we receive startling data from a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.  In 2008, according to the numbers, illegal immigrant parents accounted for some 8% of births in America – one out of every twelve.

Although illegal immigrants constitute 4% of the American adult population, the Census data indicates that they account for twice that percentage of newborns.  The terms of the 14th Amendment grant citizenship to”all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” and courts have interpreted that to grant birthright citizenship.  Amendment proponents, however, argue that those terms fairly aimed to protect freed slaves from attempts to deny them equal rights under the law, not to confer automatic U.S. citizenship to illegal immigrants’ offspring.

Regardless of the legal and constitutional merits for or against the amendment, the new data adds startling new practical, real-world, objective perspective to the debate.

August 4th, 2010 at 11:59 am
SB 1070 Drafter Wins Kansas GOP Primary for Secretary of State

As CFIF reported, there is more to Kris Kobach than being the principal drafter of the Arizona’s illegal immigration law SB 1070.  Last night, Kobach secured the Kansas Republican Party’s nomination for Secretary of State.  The accomplishment makes him likely the highest profile SOS candidate in the country, and is sure to put election law-related issues at the forefront of the midterm elections.  First up on Kobach’s agenda?  Requiring all voters to provide a photo ID when casting a ballot.

Stay tuned.

July 30th, 2010 at 6:11 pm
NRO Debates the Politics and Law of Arizona’s Illegal Immigration Statute

National Review Online’s Andrew McCarthy pens one of the best explanations I’ve seen refuting the Obama Administration’s argument that Arizona’s SB 1070 is preempted by federal law.  A bit surprisingly, McCarthy’s column is in response to (and a bit in contention with) his colleague Heather McDonald.

McDonald wrote a column earlier today fretting about the hypothetical “preemption” consequences of an Arizona law enforcement official deciding to prosecute an illegal alien under SB 1070 after federal officials declined to prosecute under federal law.  McDonald implied such a scenario would trigger a successful preemption claim (i.e. federal law trumping state law) because the actions of the state and federal officials would be in conflict.

Though their actions may be in conflict, argues McCarthy, that doesn’t mean the laws are in conflict.  The distinction is crucial, but too often glossed over by pundits.

In a nutshell, the legislative branch makes a law and the executive branch has the discretion whether and how to enforce it.  Since police officers and prosecutors are agents of the executive branch at both the state and federal level, they have discretion whether and how much to enforce a law passed by the legislature.  (That’s why they can plea bargain cases and drop charges.)

So, if the federal layer of government decides not to enforce its law, but the state layer of government decides it will enforce its identical law, there is no legal conflict; only a different policy choice by each layer.

Thus, claiming that SB 1070 is unconstitutional because it is preempted by federal law is a non-starter since there is no legal conflict between the two.  In fact, they are identical.  Knowing the meanings behind the terms shows that the litigation surrounding SB 1070 is based on nothing more than a policy conflict between the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Arizona over how to apply the same law.

July 14th, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Senators Move to Stop Obama Administration Lawsuit Against Arizona Immigration Law

Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and David Vitter (R-LA) today introduced an amendment that would prohibit the Obama Administration, including the Department of Justice and other federal agencies, from participating in lawsuits seeking to invalidate Arizona’s tough new immigration law.

In announcing the introduction of the amendment, Senator DeMint stated:

States like Arizona shouldn’t be prosecuted for protecting their citizens when the federal government fails to do so.  The federal government is rewarding illegal behavior and encouraging many more to enter our nation illegally when they refuse to enforce our laws. States along the border are facing kidnappings, drug trafficking, human trafficking and gang violence and they have a duty to keep their residents safe. Instead of suing states for doing his job, the President should get serious and stop holding border security hostage to pass amnesty and score points with his liberal base.”

Senator Vitter, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Border Security Caucus, commented:

The state of Arizona is simply taking responsibility for a problem that the federal government has neglected for years, but Washington’s only response is to oppose these new enforcement efforts and take them to court.  The Obama administration should not use taxpayers’ money to pay for these lawsuits that the American people overwhelmingly oppose.”

According to a statement released by Senator DeMint’s office, the “amendment (#4464) could be voted on next week as part of the debate on the small business bill on the Senate floor.”

July 12th, 2010 at 11:53 am
Eric Holder: If at First You Don’t Succeed…Play the Race Card

Even though the ink is barely dry on the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Arizona’s new illegal immigration law, Attorney General Eric Holder is already speculating about what to do if (i.e. when) his challenge fails: play the race card.

In legal terms, the Justice Department’s current lawsuit is a “facial” challenge, meaning that the DOJ alleges Arizona’s SB 1070 is unconstitutional “on its face,” or by its own terms.  Since SB 1070 mirrors federal law, only the most liberal application of the preemption doctrine would consider identical versions of the same statute to be in conflict, thus requiring federal law to preempt SB 1070.

Because Arizona’s the law is valid on its face the DOJ’s current lawsuit will lose, and SB 1070 will be allowed to go into effect.  Then Arizona law enforcement will be able to ask a person about their immigration status if the person is stopped because of reasonable suspicion she is engaged in criminal activity.  According to Holder, a few months after implementation the DOJ would then challenge SB 1070 “as applied” by law enforcement because officers would allegedly ask for immigration papers from a person because of his race – even though SB 1070 explicitly prohibits the officer from doing that.

But in order to get enough empirical evidence to prove systematic racial profiling, the DOJ will have to closely monitor the situations where Arizona officers apply SB 1070.  To do that will require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)to cooperate with Arizona officers checking a suspect’s immigration status; something the ICE chief is loathe to do.  Moreover, since nearly all of the illegal immigrants in Arizona are Hispanic, nearly all of the suspects questioned and verified will be Hispanic.  Does the near universal application of SB 1070 to these suspects prove racial profiling?  Or, on the other hand, does it prove merely that a particular subset of the Arizona population contains a statistically outrageous number of illegal immigrants?

Both the current lawsuit and this new proposal by the Attorney General are fools’ errands in sloppy litigation.  Eric Holder is 0-for-Everything as the nation’s top prosecutor.  Hopefully, President Barack Obama will let him get back where he belongs: challenging valid laws for the sake of liberal causes as a private attorney.

July 9th, 2010 at 1:43 am
Obama Inspires Taxpayers to Send Voluntary Payments to Arizona State Government

Yes, he CAN!  President Barack Obama managed to pull off a rare feat this week: convincing conservative Americans to voluntarily contribute more money than they owe to the government to help it fund a program.  The problem for the president is that thousands of Americans from all 50 states were sending the checks to Arizona to fight the Obama Justice Department’s legal challenge to SB 1070, the state’s new illegal immigration law.

Most of the donations were between $10 and $100; precisely the types of contributions that propelled Obama to victory while giving his campaign team reason to brag that his support was wide and potentially very deep.  Faced with a similar kind of widespread movement arrayed against him, will Obama see the nationwide backlash he’s loping towards before it’s too late? 

Do conservatives want him to?

June 23rd, 2010 at 6:31 pm
Mexico Joins Legal Challenges to Arizona’s SB 1070

Well, that settles it.  If immigration-friendly Mexico supports invalidating Arizona’s illegal immigration law, then I guess the debate is over.

This can’t come as good news to the Obama Administration.  It’s bad enough that “only” an overwhelming majority of Americans support Arizona’s SB 1070.  Now, the biggest cheerleader for Attorney General Holder’s lawsuit comes from the government whose inability to police the drug cartels or provide a stable economic environment for its citizens helps drive illegal immigrants north.

I wonder how long it will be before the president sends his buddy Felipe Calderon a note saying “No gracias, amigo.”

June 21st, 2010 at 5:41 pm
Kris Kobach Responds to DOJ Challenge of AZ Immigration Law

Rising conservative Kris Kobach lays out a succinct analysis that puts to rest any notion that the Obama Administration has any legal justification for suing Arizona over its tough new illegal immigration law, and concluding with the only plausible explanation:

But even if one were to imagine that the Obama administration had a strong legal argument, there would be yet another reason not to file the lawsuit: It is completely unnecessary. Five suits have already been filed by the ACLU and their fellow travelers. The issue is already teed up for the federal courts to decide. The administration achieves nothing by launching its own litigation. Except, of course, for rallying the Democrats’ open-borders base before the 2010 elections.

In a previous part of his National Review Online entry Kobach shows that every federal appeals court who’s considered the issue “support the authority of Arizona to enact its law.”  Since the lawsuits arrayed against SB 1070 are almost guaranteed to fail, it will be interesting to see how many open-borders supporters will convince themselves that the Administration’s ploy is worth the bother.

June 3rd, 2010 at 5:38 pm
The Other Candidate Running Against Barbara Boxer

For those paying attention to the U.S. Senate race in California, it would be a forgivable sin of omission if one thought that all of Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) campaign opponents sported an “R” after their name.  But apparently, she’s got competition in her Democratic primary next Tuesday: Slate contributor Mickey Kaus.

Surprisingly, Kaus is running to Boxer’s right on issues like firing bad public school teachers (supports), and amnesty for illegal immigrants (opposes).  And for those who would tar and feather Kaus as an ideological heretic, consider his response:

I’d argue these are the positions a liberal who cared about government and inequality would take. Why do Democrats reject them? They increasingly say it’s not so much because of policy, but because of politics: they have to turn out the “base” to win the next election, and the “base” consists of union members and Latinos (plus African Americans, who are badly hurt by illegal immigration but whom the party takes for granted).

Never mind that this theory is nearly unfalsifiable–if the Democrats lose, its proponents will always say that they just didn’t please the base enough. Has base-pleasing ever panned out? Looking back over recent elections, I can only think of one where the “base” was clearly more important than the moderate middle–that was the presidential election of 2004, when George W. Bush turned out millions of new right-wing voters many people thought didn’t exist. But most recent mid-term elections have been preceded by predictions that “Hey, given the low turnout it all depends on mobilizing the base!”–only to be followed by acknowledgments that it was moderate swing voters who swung the result.

If only Senator Boxer would debate this guy…

H/T: Huffington Post

May 24th, 2010 at 9:28 am
Ramirez Cartoon: It’s America’s Fault…
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

May 19th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
Arizona Utilities Willing to Shut Off Power to L.A. to Honor City’s Boycott

With apologies to Texas, Don’t Mess with Arizona!  One of the state’s utilities commissioners sent an open letter to the Mayor of Los Angeles in response to the City Council’s resolution to boycott Arizona businesses in order to, as the mayor said, “send a message” that L.A. officials disapprove of Arizona’s tough new illegal immigration law. (pdf)

Commissioner Gary Pierce’s letter is short and powerful. (pdf)  My favorite excerpt:

“I received your message; please receive mine.  As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the ‘resources and ties’ we share with the City of Los Angeles.  In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.

If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation.  I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take these electrons off your hands.  If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.”

Like the well-heeled college students protesting capitalism on spring break, it’s time for Los Angeles officials to put their principles where their sanctimonious mouths are.  We’ll see who backs down first.

April 30th, 2010 at 9:21 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Illegals Boycott Arizona
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Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez on the Arizona immigration enforcement law.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

April 21st, 2010 at 4:03 pm
Congressmen Call for Tough Economic Sanctions Against … Arizona?

The Arizona legislature recently made national news by passing a tough immigration enforcement bill aimed at addressing the increasing violence along its border with Mexico and the state’s growing illegal immigration problem.  Unhappy with the legislation, two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, including one from Arizona, are now calling for tough “economic sanctions” against the state.

According to The Hill newspaper, Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) have asked President Obama to lean on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican who reportedly has not taken a formal position on the bill, to veto the immigration enforcement measure, “either by warning of federal pre-emption of the law itself or by threatening Arizona’s federal funding.”

In addition to wanting the president to withhold federal funds, Grijalva is threatening to take matters into his own hands should the bill become state law.  (Did we mention that he represents a district in Arizona?) 

The Hill reports:

Grijalva warned Brewer that the law, if enacted, could lead to other negative consequences for the state — in the form of what he called ‘economic sanctions.’

‘We are going to be urging national organizations — religious, civic, labor, Latino, of color — to refrain from spending their dollars on conventions and in national activities in the state of Arizona,’ Grijalva said. ‘There have to be hard economic sanctions for this.’

Both Representatives Gutierrez and Grijalva are strong proponents of “comprehensive immigration reform” (aka Amnesty for Illegal Aliens) and appear to be using the immigration enforcement measure passed by the Arizona legislature as a means to that end. 

Regardless, in our two-and-a-half-minute Google search, we couldn’t find one other example of a Member of Congress working to inflict economic hardship on his own state, for any reason.  Is this guy serious?

November 30th, 2009 at 11:36 am
Rep. Wilson Was Right; Obama DID Lie

Turns out Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) told the truth when he yelled “You lie” after President Obama said illegal immigrants would not be covered under the health care reform bill. A report by the Washington Times shows that both the House and Senate versions of the legislation fail to prohibit illegal immigrants from getting taxpayer-funded health coverage.

The House bill mandates, and the Senate bill strongly encourages, businesses to extend health care coverage to all employees. But the bills do not have exemptions to screen out illegal immigrants, who usually obtain jobs by using false identities and are indistinguishable from legal workers.

A rough estimate by the Center for Immigration Studies suggests that the practical effect of the mandates would be that about 1 million illegal immigrants could obtain health insurance coverage through their employers.

Democrats who wrote the House bill said that employer coverage for illegal immigrants is not intentional, but rather the outcome of people breaking the law.

Well, it may not be intentional, but it certainly logically follows. The failure of Democrats to address this loophole (and others like it) is the reason the health care “reform” will become seemingly uncontrollable. Of course, no social welfare program the government creates is truly uncontrollable, so long as there is diligent enforcement of means testing. But then, what’s the point of having universal health care if everybody (citizen or not) isn’t in the same system?

November 18th, 2009 at 8:35 pm
Obama’s Coming Immigration “Reform” Borders on Insanity

And now a word from Big Sister. With comprehensive climate change legislation tabled until next year and comprehensive health care reform on life support in the Senate, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the current immigration system is “unacceptable.” Translation? It’s time to pursue comprehensive immigration reform. (By the way, is there any issue area that doesn’t require a “comprehensive” solution? Whatever happened to incrementalism?)

Characteristically, the Obama Administration will not be advocating a fix that speaks to the fundamental issue in the debate. The primary criticism of the current system is that it attracts and rewards low-skilled workers living at the margins of mainstream American society. Compounding matters is the current system’s focus on “re-uniting” families; which over time has been expanded to mean any tangentially related family member overseas gets bumped to the front of the visa line.

Steven Malanga of the Manhattan Institute thinks this is a problem.

The more people who came and established residence here, the longer the so-called ‘family re-unification’ list of visa applicants grew as newcomers placed their own relatives on it. That put pressure on Congress to continually expand the family-visa category until it came to dominate our immigration system. It also sparked more illegal immigration because Congress could never enlarge the number of immigration slots fast enough to reduce wait lists for family members, which meant many people just came without permanent visas to join relatives and then hoped for the best.”

As Malanga advocates, a more far more sensible solution would be to follow the lead of countries like Australia, Ireland, and Canada who “tilted their policies towards focusing on those with skills and talents most likely to succeed in and contribute to a late 20th century developed economy.”

Instead, all indications are that Secretary Napolitano will claim that a year’s worth of border enforcement is not enough. She’ll then declare a need to “comprehensively” reform the system and the people who brought you nearly $2 trillion of stimulus and health reform will conjure up ways to sell amnesty as the only moral decision possible. Get ready for a spirited Spring congressional session!