April 24th, 2009 1 comment
In the last few weeks, there have been so many different occurrences on various levels of the immigration spectrum.
- Alan Bersin – Let’s start with the appointment of Alan Bersin as the Border Czar. What exactly is the mandate of a border czar? Well, according to April 17’s Dallas Morning News (DMN) Op-Ed Article, it would likely encompass something Alan Bersin would have been doing in his previous post as overseer of the Southwest border in San Diego, CA. However, the DMN article poses the issue of whether a more lenient Bersin will come to the position, or a more austere personality will show its colors. Any thoughts?
- Janet Napolitano Was RIGHT (in legal speak)! – Typically, I think my readers will see that I do not choose sides. I ordinarily write as objectively as possible to convey the most current information. However, this week, I am incensed at the inaccuracies being reported in the media, and an inherent sense of duty to defend those wrongfully accused has me speaking in defense of Janet Napolitano. The Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) has been causing quite a stir lately. On Sunday, April 19, 2009, Secretary Napolitano went on CNN’s State of the Union with John King, and stated, “crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil.” Well, most of the media and bloggers who followed up regarding this statement ignored Napolitano’s mention of civil liability involved in immigration law. Most of the headlines simply stated, “Napolitano states illegal immigration not a crime.” This is a classic misquotation! If these media people or bloggers new anything about immigration law, they would know that most immigration violations are CIVIL violations. Though it is true that there is, of course, criminal liability for various immigration violations, Secretary Napolitano’s statement, is not inaccurate (in legalese, that is). Granted, now that Secretary Napolitano is in the political limelight, she may want to phrase her statements more carefully to avoid being misquoted (and taken out of context).
- Janet Napolitano was wrong (on Canada) – While the Secretary should be in the clear concerning #2 above, that wasn’t the only upheaval Ms. Napolitano caused. This week, in reference to the Canadian border, Secretary Napolitano misspoke by suggesting that the 9/11 terrorists entered through the Canadian border. Needless to say, Canada, our ally, couldn’t have been too happy about that. Though the Secretary attempted to apologize for her statements, many say it’s not enough and that the damage was done. You can read more detail here.
- The Economics of Immigration Reform – On April 16, 2009, The Economist published an excellent article detailing the current events surrounding the immigration reform debate. The report, however, had a certain slant that I appreciated; while the Obama administration has repeated that the economy takes priority over any other issue, including immigration reform, this article illustrates that the immigration system’s problems affect the economy on quite a deep level. For example, “[a]dvocates contend that bringing immigrants’ shadow economy into the light will fatten tax rolls, end the abuse of illegal workers, improve wages for all and spur economic growth.” In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell my readers that I do not feel comfortable picking sides on the debates regarding illegal immigration, drivers licenses, border security, etc. However, one issue I do feel candidly adamant about is that the current immigration system is flawed and must be repaired.
- 287(g) – On April 22, 2009, Policy Analyst for Homeland Security, Jena Baker McNeill, wrote a memorandum (webmemo #2405) entitled “Section 287(g): State and Local Immigration Enforcement Efforts Are Working.” Ms. McNeill poses an argument in favor of 287(g) and states, “Congress should. . . encourage the growth and expansion of 287(g) and other similar programs.”For those of you who are not familiar with the term “287(g),” you can see my previous post where I give a brief explanation of what it is: Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants – What To Do?. Also, if you’re curious whether the 287(g) has been implemented in your city or county, you can see the DHS list (under “287 (g) Facts”).
- Of interest –
- Los Angeles Times: “Department of Homeland Security ordered to reopen immigration cases” (April 22, 2009) – “A Los Angeles federal court judge has issued a preliminary ruling ordering the Department of Homeland Security to reopen the immigration cases of nearly two dozen people who were denied green cards because their U.S. citizen spouses died during the process.”
- Houston Chronicle (Press Release): “Green Card Holders with Criminal Records Should Not Travel Outside the US” (DALLAS, TX, April 15, 2009).