Immigrants Bridge The Gap With Local Communities — “The Haters Are Always Wrong, And The Haters Will Eventually Lose.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/working-to-build-bridges-between-immigrants-and-their-new-communities/2017/06/23/03c1bb1a-4d2a-11e7-a186-60c031eab644_story.html?utm_term=.2bcde1762b2f

Steven V. Roberts writes in a WashPost op-ed:

“These are all good examples that will, hopefully, ease the “cultural anxiety” Noorani writes about. But he shies away from discussing a key dimension of Trump’s appeal: racism. “A significant portion of the American electorate felt their country had been taken away,” he writes, but he doesn’t complete the thought. Taken away by whom? Let’s be honest. Many of those voters believe that their country has been overrun by dark-skinned, foreign-language-speaking aliens.

While it is wildly unfair to call all Trump supporters racists, it is equally inaccurate to ignore that the president deliberately inflamed racist impulses to win the election.

 

Moreover, Noorani lacks a larger perspective. Trump is a very American figure. Anti-immigrant fears didn’t start with globalization and weren’t “triggered” by the election of Barack Obama. Throughout our history, spasms of nativist hostility have erupted against each new group arriving on our shores: Germans and Jews, Irish and Italians, Japanese and Chinese.

Hispanics and Muslims are now the objects of this animosity, and the language directed against them is the same that’s been used to demonize newcomers for more than two centuries: This group will degrade our culture and alter our identity. But today’s targets can take comfort from the clear lessons of history.

Immigrants do change our culture — for the better. They reenergize and revitalize our civic spirit. The haters are always wrong, and the haters will eventually lose. Tiwana and Noorani himself prove that truth.

*********************************************

Read the entire op-ed at the link.

Trump and his supporters might be on the right side of the political equation at this point in time, but they are squarely on the wrong side of history. Before joining up with the Trump Team, folks ought to think about being remembered by their grandchildren and great grandchildren in the same way that we think about such notorious racists as Alabama Governor George Wallace, Georgia Governor Lester “Pickax” Maddox, and Arkansas Governor Orvil Faubis, or those who engineered and championed such abominations as the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Even iconic American historical figures like President Woodrow Wilson and Gen. Robert E. Lee have recently had their racism and support for racist causes eventually catch up with them and tarnish their reputations. In the long run, the cause of intolerance, fear, and bias promoted by Trump, Pence, and today’s GOP will look pretty bad. Yeah, we’ll all be gone by then. But, our descendants and history will remember where we stood.

PWS

06-25-17

FEDERAL JUDGE SANCTIONS KOBACH FOR MISCONDUCT IN KS VOTING RIGHTS CASE!

 

https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/immigration/b/immigration-law-blog/archive/2017/06/24/kobach-sanctioned-for-39-deceptive-conduct-39-in-proof-of-citizenship-lawsuit-fish-v-kobach.aspx

Dan Kowalski reports from LexisNexis Immigration:

“Fish v. Kobach, June 23, 2017 – “[D]efendant’s deceptive conduct and lack of candor warrant the imposition of sanctions. … [D]efendant made patently misleading representations to the court … The court cannot say that defendant flat-out lied in representing the content of the disputed documents. … “Most attorneys, of course, try to convey evidence in the best possible light for their clients. But there is a difference between putting evidence in the best possible light and blatantly misstating the evidence.” … When counsel’s false references in a brief indicate “that he has been either cavalier in regard to his approach to this case or bent upon misleading the court,” sanctions are appropriate. … [P]laintiffs are permitted to take the deposition of Secretary Kobach with respect to non-privileged information and evidence pertaining to the draft amendment and the photographed document. … The undersigned will preside over the deposition and contemporaneously resolve any disputes that arise.”

***************************************

Go to the link for the full decision.

Gee, Kris, the rules in Federal Court apply even to guys like you!

PWS

06-24-17

REFUGEES ADJUST QUICKLY TO U.S. — PAY MORE IN TAXES THAN BENEFITS AFTER JUST EIGHT YEARS — New Study Debunks Trump’s Anti-Refugee Rhetoric!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/13/refugees-give-more-money-to-the-government-than-the-government-gives-to-them-study-says/?utm_term=.b120dcea381b

Tracy Jan writes in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog:

“Refugees have been at the center of a political maelstrom, accused of everything from terrorism to being a drain on taxpayers — prompting President Trump, in one of his first official acts, to suspend the country’s four-decade old refugee resettlement program.

But a new study shows that refugees end up paying more in taxes than they receive in welfare benefits after just eight years of living in this country.

By the time refugees who entered the U.S. as adults have been here for 20 years, they will have paid, on average, $21,000 more in taxes to all levels of government than they received in benefits over that time span, according to a working paper released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research that examined the economic and social outcomes of refugees in the U.S.

“There was a lot of rhetoric saying these people cost too much, but we didn’t actually know what that number was,” said William N. Evans, an economist at the University of Notre Dame who co-authored the paper.

Trump, in his January executive order temporarily barring refugees from entering the country, had directed the State Department to study the long-term costs of the refugee admissions program to federal, state and local governments.”

***************************************************

Read the complete story at the link.

Trump’s immigration policies usually are not based on facts. He uses anti-immigrant anecdotes (some fabricated or exaggerated) along with policy statements straight out of the Bannon, Miller, Sessions, Kobach White Nationalist playbook to “whip up his base” and promote xenophobia.

PWS

06-14-17

 

NYT: Meet The White Nativist, Anti-Democracy Politician Kris Kobach — If You’re Non-White, He’s Out To Restrict Or Eliminate Your Right To Shape America’s Future — “implementing policies that protect the interests and aims of a shrinking white majority.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/magazine/the-man-behind-trumps-voter-fraud-obsession.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&module=Trending&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&pgtype=article

Read Ari Berman’s shocking profile of a minor politician who wields outsized influence within the GOP and is out to put a “White’s Only” sign on the American Dream. For Kobach, the “Jim Crow Era” was the glory day of the “rule of law” in the U.S. When Kobach talks about the “rule of law” it’s code for using the legal system to cement the rule of a disproportionately white GOP minority over the rest of us, and particularly Americans of color. Will the “sleeping majority” wake up before we’re all disenfranchised by this racist in a suit hiding behind his Yale law degree and ability to spin legal gobbledygook? Kobach isn’t just “the ACLU’s worst nightmare,” as he smugly touts himself. He’s American Democracy’s worst nightmare!

Here’s a sample of what Kobach has in store for the rest of us:

“Kobach’s plans represent a radical reordering of American priorities. They would help preserve Republican majorities. But they could also reduce the size and influence of the country’s nonwhite population. For years, Republicans have used racially coded appeals to white voters as a means to win elections. Kobach has inverted the priorities, using elections, and advocating voting restrictions that make it easier for Republicans to win them, as the vehicle for implementing policies that protect the interests and aims of a shrinking white majority. This has made him one of the leading intellectual architects of a new nativist movement that is rapidly gaining influence not just in the United States but across the globe.”

Read Berman’s lengthy article, and think about what YOU can do to put the kibosh on the plans of this self-proclaimed “fanatic” and his dream of turning America into a “White GOP Folks Only Club.” Even Republicans who might remember enough to know that the GOP in the far, far distant past was the “Party of Lincoln” might want to rethink their party’s support of and association with this dangerous extremist. Act before it’s too late and Kobach steals YOUR American Dream and turns it into a nightmare!

PWS

06-13-17

 

 

 

 

STONEWALLED!! — Congress Says “NO” To Trump’s Wall — Trims Back Requests For DHS Agents & Detention — Funds 10 New U.S. Immigration Judge Teams — Asks For 365 Day “Median” Court Case Cycle (Dream On, Dream On)!

Here’s the Section of the House Appropriations Committee Report relating to EOIR and the U.S. Immigration Courts:

"EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The Committee recommends $457,154,000 for the Executive 
Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), of which $4,000,000 is 
from immigration examination fees. The recommendation is 
$29,003,000 above the request. The recommendation will support 
25 additional immigration judge (IJ) teams. In addition, the 
recommendation includes a $1,706,000 program increase for the 
modernization of mission critical systems and a $5,727,000 
program increase for infrastructure improvements. The 
recommendation sustains the current legal orientation program 
and related assistance, such as the information desk pilot. The 
recommendation does not include any funding to establish or 
fund a legal representation program.
    Assuring immigration regulation helps optimize strong 
enforcement.--The Committee is concerned with the pace of 
hiring and onboarding Immigration Judges funded in fiscal years 
2015 and 2016, and expects the Department to accelerate the 
recruitment, background investigation and placement of IJ teams 
to areas that have the highest workload. The Committee is 
alarmed that despite the increased resources provided to EOIR 
in fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the median days pending for a 
detained immigration case is 71 days and the median days 
pending for a non-detained case is 665 days. While the 
Committee understands that factors outside the control of 
Immigration Judges can affect case length, these median case 
times are unacceptable. The Committee directs EOIR to establish 
a goal that by the end of the fiscal year 2017 the median days 
pending of detained cases be no longer than 60 days, and the 
median length for non-detained cases be no longer than 365 
days. To monitor the progress in this effort, the Committee 
directs EOIR to continue to provide monthly reporting on EOIR 
performance and IJ hiring as specified in the statement 
accompanying the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriation Act.
    Court space.--The recommendation fully funds the request 
for additional court infrastructure and expects EOIR to use 
these funds fully to ensure that additional IJ teams have the 
necessary court space. However, the Committee is concerned that 
EOIR is not using all available EOIR or Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS) space. EOIR is directed to provide a report to 
the Committee within 90 days of enactment of this Act outlining 
its utilization of existing EOIR and DHS space and its plans 
for acquiring additional space in order to accommodate 
additional Immigration Judges.
    Visa overstay cases.--The Committee directs EOIR to submit 
a report, no less than 60 days after enactment of this act, and 
monthly thereafter, detailing the number of instances of visa 
overstay cases that have been adjudicated through the court 
system, and recommend steps to take in coordination with other 
agencies to streamline visa overstay adjudication procedures.
    To better understand the policy and practice of immigration 
courts in setting detainee bonds, the Committee directs the 
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to report within 
120 days of enactment on how immigration judges use ``ability 
to pay'' criteria in determining the amounts of bonds, and the 
process for appealing such bond decisions. In addition, the 
report should include for fiscal years 2012-2016 the number of 
requests for reconsideration or appeals of bond amounts; how 
many requests or appeals resulted in reductions in bonds; and 
how many detainees did not pay bond set by an immigration 
judge."

The complete Committee Report, H.R. Rep. No.114-605, is available here: https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/114th-congress/house-report/605
****************************************


And, here is the actual language from the Appropriations Bill:

“EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW

(INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

This Act includes $440,000,000 for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), of which $4,000,000 is derived by transfer from fee collections. This reflects funding for EOIR in a separate appropriation account, in lieu of being funded under the former Administrative Review and Appeals appropriation.

Within the funding provided, EOIR is directed to continue ongoing programs, continue the hiring process of new judges funded in fiscal year 2016, recruit and hire no fewer than 10 new Immigration Judge (IJ) Teams, and complete modernization of mission critical systems and improvements in infrastructure as described in the budget request.

Immigration Judge Hiring and Adjudication Backlog.-The Department shall accelerate its recruitment, background investigation, and placement of IJ teams and establish median days pending targets for cases (detained and non-detained) as specified in the House Report. For fiscal year 2017, EOIR shall continue to submit monthly performance and operating reports to the Committees on Appropriations, to include the status of its hiring and deployment of new IJ teams, in the format and level of detail provided in fiscal year 2016. In addition, not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, EOIR shall report to the Committees on Appropriations on visa overstay cases as directed in the House report.”


***********************************************

In the final version of the bill, Congress supported EOIR’s mission with increased resources.

Not surprisingly, the Committee was concerned about the glacial pace at which the DOJ hired new Immigration Judges authorized in FY 2015 & FY 2016. Attorney General Sessions says he has already taken steps to “streamline and expedite” IJ hiring, although I’m not aware of the details of the revised judicial hiring process.

The Committee was also critical of the failure of the
DOJ/EOIR to obtain sufficient space for additional Immigration Judges, noting that EOIR was not currently using all available space for Immigration Courtrooms.

Notwithstanding these problems, the bill provides for 10 additional Immigration Judge “Teams” (including support staff). This was in lieu of the 25 additional Immigration Judge Teams mentioned in the report.

The Committee was shocked by the “median times” for completing both detained (71 days) and non-detained (665 days) cases. It ordered EOIR to establish goals of 60 days median for detained cases and 365 days for non-detained cases.

The 60 day detained goals appears achievable, particularly because the Trump Administration is now diverting Immigration Court resources to the detained docket. However, the Administration’s apparent intent to increase both arrests and detentions could hamper that goal.

By contrast, the 365 day non-detained goal shows a massive disconnect in the Committee’s knowledge and understanding of the current Immigration Court system. With the backlog steadily rising under the Trump Administration to 570,000 cases, careening toward 600,000, with no end in sight, a 365 day  “goal” is right out of “Never-Never Land.”

Indeed, reassigning Immigration Judges from the non-detained to the detained docket to achieve a 60 day median is likely to result in further deterioration in the 665 day median for non-detained cases. And, 10 new IJs, while certainly very welcome, are a mere drop in the bucket — unlikely to make any significant dent in the backlog or the median time for non-detained cases.

The only ways to cut the median for non-detained cases to anything approaching 365 days would be by 1) doubling the size of the Immigration Judiciary (now at approximately 305), or 2) cutting the Immigration Court’s docket in half.

The former simply is not feasible in the foreseeable future, particularly given the DOJ’s inability to fill currently vacant IJ positions and to make realistic plans for expansion of courtrooms.

The second alternative could be achieved, but not the way the Trump Administration is proceeding. Instead of “jacking up” arrests, detention, and court dockets, the Administration would have to exercise discretion to pull the vast majority  of the 570,000 pending cases out of court and allow individuals without serious criminal records to remain in the U.S. Eventually, some type of legalization legislation would have to be developed with Congress.

Additionally, rather than expanding the priorities to include “almost anybody,” the Administration would have to further refine the Obama Administration priorities so that only those individuals convicted of serious crimes were targeted for removal proceedings.

The current system is heading for a massive “train wreck.” While the Committee’s support of the Immigration Courts is an important step in the right direction, it doesn’t come close to addressing the current dysfunctions at DHS and DOJ with respect to the Immigration Court system.

Finally, the Committee seemed interested in getting more information about the bond system in Immigration Court, with particular emphasis on whether and how Immigration Judges were considering “ability to pay” as part of the equation for setting bonds.

PWS

05-02-17

 

 

BREAKING: ENJOINED AGAIN! NATIONWIDE TRO! Judge in Hawaii Says Travel Ban Violates Establishment Clause! Trump Administration Basically Found “Not Credible” On Immigration/National Security Claims — Trump’s Own Statements & Those of Giuliani, Miller Used To Show Bias!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-travel-ban-blocked_us_58c99d18e4b00705db4bc38f

Report from HuffPost:

“A federal judge in Hawaii has placed a nationwide hold on key aspects of President Donald Trump’s second attempt at a ban on travel ― a scaled-back version that targeted all non-visa holders from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as a halt on the U.S. refugee resettlement program ― just hours before the new restrictions were to take effect.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said sections of the new travel order likely amounted to a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which forbids the government from disfavoring certain religions over others.

Watson gave short shrift to the Trump administration’s argument that the new restrictions applied to a “small fraction” of the world’s 50 predominantly Muslim nations ― and thus could not be read to discriminate Muslims specifically.

“The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable,” Watson wrote. “The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”

The judge also discarded the government’s defense that the text of the new executive order was silent on religion, supposedly solving constitutional defects identified by courts with the first order.

“Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude … that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, secondary to a religious objective of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims,” Watson wrote.”

**************************************

Here is Judge Watson’s written decision in State of Hawaii v. Trump:

http://www.hid.uscourts.gov/files/announcement142/CV17-50%20219%20doc.pdf

More bad news for the Administration — the Third Circuit has enjoined the removal of an Afghani interpreter with a visa who was denied admission and allegedly “withdrew” his application. Read about it in the WashPost here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/immigration-authorities-to-deport-afghan-man-who-helped-us-government/2017/03/15/a7eecb9a-098e-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-banner-main_travelban1010am:homepage/story&utm_term=.051c21ef8afe

***************************************

It’s early in the game on the Administration’s uncompromisingly hard line approach to immigration issues. So far, however, they have racked up an impressive string of losses from coast to coast from Article III Judges all across the spectrum.

In other words, the bombastically inappropriate statements made by Trump and his advisors have “poisoned the well,” and the Administration is probably going to find it difficult to “un-poison” it. And, as long as guys like Bannon, Sessions, Miller, and Kobach are calling the shots, that might never happen.

As some have suggested, perhaps the President and his advisors need a type of “Executive Miranda Warnings” before they shoot off their mouths (or their Twitters) in public: “Everything you say (or Tweet) can and will be used against you.”

The next stop for “Travel Ban 2.0” probably will be the 9th Circuit. But, since the Administration already lost there on its appeal of the TRO in State of Washington v. Trump, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the 9th Circuit to lift the TRO. Like President Obama with the “DAPA Fiasco,” President Trump is learning that U.S. District Judges wield considerable power in our system.  As one of my colleagues once said, “U.S. District Judges are the last living potentates.”

None of this bodes well for the Administration’s next ill-advised plan — to ramp up removals, increase the use of immigration detention, maximize “expedited removal,” and reduce what’s left of the U.S. Immigration Court to the equivalent of two-shift assembly line workers churning out removal orders. Chances are that the Article III Courts are going to have something to say about that too. And, unless the Administration moderates its approach, it’s not likely to be anything they like.

PWS

03/15/17

 

 

WSJ OPINION: JASON L. RILEY — Steve King & Other White Nationalists Are Wrong — America Is Not Europe — That’s Why Refugee Assimilation Works Here — “Shared Ideals” Are Key (And They Are Not The “Ideals” Spouted By King & His Crowd)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-doesnt-have-europes-immigration-problems-1489530039

Riley writes:

“America doesn’t have that problem because it has done things differently. Here, the emphasis is on shared ideals rather than shared cultural artifacts. The U.S. model for assimilation has been more successful because of the country’s value framework, which is the real immigrant magnet. Longitudinal studies, which measure the progress of the same individuals over time, show that U.S. immigrants today continue to assimilate despite the best efforts of bilingual education advocates and anti-American Chicano Studies professors. As with previous immigrant waves, different groups progress at different rates, but over time English usage, educational attainment and incomes do rise.

Mr. King may fear immigrant babies, but he should be more careful not to confuse his personal problems with America’s. Given the coming flood of baby-boomer retirees over the next two decades, those high birthrates are just what the pediatrician ordered.”

********************************

Generally, Riley is on the right track. His observations match my experience in Immigration Court where most of the individuals coming before me shared the same values I had:  stability, safety, a future for their kids, opportunity for political and economic participation, community and often religious involvement. In other words, being part of a society that is generally functional, rather than dysfunctional as in many of the countries migrants flee.

But, I didn’t appreciate Riley’s snide remark about bilingual education. That’s perhaps because my daughter Anna has taught English Language Learners and still works with migrant populations in the Beloit, WI Public School System.

Bilingualism helps families to learn English and communicate, particularly to the older generation and friends and family abroad. Individuals who are bilingual and at home in different linguistic situations have more satisfying lives and better economic opportunities.

Indeed, America is far behind many other developed countries in bi- and tri-lingualism. It was not uncommon in the Arlington Immigration Court to encounter respondents who were fluent in a number of languages, although for obvious reasons most preferred to have their “merits” court hearings in their “best” language.

That’s just one of the reasons why many “Dreamers” with biglingual skills are well-positioned to be our leaders and innovators of the future. And, we’re fortunate to have them contribute their talents to our society. We’re going to need the talent and energy of all of our young people as well as births to continue to prosper in the future.

PWS

03/15/17

“Duh” ARTICLE OF THE WEEK: Guess What? Immigration Policy Is Complex And Difficult — The President Should Seek Some Decent Advice!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-hardline-immigration-rhetoric-runs-into-obstacles–including-trump/2017/02/17/37ba2218-f537-11e6-b9c9-e83fce42fb61_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_trumpimmigration-8pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.f7b4a8ac9f52

David Nakamura reports in the Washington Post:

“The Trump administration’s attempts to translate the president’s hard-line campaign rhetoric on immigration into reality have run into two major roadblocks: the complexity of reshaping a sprawling immigration system and a president who has not been clear about how he wants to change it.

In his first four weeks in office, President Trump has sought to use his executive powers to punch through Washington’s legislative and bureaucratic hurdles and make quick progress on pledges to crack down on illegal immigrants and tighten border control.

But Trump has been vague about his goals and how to achieve them and his aides have struggled to interpret his orders.

The resulting turmoil has included a successful legal challenge halting his immigration travel ban, fears among congressional Republicans over the White House’s more extreme measures and widespread anxiety among immigrant communities across the country.

The latest flash point erupted Friday over reports that the Department of Homeland Security was considering mobilizing 100,000 National Guard troops to help round up millions of unauthorized immigrants in 11 states, including some such as Colorado and Oregon far from the southern border.

President Trump said at a press conference Thursday that deciding the fate of illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children is “one of the most difficult subjects I have.” (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)”

******************************

It’s not difficult for anyone who understands the complex field of immigration to see that when you surround yourself with tone-deaf advisors like Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Kris Kobach, and Rep. Steve King your immigration policies are headed straight onto the rocks, where they likely will remain aground for the rest of the Administration.

So, you’re President Donald Trump. You want to make an impact in immigration, and also have everybody love what you’re doing to “make America great.”

Then, why not sit down with some Republicans who have thought carefully about the issue, like, for example: House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Jeff Flake, Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, Senator Marco Rubio, the Koch Brothers, former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, and Ohio Governor John Kasich? Also, it would be a good idea to reach across the aisle and speak with folks like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Dick Durban, Senator Bernie Sanders, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Henry Cuellar who have worked thoughtfully on immigration issues. And, why not invite DHS Secretary John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta (assuming confirmation), and, of course, Vice President Mike Pence to the table too?

Think about how refugees, legal immigrants, and those who are already here and in our workforce can be melded in the best way possible to tap America’s full potential, create meaningful opportunities for all Americans, increase productivity and innovation, and combat the looming problem of future labor shortages. Also, consider how a more realistic, expanded legal immigration system could be a critical tool for discouraging illegal migration, maintaining control of our borders, and insuring national security without over-investing in the (usually ineffective and always expensive) quasi-militarization of our borders.

As one of my colleagues used to tell me when I got going too fast, “Relax, it’s a marathon not a sprint.” There is still plenty of time for President Trump to get the immigration issue right for America. But, it’s not going to happen unless he expands his circle of advisers to include those with a more positive and realistic view of  immigration’s essential role in making America great.

PWS

02/17/17

 

Brennan Center For Justice Report: “Non-Citizens Are Not Voting. Here Are the Facts.”

http://Non-Citizens Are Not Voting. Here Are the Facts.

Wendy R. Weiser & Douglas Keith report:

“The Trump administration continues to double down on its false and widely-criticized assertion that 3 to 5 million non-citizens illegally voted in the 2016 election.

On Sunday, White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller claimed 14% of non-citizens are registered to vote. “We know for a fact, you have massive numbers of non-citizens registered to vote in this country,” he said, appearing on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos. “The White House has provided enormous evidence with respect to voter fraud.”

Actually, it hasn’t. Nevertheless, President Trump announced earlier this month, despite the lack of evidence, that Vice President Mike Pence will lead a federal investigation into voter fraud.

Tons of ink has been devoted to debunking the president’s claims that our elections are marred by widespread voter fraud. But few have focused specifically on his administration’s larger false claims about non-citizens. It is important to put this particular allegation to bed once and for all.

Like voter fraud generally, non-citizen voting is incredibly rare. Simply put, we already know that ineligible non-citizens do not vote in American elections — including the 2016 election — except at negligible rates. Here are the facts.”

***********************************

Read the entire report at the link. This matches my own experience. During my my 21+ years as a trial and appellate judge in the U.S. Immigration Court system, and having been involved in thousands of cases over that time, I can only recollect the illegal voting issue coming up once. I am also aware that one of my judicial colleagues in Arlington had it come up. But, it was very, very rare. And, I was serving as a judge during times of “enhanced enforcement” by administrations of both parties (no, President Trump is not the only one to ever think about strong immigration enforcement).

PWS

02-17-17

WashPost Political Analysis: More Lies & Obfuscation From Stephen Miller — Like His Boss, Miller Makes It Up As He Goes Along — But, He Does (Inadvertently) Reveal The Real Reason For The Bogus “Fraudulent Voter” Offensive: Lower The Turnout Among Those Groups Of Citizens Who Normally Vote For Democrats!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/02/12/mixed-into-his-falsehoods-on-voter-fraud-stephen-miller-did-hit-on-one-truth/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_milleranalysis-135pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.34ef3ee8f935

Phillip Bump writes in the Washington Post:

“There’s a theory under which some people operate which holds that presidential advisers appear in the news media to provide insight into what the president is doing for the American people. Governance broadly, and the White House specifically, can be inscrutable to outsiders, but since our democracy depends on an informed populace, it has historically been important to shed as much light as possible on what’s happening. Politicians and their allies don’t always like to shed that light, but they’ve generally acquiesced to participating in the effort.

On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, President Trump’s adviser Stephen Miller wasn’t interested in shedding light on reality. If anything, he was running around turning lights off. Inadvertently, though, he did offer one bit of insight into what’s happening at the White House.

. . . .

Three claims here. First, that there are millions of people who are registered in multiple states. Second, that dead people are still registered. Both of those things are true. (Among those registered to vote in two places, by the way, are Trump’s son-in-law, treasury nominee, daughter and press secretary.) But that’s not voter fraud. It’s a sloppy registration system — and indifference from people whose first instincts when relatives die is not to ensure that the registrar of voters is informed.

The third claim is that 14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote, which is based on an academic analysis released several years ago. It has been subsequently shown to be problematic. [In fact, it earned the coveted “Four Pinocchio Award” from the Post’s “Fact Checker” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/10/24/no-eric-trump-14-percent-of-noncitizens-are-not-registered-to-vote/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.3c0bdd64fa0c ] As anyone paying attention to the issue should know.

. . . .

Kobach is the secretary of state in Kansas, in charge of the state’s electoral process. He has held that position since 2011, the year the state passed new restrictions on voting in the name of preventing fraud.

The net effect? A report from the Government Accountability Office determined that turnout fell by several percentage points in the 2012 election relative to comparable states. And the populations that saw the biggest drops in turnout?
Young people, newly registered voters and black people. Populations that tend to vote more heavily Democratic.

That’s almost certainly the point. Miller was trying to mislead people with his false arguments about voter fraud. But he ended up offering some insight after all.”

***************************

Miller and Steve Bannon are among the remarkably unqualified guys that are pulling the strings from the Trump White House.

PWS

02/12/17

 

BREAKING: DHS Secretary John Kelly Finds Readmission Of LPRs In The “National Interest” — Text Of Statement Below

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY JOHN KELLY ON THE ENTRY OF LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS INTO THE UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON – In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.

Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.

*******************************

According to Chuck Todd on “Meet The Press” this AM, the DHS opposed the inclusion of “green card holders” in the EO, but their objections apparently were ignored by the Trump WH staff who did the drafting (without much thought or consultation, it appears).

I must admit to hoping that Gen. Kelly at DHS and Gen. Mattis at DOD would be the “adults in the room” on some of these issues. The problem might be that they aren’t “in  the room” when the decisions are made.

With guys like Steve Bannon, Kris Kobach and Stephen Miller, with well- established track records of poor judgement and divisiveness (and that’s putting it charitably) mis-advising Trump on immigration, it’s likely to be an uphill climb for anyone purporting to be the voice of reason and sound judgment. And, I’m certainly not trying to give Trump a pass here; he selected and empowered this  team of  spectacularly unqualified senior advisors.

PWS

01/29/17

Religion: Stephen Mattson In Sojourners: “American ‘Christianity’ Has Failed”

https://sojo.net/articles/american-christianity-has-failed

“Because while the gospels instruct followers of Christ to help the poor, oppressed, maligned, mistreated, sick, and those most in need of help, Christians in America have largely supported measures that have rejected refugees, refused aid to immigrants, cut social services to the poor, diminished help for the sick, fueled xenophobia, reinforced misogyny, ignored racism, stoked hatred, reinforced corruption, and largely increased inequality, prejudice, and fear.

. . . .

By these standards — and by the ultimate example that Jesus himself set for us by example — mainstream Christianity in America has failed. It looks nothing like Jesus.
But the reality is that following Jesus is extremely hard. It demands giving away your most prized possessions and abandoning your biggest fears. So while there might be political, economic, financial, and safety reasons for implementing policies that harm people and refuse them help, there are certainly no gospel reasons.

Nobody understood this better than the early church. Those first Christ followers who refused to bow to the emperor and go along with the policies of the Roman government. For them, they gave everything — to the point of being persecuted, arrested, tortured, and eventually martyred — for the purpose of serving Christ and serving others, the result of choosing to dedicate their lives to the truths of Jesus rather than the ideals of the ruling empire.

The question is, will American Christians ever learn to do the same?”

************************************

PWS

01/28/17

 

“Full Frontal’s” Samantha Bee Discovers SHOCKING Truth: Obama & Trump Share Similar Views On Immigration Enforcement! — Also Introducing Late-Nite TV’s Newest Superstar, Retired USIJ Bruce Einhorn!

Check out this video link from last night’s Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” on TBS:

http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/1/12/14250148/samantha-bee-obama-trump-deportation

**********************************

Yup, that’s right Sam, for years the Obama Administration has been going after foreign nationals with criminal records, even though, as illustrated by the young lady you profiled, some of them are nonviolent, have paid for their crimes, have rehabilitated themselves, and are productive, law-abiding, tax-paying members of their communities — many with U.S. citizen families — by the time ICE Enforcement shows up.

Perhaps realizing that, contrary to campaign rhetoric, President Obama has already implemented a “get tough” immigration enforcement program, Trump spokesman Kris Kobach promises to expand (by Executive Fiat, mind you) the definition of “criminal” to include foreign nationals who have merely been charged or arrested, not necessarily convicted of any crime. Hey, what’s the presumption of innocence anyway?  To paraphrase another great American thinker, “If they were’t criminals, they wouldn’t be in court.”  Perhaps the next logical step will be anyone who has ever thought of violating the law or watched a TV crime show!

I think it is safe to predict that many of those who would fall within Kobach’s ever-expanding concept of “criminal” will eventually prove not to be removable under the laws of the United States.  Even now, that’s the case in a remarkable number of prosecutions brought by the Obama Administration’s ICE (“Immigration and Customs Enforcement”).

That’s why we need a strong, independent, impartial, expert United States Immigration Court (including the “Appellate Division,” the “BIA”) to insure that fairness and constitutional Due Process are always at the forefront and that any Administration’s enforcement initiatives comply with the law. And, any Administration would find that final orders of removal achieved through such a due-process oriented court system would have great credibility (sadly, not necessarily the case now and particularly in the recent past) and would stand up to judicial review by the Federal Courts of Appeals.

Finally, my friend and former colleague Judge Einhorn has proved what I’m finding out — there is lot’s of “life” out here after retiring from the Immigration Bench, and it’s pretty much “all good.” Will SNL be the next stop for Judge Einhorn?  Stay tuned!

Go Pack Go!!!!!🏈🏈🏈

PWS

01/15/17