JUST WHAT AMERICA DOESN’T NEED RIGHT NOW: Lower Levels of Legal Immigration — Trump/GOP’s White Nationalist Agenda Would Likely Tank Economy, Reduce Tax Base, Increase Border Pressures, Increase Refugee Deaths!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/02/trump-gop-senators-to-introduce-bill-to-slash-legal-immigration-levels/?utm_term=.4f699ce139fd

David Nakamura reports in the Washington Post:

“Trump’s appearance with the senators came as the White House moved to elevate immigration back to the political forefront after the president suffered a major defeat when the Senate narrowly rejected his push to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The president made a speech last Friday on Long Island in which he pushed Congress to devote more resources to fighting illegal immigration, including transnational gangs.

The event on Wednesday illustrated the president’s efforts to broaden his push to reform border control laws beyond illegal immigration. Trump called the changes to legal immigration necessary to protect American workers, including racial minorities, from rising competition for lower-paid jobs.

“Among those who have been hit hardest in recent years are immigrants and minority workers competing for jobs against brand new arrivals,” Trump said. “It has not been fair to our people, our citizens and our workers.”

But the bill’s prospects are dim in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority and would have difficulty getting 60 votes to prevent a filibuster. The legislation is expected to face fierce resistance from congressional Democrats and immigrant rights groups and opposition from business leaders and some moderate Republicans in states with large immigrant populations.

Opponents of slashing immigration levels said immigrants help boost the economy and that studies have shown they commit crimes at lower levels than do native-born Americans.

“This is just a fundamental restructuring of our immigration system which has huge implications for the future,” said Kevin Appleby, the senior director of international migration policy for the Center for Migration Studies. “This is part of a broader strategy by this administration to rid the country of low-skilled immigrants they don’t favor in favor of immigrants in their image.”

Other critics said the Raise Act, which maintains the annual cap for employment-based green cards at the current level of 140,000, would not increase skilled immigration and could make it more difficult for employers to hire the workers they need. And they noted that Canada and Australia admit more than twice the number of immigrants to their countries as the United States does currently when judged as a percentage of their overall population levels.

“Just because you have a PhD doesn’t mean you’re necessarily more valuable to the U.S. economy,” said Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy. “The best indication of whether a person is employable is if someone wants to hire them.”

Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the CATO Institute, wrote in a blog that the bill “would do nothing to boost skilled immigration and it will only increase the proportion of employment-based green cards by cutting other green cards. Saying otherwise is grossly deceptive marketing.”

Groups that favor stricter immigration policies hailed the legislation as a step in the right direction. Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, said the Raise Act “will do more than any other action to fulfill President Trump’s promises as a candidate to create an immigration system that puts the interests of American workers first.”

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If Stephen Miller and Roy Beck favor it, you can be sure that it’s part of a racist agenda.

PWS

08-02-17

 

Administration Mulls Expansion Of Expedited Removal

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-memo-trump-administration-weighs-expanding-the-expedited-deportation-powers-of-dhs/2017/07/14/ce5f16b4-68ba-11e7-9928-22d00a47778f_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_dhsmemo-810pm:homepage/story&utm_term=.793d4747b053

The Washington Post reports:

“The Trump administration is weighing a new policy to dramatically expand the Department of Homeland Security’s powers to expedite the deportations of some illegal immigrants.

Since 2004, the agency has been authorized to bypass immigration courts only for immigrants who had been living in the country illegally for less than two weeks and were apprehended within 100 miles of the border.

Under the proposal, the agency would be empowered to seek the expedited removal of illegal immigrants apprehended anywhere in the United States who cannot prove they have lived in the country continuously for more than 90 days, according to a 13-page internal agency memo obtained by The Washington Post.

The new guidelines, if enacted, would represent a major expansion of the agency’s authority to speed up deportations under President Trump, who has made border security a top priority.

Two administration officials confirmed that the proposed new policy, which would not require congressional approval, is under review. The memo was circulated at the White House in May, and DHS is reviewing comments on the document from the Office of Management and Budget, according to one administration official familiar with the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Joanne F. Talbot, a DHS spokeswoman, said she had not seen the memo. She described it as a draft and emphasized that no final decisions have been made by Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly.

“The potential changes would allow DHS to more efficiently use resources to remove persons who have been illegally present for relatively brief periods of time while still observing due-process requirements,” Talbot said.

Immigrant rights advocates denounced the proposed expansion of the expedited deportation authority, warning that the policy would strip more immigrants of due-process rights to seek asylum or other legal protections that would allow them to remain in the country.”

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Read the complete article at the link.

This should come as no surprise, since one of Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration called for such an expansion. The only surprises are 1) that it has taken them so long to get around to it, and 2) that the expansion is limited to those who have been here 90 days or less, rather than “pushing the envelope” to the maximum two-year limit in the statute.

Additionally, the Administration is no doubt aware that Article III judges have lacked the spine to stand up for due process and find the statute unconstitutional. Expedited removal is a travesty of due process. So, this will be a test whether the Article III judiciary is willing to stand up for the Constitution. So far, the prospects for the Constitution are not encouraging.

It’s not surprising that the Administration’s approach to the due process mess in the U.S. Immigration Courts is to avoid due process rather than fix the existing system. But, these measures are unlikely to help much. Almost all of the approximately 600,000 individuals currently in Immigration Court, and probably 95% of the 10-11 million plus individuals already in the U.S., have been here for 90 days or more.

PWS

07-14-17

 

FEAR WORKING? — Trump Showing Doubters That “Tough Talk & Actions” Can Alter Migration Patterns!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/amid-immigration-setbacks-one-trump-strategy-seems-to-be-working-fear/2017/04/30/62af1620-2b4e-11e7-a616-d7c8a68c1a66_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_trumpimmigration-710pm-1%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.f8b003fef8f7

David Nkamura writes in the Washington Post:

“In many ways, President Trump’s attempts to implement his hard-line immigration policies have not gone very well in his first three months. His travel ban aimed at some Muslim-majority countries has been blocked by the courts, his U.S.-Mexico border wall has gone nowhere in Congress, and he has retreated, at least for now, on his vow to target illegal immigrants brought here as children.

But one strategy that seems to be working well is fear. The number of migrants, legal and illegal, crossing into the United States has dropped markedly since Trump took office, while recent declines in the number of deportations have been reversed.

Many experts on both sides of the immigration debate attribute at least part of this shift to the use of sharp, unwelcoming rhetoric by Trump and his aides, as well as the administration’s showy use of enforcement raids and public spotlighting of crimes committed by immigrants. The tactics were aimed at sending a political message to those in the country illegally or those thinking about trying to come.

“The world is getting the message,” Trump said last week during a speech at the National Rifle Association leadership forum in Atlanta. “They know our border is no longer open to illegal immigration, and if they try to break in you’ll be caught and you’ll be returned to your home. You’re not staying any longer. If you keep coming back illegally after deportation, you’ll be arrested and prosecuted and put behind bars. Otherwise it will never end.”

The most vivid evidence that Trump’s tactics have had an effect has come at the southern border with Mexico, where the number of apprehensions made by Customs and Border Patrol agents plummeted from more than 40,000 per month at the end of 2016 to just 12,193 in March, according to federal data.

Immigrant rights advocates and restrictionist groups said there is little doubt that the Trump administration’s tough talk has had impact.

“The bottom line is that they have entirely changed the narrative around immigration,” said Doris Meissner, who served as the commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Clinton administration. “The result of that is that, yes, you can call it words and rhetoric, and it certainly is, but it is changing behavior. It is changing the way the United States is viewed around the world, as well as the way we’re talking about and reacting to immigration within the country.”

. . . .

“One thing this administration has done that the Democrats’ message has to recalibrate for is that it’s not credible to the American people to say enforcement plays no role in [reducing] the numbers of immigrants coming illegally,” Fresco said. “Some have tried to perpetuate a myth that it is not linked. To the extent the numbers stay low, one thing the Trump administration has been able to say that is a correct statement is that enforcement does factor into the calculus.”

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Read the entire article at the above link. President Trump might be losing the battles, but winning the war. That, in turn, might force Democrats to revise their views on immigration enforcement as part of long-term immigration reform.

PWS

05-01-17

 

 

Turning Back The Hands Of Time — Sessions Seeks To Restore AG’s Lead Role In Immigration Enforcement!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/seeking-central-role-on-immigration-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-plots-border-visit-to-arizona/2017/03/30/34fc8596-1550-11e7-833c-503e1f6394c9_story.html

David Nakamura and Matt Zapotosky report in the Washington Post:

“The Justice Department is seeking to play a more muscular role in the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement strategy, a move that is alarming immigrant rights advocates who fear Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s hard-line ideology could give Justice too much clout in determining policy.

To highlight the department’s expanding role, Sessions is considering making his first trip to the southern border in mid-April to Nogales, Ariz., a busy border crossing region that features a major patrol station and already has miles of fencing and walls designed to keep out illegal immigrants from Mexico. Aides emphasized that his itinerary is still being developed and the stop in Nogales — which would come as Sessions travels to a conference of state police officials from around the country 200 miles away in Litchfield Park — is still tentative.

If he follows through, the border visit would come at a time when President Trump is asking Congress for billions of dollars to begin construction on a longer and larger wall between the United States and Mexico, a central campaign promise.

In recent weeks, Sessions has taken steps to increase his department’s focus on immigration.

. . . .

But legal experts said Sessions could significantly restructure the Justice Department by ramping up the number of immigration judges sent to the border to speed up hearings and by pursuing more criminal prosecutions against immigrants in the United States beyond those associated with drug cartels and human smugglers that past administrations have focused on.

The Sessions Justice Department also could move to strip some protections from undocumented immigrants, such as how much time they have to find a lawyer; more robustly defend DHS enforcement policies that are challenged in court; and use the Office of the Special Counsel to aggressively prevent employers from discriminating against American workers by hiring undocumented workers, said Leon Fresco, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration.

“I think they will be in­cred­ibly active,” said Fresco, who helped draft the 2013 immigration bill while serving as an aide to Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). The only thing that could slow Sessions, he added, was “finding enough individuals with expertise and the willingness to speed these issues along.”

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Prior to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), the Attorney General had responsibility for nearly all aspects of domestic immigration enforcement and adjudication. Most of those functions were reassigned to the DHS, leaving the AG responsible primarily for the Immigration Courts (through the Executive Office for Immigration Review – “EOIR”) and for conducting immigration litigation in the Article III Federal Courts (through the Office of Immigration Litigation — “OIL”).

Apparently, Attorney General Sessions finds these legal roles too “passive” for his enforcement-oriented outlook. Sensing a vacuum because of his closeness to the President and DHS Secretary Kelly’s relative inexperience in immigration issues, Sessions now seeks to make, rather than just defend or adjudicate, immigration policy.

What does this say about the chances that Sessions will promote a fair and impartial administrative hearing system through the U.S. Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals over which he exercises ultimate control.

PWS

03/31/17

BREAKING: WashPost: DHS Memos Detail Ramped Up Enforcement — Key Provisions: 15,000 More Agents, More Detention, Expanded Expedited Removal, Return To Mexico Pending Hearings, Target U.S. Parents Of Smuggled Kids, More Use Of Locals To Enforce Immigration Laws, PD Restricted, More IJ Televideo To Border, More Scrutiny of Credible Fear — Border Patrol Union Happy — DACA Remains (For Now) — David Nakamura Reports — Read Memos Here!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/memos-signed-by-dhs-secretary-describe-sweeping-new-guidelines-for-deporting-illegal-immigrants/2017/02/18/7538c072-f62c-11e6-8d72-263470bf0401_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_dhs815pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.bcdb7a1851e0

“Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border.

In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.

The new directives would supersede nearly all of those issued under previous administrations, Kelly said, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.

. . . .

The memos don’t overturn one important directive from the Obama administration: a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that has provided work permits to more than 750,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.”

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Here are the two memos signed by Secretary Kelly (thanks to Professor Alberto Benitez):

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article133607784.ece/BINARY/DHS%20enforcement%20of%20immigration%20laws

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article133607789.ece/BINARY/DHS implementation border security policies

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Looks like everything is a “priority,” almost everyone will be detained, and DHS Assistant Chief Counsel won’t be offering PD or other negotiated “deals” except in extraordinary situations.

It’s not even clear from this whether the ACCs will still have authority to “waive appeal” in cases where the DHS loses. If not, that means that the BIA could also be overwhelmed with marginal DHS appeals.

While one of the memos notes the 534,000 Immigration Court backlog, there is a total disconnect in putting all these new priorities into Immigration Court without any plan for dealing with the 534,000 already there. (Most folks already here arrived at least two years ago, so even the greater use of expedited removal will leave hundreds of thousands of potential new filings for the Immigration Courts.)

When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority! Looks to me like another ill-conceived, “built to fail,” scheme.  Over time, these plans are likely to be taken apart by the Article III Courts, bit by bit, piece by piece, until we have total chaos in the immigration enforcement system. Haste makes waste.

PWS

02/18/17

 

“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)”

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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