The Times they are a Changing: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, before November?
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The Times they are a Changing: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, before November?

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December 23, 2011, 10:33 pm
Politics
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A funny thing happened on the way to the immigration rally
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Shortly after the announcement that draconian Arizona Republican Senator Russell Pearce is about to be booted out in a recall election, his friend, Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio's office staff  was accused by the Department of Justice of having a pattern of racially profiling Latinos, basing immigration enforcement on racially-charged citizen complaints and punishing Hispanic  inmates when they spoke.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Murray,barred Arpaio's  deputies from detaining people based solely on their suspicion that they’re in the country illegally.

In a 40-page ruling the facts emerged that during patrols, known as "sweeps," deputies would flood heavily Latino areas over a period of many days.  Their purpose:  to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Illegal immigrants accounted for 57 percent of the 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps performed by his office since January 2008.

Arpaio, who now is fighting for his political life, finds his reliable anti-immigrant supporters dissipating.

His own lawyer talks as if he is guilty. "I thought that the judge, given the facts, was very fair in his evaluation," Tim Casey, one of Arpaio's lawyers commented. And Arpaio’s loyal deputy sheriffs have acknowledged deleting their emails and shredding officers' records about the patrols and are taking a beeline away from Arpaio.

The sheriff’s representative refutes any wrong doing and explained that the documents destroyed was through an honest mistake resulting from a senior official’s failure to notify the sheriffs departments of the requirement to save a copy of the documents.

A handful of Latinos filed the lawsuit alleging that Arpaio's officers based some traffic stops on the race of Hispanics in vehicles and had no probable cause to stop them merely to inquire about their immigration status.

At the same time pro-immigrants attack anti-immigrant state laws  on all sides. South Carolina is now inflicted with the identical race related issues.

This New Year's day U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel suspends two portions of South Carolina's new immigration law, which (1) forces immigrants to constantly keep their legal paperwork with them and (2) makes anyone who transports or harbors an illegal immigrant a criminal. Anybody who unintentionally rents a room to an illegal immigrant or picks up an illegal immigrant in a taxi would be criminally implicated.

The trial Judge commented that a member of the public accused of a minor infraction such, as jaywalking would be requires a mandatory investigation that would eventually "overburden federal immigration enforcement resources and disrupt the federal government's enforcement scheme."  South Carolina, lawmakers mistakenly modeled their legislation after Arizona's strict law, hostile to illegal immigrants. Arizona's law, currently mostly on hold, is quickly moving towards a decision by the Supreme Court where the Obama Administration will argue that immigration enforcement is a federal, not a state responsibility.

A recent article by wnyc.org discussed that the Justice Department's opinion that  South Carolina usurps federal power by enacting its own immigration laws appears as the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected appeals from Alabama and Georgia last Thursday intended to delay lawsuits challenging those states' immigration laws.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is now asking a federal court to put on hold a legal challenge to Indiana's new anti-illegal immigration law until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a comparable case involving Arizona's immigration statute. On Thursday  Zoeller  stated that "Indiana will await guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court on what states are empowered to do when the Congress and federal government agencies totally fail in their responsibility to enact and enforce federal immigration policy,"

An Immigration Policy Solution?

Meanwhile immigration reform solutions are being proposed from both political camps. Norman E. Adams   a member of the Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy said that "[m]ost people agree that a controlled flow of identified and taxed immigrant workers can be a good thing. A positive Identification of everyone will help us secure our borders and manage our labor needs.”

This group suggests an immigration reform which requires that:

Illegal immigrants pay sales taxes on everything they buy. They pay property taxes on the homes they own or rent. For those legally hired as employees, they pay federal withholding, payroll taxes, and social security taxes. Why would we voluntarily deport that tax revenue? We need to double it! Let’s ID and Tax all immigrants, not just those with a fake SS number!

They explaind the 'We need immigrants and their children'

a. The minimum birth rate to sustain a population is 2.1%, yet America's latest fertility rate is only 2.01%!

b. Every year more American-born workers are retiring than are entering the workforce. This is especially true in lower skill trades.

Alabama’s Governor Bentley now “sees the light”  and is now accepting the negative influences of the enforcement-only laws he maintained when he stated.  Comprehensive immigration reform may be next on his agenda.

"My fellow Americans, I pray you will be moved to consider what I have said and give it a fair hearing. I believe this is the right approach on principle and politics. America needs a sensible immigration policy.”

Republican GOP presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich said that it would not be “humane” to deport someone who has been living and working here for years.

Are republicans really changing their uncompromising stance on illegal immigration?  Is a comprehensive immigration law to become a reality in the near future?  Or is this verbosity just another red herring merely stated to convince their disappearing Latin constituency that republican are their friends?  In less that one year there will be nothing more to hide.

 

source: wnyc.org

Author: Moises Apsan
Attorney with over 32 years of experience. Past president Federal Bar Association NJ Chapter (1997-2002). Offices in Astoria, NY, Newark, NJ. Tel: 877-873-8510 http://www.apsanlaw.com and drmoises.com
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