No announcement yet.

Article: Monty Python and the Battle for CIR By Robert P. Webber


  • Article: Monty Python and the Battle for CIR by Robert P. Webber

    Monty Python and the Battle for CIR

    by Robert P. Webber

    In one of the most memorable scenes from the 1970s cult classic, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” King Arthur does battle against the Black Knight. If you are unfamiliar with the scene, you can find it here:

    In light of the news on Friday, September 20, reported on (via Politico) and elsewhere that 2 Republicans have left the House Gang of 7 (making it a Gang of 5 with 1 lone Republican), I can’t help but feeling CIR activists are channeling the Black Knight in their efforts. In the CIR version of this battle, the CIR activists slayed the Green Knight (Romney) but are overconfident and irrationally uncompromising, taking hits and dismissing them as ‘but a flesh wound’. To carry the analogy a bit too far, GOP House Judiciary Chairman (and former AILA member) Bob Goodlatte is King Arthur, just marching along with his proposals for a Dream Act, reinstatement of 245(i) and EB reform via Darrell Issa’s Skills Visa Act.

    Of course these proposals by Goodlatte and others could use improvement, but the Black Knight doesn’t really want to negotiate. He wants to shout about his greatness and his demographic inevitability. If you ask the Black Knight, he’s invincible; although objective observation would suggest otherwise.

    It remains peculiar that CIR activists continue to do battle with the House GOP when there is so much low-hanging fruit available via unilateral executive branch action. It was just a few years ago when the Bush Administration used the H-1B cap as justification for creating 3 year TN visas and 17-month month STEM-based OPT extensions. And of course there have been many other executive actions including I-601A waiver processing, prosecutorial discretion, and most notably DACA. The swiftness of implementation of “DOMA is dead” benefits shows that the Administration can act quickly if it wants. All of these things have been done without Congressional action. Presumably President Obama and his Administration are more open-minded about changes to improve the U.S. immigration system than the knuckle-dragging Republicans; but the CIR activists choose to spend their time and money taking their battle to the knuckle-draggers. Why?

    I am not the first one to mention this, but one thing that could be done immediately is what I might call DA4 (“Deferred Action for All Age Arrivals”). The age requirements of DACA were pulled out of the air; so clearly the Administration could adjust their guidance to allow deferred action benefits to all age arrivals. Further, the Obama Administration could change the regulations and allow any person to file an I-485 adjustment of status application if that person has an approved I-140 or I-130, regardless of their priority date. It is true that this will not get people into legal permanent resident status faster, given the limited number of immigrant visas, and it will not lead to what some cynics think is the real goal – a fast track for millions of new Democratic Party voters; but hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals and their families would benefit from EADs and social security numbers and the possibility of improving their lives and the lives of their children. Ask any immigrant whether they would rather be an applicant for adjustment of status with an EAD, or not.

    The most mind-boggling aspect of the CIR activists is their obsession that all the changes needs to be done at one time and in one bill, as if that is the only way democracy can work, to get everything you want all at one time and accept nothing else. Why not push for the changes you can get today; and keep pushing for other changes you might get next year or in 3 years? One of the most brutal examples of that will come this fall if the House GOP passes a Dream Act, and the Senate fails to take it up as being too little, too late.

    Someone with influence among the CIR activists should write a 2-3 page immigration reform proposal that combines statutory 245i, with executive action on DA4, and what I like to call the “Dinesh Shenoy rule” -,0916-shenoy.shtm.

    It is hard to say but perhaps it is not too late for the Black Knight (those seeking immigration reform), if they will make some adjustments to their expectations and develop some awareness of where they stand in the world: We live in a democracy where people vary on policy issues. Sit up in the apple cart! Show the world CIR “is not dead yet” -- rather “it’s getting better.” Make us all “feel happy!” – to quote another classic scene from the same film; although I realize now I am getting way off my analogy and probably outing myself as a Monty Python geek.

    About The Author

    Robert P. Webber is the Principal Attorney at Webber Law Firm, LLC. He limits his practice to employment-based and family-based immigration law matters. Bob graduated from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and earned his law degree at William Mitchell College of Law (St. Paul, MN). Bob is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Minnesota and because immigration law is federal law, he is permitted to represent clients throughout the United States and worldwide on U.S. immigration law matters. He blogs at

    The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.
      Posting comments is disabled.





    There are no tags yet.

    Latest Articles


    • Article: Birthright Citizenship Is Not A Legal Assumption; It
      Last week on Fox News, Tucker Carlson said,
      08-21-2018, 01:24 PM
    • Blogging: Trump's "National Security" Abuses: First, Muslim Ban; Next, Security Clearance Revocation.. By Roger Algase
      Trump's "National Security" Abuses: First, Muslim Ban; Next, Security Clearance Revocation. Trashing Immigrant Rights Endangers Freedom of All Americans.

      CNN reports on August 21 that 175 former US officials have denounced Donald Trump for revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan for speaking out in opposition to Trump.

      Presidential use of "national security"
      08-21-2018, 12:54 PM
    • Article: The EB-5 Immigration Program and the Investors Process By H. Ronald Klasko

      If you are having difficulty viewing this document please click here.

      08-20-2018, 08:15 AM
    • Article: Immigration Judges’ Union Fights for Judicial Independence By Karolina Walters
      Immigration Judges’ Union Fights for Judicial Independence by Karolina Walters The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), the union that represents the nation’s immigration judges, is challenging the government’s decision to remove an immigration judge from a well-known case and replace him with a judge who immediately ordered the immigrant in the case deported. NAIJ’s grievance addresses the treatment of one immigration judge, but its resolution will have implications for judicial independence throughout the entire immigration court system. The grievance was filed on behalf of Philadelphia-based immigration judge Steven A. Morley, who was presiding over the case of Mr. Reynaldo Castro-Tum. Castro-Tum’s case rose to national importance earlier this year when Attorney General Jeff Sessions chose to refer the case to himself to reconsider the Board of Immigration Appeals’ previous decision in the case. In reconsidering the decision, Sessions effectively eliminated judges’ use of administrative closure, a docket management tool. Sessions sent Castro-Tum’s case back to Judge Morley, noting that the immigration court order Castro-Tum removed if he did not appear at his next hearing. Castro-Tum did not appear at the next hearing. However, Judge Morley continued the case to resolve whether Castro-Tum received adequate notice of the hearing. Due process requires, at a minimum, that an individual be given notice of proceedings and an opportunity to be heard by a judge. But before the next hearing could take place, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) replaced Judge Morley with an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge who ordered Castro-Tum removed when he did not appear at court again. In their grievance, NAIJ asserts that the decision to remove Judge Morley from Castro-Tum’s case and reassign many other cases from his docket resulted in unacceptable interference with judicial independence. The grievance specifically claims that EOIR’s actions violate immigration judges’ authority under the regulations to exerci...
      08-17-2018, 11:12 AM
    • Article: Indirect Refoulement: Why the US Cannot Create a Safe Third Country Agreement with Mexico By Sophia Genovese
      Indirect Refoulement: Why the US Cannot Create a Safe Third Country Agreement with Mexico by Sophia Genovese The Trump Administration is seeking to create and implement a safe third country agreement with Mexico . Under this agreement, asylum seekers arriving at the US border who have travelled through Mexico would be denied the ability to file their asylum claims in the US. Such an agreement would trample on the rights of asylum-seekers, violating both international and US asylum law. In particular, the US would be violating the international principle of non-refoulement , which provides that no State “shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his [or her] life or freedom would be threatened,” where Mexico has a proven track record of being anything but safe for asylum seekers . The US has also codified Article 33(1) of the Refugee Convention into Section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which provides that it will not return an asylum seeker to his or her country of origin, but may, at the determination of the Attorney General, remove the asylum seeker to a “safe third country… where the [asylum seeker] would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection.” Although Mexican officials have not yet indicated whether they would sign a safe third country agreement with the US, asylum advocates should proactively seek to prevent such a devastating policy with a country that lacks adequate asylum protections. As reported by Human Rights First and Amnesty International , 75 percent of asylum seekers apprehended and detained by the National Institute of Migration (INM), the Mexican immigration enforcement agency, were not informed of their right to seek asylum. Even if asylum seekers are able to make their claims, only 30% of the asylum proceedings are ever concluded , and even fewer are granted, leaving many bona fide asylum seekers stranded without a resolution. The treatment of unaccompanied minors’ asylum claims in Mexico are even more dismal. Of the 35,000 minors apprehended by the INM in the first half of 2016, only 138 were able to apply for asylum , of which only 77 were granted protection. Beyond the failing asylum system in Mexico, asylum seekers are also in extreme danger of kidnapping, murder, rape, trafficking, and other crimes by INM officers and civilians. A safe third country agreement with Mexico would violate the United States’ international obligations under the 1967 Optional Protocol to the Refugee Convention, to which we are a signatory, which adopts by incorporation the obligations outlined in the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which the US is not a signatory. Take the example of an asylum-seeker, Mrs. H, who is fleeing politically-motivated violence in Honduras. Her husband, Mr. H, was a vocal political activist who opposed the National Party and members of the Honduran government. Mr. H began to receive death threats due to his political beliefs and reported such threats to the authorities. The authorities, however, di...
      08-16-2018, 02:32 PM
    • Article: Flawed Statistics Undermine USCIS/ICE/SEVP’s Restriction of D/S for Unlawful Presence By Eugene Goldstein, Esq.

      Flawed Statistics Undermine USCIS/ICE/SEVP’s Restriction of D/S for Unlawful Presence


      On August 9, 2018 USCIS published a “Policy Memorandum” restricting the 20-year-old calculation of Duration of Status (D/S) for F-1, J-1 and M-1 entrants (and their derivative families).

      USCIS also published an announcement (hereinafter “announcement”) “USCIS Issues Revised Guidance on Unlawful Presence for Students and Exchange Visitors , and a general discussion “Unlawful Presence and Bars to Admissibility” ...

      08-15-2018, 12:57 PM