While the nation's Jewish community is known for being reliably Democratic, politically conservative Jews have certainly made their voices heard. Sheldon Adelson, Charles Krauthammer, David Frum, Jonah Goldberg and Bill Kristol, to name a few, play an important role in influencing the process either by advising campaigns, providing funds and shaping public opinion. So I found this piece in today's Jewish Forward, one of the country's leading Jewish newspapers interesting. Conservative columnist Noam Neusner argues that being pro-immigration is actually being true to conservative principles.
This year, we’ve provided our readers with many updates on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) enforcement efforts. What does the upcoming year have in store for our readers? What changes should employers anticipate? Based on hunches and not so hidden clues, here are our top three forecasts for 2013:
Form I-9 Will Likely Be Two-Pages
We’ve seen two rounds of revisions to the Form I-9 proposed by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service and it doesn’t look like the form will remain a one-page document anymore. The two-page document most likely will be adopted and implemented. We’re guessing sometime in the first quarter. Of course, as always, we’ll keep our readers posted on these developments.
Mandatory National E-Verify
It’s no secret that USCIS has been heavily promoting the E-Verify Program over any other available system to monitor the U.S. labor force’s work eligibility. With that said, the issue of whether the E-Verify Program will become mandatory one on a national level may likely be seriously considered as one component of a comprehensive immigration bill. The President has
Late at night on January 1, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives finally agreed to allow the "Fiscal Cliff" compromise that had overwhelmingly passed the Senate to come to a vote in the House. A majority of the House Republicans voted against the agreement, but it passed with the help of House Democrats.
No doubt, the main reason why House Speaker John Boehner agreed to let the compromise bill come to the floor was the fear that financial markets would take a huge hit if the compromise failed to pass. One can only imagine the pressure that the Republican leadership must have been under from the party's Wall Street campaign donors to pass, something, anything, to avoid the widely predicted Fiscal Cliff disaster.
Could this chaotic process be an indication of how immigration reform might play out
process change allows certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are
physically present in the United States and are seeking permanent residence to
apply for and receive provisional unlawful presence waivers before
departing the U.S. for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications
abroad. This new process will significantly reduce the time that U.S. citizens
are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members go
through the immigrant visa process to become permanent residents.
note that this new process is not yet in effect and USCIS will not accept any applications
I must admit, I once believed in comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). I believed in what it promised, an overhaul of an antiquated immigration system that would result in a conditional path to citizenship for the 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the United States. I believed it could be a long-term solution for me, my parents, and my friends who have survived undocumented in the United States (U.S.). Mostly, I thought it was the only tangible, achievable, solution to a concrete change in our lives.
But there are three critical things that I have learned about CIR, which have made me a believer in the so-called ‘piecemeal’ or ‘incremental’ approach to improving the lives of immigrants:
Even if there were to be collaboration to pass a large bill, there is an ugly side to ‘comprehensive’: Legislators and advocates use this word because it includes both a path to legalization AND harsher penalties for future undocumented immigrants (and those who do not qualify for whatever parameters are set); more stringent enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border; and employment verification programs that “prevent unlawful employment and rewards employers and employees who play by the rules” (See Hispanic Caucus Principles). Please note that ‘comprehensive’ does NOT mean that the legislation also includes our parents, or a more ‘comprehensive’ part of the immigrant community. It is about the implementation of immigration law, and presenting a bill that appeases both Republicans and Democrats of all kinds.
This is not an indictment of CIR supporters, nor a wish to thwart their efforts in bad faith. In part, it is a response to those who equate supporting CIR with ‘casting’ a “wider net” that includes “our parents, our cousins and our abuelitos,” as United We Dream’s (UWD) decision to support comprehensive legislation was described in a recent New York Times article. The description implies that that before, when UWD voted to support the DREAM Act in 2010, it must have been because we did not want an inclusive pathway to citizenship, but rather one that was exclusive to ‘dreamers,’ young people, agricultural workers, etc. I was there for that vote, as the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) was then a member, and I remember it being a strategic vote considering votes, political context, and our knowledge of the needs of our communities.
As we count out the final hours of 2012, let's recall the highs and lows of the past year in America's dysfunctional immigration ecosphere.
Nation of Immigrators is pleased to confer its third annual IMMI Awards. (Full disclosure: As in past years, these are my personal choices. If you disagree or believe I've missed an obvious awardee, feel free to comment below or post it on Twitter with the hashtag "#2012IMMIS," and be sure to check out our previous awardees here: 2010 IMMIs & 2011 IMMIs).
The 2012 IMMI Awardees
Immigration Word of the Year. This year's word could well have been "omnishambles" -- "a thoroughly mismanaged situation notable for a chain of errors" -- chosen by Oxford University Press, yet aptly suited to our perversely American form of immigration regulation. British novelist, Ian McEwan, in his new book, Sweet Tooth, while explaining the problems of England's intelligence agencies in the 1970s, could well have been describing the federal and state authorities that administer and enforce America's omnishambled immigration laws when he observed:
Too many agencies, too many bureaucracies defending their corners, too many points of demarcation, insufficient centralized control.
Instead, the IMMI goes to "self-deportation" (Mitt Romney's proposed solution to illegal immigration), a hyphenated word that (even someone as intemperate as Donald Trump recognized) contributed mightily to his self-immolation as GOP candidate for President:
[Romney] had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal. . . . It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote . . . He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.
Ignorable, Ignoble Person. The IMMI goes to nativist Tom Tancredo, former Colorado representative and gubernatorial candidate, who urged Republicans after November's election not to let strict immigration laws become the scapegoat for their loss at the polls ("while scapegoating the immigration issue was to be expected from the Republican establishment following the Romney defeat, it is sad and disappointing to see a few conservatives stampeded into endorsing suicidal proposals"). Tancredo nudged out Kris Kobach for this year's IMMI because he also mocked Sen. Michael Bennet for his leading role in developing the Colorado Compact, a balanced approach to comprehensive immigration reform.
This was a year that in many ways had more good things happening in immigration than in recent years. The below is our take on the most compelling positive or negative aspects with ability to affect larger numbers of people.
1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was born out of frustration that Congress would
While Waiting For The Supreme Court To Rule On DOMA, Thousands Of Valid Same Sex Marriages May Be At Risk Of Being Broken Up By Deportation.
While the Supreme Court examines arcane issues such as the "level of scrutiny" to apply to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and the degree, if any, to which the "states rights" guarantee of the 10th Amendment may prohibit the federal government from denying benefits to same sex couples who are legally married under state law, thousands of real life people may be in danger of having their marriages broken up by deportation while the Obama administration continues to enforce DOMA, in defiance not only of basic fairness and morality, but the rulings of federal circuit courts.
One such couple, Fabiola Morales and Kelly Costello, are the subject of a December 29, 2012 Washington Post article: Federal marriage law may force deportation of many immigrant gay spouses. The article describes the traumatic effect that deportation of Morales, who is from Peru and living in Maryland with her legally married spouse, Costello (who is expecting twins), would have.
The gay-marriage debate has garnered much attention in recent months following the general election results and interest of the Supreme Court to tackle the issue in 2013. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court pledged to hear two cases on gay marriage. Specifically the constitutionality of the federal law, the National Defense of Marriage Act will be addressed. This law currently denies benefits to homosexual couples, even if married in states where same-sex marriage is permissible. Together with discussion on DOMA, California’s Proposition 8 is set to be evaluated, as many believe that its passage took away many rights previously afforded to gay and lesbian people.
The first legislation up for discussion is the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, which was passed by Congress and signed into official law by President Clinton in
Until recently, if you were granted asylum in the United States, you could call the National Asylee Information and Referral Line, a toll-free number, where you could speak to someone about benefits potentially available to you (such as food stamps, Pell Grants, medical assistance, etc.). For people granted asylum through the Asylum Offices, the toll-free number was–and still is–listed on the approval notice.
However, as of December 28, 2012, the Info Line is kaput. But have no fear–asylees can still learn about benefits (assuming there are benefits after we fall off the fiscal cliff). Visit the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Benefits page on the internet.
Over the past several decades, foreign nationals have been the founders of some of the most successful companies in the United States. Despite the well-documented immigrant entrepreneurial drive, however, U.S. immigration law is often not particularly welcoming to foreign nationals who wish to start their own companies. Some of the recent efforts of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to facilitate the