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  • Article: Should people who want comprehensive immigration reform vote for Hillary? By Nolan Rappaport

    Should people who want comprehensive immigration reform vote for Hillary?


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    Reprinted with permission.

    About The Author

    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as the immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      I don't agree with all of Nolan's objections to Hillary Clinton's immigration enforcement priorities, especially with regard to issues such as release from family detention for Central American families. I think this release is an urgent priority for any country that claims to respect human rights, and the Obama administration should comply with the federal court order mandating such release forthwith. But on balance, Nolan presents a fair and objective analysis of Hillary's immigration proposals, far, far different from ranting and raving of the Republican party's likely standard bearer this year, who in effect calls Hillary a traitor or close to it.

      Nolan should also be commended for his efforts to fix some of the harsh and unfair provisions of IIRIRA, which he justly calls "one-sided" in his article. The only fault i would find is that Nolan could have gone further into the background of this law, which I think provides a context for Bill Clinton's comments supporting the enforcement provisions of the law. With a presidential election only a few weeks away at that time, Bill Clinton was in no position (arguably) to veto or heavily criticize this legislation, which was not passed by democratic means, but by legislative sleight of hand by the Republican leadership, who attached the bill to a veto-proof military appropriations bill and rammed it through Congress without discussion or debate.

      Any comment that Bill Clinton or his chief of staff made in signing that legislation should be taken with a grain of salt, in my opinion. It would also be illogical and grossly unfair, 20 years later, to suggest possible influence of any such statement of Bill Clinton's over Hillary now. She had nothing to do with writing, approving or signing that law. If Nolan wants to find pro-enforcement statements that would enrage liberals to attribute to Hillary. he could have mentioned her own much more recent (2014) statements suggesting that Central American children should be deported for "deterrence" reasons. Nolan didn't need to go back 20 years to try to dredge up something that her husband said or did arguably under great political pressure as a result of clever maneuvering by the other party, which Hillary had nothing to do with.

      I am not trying to excuse Bill Clinton for signing IIRIRA. A president with real courage would have vetoed it, because legitimate immigration enforcement was only one of many other features of this harsh and unfair statute, which was, very arguably, intended to reduce legal immigration by Latino and non-white minorities, as Bill Clinton's quoted statement implied, and as many immigration lawyers, including myself, are still trying to deal with today in a number of different contexts.

      That is my only serious cavil with what is otherwise a good, thorough and generally fair article by Nolan. However he also might have mentioned, but did not, that no matter what real or imagined shortcomings there may be in Hillary Clinton's immigration policies from an immigration advocate's perspective, Donald Trump's proposals for a Wall, Muslim ban and Mass Deportation, based on hatred and contempt for immigrants who are not of European ancestry, are infinitely worse than anything Hillary Clinton (or her husband) have ever said or proposed.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
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