Bloggings on Immigration Law

by Roger Algase

Bloggings: Does Immigration Reform Hang by a Slender Right Wing Extremist Thread? By Roger Algase

Conventional wisdom holds that if even one member of the Senate Gang of Eight (GOE) pulls the plug on support for the CIR bill that has just been introduced in the Senate, reform is dead. This is why the right wing anti-immigrant lobby is leaning so hard on Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio to back out.

Conventional wisdom, for once, may be right. If even one of the eight Senators withdraws support for CIR, enough other members of his party, on either side, may follow suit to kill the bill entirely.

It is not very likely that any of the four Democrats in the GOE will pull out. They seem to be willing to make almost any compromise imaginable to Republican demands for police state style "border security" and "internal enforcement" to get CIR through.

Fortunately, the Republicans have not (yet) asked for Herman Cain's electrified border fence, or a moat with alligators, as a price for agreeing to vote for CIR.

However, keeping the four GOE Republicans in line on CIR may become more difficult in the coming weeks and months, as the right wing drum beat of hate against all immigrants and American Muslims grows louder in the wake of the Boston bombing and the news stories about the alleged radicalization of the older suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

It is of particular concern that one of the GOE's most prominent Republican members, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who has so far been willing to take on the anti-immigrant extremists in his own party in order to support CIR, is flipping out on other issues dear to the right wing lunatic fringe.

Graham wants to declare the surviving Boston bomber suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an enemy combatant, instead of giving him a civilian trial. Not one single Constitutional scholar has found any basis for declaring an American citizen, arrested in the US for a crime committed in America, an enemy combatant.

Graham's attempt to tear up the Constitution is nothing short of delusional. But he has gone even one step further, by comparing Boston with Benghazi. This comparison could only hold true in the extreme right wing parallel universe of Fox News (and the Romney campaign) before last November's election.

Having a key member of the immigration reform coalition go off the right wing extemist deep end on any issue is troubling, because of the danger that he might do the same on CIR at some point. Fortunately, there is no sign of this now. Let us hope that things stay that way.

But the CIR compromise already depends to a large extent on right wing delusional thinking - the notion that a perfectly "secure" Mexican border and foolproof employer verification - backed up by the threat of mass deportations if CIR fails - could ever become realities.

As the anti-immigrant hate groups which killed reform in 2007 go into action, using Boston as their pretext, the extreme right wing thread upon which the CIR compromise now hangs may become even more slender and precarious.

About The Author

Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.

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