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  • #91
    BANGALORE: A student from Bangalore was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his apartment in Kentucky, US, raising questions about the safety of Indian students in America.

    In the earlier incidents, 29-year-old Abhijeet Mahato of Jharkhand, a PhD student at North Carolina's Dukes Pratt School of Engineering, was shot dead at an off-campus apartment complex on January 18; on Dec. 13, 2007, two Louisiana State University research students from Andhra Pradesh, Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam, were shot dead in a flat near their campus.

    On Thursday, 20-year-old Mahesh Subramannian's body was received by his family at the Bangalore airport 18 days after his death. He was the only son of P Subramannian and Sharavathi, who reside near Jakkur Aerodrome on Bellary Road. He was cremated at Hebbal crematorium on Thursday noon.

    Student of Northern Kentucky University, Mahesh was pursuing his Bachelor in Science with electronics, electrical science and computer science as the major subjects. He was in his final semester and was staying at the Hidden Valley Apartment complex in Campbell County in Kentucky with Sunny, an American student, who was studying MS in the same university.

    The death of Mahesh was conveyed to his parents in Bangalore only on January 21. Mahesh's uncle who stays in US was the first one to be informed about the death by the university authorities. The preliminary post-mortem reports of Mahesh say the reason for the death is ˜unknown'. The family members have been asked to wait for six weeks for the final autopsy report.

    "The autospy results are pending in relation to the cause of death," stated a letter submitted by Bryan Avance of Avance funeral home and crematory in Ohio.

    "We are kept in the dark. There has never been a proper communication from the US authorities regarding my son's death. Moreover, the contradictory statements from university, hospital and relatives are puzzling us, and we suspect that Mahesh could have been murdered," mother Sharavathi told The Times of India .

    The family has gone through a lot of anxiety, ever since they learnt about the incident. "We are waiting for the post-mortem report, after which we will register a case with the police," she added.

    Comment


    • #92
      Feds admit mistakenly jailing citizens as illegal immigrants

      Feb. 14, 2008, 12:35AM

      By MARISA TAYLOR
      McClatchy-Tribune


      Pedro Guzman minutes after being reunited with his family outside an Antelope Valley courthouse on August 7, 2007.

      WASHINGTON "” A top Immigration and Customs Enforcement official acknowledged Wednesday that his agency has mistakenly detained U.S. citizens as illegal immigrants, but he denied that his agency has widespread problems with deporting the wrong people.

      Gary Mead, ICE's deputy director of detention and removal operations, testified during a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing that U.S. citizens have been detained on "extremely" rare occasions, but he blamed the mix-ups on conflicting information from the detainees.

      Nonetheless, Mead said his agency is reviewing its handling of people who claim to be U.S. citizens "to determine if even greater safeguards can be put in place."

      The testimony before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law came after immigration advocates told McClatchy that they'd seen a small but growing number of cases of U.S. citizens who've been mistakenly detained and sometimes deported by ICE. They accuse agents of ignoring valid assertions of citizenship in the rush to deport more illegal immigrants.

      Unlike suspects charged in criminal courts, detainees accused of immigration violations don't have a right to an attorney, and three-quarters of them represent themselves.

      Last month, Thomas Warziniack, a U.S. citizen who was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, was mistakenly detained for weeks in an Arizona immigration facility and told that he was going to be deported to Russia.

      Warziniack, 40, was released after his family, who learned about his predicament from a McClatchy Newspapers reporter, produced his birth certificate.

      In another high-profile example, ICE agents in California mistakenly deported Pedro Guzman, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen, to Mexico. Guzman was found months later when he tried to return to the United States.

      Mead contended that both Warziniack and Guzman said they were illegal immigrants, and he said ICE agents have to be careful not to release the wrong people. Guzman and Warziniack had been serving time for minor offenses when their jailers turned them over to immigration authorities.

      Although Mead said that Guzman is the only U.S. citizen he knows who's been deported erroneously, immigration lawyers have said they've found at least seven others. In the past four years, ICE agents have detained more than 1 million people.

      House committee members also heard stories of ICE agents interrogating or detaining U.S. citizens in their homes, at their workplaces and on the street.

      Marie Justeen Mancha, a 17-year-old born in Texas, said ICE agents raided her family's home in Georgia in 2006 while her mother was running an errand. Her mother is also a U.S. citizen.

      "I started to hear the words, 'Police! Illegals!'" she recalled. "I walked around the corner from the hallway and saw a tall man reach toward his gun and look straight at me."

      Mancha said the agents left after grilling her about her citizenship.

      "I carry that fear with me every day, wondering when they'll come back," she said.

      Mancha is one of five U.S. citizens named in a pending lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center that alleges wrongful interrogations or detentions by ICE in Southeast Georgia.

      Rep. Steven King, R-Iowa, the ranking minority member of the committee, described the cases as isolated and urged the agency not to be distracted from detaining and deporting illegal immigrants.

      "ICE does not aim to harass and detain U.S. citizens," he said.

      But Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the committee, said that after hearing such stories, she feared an "overzealous government is interrogating, detaining and deporting its own citizens."

      Nancy Morawetz, who runs an immigration rights clinic at New York University, said getting proof of citizenship is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for detainees, especially when they're shipped to a facility far from home.

      In 2006, the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, identified 125 people in immigration detention centers who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims.

      "As a country we do not have a national identity card," Morawetz said in an interview. "People don't walk around with a 'C' on their forehead that says they're a U.S. citizen."

      Comment


      • #93
        US judge throws out immigration lawsuit filed against Tyson Foods

        The Associated Press Published: February 14, 2008

        CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee: A federal judge threw out a long-running lawsuit that accused Tyson Foods, Inc., the world's largest meat producer, of hiring illegal immigrants to depress wages.

        U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier in an order late Wednesday granted the Springdale, Arkansas-based company's motion for a summary judgment in the 2002 damage suit.

        An attorney for Tyson, Roger ****son of Chattanooga, said in a telephone interview that the company was happy with the ruling. He declined comment about any possible implications for other businesses that might face similar claims.

        The attorney for four employees who sued, Howard Foster of Chicago, said when contacted by phone Wednesday that he did not have time to comment.

        The lawsuit by Birda Trollinger, Robert Martinez, Tabetha Edding and Doris Jewell sought compensation, contending the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants who were willing to work for wages below those acceptable to Americans.

        Today in Business with Reuters
        Daimler profit rises 5.2%UBS has $11 billion loss and warns of a tough year to comeJapan posts GDP rise but remains cautious
        The judge's order said "plaintiffs failed to demonstrate Tyson was harboring or concealing illegal aliens" at its plants in Shelbyville, Tennessee; Ashland, Gadsden and Heflin in Alabama; Center, Texas; Glen Allen, Virginia; and Sedalia, Missouri.

        The order said plaintiffs provided evidence that could have been presented to a jury to show Tyson was concealing unauthorized employees at its Corydon, Indiana, facility but failed to show that Tyson's violations "caused their injuries."

        In May 2002, Tyson filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, contending that because its workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the union and not individual workers would have to pursue claims of damage. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, but an appeals court disagreed and said it could proceed.

        Comment


        • #94
          The Farm Worker Shortage, Immigration and a Probable Solution

          By Paul M. Weyrich
          Feb 13, 2008


          The Farm Worker Shortage, Immigration and a Probable Solution

          There is finally some potential good news on the immigration front. One of the most egregious problems of President George W. Bush's tenure in office has been his disinclination to act effectively to halt or at least greatly reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. Last week President Bush proposed important, if slight, changes to the visa program for farm workers which may help curb a significant portion of this country's illegal immigration.

          The Bush Administration declared that it offered the proposal because Congress failed to pass the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. The proposal would allow the Administration to address a shortage of legal farm workers. The Department of Labor (DOL) estimates that about 75,000 foreign workers participated in the H-2A visa program last year, while somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 undocumented laborers worked illegally on American farms. I suspect the numbers for the latter group are much higher than those DOL cites.

          The proposed changes include a system for calculating how foreign workers are paid and centralizing the application process under the Federal Government. The issue of wages has been central to the immigration debate because illegal laborers often are paid below-market wages, thereby undercutting American workers. The current wage rules are intended to assure that such unfair wage rates do not exist, but the wage scales do not accurately reflect market wages by occupation, skill level and geographic location. Under the change proposed by the Bush Administration, the new system would use data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Survey, which is used to calculate required minimum wages for other visa programs administered by DOL.

          The new rules would require employers to file applications with DOL, thereby eliminating the involvement of state agencies. The changes also would increase the number of days from 45 to 75 that a farmer is required to spend recruiting American workers for jobs before filling them with foreigners.

          The changes do not require Congressional action and can take effect after a 45-day public comment period, according to THE WASHINGTON POST. Of course, many so-called immigration advocates are unhappy with the proposals, believing they will unfairly disadvantage those who live among us illegally. This is nonsense. In the first place, the proposals are so modest that their affect may be unnoticeable. Second, many of these advocates willingly subvert American authority and sovereignty for their own ideological purposes.

          These changes address the problem of a highly visible but numerically limited sector of illegal immigrants. It is unclear whether centralizing visa applications with DOL will produce any change. I, for one, am skeptical, knowing how inefficient the Federal bureaucracy is. That said, all visas should be run through the Federal Government, not through individual states, because immigration belongs to the jurisdiction of Congress and the Executive Branch. If real results are to be expected the new wage rule is most likely to produce them. By requiring farmers to pay laborers market wages, it is possible that more Americans will be interested in agricultural work and the demand for illegal immigrants will decrease. Just a generation ago most agricultural workers were American citizens, and it is not so difficult to imagine this being the case again.

          DOL and Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao are to be commended for proposing these changes. There is no shame in a nation enforcing its borders and monitoring those who come to work here. On the contrary, that is one of the primary duties of a government in any civil society.

          Comment


          • #95
            US judge throws out immigration lawsuit filed against Tyson Foods

            The Associated Press Published: February 14, 2008

            CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee: A federal judge threw out a long-running lawsuit that accused Tyson Foods, Inc., the world's largest meat producer, of hiring illegal immigrants to depress wages.

            U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier in an order late Wednesday granted the Springdale, Arkansas-based company's motion for a summary judgment in the 2002 damage suit.

            An attorney for Tyson, Roger ****son of Chattanooga, said in a telephone interview that the company was happy with the ruling. He declined comment about any possible implications for other businesses that might face similar claims.

            The attorney for four employees who sued, Howard Foster of Chicago, said when contacted by phone Wednesday that he did not have time to comment.


            Stupid judge. These employees had a legitimate gripe and case should have gone forth. Sad becuaes it was true the wages were suppressed because of the illegal hirings to do the job.

            Comment


            • #96
              By Bob Egelko | SF Chronicle, Feb 15

              A federal appeals court gave a second chance Thursday to an immigrant who was ordered deported after his car overheated on a Southern California freeway and he showed up two hours late for his asylum hearing.

              By the time Juan Antonio Perez abandoned his car and reached the Los Angeles courthouse by bus in March 2003, his lawyer had left and the immigration judge, Henry Ipema, was winding up his calendar.

              As Perez was talking to Ipema's assistant, the judge left the courtroom. Later that day, he ordered Perez deported to his native Mexico.

              On Thursday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered a new hearing.

              Although authorities can summarily deport an illegal immigrant who misses a hearing and fails to demonstrate "exceptional circumstances," such as an illness, people who arrive while the judge is still on the bench should get the benefit of the doubt, Judge Stephen Reinhardt said in the 2-1 ruling.

              "The reality is that cars break down and overheat," Reinhardt said.

              Ordering an immigrant deported without hearing his asylum claim, the judge said, was "unduly harsh."

              Tough luck, said Judge Pamela Rymer in a dissenting opinion. Those facing deportation, she said, "should show up on time and be ready to go forward when their case is called" or bear the consequences.

              Rymer also said Perez had no chance of winning asylum. The application he filed in 2002 said he had entered the United States two years earlier to look for work, and, if deported, would return to "the same poverty, hunger and misery" he had experienced before leaving Mexico. He did not claim political persecution, a prerequisite for asylum.

              Nonetheless, Reinhardt countered, if Perez had been given a hearing, he might have worked out an agreement to leave the country voluntarily, allowing him to apply for legal admission in three years rather than the 10-year exclusion that accompanies deportation.

              Perez, now 30, has been allowed to remain in the United States during his appeal. His lawyer, Evan Murri, said the ruling may enable him to seek legal residency because he has married a woman who is about to become a U.S. citizen.


              Online resource

              To read the ruling: www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf

              Comment


              • #97
                WHITE HOUSE WOULD MAKE MORE VISAS AVAILABLE By Javier Erik Olvera | Mercury News, 02/15

                A broad range of activists - from opponents of illegal immigration to farmworker rights advocates - are questioning a new Bush administration proposal aimed at making it easier for farmers to legally recruit laborers from other countries.

                And even the farmers themselves have problems with the proposal.

                A global campaign is under way to stop the proposal, the latest attempt to crack down on illegal immigration in the wake of Congress' failure last summer to approve an immigration bill.

                Opponents fear some farmers - attracted to the potential cost savings outlined in the proposal - may abuse the system as well as mistreat foreign workers, who they say would be at the farmers' mercy or risk deportation.

                "We are doing the best we can to sound the alarms that this is a really bad proposal that needs to be stopped," said Erik Nicholson, director of guest worker programs for the United Farm Workers union.

                Under the proposal, the departments of Homeland Security and Labor would ease complicated requirements that make employers prove they've exhausted their efforts to hire Americans before they could turn to the nation's 20-year-old H-2A visa program.

                The visa program was designed to alleviate a shortage of authorized farmworkers during harvest season, something federal leaders say is clearly the case considering up to 800,000 of the nation's 1.8 million farmworkers are believed to be in the country illegally.

                The proposal could have a significant effect on California's $32 billion agriculture industry, which employs more than 450,000 laborers - with as many as 70 percent believed to be working illegally.

                For years, though, the stringent requirements for the H-2A program have resulted in little use of the program, with only 75,000 visas - roughly 4 percent of the total farm laborer workforce - issued nationwide last year.

                The hope, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said last week when they announced the proposal, is that farmers will use the visa program instead of employing illegal immigrants, many of whom use bogus identification documents.

                "There simply are not enough U.S. workers to fill the hundreds of thousands of agricultural jobs that are available in this country," Chao said.

                To qualify for the visas, any immigrants already in the United States illegally must first return to their home countries to complete applications at American consulates.

                The prospect of farmers assembling a new workforce scares Eleuterio Salvador, 27, who immigrated into the country illegally from Mexico and now works in fields throughout the Salinas Valley.

                He believes thousands of people - both illegal immigrants and those authorized to work in the country - could be hurt by the program.

                "It's nothing more than another way to keep workers down and to control them," said Salvador, who is married with two young children.

                The proposal is now undergoing a 45-day public review during which federal officials will take comments into consideration before they determine whether the changes should go into effect before the summer harvest.

                The changes would reduce the red tape farmers now face, including eliminating a requirement that farmers first go to state labor offices repeatedly to prove that they're trying to recruit legal workers.

                Laborers who are granted visas in their home countries can legally come into the United States to work for less than a year.

                Chertoff and Chao said a system would be created to make sure the program isn't violated, including monitoring H-2A employers and meting out steeper fines if the rules are broken.

                But one of the biggest problems opponents have with the proposal is a new wage formula for H-2A visa holders that opponents say doesn't require farmers to pay minimum wage and instead uses a new, potentially lower rate that would be set regionally.

                Bruce Goldstein of Farmworker Justice in Washington, D.C., said he fears the program could result in an overall decrease of wages for all farmworkers.

                And Jack King, who oversees national affairs for the California Farm Bureau, said farmers also are wary.

                King wonders whether the changes in the visa program also will account for pre-harvest needs, which, depending on the crop, include brief hiring spikes for the pruning and thinning of trees.

                He also would like farmers to be able to share visa-holders, so workers could jump from employer to employer - and harvest to harvest - throughout a season.

                Instead of tweaking the visa program, King said, Congress should reconsider the agricultural guest-worker legislation that was a part of the failed immigration package. That legislation would have created a pathway toward citizenship for farmworkers already in the country.

                But while Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which calls for tighter border enforcement and tougher immigration laws, suggested the proposal was a step in the right direction. He cautioned that progress in the fight against illegal immigration shouldn't come at the cost of displacing American workers.

                "We're going to keep an eye on this," Dane said.

                Comment


                • #98
                  By BILL POOVEY | Associated Press, 02/14

                  CHATTANOOGA, Tenn."”A federal judge threw out a long-running lawsuit that accused Tyson Foods, Inc., the world's largest meat producer, of hiring illegal immigrants to depress wages.

                  U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier in an order late Wednesday granted the Springdale, Ark.-based company's motion for a summary judgment in the 2002 damage suit.

                  An attorney for Tyson, Roger ****son of Chattanooga, said in a telephone interview that the company was happy with the ruling. He declined comment about any possible implications for other businesses that might face similar claims.

                  The attorney for four employees who sued, Howard Foster of Chicago, said when contacted by phone Wednesday that he did not have time to comment.

                  The lawsuit by Birda Trollinger, Robert Martinez, Tabetha Edding and Doris Jewell sought compensation, contending the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants who were willing to work for wages below those acceptable to Americans.

                  The judge's order said "plaintiffs failed to demonstrate Tyson was harboring or concealing illegal aliens" at its plants in Shelbyville, Tenn.; Ashland, Gadsden and Heflin in Alabama; Center, Texas; Glen Allen, Va., and Sedalia, Mo.

                  The order said plaintiffs provided evidence that could have been presented to a jury to show Tyson was concealing unauthorized employees at its Corydon, Ind., facility but failed to show that Tyson's violations "caused their injuries."

                  In May 2002, Tyson filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, contending that because its workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the union and not individual workers would have to pursue claims of damage. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, but an appeals court disagreed and said it could proceed.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    USCIS Update
                    February 15, 2008
                    USCIS CONSOLIDATES BIOMETRICS APPOINTMENT LETTER INTO ONE NOTICE FOR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS APPLICANTS
                    WASHINGTON"”U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective today it will begin consolidating biometrics collection when employment-based adjustment of status applications and employment authorization requests are filed at the same time at one of the Service Centers.
                    Applicants who concurrently file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Status or Adjust Status) based upon the approval of an employment based petition and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) will receive one biometrics appointment letter to appear at a designated Application Support Center (ASC). This process is already in place for applicants who file family based I-485 and concurrent I-765 applications at the Chicago Lockbox facility or through online
                    e-filing.
                    Applicants who filed concurrently before this notice and have received two notices from the ASC are still required to attend both appointments. Further, this change will not affect applicants who do not file the I-765 concurrently with the I-485.
                    USCIS will collect biometrics for both forms in one visit to the ASC, ensuring that each application is processed in a timely manner. Also, customers will only need to submit one biometrics fee ($80) with the I-485.
                    The biometrics collection for the Form I-485 and a concurrent Form I-765 is being consolidated in order to improve customer service and make the most of agency resources. Previously, customers received a biometrics appointment from the ASC for the I-485, but were required to submit any necessary biometrics for an I-765 directly to the service center with jurisdiction over their case.
                    Collecting two sets of biometrics not only resulted in the loss of time and efficiency in sorting and processing the forms, but also triggered unnecessary delays in responding to the request.
                    For more information on this program, customers are encouraged to contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283. – USCIS –

                    Comment


                    • By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD | NYT, February 16, 2008

                      PHOENIX "” The police in this city at the center of the immigration debate will soon ask all people arrested whether they are in the United States legally and will in certain cases report the information to the federal authorities, Mayor Phil Gordon announced on Friday.

                      People stopped for civil traffic violations like speeding will not be questioned, nor will crime victims or witnesses.

                      All those arrested on criminal charges like drunken driving and murder will be asked by officers whether they are in the United States legally.

                      The police may decide to recommend checking by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

                      The change includes having the police notify the immigration agency about people who are detained but not arrested who officers have "reasonable basis" to believe are illegal immigrants.

                      A conservative legal group said the policy did not go far enough.

                      Civil rights advocates suggested that people who appeared to be Latino or spoke with accents would be more likely to be checked than others.

                      Hispanics make up 34 percent of Phoenix, the nation's fifth-largest city, with 1.5 million residents.

                      At a news conference on Friday, Mr. Gordon and the four lawyers on a commission that recommended the changes tried to emphasize that the program would be closely monitored. Police officers, they said, would not become immigration agents and would not stop people at random and ask their legal status.

                      "We are doing what every city in this country should be doing but doesn't," Mr. Gordon said.

                      He added that the policy drew "a bright line between what should and should not be the role of the Phoenix Police Department."

                      The program departs from a policy that is more than 10 years old that bars officers from asking people about their legal status in most cases. It also sets Phoenix apart from most other big cities with large immigrant populations, including New York and Los Angeles. The police in those cities generally avoid such questions over fears that they would lead to racial profiling and discourage immigrants from cooperating with the police.

                      Mr. Gordon had faced criticism that the current policy was in effect helping make Phoenix a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. The city is 200 miles from Mexico and is the largest in a state with the heaviest influx of illegal immigrants.

                      An illegal immigrant killed a police officer last fall, and the police union and others stepped calls to change the policy. Judicial Watch, a conservative-leaning legal group in Washington, began preparing a suit and looked into a recall of Mr. Gordon.

                      Police Chief Jack F. Harris, who has been outspoken in warning of the dangers of major police involvement in immigration enforcement, said he endorsed the policy, would write regulations for it and put it into place within three months.

                      Christopher J. Farrell, director of investigations with Judicial Watch, called the change a "public relations feel-good piece" that "split the baby." The main problem, Mr. Farrell said, is that it continues to restrict officers from contacting the immigration agency, which Judicial Watch believes violates federal law.

                      Antonio D. Bustamante, a member of Los Abogados, a Hispanic legal group in Phoenix, said the policy changed "only because of xenophobia" and people "who hate the undocumented without understanding the huge contribution they make to the city and the economy."

                      Comment


                      • Washington Times on Greg Siskind's hypothetical Immi Scenario

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        (Found this link to a Washington Times article in Siskind's Blog)


                        http://video1.washingtontimes.com/dinan/2008/02/mccain_...on_could_give_d.html

                        Dems could see immigration silver lining in McCain


                        Could McCain's nomination mean an immigration deal this year?

                        Greg Siskind has come up with a scenario that argues Democrats should be tempted, now that John McCain is the likely Republican nominee, is to rush an immigration bill through this year.
                        "Do you think the GOP is going to allow their rank-and-file members to attack their nominee day in day out over the immigration issue? If they do, the results could be disastrous as McCain will be going around the country trying to unite a very fractured party that is already pretty suspicious of his conservative bona fides. Can you imagine one Republican after another having to come to the microphone to denounce the McCain-Kennedy bill (and that's what Reid and Pelosi need to call it every chance they get)? And then McCain being dogged by reporters asking about it multiple times each day?"
                        In his scenario, immigration could also be the tail that wags the dog "” a way for Democrats to distract from their own intraparty presidential battle, particularly if the Clinton-Obama race goes all the way to a convention.

                        "[T]hrowing the immigration 'grenade' and stirring up the immigration storm in the GOP may make the Democrats bickering look pretty tame," he writes, adding that that would put pressure on Republican leaders to cut a deal on Democrats' terms to keep their own fight under wraps. Siskind says bringing back the bill this year "would have virtually no drawbacks" for Democrats.

                        It's an intriguing scenario, though it doesn't strike me as working out as easily as he puts it. In the first place, McCain has had to shift somewhat, embracing both an enforcement-first position that his own campaign manager says is now the consensus of the party. It would be impossible for McCain to back away from that now.

                        Second, it wasn't just Republicans that killed the bill. More than a dozen Democratic senators were happy to have a chance to vote against it, and on the House side, plenty of conservative-leaning Democrats will be begging their leaders not to go Siskind's recommended route.

                        Still, given that McCain has said he still supports the bill he wrote with Sen. Ted Kennedy "” yet also says that bill is dead "” Democrats must be at least a little tempted to prove him wrong and bring it back, just to see what he does.

                        "” Stephen Dinan, national political reporter, The Washington Times



                        Posted on February 15, 2008 6:37 PM | 1 blog reaction | Digg It

                        Comments (4)

                        Who wants to pay more taxes? I don't mind paying for the military, but do mind paying for lazy people who are just waiting for government to give them food and money. They should stop making excuse not to work. Even just for tax issue, I will not go with Democrats. But if Huckabee gets the GOP nod, I will stay home.

                        Posted by Aiko | February 16, 2008 1:43 AM



                        Bring back the bill that everyone in government agreed on and the voters didn't. Yeah, good strategic move. Maryland voted out its incumbents, lets hope this will start a revolt against the deaf arrogance that is bureaucratic Washington.

                        Posted by Larry Stone | February 16, 2008 12:14 PM



                        I think it would be a great temptation for Pelosi and Reid, but it would be a disaster to ram that issue down the throats of the blue Dogs. The immigration bill was probably the only issue since 9-11 that nearly united the country. 80+% against it is the thing that draws the attention of politicians running for office. I can't think of any other subject that had such a strong showing by the public.
                        McCain can side step the issue by calling for the fence to be completed first then address the comprehensive bill (amnisty) after the election. He can appear stateman like and mature. It would also be the Democrats bringing it up for political points and putting a spotlight on the negtives about their congressional management. It would also put Obama in a fix since blacks opposed the bill as much as whites.
                        The other issue, quite simply, is this election is turning into the McGovernites verses the the Republicans. Immigration is a strong wedge issue that will ripple through the election and can fire up the conservative base to go after congressional and senate seats. The conservatives KNOW they beat the bill in Congress and it will highlight the fact that they can contain McCain very well if they control the House of Representatives.
                        On the surface, this is a Republican problem and a far-left wet dream. In reality, this could be a nightmare for mainstream democrats.


                        Posted by James Barends | February 16, 2008 1:29 PM



                        Democrats came up with an inane bill so that CIR would die this year. What they want is to wait until after the 2008 election and hope for Democrat in office. And if a Republican wins, then they have rolled the dice and tried, and at least they can prevent Bush from getting an immigration bill signed.
                        Anti-immigrant conservatives who don't realize this don't really understand CIR.
                        Siskend, as is typical of immigration lawyers who are clueless drolls, doesn't understand this as well.

                        Comment


                        • NYT Editorial, Feb 17

                          Three bits of news from the first two months of 2008 highlight the galling inconsistency and inadequacy of the federal government's system for turning immigrants into citizens.

                          The first is that the wait for citizenship and green cards is up "” way up. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported in January that the average time to process a citizenship application had risen to 18 months, from seven, and that green cards would now take a year, instead of six months or less.

                          It was a sorry moment for the agency, which jacked up its fees last year with a promise to use the new money to end vast paperwork backlogs. The opposite happened: the agency is drowning in applications from people who filed before the increase to avoid being gouged.

                          The second was the news last week that the agency had finally taken a baby step toward clearing its green-card backlogs by easing a rule on background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

                          The F.B.I. will still do full checks on every applicant, comparing fingerprints against a criminal database and names against lists of criminals and terrorists. It's just that those who have had to wait more than six months for a green card because of one last, unfinished piece of an application "” a "name check" of people who have ever been mentioned in criminal investigations, even peripherally "” will get their cards.

                          The move is sensible, and long overdue. The understaffed agency has faced mounting pressure to act. An increasing number of immigrants, after waiting years for name checks, have sued and won, with federal judges ordering the government to do its job.

                          The third development is the surge in businesses using E-Verify, the federal system for checking employees' immigration status. As more states and localities have adopted harsh campaigns to purge undocumented immigrants, E-Verify has taken on a larger role, with 52,000 employers now using it, compared with 14,000 a year ago. President Bush's new budget includes $100 million to expand E-Verify, which the citizenship agency calls "a cornerstone" of "long-term immigration reform."

                          You can tell a country's priorities from what works and where the money goes. With billions for border and workplace enforcement, the government has been rushing to impose ever more sophisticated and intrusive means to keep immigrants out. Yet it continues to tolerate a creaky, corrosively inept system for welcoming immigrants in "” an underperforming bureaucracy that takes their money and makes them wait, with a chronic indolence that is just another form of hostility.

                          Comment


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                            • ... President Bush's new budget includes $100 million to expand E-Verify, which the citizenship agency calls "a cornerstone" of "long-term immigration reform." ...
                              There's a special budget to help identify those that employers CAN'T legally hire.

                              Where's the budget to help make available for employers those that they CAN legally hire?

                              Silence...?

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                              • lol

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