Posts tagged "Undocumented Immigrants"

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of our nation’s deportation practices to make our methods more humane. I believe the President’s right in making those moves. 



Meet the Fofanas — a Baltimore family facing a constant threat of deportation.

Their story shines a light on the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and the challenges facing reform.

Learn more about the “almost American” family.

h/t: Ray Downs at Daily RFT

At a panel discussion on immigration policy today, Rep. Steve King of Iowa claimed that Democrats support bipartisan immigration reform because undocumented immigrants would “vote for a more liberal agenda” which in turn, “erodes the law further.”

King suggested to the panel, convened by the right-wing Judicial Watch, that if given a roadmap to citizenship, undocumented immigrants would go on a crime spree: “When people break the law to come here and we reward them with breaking the law, then they think that’s all right to break another law. It breeds disrespect for the law. We cannot be a great nation if we are going to willfully destroy the rule of law, especially for political purposes.”

King touted Robert Rector’s discredited Heritage Foundation study, which purported to show a devastating economic impact from immigration reform, but which was both deeply methodologically flawed and co-written by someone who believes that Latinos are genetically inferior.

Later in the discussion, King claimed that President Obama’s executive order implementing parts of the DREAM Act had provoked a “constitutional crisis.” He also lamented that immigration proponents have been pushing the “sympathy factor” with the help of “a lot of Christian groups who misread the scripture.”

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

Rep. Steve King said Tuesday that granting amnesty to immigrants in this country illegally is more than the equivalent of giving a pass to a bank robber, it’s like letting them keep the money, too.

“To grant amnesty is to pardon immigration lawbreakers and reward them with the objective of their crime,” King said at a Washington panel on amnesty hosted by the conservative group Judicial Watch on Tuesday. “Whatever their objective is, the advocates of amnesty are seeking to grant them their objective.”

The Iowa Republican said whether the immigrants came to the U.S. to work, to send money back home or to join family, allowing them to stay here is letting them profit off their illegal behavior.

“And it isn’t just as if amnesty for someone whom, say, might go in and rob a bank, because granting them amnesty would be when they get out on the street with the loot, you would say to them, ‘I’m going to give you amnesty, now you’re not going to be able to rob the bank anymore,’” King said. “But this is giving them the loot, too. You get to rob the bank and keep the money. That’s what amnesty really is, it’s pardon them for the crime and reward them with the objective of it. And it breaks down our culture and our civilization.”

Along with plenty of criticism for Democrats and President Barack Obama — whom King accused of setting up “one man rule” — King also accused Republican leadership of helping Democrats on the issue of immigration.

King said that despite the fact that House leadership has pledged to not conference on a Senate-passed bill that in his view amounts to amnesty, he doesn’t trust House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to live up to the promise.

He called Boehner’s hiring of former John McCain aide Rebecca Tallent as an immigration adviser as “an ominous signal.”

“That tells you that the things that they’ve been staging, and the words that have been carefully parsed, such as by the speaker, ‘I won’t conference on the Gang of Eight’s bill.’ Well that won’t really get you very far,” King said. “Any kind of bill that comes out of the House of Representatives turns into a conferenceable vehicle, and a conferenceable vehicle could come back to us with, and would, with parts of the Gang of Eight’s bill.”

King said the leadership’s actions over the past year have caused him to have little faith in the process in the House.

“[Boehner] hasn’t held to the Hastert rule several times in this last year, so this little promise — carefully listen to the words, write them down, go back to your legal dictionary, go to your other dictionary, find a way, there must be a loophole. I don’t have any confidence that they’re going to anything to set the stage to run things honest,” King said.

The congressman said Republican leaders are part of the reason Democrats are “almost universally for amnesty,” because they won’t allow the left’s ulterior motives to be revealed.

h/t: Tal Kopan at Politico


Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

In a Univisión  interview, leading Hispanic reporter Jorge Ramos confronted Rep. Steve King (R-IA) over remarks in 2012 where the congressman likened immigrants to dogs. King refused to apologize, even as Ramos told him “many people would find that offensive and racist.”

Video of King’s 2012 town hall shows him saying America has the “pick of the litter,” and should pick the “friskier” immigrants, “not the one that’s over there sleeping on the corner.”

But King denies that he ever made the comparison. Interrupting Ramos throughout the interview to make that point, King said, “I told you if you watch that video you would know that was a speech celebrating legal immigrants.”

Here is an excerpt of the testy exchange:

RAMOS: So from your point of view, you actually did not compare immigrants to dogs?

KING: I said that speech was about the vigor of legal immigration. It was a very complimentary speech and no I did not do that.

RAMOS : I don’t think many people found that complementary. [Crosstalk]. You know it is not complimentary to compare a group of immigrants to animals.

Watch the full video at ABC Univisión. 

King has compared immigrants to animals more than once, including the time he suggested an electrified border fence because “we do this with livestock all the time.”

During the same interview, the leading opponent to immigration reform also remarked that what happens to DREAMers and undocumented immigrants is not his “responsibility.” “American citizens and legal Americans do not have a moral obligation to solve the problem of the 11 million people that are here unlawfully,” he said.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) chatted with Steve Deace last week where he applauded Deace’s column, in which he calls immigration activists “bratty” and “entitled.” The congressman agreed with Deace’s claim about immigrants’ “sense of entitlement” and wondered if it comes from “the false allegation that somebody took the southwest away from them and now they are getting it back in better condition than they left it.”

King, who earlier this month tweeted that “20 brazen self professed illegal aliens have just invaded my DC office,” told Deace that one of the young activists disrespected his office by charging his cellphone, which he thinks “might have been an ‘Obama phone,’” by using “the wall outlet to charge the battery as if they lived there and paid the rent.” Of course, King doesn’t pay for his office either, but apparently this is proof positive that immigrants are smug and entitled, as he went on to deride the “attitude of entitlement that came along with it and of course they are pressing us now to finish out their education and fund their college education and grant them a job.”

But King wasn’t done, as he then implied that many young immigrants were smuggling drugs into the country: “we know that they aren’t all the unwitting, innocent little babes that were brought across by their parents; there were a lot of them that came across that border and that fence with a pack on their back and we all know what’s in that pack on their back.”

He concluded by asserting that the DREAM Act would “exempt people from the decisions made by the parents,” warning that such a move could lead to the end of the family as it would “equalize all parenthood and that means that you can’t let children be raised by a mom and a dad in a home.”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW


Of the 161 amendments offered during markup, the panel accepted numerous provisions to strengthen the bill, while keeping out any poison pills that could endanger the legislation. Below is a list of how the Senate Judiciary Committee improved immigration reform:

1. Racial profiling serves as a disincentive to prosecute an individual. Blumenthal 10 would prohibit federal government from reimbursing local detentions and prosecutions that were found to have come through racial profiling.

2. Children would be treated humanely. The Committee unanimously approved Franken 7, which provides a range of protections for children separated from their parents or guardians who are being deported. Hirono 22, as amended, would protect children trafficking victims by making sure that all unaccompanied children are provided care by the Office of Refugee Resettlement within three days of their apprehension while Feinstein 6 would allow children to receive both emergency and adequate medical and mental health care and basic necessities like food and bedding. Coons 2 will also limit dangerous deportation practices like dropping people off in the middle of the night.

4. Back taxes and penalties can be paid in an installment plan. Undocumented immigrants have to pay fines and back taxes before achieving legal status. Hirono 12 allows those fines to be paid in installments.

5. An expedited path to citizenship offered through military service. 
Blumenthal 12 will allow an expedited path to citizenship for DREAMers who want to join the military. This amendment will allow individuals in temporary legal status to apply for naturalization after they have honorably served in the military.

6. Federal aid for DREAMers. Hirono 21 would allow DREAMers to access some student loans and federal work study programs. They would not be eligible for Pell grants, however.

7. Streamlining E-Verify so that employers and employees can have assurance of its accuracy.The Senate bill requires employers to use E-Verify and three key amendments help address privacy concerns associated with the system’s accuracy. Blumenthal 18 prohibits employers from withholding employment-relevant records from employees. Coons 1 requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to put in place a system that would allow employees to know whether they have been confirmed or denied by the E-Verify system. Franken 2 also requires a study of accuracy rates.

8. Humane treatment for detained immigrants. Blumenthal 2 limits ICE’s policy of using solitary confinement and explicitly prohibits the use of solitary confinement to “protect” a detainee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

9. More visas for sub-Saharan Africa and Caribbean countries. Responding to concerns from the African American community, who feared that the loss of the diversity visa program would impact immigration from African and Caribbean countries, Schumer 3 adds 10,000 nonimmigrant E Visas for certain nations in sub-Saharan Africa and Caribbean countries.

h/t: Esther Yu-Hsi Lee at Think Progress Immigration

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent detailed a plan for immigration reform which calls for treating undocumented immigrants like “indentured servants” and requiring undocumented male immigrants to build a fence on the United States-Mexico border.

In his regular column for WND, Nugent proposed his “Nuge Immigration Plan” because “[w]e don’t need any more bloodsuckers” and promised to “apply Sherriff Joe Arpaio justice” to anyone who has been deported for committing a crime and caught trying to re-enter the country. The plan would also end birthright citizenship currently guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. According to Nugent, “The anchor baby scam should be immediately rescinded. You don’t need to be a constitutional expert like our president to know that the original intent of the 14th Amendment was not to provide citizenship to illegal women or their babies who are born on American soil.”

The “NIP” would also involve ending the United States government practice of printing some documents in Spanish and other languages, which Nugent calls “the most racist thing our government does” by “encouraging people not to learn English.”

Nugent has also been a proponent of Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070 law, which was partially invalidatedby the Supreme Court in 2012. In a 2010 Washington Times column defending the law, Nugent wrote, “You would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see that the grand plan of the Democrats is to entrap illegal immigrants by giving them legal status and then enslave and destroy them with numerous Fedzilla handouts and programs.”
h/t: MMFA

The bipartisan House immigration bill taking shape may soon make all undocumented immigrants plead before a judge for breaking U.S. criminal law. In a move certain to appease Republican lawmakers but anger immigration advocates, House group members have proposed that legal status and an eventual pathway to citizenship can be conferred once a federal judge places undocumented immigrants on “probation.” In a joint proposal meant to assuage conservative critics of “amnesty,” undocumented immigrants would have to serve out a minimum five year probation sentence before they can get on a path to citizenship.

Being undocumented is a civil infraction, not a criminal one. But as one GOP congressional aide described the process to Roll Call, it would be “similar to how judges handle small drug crimes, in which offenders are sentenced to probation, rather than jail, because it forces them to acknowledge that they broke the law but saves taxpayers the expense of incarceration.”

Comparing a large spectrum of undocumented immigrants (including so-called Dreamers who were brought to this country as children) to drug dealers serves as a reminder of how steadfastly disconnected the House Republicans remain in their widely condemned approach to immigration reform. 

The probation sentence furthermore exemplifies the House Republican belief that punishment is the only sensible immigration reform solution.

h/t: Think Progress Immigration

Within the past five years, more than 600 undocumented immigrants have been sent back to their native country while seeking care in American hospitals, according to a report from the Center for Social Justice. Undocumented patients are generally ineligible for public health insurance and unable to afford private health insurance. For some undocumented patients with insurance coverage, they still face deportation orders not by the U.S. government, but by hospitals seeking to avoid the costs of long-term care.

Hospitals are obligated to treat patients regardless of immigration status until their conditions stabilize. At that point, patients are transferred to long term care facilities such as rehabilitation centers. But in some cases the Center for Social Justice uncovered that immigrants were deported while unconscious, waking up in Mexico after undergoing extensive surgery for injuries sustained in a car accident. In another extreme case, a 20-year-old worker became nearly quadriplegic after a construction injury. When the hospital refused to prolong his care on a ventilator, he was deported and died in Mexico. Cases like these have become increasingly common in hospitals where medical repatriation occurs because hospital personnel believe that patients will be unable to pay their bills.

Meanwhile, anti-immigration voices even believe that there is nothing wrong with enforcing immigration checks before patients can be admitted to hospitals.

More reasons to support immigration reform.

H/T: Think Progress

Despite calls from LGBT and immigrant rights groups, the draft immigration reform legislation released by the Senate “Gang of 8” doesn’t include provisions that would allow same-sex couples to access the nation’s visa and immigration system. 

Under the current immigration system, individuals cannot sponsor a same-sex partner or spouse for a family visa, effectively forcing many families into exile abroad. This is codified by the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which is now under review by the Supreme Court, and activists have been pushing lawmakers to include provisions expanding rights to gay couples in the immigration bill.

The immigration bill also allows citizens and permanent residents in America to sponsor children, parents, and spouses from abroad to come to the country as “registered provisional immigrants,” the same limited legal status that would be made available to existing undocumented immigrants in the United States if it passes. But people in same-sex relationships would not be able to sponsor their spouse or partner under this provision. A recent studyestimated that there are 267,000 undocumented LGBT immigrants in America today and another 637,000 who are legal immigrants.

LGBT and immigration activists think they have a strong chance of adding protections later through the amendment process, however. Especially now that the majority of the Senate openly endorses gay marriage.