American Jeopardy: The Pious Who Remain Unrighteous – Who was Joseph or Moses for $10

I was never entirely pleased with most Democrats or Republicans. There is always a certain amount of negotiating and pandering in politics.  Incumbents enjoy power. Those of us who choose to avoid the challenge for personal reasons must tolerate all that is inept in politics.  Unfortunately, the most inept, inhumane, and unenforceble set of civil laws are those that involve lawful immigration.  It seems that Newt Gingrich is the only Republican willing to admit it and seek a solution.

America has forgotten its roots; it restricts lawful immigration to an outrageous extent. Much of it is geared by PACs started by zero population growth advocates, who can no longer advocate pro choice.  Our unenforceble rules are geared to permanently disqualify productive, yet  unlawful residents.  These folks will take the abuse and still live in the U.S. We now permanently bar too many foreign spouses of U.S. Citizens from lawful immigration for mere civil immigration violations.

As result, what do Americans do? Well, many U.S. Citizens rebel privately. They believe that the U.S. Government refuses or is unable to adequately fund enforcement. If the Government did, there are many more native born and naturalized U.S. Citizens who can be detained without a speedy trial and deported by mistake. Yes, a drivers license is not enough! What about that shabby looking birth certificate! And no, an expired U.S. Passport is not acceptable proof of Citizenship!

Our current set of immigration laws lacks a moral compass. The Republicans have feigned, or near complete selective, ignorance of America’s current Immigration laws. Mitt Romney catcalls “amnesty” for all programs geared to help DHS clear some of the enforcement docket.  As a result, he does an disservice to the G.O.P. 

I believe that Romney feeds on a vindictive set of Americans who are unaware that many long term foreign born U.S. Residents are permanently disqualified from a green card, even if they left the U.S. for consular processing.

Many of those who may qualify for a future legalization program, not an amnesty program, have lived in the U.S. for decades. Many were dragged over the border by their parents. Many were shoved in blankets and driven over the border. These children, now in their 30s or 40s had no choice. Now, the read, speak and understand English better than many Native born Americans.  Many also pay taxes.

These kids are Ours. One of Ronald Reagan’s legacies was Legalization. Yes, the program ended! For the Republican Party leaders to claim that the G.O.P. is pious, yet remain unwilling to forgive the stranger in Our Land is anti-Christian and simply sacrilegious.

Those who read the Bible or Tanakh know that we are to welcome the stranger as if we were strangers in the land of Israel. The Exodus from Egypt was caused by ramped up aggression and jealousy. This lead to eventual edicts, followed by impressment and slavery against those who were made unwelcome. What took place in Nazi Germany that led to the Holocaust was an effort to de-personalize those of the Jewish faith.

What has happened in the U.S. is that we have forgotten that people are unlawfully present, not ‘illegal.’ Contraband and drugs are illegal, not people.  At what point can we admit that there must be a statute of limitations on the civil offense of entering without inspection? Perhaps, we need a limitation on prosecution for the crime of unlawful re-entry, as well!

The current civil and criminal immigration legal systems have yet to create such statute of limitations! Why?  Well, Republicans are unable to forgive. Perhaps, the Tea Party is unable to accept that law and order requires a balancing of the scales.  Our immigrations laws remain imbalanced and geared against those for whom America remains dependent.  As a result, the system has epically failed as a just and righteous orderly program, but for the administrators that are required to enforce it.

To date, there is only one Republican who recognizes the Reagan Legacy.  That is Newt Gingrich.  The rest seem to be affiliated with another political mentality.  I hope that those of us who really read the scriptures learn to have an impact on Rome, rather than simply tolerate when Christians get thrown to the lions, tigers and bears.

A number of our DHS detention facilities, mostly run by private companies, have become arguable cesspools of human rights abuses.  The Republicans cannot pretend to ignore when women are raped by guards, who were ineptly vetted for past rape convictions  as some sort of payback. Yet, we allow human beings to be deprived of health services to the point that organ transplants are eventually rejected.

Let’s face it, the U.S. cannot afford to pay for this disaster fueled by the vindication that created red tape restrictions limiting lawful immigration. Mitt Romney advocates the type of vindictive commentary that fuels the human rights violations that Americans like to condemn in other nations!

The bazaar part,  for me, is that he claims to be a good Mormon.

As Georgia Peaches Rot and Peanuts Perish . . .Urban America Rises.

I’ve seen a few comments pop up. My hope is to educate, not pontificate.  Even Newt Gingrich has (had?) a rather moderate view on immigration challenges in the U.S.  Those who drive the anti-immigration agenda don’t have the Republican Party’s best interests in mind.  Former U. S. Representative Lincoln Diaz-Ballart of Florida, and his brother Mario, also Republicans, tend to agree with the moderate position.

http://mariodiazbalart.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=85&sectiontree=4,24,85

Who wants to oppose legal and legalizing immigration, when it is needed to achieve law enforcement goals? I think that most appreciate law and order, but ignore the cost in taxes.  There are also a few who are jealous of those working harder, even without work authorization, but still make quicker money in our capitalist system. Finally, there are the stalwarts against immigration simply based upon desires of zero population growth.  In the end, law enforcement demands a compromise. Otherwise, the ongoing hypocrisy will plague the U.S.

It seems like this Alabama, Arizona, and Georgia mandate makes local police responsible for chasing after foreigners, which is a job reserved and paid for by the Feds. The last politician who had the guts to do anything significant about it was President Reagan.  And it was no amnesty, either!  It was legalization needed to balance out the hypocrisy and injustices created by poor enforcement.

Legalization disqualified many applicants.  Legacy I.N.S. just needed to better track fraud in the system with timely indictments against the non-attorney notaries, among others, who filed fraudulent and frivolous applications for unsuspecting foreigners.

In the current situation, with new anti-immigration laws of 1996 and deficit funding, more government jobs are created by anti-immigrant forces. It takes money and staff hours to train law enforcement on these laws, as well.  Conservatives should realize that stricter laws create the need for more law enforcement or a legislative hypocrisy (laws that are poorly enforced as a matter of discretion; underfunded mandates).

Of course, more government employment drives up the budget and this encourages higher taxes. Budget shortfalls are an undebatable reality that anti-immigration forces ignore, when they push to enact laws.

The threat of arrest also chases away the unskilled, lawful or unlawful, who are willing to work for what the U.S. market will pay for some jobs.  Georgia peaches will get rotten and peanuts will perish.  People will buy their fruit from Argentina or Mexico, when labor prices make American fruit unaffordable; we do that now!

That’s why I cannot understand why conservatives who want to see the deficit drop and lower taxes embrace such unattainable goals.  These goals without a viable unskilled work visa program simply chase agri-jobs abroad.  These folks will move to Argentina, Central America, and Chile if there are no more agri-jobs in the U.S. available to them.

It will also result in the closure of more American Farms, since the non-immigrant visa process is already too complicated and restrictive for most farmers to afford. In fact many, find the laws to be so unrealistic that they won’t lie to the Government on paper, they just hire the folks off the payroll and hope for the best.  In the end, we create more criminals and agricultural monopolies like Archer Daniels Midland.  These jobs don’t easily return to rural America.  If our environment changes too much, America creates other environmental complications.

Again, the challenge is that there is not enough taxes to pay for enforcement, which drives up the deficit. If we expect to have safe food, we must pay for enough inspectors.  If we expect more immigration enforcement, then many more ICE Agents are needed. Perhaps, we need more than Congress is willing to afford and support.

In the end, the last President that actually understood the need to cut the red tape and legalize foreigners caught in the web of unscrupulous employers and lax immigration enforcement was President Reagan. He was the one who actually worked with Congress, Tip O’Neill, Dick Simpson and Mazzoli to create the I-9 audit, IRCA and Legalization programs.

To date, what we’ve learned is that our economy cannot run without people willing to move to big cities where the jobs are. The jobs are where the populations and wages are, not in rural Alabama and suburban Iowa.  The rural areas are always afraid of foreign newcomers.  These foreign newcomers too often speak another language and this creates a bit of unjustified paranoia.

The economy in Chicago seems to be doing well enough to fill the mall parking lots beyond capacity.  Someone is making money otherwise the lines at the check would not be so outrageously long as they were this weekend in Westfield’s Old Orchard Mall, among other places.  Even Whole Foods parking lot in Evanston was packed at 9 p.m.

If we chase jobs outside of the U.S., then products produced elsewhere can no longer be easily regulated.  (e.g. natural and synthetic rubber, etc.) Our Government also uses are taxes or bonds to pay for our armed forces and veterans, as well. This contributes to the outrageous deficit. However, those are jobs that our Congress is willing to pay for without much fuss.

In the end, blaming the President, any President, for the action or inaction of Congress seems rather pointless and counterproductive.  Obama is as ineffective as George W. on cutting the red tape that creates the hypocrisy of underfunded and unrealistic immigration mandates.  Strangely, there have been more deportations under the Obama Administration than any in recent history including George W. Bush.

Yet, the major cities lack the will and funding to adequately enforce the anti-immigration laws, just like Prohibition.  Perhaps, the benefits of immigration, lawful or unlawful, overcome the disadvantages in larger cities.

However, as attorneys, we believe that the current laws should be  enforced or repealed. Americans cannot appreciate how oppressive the current laws are without the muscle that will eventually create arguable opposition.

If not reasonably enforced, then many of us think that unenforced laws serve no purpose other than to turn democracy into hypocrisy.  Passing new laws have not helped; it has only created a class of residents who are unable to ever become lawful permanent residents. These folks are repeatedly victimized, but continue to work because they think that they live a better life in the U.S. spite of the situation.  The ongoing helplessness of their plight brings down other Americans, who must complain to overwhelmed Federal Officials, who will continue to lack the staff to enforce the laws.

In a nutshell, the 1996 laws on unlawful presence create an, as yet, unenforced system of laws that perpetuates unlawful immigration.  The additional funds spent on enforcement have done little to appease less populated areas of the U.S. who unreasonably fear being innundated with Spanish speaking residents eager to work in jobs that American Citizens avoid.  Few will pay for a $300 New York Strip Steak served by a Citizen who expects to be paid overly inflated wages.

They  will eventually vacation in Mexico, rather than New York, and buy better tasting grass fed steak in Guanajuato at more affordable prices.

Pick Your Poison, Deficit Cutters: Why Congress’ and Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Laws Fail!

Some may applaud what Alabama has done. Such efforts have yet to discourage undocumented or visa overstays, who want to lawfully immigrate.  The laws contradict U. S. Supreme Court decisions, but this did not stop Alabama or the U. S. Congress. Now, Alabama chose to create laws that mimic Federal Laws passed in 1996. Many of those laws will not be enforced, as well. Why? Well, Americans hate an uncontrolled immigration system, but have yet to impose a system will work.

There are many reasons for failure. Many who come to the U.S. are more interested in making a living, not a green card. They are less interested in educating their children, as well. Education is a fringe benefit. If a child is denied an education, then that child will still stay with mom or dad in the U.S. However, that child will only know the U.S., likely stay, and remain illiterate. Those who are thereby ignorant cannot appreciate the law. In addition, these kids add to the pool of the desperately poor along with the truants that law enforcement must chase after. This costs Our Nation more money.

Such anti-immigration programs, if ever enforced, fuel the public deficits that such ambition creates. It should be obvious that most Americans refuse to pay higher taxes to fund anything. It should be equally important to avoid diverting funds from other more important programs simply to chase a few foreign born children out of Suburban Alabama public Grammar Schools.

All these programs do is to defeat our sense of equality. We too often place those who persist upon living among us much lower on the totem pole of respect. Congress has yet to figure out how to enforce our current Federal immigration laws. It will never reasonably fund I.C.E., nor will the States fund police.  All we do is create red tape that deters and disenfranchises, but simultaneously drives up the cost to administrate over Our Nation.

Ultimately, Alabama and the Nation have other priorities. The cost to enforce current immigration laws raises the Federal Deficit to new heights. The U. S. always has the will to errect red tape, but lacks the taxes or will to do enough.  The result is that America now possesses an inequitable and morally bankrupt immigration system.

In criminal law, police are often barred after a number of years from arresting people who offend. Yet, there is no statute of limitations for civil immigration violations. Intending immigrants have lived in the U. S. for three decades, perhaps five. Yet, many continue to await arrest or unenforced deportation orders.  Fear of deportation, or its consequences, disappears after years standing still.

Some have had no experience with immigration enforcement in spite of decades of both lawful and unlawful presence. Phone calls to ICE prove futile; there are just too many and too few officers. Too many return and remain with utter contempt for deportation orders.  The results are disgusting. Many who practice immigration and visa law have seen their incomes drop to outrageously low levels of net income. This challenges our desire to persist, but for the desire to do justice for those few who can qualify.

Too many who qualify mess up in the confusing immigration maze!  A few abuse the desperate undocumented with false promises that the current laws always help those who enter without inspection.  The news announces a false amnesty, which usually spurns thousands of deportation orders.

Much that most lawyers can do is encourage the undocumented to persistently rally, support pro-immigration candidates, wait for justice, or simply depart.  Most of the undocumented are burned out. They do nothing other than continue to work. Yes, minimum wage jobs are in the U. S., but too many U. S. Citizens refuse to apply for them! This is unfortunate since many of those jobs eventually lead to management positions that need bilingual managers.

Ronald Reagan recognized the mess. He was not the only standing president to create a program that helped immigration law enforcement. It was a legalization, not an amnesty!  Now, after more than two decades, we have amassed a vast population of undocumented and unlawful immigrants. Congress is afraid to admit it.  I got old news for some; these folks are not leaving.  They experience more abuse in their home countries.  Is that what America wants to do to its people?

No standing Republican, nor Democratic President, nor Congress, since 1986 was successful at getting a vast majority of the undocumented to leave.  Even the Legalization program, and Registry, which were far from pure amnesties encouraged most disqualified to leave.  The situation persists. One law after another continues to be heaped upon the Immigration and Nationality Act. Frankly, the laws hurt our economy. Well meaning legal professionals, who practice immigration laws cannot help the vast majority who come to our offices.  Those who claim to do so too often cause more disappointment.

Many of us know that U. S. Immigration laws are extremely restrictive.  Those of us who live in major metropolitan cities witness the consequences. We see fewer willing to act as witnesses to crime. Also, minimal efforts to enforce the I-9 forms. Even e-Verify will likely receive the same fate.  Too many employers just don’t care, because that is how things are run and want to live in the suburbs. These businesses take risks, because these white collar crimes are too rarely prosecuted.

Many U. S. Citizens in major U.S. Cities are more often shocked that their fiance or spouse cannot lawfully immigrate. This is too often true even if their loved ones leave the U. S. for consular processing. The ten year ban too often ends those thoughts.  So called pardons, even those with merit are being turned down at record pace! Waiver appeals at the AAO can take three years for a decision.

Does it serve Alabama’s sense of equality and justice to create secondary class residents, who will remain in the U.S.? Does Alabama, too, deceive itself by doing the same thing that Congressman LaMar Smith, among others, did in Congress during 1996? Should we pretend that civil immigration violators will remain outside the U.S. even after deported? Don’t we create more criminals by enacting more restrictive deportation and immigration laws? Can we really build a wall high enough? Can we create a system that can thwart human ingenuity and its need for human rights? I’m afraid that it just isn’t part of God’s plan!

It is always wise to improve border relations. It may make sense to re-evaluate the laws that create economic disparity and poverty. Our ability to encourage Mexican Citizens to economically thrive in Mexico is only offset by Our own envy and greed. Do we hurt ourselves, when we discourage emigration by encouraging an economically and morally bankrupt Mexico? Perhaps, Mexico, too, needs to reform its Own immigration laws!

The U.S. creates laws that we should know some Americans, Canadians and Mexicans will abuse. We keep ignoring it! If the demand for substances like cocaine, heroin and marijuana rise, then the desire to deliver a highly profitable product rises due to free market factors. If we can devaluate the value of these drugs, then America better deters drug abuse and best controls the situation. The same goes for more challenges in smuggling; the cost goes up, but the problem persists.  The U. S. cannot focus law enforcement on more serious and offensive white collar crimes without a fiscal reckoning on Our immigration and substance laws.

Alabama, like the U. S., seems more inclined to drive up its deficits, or pretend that the challenge is solved. Simply enacting a few anti-immigrant laws does little to control unlawful immigration. Unfortunately, those who practice immigration and visa laws know. Those proclamations do little to rise to the challenge. Such laws are paper tigers meant to look fierce, yet create disparity, disenfranchisement, and disrespect for a population that is in need of our attention and concern.

Alabama, like the U. S., cannot promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if it is ripping out the roots out of Our Nation.  Congress passed a few laws too quickly and without careful contemplation.  Now, Alabama, Arizona and others do the same.

You know, Ronald Reagan, had it right, but had it wrong, as well. He supervised a compromise in the Simpson-Mazzola Act. He temporarily cut the red tape, but in exchange resurrected a system of immigration red tape that now create more frustration, ridicule and harm than good.

If Alabama and the U.S. Congress refuse to appreciate the rising deficit, yet won’t cut the anti-immigration red tape, then Obama’s overtures towards supporting the Reagan Revolution appear futile.  Yet, just when we thought that conservatives were sincere, they create even more red tape that costs tax payers even more, when their State’s deficits don’t deserve the pressure.  Pick your poison, Alabama, your sweet home has gone sour.

Is Dale Wrong? Or Do Attorneys Want to be on a First Name Basis With Clients?

Dale Carnegie once said, “Remember that a person’s name is  to  that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” However, should attorneys want clients to call them by their first names?

As a professional, like most physicians, I prefer to create a little social distance. The courts and Department of Homeland Security make an occasional unsettling deicision. Some of us likely feel comfortable with a more formal title. I don’t want to be called “doctor,” nor “Attorney Dixler,” even if I have a juris doctor degree. Lawyers who practice deserve to be addressed by more than their first names. Otherwise, we desensitize ourselves and the public to our roles in the justice system.

In court, we refer to the police as “officer” and the decision maker as “judge.” Therefore, attorneys should retain a title that gives them some deferrence as advocates.

I find that the use of the title “Ms.” or “Mr.” along with a surname both anticipated and reasonable. These titles before a surname appropriately distance clients from the attorney just enough, yet give the profession a bit more respect.  No difference in age should result in less respect between a lawyer and their clients.

How many physicians wince if they ever watched the USA Network sitcom “Royal Pains?” Now, I appreciate that the character is operating among extremely powerful and wealthy clients. However, it is a fictitious setting. In doing so, character physician Hank Lawson wants to appear as both a friend and confidante to elite clients. He is their “concierge doctor” who can absorb private information and remain endearingly discreet about it just like the butler should.

To me, I sense a loss of respect. The breaking down of an attorney-client relationship seems real, when attorneys insist that clients be on a first name basis. Some minimal barriers should remain. Clients forget that the attorney can be friendly, but they are not only a confidante and representative, but an officer of the court with responsibilities to the public.

In exercising responsibility, lawyers may lose track that these are clients, who have legal challenges that are stressful.  I believe an attorney should remain compassionate, yet responsibly distant, when consoling clients.  Attorneys don’t make the decisions, keep client confidences, but remain licensed court officials.  Again, a title, even if “Mr.” or “Ms.” seems in line with physicians, among others in the justice system, who merit respect.

If attorneys maintain just a bit of formality, then they may keep the practice of law from becoming less frustrating and personal, yet more professional. Over time, perhaps years, a lawyer may decide to drop formalities depending upon the circumstances of a particular attorney-client relationship. However, litigation can take a toll.  Client use of an attorney’s first name may appear disrespectful to the practice.  At times, a few clients may appear to belittle or mock a professional while they speak on a first name basis.

This does not mean that I frown upon attorneys who insist upon clients using their name. However, when a person really does not know another adult, even a non-attorney, is it more appropriate etiquette among English speaking nations, perhaps with the exception of Australia or Texas, to use “Mr.” or “Ms.” to address adults whom they just contact or meet?

At what age does it seem best to ask whether an adult minds being addressed by their first name? Is it better to avoid the temptation and let the lawyer who is addressed first give permission for someone to use a first name?

Any thoughts? Or do I appear too reactionary to some?

The Tale of Judge Yoda: Or How I Learned to Appreciate the Tender Art of Persuasion

My clients ordeal started a decade earlier. However, in 2003, she attempted to return from her trip abroad.  Facts that were required to prove a crime were left out of the Criminal Court transcript.  What should have been a minor criminal offense was amplified. Now, it was time for her to learn about this mess.

Fifteen years later, and eighteen years after entering the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security caught up. Eventually, the client was charged with exclusion.  As a result, Judge Yoda was randomly assigned the Immigration Court case. The judge’s name, client’s gender will remain anonymous and facts slightly changed to protect identities.

In reviewing her criminal plea, I realized that the criminal transcript made little sense.   The criminal arrest record suggested that the client and her friend entered a dorm  room intended to make mischief and in the process moved a coat containing a calculator within the room, dropped it, and then fled.  It seemed a bit questionable to take such a risk over a jacket.  There did not seem to be much of a plan nor an intent to permanently deprive anyone of the jacket.  Yet, there were expensive items that could prove tempting.

Call it a dare or simply temporary stupidity, the die was cast.  They entered without permission.  They broke the law, but which law? The jacket was moved just when the occupying student returned.  The students left, the student victim reported the incident, and the offensive students were arrested. Of course there should have been an arrest.

Yet, in exchange, the foreign born defendent encountered an unforgiving prosecutor, who charged the defendants with both burglary and theft.  It seemed more like trespass and the physical movement of an item within someones space without permission. It was likely an act done under the influence.

The pressure placed upon the university student was allegedly intense. Offers to allow her to eventually return to the college in six months were proposed, tempting, and accepted.  She and the U.S. Citizen who persuaded her to take part in entering the open window pled guilty.  Life went on for a while.  She graduated, travelled abroad numerous times, and started a corporation.

A trip to Europe to visit her aging parents led her into this Jedi-like ordeal.  I put her in touch with what seemed like the most accomplished criminal attorney in the county where the convictions were entered.  This attorney was a former prosecutor, who ironically knew the case.  Years had passed.  The office’s actions had yet to be forgotten. A simpathetic attorney can do wonders.  Over a decade later, and within a year of her green card confiscation, a new District Attorney was elected to office.  Now, the original transcript and its glaring errors could be presented to a  more independent eye with more reasonable instincts toward the acts of a foolish college student.

Although the convictions were vacated, it was unclear if the acts that led to the changes were enough. There was the belief that one of the replaced convictions was still a crime involving moral turpitude. There was also concern that old conviction may have been improperly changed based upon immigration law.  This made little sense at the time, but my arguments to Judge Yoda and what appeared to be numerous unsympathetic civil immigration prosecutor seemed futile.

A claim was made that an published immigration decision held that one of the new crimes was still a deportable offense. At this moment I have yet to find such a case.  Yet, I hope to find the decision even if it is unpublished. I tried a similar matter only to have an immigration judge decide that the crime was not one involving moral turpitude.  As a result that matter was dismissed without the need for relief.

Well, Judge Yoda appeared, negotiated and with little notice executed one of the most amazing Jedi Mind Tricks that I have ever seen in Immigration Court. It happened with little notice and amazing grace.  It is hard to explain the unexplainable.

Just when it appeared that my client might be encouraged to concede the original yet vacated conviction; this, in spite of the current convictions that were arguably not significant convictions for immigration purposes, we recessed for lunch.  Two hours later,  it happened. The Immigration Judge began the hearing. He asked to start the questioning. He questioned the client. He did not ask her to concede to anything. Judge Yoda simply questioned. He wanted to find out the truth.  In response, the client answered. Upon conclusion, the immigration prosecutor asked his questions.

Within fifteen minutes, Judge Yoda again spoke. There was an impression. This was that relief was to be granted, but based upon what? The exact reason for the client’s removal remained unclear facts, but it was understood that grounds existed, even if not presented. This, due to the vacated criminal orders.

Now, with all of the information in front of him, Judge Yoda deliberated. He recognized that the client was inadmissible regardless of the charges levied. This hurt, but was not as fatal as it seems.  A appeal would prove aggravating and delay her right to closure. The client was told of the judge’s desire to approve the case. However, Judge Yoda presented a position that appeased the prosecutor into waiving appeal in spite of all previous concerns.  As Judge Yoda spoke, the prosecutor agreed to what seemed positions that he was unprepared to aggree to.

Well, at least the immigration court transcript is stealth.  With nearly twenty years past after the crime, the client may try to seek citizenship by naturalization. However, at a minimum, she can also remain lawfully in the U.S. after more than twenty years of residence unless something else happens.  Should people be permanently deported decades later without the opportunity ‘to request’ relief, even if it may not be granted?

2011: Will the Undocumented be Counted?

2010 demonstrates what the Democrats lost and what the Republicans may gain.  However, it seems like Newt Gingrich and the Bush Family are among a small handful of GOP Members listening.  The issue: is a legalization really an amnesty? The answer is no.

Who gains from calling a legalization an “amnesty?” I think those that want to encourage everyone to apply, even those who do not qualify, perhaps.  When will immigration attorneys begin to tell the truth?

Congress has passed “registry” and “legalization.” Neither were guarantees of a green card. Many were disqualified and others simply messed up their opportunity due to confusion over the program. Legalization was co-sponsored by Republican Alan Simpson, but  signed by President Reagan.  It was an effort to focus enforcement on newer offenders, since immigration enforcement is pitifully underfunded.

Our current Immigration law boldly states that those delegated by the Attorney General, namely the Department of Homeland Security, “may” place an alien in deportation proceedings. Many are left in limbo due to the lack of immigration judges and underfunded law enforcement.

In the end, when Congress has failed to impose its solutions, it must find rational alternatives. Legalization was an effort to normalize the lives of millions of U.S. Residents, who we depended upon to sustain our U.S. Economy. The challenge was that USCIS had to find a responsible way to evaluate these cases.

With whatever experience is left from the last legalization and registry, Congress should reasonably act to tap that experience for the next before all of these folks retire. Otherwise, it will cost Our Nation much more the next time.

Why some attorneys continue to call Legalization or Registry an amnesty confuses the public and is a disappointment to advocates for reasonable change.

The Morton Memo: How Does it Affect Deportations?

The ICE Memo on prosecutorial discretion is nothing new. It comes from a line of memos. It explains to ICE Attorneys what they can do. Many already knew. It is a memo geared to bring good faith to a messy situation.

ICE has to deport many who have lived without consequences or detection for years. The process of prosecuting people who wrongly believe that they rights to stay takes an emotional toll upon some. The Morton Memo let’s the prosecutors know that if certain facts exist, then they ‘may’ administratively close, continue or terminate cases where such foreigners can be easily removed.

The purpose is to focus deportation on foreigners with pending asylum and criminal convictions. There are some foreigners, who given enough time in the U. S., can lawfully immigrate. The low quotas mean two decade delays in processing for too many.

Some may have U.S. Children or a U.S. Citizen spouse. That spouse may suffer exceptional or extremely unusual hardship. Each time ICE deports a foreign born parent or spouse, the human rights consequence to a U.S. Citizen demonstrates how morally outrageous our deportation laws are to the rest of the world.

The Morton Memo reminds prosecutors to use morally appropriate solutions where they wish. The Memo is not an order. The memo is simply advisory. Immigration prosecutors must decide what is best. The memo lets a prosecutor know what is acceptable conduct for this administration.

It has similarities to the memo under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The Morton Memo goes into more detail that a few prosecutors may have feigned ignorance of, perhaps. Hopefully, the mentality and philosophy behind the Memo may be better honored based upon its detail.