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    Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update May 2010 *

    Does Comprehensive Immigration Reform Promise to Preserve the Ideals of the American?

    Does Comprehensive Immigration Reform Promise to Preserve the Ideals of the American?

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    Comprehensive Immigration Reform May 2010

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform – Trouble in Arizona

    On Friday April 23rd 2010 Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed in to law powers that would grant local police the authority to ask anyone they had reasonable suspicion of being undocumented about their status. Furthermore, upon establishing that a person did not possess legal status they had powers of arrest and detention until such time as Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) could take over the deportation responsibilities of the undocumented alien. What makes this law unprecedented is – matters concerning Immigration come under the auspices of the Federal, not state government.

    This decision has sparked outrage because several lawyers argue that it violates many articles of the US Constitution, and because it is feared that the Governor’s law will unfairly discriminate against the Hispanic US Citizen population as the police target those with “brown” skin and not “white” skin. Hispanic US Citizens will be forced to carry proof of legal status or US citizenship for fear of or risk being arrested on suspicion of being an undocumented alien.

    Will President Obama Continue to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform for 2010?

    Will President Obama Continue to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform for 2010?

    President Obama has called the new law misguided and the Democrats now see this as a touch stone to reignite action on the much-anticipated Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill (CIR).  The Democrats had revealed that after completion of the Banking Reform Bill they had in mind to work on a Bill for Climate Change, and then the CIR. However, after Governor Jan Brewer’s so-coined ‘racial profiling bill’, Democrats have indicated that they will now make CIR their immediate priority after the Banking Reform Bill and that they hope to get CIR passed before Congress goes into recess for the summer.

    I’ve often wondered whether having passed the bruising Healthcare Reform Bill into law, if President Obama and the Democrats had any more fight in them to tackle CIR. For a few weeks it appeared that CIR being pushed under the carpet until after the November mid-term elections, was too controversial. The Arizona Governor’s Bill, even though it has been passed into law, does not take effect for a few months, but I can imagine that Congress will want to be in the full throws of legislative debate when reports of the possible Arizona mass arrests start hitting the headlines.

    Legal scholars are preparing multiple law suits to have the Arizona bill struck down as unconstitutional, but this process will certainly take months to make its way through the courts, and these cases are best made when there are actual victims involved. Surprisingly, there have been reported cases in California where a Hispanic US Citizen was deported to Mexico because he could not produce his US Citizenship birth certificate fast enough.

    Since losing on the Healthcare bill, the Republicans have tried to throw up road blocks with each new piece of legislation. For example, they have been refusing to debate on banking reform. Every Republican Senator has voted with their non-appearance or Nay vote in total unity. There has been absolutely no bipartisanship whatsoever. Republicans risk being labeled as being a friend to Wall Street and a fiend to Main Street, which could further injure their overall standing in the Polls.

    The current popular Republican stance appears to be extremely anti-immigration reform for any reason, preferring instead to leave millions of people vulnerable. What do you say to young American children whose parents are subject to deportation at a moments notice?

    The current popular Republican stance appears to be extremely anti-immigration reform for any reason, preferring instead to leave millions of people vulnerable. What do you say to young American children whose immigrant parents are subject to deportation at a moments notice?

    Republicans are also mooting their disquiet about whether now is the time to be talking about CIR when so many Americans are currently unemployed. This stance will further alienate them from the largest swing vote demographic in America: Hispanics.  Like the Democrats, Republicans are a highly principled group but the stances they have taken over Comprehensive Healthcare Reform, Banking Reform, Immigration reform and Climate Change proposals, seems to be increasingly out of step with mainstream America, except on one unifying issue: taxation. Americans feel that their tax burden is increasing under the Democrats, and if not directly increasing, they feel that the growing budget deficit is in some way harming their future in the long term.

    As a Brit living in the US for the last ten years, I don’t quite get all the economics and cultural economic sentiments in the same way as US Citizens, so often I cannot understand why many Americans hold the views they do. I’m an immigrant from England, running an immigration law practice, so of course I’m going to be pro-immigration all the way. I grew up in Europe where there are no borders between European member countries, and so populations move on mass to the richest countries in Europe. I don’t like it when news reports come out about undocumented immigration as it’s portrayed as an exclusively Hispanic condition, when in fact more than 54% of all undocumented aliens are not Hispanic at all.

    It is estimated that within the next two to three weeks the Banking Bill will be resolved and then CIR will be squarely on the table. There are several CIR Bills floating around Congress right now so we’ll have to see if sufficient Congressmen co-sign the Bill to create momentum behind it so that those bills are debated. No doubt there will be some new CIR Bills from the Republican side like last time in 2007 where there were (in effect) mass deportation bills as in Nazi Germany. Sometimes I do get impassioned, because as an immigration lawyer you often hear stories of ICE agents raiding homes in the middle of the night, swiping parents into custody for deportation leaving infant children alone in the house unattended, and unprotected. Such incidents happen every day with barely a headline in the news.

    I look forward to a reasonable debate on CIR and for a pathway for undocumented aliens to be given a true pathway to citizenship, so that they are no longer stigmatized by the term “illegal alien” or “undocumented alien”, but be given the dignity they deserve. The vast majority of undocumented aliens are extremely hard working people looking to live, like anyone else, the American Dream. This is precisely why I came to America, purely for the chance of a better life. It’s not like my life was remotely difficult in Northampton, England, I just wanted my family to have the chance to explore a better life. I had the financial means, the education and connections to make it happen and even then it was extremely difficult to make it, let alone for those aliens who have come from dire poverty and to live the American Dream is to have a job in the US. Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue a dream. Why am I more deserving than the next guy? I understand perfectly well that America needs to have strict immigration controls, otherwise half the planet would move here tomorrow, but at the same time Congress and US Immigration must find a way to achieve a balanced and more equitable solution to this issue.

    Newsflash: President Obama Appears to Back Down on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    April 29th 2010 – What a Day in US Immigration Politics.

    President Obama gave an interview where he clearly said that after the bruising passage of Healthcare Reform he did not feel that it was now possible to take on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).  On the other hand Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid says that it is absolutely imperative for CIR especially because of what has happened in Arizona.  The Republicans, not known to be behind CIR, expressed resolution in being ready to obstruct any attempt to table CIR.

    As Republicans and Democrats slug it out it's impossible to predict which way this debate is going. Some days it looks very promising and on other days it looks very doubtful.

    As Republicans and Democrats slug it out it’s impossible to predict which way this debate is going. Some days it looks very promising and on other days it looks very doubtful.

    Given these latest developments, it’s very difficult to see precisely what is going on here. I remember when Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat from the late Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy, and in so doing busting the Democratic filibuster proof grip in the Senate in January 2010. President Obama then came on the air and began talking about scaling down and scaling back Comprehensive Healthcare. It was House of Representative Leader Nancy Pelosi who did not waiver and championed Healthcare Reform and saw it through. Nancy’s determination was infectious and ultimately even the President got on the campaign trail and called in many political favors and Healthcare Reform was passed.  This time around Nancy is saying that it’s up to the Senate and the President to take the lead on CIR.

    Also on April 29th 2010 the Senate unveiled their latest plans for CIR, building on the previous CIR Bills recently drafted despite lack lustre from Presidential and Republican support.

    The next few weeks will be critical as the window closes for any substantive legislation to be passed before the summer recess winds down. In Arizona the legal challenges have already started and there is also a provision within the Arizona legislature that if citizens can raise a sufficient number of signatures opposing this legislation the measure cannot be enacted without some kind of referendum.

    I’ll continue to monitor what is going on here and report again in the June Newsletter.

    By Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ.

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    Comprehensive Imigration Reform May 2010

    By Attorney Chris M. Ingram
    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. IngramUS Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
    Admitted in New York.
    Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
    520 Broadway, Suite 350,
    Santa Monica,
    California 90401
    Tel: 310 496 4292

    Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

     

    General Location: Santa Monica, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California, USA.
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