Friday, August 31, 2012

The Republican Party, Immigration and the Hispanic Vote

As the Republican National Convention winds down to a close it is interesting to note that many of the speakers spoke of their immigrant roots, yet none took a position on immigration policy as noted by Victoria DeFrancesco Soto of NBC Latino: Opinion: The RNC's Immigrant Tease and Alex Seitz-Wald in Salon: Don't say "immigration"

Even Mitt Romney's son spoke in Spanish and got choked up when speaking of his immigrant grandfathers, "Craig Romney's heartfelt story of his family's immigrant roots was among more than half a dozen convention speakers who highlighted their immigrant backgrounds, but it has created what one expert describes as an "awkward dance" because of the GOP's reputation for being hostile to immigration."

However, as pointed out in a Miami Herald article, the GOP has done a better job at recruiting top level Hispanics who outnumber Democrats in the Senate and Governor's mansions: Balancing the GOP Tripwire on Immigration

The GOP Platform takes a tough line on immigration, and calls for "self-deportation"

However, speakers like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are pushing the GOP to take a pro-legal immigration stance rather than being the anti-immigration party

It remains to be seen how Mitt Romney will approach the issue as he tries to attract more Hispanic voters and moves more to the center to attract independent voters after the convention.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Federal Court Rules on Alabama and Georgia Immigration Laws, Gov. Perry says nothing has changed in Texas

Yesterday's big news was the ruling by the Federal appeals court on immigration laws in Georgia and Alabama.  It was a mixed result, with the court striking down measures in Alabama related to checking the status of school children, and measures in Georgia that would criminalize the transportation or harboring of undocumented immigrants.  As in the case of the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's SB1070, the court left in place the "show me your papers" measures, with the reservation that they would reconsider if civil rights or due process issues arise:

 “The court today rejected many parts of Alabama and Georgia’s anti-immigrant laws, including attempts to criminalize everyday interactions with undocumented immigrants and Alabama’s callous attempt to deprive some children of their constitutional right to education. The court explicitly left the door open to further challenges against the "show me your papers" provision, which we will continue to fight in order to protect people’s constitutional rights.”

Read more:

The New York Times editorial page welcomed the "repudiation of bad laws":

My San Antonio website reported on Governor Perry's response to the implementation of DACA:

“Quite simply, the governor's letter reiterates that the secretary's directive does not change state law, and he expects agencies to continue to follow state law,” Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said. “There are no plans to issue an executive order as Gov. Brewer did."

It would appear that the Governor was more focused on bashing the Obama administration's policy rather than taking action to keep undocumented immigrants from getting driver's licenses:

“I don't think there's anything the kids need to worry about with the governor's letter. I think it was very carefully worded, intended to satisfy some constituents and yet leave the door open to the Latino voters that the GOP will need in the future,” Austin immigration lawyer Dan Kowalski said.

Read more:

A link to Perry's letter from the Texas Tribune:

NBC News reports on a disturbing case of criminal detention for a legal immigrant and the overall increase in detentions which is fueling the private prison industry:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

DACA and Immigration Law

As discussion around the President's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) continues, many are concerned about the impact, and whether this will lead to a more permanent situation for the undocumented, or leave their families open to deportation as noted in this article that originally appeared in the Christian Science Monitor.
However, the Monitor also notes that states like Arizona and Nebraska which will continue to deny driver's licenses for those who are eligible for DACA - Article

Just discovered a new resource for those interested particularly in immigration law: - a recent blog post discusses the decline in state laws on immigration:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Immigration, Presidential Politics and State Politics

As the presidential election shifts into high gear, it looks like immigration is unlikely to become a high-profile issue, despite New York Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to get the candidates to focus on the issue.  The economy, budget and deficits will top the agenda with Romney's pick of Paul Ryan as his VP.  Immigration looks like it also taking a lower profile at the state level, as reported by Fox News.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is supporting California's TRUST act that would limit cooperation between local and federal officials on immigration enforcement as mandated by Secure Communities
Antonio Villaraigosa Secure Communities

Monday, August 6, 2012

Immigration Updates

As officials move to implement the President's deferred action policy, issues of cost have come to the fore:

Cost for immigration program at $585 million

USCIS has released details on the program and will begin accepting requests on August 15th.

It will be important to follow developments with the implementation of this program, for many potential applicants there will be questions, concerns and worries about what their situation may mean for family members who don't qualify for deferred action.

Skilled immigration has become a hot topic, as seen in this event at the Brookings Institute:

More to come!