Monday, September 21, 2009

Hutto: The nightmare ends

The Associated Press writes that the last few families detained at the Hutto Immigration Detention Center outside of Austin, Texas have finally moved out. The U.S. government had been detaining men, women, and children behind bars as they awaited an immigration court ruling. Theses families were locked up because they were considered a flight risk. The article states:

But Hutto quickly drew criticism. Guards trained to detain violent criminal adults were in charge of sad, sick or restless children — from babies to teenagers. Parents complained children were disciplined with threats of being separated from their family. ICE has said all at Hutto were treated humanely.

Children and parents lived in tiny cells furnished with bunk beds and a steel toilet and lined up for up to several head counts daily. Toys, pencils or even juice boxes were not allowed in cells. The school day was just an hour or two.

Locking up children and babies- Is this what immigration policy in the United States has become?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What about the rule of law?

Libby Grammer Garrett has a well written article entitled On immigration: Do Baptists believe the Bible. In the article, she gives the example of Lidiana, an undocumented immigrant, who married a legal resident. Her husband petitioned for her to remain in the country legally:

But in the meantime, her marriage became abusive, and Lidiana was forced to leave her husband. He withdrew the papers he had filed for her, making her ineligible to obtain legal status. Her only option to regularize her status was using novel legal arguments from a skilled attorney, but she still faced the possibility that the petition could be rejected. If rejected, she would be put in deportation proceedings, leaving her children with no mother and no income to support them in the only home they have ever known.

Ms. Garrett then argues that Baptists must respond more Biblically and choose to either "view them [illegal aliens] through the lens of our Kingdom citizenship -- or our national xenophobia." This provoked a comment from "Robber":

So where exactly does the rule of law fit in with your thesis?... I don't want them here because they entered the country illegally; and if they don't have respect for our laws then what else might they do when they're here? What you present is a sad story. If I were her neighbor, I would do what I could to help her. Make sure she was clothed, and fed. But it wouldn't change the fact that she was here illegally; and she should return to Mexico. I'm having trouble making ends meet right now, but that doesn't give me a right to break into my rich neighbor's house and take money or food -- no matter how desperately I might need it. It's a matter of law (emphasis added)... .

I would make this reply to Robber. It fits in perfectly. The fact scenario states that Lidiana did enter illegally but then attempted to adjust her status to that of a legal resident. She was trying to follow the law and the law allowed her to apply for an adjustment. Immigration law is not written on a postage stamp. The law, to which Robber so sacredly upholds, has many variables and alternative courses of actions for illegal aliens depending on the circumstances. That was what Lidiana was doing. So if Robber is upset that Lidiana had the option to apply for a chance to stay legally, then Robber's quarrel is with the law and not Lidiana.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

But illegals may be able to buy insurance!

The sound and fury regarding illegal aliens and the proposed healthcare reform has morphed from “you’re giving free healthcare to illegal aliens” to “illegal aliens might be able to purchase health insurance on the government sponsored exchange!”

At issue is the proposed Health Insurance Exchange (hereinafter the “Exchange”) in proposed HR 3200. It is found in Title 2 of the bill (page 72 on the link). The Exchange is a mechanism wherein the uninsured could buy plans from insurance companies that meet certain standards and benefits. Additionally, the uninsured could get a subsidy- called an “affordable credit” to help them offset the cost of insurance.

To qualify for the subsidy, you must be an “affordable credit eligible individual.” This is further defined in Section. 242(a)(1) as:

(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this division, the term ‘‘affordable credit eligible individual’’ means, subject to subsection (b), an individual who is lawfully present in a State in the United States (other than as a nonimmigrant described in a subparagraph (excluding subparagraphs (K), (T), (U), and (V)) of section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act)…

And as repeated many times, Section 246 states:


Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

So undocumented aliens will not be able to receive or purchase subsidized insurance under the proposed bill. An undocumented alien may be able to purchase full priced insurance on the open market or on the exchange. That is true. But how is that different from what we have today?

Keep separating the wheat from the chaff!

Friday, September 11, 2009

"You lie!": No Congressman, HR 3200 does not give health care to illegal immigrants.

When President Obama gave his speech on health care reform on September 9, 2009, he said that the proposed legislation would not give health care to illegal immigrants. At that point, Republican Congressman Joe Wilson (SC) screamed, "You lie!" You can watch the video and read the article here.

As we have discussed before, HR 3200 specifically has language that prohibits granting benefits to illegal aliens. You can read the PDF version of the entire bill here. Section 246 of the Bill, found on page 143 of the PDF document, is entitled, “No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens.

Please keep separating the wheat from the chaff.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Email Lies about Immigration: "Just One State" email is hitting inboxes around the country.

Los Angeles Times reporter Hector Tobar writes about a false email that was forwarded to him:" What did I find? A stew made up for the most part of meaty exaggerations and spicy conjecture, mixed in with some giblets of truth. Two of the "stats" are the musings of a conservative op-ed writer. Another takes its information from a government "report" that is, in fact, a work of fiction. The last two items on the list are the most accurate -- but they reveal more about the prejudices and fears of the people passing the list along than they do about the supposed effect of 'illegals.'" You can read the full article here.

Please remember to separate the wheat from the chaff and verify your sources of information.

Friday, September 4, 2009

DHS to require all its contractors to use E-Verify on September 8, 2009

The USCIS put out a press release today to remind "federal contractors and subcontractors that effective Sept. 8, 2009, they will be required to use the E-Verify system to verify their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States if their contract includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify Clause." This is the result of a DHS rule change in July. According to the press release, "E-Verify, which compares information from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9)... against federal government databases to verify workers’ employment eligibility, is a free web-based system operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA)." The E-verify system has been criticized by some groups because the SSA admits that it has millions of erroneous records in its database, most of them are American citizens. Additionally, Congress has not extended the authorization for the DHS to use E-verify beyond September 30, 2009. So, DHS may have to suspend this rule at the end of the month unless Congress reauthorizes the permission for DHS to use the system.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

USCIS provides interim relief from the "widow penalty."

On August 31, 2009, the USCIS posted the following Fact Sheet on its website. It stated that the Agency was providing "interim deferred action relief" for surviving spouses of U.S. citizens who died before the 2nd anniversary of their marriage. According to the Agency:

The "widow penalty" prevents widow(er)s of deceased U.S. citizens from becoming lawful permanent residents on a petition filed by their late spouse or from later self-petitioning to change their status if the U.S. citizen dies before the second anniversary of their marriage.

The relief is temporary and will allow the widow and their children to remain in the United States. The USCIS makes it clear, however, that a legislative solution is required. You can read more here and here.