Republicans like Reps. David Vitter and Mike Lee and Sens. Rand Paul and Jerry Moran all built platforms on their “pro-family” politics. So, what does it take for these men to paint childbirth as “reprehensible?” You guessed it: these GOP lawmakers are again thumping their drums against “birth tourism,” an illusory epidemic in which illegal immigrants are traveling to the United States to give birth, thus guaranteeing their child, derided by these men as “anchor babies,” national citizenship.
“It is a reprehensible practice,” said Vitter, a Louisiana Congressman whose career survived revelations that he hired hookers.
Hoping to put an end to these illegal immigrants’ life-giving ways, these Republican leaders have drafted legislation that would “correct” a misinterpretation of the 14th amendment, which clearly reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” and restrict citizenship to children born to at least one citizen, someone in the military or a legal resident.
Opponents of the legislation not only point out that “birth tourism” hardly represents the trend Rand Paul and company claim (only 7,670 of the 4.2 million babies born in the U.S. in 2006 were by mothers who don’t live here) but also insist that the Republican leaders are playing with constitutional fire.
“The Supreme Court has upheld birthright citizenship several times, and the leading constitutional scholars agree you would have to change the Constitution, not just the Immigration and Nationality Act as they’re trying to do here,” said Michele Waslin from the Immigration Policy Center.Read more...
A piecemeal approach to immigration reform is the politically easy option, but there will be unintended negative consequences unless Congress addresses the whole problem.
An effective system to verify a job applicant's eligibility to work in the United States is an essential part of immigration reform. So are tough employer sanctions for those who hire the undocumented.
But if Congress just mandates the use of the employee-screening E-Verify system without dealing with labor demands, the job magnet will remain and the economy will suffer.
The agriculture industry is forthright in saying that up to 70 percent of its workforce is undocumented. There are no Americans to take those jobs.
"Are you raising your child to be a farmworker?" asks Tom Nassif, president of the Western Growers Association, which represents growers in California and Arizona. He says his industry has been trying to educate Congress about the simple fact that making E-Verify mandatory without addressing labor needs "wipes out agriculture."
John McClung, president of the Texas Produce Association, says E-Verify in isolation would be "the death knell" of agriculture in the United States . Without workers, farmers would move their cropland to where the labor is: Mexico and Central America. Nassif says two to three non-farm jobs are created for every farm job, so the result would be widespread job losses in the United States.
The other likely result, as Joe Sigg of the Arizona Farm Bureau points out, would be "under-the-table and off-the-books" employment.
Research bears this out. The nonpartisan Immigration Policy Center study, "Deeper Into the Shadows," found workers who lost their jobs because of enforcement tended to return to work - often at the same job - on a cash-only basis. They were generally paid less and became more vulnerable to exploitation.
E-Verify alone will create problems because it does not deal with the need for labor.Read more...
This Litigation Issue Page highlights lawsuits challenging government initiatives related to employment verification, including the Internet based E-Verify system and "no-match" letters issued by the Social Security Administration.
Several states and local governments have enacted laws regulating employment verification. These laws have prompted litigation, typically challenging whether they are preempted by federal law. The following cases are on our State and Local Law Enforcement Issue Page
Arizona Contractors Assoc., Inc. v. Napolitano, 526 F. Supp. 2d 968 (D. Ariz. 2007), aff'd sub nom. Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. v. Napolitano, 558 F.3d 856 (9th Cir. 2009), petition for cert. filed sub nom. Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria, (July 24, 2009) (No. 09-115)
United States v. Illinois, No. 07-3261, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19533 (C.D. Ill. 2009)
Gray et al. v. City of Valley Park, No. 07-00881 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 31, 2008) appeal docketed, No. 08-1681 (8th Cir. argued Dec. 10, 2008)
Chamber of Commerce v. Henry, No. 08-109 (W.D. Okla. filed Feb. 1, 2008), appeal docketed, No. 08-6128 (10th Cir. argued May 4, 2009)
Every now and then a piece of legislation comes around with a terribly creative acronym. The USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001 was one example. But rarely do two bills on the same issue appear in Congress with such diametrically opposed names and policy goals as the DREAM and HALT Acts.
In a summary order dated June 26, 2006, the Supreme Court vacated the Eighth Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case for further consideration in light of 71 Fed. Reg. 27,585, the interim rule regarding adjustment of status for arriving aliens.
Contrary to the visa title, the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program isn't all about the J1, but the J2s, too!
The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Tania Alves Calvao AND her son, Olivio, as November's Exchange Visitors of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...