Posts Tagged ‘Immigrants’

Why New York state should pass the DREAM Act

June 19, 2016

The proposed New York DREAM Act would allow unauthorized immigrants who’ve earned high school diplomas in New York state to apply for tuition assistance to attend state colleges and universities.

The documentary film profiles six hard-working young people who might benefit from the new law.

State law doesn’t not protect them from deportation, but it gives them the same right to attend public school as citizens and legal immigrants. The proposed law would give them an equal right to apply for financial aid.

An estimated 4,500 undocumented students graduate from New York high schools each year.  An estimated 90 to 95 percent of them do not pursue higher education.


Illegal immigrants: not a problem, but a fact

November 21, 2014

One of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s rules was that if a problem cannot be solved, it may not be a problem, but a fact.

I think the presence of millions of unauthorized immigrants in the United States is a fact.  I don’t say their presence is a good thing; I say it is not feasible to deport them all.

Given this fact, I think the choices for the United States are to continue to have an underclass outside the protection of American law or to find a way to assimilate these immigrants into American society.

RonaldReaganonamnestye_oI think this would be the lesser evil, even from the standpoint of native-born American citizens and legal immigrants who have to complete with the unauthorized immigrants.

Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz and other Republican leaders threaten to impeach President Obama for using prosecutorial discretion to concentrate on border security and unauthorized immigrants who break domestic law, giving the others a free pass.  Even though the federal government doesn’t have the resources to discover and deport all unauthorized immigrants, they say decisions to prosecute should be made on an individual basis and not about categories of immigrants.

They’ve got a point.  Hard cases make bad law.  I’d take the Republican leaders more seriously if they were equally indignant about the administration’s use of prosecutorial discretion in financial fraud committed by “too big to fail” bankers.

I sympathize with poor people from Mexico or Central America who break the law by coming to the USA to get jobs and help their families.  I have no sympathy at all for Wall Street manipulators who break the law in order to get richer at the expense of everyone else.


Obama’s huge new immigration plan, explained by Dara Lind for Vox news.

Obama’s Immigration Order: The Right Thing in the Wrong Way by Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic.

Obama Pretends to Put Immigration Reform in Play by Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism.

Cowering behind a border wall by Chris Ladd on GOPLifer.

Panel backs fingerprinting at 30 U.S. airports

May 21, 2013

This is from the Washington Post

Every immigrant leaving the United States through one of the 30 biggest airports would have to be fingerprinted by federal authorities under an immigration reform measure that won early committee approval in the Senate on Monday.

The plan approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee is a concession to Republicans and some Democrats who support establishing a nationwide biometric tracking system at all U.S. air, sea and land ports of entry, a key recommendation made by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to track potential terrorists entering or leaving the country.

The committee rejected a similar GOP proposal last week that would have forced the Department of Homeland Security to establish a biometric immigration tracking system at every U.S. air, sea and land port of entry. The committee’s Democrats and the four members of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” who wrote the immigration bill and sit on the panel said such a plan would be too expensive.

via  The Washington Post.

I don’t get it.  What is the point of fingerprinting just people who are leaving the country?  Assuming for the sake of argument that this has some point that I don’t see, why just at 10 airports or 30 airports?  If somebody for some evil purpose wanted to avoid being fingerprinted, couldn’t the person cross over into Canada and fly out of Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver?

This is supposed to be a compromise with people who want a nationwide system of biometric ID.  Is this something we really want?  The article says it would apply only to immigrants, but it is not clear to me whether that means resident aliens only or also naturalized American citizens.   How would this work?  I suppose that when you go through the scanning machine at the airport security system, your biometrics would be checked against the national biometric ID database.  Wouldn’t it be a short step to having everybody in the national database.

It is a bad idea to pass legislation intended to prevent the recurrence of a single event.   We should be having a national debate on whether we want a national surveillance system with files on everybody, not just let it creep in step by step.

Hat tip to Tiffany’s Non-Blog