home

Obama's Proposed Immigration Plan aka Crime Bill

Speaking in Las Vegas today, President Obama outlined his new immigration plan, including a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented residents currently present in the U.S.

The White House has issued this fact sheet on the plan.

Immigrants living here illegally must be held responsible for their actions by passing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and a penalty, going to the back of the line, and learning English before they can earn their citizenship. There will be no uncertainty about their ability to become U.S. citizens if they meet these eligibility criteria. The proposal will also stop punishing innocent young people brought to the country through no fault of their own by their parents and give them a chance to earn their citizenship more quickly if they serve in the military or pursue higher education. [More...]

In addition:

The President’s proposal attracts the best minds to America by providing visas to foreign entrepreneurs looking to start businesses here and helping the most promising foreign graduate students in science and math stay in this country after graduation, rather than take their skills to other countries. The President’s proposal will also reunify families in a timely and humane manner.

How onerous are the conditions for the path to legalization?

Undocumented immigrants must come forward and register, submit biometric data, pass criminal background and national security checks, and pay fees and penalties before they will be eligible for a provisional legal status. Agricultural workers and those who entered the United States as children would be eligible for the same program.

Individuals must wait until the existing legal immigration backlogs are cleared before getting in line to apply for lawful permanent residency (i.e. a “green card”), and ultimately United States citizenship. Consistent with current law, people with provisional legal status will not be eligible for welfare or other federal benefits, including subsidies or tax credits under the new health care law.

A positive: Addressing humanitarian concerns

The proposal streamlines immigration law to better protect vulnerable immigrants, including those who are victims of crime and domestic violence. It also better protects those fleeing persecution by eliminating the existing limitations that prevent qualified individuals from applying for asylum.

Did anyone catch this? Obama wants to increase penalties for drug offenses that involve drugs coming in from other countries:

The President’s proposal creates new criminal penalties dedicated to combating transnational criminal organizations that traffic in drugs, weapons, and money, and that smuggle people across the borders. It also expands the scope of current law to allow for the forfeiture of these organizations’ criminal tools and proceeds. Through this approach, we will bolster our efforts to deprive criminal enterprises, including those operating along the Southwest border, of their infrastructure and profits.

How much greater can the penalty be? If the drugs someone brings in from another country can be tied to a cartel, and life in prison without parole isn't high enough, what's left? Life plus cancer?

Obama also proposes increased penalties for other crimes:

The President’s proposal creates tough criminal penalties for trafficking in passports and immigration documents and schemes to defraud, including those who prey on vulnerable immigrants through notario fraud. It also strengthens penalties to combat human smuggling rings.

This sounds like the work of crime warrior Joe Biden. He can never resist a chance to increase penalties.

There's also this, in which "streamlined" seems to mean a shortcut around due process:

Streamline removal of nonimmigrant national security and public safety threats. The President’s proposal creates a streamlined administrative removal process for people who overstay their visas and have been determined to be threats to national security and public safety.

Why wouldn't Republicans love this plan? It sounds like they wrote most of it.

< John Kerry Confirmed as Secretary of State | Rep. Issa Writes Letter to DOJ on Aaron Swartz >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Display: Sort:
    It's (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:40:17 PM EST
    interesting, if that be the word, that the punishment for drug offenses - 10 years up to life imprisonment - is only a shade more humane than the punishments meted out in Bali. Maybe we need to boycott the US as a vacation destination too.

    And, as you say,

    Why wouldn't Republicans love this plan? It sounds like they wrote most of it.

    What depresses me is my perception that that's all we have in Washington. Republicans, and Democrats behaving as Republicans.

    Sinking over a Barrel (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by koshembos on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:13:04 PM EST
    The GOP is losing the grip on non-white and young voters. They must change their immigration policy to have a chance with the Browns. There are over the barrel and the Democrats can extract blood. Instead, Obama goes for pennies. Pathetic!

    As for safe border, it's already safe. Several thousands of miles cannot be hermetically shut. Even the East Berlin fortified and shooting wall didn't stop everyone. Safe border is an oxymoron.

    Remember the Maginot line? (none / 0) (#14)
    by fishcamp on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:30:15 PM EST
    The Germans in WWll just walked around it.

    Parent
    The best part: (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:11:31 PM EST
    "The President's proposal attracts the best minds to America by providing visas to foreign entrepreneurs looking to start businesses here and helping the most promising foreign graduate students in science and math stay in this country after graduation, rather than take their skills to other countries."

    In other words, high tech employers won't have to be limited by H-1B visas anymore. This immigration reform won't just flood the workforce with working class immigrants, it'll decimate wages for American professionals as well. One reason tech companies like to hire people from China, India, Taiwan and other overpopulated countries is because those employees tend to be willing to work 60-80 hours per week in a salaried (unpaid overtime) jobs. And they'll take much less pay for those jobs. Our universities even teach about this dynamic in MBA classes that promote outsourcing. But they also teach about the dangers of conducting business in countries where you might have to pay graft to the police and government officials to prevent theft and other losses, or where the transportation and communication infrastructure is inferior. Hence, outsourcing to countries with less expensive employees can also have hidden costs. In the USA, we spread those costs for transportation, communication and police services throughout the tax base. If it weren't for the high pay and those workplace safety, overtime, vacation and other pesky rules, companies could really be raking it in here.

    IBM, Google and Intel, Microsoft and other tech employers are very eager to avoid those losses in foreign countries, which is why operations still exist here. But they want to keep tech wages down and change the work culture Americans have grown used to, including the crazy concept of a 40 hour work week and paid overtime. That's why the H-1B visa are very popular for tech jobs. Since  corporations will have easy alternatives to H-1B visas, this immigration reform will have a serious detrimental effect on American workers at both ends of the pay scale. And it's not just techie jobs. Doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, medical services, corporate research, university professors, and other "over paid" American professionals will experience wage suppression and changes in workplace culture and experiences.

    And it's a twofer: Companies can bring those outsourced jobs back to America, hopefully get a big ole tax break for "creating jobs here," and then fill them with foreigners willing to work longer hours for lower pay.

    Most people supporting this legislation will simply close their eyes and repeat "they only take jobs Americans don't want." Heh.

    Why is this a problem? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:22:39 AM EST
    The President's proposal creates tough criminal penalties for trafficking in passports and immigration documents and schemes to defraud, including those who prey on vulnerable immigrants through notario fraud. It also strengthens penalties to combat human smuggling rings.

    Preying on and exploiting vulnerable people should be severely punished. And there is no punishment strong enough for those who engage in human smuggling and trafficking.

    All those crimes are already subject (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 05:06:31 PM EST
    to severe punishment, in the discretion of the judge to fit individual circumstances.  The only effect of increasing maximum punishments (assuming no mandatory minimums are created, which thankfully I don't see) is to authorize the most punitive judges to impose longer -- but no more effective -- sentences on an unfortunate, randomly selected, few defendants.  And perhaps to create a gravitational upward pull on average sentences.  I promise you, there is no evidence whatsoever that current sentences are too lenient to have whatever deterrent effect they were intended to have.

    Parent
    "...there is no evidence whatsoever..." (none / 0) (#13)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:59:04 AM EST
    Of course not,

    And yet, I can't help being drawn to the disconnect between immigration violations (I believe "human trafficking" belongs in a separate category) and big banks trading with, and profiting from, Government declared Terrorist States. While the former would be having ever harsher penalties, the latter will be, and are, treated as civil cases, and their fines paid by customers and shareholders.


    Parent

    There are only 11 (none / 0) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:49:46 PM EST
    ...undocumented residents currently present in the U.S.?

    What's all the fuss about then?

    thanks, I added the (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:13:19 PM EST
    million. The computer must have eaten it the first time.

    Parent
    Assuming we close the borders First (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:53:13 PM EST
    it works for me.

    What's interesting, to me anyway, (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:49:39 PM EST
    is that illegal Mexican (and, presumably, legal, as well) immigration to the US seems to be net zero these days, although Central American is rising higher, if this article is accurate.

    I'd be interested in hearing (none / 0) (#5)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:45:24 PM EST
    the reaction & analysis by Unavision and its millions of viewers.

    If we really want to... (none / 0) (#11)
    by unitron on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:27:27 AM EST
    ..."deprive criminal enterprises, including those operating along the Southwest border, of their infrastructure and profits...", then the government will have to take over as the supplier meeting the huge demand in the U.S. and underprice them while simutaneously offering a superior, guaranteed unadulterated, product.

    Make it possible for anyone who wants to get them to use them to get them, and impossible for anyone to make any money on them by re-selling them.

    Make 'em food stamp eligible, even, whatever it takes to make them zero profit.

    Will we have more drug users under that scenario or fewer?

    Will there be more drug associated crime and violence, or less?

    If the junkies are all buying from Uncle Sam, would it be easier for the government to offer a drug treatment program and get them to participate?

    good (none / 0) (#15)
    by nobelboy on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:26:18 AM EST
    would name your blog the dreamland! While Santa knocks at our door just once per year, you blog is open the whole year - wow! http://tbec.net