BREAKING: Supreme Court To Rule On Obama Immigration Action

The Supreme Court has just announced that it will review a Texas judge’s order blocking much of Barack Obama’s 2014 executive orders on immigration.

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will take up a case challenging the legality of President Barack Obama’s executive actions aimed at granting quasi-legal status and work permits to up to five million people who entered the U.S. illegally as children or who have children who are American citizens.

The high court’s widely-expected move gives Obama a chance to revive a key legacy item that has been in limbo for nearly a year, since a federal judge in Texas issued an order halting immigration moves the president announced just after the 2014 midterm elections.

Van Hollen Statement On DHS Deportation Raids 

Boy, the Van Hollen press shop is busy churning ’em out today.

The Department of Homeland Security’s renewed effort to deport families and children is the wrong approach that’s causing unthinkable heartache for hardworking immigrant families who fear being separated. When families come to America fleeing for their lives, they should be treated in a manner consistent with our nation’s founding ideals – not like the dangerous felons who should instead be the focus of enforcement. That’s why I’ve been fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, and Congress must act to finally fix our broken immigration system.

Well said, Congressman. There is no excuse for these raids.

Van Hollen Statement On Refugee Bill

Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen released the following statement after voting to oppose H.R. 4038:

“I believe we can protect our security without abandoning our tradition of welcoming those seeking refuge from tyranny and violence, in this case Syrians escaping the atrocities of ISIS. About half of the Syrian refugees we’ve admitted to date are children, and many others are elderly. Despite the fact that the masterminds of the Paris attack appear to be French and Belgian nationals, it is the vulnerable refugees who bear the burden of this legislation. It resets our moral compass in a dangerous and disturbing way.

“This bill will break our stringent vetting process and prevent any new refugees from Syria and Iraq from seeking safety in the United States for many years, but it will not make us safer.

“This bill is particularly dangerous because it creates a false sense of security. It breaks an effective refugee resettlement system – one that is more stringent that Europe’s – while ignoring known vulnerabilities in other areas, like the Visa Waiver Program.

“Turning our backs on people who are fleeing unspeakable horrors is not how we came to be recognized as a beacon of hope for those seeking safety and freedom. We are better than this bill.”

Second brilliane Van Hollen statement of the week on this issue.

Bigoted, Stupid – And Illegal

So we have our first wave of concerted efforts by Republicans to respond to the terror attacks in Paris last Friday. I’m sure it’s going to be very thoughtful, taking into account all of the competing interests at stake.

Ha ha. No. 14 states, all but one with a Republican governor, have announced that they will attempt to stop the repost ion of Syrian refugees within their states.

Governors across the country are scrambling to close off their states to resettled Syrian refugees in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris that are linked to Islamic State extremists.

The list of states climbed quickly to 14 by Monday afternoon, after President Obama said that the U.S. would continue to accept refugees and denounced efforts to stop those fleeing violence from coming to the United States as “shameful.”

Governors of Illinois, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Georgia and Arkansas — a majority of them Republican — have said that they are seeking to stop the relocation of new Syrian refugees to their states out of fear that violent extremists posing as refugees might gain entry to the country.

Hey, Washington Post, 13 out of 14 is not best described as a “majority,” unless the word “overwhelming” is put in front of majority. Both sides do not do it, mmmkay? That is false reporting by any stretch of the imagination.

Republicans also are calling for Muslim refugees from Syria to be barred from coming to the US, but Christians are OK.

Sen. Ted Cruz Sunday continued to call for Muslim refugees from Syria to be barred from entering the United States but opening the borders to displaced Christians, arguing there is not a “meaningful risk” that Christians will commit terrorist acts.

“There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation,” Cruz (R-Tex.) told reporters in a middle school gym here.

“But it is precisely the Obama administration’s unwillingness to recognize that or ask those questions that makes them so unable to fight this enemy. Because they pretend as if there is no religious aspect to this,” he said.

Presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders all spoke about strategies to confront terrorism in the wake of the attacks in Paris.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush also said Sunday that any assistance going to refugees from the Middle East should be concentrated on Christians.

“We should focus our efforts as it relates to refugees on the Christians that are being slaughtered,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Cruz did not say how he would determine that refugees were Christian or Muslim. He reiterated his assertion that it is “lunacy” to allow Muslim refugees into the United States, asserting that there is no way to know if they are aligned with the Islamic State.

Here’s the problem, apart from the immorality of the twin pillars of intolerance suggested by the bigoted GOP candidates: there’s no ability for the states to bar immigrants lawfully admitted to the US from coming to their state. Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941).

So they’re proposing a moronic and stupid policy, that demonstrates bigotry on both a cultural and religious level, and it’s one they have no power to enact. All in less than 72 hours.

We’re off to a great start. Anyone wanna bet how long it takes for someone to propose using nuclear weapons? Right now I’d give it about a week.

Rubio Tacks Hard Right – On Immigration?

If Jeb Bush is falling apart, as I suggested yesterday and then again just a few minutes ago, then the conventional wisdom is that fellow Floridian Marco Rubio is pretty much the last man standing among the “establishment” candidates. Walker and Perry are out, Kasich had his bubble two months ago, Fiorina’s five minutes of fame is clearly over, and Christie has struggled to even qualify for the adult table at the debates. Hence Rubio, who has slowly moved up while Jeb Bush has crumbled.

The conventional wisdom is, ahem, complete and total bullshit. If Bush goes, there are no establishment candidates left. Marco Rubio sure as hell isn’t one.

Rubio was elected to the Senate in 2010 on the strength of significant tea party support. For three years he vacillated on the issue of immigration reform (see this fun Think Progress recitation  of the twists and in Rubio’s own opinion just in 2013). Eventually Rubio became part of the Gang of Eight, and championed  the 2013 bipartisan immigration reform bill, which passed the Senate before dying in the House. At least for a few months. Here he is in April.

The bill passed the Senate but died in the House. For the past two years, Rubio has been all over the map on immigration, but clearly tending more right, as he has sought to court – again – the right wing tea party voters that helped him win his Senate seat in 2010. The Post had a very good summary earlier this year of Rubio’s long and winding road on the issue.

Now, however, trying to woo the increasingly loopy right wing base of the Republican Party, Rubio has gone over the cliff. He’s backing an effort by Ted Cruz – yes, you read that right – to increase penalties for deported individuals who later reenter the country.

Sen. Marco Rubio is backing a push to increase penalties for undocumented immigrants who reenter the country after previously being deported.

 The Florida Republican signed onto legislation from fellow 2016 White House hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday, according to the Congressional Record.

 Under Cruz’s legislation, undocumented immigrants face additional prison time if they reenter the country after being deported, including a minimum five-year sentence if they were previously convicted of an aggravated felony or of illegally reentering the country twice. 

 The Texas Republican is expected to come to the Senate floor next week to try to pass the legislation — which is referred to as Kate’s Law after Kathryn Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Francisco allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had already been deported five times. 

Rubio’s comment?

“No one involved in this debate understands this issue better than I do,” Rubio told Newsmax TV’s “The Hard Line.” “I understand immigration, the good, the bad and the ugly, but this part is not good — this part about people who are openly violating our laws.” 
Rubio has received skepticism from conservatives over his role in a 2013 immigration reform proposal, which he has since distanced himself from. 

Rubio has held virtually every position imaginable on immigration. He is now pandering to the right wing in a pathetic attempt to gain votes with the nutty fringe. Cowardice doesn’t begin to describe the repeated changes in direction that Rubio has attempted just in the past two years.

I give Jeb Bush credit for not pandering to the right on immigration and other issues. Rubio deserves no such praise. He’s a fraud, a huckster, a grifter and a transparent phony. Shame on the Republicans if they nominate him and shame on the Democrats if he isn’t roasted alive if he does manage to be the nominee. Any oppo guy worthy of the name will have a field day with this clown.

I’m Off The Scott Walker Bus

Since the early days of the 2016 campaign, I was concerned about the appeal of Scott Walker to the Republican squads of flying monkeys. He’s crazy and dangerous and corrupt, but he’s managed to keep a lot of his worst crazy under the radar. And he looks and talks like a sane and rational guy to the average voter with a 10 second attention span. As the governor of a Midwestern swing state, he’d have appeal all across the rust belt, in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota, key linchpins of recent Democratic presidential wins.

Boy, was I wrong. If Donald Trump can claim one scalp so far, it is definitely the Walker campaign. One of Walker’s rules is never to let anyone get to his right. Trying to get to Trump’s right in 2015 has been a fool’s errand, and Walker has often looked like a fool with his trying to out-Trump Trump. Walker has cratered in the polls, falling in Iowa from the mid-teens to the mid-single digits.

Today, he may have etched the tombstone of his campaign. Appearing on Meet the Press, Walker decided that building a wall along the Mexico border wasn’t enough.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is putting a new twist on the topic of securing the border, a staple among the GOP candidates running for president, by pointing north.

Walker said in an interview that aired Sunday that building a wall along the country’s northern border with Canada is a legitimate issue that merits further review.
Republican candidates for president have often taken a get-tough approach on deterring illegal immigration, but they usually focus on the border with Mexico. Walker was asked Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether he wanted to build a wall on the northern border too. Walker said some people in New Hampshire have asked the campaign about the topic.

“They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at,” Walker said.

Thanks for playing, Governor Walker. Why don’t you go with these gentlemen in the white uniforms to a nice quiet place for a little rest?

I’m off the Walker bus. To regular readers, this will come as no surprise, but I’m a Tailgunner Ted Cruz guy now. Even if he believes that as a Jew, I’m only here to serve as cannon fodder for the apocalypse and ensuing rapture. Hey, at least I had the good sense to marry a Texan, right?

I think Ted Cruz has got what it takes to win over the delusional rabble that is what’s left of the once-great Republican Party.

Jeb Can’t Stop Talking

and boy oh boy, thank goodness for that. First it was a reference to “anchor babies” in the context of Mexican immigrants, then yesterday it was “no, no, you didn’t understand me, I was really trying to insult Asians.” This guy is a walking, talking quote machine for oppo researchers.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Monday dismissed the controversy surrounding his use of the term “anchor baby” during a visit to this U.S.-Mexico border town, saying that he merely used the term to describe instances in which non-Americans abuse the law to gain citizenship for their children, and that it is more prevalent among Asians.

“What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there is organized efforts — and frankly it’s more related to Asian people — coming into our country, having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of a noble concept, which is birthright citizenship,” Bush told reporters during a press conference at Palenque Grill in McAllen.

Bush is doing something I didn’t think possible – making Donald Trump sound like the thoughtful guy in the conversation. Please, Jeb, do go on. Explain it to me again. 

More On Birthright Citizenship

Further to yesterday’s post, there are a whole bunch of other idiots besides Scott Walker running for president in the Republican Party. Thankfully.

Here is the list of Republican candidates who have at least suggested openness to ending birthright citizenship, which would mean repealing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution: Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Santorum. That’s nearly half the GOP field, and more may be added to the list.

The 14th Amendment states in part: “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.” It was passed after the Civil War to ensure that former slaves had all the legal rights of other citizens. You can’t end birthright citizenship without repealing it. That means that no matter who gets elected in 2016, birthright citizenship is not going to be eliminated. The bar is so high for amending the Constitution that it’s impossible to imagine any amendment this controversial getting ratified, which is as it should be.

But the political impact is going to be very real, whether or not the idea goes anywhere in practical terms. The simple fact is that if Republicans don’t improve their performance among Hispanic voters, they cannot win the White House. Period.

This discussion about birthright citizenship sends an incredibly clear message to Hispanic voters, a message of naked hostility to them and people like them. It’s possible to argue that you’re “pro-immigrant” while simultaneously saying we should build more walls and double the size of the Border Patrol. Indeed, many Republicans do, and while their argument may not be particularly persuasive, it’s not completely crazy. But you can’t say you’re pro-immigrant and advocate ending birthright citizenship. You just can’t.

(my emphasis). This is precisely right. So keep on talking, guys. And the half of the candidates that haven’t said anything yet? Speak up, we can’t hear you.

Alas there will be at least one GOP candidate who wants to get some Hispanic votes.

Scott Walker Is An Idiot

Over the weekend, while eating corn dogs at the Iowa State Fair, the bought and paid for governor of the formerly great state of Wisconsin was asked by MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt: “Do you think that birthright citizenship should be ended?”

A simple question – if you’re not a moron. Birthright citizenship refers to the provision of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

“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.”

Walker, having switched his position on immigration more frequently than he changes clothes, in a transparent effort to be even more of a right wing nutball than he already is, responded:

“Well, like I said, Harry Reid said it’s not right for this country. I think that’s something we should — yeah, absolutely, going forward.” 

The Harry Reid reference is to a proposal offered by Reid some 25 years ago, not passed, and since repudiated by the Nevada senator.

Hunt pressed the question, asking Walker whether the U.S. should deport the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants – which would be the whole point of getting rid of birthright citizenship.

Walker, clearly having no idea what he was talking about, responded: “I didn’t say that — I said you have to enforce the law, which to me is focusing on e-verify,” which has nothing whatsoever to do with birthright citizenship, which would require a constitutional amendment.

The good lord save us from morons like Scott Walker.