The technicality blocking Obama’s immigration order

Excerpt from a Reuters explanation of the tricky technicality forming the basis of the Federal court ruling out of Texas that blocks President Obama’s immigration executive orders from moving forward:

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen avoided diving into sweeping constitutional questions or tackling presidential powers head-on. Instead, he faulted Obama for not giving public notice of his plans.

The failure to do so, Hanen wrote, was a violation of the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act, which requires notice in a publication called the Federal Register as well as an opportunity for people to submit views in writing.

 
There’s a longer, more spelled out version further down in the article.

The other point of interest/concern in this story, not commented upon in the article, is that the lawsuit was brought by 26 state governments. As our writer Sasha examined in an article in December 2014, Republican State Attorneys General have been repeatedly acting in concert to file coordinated, mass lawsuits against the Obama Administration on every conceivable issue. Executive orders and actions have been a particularly favored target.

I don’t know exactly which states are involved in this particular, but I’m betting it’s most (if not all) of the states with Republican Attorneys General (since they control about that many at the moment).

US-Mexico border fence at Tijuana and San Diego by the Pacific Ocean. (Credit: JamesReyes)

US-Mexico border fence at Tijuana and San Diego by the Pacific Ocean. (Credit: JamesReyes)

The Globalist | Political Courage: Merkel Vs. Cameron

The following originally appeared in The Globalist.

In politics, doing the right thing should be done for its own sake, not for tactical reasons.

At the start of the New Year, the world leader who deserves praise in this regard is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In the face of rising anti-Islamic protests in her country – a Dresden hate rally on December 22, 2014 reached a record 17,500 people – she chose to condemn the protests directly in her New Year’s speech.

“There is no place here for stirring up hatred and telling lies about people who have come to us from other countries,” she said.

Merkel added that the protest leaders had “prejudice, coldness or even hatred in their hearts” and observed that their clever rhetoric masks an ugly message that “You don’t belong, because of the color of your skin, or your religion.”

A spokesperson for the Chancellor followed up this pronouncement with the following statement:

“In Germany, there is no place for stirring up hatred against believers, for propaganda against religions of any sort, no place for right-wing extremism, and no place for xenophobia. The entire German government is united in its condemnation of any such thing.”

 
Lest readers believe this was an easy course of action requiring little thought, consider that a new poll by Forsa for Stern magazine. It found that 13% of Germans would attend an anti-Muslim rally in their own community — and 29% believed the rallies were justified.

Cameron’s response

Contrast Ms. Merkel’s determination in the face of a rising tide of xenophobic hate with Prime Minister David Cameron’s positioning. All that he has mustered is a weak rejection, even uncomfortable accommodation, of Britain’s mounting xenophobia and anti-immigrant views in the political sphere and general population.

Mr. Cameron has cowered before the growing power of UKIP and his own party’s more distasteful right wing, as the anti-outside-world politicians in Britain have surged to victories in the EU elections and parliamentary by-elections.

Conclusion

Chancellor Merkel deserves praise for standing fast against political extremism, anti-immigrant activists and anti-Muslim sentiments. Other elected global leaders would do well to learn from her example in the New Year’s speech and actually lead on this issue in 2015.

Pictured: Prime Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, May 2012, watching a Chelsea vs. Munich soccer match during the G8 summit. (White House Photo)

Pictured: Prime Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, May 2012, watching a Chelsea vs. Munich soccer match during the G8 summit. (White House Photo)


Additional note for clarity, for non-Globalist readers: Read more

November 26, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 108

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Topics: Big Ideas for Reforming American Governance – Rethinking Immigration; Volkswagen unionizes in Tennessee; Burkina Faso’s pseudo-civilian government. People: Bill, Nate. Produced: November 26th, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– Big Ideas: On immigration reform, do both Congressional Inaction and Executive Action miss the real causes of the current situation? Should immigration law be rewritten from the ground up?
– Can Volkswagen’s cooperative unionization of Tennessee workers serve as a model for other firms in the US?
– Has the military government of Burkina Faso co-opted the purported transition to civilian rule? Did foreign powers rush the transition?

Episode 108 (56 min)
AFD 108

Related links
Segment 2

AFD: “Volkswagen US still driving toward unionization”
Nashville Public Radio: “Labor Secretary Wants Volkswagen’s Tennessee Plant To Become A Model”

Segment 3

AFD: “Lt. Col. Isaac Zida: The Wolf of Ouagadougou”
War Is Boring (Medium): “Burkina Faso Made the Pentagon Nervous”

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And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

Could Be Worse: Immigration Reform Edition

Tonight I clicked on a BBC headline with a meaning so opaque to me it might as well have been a string of wingdings characters:
Kuwait ‘has Comoros plan for Bidun’

I also clicked because I had been researching Comoros the other day so it caught my attention. But I was actually even more astonished and bemused once I read through the article.

Here’s the problem it turns out Kuwait’s government needs to solve: There are about 100,000 people — referred to as “Bidun” — living unlawfully and long-term in Kuwait without documents from any country. This has been an issue ever since the oil boom started quite a few decades ago. Complicating things, many born there are considered genuinely “stateless” people, since Kuwaiti citizenship is not automatic to every person born on the country’s soil, unlike in the United States and many other countries. A governmental review claims that only 34,000 could already qualify to receive Kuwaiti citizenship. Thus they still needed to figure out what to do with the remaining two thirds.

Kuwait’s solution for that remainder is … to give them all citizenship from the African islands nation of Comoros (off Madagascar). Comoros is a tiny and dirt-poor Arab League member state located in the southern Indian Ocean. It is best noted for having had 20 attempted or successful coups since July 1975 (which is why I was researching the country).

Perhaps even more puzzling in this already oddly capricious and arbitrary plan is that the Bidun wouldn’t actually move to Comoros, they would just receive Comoran citizenship and documents and would be able to stay in Kuwait on economic and other visas … unless deported “home” for criminal activity.

Another fun twist in this plan: Comoros doesn’t even have an embassy in Kuwait yet from which to distribute citizenship papers to all their new patriots.

I mean, I suppose this plan is better than mass deportations, mass enslavement, or mass slaughter — things other countries have employed before for similar problems — but in terms of a comprehensive plan for absorbing a large population of stateless migrants and native-born peoples this has to be one of the most bananas.

It really puts U.S. dysfunction on settling the status of undocumented immigrant populations in a much more charitable light. At least we haven’t tried to solve the issue by making millions of U.S.-born Latinos citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia…yet.

Adapted from Wikimedia by Arsenal For Democracy

Adapted from Wikimedia by Arsenal For Democracy

More anti-EU plans from Cameron after another UKIP win

Following the earlier first-place nationwide triumph this year by the right-wing/anti-European “UK Independence Party” (UKIP) in the 2014 European Union elections, mainstream British politics suffered another serious blow last night, as the first elected UKIP member of the UK parliament was elected in a special election. As with his response to the EU election result, Prime Minister David Cameron yet again handled the situation by immediately ratcheting up rhetoric and policy plans against the European Union (and immigrants), according to the (pro-Conservative) Telegraph:

David Cameron will unveil tough plans to restrict immigration from the European Union within weeks to stop another Ukip MP being elected following Thursday night’s by-election [in Clacton].

Douglas Carswell, a former Conservative, yesterday became the first MP elected to Parliament for Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party following a huge swing in support.

Conservatives warned that the decision by traditional Tory supporters to vote for Ukip would allow Ed Miliband to become Prime Minister if repeated in the general election in 209 days.

Labour narrowly won a second by-election by just 617 votes [over the UKIP candidate] and Mr Miliband is also now facing a major challenge from UKIP in [Labour’s] traditional northern heartlands.

 
The party elite’s right-wing also trumpeted the defeat as a sign that the Conservatives must double-down on anti-immigrant, anti-EU policies and even break up the coalition government with the far more moderate and internationalist Liberal Democrats. While not going that far, Cameron and the ruling government did continue to recast the party toward the euroskeptic position:

The Prime Minister said: “If you vote Ukip, you’re in danger of getting a Labour government with Ed Miliband as prime minister, Ed Balls as chancellor and you’ll get no action on immigration, no European referendum, and obviously – most importantly – you won’t get a continuation of the plan that is delivering success for our economy and security for our people.”
[…]
Brandon Lewis, a communities minister, said that the Tories will put immigration “at the heart” of the renegotiation with the EU to be held before an in-out referendum scheduled for 2017.

He said: “What people are worried about though is migration from the EU, and the Prime Minister made very clear last week that has got to be one of the key things at the heart of renegotiation that we will have before that referendum which we will deliver in 2017.”

 
And after its own close shave in the other by-election, the Labour Party leader also made rumblings of rethinking Labour’s immigration policy:

Mr Miliband conceded that Labour now needs to address “specific concerns” about immigration and denied that he was “complacent”.

 
Miliband is undoubtedly keeping in the back of his mind the situation in France and elsewhere, where traditional far-left, working class communities have gradually abandoned the leftist parties in favor of ultra-right-wing nationalist parties that vow to halt immigration and restore protectionist industrial policies that once helped those workers. Labour is significantly more economically centrist than it once was.
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July 23, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 93

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Topics: Big Ideas in U.S. Reform — Is health care a human right? Central American unaccompanied children. People: Bill, Nate, Greg. Produced: July 20, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– Is health care a fundamental human right? Why or why not?
– What should be done about the wave of unaccompanied children arriving in the United States from Central America without permission?

Part 1 – Health care:
Part 1 – Health care – AFD 92
Part 2 – Unaccompanied children:
Part 2 – Unaccompanied children – AFD 93

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links

AFD: Central American toddlers are existential threat to USA, say militias
AFD: Unaccompanied minors forced to defend themselves in court

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Unaccompanied minors forced to defend themselves in court

America is a special place where we make 6-year-olds who can’t speak English and don’t understand the concept of international borders represent themselves in court because the right to a court-appointed attorney does not include immigration court and they were abandoned by smugglers without adult accompaniment in the country.

Juan David Gonzalez was 6 years old. He was in the court, which would decide whether to expel him from the country, without a parent — and also without a lawyer.
[…]
The young people, mostly from Mexico and Central America, ride to the border on the roofs of freight trains or the backs of buses. They cross the Rio Grande on inner tubes, or hike for days through extremes of heat and chill in Arizona deserts. The smallest children, like Juan, are most often brought by smugglers.

The youths pose troubling difficulties for American immigration courts. Unlike in criminal or family courts, in immigration court there is no right to a lawyer paid by the government for people who cannot afford one. And immigration law contains few protections specifically for minors. So even a child as young as Juan has to go before an immigration judge — confronting a prosecutor and trying to fight deportation — without the help of a lawyer, if one is not privately provided.

So far this year, more than 11,000 unaccompanied minors have been placed in deportation proceedings, nearly double last year’s numbers.
[…]
Judge Achtsam postponed Juan’s proceedings, but he warned the boy and other minors in the courtroom.

“If you do not have a lawyer,” the judge said, “you need to be ready to speak for yourselves at your next hearing.”

Juan left holding the social worker’s hand, grinning proudly when she told him he had done well. But his case was just beginning. Most likely it would end with a final order for his deportation.