More Small Steps To Immigration Reform

The

cakewalk
is over for open borders enthusiasts.

The immigration reform movement has
gotten

smarter
and more resilient during the last year. And
as our numbers have increased, so has our influence.

In my recent column Immigration:
The Line Holds in Congress
,”
I reported that a
coalition of concerned Americans had wrestled Congress to
a draw over two

terrible bills
, the

Save Our Summer Act of 2004
and the AgJOBS bill, a de
facto

amnesty
for as many as 3 million Mexican illegal
aliens.

Because activists put heavy pressure
on Congress, the bills

never came up for a vote.

Still smarting from those defeats,
the

immigration enthusiasts
are

gearing up
for a renewed attack on common sense when
Congress reconvenes in September.

But I believe our victories
registered on Capitol Hill are part of a bigger and
equally encouraging picture that is playing out
nationwide.

From many examples, I`ll cite three.


  • Maria Christina Rubio

Rubio is a Mexican national deported
in July after officials found that her presence in the US
violated her 1997 deportation order. At the time of her
deportation, Rubio was eight months pregnant.

The usual suspects spared no effort
to get Rubio back into the US.

Her lawyer, Luis Carrillo, asked
that Rubio be allowed to return for humanitarian reasons.
Carillo, citing the
14th Amendment, further argued that since
Rubio`s

unborn child
could survive outside the womb, he is
already a U.S. citizen. Therefore, concluded Carillo, he
should not have been deported.

But Immigration and Customs
Enforcement rejected all pleas. According to an ICE
representative, Virginia Kice, the argument that the
fetus is a citizen is invalid because unborn babies are
not granted citizenship.

Said Kice
about

14th Amendment citizenship:

“All
persons born or naturalized in the United States are
considered citizens. It doesn`t say all persons who were
conceived in the United States."

Is a fetus a citizen? Deportation case may decide, 
Associated Press, August 1, 2004

ICE rejected a half a dozen tired
arguments that frequently carry the day in these kinds of
tear-jerking stories—that Rubio, a pregnant woman with
pressing medical conditions, will be separated from her
family, including her two young children; that she will
have to find medical care in Mexico; that she was
improperly represented during her initial deportation
proceeding, etc. etc.

But for a change, the

sob stuff
fell on deaf ears.

And, of course, it`s sweet when an

immigration lawyer
takes one on the chin. Carillo,
complaining of what he referred to as the lack of
compassion of immigration officials,

whined
:

“The laws are very harsh, and
they lead to

separation of families
. They should have had
compassion that Friday and never put her on that bus

[to Tijuana] … they should have told her to come back
Monday with her attorney.”

This is a sad story. But the blame
lies with Rubio, who broke American laws to come here—and
with American immigration enthusiasts, from the

court house
to the

White House
, who allowed her to think that our laws
don`t matter.


  • Voluntary Interior Repatriation of Mexican Nationals

This Department of Homeland Security
program will transport willing illegal aliens from Mexico
back to their homes. Even among immigration reform
advocates, it is controversial.

We have for years been begging the
federal government to deport aliens. So although this
repatriation program is only a tiny step limited to a few
flights a week from the Arizona-Sonora region, I view it
as a sign of raised awareness among federal officials
that the US cannot forever be a sponge for every alien
who
sneaks across the border.

The DHS hopes that those returned
deep into Mexico
will think twice before paying a coyote for another
effort to enter the US.

However, my friend and vastly more experienced
VDARE.COM colleague Juan Mann takes a dimmer view of what
he calls VRs:

“Voluntary return or "VR" by the U.S. Border Patrol
allows Mexicans to go home scot-free, without being
subject to the bars against adjustment of status built
into the immigration law for aliens who are either
formally removed in Immigration Court, or who receive an
`expedited removal` order under Immigration Act Section
235(b).”

Although I understand Juan Mann`s point, I am sticking
with my more optimistic take.  I look at VRs as a
politically correct version of

“Operation Wetback.”

In any
case, as noted above, we`ve been demanding

illegal alien deportation
.  At least we`ve got
something.

Repatriation, which will be reevaluated after it expires
on September 30th, may be the start of
something big.

Who
knows, maybe daily flights from

your city
to Mexico will begin in October.


  • Montserrat

In
1995,

volcanic eruptions
forced more
than 7,000 people t
o flee this Caribbean island.
About 300 residents found their way to the United States
where they were granted Temporary Protected Status.

But now
the Department of Homeland Security has ordered the
Montserratians to leave the US by February 27, 2005. It
has declared that volcanic eruptions—still
occurring
eight years later—could no longer be
considered a “temporary” environmental disaster.[DHS
press release,


PDF
]

Commenting, a Homeland Security official stated:

“It [volcanic activity] no longer constitutes a
temporary disruption of living conditions that
temporarily
prevents Montserrat from adequately
handling the return of its nationals.” [

U.S. Is Ending Haven for Those Fleeing a Volcano
,

by Nina Bernstein, New York Times, August 9, 2004]

From a
philosophical perspective, this is a huge announcement
that should delight us. Even though it applies to only an
infinitesimally small number of immigrants, the
deportation order may indicate that the concept of
Temporary Protected Status will be comprehensively
reviewed.

Or
better yet—eliminated! VDARE.COM readers will remember
the

fraud and multiple extensions
that were common in the
late 1990s when TPS was extended to Hondurans and
Nicaraguans.

Preposterously, the Hondurans and Nicaraguans are still

legally here
waiting for their next deadline, January
5, 2005.

No
matter how much or how little weight you give to the
three cases I`ve outlined, the bottom line on each of
them is: “We`re

Sending You Home
!”

We
would all like immigration reform to be sweeping and
dramatic. But we have some way to go before it`s the subject
of a

State of the Union
address.

The
examples I`ve given you do, however, represent how we
will ultimately prevail—by building a foundation of

small victories
that will pave the way for more
consequential ones.

As we
accumulate successes—which will include Congressional
wins—we`ll gradually add to the Immigration Reform
Caucus. More members seem certain in 2005.

Finally, by the end of the decade, tough talk about
immigration reform will be commonplace across a broad
political spectrum.

The
immigration disaster we face today has evolved over 40
years. It will take time to turn it around,

as it did
at the time of the last, 1880-1920s,

Great Wave.

But
it`s happening.

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.