More Small Steps To Immigration Reform
cakewalk is over for open borders enthusiasts.
The immigration reform movement has
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
amnesty for as many as 3 million Mexican illegal
Because activists put heavy pressure
on Congress, the bills
never came up for a vote.
But I believe our victories
registered on Capitol Hill are part of a bigger and
equally encouraging picture that is playing out
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
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.
14th Amendment citizenship:
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.
“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
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
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
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
case, as noted above, we`ve been demanding
illegal alien deportation. At least we`ve got
Repatriation, which will be reevaluated after it expires
on September 30th, may be the start of
knows, maybe daily flights from
your city to Mexico will begin in October.
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
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]
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
better yet—eliminated! VDARE.COM readers will remember
fraud and multiple extensions that were common in the
late 1990s when TPS was extended to Hondurans and
Preposterously, the Hondurans and Nicaraguans are still
legally here waiting for their next deadline, January
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!”
would all like immigration reform to be sweeping and
dramatic. But we have some way to go before it`s the subject
State of the Union address.
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
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
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.