CooksonLaw
CooksonLaw

My personal educational background includes Bachelor and Masters degrees in business from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and a law degree from Suffolk University in Boston, MA.  I hold a CPA license in VA, a Law license in MA and a drivers license in CA. In addition I have a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) certification.







I am an independent consultant that facilitates primarily law classes at the University of Phoenix (UoP) and occasionally handles independent consulting activities.

One of my goals is to communicate legalese through clear understandable layman terms such as the following:

USA Immigration

Illegal Immigration

I am against illegal immigration just like many faithful Republicans. Our President has a point, people should come to the land of opportunity legally. 

            The Federal Government of the United States has purview over who shall or shall not enter the United States even if certain states feel that they should make their own decisions regarding immigration. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on this issue fairly recently citing the U.S. Constitution when Arizona was trying to assert their authority in this regard.

Held

1. The Federal Government’s broad, undoubted power over immigration and alien status rests, in part, on its constitutional power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” Art. I, §8, cl. 4, 

Retrieved 24 June 2018 from:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-182b5e1.pdf

            In addition to the President’s supporters citing the fact that immigrants should come here legally they also cite the fact that the immigrants have committed a crime by those illegal border crossings. Illegal and crime are two words that people use to justify any of the actions at the border and preclude the serious consideration of many other factors. Many immigrants become undocumented immigrants by overstaying a legal visa and this is a civil action not a crime. An illegal border crossing is a misdemeanor much like a traffic ticket that many U.S. citizens have in their background.

The parents separated at the border from their children during those illegal crossings are now pleading “culpable” guilty in English to that crime in front of Immigration Judges rather than the claiming asylum that they are actually entitled to claim under U.S. law. They are pleading guilty to a misdemeanor so they can be free to be reunited with their children when they learn that they will be further detained and separated from those children if they wait for that legally authorized asylum hearing. More of them would plead asylum if the separations were halted but that does not fit with the preconceived notions of the current administration. 

Asylum seekers can ask for protection at legal border crossings but it seems we are also turning them away at these checkpoints. Many stories on this fact can be found with a simple Internet search.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have been turning back asylum seekers, most from Central America, for several weeks at El Paso and other ports of entry on the Mexican border. They don’t tell the migrants they can’t apply for asylum, just that they can’t apply right now because the port of entry is at capacity.

Retrieved 24 June 2018 from:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/at-the-us-border-asylum-seekers-fleeing-violence-are-told-to-come-back-later/2018/06/12/79a12718-6e4d-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html?utm_term=.2770cfae6e6a

As indicated the crime committed by those that attempted illegal entry is a misdemeanor and sentencing after that guilty plea is typically confined to time already served in detention waiting for the hearing along with deportation back to their persecuting country. The details of that process are not really important to those that like to use the words “illegal and crime” to justify the treatment of those potential immigrants. It does not matter that they do not have a legal way under today’s immigration laws to enter the USA. The poor, downtrodden, persecuted potential immigrants of today that are similar to our original Pilgrims that were also subject to persecution are now stuck because we refuse to accommodate today’s Pilgrims.

As a side note if an immigrant just overstays their visa for 20 years or so that is just a civil infraction rather than one of those criminal misdemeanor charges. This is a pretty significant difference overlooked by many in their zeal to justify the current border wall mentality.

Potential Worker Accommodations

            I suggest a Passport of the Americas that would allow for workers to move freely in the Americas for work. This would be somewhat similar to the European Union passport. Legal movement of employees, the payment of taxes, a source of cheap labor for jobs that U.S. citizens really do not want, etc. It seemed like the perfect solution to our immigration problem and the very conservative Heritage Foundation also published an article about Guest Workers that was very similar to this idea.

The Real Problem with Immigration

…and the Real Solution

Economic Principles for an Effective

Guest Worker Program

Retrieved 24 June 2018 from:

https://www.heritage.org/immigration/report/the-real-problem-immigration-and-the-real-solution

            Of course, neither politicians from the Republican or the Democratic parties seriously proposed any similar ideas as far as I know. Big business though did push for and achieved an immigration policy that allows for high tech. workers to be recruited for work in the USA via H1B visas.

Requirements for H1B Visa?

As H1B Visa caters to specialized skills category, you need to have a minimum bachelors degree and the job that is offered to you falls under specialized skills category.

Retrieved 24 June 2018 from:

https://redbus2us.com/h1b-visa-basics-requirements-filing-dates-cap-fee-faqs/

Demonization of Immigrants

Politicians successfully demonized immigrants throughout the history of the USA, Irish, Italians, etc. President Trump successfully demonized unauthorized immigrants when in fact they were already in decline: "the overall population of unauthorized immigrants statistically did not change in 2017 from the year before; the total in both years was the lowest since 2004. 

“As the number of unauthorized immigrants shrank by 14% from 2007 to 2017, the U.S. lawful immigrant population continued to grow. During this period, the population of lawful U.S. immigrants – citizens and noncitizens, on permanent and temporary visas – rose by almost a quarter, to 35.2 million.”

Retrieved 26 May 2020 from:

https://www.pewresearch.org/.../us-unauthorized.../

            The Integration of Immigrants into American Society is a source for this following discussion.

Retrieved 26 May 2020 from:

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/21746/the-integration-of-immigrants-into-american-society

Immigrants documented or undocumented 

“Undocumented immigrants are often called “illegal aliens” and many, if not most, Americans believe that it is a crime to reside in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Yet the law is much more complex. Currently it is a civil matter to overstay a visa, a misdemeanor to illegally enter the country, and a felony to re-enter the country after having been previously caught here illegally and deported.”

Immigrants documented or undocumented were entitled to the use of social programs in the past so even if unemployed they could survive in the same manner as their citizen counterparts but unfortunately that changed. “Most immigrants of the past did not face the complexities that the contemporary immigration system poses; when employment opportunities decreased, social programs were implemented to assist immigrants and aid integration (Fox, 2012)…. In 1996 the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death

Penalty Act expanded the conditions under which unauthorized immigrants

in local communities and jurisdictions face exclusion, while restricting even legal residents’ access to social welfare benefits.”

            It is now very difficult to become and even more difficult to stay in the lawful permanent resident (LPR) status that provides citizenship rights and access to social benefits. Immigrants now integrate into our society more than they officially immigrate. “Laws have made it easier to shift from documented to undocumented status but not vice versa”

            Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for any health care benefits but under separate laws emergency rooms in hospitals must treat those in need including childbirths. This is why you see full emergency rooms with people lying on hallway cots in the evening in most big city hospitals. The undocumented come for treatment in the evening so they can go to work the next day. If a U.S. Citizen needs an emergency room they should have their emergency in the morning when it is less busy at the hospital.

“Unauthorized immigrants were 23% (or 10.5 million) of the 45.6 million foreign-born residents in the U.S. in 2017. Despite the decline over the decade, the number of unauthorized immigrants in 2017 was triple the 3.5 million in 1990.”

Retrieved 26 May 2020 from:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/12/us-unauthorized-immigrant-population-2017/

            States control education so undocumented immigrant children can attend school through K12 but in most states there is no in state college tuition available to the undocumented so higher education does have financial barriers. Even if the undocumented do obtain a further education a commensurate job is probably out of reach because of their undocumented status.

            This undocumented status means these 10.5 million people are subject to deportation even though most of them never sneaked across the border. The prospect of deportation means they are afraid to report crimes which is why the concept of “sanctuary city” was born. Unfortunately, sanctuary city along with undocumented has become the mantra of the blame the immigrant for all of our crime and other bad issues movement. This really is no different than blaming Irish and Italian immigrants for many problems in our not too distant past. The Irish were reviled in the 1840s when they arrived in the USA to escape the Potato Famine in Ireland. The Irish were poor and they were Catholic too. The Italians came in the 1880s and it was especially bad because many of them came from Sicily. The Italians were deemed as morally unfit to be Americans even if they were Catholics so the Irish did not like them either. It seems it is easy to blame the foreign immigrant. The immigrant scapegoat is the underlying cause of Brexit in the European Union.

Mixed Status Immigrant Families

            “Mixed-status families take several forms. Many include undocumented

parents and U.S.-born citizen children (or children with varied legal statuses).

Mixed-status families also include unauthorized spouses of either

citizens or LPRs who are barred from legal status… Mixed-status

families arrive at these formations through multiple paths and have varying

opportunities to achieve legal status (Su.rez-Orozco et al., 2011). Some

of these family members are undocumented and have no opportunity to

regularize their status; others hold temporary statuses or other dispensations;

and others are trapped in the long waiting lines and backlogs of the

immigration bureaucracy today…. In 2013, 5.2 million U.S. children resided with at least one undocumented immigrant parent. The vast majority of these children—4.5

million—were U.S.-born citizens, but 775,000 were estimated to have undocumented

status themselves (Passel et al., 2014). Children with undocumented parents constitute nearly one-third of all children of immigrant parents and about 8 percent of all U.S.-born children. Thus, their parents’ legal status can and will affect the prospects of a significant proportion of the U.S.-born second generation…. Undocumented parents, relative to their documented low-income counterparts, experience worse job conditions and live in more-crowded housing conditions, both of which can translate into higher parental psychological distress and diminished learning opportunities for the children,

such as subsidies for quality child care”

Jobs and Immigrants

            Immigrants are typically in great demand as agricultural workers in America. Let’s face it existing U.S. citizens do not want those jobs but farmers need those jobs filed in order to feed us.

“Agricultural Workers have H-2A visas but they have no clear path to LPR or citizenship through their employment. They are not eligible for most federal programs or state benefits, and have no legal right to remain in the country once their contracts expire…. Overall, H-2A workers are encouraged to make their stays temporary and discouraged from putting down roots and integrating. However, many may settle in the United States anyway. Although some may shift their statuses via family ties or other forms of employment with clearer pathways to permanent residence, others may become “undocumented” visa overstayers if they do not leave the country when their visas (and contracts) expire.”

These people have jobs on farms in the USA if they stay so why go home to unemployment and possible persecution?

Deportations are Really Removals

“While many people describe the process of expelling people from the United States as “deportations,” the legal term is “removal.” The Supreme Court ruled in 1893 in Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698 (1893) that “the order of deportation

is not punishment for a crime.” Therefore, undocumented immigrants who are deported do not have “criminal” trials but rather “administrative hearings,” and they are not allowed the protections of U.S. criminal law: the right to a lawyer, the right to a warrant before the police can search them, or other aspects of due process.”

Conclusion

            Political rhetoric continues to draw our attention on this immigration issue but the proposed advancement of true political solutions through any potential amendments to our current immigration rules seems to be few and far between. Our President and his political opponents do keep themselves in the news with divisive attacks on many fronts and that has made them very popular figures for discussion purposes but it seems true political progress on immigration is on hold, at least for now.

 

© 2018 Bernard F. Cookson

 

 

 

CITATION

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2015. The Integration

of Immigrants into American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies

Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/21746

.