June 2 Radio: Immigration Fights at Court and Borders

By Andrew Kreig / Project Director

Margaret Sands OrchowskiThe Washington Update radio show I co-host on June 2 followed up last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding Arizona immigration law by hosting author Margaret (Peggy) Sands Orchowski, Ph.D, right, who published Immigration and the American Dream: Battling the Political Hype and Hysteria. A congressional correspondent, she explored the court decision and the historic background of the field in ways rarely discussed openly within Washington’s establishment.

Hosted with Scott Draughon, the show was heard live at noon (EDT) on the My Technology Scott DraughonLawyer (MTL) radio network, and is now available worldwide by archive. The interview began after our roundup of Washington-related national news. Advisory: Mac listeners need “Parallels.”

The Supreme Court delivered a victory to opponents of illegal immigration May 26 by upholding a law from Arizona that threatens to revoke the business licenses of companies if they knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The ruling was delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts. It rejected the arguments of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which argued that Arizona's effort is preempted by federal immigration law. This ruling is not on a more controversial Arizona immigration law still working its way to the Supreme Court. That law gives police more power to detain and stop those suspected of illegal entry. Dr. Orchowski’s book traces the history of U.S. immigration laws since colonial days. Surprise: The colonies did not have open borders.  Also, the book explains the perplexing paradox of global migration that makes immigration so emotional. Orchowski challenges often-heard (but rarely questioned) mantras, myths, and partisan labeling about our “Nation of Immigrants.”  She reveals the strange political bedfellows pushing immigration reform initiatives. Most important, she briefs readers about the future challenges stemming from immigration management that the U.S. (as every rich country in the world) now faces. Orchowski built a distinguished career as a journalist and research scholar before tackling the seemingly intractable emotions and extreme politics of immigration reform in her unique book, Immigration and the American Dream. She is the congressional correspondent for Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education, a national bi-monthly magazine. Previously, she was bill analysis editor at Congressional Quarterly in Washington, DC and a reporter for the Associated Press in Peru.  Other posts have included journalist assignments in Argentina, Switzerland and her hometown newspapers in Santa Barbara, CA.  She speaks four languages and lived and worked for 10 years abroad.  Book details.

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Below are significant articles on legal reform and related political, security and media factors. The articles, including a strong representation from independent blogs and other media, contain a sample of news. See the full article by cvisting the home page, and visiting News Reports.

Washington Post, Supreme Court upholds Ariz. law punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, Associated Press, May 26, 2011. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an Arizona law that penalizes businesses for hiring workers in the country illegally, buoying the hopes of supporters of state crackdowns on illegal immigration.  They predicted the ruling would lead to many other states passing laws that require employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check that workers aren’t illegal immigrants. And some said the ruling bodes well for the prospects of a much broader and more controversial immigration law in Arizona, known as SB1070, to be found constitutional.

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June 1

Salon Unclaimed Territory, Criminalizing Fee Speech, Glenn Greenwald, June 1, 2011. Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011. Alex Seitz-Wald of Think Progress rightly takes Sen. Rand Paul to task for going on Sean Hannity's radio program -- one week after commendably leading opposition to the Patriot Act on civil liberties grounds -- and advocating the arrest of people who "attend radical political speeches."  After claiming to be against racial and religious profiling, Paul said:  "But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that's really an offense that we should be going after -- they should be deported or put in prison."  Seitz-Wald correctly notes the obvious:  "Paul’s suggestion that people be imprisoned or deported for merely attending a political speech would be a fairly egregious violation on the First Amendment, not to mention due process."

May 31

Washington Post, Supreme Court: Ashcroft not liable in detention of American Muslim post-9/11, Robert Barnes, May 31, 2011. Former attorney general John D. Ashcroft cannot be sued personally for allegedly misusing his power to detain an American Muslim in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, crackdown on suspected terrorists, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday.  But the decision exposed sharp differences among the justices about whether the government went too far when it used a statute meant to ensure that witnesses show up for trial. Civil libertarians alleged that the government used the statute to imprison those whom it suspected, but could not prove, had committed a crime.

May 28

CNN, Mysterious fund allows Congress to spend freely, despite earmark ban, Cole Deines, May 28, 2011. The defense bill that just passed the House of Representatives includes a back-door fund that lets individual members of Congress funnel millions of dollars into projects of their choosing.  This is happening despite a congressional ban on earmarks -- special, discretionary spending that has funded Congress' pet projects back home in years past, but now has fallen out of favor among budget-conscious deficit hawks.  Under the cloak of a mysteriously-named "Mission Force Enhancement Transfer Fund," Congress has been squirreling away money -- like $9 million for "future undersea capabilities development," $19 million for "Navy ship preliminary design and feasibility studies," and more than $30 million for a "corrosion prevention program."