Friday, November 5, 2010

Where is immigration reform now after the election?

To say that Democrats got their heads handed to them during the midterm elections would be putting it rather kindly; in addition to securing a whopping 690 state legislative seats, the GOP victory tally also features approximately 60 seats in the house.

Already a somewhat sobered President Barack Obama has conceded that the loss of the stronghold, which his administration enjoyed in the House, now requires a re-working of the strained working relationships between Democrats and Republicans.

This now begs the question what will happen to the much-discussed idea of immigration reform. Prior to the GOP victory, the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law was held up as a sign of all that was wrong with conservative politics. Yet Gov. Jan Brewer's re-election against the backdrop of the immigration debate cements what Congress might not have wanted to hear: Americans support legal immigrants but do not take kindly to having an administration turn a blind eye to illegal immigration.

With immigration a major talking point in numerous midterm races -- and immigration reform wisely put off until after election day 2010 -- there is little consensus as to where to go from here.

Perhaps a bit cocky in the wake of the resounding GOP victory, Republican Lamar Smith from the Texas 21st U.S. House district predicts that reform may be put off in favor of border enforcement. Staunchly opposing the administration's hints at wanting to set up a "path to citizenship" that would legalize virtually millions of illegal immigrants currently living and working in the United States, the GOP victory may point toward the road blocks that immigration reform must face at this time.

Truth be told, it is short-sighted to assume that illegal immigration will be a topic that now slinks into the background. While the victories of GOP candidates running on an anti-illegal immigration platform in general -- and Jan Brewer's gubernatorial victory in particular -- may give the impression that reform is off the table and enforcement is the call of the hour, there were plenty of candidates for whom illegal immigration was an insurmountable stumbling block. Cases in point were Sharron Angle, who failed to give Harry Reid his marching papers, and also Meg Whitman, whose ambiguous stance on the issue most likely cost her a good portion of the conservative and also independent vote.

After the new congressional members are sworn in and have picked out their drapes and rugs, it is crucial to remember that immigration reform is still every bit as much of a talking point among the electorate as it was prior to the midterm elections. If Congress and the administration fail to act on this understanding and choose to put illegal immigration on the back burner once again, the trouncing at the next presidential election may be of biblical proportions.


Australian government not only shelters thug illegals from justice but approves their refugee claims and releases them into the community

Given their behaviour, there is a clear likelihood that the thugs concerned are former Tamil Tiger terrorists

A Perth magistrate says the immigration department "effectively sabotaged" police investigations into a riot by detainees on Christmas Island and allowed key players to escape justice.

Magistrate Stephen Malley on Thursday also criticised federal police as he delivered his verdicts on charges against five Sri Lankan Tamil detainees following the riot at the detention centre on November 21 last year.

He said it was "bizarre" that within 48 hours of the extremely violent confrontation, the immigration department shipped off 40 detainees to the mainland, many of whom were involved in the violence. The actions of the department "effectively sabotaged" investigations into the riot by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Mr Malley said.

The Perth Magistrates Court heard that Afghan detainees were violently set upon by Sri Lankan detainees following a dispute between the two groups. Mr Malley said rioters armed themselves with tree branches, pool cues, mop handles, chairs and parts of soccer goal posts that were dismantled during the violence.

He said that following the riot the immigration department showed "little or no regard whether those they were releasing committed serious or criminal acts". Those more seriously involved were in effect "assisted to evade prosecution", the magistrate said. The department showed "reckless disregard" for the significance of the events and had given limited assistance to the AFP, he said.

Mr Malley also said video interviews conducted by police were "poorly done and in most instances worthless" while photo boards used for identification were inadequate.

He found that staff employed by the firm Serco, charged with running the centre, were "not well trained in the manner in which to deal with these events".

Originally 11 Sri Lankans were put on trial over the riots but six had charges against them dismissed. Mr Malley said the case had been frustrating for the court given the inadequacy of the investigations and the "considerable money" invested in bringing lesser players before the courts.

The magistrate found two of the five Sri Lankans guilty on charges of rioting and weapons possession and another guilty of possessing a weapon. On the rioting charges, Pranavan Sivasubramaniyam and Anburajan Anton were given six-month jail sentences suspended for six months. They and Gnararajah Jesurajah were put on good behaviour bonds of $500 on the weapons possession charges. Anantharajeevan Thangarasha and Kokilakumar Subramanian were found not guilty on the charges against them.

The court heard the riot started in a compound at the detention centre and spread onto the sports oval. Sri Lankans, agitated over an earlier confrontation in which Tamils were injured, gathered and pursued outnumbered Afghans, bashing many of them in a "violent confrontation based on racial lines", Mr Malley found. "The evidence is of a running battle, with Afghanis retreating towards the medical compound chased by the Sri Lankan detainees."

In sentencing, Mr Malley told the convicted men they had allowed their emotions to affect their better judgment. The five Sri Lankans have been granted refugee status but have been kept in detention in Perth pending the result of their trial. They are expected to be released from detention within weeks.


1 comment:

  1. I was watching the election here in AZ and Jan Brewer did make it a point to let Obama know that he will not be re-elected if he keeps acting like a fool.