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Latino Groups Sue For Quicker Right To Vote

From those lovers of open and honest elections at the New York Times:

Latinos Seek Citizenship in Time for Voting


March 7, 2008

A lawsuit filed Thursday in a federal court in New York by Latino immigrants seeks to force immigration authorities to complete hundreds of thousands of stalled naturalization petitions in time for the new citizens to vote in November.

The class-action suit was brought by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund on behalf of legal Hispanic immigrants in the New York City area who are eager to vote and have been waiting for years for the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services agency to finish their applications. The suit demands that the agency meet a nationwide deadline of Sept. 22 to complete any naturalization petitions filed by March 26.

Latino groups hope to summon the clout of the federal courts to compel the Bush administration to reduce a backlog of citizenship applications that swelled last year. According to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, more than one million citizenship petitions were backed up in the pipeline by the end of December, the majority from Latino immigrants…

“The reality is that large numbers of Latinos will not be able to vote in the elections because of these delays,” said Cesar A. Perales, president of the defense fund. “Now the world will know that the Latino community expects the Bush administration to get this done on time.” …

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, asserts that the agency violated immigrants’ due process rights by routinely failing to finish their applications within a 180-day time period that Congress has set as a standard. It also asserts that the Bush administration did not follow regulatory procedures in November 2002 when it ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to deepen its background checks of citizenship applicants.

Foster Maer, a lawyer for the defense fund, said it would soon file motions asking the court to order the agency immediately to meet the September deadline, which is intended to leave new citizens time to register to vote.

Manuel Martinez, 35, a legal immigrant from Mexico who is a plaintiff in the suit, filed his petition in January 2006. It has been delayed because the F.B.I. has not completed the required background check, he said. He said he suspected the problem was that he has a common Hispanic name.

“I want to be a citizen yesterday, not tomorrow,” said Mr. Martinez, who has lived in the United States since 1990. “I am really worried about the economy, and the deficit is too much. I need to vote.” …

“It is astonishing the government should be so unresponsive to immigrants who have enthusiastically taken all the steps to become Americans,” said Janet Murguía, president of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino group that supported the suit.

Hey, who cares how many criminals, child molesters or terrorists we let into the country? If it means more votes for the Democrat Party, what is the problem?

Does anyone remember how Al Gore the Democrats forced through the processing of who knows how many immigrants just in time for the 2000 election? Funny how the New York Times doesn’t bother to mention that.

But speaking of the New York Times and its famous objectivity:

According to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, more than one million citizenship petitions were backed up in the pipeline by the end of December, the majority from Latino immigrants…

Behold how accurate this is, from MPI’s profile at Discover The Networks:

Migration Policy Institute

By John Perazzo

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is a self-described “independent, non-partisan, non-profit think-tank” that “provides analysis, development, and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national, and international levels.” MPI was established in 2001 by Kathleen Newland and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, when the International Migration Policy Program (IMPP) of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace became an independent entity. IMPP conducted migration policy briefings, policy roundtables, luncheon seminars, and study advisory groups aimed at influencing policy-makers and program officials in Washington, DC.  MPI has continued its predecessor’s tradition by supporting: (a) “self-governance at the border,” whereby communities that straddle a national border manage their own affairs rather than being forced to abide by policies set in Washington; (b) a more permissive U.S. refugee admissions and resettlement policy; and (c) increased social welfare benefits for illegal immigrants residing in the United States.

MPI has also continued IMPP’s effort to erase the border between the U.S. and Mexico; to move beyond “absolute notions of sovereignty”;  to recognize “a clear convergence in the labor markets of both countries [and] the re-conceptualization of the common border and the border region as a line of convergence rather than separation”; and to create “a North America with gradually disappearing border controls … with permanent migration remaining at moderate levels.”

In April 2002 MPI issued a paper by then-Co-Director (and current President) Demetrios Papademetriou, who formerly served as Director for Immigration Policy and Research at the U.S. Labor Department during the Clinton administration. This paper advocated that the United States should strike a “grand bargain” with Mexico that would include: (a) a registration program for illegal immigrants living in the U.S., to be followed by an “earned regularization” (or legalization) program for all registrants; this program would include a “Mexicans-first” clause but would also make the option available to other nationalities in phases; (b) a broad U.S. temporary worker program for new Mexican workers; and (c) an expedited family reunification provision to bring immediate family members of “unauthorized” immigrants from Mexico to the United States with all the legal protections and worker rights enjoyed by legal U.S. residents. This “grand bargain” would not impose on Mexico any new obligation to discourage its citizens from illegally emigrating to the United States.

On October 2, 2003, MPI sponsored a talk by political science professor Wayne Cornelius, who also serves as Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC-San Diego, on “U.S. Border Enforcement Strategy.” Cornelius holds that the best way to reduce illegal immigration is “to transform as many as possible of today’s — and tomorrow’s — illegal aliens into legal immigrants, whether they are here as permanent settlers or just temporary workers who cannot or do not want to spend the rest of their lives in the United States.”

MPI has steadfastly opposed the Patriot Act and other post-9/11 security efforts as “measures more commonly associated with totalitarian regimes.” According to its report America’s Challenge: Domestic Security, Civil Liberties and National Unity After September 11: “The U.S. government’s harsh measures against immigrants since September 11 have failed to make us safer, have violated our fundamental civil liberties, and have undermined national unity. … Rather than relying on individualized suspicion or intelligence-driven criteria, the government has used national origin as a proxy for evidence of dangerousness. By targeting specific ethnic groups with its new measures, the government has violated another core principle of American justice, the Fifth Amendment right to equal treatment.” The panel writing this report included Ishmael Ahmed, Executive Director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services; Charles Kamasaki, Senior Vice President of the National Council of La Raza; Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union; Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum; and James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute. Heading the study were (a) MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, who was the Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service during the Clinton Administration; and (b) MPI Senior Analyst Muzaffer A. Chishti, a former Board Chair of the National Immigration Forum and a current Board Member of the National Immigration Law Center.

MPI receives financial support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Global Development, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, the Ford Foundation, the European Commission, the European Union Delegation to the United States, the Fannie Mae Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the government of Italy, the government of Mexico, the JEHT Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Council of State Legislatures, the Open Society Institute, the South East Asian Resource Action Center, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Note the players who are ultimately behind this, especially:

MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, who was the Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service during the Clinton Administration.

That is the same Mrs. Meissner who was behind the Al Gore ‘Voter Mill’ initiative mentioned above:

In order to “get the results the Vice President wants,” Farbrother asked INS Deputy Commissioner Chris Sale to sign or have INS Commissioner Doris Meissner sign an order to “waive INS rules and regulations” for the agency’s district directors. Sale then gave “full authority to waive, suspend, or deviate from [Department of Justice] and INS non-statutory policies, regulations, and procedures” as long as laws were not broken.

On March 26, Mrs. Meissner increased Citizenship USA funding by 20 per cent, giving district directors “full authority over these funds” as well as “full authority to determine the most appropriate, expedient methods” in hiring new employees. At the same time, production goals were increased 40 per cent, to 814,000, for April -September 1996…

But it is all “non-partisan” of course.

The Times has spoken.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 7th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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