Ian Smith | All Articles

Ian Smith
Ian Smith
Immigration Reform Law Institute
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      Ian Smith

      Ian Smith is an attorney and lapsed Democrat living in Washington, D.C, and a contributing blogger to the Immigration Reform Law Institute. http://irli.org/

The Centuries-Old History Of Extreme Immigration Vetting

ROMA, TX - APRIL 14:  A Border Patrol agent speaks with Central American immigrant families who crossed into the United States seeking asylum on April 14, 2016 in Roma, Texas. Border security and immigration, both legal and otherwise, continue to be contentious national issues in the 2016 Presidential campaign.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Constitutional law professors gearing up for the new school year are no doubt delighted that something as arcane as the “plenary power doctrine” has gained so much attention in the news lately. The centuries-old English doctrine and the legal underpinning of ideological screening states that the authority of the government over immigration is unquestionably with the executive branch in spite of existing liberty charters, such as the Magna Carta in Great Britain’s case or the Bill of Rights in America’s. No-borders agitators attack extreme vetting of prospective refugees and immigrants as inherently violative of the Constitution, specifically, the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments—the Constitution trumps the executive branch is the essential claim. But besides ignoring the broad range of ideological grounds for exclusion found in our immigration laws, including anarchism, totalitarianism, communism, and terrorism, these critics are displaying a considerable amount of historical illiteracy.

New Asylum Ruling Could Become Trojan Horse For Third-World Fraudsters

3:26 PM 05/13/2016

A recent decision from the highest immigration court in the land may have taken America’s already generous asylum program and turned it into a Trojan horse for fraudsters in the developing world. All at a time when our immigration system’s reeling from gaping national security holes and growing pressure from economic migrants.

Earth Day: A Time To Remember When Tightening The Border Topped The Green Agenda

10:59 AM 04/22/2016

Forty-six years ago today, America held it’s very first Earth Day, an event credited with the birth of the modern environmental movement. The annual observance was intended by the day’s founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, as a time to contemplate our natural world and to encourage efforts to conserve and protect it. Compared to today’s environmental establishment groups, however, Nelson had a more mature understanding of what environmental sustainability really is.

Justice Sotomayor Tips Her Hand In DAPA Case Arguments

4:54 PM 04/19/2016

Those who got up extra early to get in line at the Supreme Court on Monday got to hear oral arguments for the biggest case of the court's term: The Texas-led multi-state challenge against President Obama’s legacy-defining 2014 amnesty. Predictions that the eight-member panel will be split right down the middle with the program being kept frozen (but without a nation-wide precedent being created) went unfazed.

New Bill From Senators Sessions And Johnson Shows Who Truly Has The Moral Authority Over Immigration

6:24 PM 03/03/2016

Last week’s Senate Homeland Security hearing on the continuing unaccompanied minors surge coincided with the introduction of Chairman Ron Johnson and Senator Sessions’ Protection of Children Act (S. 2561), a bill that, among other things, promises to require the government to collect “certain basic information about individuals to whose custody unaccompanied alien children are released.” That provision is no doubt in response to reports from the Associated Press and elsewhere that “overwhelmed U.S. officials” at Health and Human Services, the agency tasked with placing Unaccompanied Alien Minors (UAMs) with sponsors, had been ignoring vetting standards such as fingerprinting, proper identification and criminal background-checks resulting in thousands of the minors being placed in homes where they were sexually assaulted, starved, or forced to work for no pay. Missing from Tuesday’s hearing, however, was any mention of who’s really responsible for the gruesome findings: open-borders activists themselves.

New DHS Rule Will Expand Work Permits To Foreign Guest Workers

1:30 PM 01/13/2016

A highly anticipated rulemaking on immigration that was recently published could provide work permits to over a hundred thousand foreign white-collar workers, according to the rule's drafters inside the Homeland Security department (DHS). Although the 181-page proposed rule, which is now open for public comment, is vague and overly complex, its likely effects on the American middle class are clearly negative. Pro-labor advocates once again need to speak out about what's becoming a common trend in DHS's immigration policy direction.

Immigration Hypocrisy At The UN: When Does Our “Xenophobia” Begin To Look Like Their Europhobia?

11:17 AM 01/04/2016

One week before Christmas marked the 15th anniversary of “International Migrants Day," a United Nations invention commemorating the “courageous expression” of migrants and refugees around the world “who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places.” UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, used the occasion to call for a “global compact on human mobility” while chastising the West by dedicating the day to the “millions [who] have been made into scapegoats and become the targets of xenophobic policies and alarmist rhetoric.” He no doubt had Donald Trump in mind whose plan to temporarily halt adherents to Islam from immigrating to the U.S., Mr. Ban said earlier in the month was an idea that "relied on hate."

Jesse Jackson And The Rainbow PUSH Coalition Should Support Sessions And Other Immigration Patriots

3:16 PM 12/18/2015

This week the Rainbow PUSH Coalition hosted a two-day symposium promoting greater African-American participation in the high-tech space. Speakers include Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chair Rep. G.K. Butterfield who recently called on major IT firms to include more African-Americans in their government relations offices in Washington, D.C. Butterfield and the CBC have made similar calls to the actual operations-side of the tech industry where several leading companies were recently pressured to reveal that fewer than 3 percent of their tech professionals were black.

Grassley Finds Thousands Of Guardians Of Illegal Alien Children Unvetted, Have Criminal Records

4:33 PM 12/07/2015

Last week Senator Chuck Grassley released findings from a DHS-whistleblower that show several thousand of the Unaccompanied Alien Minors (UAM) apprehended at the border over the last two years have been placed with sponsors who have serious criminal records. It’s estimated over 10 percent of UAMs are now living with sponsors previously charged with serious crimes, including child molestation, sexual assault, human trafficking and homicide. Considering the president’s line that the ongoing UAM-crisis is simply about kids “escaping rape and violence," the vetting gaffe’s a cruel bit of irony for those kids now being subjected to possible endangerment.

The 25th Anniversary Of The Immigration Act Of 1990 Is No Cause For Celebration

3:39 PM 12/03/2015

Twenty-five years ago last Sunday President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990. The act would take the revolutionary and needless changes created under the Immigration Act of 1965 and make them dramatically worse. Although the economy was in recession at the time, the 1990 act raised general immigration levels by over 30 percent and increased employment-based entry provisions by three times. In spite of this, it had very little public debate due largely to a serious budget fight between President Bush and the Democrats which shut down the government for a brief time. As former Cornell labor economist Vernon Briggs reflects, this smokescreen together with it being signed on the final day of session, it was “doubtful” any member of Congress actually read the act.

Why Obama Doesn’t Need To Take Any Refugees

1:23 PM 11/19/2015

President Obama, our Emotional Blackmailer-in-Chief, has been on a tear this week casting shame on those political leaders who refuse to bring any Syrian refugees into their constituents' communities. He accused a bipartisan group of governors of being hypocritical by (oddly) stating it that was “those folks themselves” who came “from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution.” Although it's unlikely any of the governors in question actually descended from refugees (immigrants and settlers, perhaps) the emotional blackmail was once again laid on thick over an American public rightly concerned about the 74 terrorist attacks foiled in this country since 9/11.

Does Paul Singer Think Open Borders For America Will Be Good For Israel?

12:03 PM 11/04/2015

The recent news of hedge fund-billionaire Paul Singer picking Marco Rubio as his candidate for President might start a sorely needed dialogue long ignored within the GOP establishment. Along with Singer’s other favored choice, Jeb Bush, the New York Times tells us that Rubio reflects the Jewish billionaire’s top issues: open-borders and support for Israel. According to the Times, these are also the biggest issues for major GOP-funder Sheldon Adelson. But are these positions actually compatible? Have people like Singer and Adelson really considered just what an open-borders America might mean for the state of Israel?

Women Are The Staunchest And Most Effective Immigration Patriots

1:23 PM 10/15/2015

Considering the routing Democrats took in last year’s anti-amnesty elections, it’s no surprise conservatives around the country are pushing for Tennessee congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, to jump into the race for House speaker. Ms. Blackburn has been earning the praise of pro-restrictionist Americans for years and her voting record on immigration policy is flawless. If speaker, not only will she inspire working-class voters in despair over the GOP’s weakness on immigration, she’ll have firmly cemented what’s becoming a truism in America: that the staunchest and most effective immigration patriots in the country are women.

Should Illegal Immigrants Count In Drawing Legislative Districts?

12:12 PM 08/06/2015

A potentially ground-breaking voting law case, the most important in 60 years say experts, will be heard by the Supreme Court next term, and it’s sure to raise fundamental questions about the nature of our representative democracy. The case, Evenwel v. Abbott, is asking the court to decide whether state legislative districts with wide disparities in their voting-eligible populations violates the Constitution’s “one-person, one-vote” principle by giving voters in some districts more “weight” than others (See Scotusblog’s just-launched online symposium on the implications of the case here).

Are Illegal Immigrants Diluting The Votes Of American Citizens?

5:46 PM 06/05/2015

Is the House of Representatives the least representative body in the advanced world? Is the constitutional principle of “one person, one vote” truly applicable to our current system? Is excessive immigration diluting our democracy? These are some of the core questions emerging after the Supreme Court agreed to hear Evenwel v. Abbott, a case that could fundamentally alter the congressional redistricting process with the effect that the distribution of electoral power between red and blue states coming out more fair.

Amnesty Advocates Turn On Each Other: The ACLU Versus The U.S. Catholic Bishops

3:27 PM 05/26/2015

Immigration-watchers will have marveled at the recent spectacle of the ACLU attacking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over its failure to provide contraception and abortion referrals to its illegal alien and refugee clients. Both organizations are close comrades when it comes to pushing for open borders. The ACLU is one of the biggest legal advocates for “immigrant rights” while the USCCB is one of the biggest federal contractors of illegal alien “family reunification” and refugee resettlement services. For immigration law enforcement advocates, how this fight pans out isn’t important as it’s long, arduous and as mutually destructive as possible.

The Fifth Circuit Should Keep The Freeze On Obama’s Executive Amnesty

5:17 PM 05/15/2015

With the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals soon deciding on whether to keep the freeze on President Obama’s new and expanded amnesty programs, the Immigration Reform Law Institute along with the Remembrance Project, the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the National Sheriffs’ Association have filed a friend-of-the-court brief outlining some of the weakest and most misleading legal arguments of the DOJ. New research shows the programs are in even more conflict with legal precedent and well-outside the president’s constitutional powers.

The White House And Soros-Backed Open Borders Group Strategize About Bribing Immigrants To Naturalize Before 2016

3:42 PM 04/23/2015

Last week, the White House Task Force on New Americans held a briefing at the Soros-funded, pro-open borders Migration Policy Institute to push its new “Strategic Action Plan on Immigrant & Refugee Integration.” The Task Force, which seeks to ramp up naturalization rates among non-citizens, grew out of one of the dozen bombshell memos dropped on the American public after the midterms last year. Although barely discussed, it may be the most important memo released that day, even more so than Obama’s twin amnesty programs and the ‘New Priorities on Deportations’ memo which rewrote the Immigration and Nationality Act.