Wednesday, March 12, 2008

enforcement through attrition: a success story

The restrictionist strategy of enforcement through attrition claimed another hardworking taxpayer last week. A Brooklyn woman finally gave up her fight to stay in this country. Already past retirement age, she works long nighttime shifts caring for disabled people. Her employers and patients have nothing but praise for her. But the stress of long years of trying to resolve her immigration status, after a string of mistakes committed by USCIS (including at one point sending her a welcome notice signaling the start of permanent resident status, then denying the case without informing her), finally led her to abandon her quest to stay in the country. Nativists everywhere, rejoice—the low-wage ambitions of another softspoken terrorist grandma have been thwarted!

The combination of burdensome and incomprehensible rules, unjustifiably high fees (e.g., $340 for a work permit, often baselessly or mistakenly denied by USCIS, and $585 to appeal the decision—over $1,000 for a bare-bones DIY green card application), race-based decisionmaking cloaked in administrative discretion, and extraordinarily punitive enforcement measures have created a climate of hate and fear. This situation didn’t arise organically, nor is it an inevitable consequence of natural social and economic forces, as restrictionists would have us believe. It is the carefully planned result of years of conservative organizing and legislative action, spearheaded since 1999 by the nativist caucus in the House.

[Continued at Citizen Orange]

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