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The Politics of Immigration

They're brought into the United States as children by parents who arrive without proper documentation; for a variety of reasons, but all in violation of the law, or enter by visa and overstay their expiration dates, also in violation of the law. Whatever the case may be, all of them are illegal aliens through no fault of their own.

Immigration has been a hot political issue for many years. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was legislated in 1952 and has been amended numerous times since then but no substantial changes in the law have been enacted to solve the problem. At last count, there were over eleven million illegals living in the U.S. and that number is probably at the low end of the actual amount.

During the 2012 presidential race, the Department of Homeland Security, then led by Janet Napolitano announced that the agency will cease the deportation of children of illegal immigrants under certain circumstances. The announcement set off a firestorm between the conservative right and liberal left; even though the new policy would only apply to persons now under thirty years of age who entered the country prior to their sixteenth birthdays. The policy would also apply to either current members of the military, or those that are presently students.

Commenting at a press conference that was held in the Rose Garden of the White House, President Obama spoke about the new immigration policy saying the changes will make the existing regulations "more fair, more efficient and more just… This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix… This is a temporary stopgap measure."

Conservatives were quick to display their outrage. Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham was one of the first to cry foul. In front of the cameras, he accused Obama of trying to win over Hispanic voters. Hispanics are one of the largest increasing voting blocs in the United States. However, his comments were fragile in value as polls at the time showed that Hispanics overwhelmingly supported Obama before the announcement was made.

On his Twitter account, Graham wrote "This is a classic Barack Obama move of choosing politics over leadership." He also used the social media service to say "This decision avoids dealing with Congress and the American people instead of fixing a broken immigration system once and for all."

But from the other side of the isle, Chuck Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois both Democratic senators said procrastination by Congressional Republicans has forced the president's action by giving little consideration to the DREAM Act as well as a filibuster which blocked it in the Senate. Durbin said in a statement that the president's action was "an historic humanitarian moment." and applauded the administration's decision.
Also in contrast, Laura Vazquez, the spokeswoman for a prominent immigration group, remarked "In light of the Congressional inaction on immigration reform, this is the right step for the administration to take at this time."

In Florida alone, there are an estimated two-hundred thousand students who would benefit from the legislation but a Republican majority in Congress criticizes the bill as sponsoring illegal immigration.

Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa released comprehensive statements about immigrants, saying that they were 'evil' marijuana smugglers that have calves the size of "cantaloupes." He did mention that he had sympathy for the "kids who were brought into this country by their parents, unknowing that they were breaking the law." King then went on to say that of the approximate eleven million illegal immigrants in the United States "Some of them are valedictorians… and their parents brought them in. It wasn't their fault. It's true in some cases." He then added with apparent suggestion to the Palaez case, "They aren't all valedictorians. They weren't all brought in by their parents… For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert… Those people would be legalized with the same act."

During his weekly briefing with the press House Speaker John Boehner said King's comments were "offensive and wrong" for him to call young illegal immigrants "drug mules." He was not the only member of a growing bipartisan group of lawmakers to denounce King for his controversial comments.

"There's no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials," said Boehner, R-Ohio. "What [King] said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party."

One case of note, that's been well-publicized by the media, is that of 18-year-old Daniela Palaez, a North Miami High School Valedictorian candidate, who faces deportation even though she was originally brought into the country when she was 4-years old. To read this inspiring article click here.

The law office of Michael B. Cohen, P.A., focuses its foremost energies on cases that are governed under federal jurisdiction. As a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, in full or in part, Mr. Cohen has been a major protagonist in the defense of an extensive expanse of cases litigated in the federal court system. He has frequently handled immigration cases and investigations throughout his tenure as a federal prosecutor and defense attorney, which gives his clients a clear advantage when his services are retained.

With two easily accessible offices, each located in the heart of the Fort Lauderdale and the West Palm Beach Metropolitan areas, Mr. Cohen's assistance is always in close proximity to a client base that resides in Dade and Broward Counties as well as the Palm Beaches. 

Mr. Cohen is skilled in the defense of cases tried by the State of Florida as well as those presented by the federal government. He takes pride in delivering the best possible result for his client's federal protection, as well as having wide-ranging knowledge of the statutory laws of the State of Florida.