At the flick of a … what?

A friend recently showed me a press release from the House Judiciary Committee, titled “at the flick of a switch“. The press release is a little (shall we say) odd, and my first reaction was “wow, somebody hacked the Judiciary Committee’s website”. After clicking around, I realized that it was an honest to goodness press release. All I can say is …, well, wow. The kind of wow that generally follows an uncomfortable period of silence and awkward stares.

The house majority and our president have different ideas about immigration policy; that’s no secret. But the Judiciary committee’s press really feel like a bad temper tantrum, similar to Verizon’s response to the FCC’s Net Neutrality Ruling. I don’t think it’s possible to make a rational response to the Judiciary Committee’s document. So, I’m just going to respond.

I can almost picture their copy writer: “Mom! Barack … he … he took my deportations away. Mom! He … he’s not giving them back to me. Mom! He’s treating the immigrants like … like they were bankers! Mom!”

But let’s take a look at point number one:

1. Right now, one single person – the President of the United States – can turn off the enforcement of our immigration laws unilaterally. For real.

To the best of my knowledge, the enforcement of immigration law is a function of the executive branch; the President is the head of the executive branch; therefore, it follows that the President would have a significant amount of influence over how immigration enforcement is done. Indeed, the President of the united states has a lot of powers. The president can authorize the use of military force. He can authorize drone killings. He’s even got our nuclear missile launch codes. Like it or not, these are things our executive branch can do. I presumed this would be common knowledge, but it’s apparently news to the House Judiciary Committee.

The pictures in the press release are bizarre. For example, the picture under item four looks a lot like the Little Mermaid. What does the Ariel the Little Mermaid have to do with immigration policy? Is the Judiciary Committee planning to deport her? “Sorry ma-am, but you were born in international waters, outside the United States. You’ll have to leave now. Go kiss your children goodbye, and get on the boat”.

Slightly off topic — what are the odds of the Walt Disney Company filing a DMCA takedown notice against the Judiciary Committee, for unauthorized use of their copyrighted materials? Not that we Pirates support the DMCA (we don’t). We just felt the need to point out that even grumpy legislators feel the occasional need to share references to popular culture. We hope this thought crosses their minds, the next time they’re debating changes to copyright law.

The press release’s final point is perhaps the most puzzling.

10. That way, we preserve the rule of law and protect the integrity of our generous immigration system no matter who is in the White House.

This is followed by a picture of Brittany Spears.

Brittany Spears? I had no idea she was running for president.

On the statue of liberty, there is a sonnet that reads “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”; the United States is, quite literally, a nation made of immigrants. Immigration policy is a serious matter, and it affects the lives of many people. It’s unfortunate that “give us your tired” has degenerated to “Get out and stay out”.

Nice going, House Judiciary Committee.

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