As I Was Saying …

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

October 24, 2016

On October 12, my CAPS blog post reported that the Supreme Court had declined rehearing the Obama amnesty case, U.S. v. Texas. The 4-4 tie vote frustrated immigration advocacy groups, and the five million illegal aliens who had hoped to get work permission and other affirmative benefits. I warned that legislation that adversely affects illegal immigrants “ain’t over ‘til the alien wins.”

Alien lobby replies: “Not if we have our way.”

Undeterred by the Supreme Court decision, one New York alien, Martin Jonathan Batalla Vidal, filed suit this summer. Vidal claimed that since he’s not a Texas resident, he shouldn’t be penalized by District Court Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision, which the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld.

I underestimated the alien lobby’s eagerness and tenacity, always a mistake. Although Vidal’s case hasn’t been heard, on the same day of my blog post, immigration advocacy groups filed a suit similar to Vidal’s in Illinois on behalf of Jose Lopez, a Mexican who was brought to Chicago as a young child by his illegal immigrant parents.

Quoted in a Washington Times story, former American Immigration Lawyers Association president David Leopold said: “Their [the aliens] argument is potent but simple: What gives a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, the authority to make decisions that alter their [aliens outside of Texas] lives?”

In my post’s closing sentence, I wrote that should a New York judge rule on behalf of Vidal, the door would be left open to many similar lawsuits from other aliens who live in Obama-sympathetic states.

The Times drew the same disturbing conclusion that I did: “If either one [the New York or Illinois case] is successful, it could ignite a stampede of copycats, creating a patchwork across the country where Homeland Security would have to issue work permits and stays of deportation to some illegal immigrants, but would be barred from approving applications from someone just over the line in another court’s jurisdiction.”


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