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Dan Kowalski
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Dan Kowalski, editor of Bender's Immigration Bulletin and online editor of the LexisNexis Immigration Newsroom, has been practicing immigration law since 1985. He is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Justice Journalism and is on the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Law Center. He practices law at The Fowler Law Firm in Austin, Texas.

Entries by Dan Kowalski

When a U.S. Passport Just Isn't Good Enough

(15) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Most of us think a U.S. passport is the "gold standard" of proof of American citizenship. Think again.

All three "flavors" of American citizens -- native-born, naturalized and those born abroad -- may apply for U.S. passports, but only native-born Americans may use their passports to prove their...

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No Bond for Babies

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 9:49 AM

Channeling former Attorney General John Ashcroft's 2003 edict to deny bond to Haitian refugees, ICE lawyers in immigration courts are arguing for "no bond" orders against mothers and children fleeing gang violence, poverty and chaos in Central America.

As reported by John Stanton and

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The Refugee Option Obama Will Ignore

(0) Comments | Posted July 5, 2014 | 2:58 PM

Under existing law, with the stroke of a pen, President Obama could solve the current crisis of the Central American children coming to America without visas. He could, and should, declare most or all of them to be refugees under Section 207(b) of the Immigration & Nationality Act,...

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Path to What, and When?

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:50 PM

House Speaker John Boehner is set to unveil his counter to the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. The one-page GOP set of principles could be aired just prior to President Obama's State of the Union speech on January 28th.

Observers focus on whether or not the GOP plans...

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Numbers: The Hard Truth About Immigration Reform

(1) Comments | Posted March 17, 2013 | 3:51 PM

'Comprehensive Immigration Reform,' a.k.a. CIR, seems to be on a roll. The Gang of Eight in the Senate and a similar cabal in the House claim they will release bills in April. I hope they do.

But all CIR bills will fail unless they confront one central truth:...

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The Shape of Immigration Reform: It's Not About Votes

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 10:31 AM

Everyone says Congress and President Obama will tackle -- and solve -- immigration reform just as soon as the 'fiscal cliff' crisis is averted (or not.)

Just how that will be done is the 12 million -- not dollars, but unauthorized immigrants' -- question.

I've been...

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Why 'Securing the Border First' Is Backwards

(4) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 2:40 PM

Many in Congress and the media advocate "securing the border first," then reforming our immigration laws later, after the border is "under control." They've got it precisely backwards.

Here's a helpful analogy. Think of a two-lane country road with a 20 MPH speed limit. Over time...

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Connect the Dots

(22) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 2:00 PM

In May 1997, a team of four U.S. Marines shot and killed an 18-year-old U.S. citizen. He was herding goats just outside the tiny town of Redford, Texas, on the Mexican border. The Marines thought he was a drug smuggler.

Last week a Border Patrol officer died in...

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Cakes for Strippers, Crumbs for DREAMers?

(17) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 12:12 PM

Everyone knows life is unfair, but sometimes it just smacks you in the face. That's my reaction to the 'news' that Bettina May, a Canadian model who makes her living by putting on makeup and vintage clothing, and then removing the clothing, just got a green card for,...

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DREAMers: Avoid Notarios and Other Scammers

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 3:10 PM

We're not finished cheering, hugging and laughing with joy, but the hard-nosed among us are raising a red flag: DREAMers who may be eligible for Deferred Action and work permits under the new policy announced by DHS and President Obama need to protect themselves from

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Call Them 'Unauthorized'

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 11:24 AM

To paraphrase the very model of the modern Dr. Strangelove, Donald Rumsfeld, "Would the world come to an end if we stopped using the term 'illegal immigrant'? Answer: No." Neither would the world end if the news media kept right on using it forever, as The Associated Press...

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Presidential Timbre

(3) Comments | Posted October 11, 2008 | 12:34 PM

When you hear the sound of Barack Obama's voice, how does it make you feel? How about the sound of John McCain's voice?

Musicians talk a lot about 'timbre,' the overall quality of a sound, be it vocal or instrumental. And if pressed, most musicians will admit that the...

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Back of the Line, Back of the Bus...or Just Plain Backward?

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2008 | 9:03 PM

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama posted a short Op-Ed piece in today's Charlotte Observer on immigration, advocating tough borders for us, and tough love for them -- the 12 million undocumented. It's a document designed to please both "sides" of the immigration "debate" -- as if the issue can be...

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Pandering Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

(2) Comments | Posted February 26, 2008 | 4:21 PM

I had a "way homer" moment returning from the Clinton/Obama debate in Austin last week. Both candidates were questioned about their 2006 votes in favor of the Secure Fence Act. HRC got off an applause line by blaming the Bush Administration for how "absurd" the...

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Huck Turns Tough on Immigration

(53) Comments | Posted December 9, 2007 | 6:01 PM

The following piece is produced by HuffPost's OffTheBus.

Lest he be mistaken for a "compassionate conservative," Mike Huckabee decided to take a ride on the anti-immigrant Tancredomobile. With timing some of his handlers must be labeling as unfortunate, Huckabee, on the eve of the Univision debate in...

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Spitzer's Immigration Surrender

(47) Comments | Posted November 18, 2007 | 2:49 PM

The following piece is part of an ongoing series of HuffPost's OffTheBus reports by citizen policy experts critiquing different aspects of Campaign '08.

It seemed like such a good idea. And the security experts - Richard Clarke, Margaret Stock - thought so too. The idea? "[A]n

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Unpacking "Sanctuary Cities"

(18) Comments | Posted October 7, 2007 | 2:45 PM

The following piece is part of an ongoing series of OffTheBus reports by citizen policy experts critiquing different aspects of Campaign 08.

In the Democratic presidential candidates' debate at Dartmouth on September 26, 2007, Hillary & Co. were asked if they would "allow sanctuary cities...

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False Start: Obama on Immigration Reform

(6) Comments | Posted September 26, 2007 | 8:48 AM

The following piece was produced through OffTheBus, a citizen journalism project hosted at the Huffington Post and launched in partnership with NewAssignment.Net. For more information, read Arianna Huffington's project introduction. If you'd like to join our blogging team, sign up here If you're interested in other opportunities,...

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