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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. I give him the award for the brief interview conducted of him by 60 minutes last Sunday. This in a segment detailing immigrants who after their American spouses have died, face deportation. These victims of 'The Widow Penalty' include mothers who have children born of their marriages to Americans.

Watch CBS Videos Online

If you don't want to watch the video, here is the exchange between Simon and Chertoff from a transcript at CBS' website.

60 Minutes tried to find out why the government is being so tough on widows, but immigration and its parent agency, Homeland Security declined our requests for interviews. So 60 Minutes went to the top, to a press conference held by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

Asked why his department is refusing U.S. residency to legitimately married widows, Chertoff says, "All I can tell you is, without getting into you know, specific cases and arguing the facts and circumstances that I think the lawyers have an obligation to pursue the matter through the system until we get a final resolution from the courts."

"Four courts, sir, have ruled in favor of the widows. And your department appeals the cases every time," Simon points out.

"I think what you're seeing is a normal part of responsible lawyering, if I may so," Chertoff replies.

Note- lawyers defending these widows have won decisions in four separate court decisions. Lawyers for CIS continue to appeal despite being 0-4.

Is that the best Secretary Chertoff can do, it is what lawyers do? What a defense of a travesty of a immigration policy. Legal Immigrant parents of US citizens are facing deportation, and this is the policy of a Republican administration that ran for office saying it supports family values. Does family values include the breaking up of law abiding families? No wonder voters decided they had enough with Republican idiocies like this and others and voted for a Democratic President for the next four years. For non defense of the widow penalty, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff is today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (11)

What exactly does the Depar... (Below threshold)

What exactly does the Department of Homeland Security actually DO besides grope old ladies, threaten the hell out of everybody at airports and screw over the widows of soldiers?

I can't remember them actually accomplishing anything whatsoever besides mumbling themselves to complete impotence over politically correct groping guidelines. Have they ever CAUGHT anybody? Not counting those poor unfortunates who made the mistake of making fun of the humorless suitcase inspectors. Not counting making everybody walk through security in their stocking feet, dump out every shampoo bottle, and confiscate all those dangerous fingernail clippers.

Seriously, what the hell has Cherthoff accomplished over the last 7 years? How much is his budget again?

Its work to rule."... (Below threshold)

Its work to rule.

"You want us to clamp down on immigration. We'll clamp down on immigration, alright." And then create sob stories due to stronger enforcement. Its blackmail. "We'll deport people in this situation if you force us to deport illegal alien workers."

jpm100 has it right. Every ... (Below threshold)

jpm100 has it right. Every time we demand that they cut spending, they close libraries, take policemen off the street and lay off firefighters. Then they complain about executive salaries and give themselves a huge pension boost. It's not just a Republican thing, that's for sure.

You would think they would be able to find a few illegal immigrant murders to deport, but no, they want these headlines so we will stop demanding that they enforce the law.

Knucklehead of the day is right.

This goes with my post abov... (Below threshold)

This goes with my post above.

As soon as we make it legal for the children of widows of war hero's to stay in the country then the Department of Homeland Security will claim that all illegal immigrants are legal. When we complain they will say, "you asked us to change the law". There is a reason the US Government appealed this case four times, they want "Change" and this is how they get it.

Having toiled as a lawyer, ... (Below threshold)

Having toiled as a lawyer, and formerly a litigator, I can tell you that what he's really saying is, "er, I'm not really aware of what's going on with this, or what our policy is or should be, so I'll act like it's a considered position that we just let the litigation "clarify" the situation for us . . ."

This is very, very weak, and certainly no measure of leadership on Chertoff's part.

tyree, that makes no sense.... (Below threshold)

tyree, that makes no sense.

The children born here are US Citizens, their father's were US Citizens when they died.

You totally, completely missed the point here.

Good job.

Actually, Mitchell, I didn'... (Below threshold)

Actually, Mitchell, I didn't. It is perfectly legal to deport a parent who's children are American citizens. The governments plan is to give everyone amnesty because they don't want to enforce the law. There is a reason the department appealed this case four times. They want a ruling that illegal parents of American citizens can stay. They are using this case to get that ruling. Once they get it, they will try to apply it to the 12 million or so illegal immigrants that have flooded into our country over the past 30 years. Few people would stand against the poor families that are the subject of this news report, but the "leaders" in Washington are prosecuting them for a reason, and until that reason is made clear we have nothing to go but our own experience. Perhaps I am wrong, but nothing else makes sense. What department decides to prosecute these people and let all the murders go? Read Kim's Post at Wizbang to understand what I'm talking about:
Jamiel's Law
Posted by Kim Priestap
Published: November 24, 2008 - 8:45 AM

You have never had the "leaders" in your community cut the most important services first when there was a budget cut? You have never noticed that their travel allowance and mileage is always protected, but the librarians get their hours cut back? It is the way things are done, and until we get a clear explanation as to why these people are being targeted, we have to think through to the real reason.

Tyree,Most of what... (Below threshold)


Most of what you wrote is gibberish. The courts that have ruled have only said these widows are still to be considered spouses of the US citizens they married. That has absolutely nothing to do with illegal aliens with US citizen children. These decisions just involve the question of a immigrant loses their status should their husband or wife die. You neither understand how such a legal precedent would work, or legal immigration. Mitchell and I do, for we both have personal experience in the matter.


Bill,I am agreeing w... (Below threshold)

I am agreeing with you on everything you said in the main article, so what is your explanation as to why the Federal Government is prosecuting these cases to such an extreme? There has to be a reason. I actually do have some experience with immigration law, and there is something about this situation that stinks.
It certainly appears that these cases are being directed for a political reasons, because they certainly don't make any sense legally when framed against the dozen or so amnesties that we have had for illegal immigrants.

There was one challenge to the migrant worker ID law and the Federal Government dropped the whole thing. The Feds are 0-4 on these cases, as you stated, and they keep appealing? Once again, why not more deportations of murderers and fewer deportations of law abiding families?
Believe what you want, I think it's a case of them showing us why we don't want border control. It's the same old story, its "for the children".
I would be interested in your opinion of what parts are "gibberish", I you would be so kind as to point them out.

Let the courts handle this.... (Below threshold)

Let the courts handle this. Just because lower courts decide the case doesn't mean it has been vetted properly. Look at the 9th court of appeals. Bill, you are expecting expeditious execution from the US government, which it really never does. This people should have their local reps and senators working. ww

Seriously, Wildwillie, "Let... (Below threshold)

Seriously, Wildwillie, "Let the courts handle this?" Here in California we know that the courts can't get anything right when it comes to immigration law.






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