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Topic: Immigration issues (Read 250868 times)
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #50 on:
September 26, 2007, 08:05:24 AM »
By KEN BELSON and JILL P. CAPUZZO
Published: September 26, 2007
RIVERSIDE, N.J., Sept. 25 — A little more than a year ago, the Township Committee in this faded factory town became the first municipality in New Jersey to enact legislation penalizing anyone who employed or rented to an illegal immigrant.
Angelina Guedes has owned a hair and nail salon in Riverside, N.J., for two years. It was nearly empty on a recent afternoon.
Within months, hundreds, if not thousands, of recent immigrants from Brazil and other Latin American countries had fled. The noise, crowding and traffic that had accompanied their arrival over the past decade abated.
The law had worked. Perhaps, some said, too well.
With the departure of so many people, the local economy suffered. Hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered to the immigrants saw business plummet; several closed. Once-boarded-up storefronts downtown were boarded up again.
Meanwhile, the town was hit with two lawsuits challenging the law. Legal bills began to pile up, straining the town’s already tight budget. Suddenly, many people — including some who originally favored the law — started having second thoughts.
So last week, the town rescinded the ordinance, joining a small but growing list of municipalities nationwide that have begun rethinking such laws as their legal and economic consequences have become clearer.
“I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.”
In the past two years, more than 30 towns nationwide have enacted laws intended to address problems attributed to illegal immigration, from overcrowded housing and schools to overextended police forces. Most of those laws, like Riverside’s, called for fines and even jail sentences for people who knowingly rented apartments to illegal immigrants or who gave them jobs.
In some places, business owners have objected to crackdowns that have driven away immigrant customers. And in many, ordinances have come under legal assault by immigration groups and the American Civil Liberties Union.
In June, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against a housing ordinance in Farmers Branch, Tex., that would have imposed fines against landlords who rented to illegal immigrants. In July, the city of Valley Park, Mo., repealed a similar ordinance, after an earlier version was struck down by a state judge and a revision brought new challenges. A week later, a federal judge struck down ordinances in Hazleton, Pa., the first town to enact laws barring illegal immigrants from working or renting homes there.
Muzaffar A. Chishti, director of the New York office of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit group, said Riverside’s decision to repeal its law — which was never enforced — was clearly influenced by the Hazleton ruling, and he predicted that other towns would follow suit.
“People in many towns are now weighing the social, economic and legal costs of pursuing these ordinances,” he said.
Indeed, Riverside, a town of 8,000 nestled across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, has already spent $82,000 defending its ordinance, and it risked having to pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees if it lost in court. The legal battle forced the town to delay road paving projects, the purchase of a dump truck and repairs to town hall, officials said. But while Riverside’s about-face may repair its budget, it may take years to mend the emotional scars that formed when the ordinance “put us on the national map in a bad way,” Mr. Conard said.
Rival advocacy groups in the immigration debate turned this otherwise sleepy town into a litmus test for their causes. As the television cameras rolled, Riverside was branded, in turns, a racist enclave and a town fighting for American values.
Some residents who backed the ban last year were reluctant to discuss their stance now, though they uniformly blamed outsiders for misrepresenting their motives. By and large, they said the ordinance was a success because it drove out illegal immigrants, even if it hurt the town’s economy.
“It changed the face of Riverside a little bit,” said Charles Hilton, the former mayor who pushed for the ordinance. (He was voted out of office last fall but said it was not because he had supported the law.)
“The business district is fairly vacant now, but it’s not the legitimate businesses that are gone,” he said. “It’s all the ones that were supporting the illegal immigrants, or, as I like to call them, the criminal aliens.”
Towns Rethink Laws Against Illegal Immigrants
Published: September 26, 2007
(Page 2 of 2)
Many businesses that remain are having a hard time. Angelina Guedes, a Brazilian-born beautician, opened A Touch From Brazil, a hair and nail salon, on Scott Street two years ago to cater to the immigrant population. At one point, she had 10 workers.
Business quickly dried up after the law against illegal immigrants. Last week, on what would usually be a busy Thursday afternoon, Ms. Guedes ate a salad and gave a friend a manicure, while the five black stylist chairs sat empty.
“Now I only have myself,” said Ms. Guedes, 41, speaking a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. “They all left. I also want to leave but it’s not possible because no one wants to buy my business.”
Numerous storefronts on Scott Street are boarded up or are empty, with For Sale by Owner signs in the windows. Business is down by half at Luis Ordonez’s River Dance Music Store, which sells Western Union wire transfers, cellphones and perfume. Next door, his restaurant, the Scott Street Family Cafe, which has a multiethnic menu in English, Spanish and Portuguese, was empty at lunchtime.
“I came here looking for an opportunity to open a business and I found it, and the people also needed the service,” said Mr. Ordonez, who is from Ecuador. “It was crowded and everybody was trying to do their best to support their families.”
Some have adapted better than others. Bruce Behmke opened the R & B Laundromat in 2003 after he saw immigrants hauling trash bags full of clothing to a laundry a mile away. Sales took off at his small shop, where want ads in Portuguese are pinned to a corkboard and copies of the Brazilian Voice sit near the door.
When sales plummeted last year, Mr. Behmke started a wash-and-fold delivery service for young professionals.
“It became a ghost town here,” he said.
Immigration is not new to Riverside. Once a summer resort for Philadelphians, the town became a magnet a century ago for European immigrants drawn to its factories, including the Philadelphia Watch Case Company, whose empty hulk still looms over town. Until the 1930s, the minutes of the school board meetings were recorded in German and English.
“There’s always got to be some scapegoats,” said Regina Collinsgru, who runs The Positive Press, a local newspaper, and whose husband was among a wave of Portuguese immigrants who came here in the 1960s. “The Germans were first, there were problems when the Italians came, then the Polish came. That’s the nature of a lot of small towns.”
Immigrants from Latin America began arriving around 2000. The majority were Brazilians attracted not only by construction jobs in the booming housing market but also by the presence of Portuguese-speaking businesses in town. Between 2000 and 2006, local business owners and officials estimate, more than 3,000 immigrants arrived. There are no authoritative figures about the number of immigrants who were — or were not — in the country legally.
Like those waves of earlier immigrants, the Brazilians and Latinos triggered conflicting reactions. Some shopkeepers loved the extra dollars spent on Scott and Pavilion Streets, the modest thoroughfares that anchor downtown. Yet some residents steered clear of stores where Portuguese and Spanish were plainly the language of choice. A few contractors benefited from the new pool of cheap labor. Others begrudged being undercut by rivals who hired undocumented workers.
On the town’s leafy side streets, some residents admired the pluck of newcomers who often worked six days a week, and a few even took up Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art. Yet many neighbors loathed the white vans with out-of-state plates and ladders on top parked in spots they had long considered their own. The Brazilian flags that flew at several houses rankled more than a few longtime residents.
It is unclear whether the Brazilian and Latino immigrants who left will now return to Riverside. With the housing market slowing, there may be little reason to come back. But if they do, some residents say they may spark new tensions.
Mr. Hilton, the former mayor, said some of the illegal immigrants have already begun filtering back into town. “It’s not the Wild West like it was,” he said, “but it may return to that.”
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #51 on:
September 27, 2007, 11:59:47 AM »
Dream Act Puts Illegal Alien Kids Ahead of American Kids
This outrage is an opportunity to get tens of millions of parents and grandparents to get active in the fight against amnesty for illegal aliens. Until now, many of them thought it was not an issue that affected them.
But thanks to Sen. Durbin, it has now become a major issue for all families who had hoped that their children would go to college. Under the Dream Act, illegal aliens, not American students, will be getting preferential service. Illegal alien children will be given low, low in-state tuition rates while American families, many of whom are losing jobs or earning lower wages because employers are hiring illegals, will have to pay TEN TIMES MORE for their children's education.
So if you have relatives or friends who have high school aged children getting ready to apply to colleges, forward this email to them and urge them to join the fight against amnesty for illegal aliens.
In July, Senate Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, voted to keep Senator Lindsay Graham's border security amendment off of the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, claiming immigration reform amendments were not germane to Homeland Security and violated Senate rules.
The Senate voted 52 to 44 that the amendment was not germane.
Will the Senate Democrats show the same interest in keeping things "germane" by keeping Dick Durbin's "Dream Act," that grants amnesty and low tuition rates for illegal aliens, off of the Concurrent Resolution bill to keep the government running?
Let's hold their feet to the fire. Let's remind Reid what he did in July to keep an important and very germane amendment off of the Homeland Security Bill and demand that he use the same rigid standards to keep the Dream Act off the Budget bill.
The Dream Act is a Continuing Amnesty
(the gift that keeps on giving!)
Unlike the Amnesty bills from the Senate for the past 2 years, the DREAM Act is a
continuing program, not just a one-time amnesty.
The amnesty that was defeated a few months back was an amnesty for all those illegal aliens currently living here, but the Dream Act will continue year after year, as long as illegal aliens continue to bring their children across the border with them.
Of course neither Dick Durbin nor Ted Kennedy thought to mention this to their colleagues, hoping it would be lost in the shuffle. Consequently, most people and most Senators remain totally unaware of this dangerous aspect of the amendment. Hopefully, if you ask your Seantors the following questions, it make give them a much-needed wake up call to oppose this disastrous amendment.
"Does the Senator realize that DREAM is a permanent, cycling amnesty with no end, not just "one-time" amnesty?
"Please ask the Senator for me exactly how many times do the American people have to demand NO MORE AMNESTY before our elected officials honor our request?"
Please click here to go to our Senate listing that contains all of their telephone numbers in D.C. and their state offices. And start calling right now!
I think this is winnable, but only if we get a full effort from all Americans who are outraged by the continuous efforts of our Congress to sneak through a back-door amnesty, knowing that 80% of their constituents are dead set against it!
So please start calling and call your friends as well and get them calling too. We stopped them before and we can do it again, if we all work together.
Thanks again for all your help and continuing support.
Edward I. Nelson
P.S. Here are some other things you can do:
1. Consider forwarding this email to your own email list of friends, relatives, business associates. It will multiply our lobbying efforts tremendously. Our strength is in our numbers and the more people we can activate, the louder our collective voice in Washington, on Capitol Hill and in state assemblies across the country.
2. Go to our Legislative Action Center where you can send instant FREE email letters to Congress and the White House!
3. Consider making a donation to U.S. Border Control. It's the best investment you can make.
Don't be fooled by flashy emails or fancy websites. U.S. Border Control is the most respected voice for immigration reform on Capitol Hill. We have been fighting this battle since 1988. We know the issues and we know how to get things done.
Our annual report documents that Border Control donors get the most for their money. Your dollars don't go to plush carpets, fancy offices and big salaries -- they go right into the fight. And year after year, Border Control has the lowest percentages spent on overhead and the highest percentages spent lobbying Congress to secure our borders against drugs, disease, terrorism and illegal migration. We thought you
would like to know.
Thank you for your continued support!
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #52 on:
September 28, 2007, 05:37:55 PM »
The following letters, articles and websites demonstrate a growing concern among America's Black and Latino communities, that should put to rest the idea that opposing illegal immigration is a racist concept.
If you wish to contribute to this page or if you know of a website that conveys this concept, please send it to
I'm a racist?
By Billie Louden
I am a black woman who grew up in rural Oklahoma, where train tracks separated cultures, and I was one of only two blacks in my senior class. I have been a soldier in the anti-American Middle East, and I have felt the isolation of being a conservative Republican instead of the liberal Democrat I am expected to be. Currently, I sport a badge of authority.
Because of these life experiences, I thought I had been called every name in the book except the one my parents gave me. But when a co-worker called me a racist, I was absolutely unprepared.
The accusation was made largely because of a sticker on the back of my truck. The simple statement "Stop illegal immigration" has earned me angry looks and obscene gestures in traffic. I have watched as cars rush to pull up beside the "redneck." Their scowls often turn to bewilderment when they spot me behind the wheel.
My Hispanic co-worker played the ace-in-the-hole race card by insisting only Latinos are being targeted for immigration reform. When I pointed out my sticker mentioned no race in particular, he stated, "It doesn't matter because everyone knows who you are referring to."
At that moment, I realized just how much irrational emotional feelings and personal agendas have alarmingly snuffed out common sense in this country. From top lawmakers in Washington to so-called sanctuary cities, everyone has succumbed to massive pressure from illegal factions.
Let us define common sense. It is the natural instinct that compels us to the logical thing when faced with an issue shrouded in smoke screens.
Let us ignore tear-jerker tales of individual tragedies that are designed to pull our heartstrings, and realize they are smoke and mirrors hiding the truth, while instilling guilt about feelings of unease with the sieve our borders have become.
Illegal immigrants in this country, like any other criminal, have an excuse for why they committed a crime. But if the tale is sad enough, should we forgive them for their original criminal act because they decide to behave? Should we allow them to take jobs away from law-abiding Americans and call them noble for doing so? How about we offer to pay their medical bills and send their children to college? If, in the course of providing these things, we find ourselves going broke, and we say to them, "Enough is enough, we cannot ignore your crimes any longer because it only encourages more criminals," should we be surprised when these violators take to the streets demanding they be allowed to continue the way of life they have become accustomed to?
When illegals squawk about how we can't survive without their presence, do we dare remind them there are plenty legal folks - and others who are waiting in line to be legal - who are eager to help us out?
When anyone points out these observations, they are lambasted, shouted down, and slapped with the feared moniker "racist," a word that has ruined lives, ended careers and been the gas-filled card thrown on blazing fires of conflicts between majority and minority.
Racism today can never measure up to the raw beginnings and bloody history of the word as it pertains to our country. It began with slavery, evolved into lynchings, oppression and separate but never equal laws. It culminated with marches and dissent demanding the equality all citizens were promised in the Constitution. But the key word here is "citizen."
The righteous marches led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the bloody turmoil of the civil rights era, should never be compared to the audacious, foreign-flag-waving parades of illegals and their sympathizers being carried out in American streets. Politicians pandering for future votes, and much of the media, overwhelmingly sympathize with the flaunting of our laws, and assure the "undocumented" protesters their demands are reasonable. I am a fighter and I refuse to be bullied. I have earned, the hard way, the right to display my opinion. If my "Stop illegal immigration" sticker offends you, maybe you should focus on the one next to it that states, "My son is a United States Marine." Then hopefully you will understand that sacrifice and fighting for country runs deep in my family. Billie Louden (
) is a deputy sheriff and an Army veteran.
You Don't Speak for Me!
An Hispanic website formed by a a group of concerned Americans of Hispanic/Latino heritage, some first or second generation, others recent legal immigrants, who believe illegal immigration harms America and a guest worker amnesty will do the same.
For media seeking interviews please contact Ira Mehlman at 310 821 4283 or Susan Wysoki at 804 221 7084.
African-Americans Join The Minutemen
At least 400 opponents of illegal immigration staged a protest outside the presidential retreat in Crawford, Texas. The rally was part of a coast-to-coast campaign that set off earlier this week from a place many may find surprising -- an all-black Los Angeles neighborhood,
The anti-immigration group the Minutemen reached out to the African American community to join them.
Sean Jourdan is one of the people at the kick-off who believe that illegal immigration is having a devastating impact on the black community.
He says he doesn't buy the argument that illegal immigrants only take jobs no one else will do.
"When they say these are jobs we don't want. I don't know what jobs they're talking about but the jobs I was in ? construction trades, telecommunication ? it has definitely been affected," says Jourdan.
Jourdan claims he's making $2,000 less a month now, and blames the availability of cheaper labor.
"That border being as porous as it is, is like a loaded gun to any American worker's head ... We can get rid of you tomorrow for anyone who's willing to work for half the price."
According to a recent poll, blacks are more likely than whites to feel immigrants take away their jobs, but they were less likely than whites to be in favor of immigration restrictions.
Hard Working, Patriotic, African-Americans Being Pushed Aside
I am sick of seeing hard working, patriotic, African-Americans being pushed aside in this country in favor of people who do not care about our Flag. And for them [illegal aliens] to demand citizenship from my government just makes my blood boil.
As an African-American, I am highly offended that some Senators would compare the Civil Rights movement to current immigration problems. Since the time we arrived here, African-Americans have endured years of slavery, a century of oppression, hatred and injustice, and we continue to face discrimination to this day.
Immigration should stop entirely until the U.S. Government can regain control of our borders and develop sensible immigration laws.
No sympathy should be given to any illegal aliens unless and until until they are willing to declare themselves obedient to our our country and our Flag. We must forbit citizenship to citizens from any country that grants dual citizenship as this guarantees divided loyalty.
America has always welcomed the suffering, oppressed people from all over the world. But it is a dangerous game to allow undesirable foreign elements to poison our civilization and threaten the safety of the country that our forefathers have established for American citizens.
I love my country. My father spent 30 years of his life defending it so I would not have too, but it seems I am doing just that. These marchers are not marching for immigrants rights they are marching for illegal immigrant rights. And that is just plain wrong.
The U.S. Government has created cultural and social imbalances which may lead to dangerous racial tensions or even a civil war. The time to fix these problems is now.
Ms. A. Frazier
Peace, Love and PitBulls
Violence. It may not be the answer, But it sure cuts down on the questions!
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #53 on:
September 28, 2007, 05:38:14 PM »
Guests or Gate Crashers
Immigration is yet another issue which we seem unable to discuss rationally -- in part because words have been twisted beyond recognition in political rhetoric.
We can't even call illegal immigrants "illegal immigrants." The politically correct evasion is "undocumented workers."
Do American citizens go around carrying documents with them when they work or apply for work? Most Americans are undocumented workers but they are not illegal immigrants. There is a difference.
The Bush administration is pushing a program to legalize "guest workers." But what is a guest? Someone you have invited. People who force their way into your home without your permission are called gate crashers.
If truth-in-packaging laws applied to politics, the Bush guest worker program would have to be called a "gate-crasher worker" program. The President's proposal would solve the problem of illegal immigration by legalizing it after the fact.
We could solve the problem of all illegal activity anywhere by legalizing it. Why use this approach only with immigration? Why should any of us pay a speeding ticket if immigration scofflaws are legalized after the fact for committing a federal crime?
Most of the arguments for not enforcing our immigration laws are exercises in frivolous rhetoric and slippery sophistry, rather than serious arguments that will stand up under scrutiny.
How often have we heard that illegal immigrants "take jobs that Americans will not do"? What is missing in this argument is what is crucial in any economic argument: price.
Americans will not take many jobs at their current pay levels -- and those pay levels will not rise so long as poverty-stricken immigrants are willing to take those jobs.
If Mexican journalists were flooding into the United States and taking jobs as reporters and editors at half the pay being earned by American reporters and editors, maybe people in the media would understand why the argument about "taking jobs that Americans don't want" is such nonsense.
Another variation on the same theme is that we "need" the millions of illegal aliens already in the United States. "Need" is another word that blithely ignores prices.
If jet planes were on sale for a thousand dollars each, I would probably "need" a couple of them -- an extra one to fly when the first one needed repair or maintenance. But since these planes cost millions of dollars, I don't even "need" one.
There is no fixed amount of "need," independently of prices, whether with planes or workers.
None of the rhetoric and sophistry that we hear about immigration deals with the plain and ugly reality: Politicians are afraid of losing the Hispanic vote and businesses want cheap labor.
What millions of other Americans want has been brushed aside, as if they don't count, and they have been soothed with pious words. But now the voters are getting fed up, which is why there are immigration bills in Congress.
The old inevitability ploy is often trotted out in immigration debates: It is not possible to either keep out illegal immigrants or to expel the ones already here.
If you mean stopping every single illegal immigrant from getting in or expelling every single illegal immigrant who is already here, that may well be true. But does the fact that we cannot prevent every single murder cause us to stop enforcing the laws against murder?
Since existing immigration laws are not being enforced, how can anyone say that it would not do any good to try? People who get caught illegally crossing the border into the United States pay no penalty whatever. They are sent back home and can try again.
What if bank robbers who were caught were simply told to give the money back and not do it again? What if murderers who were caught were turned loose and warned not to kill again? Would that be proof that it is futile to take action, when no action was taken?
Let's hope the immigration bills before Congress can at least get an honest debate, instead of the word games we have been hearing for too long.
L.A. Workers Join Fierce Debate Over Immigration.
Jobs are a key issue in an area with a large Latino population and high black unemployment.
Drexell Johnson and his Young Black Contractors of South Central Inc. are hungry for work Ã³ and when polite requests for an opportunity are rebuffed, they're not afraid to raise a ruckus. After Johnson was cut out of a contract when Staples Center was being built, he drove to the construction site, spinning 360-degree rolls and kicking up doughnuts of dust until, he said, a bulldozer nearly ran him down.
In Torrance, his group staged a mock hanging in front of an automaker's office. And earlier this month, they hauled a makeshift "slave ship" to an Inglewood mall development to symbolize economic injustice.
The tactics may seem outrageous, but they underscore the rage and frustration that Johnson and his cohorts feel about losing out to other workers in the region's construction boom. Their anger is fueled by a 14% unemployment rate among African Americans in Los Angeles, twice as high as among whites.
So the news that President Bush and some members of Congress are pushing to bring more blue-collar guest workers into the country Ã³ perhaps 400,000 annually Ã³ leaves the contractors indignant. "Hell, no, don't bring no one in from nowhere," said Johnson, a 47-year-old Mississippi native who founded his consortium of 35 minority contractors a decade ago. "Train the people here. Give the people here the same opportunity you're willing to give someone out of this country."
The guest-worker proposals have reignited fierce debate Ã³ and sharply divided the Republican Party Ã³ over some of the most controversial aspects of national immigration policy. Do immigrants take jobs from Americans? Or are they needed to fill jobs Americans won't do? Do they lower the wages of America's least-educated workers? Or do they benefit most Americans by providing cheap labor for a wide range of jobs, from nannies to construction workers?
Such questions are particularly critical in California, where immigrants make up one-third of the state's labor force, the highest percentage in the nation. Unlike legislation recently passed in the House, the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill, scheduled for debate next month, is expected to contain bipartisan provisions for guest workers and a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants.
The proposal to allow hundreds of thousands of guest workers into the country each year to fill jobs if qualified Americans can't be found for them is sponsored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass). It is considered the most likely of several proposals to be included in the Senate's bill; Bush also advocates a temporary-worker program but has provided few details about how it would work.
Backers of the McCain-Kennedy approach include a rare alliance of business and labor leaders who say there is a need for more immigrants to fill jobs in such blue-collar fields as landscaping, construction, healthcare and food service. As baby boomers retire, advocates say, the need for new immigrant labor will grow. Supporters also argue that so many migrants come here illegally Ã³ 700,000 annually, according to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center Ã³ that the most realistic option is to provide legal ways for some of them to work. "It is a common-sense solution to bring an underground economy above ground, with strong labor protections to improve working conditions for all," Kennedy said in a statement.
But the proposal has proved highly divisive, splintering alliances and creating new ones. Republicans are split between those who support business demands for more workers and those who want to restrict immigration. Democrats also are torn, some by issues stemming from ethnicity and class. "The Democratic Party cannot afford to ignore the tension and anger among blue-collar African Americans and whites here, because they feel [immigrants] are taking their jobs," said Kerman Maddox, a Los Angeles public relations executive who has worked on several Democratic campaigns.
"Everyone wants the emerging Latino vote, but at what expense?" Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) opposes a large-scale guest-worker program outside agriculture, fearing it will increase illegal immigration. Sen. Barbara Boxer, also a California Democrat, has voiced similar fears, opposing Bush's proposal. But their constituents are strongly divided, as was demonstrated last week when activists held dueling rallies at Feinstein's Los Angeles office.
A coalition of churches, labor unions and immigrant advocacy groups staged a noisy rally, featuring Korean drums and a Mexican trumpeter, urging legalization for undocumented immigrants and more visas for workers and relatives of Americans. Later that evening, immigration-control advocates held a vigil urging Feinstein to oppose any new guest-worker program.
Latinos themselves are split on the issue. A Pew Hispanic Center poll last August found that 34% of American-born Latinos surveyed believed that illegal immigrants hurt the economy by driving down wages, compared with 55% who viewed them as an economic benefit by providing cheap labor. The survey found that 32% opposed a temporary-worker program, while 59% favored one. Major unions back the proposal as a way to bring exploited workers out of the shadows to press for labor rights Ã³ and union membership. Some union members, however, fret that business owners are using immigrants to drive down wages. Richard Salinas, for instance, is a Los Angeles roofer with Local 36 of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. A second-generation Mexican American, Salinas says many contractors are hiring nonunion laborers Ã³ many of them undocumented immigrants Ã³ for less than half the $30-an-hour union rate, no benefits and no scheduled wage increases.
The idea of more guest workers worries him, he says. "If they're just trying to get foreign cheap labor, I'm against that," Salinas says. "These [immigrants] are very hard-working people, but my concern is the wages and contractors turning to them instead of union shops." Salinas' concerns are borne out by some research. Harvard University professor George J. Borjas, the nation's leading labor economist on immigration, has found that the immigrant influx between 1980 and 2000 lowered wages of American high school dropouts by 7.4%, for an annual loss of $1,800 on an income of $25,000. The effect was worse for native-born Latinos and blacks, he said.
Overall, he found that all U.S. workers suffered a 3.7% wage decline. "You can't have a huge increase in the labor supply without having an impact on the wage structure," said Cuban-born Borjas, adding that the data had turned around his original, more positive view of immigration. "If one cares about the well-being of the less advantaged, having a guest-worker program to import hundreds of thousands of workers is a huge mistake," he said. Giovanni Peri, an economist with UC Davis, says he believes that immigration doesn't help less-educated American workers Ã³ he found their wages dropped by 2% Ã³ but that it does benefit most of Americans by making goods and services cheaper.
Some unions argue that the solution to falling wages isn't to keep out immigrants but to organize them. One oft-cited example is the janitorial field. The Service Employees International Union, which represents 1.8 million service workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, has been highly successful in reorganizing janitors around the nation. In Los Angeles, for instance, most janitors were unionized African Americans making middle-class wages until the mid-1980s, according to Mike Garcia, president of the SEIU's Local 1877, which covers California.
But building owners and labor contractors broke the unions, replaced black janitors with largely undocumented workers from Mexico and Central America and drove wages down to the bare minimum with no benefits, he said. In 1987, the union launched a "Justice for Janitors" campaign to reorganize the workers. After nearly two decades of aggressive tactics, the union represents 85% of Los Angeles janitors, compared with 20% when the campaign began, Garcia says. Union jobs pay $11 an hour with fully paid benefits, compared with $8 an hour before the union's strike in 2000, he says. "Once you reorganize, wages rise for everybody: the documented and undocumented, native-born and immigrant," said Eliseo Medina, SEIU executive vice president.
Garcia said now that the union has negotiated higher wages, its largely Latino members are planning to seek contractual language guaranteeing African Americans at least 12% of janitorial jobs, reflecting their presence in the population, Garcia said. The hotel workers union last year negotiated similar guarantees for black workers. Still, Garcia remains uneasy about the guest-worker program. "Employers are pushing for guest workers because they want to legalize low wages and no benefits," he said. "If employers pay decent wages, and if the country allows free and open unionization Ã– it will eliminate the need for immigrant labor."
Business groups, however, don't see it that way. Three dozen trade associations have formed the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, based in Washington, D.C., to press for more guest workers.
In testimony before Congress, industry leaders say good-paying jobs, including those in welding, roofing, nursing and construction, are going wanting. A legal guest-worker program would "level the playing field," said Laura Reiff, coalition co-chairwoman. "It's hard now for our members to compete against the bad actors." On a recent morning at the state Employment Development Department on Crenshaw Boulevard, the mostly African American job seekers anxiously surfed the Internet, made phone calls and collected fliers touting job-training opportunities.
Damon Metters, 42, lost his full-time hours cleaning a bowling alley and quit a security firm after, he said, it failed to pay him. Anthony Brooks, 22, hasn't been able to find work since his seasonal job at Old Navy ended in December. Both men have high school educations and want full-time jobs that pay at least $10 an hour, perhaps as janitors, warehouse workers, supermarket staff. Many employers are offering only part-time hours without benefits, and that, they said, doesn't cover monthly bills.
Metters said he doesn't know how to search for jobs and apply for them online. Metters is surviving on a monthly $132 welfare check, food stamps and the good graces of his father, who has offered him lodging. Brooks is living in a homeless shelter. News of the guest-worker plan brings strong reactions from both men. "No!" Brooks said. "Why don't they let us have the jobs?"
Contact us at
(c) 2007 U.S. Border Control
Peace, Love and PitBulls
Violence. It may not be the answer, But it sure cuts down on the questions!
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #54 on:
September 29, 2007, 01:26:09 AM »
Immigration front: U.S. v. Illinois
The Bush administration may—finally—be getting embarrassed over the flouting of immigration laws. They are suing Illinois over a new state law barring employers from voluntarily accessing a national database to verify that workers are legally present within the U.S. Ever notice how most of those favoring unfettered illegal entry across our nation’s borders will resort to any “heads we win, tails you lose” rationale? These defenders of the border-breaking “culture of lawlessness” contend that immigration is a matter for the federal government and that states and localities may not enforce any immigration laws at all, but then they turn around and claim that states and localities may legitimately enact laws protecting illegal aliens against enforcement of immigration laws.
as quoted in Patriot Post
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #55 on:
October 01, 2007, 04:30:58 AM »
DOUGLAS J. BESHAROV
Published: October 1, 2007
Skip to next paragraph
ACCORDING to a recent report from the Census Bureau, poverty fell from about 12.6 percent in 2005 to about 12.3 percent last year. That’s about 500,000 fewer people living in poverty, the first statistically significant decline since 2000. (In 2006, the poverty line was $20,614 for a family of four.)
As usual, there was much commentary in the news media about poverty’s intractability: today’s poverty rate is hardly lower than it was in 1968, when it was about 12.8 percent.
But a closer look at the experience of one group, Hispanics, tells a very different story. As a group, Hispanics are enjoying substantial economic progress. Their poverty rate has dropped by a third from its high 12 years ago, falling from 30.7 percent in 1994 to 20.6 percent in 2006.
These numbers come from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, widely used by pro- and anti-immigration groups alike as a reasonably reliable source of information about illegal as well as legal immigrants. They show that although Hispanics still have a long way to go to achieve the full promise of the American Dream, as a group they are clearly on the economic up escalator.
In the past 30 years, the United States has experienced a tremendous amount of immigration, predominantly Hispanic. In 1975, a little more than 11 million Hispanics made up just over 5 percent of the population. Today’s nearly 45 million Hispanics are now about 15 percent of the country.
This influx of Hispanics has resulted in a higher poverty rate in the United States, mainly because many immigrants are low-skilled workers and women with young children. If the proportion of Hispanics in the population in 2006 had been the same as it was in 1975, then the overall American poverty rate in 2006 would have been 7 percent lower (11.4 percent rather than 12.3 percent). That would be 2.4 million fewer people, all Hispanics, in poverty.
This rough calculation leaves out the indirect impact that Hispanics have had on the job prospects and earnings of other low-skilled workers, especially African-Americans, probably keeping more of them in poverty. Economists argue about the size of this effect, but we see evidence of it all around us.
Consider the Hispanic success in obtaining skilled, blue-collar jobs, as measured by the census category for precision production, craft and repair occupations. From 1994 to 2006, as the total number of these jobs grew, the percentage held by whites fell from 79 percent to 65 percent. The percentage held by blacks remained constant at about 8 percent, and the percentage held by Hispanics more than doubled, rising to 25 percent from 11 percent. As whites left these relatively well-paid jobs, Hispanics rather than blacks moved into them.
Between 1994, the high point for Hispanic poverty, and 2006, the last year with comprehensive data, median Hispanic household income rose 20 percent, from about $31,500 a year in 2006 dollars to about $37,800 a year. The median income of Hispanic individuals rose 32 percent, to about $20,500 from about $15,500.
These incomes do not make Hispanics wealthy, of course, but they did allow about 70 percent of them to send remittances home last year. According to the best estimate, the total sent was $45 billion — $4 billion more than the entire amount distributed to Americans by the Earned Income Tax Credit.
One explanation for this economic progress is increased education. From 1994 to 2005, the percentage of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanics who graduated from high school or obtained a general equivalency diploma rose to about 66 percent from about 56 percent. About 25 percent are now enrolled in college, up from about 19 percent in 1994. Hispanics are moving rapidly into many management, professional and other white-collar occupations.
Because of the large and continuing influx of usually low-skilled Hispanic immigrants, economists have expected the poverty rate among Hispanics to rise or at least to remain flat. Instead, it is falling. However one feels about immigration, the falling Hispanic poverty rate testifies to the ability of Hispanic immigrants to take advantage of the opportunities that they have found in this country.
Douglas J. Besharov is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #56 on:
October 02, 2007, 09:23:25 AM »
There is quite a bit I disagree with in this piece, but it makes points which must be considered.
A new study shows the heavy price the GOP paid for "get-tough" border politics.
BY RICHARD NADLER
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Many conservatives believe that "enforcement first" of existing immigration law must precede any form of guest-worker or earned-legalization legislation to normalize the status of some 12 million undocumented workers. Iterations of this opinion fill the airwaves of talk radio, the speeches of Republican presidential contenders and the opinion pages of conservative publications.
The formula alleviates, or at least postpones, the antagonism between those who want to deport illegal workers, and those who want them to stay. The language of comprehensive immigration reform--a combination of strict border enforcement and a path to legalization--has been abandoned even by many who hope eventually to revive it.
This rhetorical consensus is unserious. Deportation advocates understand full well that existing civil penalties will not overcome the economic incentives that drive these immigrants and their employers. That is why Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the primary sponsor of the Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005, added criminal penalties to the common frauds perpetrated by illegal workers and those who employ them.
The illegals themselves--the group most directly affected--understand "enforcement first" for what it really is: a step toward mass deportation. That is why thousands of undocumented Brazilians exited Riverside, N.J., when the town council sanctioned their landlords and employers.
To these two groups that reject "enforcement first" as a rhetorical euphemism, we may now add a third: Hispanic citizens who vote.
Undocumented Latinos constitute 3.8% of the American work force. But these 5.6 million workers are a mere fraction of the 17.3 million Latino citizens 18 years or older. Of these, 4.4 million are themselves foreign born.
How does "enforcement first" or "enforcement only" play among these voters? Polling has offered rationales for conflicting projections. Some contend that Hispanics' strong support for border security signals a negligible partisan impact; others, citing Latino endorsement of guest-worker and earned-legalization programs, predict electoral disaster for the party that abandons a comprehensive framework.
In my recent study for the Americas Majority Foundation entitled "Border Wars: The Impact of Immigration on the Latino Vote," I document not what Hispanics opined, but how they actually voted, given a clear choice between advocates of "enforcement first" and comprehensive immigration reform. The results, based on returns from 145 heavily Hispanic precincts and over 100,000 tabulated votes, indicate this: Immigration policies that induce mass fear among illegal residents will induce mass anger among the legal residents who share their heritage.
The congressional election of 2006 provided a unique opportunity to gauge Hispanic voter behavior. In three congressional districts of the Southwest, two of them on the border, Republican candidates ran on an "enforcement-only" platform. In each case, this constituted a departure from previous congressional representation. And in each case, Hispanic support for the Republican candidate collapsed from 2004 levels.
Former Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona was an architect of comprehensive immigration reform. His retirement in 2006 precipitated a five-way primary in which Randy Graff prevailed with 42% of the vote. Mr. Graff, supported by the deportationist Minutemen Civil Defense Corps PAC, lost to Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, 42%-54%. Ms. Giffords aligned herself with the comprehensive reform positions of Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain. Among the heavily Hispanic precincts of Cochise County, Rep. Kolbe carried 43% of the vote in 2004. Mr. Graff's share of the vote in those precincts shrank to 18%.
In Texas, former Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla, chairman of the powerful House Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee, was the paradigm of Republican Hispanic success--until he voted for Rep. Sensenbrenner's "enforcement-only" bill. In the heavily Hispanic counties of Dimmit, Presidio, Val Verde, Maverick and Zavala, Mr. Bonilla's support dropped to 30% in 2006 from 59% in 2004. He lost the district to Democrat Ciro Rodriguez, 46%-54%.
In 2004, Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth, the flamboyant incumbent of Arizona's Fifth District, defeated his Democratic rival 59%-38%. His 2006 book "By Any Means" described his conversion from advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform to a deportationist viewpoint. Campaigning on enforcement-only, Mr. Hayworth was defeated by his Democratic challenger, Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell, 46%-50%. Mr. Hayworth's majority-white district provided a test of whether a deportationist platform would attract a strong backlash vote among non-Hispanic whites. It did not. In the Hispanic influenced, majority-white precincts of Maricopa County, Mr. Hayworth's vote share declined to 36% in 2006 from 48% in 2004.
In these three races, Republicans' vote share in heavily Latino precincts dropped 22 percentage points.
What does this mean nationwide? Republicans' presidential Hispanic vote share increased to 40% in 2004 from 21% in 1996. In 2004, Latinos comprised 6% of the electorate, but 8.1% of the voter-qualified citizenry. With the partisan margin shrinking, the incentive for major Hispanic registration efforts by either party was scant.
That changed in 2006, when the GOP's Hispanic vote share declined by 10%. And, as we have seen, the drop was twice as precipitous where Republicans disavowed comprehensive immigration reform. With the huge wedge in vote share that "enforcement-only" opened, the cost-effectiveness of voter-registration efforts improved dramatically--for Democrats.
In recent years, Democratic Party operatives have conducted registration drives in urban communities that boosted African-American turnout to 65% from 23%. Republicans, should their national ticket adopt "enforcement-only," can expect Democrats to wage similar Hispanic campaigns in the most hotly contested political real estate of 2008. Such standard political operations will more than erase Republican majorities in New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Iowa, and may endanger the GOP electoral hold on Arizona as well.
That is the short-term fallout Republicans may suffer from "enforcement-only." But the election of 2008 marks the beginning of the political attrition, not its end.
One-half of U.S. population growth this decade occurred among Latinos. Were the border hermetically sealed today, the children of Latino citizens will yet vote. Moreover, there are currently 3.1 million American-born minors with one or both parents who are illegal aliens. These young Americans share the same citizenship status as those seeking their parents' removal. It is folly to believe they will not remember who sought to deport their parents when they eventually go to the polls.
The pending catastrophe is not inevitable. Republicans have campaigned effectively among Hispanics on the basis of entrepreneurship, school choice, tax cuts and right-to-life. And, as the 2006 re-election of Republicans Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce of New Mexico and Jeff Flake of Arizona demonstrated, the GOP agenda can include national security as well. In 2006, Latinos helped re-elect candidates who advocated the border fence, electronic surveillance, expedited deportation of violent criminals, and biometric worker identification.
The next proposal for comprehensive immigration reform can contain all of this. To retain their Hispanic gains, Republicans need to repudiate only the immoral, uneconomical goal of mass deportation.
Mr. Nadler is the president of Americas Majority Foundation, a Midwest public-policy think tank.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #57 on:
October 03, 2007, 05:19:57 PM »
Angry Vet cut's down Mexican Flag...
My friend who lives in the area said this guy knew what he was doing he was
1) giving Americans the finger
2) Pandering to illegals
Whatever the reason....You live in America...You should be for the American Community not the Hispanic..This is what drives a line though our country...I have family who live here who are from Germany and the never raise a german flag...Alway's American...Why cause they are American..GAH!
I don't know if this topic goes here but I thought it might.
Last Edit: October 03, 2007, 05:25:17 PM by Maxx
Peace, Love and PitBulls
Violence. It may not be the answer, But it sure cuts down on the questions!
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #58 on:
October 05, 2007, 12:29:30 PM »
1,300 immigrants arrested by feds
Agents raided sites in 5 Southland counties in 2 weeks
BY RACHEL URANGA, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 10/04/2007 09:00:56 AM PDT
In what federal authorities are calling the largest sweep of criminal and fugitive immigrants, federal agents over the past two weeks have arrested more than 1,300 Southland immigrants in their homes, in jails and at work, officials announced Wednesday.
As part of a stepped-up national crackdown on illegal immigrants, five teams of Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents raided homes in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties from Sept. 19 through Tuesday.
Some arrests were easy, while others involved agents peering into clothes dryers or squeezing deep into crawl spaces to find hidden suspects. Most of those arrested were from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala.
"Too often in the past, (deportation) orders were ignored and aliens thought that after getting an order of removal they could slip back into society," said Julie Myers, assistant secretary for ICE. "Those days are no longer."
Immigrant-rights groups decried the raids for stirring fear in the community, noting that more than 100 of those arrested had no criminal or court record.
But amid heated public debate and increased political pressure to enforce the country's immigration laws, the agency has waged a high-profile campaign across the country to clamp down on illegal immigrants, last month arresting dozens at McDonald's restaurants in an identity-theft operation.
In the most recent effort, agents combed through law enforcement
and online databases and worked with local officials to identify hundreds of criminals here illegally and fugitives who have ignored deportation orders.
Fanning out across the region in daylong raids, agents arrested 530 illegal’s - 269 of whom were identified as criminals and 115 of whom had been ordered deported. The rest were undocumented immigrants who had no criminal records.
Officials said 797 inmates were taken from local jails, including 240 from those overseen by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Ventura County turned over 125 inmates, and the state prison in Lancaster had 41.
Some of the inmates were sexual predators or gang members. About 600 of those arrested have already been deported, most to Tijuana. Immigration officials said they have alerted Mexican officials of the deportations.
The crackdown is part of a national effort dubbed the Fugitive Operation Program targeting 597,000 immigrants who have been ordered by a judge to leave the country but still remain.
Already, agents said, that since October, they have reduced the number of immigrants evading deportation by 35,000, marking the first-ever decline in the immigrant backlog.
"This is a war against immigrants," said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities. "In this war, there is collateral damage. The U.S. seems to be blind to the suffering of family members and anyone else who happens to be in their way. Those that are not criminal are getting arrested."
Cabrera noted one call he received last week from a University of California, Los Angeles, student whose father was deported as part of the raid. He said the family has since moved, and he suspects others are being driven further underground.
Since the program began in 2003, 61,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested. Slightly less than a third had criminal records.
Over the past year, immigration officials have added 23 teams of about 10 agents each to the national program, including a new one created this summer in Orange County.
"It's the kind of deterrent methods that we need to be sending instead of the message of encouragement that we have been sending for two decades," said Rick Oltman, a spokesman for Californians for Population Stabilization, a group advocating tighter borders and fewer immigrants - legal or illegal. "It lets the worst of the worst know that there is no sanctuary anymore. This is the kind of thing that local law enforcement should be anxious to participate in."
The U.S. Attorney's Office is prosecuting about a dozen of those arrested in the two-week operation for re-entering the U.S. after being deported. Most of those suspects are facing three to five years in federal prison.
Peace, Love and PitBulls
Violence. It may not be the answer, But it sure cuts down on the questions!
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #59 on:
November 02, 2007, 10:54:24 AM »
'This Makes Voter Fraud Easier'
By JOHN FUND
November 2, 2007; Page A12
Sen. Hillary Clinton was asked during a debate this week if she supported New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. At first she seemed to endorse the idea, then claimed, "I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it."
The next day she took a firmer stand (sort of) by offering general support for Gov. Spitzer's approach, but adding that she hadn't studied his specific plan. She should, and so should the rest of us. It stops just short of being an engraved invitation for people to commit voter fraud.
The background here is the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as "Motor Voter," that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. It required all states to offer voter registration to anyone getting a driver's license. One simply fills out a form and checks a box stating he is a citizen; he is then registered and in most states does not have to show any ID to vote.
But no one checks if the person registering to vote is indeed a citizen. That greatly concerns New York election officials, who processed 245,000 voter registrations at DMV offices last year. "It would be [tough to catch] if someone wanted to . . . get a number of people registered who aren't citizens and went ahead and got them drivers' licenses," says Lee Daghlian, spokesman for New York's Board of Elections. Assemblywoman Ginny Fields, a Long Island Democrat, warns that the state's "Board of Elections has no voter police" and that the state probably has upwards of 500,000 illegal immigrants old enough to drive.
The potential for fraud is not trivial, as federal privacy laws prevent cross-checking voter registration rolls with immigration records. Nevertheless, a 1997 Congressional investigation found that "4,023 illegal voters possibly cast ballots in [a] disputed House election" in California. After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote.
Under pressure from liberal groups, some states have even abandoned the requirement that people check a citizenship box to be put on the voter rolls. Iowa has told local registrars they should register people even if they leave the citizenship box blank. Maryland officials wave illegal immigrants through the registration process, prompting a Justice Department letter warning they may be helping people violate federal law.
Gov. Spitzer is treading perilously close to that. Despite a tactical retreat this week -- he says he will only give illegal immigrants a license that isn't valid for airplane travel and entering federal buildings -- Mr. Spitzer has taken active steps to obliterate any distinctions between licenses given to citizens and non-citizens.
In a memo last Sept. 24, he ordered county clerks to remove the visa expiration date and "temporary visitor" stamp on licenses issued to non-citizens who are legally in the country. A Spitzer spokeswoman explained the change was made because the "temporary" label was "pejorative," given that some visitors might eventually stay in the U.S. Under fire, Mr. Spitzer backed down this week, delaying the cancellation of the "temporary visitor" stamps through the end of next year.
But he has not retreated from another new bizarre policy. It used to be that county clerks who process driver's licenses were banned from giving out voter registration forms to anyone without a Social Security number. No longer. Lou Dobbs of CNN reported that an Oct. 19 memo from the state DMV informed the clerks they don't "have any statutory discretion to withhold a motor voter form." What's more, the computer block preventing a DMV clerk from transmitting a motor voter registration without a Social Security number was removed.
Gov. Spitzer's office told me the courts have upheld their position on Social Security numbers. Sandy DePerno, the Democratic clerk of Oneida County, says that makes no sense. "This makes voter fraud easier," she told me.
While states such as New York are increasing the risk of such fraud, a half-dozen states have recently adopted laws requiring voters to offer proof of identity or citizenship before casting a ballot. A federal commission, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, gave such laws a big boost in 2005 when it called for a nationwide policy requiring a photo ID before voting.
Mr. Carter has personal knowledge of why such laws are needed. He recounts in his book "Turning Point" how his 1962 race for Georgia State Senate involved a local sheriff who had cast votes for the dead. It took a recount and court challenge before Mr. Carter was declared the winner.
Measures that curb voter fraud on the one hand and encourage it on the other will be central to the 2008 election. The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Indiana's photo ID law next spring, while lawsuits challenging Gov. Spitzer's moves will be in New York state courts.
Despite her muddled comments this week, there's no doubt where Mrs. Clinton stands on ballot integrity. She opposes photo ID laws, even though they enjoy over 80% support in the polls. She has also introduced a bill to force every state to offer no-excuse absentee voting as well as Election Day registration -- easy avenues for election chicanery. The bill requires that every state restore voting rights to all criminals who have completed their prison terms, parole or probation.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that Mrs. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that she attracts between 46% and 49% support no matter which Republican candidate she's pitted against -- even libertarian Ron Paul. She knows she may have trouble winning next year. Maybe that's why she's thrown herself in with those who will look the other way as a new electoral majority is formed -- even if that includes non-citizens, felons and those who suddenly cross a state line on Election Day and decide they want to vote someplace new.
Mr. Fund, a columnist for OpinionJournal.com, is author of a forthcoming revised edition of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy." (Encounter).
Reply #60 on:
November 02, 2007, 12:42:47 PM »
Got $500,000? The U.S. Awaits
Government's EB-5 Program
Offers Foreign Investors
Green Cards for Job Creation
By MIRIAM JORDAN
November 2, 2007; Page B1
An obscure immigration program is pumping millions of dollars from foreign investors into dilapidated inner cities and employment-starved rural areas across the U.S. These investors aren't focused on financial returns, however: They're in it to get green cards.
In recent years, a growing list of enterprises -- in agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, education and transportation -- have benefited from a little-known federal program known as EB-5, or the immigrant-investor visa. It offers a tantalizing trade-off for foreigners who want to establish residency in the U.S.: For a $500,000 investment in a distressed area, a foreigner and his immediate family become eligible for conditional green cards. They become permanent a few years later upon evidence that the investment has created at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.
Korean investors tour a Kansas ethanol plant they helped fund in an EB-5 program.
The program, administered by U.S. Immigration & Citizenship Services, essentially encourages wealthy foreigners to buy their way into the U.S. Put in place in the early 1990s, it is widely regarded as a response to efforts by Canada and Australia in the late 1980s to attract investors keen to immigrate. But the U.S. program is considered the most stringent because it requires proof that the investment has produced new jobs before permanent residency is granted.
The U.S. program lately has become popular among investors from South Korea, China, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia desperate to bypass the uncertainty and years-long wait to gain residency through traditional means. Helping fuel the new interest are immigration attorneys and others aggressively marketing the program abroad.
"The opportunity is truly beautiful to individuals who want to live and contribute their energy in the United States," says Morrie Berez, chief of the EB-5 program at the immigration agency. "And it creates economic growth and especially jobs for Americans." The job-creation aspect of the program appears to have neutralized criticism from anti-immigration activists.
Under the program, developers sometimes working with local officials apply to the Immigration agency for "regional center" status, typically in a distressed area. Once approved, a regional center markets its program overseas to investors who become equity partners.
The projects promise only modest returns. But that isn't the main concern for investors such as Sungtae Kim, a Korean software entrepreneur who wanted to come to the U.S. to give his daughters better opportunities. After failing to qualify for a U.S. alien-worker program, he heard about EB-5 from a friend in Los Angeles. Soon, he was in touch with the Seoul branch of a U.S. law firm that specializes in the program.
After attending a seminar in Seoul to learn about the regional centers, Mr. Kim decided to put $500,000 that he had saved over 20 years from a software business into a dairy farm in Veblen, S.D. "I wanted to give my two daughters a better life and good education," he says. Two weeks ago, Mr. Kim and his family moved to a Los Angeles suburb known for its strong public schools. Mr. Kim, who has never visited a dairy farm, hopes to once he is settled.
Yong Nan Park invested in a South Dakota dairy farm, enabling her to immigrate to California with her family.
South Dakota, one of the first states to tap into the program in 2004, credits the immigrant-investor scheme with reviving its dairy industry and starting a new meat-packing sector. The state had been trying to attract foreign investment in its dairy industry before it discovered the EB-5 program. It got regional-center qualification for a swath of 45 contiguous counties in the eastern part of the state. In two years, the program has helped fund new dairy farms worth $90 million and beef-processing plants valued at $52 million, state officials say.
"Suddenly we have extra capital to accelerate development and help South Dakota farmers who want to go large-scale but lack capital," says Joop Bollen, who oversees the state's program, which has attracted European and Asian investors.
In the financial year that ended Sept. 30, the immigration agency awarded 803 conditional EB-5 green cards to investors and their families, up from 247 in 2004. Mr. Berez hopes by 2011 to be issuing all 10,000 of the green cards available each year under the program -- a potential of nearly $2 billion in annual investments, he estimates.
Around the U.S., 17 regional centers under the EB-5 program have attracted about $500 million in foreign funds. Projects include dairy farms in Iowa, nut farms in California, schools and health-care facilities in Alabama, ethanol plants in Texas, and a film and TV production studio in Pennsylvania. Mr. Berez's team is considering several more areas.
Tom Willis, chief executive of Conestoga Energy Partners LLC in Liberal, Kan., recently guided Korean investors around a new ethanol plant in which they are minority partners. "Their dollars allow us to create jobs, a greater tax base and grow our schools," Mr. Willis says. "You hear about people leaving rural America...This helps us control our destiny."
The program isn't a slam-dunk for applicants. The U.S. government temporarily suspended it in 1998 to tighten up procedures that enabled some investors to disburse less money than agreed. Mr. Berez, a former official at the Government Accountability Office, was charged with overhauling the program in 2002. Now, investors must put up the entire $500,000 before they can file their green-card petition.
To get his family to the U.S., French law professor Eric Canal-Forgues, a consultant to the World Trade Organization, put his life savings into a Philadelphia regional center that involved partially financing Comcast Corp.'s new international headquarters.
"I have gotten from Europe everything I want," says the 45-year-old Paris native. "The United States is a place where you can do many things." He wants to further his career and raise his two young children as fluent English speakers.
It took Mr. Canal-Forgues almost a year to amass the paperwork required, which included showing the origins of the $500,000 he was committing, his tax returns, pay stubs and employment contracts. In May, he received his conditional approval from Immigration, pending an interview at the U.S. embassy in Paris. He hopes to move to the U.S. with his family by mid-2008.
"The EB-5 program is one of the most complex and heavily scrutinized immigration programs," says Stephen Yale-Loehr, Mr. Canal-Forgues's attorney and an expert on EB-5 visas. "Investors must show every cent was earned legally."
The Immigration agency also needs to ensure terrorists aren't buying their way into the U.S. And, given U.S. sanctions, an Iranian EB-5 applicant under consideration must prove that he didn't make money from doing business with that country's government.
In Seattle, critics have complained that revitalization of an area south of downtown has raised rents for industrial tenants. But the program hasn't drawn notable criticism from immigration-restrictionist groups. "If jobs are being created in exchange for visas through a process you can verify, I don't think we can object to it," says Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which calls for a clampdown on both legal and illegal immigration. But he suggests that the program should "remain small in scope."
Competition for EB-5 dollars is intensifying as more areas win regional-center designations. Venture capitalists William Hungerford and Tim Milbrath have been traveling to the Middle East seeking investors for a fund that will invest in extended-stay hotels, private clinics and other infrastructure in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. South Dakota's Mr. Bollen recently put in calls to Argentina and Brazil, hoping to tap into a new pool of foreigners eager to live in the U.S. "We want to continue to pick as much fruit from the EB-5 tree as we can," he says.
Write to Miriam Jordan at
Saudi Arabia? Elsewhere in the Middle East?!?
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #61 on:
November 05, 2007, 07:35:32 PM »
Haven't had a chance to look at it closely, but this site tracks illegal acts of , , , illegals:
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #62 on:
November 21, 2007, 09:47:11 AM »
Here's a point of view to consider:
Food for Thought
By TOM NASSIF
November 20, 2007;
In the midst of the combustive debate over immigration reform, we in agriculture have been forthright about the elephant in America's living room: Much of our workforce is in the country illegally -- as much as 70%.
Faced with the option of economic ruin, as hundreds of millions of dollars worth of our livelihood rots in the fields, or the embrace of a fatally flawed immigration system, our industry and farm families opt to survive. Who wouldn't? For those who have a 10-20 day harvest window to make or break their entire business year, government promises to fix the system don't work. We can't wait for rules to change. We need reform and we need it now.
Western Growers -- representing half of all the fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. -- has repeatedly called for a fix. We want and expect government to enforce immigration laws; we want a secure border, fraud-proof IDs and valid Social Security cards. Despite a broken and unworkable system, however, Congress has chosen not to act. Meanwhile, the Bush administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- under intense political pressure -- did begin to move.
Last month, a federal judge ordered an indefinite delay to the DHS's "no-match" program that would have forced employers to fire workers whose Social Security numbers did not match their names. The judge said it would cause "irreparable harm to innocent workers and employers." This preliminary injunction has prevented the DHS from proceeding with the shortsighted no-match program.
The DHS openly concedes our industry's reliance on falsely documented workers. But like a physician who diagnoses an open wound but uses salt in place of sutures, DHS avoided the cure in favor of additional pain.
The pain was in the form of the no-match rules. The DHS guidelines would have established purported "safe harbor" procedures for employers who received a Social Security Administration (SSA) no-match letter. The letter notifies an employer that he has submitted employee W-2s with names and Social Security numbers that do not match. Employers would have had to fire employees who could not produce new documentation within 90 days of receiving the letter, or face the risk that DHS may find that the employer had knowledge that the employee was unauthorized.
The regulations would have put farmers in an untenable situation: Either terminate the majority of their existing workforce and let the crops die in the fields, or disregard the rules and risk having to pay huge fines and penalties for "knowingly" employing undocumented workers. This attempt by DHS to expose illegal immigrants would have done nothing to address the underlying issues or correct the problem.
Fortunately, the courts have stepped in and the Bush administration now has an opportunity to fix our broken system. The plaintiffs in the case argued that DHS's plans would place a costly burden on employers and result in the needless firing of employees. That, in turn, would open employers up to lawsuits and charges of discrimination. Civil liberties organizations pointed out the no-match rules would likely lead to the violation of the rights of many legal workers who might have made a mistake they couldn't correct before deadline.
These valid concerns must be addressed. Agriculture yearns for a legal, stable, economical workforce; we have been saying so for years. And though we are relieved by the court's decision, it doesn't change the fact that this industry still needs a workable solution. Our current guest-worker program, known as H2-A, is costly and cumbersome, and sets labor standards that are not competitive in the global marketplace.
At the Bush administration's request, we have suggested changes to the H-2A program, such as expediting the application process and faxing guest-worker approval notices, instead of relying on "snail mail" while highly perishable crops await timely harvesters. These fixes are not difficult and can, in most cases, be administratively applied -- what is the delay?
If the DHS's no-match program had gone forward, America's domestic food supply would have been irreparably damaged. Small farm owners would have gone out of business and large operators could have taken their operations abroad -- taking hundreds of thousands of jobs with them.
Our industry, as well as farm-worker advocates -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- support legislation known as AgJOBS. This bill, which was a part of the Senate's "grand bargain," includes a temporary guest-worker program that logically matches willing farmers with willing foreign laborers.
AgJOBS provides the perfect opportunity for Congress to make progress on this critically important issue. Americans don't raise their children to work in the fields, and so we are reliant on a foreign workforce. We desperately want that workforce to be legal, and AgJOBS affords us that opportunity.
The Bush administration does support comprehensive immigration reform, and reportedly set in place the DHS's draconian no-match rules to force the issue. Still, it was playing a risky game of chance with U.S. agriculture to the detriment of our industry, our economy and American consumers.
We must stop playing games with our domestic food supply. Agriculture needs workers, Americans won't do the work and Congress lacks the courage to pass a comprehensive immigration package. It is time for Congress to find its courage, rise above the anger of the activists, and come together to solve this problem.
Mr. Nassif is president & CEO of Western Growers.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #63 on:
November 21, 2007, 10:48:48 AM »
American farmers have had twenty years to lobby the government to issue more Green cards and work visas for legal migrant workers but the fact is they have preferred illegal aliens over legal because they didn't need to pay in any social security, workers comp. or take out taxes on them. They could exploit and under pay them as they wished, make them work and live under the worse possible conditions and not worry about them complaining. It's not like they just woke up yesterday and found out all their employees were illegal. Now they have the nerve to cry about being punished for the mess they have helped to create? Well, boo hoo. What goes around comes around.
Health insurance and immigrants
Reply #64 on:
November 29, 2007, 10:05:31 AM »
We keep hearing how 40 plus million Americans have no insurance. What we don't keep hearing is that most of those were not born here and probably at least half did not come here illegally. We cannot have effective immigartion reform until we get rid of 200 year laws that make anyone born here automatically a citizen. It is absolutely amazing that when I go onto the elevator at the hospital most of the time people getting off at labor and delivery are non English speaking Mexicans, or Central Americans.
What about today's reports that 30 - 65% of the immigrants in several states are illegal? What about the likelihood this is an underestimate? What about on O'Reilly last night an illegal immigrant defender was claiming they pay 6 billion in taxes? Well when one does the math - assuming there is only 10 million illegals in the US (there has got to be more than this) that comes out to a lousy $600 a head. I wish I could send my kids to school, to the ER for $600 a year.
Is any one looking into how many of these people have illegal voting cards? I would be willing to bet many do.
Lou Dobbs is the only one saying anything about this issue.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #65 on:
November 30, 2007, 10:08:20 AM »
American Brain Drain
November 30, 2007; Page A16
One myth dogging the immigration debate is that employers are fibbing (or grossly exaggerating) when they claim that hiring foreign professionals is unavoidable because U.S.-born Ph.D.s are hard to come by. But a new report on doctorates from U.S. universities shows they're telling the truth, and then some.
Foreign-born students holding temporary visas received 33% of all research doctorates awarded by U.S. universities in 2006, according to an annual survey by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. That number has climbed from 25% in 2001. But more to the point of business competitiveness, foreign students comprised 44% of science and engineering doctorates last year.
"China was the country of origin for the largest number of non-U.S. doctorates in 2006," says the report, followed by India, Korea, Taiwan and Canada. "The percentage of doctorates earned by U.S. citizens ranged from lows of 32% in engineering and 47% in physical sciences, to highs of 87% in education and 78% in humanities." Given this reality, is it any wonder that 40% of Ph.D.s working in U.S. science and engineering occupations are foreign-born?
Immigration opponents still claim that the likes of Intel and Oracle merely want to hire Chinese engineers on the cheap. In fact, U.S. law already prohibits companies from paying these foreign nationals less than natives. And all other things being equal, the American job applicant has an advantage because employers are required to pay an additional $4,000-$6,000 in taxes and fees on every H-1B visa holder they hire.
A mere 65,000 H-1B visas for foreign professionals are allocated each year. And this year, as in the previous four, the quota was exhausted almost as soon as the applications became available in April. This effectively means that more than half of all foreign nationals who earned advanced degrees in math and science in 2007 have been shut out of the U.S. job market.
Economic protectionists oppose lifting the visa cap to meet demand. But it makes little sense for our universities to be educating these talented foreign students, only to send them packing after graduation. Current policies have MIT and Stanford educating the next generation of innovators -- and then deporting them to create wealth elsewhere.
Closing the door to foreign professionals puts U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage and pushes jobs out of the country. Worse, it does so at a time when other nations are rolling out the welcome mat. Earlier this year Microsoft, which is the third-largest sponsor of H-1B visas, announced plans to open a new software development center near Vancouver. The decision to locate the facility in Canada was based in part on the fact that it doesn't have access to enough foreign workers state-side.
"We currently do 85% of our development work in the U.S., and we'd like to continue doing that," says Jack Krumholtz, the company's director of government affairs. "But if we can't hire the developers we need, . . . we're going to have to look to other options to get the work done." Meanwhile, the European Union recently introduced its own new temporary work visa that's designed to reduce red tape and waiting periods for foreign professionals.
If the U.S. spurns this human capital, it will find a home somewhere else. And that will be America's loss.
WSJ: What problem?
Reply #66 on:
January 01, 2008, 02:22:38 PM »
Keeping Book on Immigration
December 31, 2007; Page A12
The Census Bureau informs us that when the clock strikes midnight, the U.S. population will exceed 303.1 million. That represents a one-year increase of 0.9% and a 22% increase since 1990, when our population stood at a mere 248.7 million souls. A lot of this growth is driven by immigration, a topic that has dominated the news for much of 2007.
Talk radio hosts, cable newscasters and Presidential hopefuls insist that foreign nationals drive crime rates, swell welfare rolls and steal jobs. But the data tell a very different story.
Between 1994 and 2005, the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. is estimated to have doubled to around 12 million. Yet according the Department of Justice, over that same period the violent crime rate in the U.S. declined by 34.2% and the property crime rate fell by 26.4%, reaching their lowest levels since 1973. Crime has fallen in cities with the largest immigrant populations -- such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami -- as well as border cities like San Diego and El Paso, Texas.
A recent paper by the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy group, notes that "Numerous studies by independent researchers and government commissions over the past 100 years repeatedly and consistently have found that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native born." Today, immigrants on balance are five times less likely to be in prison than someone born here.
It's not because law-abiding foreign professionals from India and China are compensating for criminally inclined low-skill Latinos. Immigrants from countries that comprise the bulk of our illegal alien population -- including Mexicans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans -- have lower incarceration rates than the native-born.
Another popular belief is that immigrants come here to go on the dole. The data show that welfare caseloads have fallen as illegal immigration has risen. As Peter Wehner and Yuval Levin report in the December issue of Commentary magazine, "Since the high-water mark in 1994, the national welfare caseload has declined by 60%. Virtually every state in the union has reduced its caseload by at least a third, and some have achieved reductions of over 90%."
Apparently immigrants don't drive welfare caseloads anymore than they drive the U.S. crime rate. The authors go on to note that, "Not only have the numbers of people on welfare plunged, but, in the wake of the 1996 welfare-reform bill, overall poverty, child poverty, black child poverty and child hunger have all decreased, while employment figures for single mothers have risen."
For all the talk about the "invasion" of million upon million of job-consuming immigrants, the unemployment rate stands at 4.7%, and job growth continues apace. Immigrants aren't stealing jobs but filling them. The economic activity they create as consumers and entrepreneurs contributes to the overall economic growth.
None of this is to argue that illegal immigration doesn't have costs, especially in border communities and states with large public benefits. In the post-9/11 environment, knowing who's in the country is more important than ever. That's an argument for better regulating cross-border labor flows, not ending them.
The best way to reduce pressure on the border is by providing legal ways for people to come and work. With the Bracero guest-worker program of the 1950s, illegal entries from Mexico declined to a trickle. A similar program today could have much the same effect, while serving our homeland security and economic interests. On balance, the evidence shows that immigrants are still an asset to the U.S.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #67 on:
January 02, 2008, 06:40:19 PM »
Terrorism arrests made on Texas border
Insurgents connected to Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida detained
By: Jeff Carlton (The Associated Press)
DALLAS - Texas' top homeland security official said Wednesday that terrorists with ties to Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaida have been arrested crossing the Texas border with Mexico in recent years.
"Has there ever been anyone linked to terrorism arrested?" Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw said in a speech to the North Texas Crime Commission. "Yes, there was."
His remarks appear to be among the most specific on the topic of terrorism arrests along the Texas-Mexico border. Local and elected officials have alluded to this happening but have been short on details.
Leticia Zamarripa, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in El Paso, said Wednesday she was unaware of any border arrests of people with terrorist ties. An ICE spokeswoman in San Antonio did not return phone messages left by The Associated Press. U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Lloyd M. Easterling was unable to comment.
However, McCraw's remarks are similar to those made recently by National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, who last month told the El Paso Times that a small number of people with known links to terrorist organizations have been caught crossing the border.
McCraw identified the most notable figure captured as Farida Goolam Mahomed Ahmed, who was arrested in July 2004 at the McAllen airport. She carried $7,300 in various currencies and a South African passport with pages missing. Federal officials later learned she waded across the Rio Grande.
After her arrest, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a release saying she was wanted for questioning about the bombing of a U.S. Consulate office, jibing with similar statements from a U.S. congressman.
But the department quickly retracted the terrorism connection, calling it "inaccurate on several levels." Michael Shelby, then the U.S. attorney in Houston, said in January 2005 that any suggestion Ahmed was involved in terrorism "is in error."
According to federal court records, Ahmed pleaded guilty to improper entry by an alien, making a false statement and false use of a passport. She was sentenced to time served and deported to South Africa. Other details of the case were sealed.
But on Wednesday, McCraw described Ahmed as having ties to an insurgent group in Pakistan and whose specialty was smuggling Afghanis and other foreign nationals across the border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel could not confirm details about Ahmed on Wednesday.
McCraw also said that since March 2006, 347 people from what he called "terrorism-related countries" have been arrested crossing the border in Texas. The number of Iraqis captured at the border has tripled since last year, he said.
"A porous border without question is a national security threat," he said.
Terrorism isn't the only concern for homeland security officials in Texas, McCraw said. The state's size, population and geography make it susceptible to all sorts of disasters, both natural and man-made. Emergency responders must also be prepared for natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires, he said.
The state has made significant strides in emergency planning since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Hurricane Rita, McCraw said. Plans include cooperating with large private companies, including grocery stores, Wal-Mart and the oil industry, to help the state respond during disasters.
"This is not a shot at FEMA, but we can't depend on FEMA to protect Texas," McCraw said. "The governor's mandate has made it clear: If those buses don't come, we better have our own buses. If that food doesn't come,we better have our own food. If that water doesn't come, we better have our own water to take care of Texas." © Copyright 2008 The Daily Texan
Reply #68 on:
February 23, 2008, 09:42:18 PM »
U.S. Curbs Big Plans
For Border Tech Fence
By EVAN PEREZ and AUGUST COLE
February 23, 2008; Page A1
WASHINGTON -- The government yesterday officially unveiled its $20 million "virtual fence," touted for months as one of the most effective ways to secure America's leaky U.S.-Mexico border.
But the problems that have plagued the high-tech barrier mean that the fence's first 28 miles will also likely be its last. The Department of Homeland Security now says it doesn't plan to replicate the Boeing Co. initiative anywhere else. A spokeswoman says there are no plans to expand the project beyond its first phase, although Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says "some elements" of the project may be used in other locations.
Nine tall towers punctuate the fence.
The effective mothballing of the concept is a setback for the government's border-protection efforts, an embarrassment for politicians backing the idea of an electronic fence and a blow to Boeing, the project's designer. It will also do little to settle the fractious politics of immigration, which continue to reverberate around the campaign trail.
The virtual fence, called Project 28, came up during Thursday's debate in Austin, Texas, when both Democratic presidential candidates expressed their support for a high-tech alternative to the federal government's construction of a 12-foot-tall physical fence. That project, begun last year, has elicited outcry from Texas property owners and local officials.
"Let's deploy more technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier," said New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama of Illinois agreed: "There may be areas where it makes sense to have some fencing. But for the most part, having [the] border patrolled, surveillance, deploying effective technology, that's going to be the better approach." Both senators had earlier voted for legislation mandating 700 miles of physical fence in sections of California, Arizona and Texas.
It's unlikely that any administration will be able to embark on an immigration revamp until it can persuade skeptical Republicans it can effectively police the border. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican and likely presidential nominee, sponsored a comprehensive immigration bill last year that collapsed due to strong opposition from his own party. He has since said he supports securing the border before tackling more controversial immigration proposals, such as providing a way for undocumented immigrants to obtain legal status in the U.S.
Project 28 was based on off-the-shelf technology tied together by Boeing. Cameras and radar mounted atop 98-foot towers would pick out smugglers and illegal immigrants from miles away, allowing fewer agents to patrol a given stretch of border. Command centers and mobile communications systems were also part of the contract.
But getting all these elements to work together harmoniously has proven problematic. Project 28's technology problems included software integration issues and difficulty getting the towers' cameras to synch with the radar systems. The radar had trouble identifying objects amid desert scrub and trees. Rain posed problems to the surveillance systems, and concerns persist that the towers are tempting targets for increasingly well-armed drug gangs looking to shut down the system.
At his news conference yesterday, Mr. Chertoff played down the technological problems, which he likened to finding problems during a house inspection that aren't significant enough to nullify a purchase contract. "I have personally witnessed the value of this system, and I have spoken directly to the border-patrol agents who are involved in operating that system over the last few months and who have seen it produce actual results in terms of identifying and allowing the apprehension of people who are illegally smuggling across the border," he said.
A Boeing spokeswoman says Project 28 "is a proof of concept. The concept works." The company is nonetheless changing how it produces the technology. There will be more hardware and software testing at special centers, instead of relying on fixes made at the border, the spokeswoman says.
Government officials had great ambitions for the project. Although it's unlikely that the entire border would be policed electronically, there are potentially 6,000 miles of the U.S. border with Canada and Mexico that could have been covered by advanced systems. That work would be worth billions of dollars. Success in the U.S. could also have led to overseas customers who want to use technology to track cross-border traffic and smuggling.
Last month during a tour, customs and border-patrol officials showed Attorney General Michael Mukasey the rugged terrain that Project 28 oversees. A Homeland Security Blackhawk helicopter soared above a vast expanse of breathtaking jagged desert peaks, amid which Project 28 towers stood their sentinel watch over the border. "Admittedly, we gave Boeing some of the roughest parts of the border to work with," a border-patrol official told the attorney general, explaining what he said were many problems the system had encountered.
In August, Boeing replaced the manager of Project 28. For months, Boeing and Homeland Security wouldn't say when the work was going to be complete. In early December, the government said it was closing in on taking delivery. But that same month, the government gave Boeing another $64 million contract to fix the "common operating picture," which lets agents in vehicles see imagery from the towers' surveillance systems. Yesterday's announcement marked the final end of the testing period.
Homeland Security officials took possession of the system over the objections of Congress, which has been critical of the department and of Boeing for the problems that have bedeviled the program. "We are no safer and out millions of dollars," said Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman Christopher Carney, oversight chairman in the House Homeland Security committee. "We were led to believe that this was going to be a Beta test for a virtual fence for the border. Certainly this is not the force multiplier it was supposed to be."
Laura Keehner, a Homeland Security spokeswoman, said, "Those who choose to criticize without seeing the technology firsthand are merely bystanders of the product and have no idea how hard our border patrol is working to keep America safe. We would not have accepted it if it didn't work."
In the meantime, construction of the physical barrier continues. On Friday, Mr. Chertoff said the government has already built about 300 miles of fence and is on pace to build about 670 miles by the end of the year.
I share Pat's frustration
Reply #69 on:
March 02, 2008, 11:04:48 AM »
Patrick J. Buchanan
by Patrick J. Buchanan
When Woodrow Wilson went to Congress to ask for a declaration of war in 1917, the U.S. Army was ranked 17th in the world, behind Portugal.
On Armistice Day, 19 months later, there were 2 million doughboys in France, where they had helped to break the back of Gen. Ludendorff's theretofore invincible army in its final offensive, and 2 million more in the United States ready to march on Berlin.
No other nation could have done that.
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, FDR demanded that a disarmed America "build 50,000 planes" -- a seemingly impossible number, but one America met and exceeded.
Starting from scratch in 1941, the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge and Los Alamos designed, built, tested and detonated three atomic bombs by August 1945 to end the war.
After Sputnik humiliated America, Wernher Von Braun and the boys at Redstone Arsenal had a satellite up in three months. In 1961, JFK declared we were going to the moon and would be there before the decade was out. Cynics scoffed. This writer was at Canaveral to watch Apollo 11 lift off in the summer of 1969.
Whatever became of that can-do nation?
In August 2005, Katrina swept through New Orleans and left 30,000 people stranded at the Superdome and Convention Center. Though the floodwater was shallow and stagnant and New Orleans is a port city with boats all over the place, it took six days and the 82nd Airborne to rescue the stranded.
Compare our performance in Katrina with that of the Brits in 1941, who sent hundreds of boats across the Channel to pull 350,000 British and French troops off the continent in one week in the Miracle of Dunkirk. The Brits weren't going to let Goering's fighters deter them from going across and bringing their boys home.
What occasions these reflections is this morning's lead story in The Washington Post: "'Virtual Fence' Along Border to Be Delayed: U.S. Retooling High-Tech Barrier After 28-Mile Project Fails."
The opening paragraphs:
"The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a 'virtual fence' along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear. ...
"Technical problems discovered in a 28-mile pilot project south of Tucson prompted the change in plans. ..."
Thus, building the first 100 miles of "virtual fence" will take Bush longer than it took FDR to win World War II. The admission of failure comes two years after Bush announced plans for "the most technologically advanced border initiative in American history."
"The virtual fence," writes the Post, "was to complement a physical fence that the administration now says will include 370 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers to be completed by the end of this year. The GAO says this portion of the project may also be delayed and that its total cost cannot be determined. The president's 2009 budget does not propose funds to add fencing beyond the 700 or so miles meant to be completed by this year."
In short, these characters cannot build a virtual fence and won't complete a physical fence.
If the nation is fed up with Republicans, who can blame them?
Securing a border is not that difficult. In 1954, President Eisenhower sent an Army general to Texas to do it. He began repatriating thousands of Mexicans and had the situation in hand within a year. Along the San Diego corridor, a crude fence of corrugated steel matting from U.S. airfields in Vietnam has stopped illegal trucks from crossing, cut back 90 percent on the illegal alien traffic, and virtually eliminated murders and assaults in the border area.
Measures taken lately at the state and federal level, though grudgingly by the administration, have begun to bear fruit.
After Arizonans voted to cut off all social benefits to residents who could not prove they were in the country legally came reports of people pulling their kids out of public schools and leaving the state.
From the border come reports that added Border Patrol agents have reduced the number of illegal aliens apprehended, suggesting word has gone out south of the border that it is no longer so easy to walk in. And deportations of criminal aliens, long demanded, is actually going up.
Let it be said: Our border can be secured; the illegal aliens can be sent home; the magnets that draw them here can be turned off. This crisis can be resolved if the courage and will are there. Unfortunately, we have a government that does not seem to care and probable nominees neither of whom is committed in his heart to doing it.
Given the manifest will of the people that this invasion from the south be halted and rolled back, the 2008 election is shaping up as yet further confirmation that American democracy is a fraud.
Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of "The Death of the West," "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."
Here are a few of the comments submitted by our readers.Click to view all
Report Abusive PostGreat article Pat, always on the money. Problem is, no one cares or those that do and make policy have directly opposite views and wish to have no borders with Mexico. Sadly, we're on this ride and can't get off.
Joe, Kansas City, Missouri
Feb 29, 2008 @ 09:45 AM
Report Abusive PostIt's not that we can't secure the border... it's simply that we WON'T secure the border, and that's an entirely different matter. A physical fence would be better than a virtual fence because even if the technology catches border crossers, we would still need the willpower to turn them back. A virtual fence enables the politicians to give lip service to border security without having to enforce the laws on the books. It takes actual willpower to build a fence and enforce the law.
It would be very easy to do; hire ten contractors, each with its own section of fence/wall to build. Whoever finishes his section first gets a multimillion-dollar bonus. You can bet the fence would be built in record time, and under budget.
JKM, South Carolina
Feb 29, 2008 @ 09:49 AM
Report Abusive PostOur political leaders defiantly lie to us with great hubris.
Clearly, we need a third or fourth political party to defiantly say "goodbye" to these arrogant elitists.
Gary, Eastern Shore
Feb 29, 2008 @ 09:51 AM
Copyright © 2008 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.
Last Edit: March 02, 2008, 11:38:38 AM by Crafty_Dog
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #70 on:
March 09, 2008, 08:12:29 AM »
Written with a NY Times agenda, but still worth the reading.
After a Fight to Survive, One to Succeed
By NINA BERNSTEIN
They came to New York as “displaced persons” in the early 1950s, Jewish refugees who had survived the Holocaust. Today, in film and story, such survivors are treated with a kind of awe, and their arrival in America is considered a happy ending. But a very different picture, with an oddly contemporary twist, emerges from the yellowing pages of social service records now being rescued from oblivion at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan.
The files, from a major Jewish resettlement agency that handled tens of thousands of cases, show that many of these refugees walked a gantlet of resistance and distrust: disapproval of their lack of English and need for health care, threats of deportation, and agency rules shaped by a suspicion of freeloading.
An unschooled 19-year-old hoping for an education was scolded for dreaming and sent to work in a factory. A newlywed couple who arrived with four pieces of baggage, “mostly books,” were soon forced to choose whether the husband would keep his job or keep the Jewish Sabbath. An ailing, jobless father of three, facing immigration laws that called for deportation of those who sought public aid, told his caseworker, as her notes put it, that “he was more concerned and more disturbed now than he had ever been in the Warsaw Ghetto.”
Between the lines of these and other case files, chosen at random from the first boxes to arrive at the center for archival preservation, the stubborn resilience of many refugees shines through. Today we know that as a group, over time, they did exceptionally well in America. But in the files, the uncertainty of each case resonates across six decades, and poses a haunting question: What became of these people?
Tracking down the answer can provide more than a bittersweet coda to dusty documents. It can suddenly allow the past to speak to the present.
Take that 19-year-old, whose name was Hersch Wanderer, later Americanized to Harry. He was sent to work in a buckle factory and had to drop out of night school. But reached recently at his winter home in Boca Raton, Fla., Mr. Wanderer, 77, said he had done well enough in business to start two scholarships in New York, “for young people to have the chance that no one gave me.”
It will take two to three years for center archivists to process the hundreds of thousands of records being retrieved from scattered warehouses of the resettlement agency, the New York Association for New Americans, including documentation that spans later refugee migrations. Carl J. Rheins, executive director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, a partner of the center, called the trove one of the most significant additions to the archives in 30 years, and said he was eager to make it available to researchers, students and family members.
“This is an important chapter in American immigration history,” he said. “It’s got to figure in the dialogue about immigration, about keeping the doors of this country open.”
The doors were virtually shut in the 1920s, with highly restrictive quotas that held firm through World War II despite appeals for people fleeing fascism. At the war’s end, polls showed that as many as 72 percent of Americans disapproved of President Harry S. Truman’s proposal to allow more European refugees to come to the United States, largely based on fears of unemployment.
Patchwork legislation eventually allowed for admission of almost half a million displaced persons, as they were called, by 1951. But a cold-war climate also led to increasingly severe measures to exclude, deport and even revoke the citizenship of those who fell short of desired self-sufficiency, morality or political orthodoxy, according to Aristide R. Zolberg, a leading historian of immigration policy.
The files reflect that mood. In one, caseworkers worried that an unmarried young woman whose family had perished in the death camps could be excluded for “moral turpitude.” She was arriving with a 3-year-old child, the son of an American serviceman who had abandoned her when she was six months pregnant.
In another case, a young family was cut off from agency assistance two months after their arrival, for failing to disclose a “secret bank account” containing $138 in loans from friends. The wife, a survivor of three years in a German concentration camp and four years of exile in Russia, had found it hard to live within the agency’s $47 monthly allowance, the file said, because she “never accepts the fact that she just can’t buy as much food as she wants to give to her child.”
Many of the files reflect the families’ fear of deportation if they had to seek public aid or health care. The father of three who had survived day to day in the Warsaw Ghetto, for example, was distraught when the agency cut off aid and told him to apply for welfare in May 1952, a year after the family arrived. Even the agency was uncertain how welfare might affect their future under a pending immigration bill.
“In leaving me today he was quite disturbed and fearful,” the caseworker wrote of the father, a 46-year-old former printer with a dislocated arm, who had been studying English, taking a course in making picture frames, and hunting for night work.
His wife, 10 years younger, worked as a dressmaker at first, but had to stop because of an unplanned pregnancy and complications. The couple had even considered placing the baby for adoption, but could not bear to do it, the caseworker reported.
“He felt that the family needed money immediately,” but that in applying for welfare “he would be besmirching his children’s names,” the file said. “As he talked about this, he moved quickly to a feeling of desperation and wondered whether he would ever be able to be successful.”
An effort to trace that family for this article failed, and under the rules of access to the records, their names cannot be published without their permission. But a file about the family of Lajosh and Alice Pauker, who entered the United States in 1960, led to their two children. Mr. Pauker sought the agency’s help in November 1961, when his wife, an Auschwitz survivor from Hungary, broke down at her factory job in Brooklyn and was taken to a hospital psychiatric ward.
“He had been told to take his wife out of Kings County Hospital immediately, as otherwise she would be deported,” wrote the agency caseworker, unable to deny or confirm what Mr. Pauker had heard from friends. “He firmly believes that her ‘nervous condition’ is the result of her concentration camp experience.”
Instead of asking about that experience, however, the caseworker focused on documenting every penny of the family’s finances. The only help the agency provided was paying for the mother’s psychotherapy and tranquilizers. The father, an itinerant repairman of soda-water chargers, was later chided for not reporting the few dollars that his young son earned fixing bicycles after school. And when his daughter graduated from high school with honors, she had to give up on college to help support the family.
“I’m grateful for what they did, but basically, they were not looking at the overall picture,” said the son, Peter Pauker, now 59, an advertising consultant in Manhattan.
Atina Grossman, a historian at Cooper Union who has written about the displaced-persons camps of postwar Germany, said attitudes reflected in the case files were widespread at the time, shaped in part by pre-Depression ideas about pauperism, and by a mix of pity and contempt for the “D.P.’s,” as they were widely known.
“Nobody is thinking, ‘Oh, amazing, survivors,’ ” Professor Grossman said. “At worst they are human debris, quote-unquote; at best they are unfortunate victims who have to be resocialized. There’s this big concern on the part of the social workers that they are creating a dependent class.”
Walter Ruby, a spokesman for the resettlement agency, said the social workers showed the refugees compassion within the limits of the system. “ ‘America doesn’t take care of you’ — that was what they were telling these people,” he said.
The paradox, Professor Grossman said, was that as a group, displaced persons were very self-reliant.
The newlywed couple offer a striking example. In January 1954, a caseworker suggested they “readjust their thinking” about observing Sabbath at sundown on Fridays if the husband, an engineer, wanted to stay in his profession. The husband wanted to respect the strong religious feeling of his young bride, the file noted, but his boss would not permit a change in work schedule.
The couple, now 80 and 77 and living in Manhattan, have not forgotten the choice they confronted in a new marriage and a new land. But considering what they had overcome, they said it hardly fazed them.
The husband, Mark Kanal, started work at age 11, and was the only one in his family to survive Auschwitz. When he tried to return to his hometown after the liberation, he said, he narrowly escaped lynching by Polish anti-Semites.
So, like many others, he crossed borders illegally to get to American-occupied Germany. Determined to go to college, he used his cigarette allotment from a United Nations refugee organization to pay for tutoring from unemployed professors, and made it into the polytechnic institute in Munich. There he met his wife, Rachel, who had spent the war in Siberia.
“To come to a democratic country like America and not be able to practice your religion there the way you feel you should didn’t feel right to me,” Mrs. Kanal said. Her husband agreed. So he gave up his first American engineering job — and went on to a career as an aerospace engineer, eventually working on NASA’s moon and space shuttle programs.
“This is the real America,” he said recently, recalling how Sputnik ended the gentlemen’s agreements that in his experience had kept Jews out of high technology. “You want to do it, you know you can do it — go, see what you can do.”
Today’s immigration debate often contrasts the achievements of such legal immigrants with the burdens imposed by illegal border-crossers. But that distinction does not seem so clear to people like Harry Wanderer and his older sister, Helen.
In 1951, a caseworker dismissed Harry’s interest in a yeshiva education as “unreal,” and told him “he was expecting the agency to operate as an affluent parent on whom he could lean for support.” She did not know that he was a young child when the Nazis invaded his hometown in Poland, that he had dug potatoes in Siberia to help his family survive, cleaned toilets in a Czech prisoner of war camp for two cigarettes a day that he could trade for bread, and smuggled himself across several borders to reach a D.P. camp — the portal to emigration.
“We were all smuggled across borders,” said his sister, who was 26 when they arrived in New York, and is now a retired Hebrew teacher of 83. “We had to go someplace. America seemed good. And they let us in!”
WSJ: More Visas, More jobs
Reply #71 on:
March 19, 2008, 11:20:12 AM »
More Visas, More Jobs
March 19, 2008; Page A16
Bill Gates appeared before Congress again last week to make a simple point to simpler pols: The ridiculously low annual cap on H-1B visas for foreign professionals is undermining the ability of U.S. companies to compete in a global marketplace.
"Congress's failure to pass high-skill immigration reform has exacerbated an already grave situation," said the Microsoft chairman. "The current base cap of 65,000 H-1B visas is arbitrarily set and bears no relation to the U.S. economy's demand for skilled workers."
The Labor Department projects that by 2014 there will be more than two million job openings in science, technology, engineering and math fields. But the number of Americans graduating with degrees in those disciplines is falling. Meanwhile, visa quotas make it increasingly difficult for U.S. companies to hire foreign-born graduates of our own universities. Last year, as in prior years, the supply of H-1B visas was exhausted on the first day petitions could be filed.
"Today, knowledge and expertise are the essential raw materials that companies and countries need in order to be competitive," said Mr. Gates. "We live in an economy that depends on the ability of innovative companies to attract and retain the very best talent, regardless of nationality or citizenship."
Lest you think Microsoft and other companies are making this stuff up, we direct you to two recent studies published by the National Foundation for American Policy. The first, entitled "Talent Search," found that major U.S. technology companies average more than 470 job openings for skilled positions, while defense companies average more than 1,200 such openings. In all, more than 140,000 skilled job openings are available today in the S&P 500 companies.
The second study, "H-1B Visas and Job Creation," reports the results of a regression analysis of H-1B filings and employment at U.S. tech companies. The objective was to determine if hiring foreign nationals harms the job prospects of Americans -- a common claim of protectionists. In fact, the study found a positive association between H-1B visa requests and the percentage change in total employment.
Among S&P 500 firms, "the data show that for every H-1B position requested, U.S. technology companies increased employment by 5 workers," according to the study. And "for technology firms with fewer than 5,000 employees, each H-1B position requested in labor condition applications was associated with an increase of employment of 7.5 workers." Far from stealing jobs from Americans, skilled immigrants expand the economic pie.
Mr. Gates said his software company exemplifies this phenomenon. "Microsoft has found that for every H-1B hire we make, we add on average four additional employees to support them in various capacities," he told lawmakers. "If we increase the number of H-1B visas that are available to U.S. companies, employment of U.S. nationals would likely grow as well."
The preponderance of evidence continues to show that businesses are having difficulty filling skilled positions in the U.S. By blocking their access to foreign talent, Congress isn't protecting U.S. jobs but is providing incentives to outsource. If lawmakers can't bring themselves to eliminate the H-1B visa cap, they might at least raise it to a level that doesn't handicap U.S. companies.
See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal.
Reply #72 on:
May 09, 2008, 10:39:43 PM »
The present desire of America is to produce rapid population by as great importations of foreigners as possible. But is this founded in good policy? … [A]re there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the advantage expected from a multiplication of numbers by the importation of foreigners? It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize as much as possible in matters which they must of necessity transact together. Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its administration must be conducted by common consent. Every species of government has its specific principles. Ours perhaps are more peculiar than those of any other in the universe. It is a composition of the freest principles of the English constitution, with others derived from natural right and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies. Yet, from such, we are to expect the greatest number of emigrants. They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass.
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of VA. 123-5
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #73 on:
August 29, 2008, 03:02:15 PM »
For those who say illegals are paying their fair share let me say this.
A hospital I work at is going to go bankrupt and close down. Roughly 25% of the patients at the money losing division of the hospital (there are two) are illegal. 25% of the obstetrics is for illegal aliens.
The state won't make up the difference in losses and the insured patients cannot and there are many legal but indigent patients who are going to lose their hsopital.
Well, I say get these people out of our country. I say go after those here who employ them.
Immigrants who came here years ago didn't get or didn't expect freebies. Now they do. The OB wards are merry go rounds for illegals. How dare them? And how stupid is this country?
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #74 on:
August 29, 2008, 08:58:40 PM »
CCP I agree; go after the ILLEGAL immigrants
go after the employers who employ them. Attack supply and demand
equally. We are a nation of immigrants, LEGAL immigrants. The word "illegal" is there for a reason. And anyone
who harbors or provides them a job should also be severely punished.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #75 on:
August 29, 2008, 09:49:27 PM »
I've had very little sleep in the last 48 hours, so i'm not sure if what I just read is some sort of hallucination.....
Where is the real JDN? What have you done with him?
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #76 on:
August 29, 2008, 10:44:08 PM »
Nope, not a hallucination.....
It's the real me. Actually, if you read between the lines, I am a very "fair" person; don't let the employers off either. And I do believe in respecting (or change it) the law. So get some sleep... Maybe there is hope for me?
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #77 on:
August 29, 2008, 11:15:16 PM »
Gotta go back to work. If i'm lucky, I get to sleep tomorrow.
Mexican immigration going down
Reply #78 on:
December 15, 2008, 09:50:03 AM »
This is good. Now how about illegals from other countries and continents flooding the US, including from Europe?
Does anyone else notice how when the politically correct MSM speak of anti-semites, racists, etc they now include "anti-immigrant" in there too as though there is equivalence?
If one is anti-immigrant one is a racist, a bigot, a hater, a war monger etc.
****Some Mexicans leaving US, planning never to return
Associated Press Writer Ivan Moreno, Associated Press Writer – Mon Dec 15, 5:16 am ET AP – Vicenta Rodriguez Lopez, 40, holds 10-month-old grandson Duvan Rodriguez, at her home in Severance, Colo., … DENVER – After going months without a full-time job, Daniel Ramirez has decided it's time to return to family in Mexico.
Vicenta Rodriguez Lopez says she can't afford to live in Colorado any more because her husband was deported.
Roberto Espinoza is going back, too. After 18 years as a mechanic for a General Motors dealership in Denver, his work permit wasn't renewed and he didn't want to remain in the country illegally.
All are leaving Colorado in time for Christmas — joining a traditional holiday migration that will number almost 1 million people, says Mexico's interior ministry. But they have no intention of returning to Colorado, a place that promised prosperity.
Layoffs, dwindling job opportunities, anti-immigrant sentiment and the crackdown on illegal immigrants are forcing hard choices on many Mexican nationals in Colorado. Though not an exodus, some are returning to a nation they haven't seen in years.
"You despair. You think, 'I used to earn $600 a week and now I'm getting half of that a week?'" said Ramirez, 38, who lost his Denver construction job in August. He left last week, driving to San Luis Potosi in central Mexico.
Mexico's consul general in Denver, Eduardo Arnal, said more people like Ramirez are going home for good.
He cites a rise in applications for import tax exemptions by Mexican nationals bringing home their belongings. The consulate hasn't compiled statistics for 2008 but says it receives about three applications a day, compared to one per week in 2007.
"We've seen an increase in this service, which implies that there's a tendency among a larger number of Mexicans who are returning home definitively," Arnal said in an interview in Spanish.
Nationally, 1,809 Mexican immigrants filed for the exemption between January and August, compared to 1,447 the same period last year — a 25 percent increase, according to Mexico's foreign affairs ministry.
That's hardly an indicator of reverse migration, noted Carlos Rico, Mexico's undersecretary for North American affairs. Rico said what is known is that Mexicans are moving to other U.S. states — often places that historically have not seen a large population of Mexicans. They include North Carolina, Georgia, Idaho and Alaska, Rico said.
Whether for economic or anti-immigrant reasons, Rico said, "People are looking for alternatives within the United States."
An estimated 243,253 Mexicans lived in Colorado in 2007, down from 254,844 in 2006, according to the U.S. Census. The state's construction industry, a traditional source of employment for Mexicans, is contracting, and University of Colorado economists expect the state to lose 11,200 construction jobs next year.
Nationally, remittances to Mexico are down, as is Mexican emigration to the U.S.
August remittances totaled $1.9 billion, down 12 percent from August 2007, Mexico's Central Bank says. It's the first drop since the bank began tracking remittances in 1996.
Mexico's National Statistics and Geography Institute estimates that 814,000 Mexicans emigrated to the U.S. in 2006, compared to 1.2 million in 2007.
Arnal noted that Mexico's economy is growing, albeit modestly. Mexico's Treasury Department reported a 1.7 percent growth rate for the third quarter and forecasts 2 percent growth for the year.
But hard times, not tepid growth back home, are prompting some Colorado Mexicans to leave.
Espinoza said the recession's onset took him by surprise. He'll be seeing his country for the first time in nearly two decades.
"I miss my country," said Espinoza, 34, who is returning to Guadalajara, Jalisco.
Vicenta Rodriguez Lopez lives in Severance, about 60 miles north of Denver. She's leaving for the Mexican state of Sinaloa after 15 years because her husband, who worked at a ranch dairy, was deported for being here illegally.
"He told me to pack up everything," Rodriguez, 40, said in Spanish. "We're not young anymore."
Her 21-year-old son, also in the country illegally, plans on staying.
Jesus Luna, 30, is returning to Puebla with his wife and two children after nearly four years in Colorado Springs. His reasons aren't entirely economic. His parents are ailing. Packing things he said have been so easily accumulated here — bikes, toys, a washer and other appliances — he will be driving nearly 40 hours to arrive in time for Christmas parties.
"You know how it is — eating and more eating," he said, smiling.
Still others return on their own terms, having accrued the wealth to let them live their dreams in Mexico.
"I can't complain. I have a job and I am able to come back if I want," said Gustavo Camacho, 43, who works for a firm digging trenches for electrical cables in Denver.
Camacho, who is from Jalisco, has been here twice, from 1999-2003 and again since 2005. The first time, he saved enough money for a house in Jalisco. This time, he has enough to start a business — either a car repair shop or selling food on the street.
He wants his six children to grow up in Mexico, where he thinks family values are stronger.
"I'll miss it," Camacho said about his time in Colorado. "But you always miss something, whether you're here or in Mexico.
"I might even miss the weather."****
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #79 on:
December 19, 2008, 08:49:46 PM »
America's New Foreign Legions
The U.S. should grant citizenship to foreigners who serve in the military.
by Stuart Koehl
12/17/2008 12:00:00 AM
Max Boot was very happy to report that the Department of Defense is at long last going to allow the military to recruit foreigners to fill "critical need" positions such as translators and cultural affairs specialists. He notes that
Under a pilot program the armed forces will be authorized over the next 12 months to recruit 1,000 individuals who do not currently have American citizenship or permanent resident status.
Boot is gung-ho for the proposal, because
I believe that there are?lots of high-quality recruits around the world who would gladly serve in?return for expedited citizenship. They would bring with them the kind of?linguistic and cultural know-how which is lacking in our forces today but?is a vital prerequisite for success on battlefields such as Afghanistan and?Iraq. Even those who do not necessarily speak a "strategic" language could?be a valuable asset, as so many immigrant soldiers were in our past wars.
If anything, Boot believes that the program is too small, too limited--too timid:
It is limited to a tiny number of foreigners who speak one of?three dozen "critical" languages (ranging from Albanian to Yoruba) and have lived in the U.S. legally for two years or more on certain types of visas.?One third of the total must be medical professionals because of a current?shortfall of doctors and nurses. That's all fine and good, but it slights?the needs of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which is eager to recruit more foreigners as was previously done under the Lodge Act in the 1950's. And it slights needs of the regular army which could use more high-quality recruits, even if enlistments are increasing in these trying economic times.
He observes that
The program was kept deliberately small so as to avoid a nativist backlash.?Assuming that there is no groundswell of opposition--and who would be?churlish enough to protest people volunteering to put their lives on the?line to defend America?--let us hope that this initiative will expand in the?future.
I entirely agree. We should go well beyond this very limited program, and offer full citizenship to any foreigner willing to enlist in our armed forces for a period of no less than six years, who successfully completes such service, and earns an honorable discharge. We could begin by extending that invitation to the foreigners who already reside within our borders illegally.
Boot may, however, have underestimated the extent of opposition to such an idea. Already several distinct arguments have been put forward against it in response to Boot's original article. The most common is a variation on this theme:
If memory serves me right, the Romans tried this when native Italians no longer wanted to fight Rome's wars, and they recruited troops from among the Teutonic barbarians, and we all know how well that turned out. A bad idea.
Well, if there is one thing everybody "knows" about the fall of the Roman Empire, it's that the use of barbarian mercenaries undermined the army and left Rome ripe for conquest. But, as is frequently the case with such matters, "everybody" is wrong.
Going back to the days of the Republic, the Roman army consisted of the Legions and "Auxiliary" cohorts". The Legions were heavy infantry formations composed entirely of Roman citizens. But the Auxiliaries were non-citizens, either provincials or specialists recruited from places outside the Empire. Mostly they were light infantry and cavalry, often recruited by tribal chieftains or client kings in lieu of taxes. They had a twenty-five year term of service, at the end of which the Auxiliaries would receive Roman citizenship, which also extended to their children. Because the social, legal and economic benefits of citizenship were so substantial (not unlike the benefits of American citizenship today), the Auxiliaries had every incentive to serve honorably and complete their service. And the vast majority did so.
Caesar Augustus maintained a standing army of twenty-eight legions (before the disaster of the Teutoburgerwald in AD 9 in which three were wiped out). At a nominal 6000 men per legion, this amounted to 168,000 men. But at the same time, Rome had at least that number of Auxiliaries on its rolls. Without the Auxiliaries, the Roman army would have been seriously unbalanced. Where would it have been without its Balaeric slingers, or Germanic and Mauritanean cavalry or Celitberian light infantry? Those who say that the Roman Empire fell because its army recruited "barbarians" are not thinking of the classic auxiliary system, but rather the late Empire of the fifth and sixth centuries, when, strapped for manpower, the Roman army abandoned its longstanding force structure of Legions and Auxiliaries, and began recruiting foreigners under contract as "foederati". These men were mercenaries, pure and simple, serving under their native officers, to whom they owed their allegiance, while Rome merely provided the gold that kept them under the colors. When Rome could not pay--or when someone else could pay more--then of course their loyalty proved dubious.
Yet even then, there were foederati who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palatini and other Roman regulars in battles against the barbarians. And let us not forget that such foederati were very much a part of the army of the Eastern Roman Empire, which, morphing into the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century, endured for 1000 years after the last Emperor in Rome was deposed. If, through the recruitment of foreigners to fight in the ranks of our military, the United States lasts half as long, it would be a very good deal indeed.
Those opposed to enlisting foreigners in the U.S. military are also rather ignorant of their own history. During the Civil War, the Union sent recruiting agents to Ireland, offering (sometimes under fraudulent terms) passage to the United States and citizenship in return for service in the Union Army. There were literally tens of thousands of such Irish immigrants in the Northern ranks, and their role became ever more important in the last year of the war, when casualties made recruiting native-born soldiers very difficult indeed.
The second largest group of immigrants in the Union Army were the Germans, who formed the backbone of many regiments from "Germania"--that swath of territory that included New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. So important were the German immigrants--especially in the first two years of the war--that Lincoln had to extend general officer commissions to the political leaders of the German community, such as Carl Schurz and Franz Sigel. They fought pretty well, considering that many could barely speak English and that they were cordially loathed and despised by the "real" Americans. Between the Irish and the Germans, it's not a stretch to say that immigrants won the Civil War for the Union.
Let us also not forget that the despised Regular Army that policed the frontiers after the Civil War was manned very largely by immigrants. Since the general attitude of the time was that soldiering was an occupation suitable only for criminals and misfits, where else was the Army going to get its recruits but from those men just off the boat with few if any prospects?
Finally, if we look back to the American Revolution, it is rather hard to see how we could have gained our independence without the assistance of foreign born volunteers such as Frederich Steuben, Thaddeus Kosciusko, Johan Kalb and Kasimir Pulaski, as well as the much better known Marquis de Lafayette.
Rather than looking down on foreigners who would freely serve in our military, we should welcome and honor such men and women. Unlike many native-born Americans, they will have demonstrated their dedication to and love for this country by putting their lives on the line to defend it. We should have no doubts as to where their loyalty lies, and reward such devotion with the inestimable honor of United States citizenship. This is an idea whose time is long past due. This pilot program can be the foundation of something much greater. Let us hope it is not too little and too late.
Stuart Koehl is a frequent contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD Online.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #80 on:
December 20, 2008, 08:59:00 AM »
It is one thing to use non citizen interpretors but the idea of filling our military ranks with people who are not citizens is a bad idea.
The Revolutionary War situation makes no sense to today. And the immigrant situation during the draft of the Civil War when people could pay their way out of the draft does not apply today either.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #81 on:
December 20, 2008, 01:24:38 PM »
Funny, I was at a Citizenship Swearing-in Ceremony yesterday.
The individuals who seemed to be the most excited about their new citizenship were in the Armed Forces.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #82 on:
December 21, 2008, 04:23:46 PM »
"be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American."
NYTimes: Read between the lines: Dems prepare for open borders
Reply #83 on:
January 12, 2009, 09:00:49 AM »
Wonder why there's no talk of putting the Trillion Dollar Stimulus to work here?
LAREDO, Tex. — Inside a courthouse just north of the Rio Grande, federal judges mete out prison sentences to throngs of 40 to 60 illegal immigrants at a time. The accused, mostly from Central America, Brazil and Mexico, wear rough travel clothes that speak of arduous journeys: flannel shirts, sweat suits, jeans and running shoes or work boots.
Barbara LaWall, a county prosecutor in Arizona, said she did know how much longer she would be able to take on federal cases.
The prosecutors make quick work of the immigrants. Under a Justice Department program that relies on plea deals, most are charged with misdemeanors like improper entry.
Federal prosecutions of immigration crimes nearly doubled in the last fiscal year, reaching more than 70,000 immigration cases in the 2008 fiscal year, according to federal data compiled by a Syracuse University research group. The emphasis, many federal judges and prosecutors say, has siphoned resources from other crimes, eroded morale among federal lawyers and overloaded the federal court system. Many of those other crimes, including gun trafficking, organized crime and the increasingly violent drug trade, are now routinely referred to state and county officials, who say they often lack the finances or authority to prosecute them effectively.
Bush administration officials say the government’s focus on immigration crimes is an outgrowth of its counterterrorism strategy and vigorous pursuit of immigrants with criminal records.
Immigration prosecutions have steeply risen over the last five years, while white-collar prosecutions have fallen by 18 percent, weapons prosecutions have dropped by 19 percent, organized crime prosecutions are down by 20 percent and public corruption prosecutions have dropped by 14 percent, according to the Syracuse group’s statistics. Drug prosecutions — the enforcement priority of the Reagan, first Bush and Clinton administrations — have declined by 20 percent since 2003.
“I have seen a national abdication by the Justice Department,” said Attorney General Terry Goddard of Arizona.
United States attorneys on the Southwest border, who handle the bulk of immigration prosecutions, usually decline to prosecute drug suspects with 500 pounds of marijuana or less — about $500,000 to $800,000 worth. As a result of Washington’s decision to forgo many of those cases, Mr. Goddard said, local agencies are handling many of them and becoming overwhelmed.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said that felony prosecutions of immigration crimes had increased 40 percent from 2000 through 2007 but that most other prosecutions had remained steady. But Justice Department statistics Mr. Carr provided to The New York Times did not include tens of thousands of misdemeanor charges and prosecutions conducted before magistrate judges. Data from the Syracuse group, known as the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, included those cases, which are driving the sharp growth in immigration cases.
Prosecutorial priorities are expected to change after President-elect Barack Obama takes office, said Mark Agrast, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research and policy institute that is closely associated with the transition team. “There will be a reassessment of whether aggressive targeting of criminal aliens through the use of federal criminal statues is an effective use of scarce law enforcement resources,” Mr. Agrast said.
The Bush administration bolstered its enforcement of immigration crimes by increasing the number of Border Patrol agents from 9,500 in 2004 to 15,000 in 2008 and adding several hundred federal prosecutors assigned to immigration crimes.
On heavy days, single courtrooms along the border process illegal immigrants on an industrial scale, sometimes more than 200 in a day. Misdemeanors usually carry a sentence of a few weeks to six months.
At the federal courthouse in Laredo, George P. Kazen, the senior judge, estimated that under Operation Streamline, the Justice Department program relying on plea deals for efficiency, he had sentenced more people to prison than any other active federal judge. But Judge Kazen said he was concerned about recent reports of the smuggling of firearms from Texas into Mexico by violent drug cartels.
“The U.S. attorney isn’t bringing me those cases,” he said. “They’re just catching foot soldiers coming across the border. They bust some stooge truck driver carrying a load of drugs, and you know there’s more behind it. But they will tell you that they don’t have the resources to drive it and develop a conspiracy case.”
“Every time the government puts a lot of resources on one thing, they’re going to take away from another,” he added.
Page 2 of 2)
Mr. Carr of the Justice Department disagreed, saying that other prosecutions had remained steady, and he defended the emphasis on immigration. “The Department has answered the call of Congress and the states along the Southwest border to pursue immigration enforcement aggressively.”
Skip to next paragraph
Graphic The debate over Justice Department priorities is loudest in this region, as local authorities facing dwindling resources are picking up cases federal prosecutors decline, especially the marijuana cases.
“We do reach a saturation point, so we set thresholds as to what type of cases we will work,” said Tim Johnson, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of Texas. “To the extent that we don’t have resources, we will refer them to local agencies.”
Drug traffickers now routinely break up their loads into smaller quantities to avoid stiffer federal penalties, law enforcement authorities say.
Thomas O’Sullivan, the chief criminal deputy county attorney in Santa Cruz County, Ariz., said that county prosecutors had begun to decline federal agents’ case referrals out of necessity.
In neighboring Pima County, which includes Tucson, Barbara LaWall, the county attorney, said she continued to take on federal cases but did know how much longer she would be able to do so.
“We’re prosecuting Border Patrol cases, national park cases, customs cases, D.E.A. cases — any cases in which they have 499 pounds of marijuana or less, because I don’t want the drug dealers to have no consequences whatsoever,” Ms. LaWall said. “But the rock and the hard place is that my jurisdiction, as most others are, is experiencing some real financial downturns.”
Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who is a frequent critic of Justice Department priorities, said that federal agents also complained often to her about delays in wiretap requests, a hallmark of the kind of complex investigations that used to be a mainstay of federal cases.
“They’ve pulled so many U.S. attorneys off drug crimes and organized crime caseloads that federal agents are trying to get help from local district attorneys because they can’t wait six weeks for a wiretap order,” Ms. Lofgren said. “By then it’s too late to catch the bad guys.”
Federal agents requested 457 wiretaps in 2007, a 14-year low. Meanwhile, state and local prosecutors requested 1,751 wiretaps, more than triple the number in 1993.
Some local prosecutors say they are glad to take on the kinds of challenging cases that federal prosecutors used to handle. Ms. LaWall boasted about a racketeering conspiracy she recently prosecuted involving millions of dollars in illegal methamphetamine sales in Arizona. But Damon Mosler, the San Diego district attorney’s narcotic division chief, said financial constraints often limited his office’s ability to do things, like assisting federal agents monitoring drug trafficking organizations.
“That sometimes means I can’t keep supporting those other jurisdictions,” Mr. Mosler said.
Mr. Goddard, the Arizona attorney general, said the impact of the Justice Department’s focus on immigration crime extended beyond the drug war.
“Where they used to be big players in environmental law, antitrust law, and consumer fraud — now the states are the ones taking on these kinds of cases,” Mr. Goddard said. “These used to be uniquely federal in nature because they are going after multistate institutions conducting cross-border schemes.”
Carol C. Lam, a former United States attorney for the Southern California District and now a deputy general counsel for Qualcomm, was ousted in 2007 after Justice Department officials said she did not prosecute enough illegal immigrants. Ms. Lam, who was involved in the corruption case of Randy Cunningham, a former California Republican congressman now serving federal prison time, said her philosophy led her to choose high-impact cases instead of cases that simply “drove the statistics.”
“If two-thirds of a U.S. attorney’s office is handling low-level narcotics and immigration crimes,” she said, “young prosecutors may not have the opportunity to learn how to do a wiretap case, or learn how to deal with the grand jury, or how to use money laundering statutes or flip witnesses or deal with informants and undercover investigations.”
“That’s not good law enforcement,” she said.
A senior federal prosecutor who has worked on a wide variety of cases along the border said that the focus on relatively simple immigration prosecutions was eroding morale at United States attorney offices.
“A lot of the guys I work with did nothing but the most complex cases — taking down multigenerational crime families, international crime, drug trafficking syndicates — you know, big fish,” said the prosecutor, who did not want to be identified as criticizing the department he works for. “Now these folks are dealing with these improper entry and illegal reentry cases.” He added, “It’s demoralizing for them, and us.”
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #84 on:
March 03, 2009, 11:56:52 AM »
This article is interesting. Some of my Indian doctor friends and colleagues will be the first to tell you that the situation is now reversed. Many Indians came to the US to practice medicine because it was better here for doctors than India.
The situation is now reversed. They say doctors in India are better off, get more respect and have more autonomy.
Not that anyone is going to care about doctors one way or the other but this article falls along this topic:
With BO's war on success in this country why would anyone want to come here like they used to.... except low wage, uneducated, low skilled immigrants coming in for the benefits.
****Why Skilled Immigrants Are Leaving the U.S.
Tuesday March 3, 2009, 8:08 am EST
As the debate over H-1B workers and skilled immigrants intensifies, we are losing sight of one important fact: The U.S. is no longer the only land of opportunity. If we don't want the immigrants who have fueled our innovation and economic growth, they now have options elsewhere. Immigrants are returning home in greater numbers. And new research shows they are returning to enjoy a better quality of life, better career prospects, and the comfort of being close to family and friends.
Earlier research by my team suggested that a crisis was brewing because of a burgeoning immigration backlog. At the end of 2006, more than 1 million skilled professionals (engineers, scientists, doctors, researchers) and their families were in line for a yearly allotment of only 120,000 permanent resident visas. The wait time for some people ran longer than a decade. In the meantime, these workers were trapped in "immigration limbo." If they changed jobs or even took a promotion, they risked being pushed to the back of the permanent residency queue. We predicted that skilled foreign workers would increasingly get fed up and return to countries like India and China where the economies were booming.
Why should we care? Because immigrants are critical to the country's long-term economic health. Despite the fact that they constitute only 12% of the U.S. population, immigrants have started 52% of Silicon Valley's technology companies and contributed to more than 25% of our global patents. They make up 24% of the U.S. science and engineering workforce holding bachelor's degrees and 47% of science and engineering workers who have PhDs. Immigrants have co-founded firms such as Google (NasdaqGS:GOOG - News), Intel (NasdaqGS:INTC - News), eBay (NasdaqGS:EBAY - News), and Yahoo! (NasdaqGS:YHOO - News).
Who Are They? Young and Well-Educated
We tried to find hard data on how many immigrants had returned to India and China. No government authority seems to track these numbers. But human resources directors in India and China told us that what was a trickle of returnees a decade ago had become a flood. Job applications from the U.S. had increased tenfold over the last few years, they said. To get an understanding of how the returnees had fared and why they left the U.S., my team at Duke, along with AnnaLee Saxenian of the University of California at Berkeley and Richard Freeman of Harvard University, conducted a survey. Through professional networking site LinkedIn, we tracked down 1,203 Indian and Chinese immigrants who had worked or received education in the U.S. and had returned to their home countries. This research was funded by the Kauffman Foundation.
Our new paper, "America's Loss Is the World's Gain," finds that the vast majority of these returnees were relatively young. The average age was 30 for Indian returnees, and 33 for Chinese. They were highly educated, with degrees in management, technology, or science. Fifty-one percent of the Chinese held master's degrees and 41% had PhDs. Sixty-six percent of the Indians held a master's and 12.1% had PhDs. They were at very top of the educational distribution for these highly educated immigrant groups -- precisely the kind of people who make the greatest contribution to the U.S. economy and to business and job growth.
Nearly a third of the Chinese returnees and a fifth of the Indians came to the U.S. on student visas. A fifth of the Chinese and nearly half of the Indians entered on temporary work visas (such as the H-1B). The strongest factor that brought them to the U.S. was professional and educational development opportunities.
What They Miss: Family and Friends
They found life in the U.S. had many drawbacks. Returnees cited language barriers, missing their family and friends at home, difficulty with cultural assimilation, and care of parents and children as key issues. About a third of the Indians and a fifth of the Chinese said that visas were a strong factor in their decision to return home, but others left for opportunity and to be close to family and friends. And it wasn't just new immigrants who were returning. In fact, 30% of respondents held permanent resident status or were U.S. citizens.
Eighty-seven percent of Chinese and 79% of Indians said a strong factor in their original decision to return home was the growing demand for their skills in their home countries. Their instincts generally proved right. Significant numbers moved up the organization chart. Among Indians the percentage of respondents holding senior management positions increased from 10% in the U.S. to 44% in India, and among Chinese it increased from 9% in the U.S. to 36% in China. Eighty-seven percent of Chinese and 62% of Indians said they had better opportunities for longer-term professional growth in their home countries than in the U.S. Additionally, nearly half were considering launching businesses and said entrepreneurial opportunities were better in their home countries than in the U.S.
Friends and family played an equally strong role for 88% of Indians and 77% of Chinese. Care for aging parents was considered by 89% of Indians and 79% of Chinese to be much better in their home countries. Nearly 80% of Indians and 67% of Chinese said family values were better in their home countries.
More Options Back Home
Immigrants who have arrived at America's shores have always felt lonely and homesick. They had to make big personal sacrifices to provide their children with better opportunities than they had. But they never have had the option to return home. Now they do, and they are leaving.
It isn't all rosy back home. Indians complained of traffic and congestion, lack of infrastructure, excessive bureaucracy, and pollution. Chinese complained of pollution, reverse culture shock, inferior education for children, frustration with government bureaucracy, and the quality of health care. Returnees said they were generally making less money in absolute terms, but they also said they enjoyed a higher quality of life.
We may not need all these workers in the U.S. during the deepening recession. But we will need them to help us recover from it. Right now, they are taking their skills and ideas back to their home countries and are unlikely to return, barring an extraordinary recruitment effort and major changes to immigration policy. That hardly seems likely given the current political climate. The policy focus now seems to be on doing whatever it takes to retain existing American jobs -- even if it comes at the cost of building a workforce for the future of America.****
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #85 on:
March 03, 2009, 03:24:20 PM »
I agree with this article.
Unfortunately the Democrats (and RINOs like McCain) are determined to import tens of millions of Mexicans (the 10-15 million already here, plus their families and relatives because they will vote Democratic.
How can we separate these two issues when Congress goes to work on this?
WSJ: Talented foreigners; H1B visas
Reply #86 on:
March 11, 2009, 08:01:17 AM »
Bank of America, citing a provision of the stimulus package that became law last month, is rescinding job offers to foreign-born students graduating from U.S. business schools this summer. Protectionists will applaud, no doubt. But denying companies access to talented workers born outside the U.S. will neither jump-start the economy nor serve the nation's long-term interests.
The stated purpose of the amendment, which was sponsored by Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, is "to prohibit any recipient of TARP funding from hiring H-1B visa holders." Press reports have suggested that these visa holders are displacing U.S. workers.
Mr. Sanders cited an especially misleading Associated Press story, which said that the major banks requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years. "Even as the economy collapsed last year and many financial workers found themselves unemployed," said AP, "the dozen U.S. banks now receiving the biggest rescue packages requested visas for tens of thousand of foreign workers to fill high-paying jobs."
What the story left out is that companies file multiple applications for each available slot to comply with Department of Labor wage rules for H-1B hires. By focusing on how many applications were filed rather than how many foreign workers were hired, the story exaggerates actual visa use. In fact, H-1B visa holders have been a negligible percentage of financial industry hires in recent years. In 2007, for instance, Citigroup hired 185 H-1B workers, which represented .04% of its 387,000 employees. Bank of America hired 66 H-1B workers, which represented .03% of its 210,000 employees.
The reality is that cumbersome labor regulations and fees make foreign professionals more expensive to hire than Americans, which undercuts the argument that the banks were looking for cheap labor and explains why H-1B applications tend to fall during economic downturns. But far from displacing U.S. workers, H-1B hires have been associated with an increase in total employment.
A 2008 study of the tech industry by the National Foundation for American Policy found that for every H-1B position requested, U.S. technology companies in the S&P 500 increase their employment by five workers. America must compete in a global economy, and if U.S. companies can't hire these skilled workers -- many of whom graduate from U.S. universities, by the way -- you can bet foreign competitors will.
Petition to Congress
Reply #87 on:
March 29, 2009, 12:17:16 PM »
Petition to Congress
BO goes for amnesty
Reply #88 on:
April 09, 2009, 09:38:31 AM »
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
Mr. Obama will frame the new effort — likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue — as “policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system,” said the official, Cecilia Muñoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs in the White House.
Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.
Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.
He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.
“He intends to start the debate this year,” Ms. Muñoz said.
But with the economy seriously ailing, advocates on different sides of the debate said that immigration could become a polarizing issue for Mr. Obama in a year when he has many other major battles to fight.
Opponents, mainly Republicans, say they will seek to mobilize popular outrage against any effort to legalize unauthorized immigrant workers while so many Americans are out of jobs.
Democratic legislative aides said that opening a full-fledged debate this year on immigration, particularly with health care as a looming priority, could weigh down the president’s domestic agenda.
Debate is still under way among administration officials about the precise timing and strategy. For example, it is unclear who will take up the Obama initiative in Congress.
No serious legislative talks on the issue are expected until after some of Mr. Obama’s other priorities have been debated, Congressional aides said.
Just last month, Mr. Obama openly recognized that immigration is a potential minefield.
"I know this is an emotional issue; I know it’s a controversial issue,” he told an audience at a town meeting on March 18 in Costa Mesa, Calif. “I know that the people get real riled up politically about this."
But, he said, immigrants who are long-time residents but lack legal status “have to have some mechanism over time to get out of the shadows.”
The White House is calculating that public support for fixing the immigration system, which is widely acknowledged to be broken, will outweigh opposition from voters who argue that immigrants take jobs from Americans. A groundswell among voters opposed to legal status for illegal immigrants led to the defeat in 2007 of a bipartisan immigration bill that was strongly supported by President George W. Bush.
Administration officials said that Mr. Obama’s plan would not add new workers to the American work force, but that it would recognize millions of illegal immigrants who have already been working here. Despite the deep recession, there is no evidence of any wholesale exodus of illegal immigrant workers, independent studies of census data show.
Opponents of legalization legislation were incredulous at the idea that Mr. Obama would take on immigration when economic pain for Americans is so widespread.
“It just doesn’t seem rational that any political leader would say, let’s give millions of foreign workers permanent access to U.S. jobs when we have millions of Americans looking for jobs,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration. Mr. Beck predicted that Mr. Obama would face “an explosion” if he proceeded this year.
“It’s going to be, ‘You’re letting them keep that job, when I could have that job,’ ” he said.
In broad outlines, officials said, the Obama administration favors legislation that would bring illegal immigrants into the legal system by recognizing that they violated the law, and imposing fines and other penalties to fit the offense. The legislation would seek to prevent future illegal immigration by strengthening border enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, while creating a national system for verifying the legal immigration status of new workers.
But administration officials emphasized that many details remained to be debated.
Opponents of a legalization effort said that if the Obama administration maintained the enforcement pressure initiated by Mr. Bush, the recession would force many illegal immigrants to return home. Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said it would be “politically disastrous” for Mr. Obama to begin an immigration initiative at this time.
Anticipating opposition, Mr. Obama has sought to shift some of the political burden to advocates for immigrants, by encouraging them to build support among voters for when his proposal goes to Congress.
That is why Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, a Democrat from Mr. Obama’s hometown, Chicago, has been on the road most weekends since last December, traveling far outside his district to meetings in Hispanic churches, hoping to generate something like a civil rights movement in favor of broad immigration legislation.
Mr. Gutierrez was in Philadelphia on Saturday at the Iglesia Internacional, a big Hispanic evangelical church in a former warehouse, the 17th meeting in a tour that has included cities as far flung as Providence, R.I.; Atlanta; Miami; and San Francisco. Greeted with cheers and amens by a full house of about 350 people, Mr. Gutierrez, shifting fluidly between Spanish and English, called for immigration policies to preserve family unity, the strategic theme of his campaign.
At each meeting, speakers from the community, mainly citizens, tell stories of loved ones who were deported or of delays and setbacks in the immigration system. Illegal immigrants have not been invited to speak.
Mr. Gutierrez’s meetings have all been held in churches, both evangelical and Roman Catholic, with clergy members from various denominations, including in several places Muslim imams. At one meeting in Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, officiated.
One speaker on Saturday, Jill Flores, said that her husband, Felix, an immigrant from Mexico who crossed the border illegally, had applied for legal status five years ago but had not been able to gain it even though she is an American citizen, as are their two children. Now, Ms. Flores said, she fears that her husband will have to leave for Mexico and will not be permitted to return for many years.
In an interview, Mr. Gutierrez rejected the idea that the timing is bad for an immigration debate. “There is never a wrong time for us,” he said. “Families are being divided and destroyed, and they need help now.”
Jeff Zeleny contributed reporting.
NYT: Where's Sanjay?
Reply #89 on:
April 12, 2009, 05:12:52 AM »
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Where’s Sanjay?
Sanjay Mavinkurve of Google lives in Canada because his wife can't get an American work visa. More Photos >
The question comes from one of dozens of engineers around a crowded conference table at Google. They have gathered to discuss how to build easy-to-use maps that could turn hundreds of millions of mobile phones into digital Sherpas — guiding travelers to businesses, restaurants and landmarks.
“His plane gets in at 9:30,” the group’s manager responds.
Google is based here in Silicon Valley. But Sanjay G. Mavinkurve, one of the key engineers on this project, is not.
Mr. Mavinkurve, a 28-year-old Indian immigrant who helped lay the foundation for Facebook while a student at Harvard, instead works out of a Google sales office in Toronto, a lone engineer among marketers.
He has a visa to work in the United States, but his wife, Samvita Padukone, also born in India, does not. So he moved to Canada.
“Every American I’ve talked to says: ‘Dude, it’s ridiculous that we’re not doing everything we can to keep you in the country. We need people like you!’ ” he said.
“The people of America get it,” he added. “And in a matter of time, I think current lawmakers are going to realize how dumb they’re being.”
Immigrants like Mr. Mavinkurve are the lifeblood of Google and Silicon Valley, where half the engineers were born overseas, up from 10 percent in 1970. Google and other big companies say the Chinese, Indian, Russian and other immigrant technologists have transformed the industry, creating wealth and jobs.
Just over half the companies founded in Silicon Valley from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s had founders born abroad, according to Vivek Wadhwa, an immigration scholar working at Duke and Harvard.
The foreign-born elite dating back even further includes Andrew S. Grove, the Hungarian-born co-founder of Intel; Jerry Yang, the Chinese-born co-founder of Yahoo; Vinod Khosla of India and Andreas von Bechtolsheim of Germany, the co-founders of Sun Microsystems; and Google’s Russian-born co-founder, Sergey Brin.
But technology executives say that byzantine and increasingly restrictive visa and immigration rules have imperiled their ability to hire more of the world’s best engineers.
While it could be said that Mr. Mavinkurve’s case is one of a self-entitled immigrant refusing to live in the United States because his wife would not be able to work, he exemplifies how immigration policies can chase away a potential entrepreneur who aspires to create wealth and jobs here.
His case highlights the technology industry’s argument that the United States will struggle to compete if it cannot more easily hire foreign-born engineers.
“We are watching the decline and fall of the United States as an economic power — not hypothetically, but as we speak,” said Craig R. Barrett, the chairman of Intel.
Mr. Barrett blames a slouching education system that cannot be easily fixed, but he says a stopgap measure would be to let companies hire more foreign engineers.
“With a snap of the fingers, you can say, ‘I’m going to make it such that those smart kids — and as many of them as want to — can stay in the United States.’ They’re here today, they’re graduating today — and they’re going home today.”
He is opposed by staunch foes of liberalized immigration and by advocates for American-born engineers.
“There are probably two billion people in the world who would like to live in California and work, but not everyone in the world can live here,” said Kim Berry, an engineer who operates a nonprofit advocacy group for American-born technologists. “There are plenty of Americans to do these jobs.”
The debate has only sharpened as the country’s economic downturn has deepened. Advocates for American-born workers are criticizing companies that lay off employees even as they retain engineers living here on visas. But the technology industry counters that innovations from highly skilled workers are central to American long-term growth.
It is a debate well known to Google, and it is a deeply personal one to Mr. Mavinkurve.
An Eye on America
Sanjay Mavinkurve (pronounced MAY-vin-kur-VAY) was born in Bombay to working-class parents who soon moved to Saudi Arabia.
He thought everything important in life was American — from Baskin-Robbins and Nike Airs to the Hardees’s and Domino’s in the food court at the shopping mall. When in the car, he and his older brother played a game, naming all the things they could see that came from the United States.
“I know this sounds romantic, but it’s true: I always wanted to come to America,” said Mr. Mavinkurve, lanky, with bushy hair and an easy smile. “I admired everything in the way America portrayed itself — the opportunity, U.S. Constitution, its history, enterprising middle class.”
(Page 2 of 4)
When he was 14, he and his brother were accepted at Western Reserve Academy, a private school in Cleveland, and received scholarships. During his senior year, Mr. Mavinkurve finished near the top of his class, ran cross-country and track, and scored 1560 out of 1600 on the SAT.
Readers are invited to join a conversation with experts about the impact of immigration policy on skilled workers and the industries that rely on them.
Next stop: Harvard. His freshman year, he won the prize for best essay written in French, a comparison of books by Annie Ernaux. His friends described him as social but with a quiet, determined work ethic. He took the toughest classes, and to make money he took a job cleaning toilets in the dorm.
He remained patriotic; on his dorm wall, he hung an American flag his brother had purchased at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written.
But he knew he could lose his immigration status after he graduated and his student visa expired. So he decided to major in computer science, which he understood to be in demand, and entered a four-year program for a master’s degree.
In 2003, his final year, he and three friends decided to build a Web site where college students could connect. Mr. Mavinkurve wrote the computer code. Eventually, the team disbanded, although some of its work evolved into Facebook. He had helped create the foundation for a product that has become a national sensation.
He started at Google in August 2003, as a product manager on the teams that developed Google News and the Google toolbar, then worked on the look and feel of the video search, and on the early versions of Google Maps for cellphones. He developed a reputation for helping design the way the products look, and making them simple to use.
Still, he had ample reason to worry about his visa status, given the limits on how many visas are issued for skilled immigrant labor.
It is a category whose significance has been growing since the 1920s, when politicians and business executives started recognizing the value of skilled immigrants. After World War II, companies began actively recruiting scientists, among them Nobel Prize winners, from around the world.
The emphasis on skilled labor was codified in the Hart-Celler Immigrant Act of 1965, which said that for 20 percent of immigration spots, candidates with certain skills would get preference to stay indefinitely, though that 20 percent also included the family members of those skilled immigrants.
(At the time, 74 percent of visas were given to people to be reunited with family members here, and 6 percent for political refugees from the Eastern Hemisphere.)
Reflecting the growing importance of technology — and responding to industry lobbying — in 1990 Congress set aside 65,000 temporary work visas, known as H-1B visas, for skilled workers. The visas, which are sponsored by companies on behalf of employees, permit three years of work, with an automatic three-year extension.
The limit was raised twice as the technology sector boomed, to 115,000 in 1999 and to 195,000 in 2001. But those temporary increases were not renewed for 2004, and the number of H-1B visas reverted to 65,000. (There are an additional 20,000 H1-B’s for people with graduate degrees from American universities.)
Since 2004, there has been a growing gap between the number of H-1B visas sought and those granted, through a lottery. In 2008, companies made 163,000 applications for the 65,000 slots. Google applied for 300 of them; 90 were denied.
In 2004, Mr. Mavinkurve was one of the lucky ones. “You can be very proud,” said the congratulatory e-mail message he received from an immigration lawyer at Google.
Good fortune followed at Google. In honor of the country that made it possible, on June 14, 2004, Flag Day, Mr. Mavinkurve made a laser print of an American flag and taped it to a white board in a Google hallway. The flag remains.
When Google went public that August, Mr. Mavinkurve was on his way to becoming a multimillionaire.
“I remember quantifying: for each dollar the stock goes up, I make more than my mother and father make together in a whole month at work,” he said.
Indeed, recent immigrants like those at Google have been successful.
“The thing distinctive about this generation, and I think unprecedented, is that they are coming with the highest level of skills in the leading industries,” said AnnaLee Saxenian of the school of information at the University of California, Berkeley.
She added that this was acute in Silicon Valley because of its entrepreneurial culture.
“You don’t see immigrant success at any other place in the U.S. at anywhere near the same scale,” she said.
The Guy With the Answer
Page 3 of 4)
The role Mr. Mavinkurve played in Google’s success was on stark display in early 2007, when the company’s map-making team faced a problem that even the best and brightest could not solve. The team met in Winnipeg, one of many conference rooms at Google headquarters named for foreign cities, like Algiers, Tunis and Haifa.
International tributes take other forms; over cubicles in one building hang flags from dozens of countries. The cafeteria, where much of the fare is ethnic, includes Indian and Chinese food stations.
These touches are appropriate. Of Google’s 20,000 workers, 2,000 were born abroad and work on temporary visas, while numerous others (the company would not disclose how many) have become American citizens or been granted permanent residency, the so-called green card status.
The work force is international, and so is the company’s market. With the mobile phone, Google believes it can expand in places where reaching the Internet over computers is difficult, and create advertising-supported versions of maps and other services so consumers can effectively use the services free, exchanging not money, but attention.
But back in late 2006, maps produced by the service were taking too long to download and appear on phones. As customers waited for the maps to form, they racked up huge bills from cellphone providers, which at the time were charging for every minute or every byte of data transferred.
Enter Mr. Mavinkurve, who floated an alternative: cut the number of colors in each map section to 20 or 40 from around 256. The user would not see the difference, but the load times would be reduced 20 percent.
Mr. Mavinkurve used a rare combination of creativity, analysis, engineering and an understanding of graphics to find a solution that had eluded the rest of the team, said Mark Crady, a manager in the maps group.
“He’s one of the best U.I. guys I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Crady said, referring to user interfaces. “Google Maps for mobile reflects Sanjay.”
Many innovators in Silicon Valley come from overseas; 42 percent of engineers with master’s degrees and 60 percent of those with engineering Ph.D.’s in the United States are foreign-born.
Foreigners also spur innovation by broadening understanding of consumers abroad. For instance, on the advice of Chinese-born workers, Google dotted its mobile maps for China with fast-food restaurants, which locals use as navigational landmarks.
When Google cannot get visas for people it wants to hire, it seeks to accommodate them in overseas offices, like the bureaus in Britain and Brazil from which map-team members attend meetings via video conference.
That work-around presents a number of drawbacks, one of which is especially apparent when one worker is in California and a colleague is in India.
“It’s 11 hours to Hyderabad,” Peter Norvig, director of research for Google, says of the time difference. “We do video conferences where we’re up late and they’re up early. Maybe a video conference is as good as a formal meeting, but there are no informal meetings. As a result, we lose the pace of work, and we lose trust.”
The larger risk is employees growing unhappy working at a distance, or foreign companies recruiting them.
For his part, Mr. Mavinkurve, in Toronto, typically talks with colleagues via video conference, e-mail or instant message. But he does fly twice a month to headquarters and once a month to Britain, his life a whirlwind of time zones and virtual interaction.
For Google and Mr. Mavinkurve, working here would be better. The trouble is, he fell in love.
Stuck North of the Border
He sits at a rooftop pub in Toronto, drinking Canadian amber beer. His wife, Ms. Padukone, 27, sips sangria. Evident between them is a respect, and slight emotional distance — understandable given their brief history together.
In 2006, while working for Google in Mountain View, Mr. Mavinkurve saw his future wife’s photo on the cover of a newsletter published by his Indian ethnic community, the Konkani. She was attending college in Singapore. He found her pretty, so he e-mailed her.
“For three months, we sent messages back and forth — but regularly,” she said.
“I hate talking on the phone,” he explained.
They arranged to meet while Mr. Mavinkurve was in Singapore during a flight layover on his way to India. They met for two hours, and connected.
They were engaged in January 2007 in India, their second meeting. They married there in 2008.
Sanjay part two
Reply #90 on:
April 12, 2009, 05:13:48 AM »
Like first-generation immigrants throughout American history, Mr. Mavinkurve has deep ethnic ties but is quickly assimilating. His wife is no different. But visa rules preclude her from working in the United States unless her husband gets a green card.
That process can take two years. So they live in Toronto, where she recently landed a job in finance.
Mr. Mavinkurve and his wife get little sympathy from Mr. Berry of the Programmers Guild, a nonprofit group with a volunteer staff that lobbies Congress on behalf of American-born high-tech workers.
To Mr. Berry, 50 — who lives in Sacramento, where he was born — it is unfathomable that Google, which receives one million résumés a year, cannot find enough qualified Americans. Further, he says immigrants depress wages.
By law, H-1B workers must be paid prevailing wages, but there are conflicting studies on whether some employers actually pay less when they control the fate of the sponsored workers. Even some of the supporters of allowing in more skilled immigrants say the H-1B system is flawed because it gives employers so much power over employees.
As the recession deepens, many people, including members of Congress, have criticized companies like Microsoft and Intel for laying off Americans while retaining visa holders. Google says it will cut 350 workers this year.
Mr. Berry says his skills and education — a bachelor’s degree in computer science from California State University, Sacramento — are denigrated by an industry that asserts that the best talent comes from overseas, via Ivy League schools. He worries about the employability of his children, who are studying engineering at top colleges, the University of Southern California and California Polytechnic State University.
Mr. Berry, for his part, works at a major technology company he declines to name because his employment agreement precludes him from talking about his employer when in his advocacy role.
He does not believe that skilled immigrants are essential to innovation. In fact, he argues the opposite. “In my experience,” he said, “foreign software programmers are less likely to step out of the box and present alternatives to management.”
His arguments have caught the attention of some on Capitol Hill. “Not all our own people are able to get good jobs right now,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama and one of the members of Congress who oppose temporary work visas.
Mr. Sessions favors broad immigration reform that puts even greater emphasis on admitting people with skills. He even wants to ask visa applicants to take a scholastic aptitude test.
But he opposes temporary workers, whom he argues have incentive to work for less and return to their countries to share what they have learned. This puts him at odds with tech companies.
“They need to step up and look at what’s in the national interest,” he said.
Google estimates that it spends about $20 million a year on its immigration efforts — including lobbying, administration and fees to a law firm. Microsoft, while it would not disclose expenses, probably spends more. Its in-house immigration team numbers 20 lawyers and staff members.
On the political front, the tech industry lobbies Congress through an organization called Compete America, which includes titans like Intel, Microsoft, Google and Oracle.
“The next generation of Google engineers are being turned down,” says Pablo Chavez, Google’s senior policy counsel. “If a foreign-born engineer doesn’t come to Google, there is a very good chance that individual will return to India to compete against us.”
At the rooftop pub, Mr. Mavinkurve and his wife both express some anger. He thinks America should embrace him, given his contributions and taxpaying potential. After Google went public, he paid more than $200,000 in federal taxes on his income from salary and, mostly, sales of his shares, just in one year.
He misses interaction with colleagues. It hinders efficiency, slows work. He is physically drained from travel. He is frustrated that he cannot put down roots in America, and maybe start his own company, because he cannot leave Google, his visa sponsor.
He says he feels, on one hand, great gratitude that America gave him extraordinary opportunity. But he says he fulfilled his side of the bargain by striving and succeeding. “Dude, I love this country,” he said.
But he doesn’t feel loved back: “My devotion is unrequited.”
To Stay or to Go
On each of Mr. Mavinkurve’s twice-monthly visits to the United States (he keeps a room not far from Google), he meets with two friends at the Red Mango frozen yogurt shop on University Avenue in the heart of Palo Alto. Over scoops of green tea yogurt, they brainstorm for their next venture.
But he is not sure he can start a company — at least in America. Unless he gets his green card and his wife can work, he would be the only breadwinner, risking his savings, and he says they would be unhappy.
“Quitting Google means saying goodbye to my green card,” he said.
If America will not have him, he might have to stay in Canada. The proof is on the wall of the two-bedroom high-rise apartment he shares with his wife — who is pregnant — and his parents, who have moved in with them. On the living room wall is a Canadian flag.
“Quality stitching,” he said, fingering it.
Mr. Mavinkurve, who once hung American flags in his dorm room and then in Google’s hallway, still loves America. But the Internet-era immigrant, who moves so quickly between worlds, cannot decide where to land.
Where is Sanjay? Even he is not sure where he belongs.
“I’m not sure I want to go back,” he said of the possibility of moving back to the United States. “I’m not sure I can.”
WSH: Brain drain? No, brain stoppage.
Reply #91 on:
June 08, 2009, 06:41:28 PM »
From the WSJ:
By EDWARD ALDEN
Log onto the Web site of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai and you will see a snapshot of what visa processing is doing to the competitiveness of American companies and research institutions. Click on the link to "Case Status Report," and there is a list of hundreds of visa applications from Indians who await processing. The oldest dates back to 2005, and dozens of others have been pending for a year or more while Washington plods through security background checks.
In recent months I have been in contact with many individuals caught in this Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Most are scientists and engineers who have earned advanced degrees from U.S. universities and are (or were) working for American companies in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and other centers of the U.S. economy.
One had been a researcher at Intel on the latest generation of chip designs; he'd won a national prize for his Ph.D. dissertation for outstanding research in electronic and photonic materials. Another had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade and was doing post-doctoral research at Emory University on vaccine immunology. Still another was a quantitative analyst for a U.S. hedge fund.
Yet when they returned to India -- to attend a brother's wedding or visit a dying parent or simply take a vacation -- they were informed that they could not come back until the U.S. government had done a security screening. Many arrived in India with only a suitcase. By the time I heard of their stories they had been forced to abandon apartments, cars and families in the U.S. while they waited to hear from the State Department.
Of all the initiatives undertaken in the name of homeland security after 9/11, the visa screening requirements for foreign scientists and engineers have probably done the most lasting damage to America's economy -- particularly in the cutting-edge technology fields that are vital to our economic leadership and national security.
The U.S. scientific enterprise depends enormously on talented foreigners. Foreign students and researchers, especially from India and China, comprise more than half of the scientific researchers in the U.S. They earn 40% of the Ph.D.s in science and engineering, and 65% of the computer science doctorates. If we drive them away, the companies that depend on such expertise will leave with them, taking thousands of other jobs that would have been filled by Americans.
Last week, in an encouraging sign that Washington has started to recognize the damage, the Obama administration pledged to throw enough resources at the problem to reduce the months-long screening to no more than two weeks in most cases. With the improvements that have been made in terrorist watch lists and other security screening tools, a decision on whether a visa applicant -- especially one already living and working here -- poses a threat should not take months.
Equally encouraging, the administration's top officials appear to have recognized the importance of the problem. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her commencement speech at New York University last month to pledge that she would "streamline the visa process, particularly for science and technology students, so that even more qualified students will come here." Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has promised a renewed effort to secure the country's borders "without cutting off legitimate trade and tourism."
A lot of ground has been lost in the past eight years, however. While foreign student applications were up sharply in 2007 and 2008 and have finally surpassed their pre-9/11 levels, the U.S. largely missed out on the biggest boom ever in students studying abroad, especially at the graduate level. Other countries have competed aggressively for those students while the U.S. made it so difficult to come here that many opted not to. Foreign student enrollment is about 25% below what it would have been had pre-9/11 trends continued.
While the pledge to speed up security reviews is encouraging, the administration needs to take a more comprehensive look at the impact of post-9/11 visa and travel restrictions. Do we really need, for instance, to do in-person interviews of everyone who seeks a visa, even if they have already been interviewed for visas in the past, and we already have their fingerprints on U.S. government databases? That only wastes scarce consular resources on low-risk travelers. Is it necessary to pull all male travelers from Muslim countries into the long humiliation of secondary screening at the airport, even those who are frequent visitors well-known to U.S. officials? It is time to reassert some common sense.
When the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2003, it set out to build a "smart border," one that would keep out terrorists, criminals and others who would harm the U.S. without driving away the tourists, students, businessmen and skilled employees the country needs. It was the right goal, but too often the government forgot the "smart" part and simply layered on more onerous security measures. The U.S. economy has suffered unnecessary damage. The administration's move last week on visas needs to be the first of many steps to get back on a smarter path.
Mr. Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is the author of "The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11" (HarperCollins, 2008).
WSJ: BO curbs arrests of illegals
Reply #92 on:
July 11, 2009, 09:02:42 AM »
By MIRIAM JORDAN
The Department of Homeland Security said Friday it was revising a program that authorized local police to enforce federal immigration law -- a controversial aspect of U.S. border policy.
In San Diego, illegal immigrants wait to be deported to Mexico at a gate next to the pedestrian border crossing into Tijuana last month. About 800 people are deported there every day.
Opponents said the program, known as 287g, was intended to identify criminal aliens but instead has led to racial profiling; it allowed local police to identify and arrest illegal immigrants for such minor infractions as a broken tail light. Program supporters said it has been an effective tool for combating illegal immigration.
The new guidelines sharply reduce the ability of local law enforcement to arrest and screen suspected illegal immigrants. They are intended to prevent sheriff and police departments from arresting people "for minor offenses as a guise to initiate removal proceedings," according to Homeland Security. The program will instead focus on more serious criminals.
"In a world of limited resources, our view is that we need to focus first and foremost on people committing crimes in our community who should not be here," said John Morton, Assistant Secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mr. Morton said his agency would sign new contracts with local law enforcement that would bolster federal oversight.
In the past two years, more than 120,000 suspected illegal immigrants were identified through the program, and most ended up in deportation proceedings. By comparison, ICE removed 356,739 illegal immigrants from the U.S. during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2008 -- a 23.5% increase over the 2007 total.
Journal articles on the debates over immigration in the early 1900s
Alien Immigration: Effect on Women and Consumers (March 18, 1905)Immigration in 1906: Special Attention Given Last Year to Examinations for Admission (Jan. 18, 1907)Views of Secretary Straus: 'We should not fail to recognize the enormous advantages we have drawn from immigration" (May 23, 1907)Immigration: Total for the Year 1,200,000, an Increase of 100,000 Over Last Year (June 29, 1907)To Improve Immigrant Distribution: Attempt Will Be Made to Distribute Immigrants to Meet Labor Demands (July 12, 1907)The most active local enforcer has been Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County. He said Friday he would continue pursuing illegal immigrants, arguing that state laws allow neighborhood crime sweeps and worksite raids.
"If I'm told not to enforce immigration law except if the alien is a violent criminal, my answer to that is we are still going to do the same thing, 287g or not," said Mr. Arpaio. His deputies have identified in jail or picked up on the streets more than 30,000 illegal immigrants in the Phoenix area. "We have been very successful," said the five-term sheriff.
The Department of Justice is investigating whether Mr. Arpaio's deputies have used skin color as a pretense to stop Latinos suspected of being illegal immigrants.
Mr. Obama's policy change is expected to bolster his standing with Latinos and some Democratic legislators. The administration is seeking to set the stage for a sweeping overhaul of immigration legislation that could put millions of illegal workers on the path to U.S. citizenship.
President George W. Bush pursued a similar goal. After the efforts failed in Congress, his administration stepped up enforcement with raids and the expansion of such programs as 287g.
The provision was created by Congress in 1996 and designed to train local police to help federal immigration authorities locate criminal aliens. It took six years for the first state, Florida, to sign on to the program.
The Bush administration promoted the program among sheriffs and police chiefs, turning it into a symbol of his crackdown on illegal immigration.
Since January 2006, more than 1,000 state and local law-enforcement officials have been certified. Many jurisdictions used those officers in jails, where they could sort through many inmates in a single shift.
Southern states account for more than 40 of the 66 existing participants. There are 42 applications pending, most of them in the South. Both Virginia and North Carolina, where the Latino immigrant population has grown, each have nine 287g agreements, more than other states.
"I think the program is working great," said Wake County, N.C., Sheriff Donnie Harrison. "If the highway patrol brings someone to our jail, and they say they are foreign born, then they are flagged for 287g. They have committed a violation of some sort to be brought to our jail...from broken tail lights to murder and rape."
Raleigh, N.C., resident Maria Hernandez was booked into a Wake County jail after failing to show up for her 6-year-old son's truancy hearing, according to her account and that of her attorney, Marty Rosenbluth.
Ms. Hernandez, a cleaning lady who came to the U.S. illegally nine years ago, is now in deportation court. "I don't understand why they come after people like me," she said.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ordered a comprehensive review of 287g shortly after taking her post earlier this year. Members of Congress and the Government Accountability Office had raised concerns the program was being used "to process individuals for minor crimes, such as speeding, contrary to the objective of the program."
The shift on 287g follows other recent modifications to immigration policy by the Obama administration, reflecting an effort to shift the burden of immigration enforcement to employers, while making it difficult for illegal immigrants to get hired.
In the past two weeks, Ms. Napolitano said federal contractors would be required to check the identity of new hires against a federal database. DHS also will audit hundreds of companies to verify whether their employees are eligible to work.
Write to Miriam Jordan at
O is going to give amnesty to illegals
Reply #93 on:
September 18, 2009, 08:45:48 AM »
Certainly no surprise.
Automatic millions of new Democrat voters.
The joke is on us.
We are giving it all away.
Now we are going to have millions of low wage uneducated new people that will clearly utilize more in doles than they will ever contribute.
For a country that is bankrupt this is unbelievable.
And not a peep from the MSM.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #94 on:
September 18, 2009, 11:05:23 AM »
"Automatic millions of new Democrat voters."
Actually, that is TENS of millions of new Democrat voters.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #95 on:
September 18, 2009, 02:39:31 PM »
I stand corrected
Re: Immigration issues: What the meaning of 'is' is
Reply #96 on:
September 19, 2009, 11:08:31 PM »
Sounds like glibness but this IS about immigration...
Obama Sept 9 2009: "the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally"
Bill Clinton: "There is no improper relationship."
The difference here is that Clinton's cleverness was literally true - in his own words: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If 'is' means is and never has been, that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."
But if you take Obama literally (and why shouldn't we?): "reforms...would not apply to those who are here illegally [Sept. 9, 2009]", making them 'legal' later would not change the FACT that they ARE here illegally now and the reforms he is proposing would not apply to them. The instant the 'reforms' (free health care) do apply to them, he is the liar and the accusing representative is vindicated IMHO.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #97 on:
September 25, 2009, 09:53:39 AM »
The US's full retreat and appeasement to everyone overseas (except our friends) continues.
Of course Chavez, Ghaddafi and all the rest of our enemies and adversaries are praising Obama.
Obama to the border patrol: let more Democrats come on in. Will just continue our redistribution of wealth to his personal constituents. So despite us having a President who is doing everything possible to weaken the US he is still popular because he can buy off enough voters. Great.
Administration Will Cut Border Patrol Deployed on U.S-Mexico Border
Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is seen from Mexico's side of the San Ysidro port of entry guarding vehicles involved in a shooting in Tijuana, Mexico, Sept. 22, 2009. Four people were injured in a gun battle involving an attempt to smuggle illegal immigrants from Mexico at the busiest border crossing in the U.S., authorities said. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)(CNSNews.com) - Even though the Border Patrol now reports that almost 1,300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is not under effective control, and the Department of Justice says that vast stretches of the border are “easily breached,” and the Government Accountability Office has revealed that three persons “linked to terrorism” and 530 aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints last year, the administration is nonetheless now planning to decrease the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Border Patrol Director of Media Relations Lloyd Easterling confirmed this week--as I first reported in my column yesterday--that his agency is planning for a net decrease of 384 agents on the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2010, which begins on October 1.
A Department of Homeland Security annual performance review updated by the Obama administration on May 7 said the Border Patrol “plans to move several hundred Agents from the Southwest Border to the Northern Border to meet the FY 2010 staffing requirements, with only a small increase in new agents for the Southwest Border in the same year.”
Easterling said on Tuesday that in fiscal 2009, 17,399 Border Patrol agents have been deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border. In fiscal year 2010, the Border Patrol plans to decrease that by 384 agents, leaving 17,015 deployed along the Mexican frontier. At the same time, the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Canada border will be increased by 414, from a fiscal 2009 total of 1,798 agents to a fiscal 2010 total of 2,212.
The Border Patrol is responsible for securing a total of 8,607 miles of border, including the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S.-Canada border from Washington state to Maine, and sectors of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Each year, the Border Patrol sets a goal for “border miles under effective control (including certain coastal sectors).” “Effective control,” as defined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, means that when the Border Patrol detects an illegal border crosser in a particular area of the border the agency can be expected to succeed in apprehending that person.
In the May 7 update of its performance review, DHS said the Border Patrol’s goal for fiscal 2009 was to have 815 of the 8,607 miles of border for which the agency is responsible under “effective control.” The review also said the Border Patrol’s goal for fiscal 2010 was to again have 815 miles of border under “effective control,” meaning DHS was not planning to secure a single additional mile of border in the coming year.
However, Acting Deputy Assistant Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Todd Owen told a House committee in July that the Border Patrol already had 894 miles of border under effective control as of May 31 of this year. These 894 miles, Owen said, included 697 miles on the Mexican border, 32 miles on the Canadian border and 165 miles in the coastal sectors.
Easterling said this week that as of now the Border Patrol still has the same 894 miles of border under effective control that it had under effective control as of May 31. He also said the agency would not relinquish control of any of these miles in the coming year. After the beginning of the new fiscal year, he said, the Border Patrol would reevaluate the situation and set a new goal for border miles under “effective control” for 2010 that would at least equal, and might exceed, the 894 miles currently under effective control.
“The intention is to take back the border incrementally, and make gains that we can keep,” Easterling said. “We do not intend, nor will we give back, miles that we have gained control over.”
Easterling said the Border Patrol would be able to maintain the current number of miles under effective control on the Mexico border with fewer agents deployed there thanks to “force multipliers,” including new fencing, roads and other infrastructure that has been built in recent years. He also cited the assistance the Border Patrol receives from local police and sheriffs departments and community watch groups.
But even if the Border Patrol is able to maintain or marginally improve on the current level of security on the U.S.-Mexico border, most of the border will remain effectively open to smuggling both contraband and persons.
The entire U.S.-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission. While 697 of those miles are now under “effective control,” according to the Border Patrol, 1,257 miles are not under “effective control.”
Reports from other government agencies paint a vivid picture of the massive drug and alien smuggling that takes place in these uncontrolled expanses and the national security problem created by unsecured border lands.
Each year, the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center produces “drug market analyses” for each of 32 regions of the country that the NDIC describes as “high intensity drug trafficking areas.” Five of these areas sit along the U.S.-Mexico border. These include the California border region, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and South Texas. The latest reports, released in March and April of this year, use candid language in portraying the U.S.-Mexican frontier as wide open to drug smuggling and even vulnerable to penetration by potential terrorists.
The California-Mexico border, the NDIC said, was “easily breached” on both foot and in vehicles.
“The vast border area presents innumerable remote crossing points that traffickers exploit to smuggle illicit drugs, primarily marijuana, into the country from Mexico,” said NDIC. “These areas are easily breached by traffickers on foot, in private vehicles, or in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as they smuggle drugs between POEs [ports of entry], particularly the mountainous areas in eastern San Diego County and the desert and sand dune areas in Imperial County.”
Arizona’s border was judged to be open not only to drug smugglers but also aliens with “extensive criminal records” and from “special interest countries,” which are defined as “countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism.”
“Some criminal organizations smuggle aliens and gang members into the United States,” said NDIC’s report on Arizona. “These particular individuals typically have extensive criminal records and pose a threat, not only to the Arizona HIDTA [high intensity drug trafficking area] region but also to communities throughout the United States. Alien smuggling organizations reportedly also smuggle aliens from countries other than Mexico, including special-interest countries.”
“Special-interest countries are those designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism,” said the NDIC report.
The NDIC described the Arizona-Mexico border as “largely underprotected” in the areas between official ports of entry.
“Large amounts of illicit drugs are smuggled into the area from Mexico, and bulk cash is transported from the area into Mexico,” said NDIC. “These trafficking activities are facilitated by several factors unique to the region, including the continuing economic and population growth in Arizona’s two primary drug markets (Phoenix and Tucson), the highways that connect major metropolitan areas in Arizona with major illicit drug source areas in Mexico, and a remote, largely underprotected border area between Arizona’s ports of entry (POEs).
“Vast stretches of remote, sparsely populated border areas are located within the HIDTA region; these areas are especially conducive to large-scale drug smuggling,” said NDIC. “By the end of January 2009, 108 miles of the 262-mile shared border between Arizona and Mexico will have some type of fencing. However, few physical barriers exist in border areas between POEs, particularly in the West Desert area of the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Tucson Sector, to impede drug traffickers, chiefly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico.”
Part of the New Mexico border was described as “an ideal smuggling corridor.”
“Southwestern New Mexico—specifically Hidalgo, Luna, and Dona Ana Counties—shares a 180-mile border with Mexico,” said NDIC. “More than half the length of this border is desolate public land that contains innumerable footpaths, roads, and trails. Additionally, many ranches are located along the border. These factors and minimal law enforcement coverage make the area an ideal smuggling corridor for drugs and other illicit goods and services— primarily alien smuggling into the United States and weapons and bulk cash smuggling into Mexico. Mexican DTOs smuggle multihundred-kilogram quantities of illicit drugs through this portion of the HIDTA region annually.”
Like the California border, the South Texas border is also “easily breached,” according to the NDIC.
“The combination of vast stretches of remote, sparsely populated land and extensive crossborder economic activity at designated ports of entry (POEs) creates an environment conducive to large-scale drug smuggling,” said NDIC. “Few physical barriers exist between POEs to impede drug traffickers, particularly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico. Along many areas of the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas, the Rio Grande River can be easily breached by smugglers on foot or in vehicles, enabling Mexican DTOs to smuggle multikilogram quantities of illicit drugs, primarily marijuana and cocaine, into the United States.”
In the West Texas sector, the NDIC again raised the possibility that terrorists could exploit the border to enter the country.
“Moreover, the region’s location along the U.S.-Mexico border poses national security and law enforcement issues for the region, such as alien smuggling, weapons transportation, and terrorist entry into the United States through and between ports of entry,” said NDIC.
While the U.S. government may be failing to exert effective control over most of the border, identical language in the NDIC reports for Arizona and West Texas said that drug trafficking organizations have set up “gatekeeper” operations that control smuggling into the U.S. and levy taxes on the smugglers they let through.
“Gatekeepers regulate the drug flow from Mexico across the U.S.-Mexico border into the United States by controlling drug smugglers’ access to areas along the border,” said the Arizona and West Texas NDIC reports. “Gatekeepers collect ‘taxes’ from smugglers on all illicit shipments that are moved through these areas, including drugs and illegal aliens. The taxes are generally paid to the DTO that controls the area; the DTO then launders the tax proceeds. Gatekeepers sometimes resort to extortion, intimidation, and acts of violence to collect taxes from smugglers. Gatekeepers also reportedly bribe corrupt Mexican police and military personnel in order to ensure that smuggling activities occur without interruption.”
“Gatekeepers generally operate at the behest of a Mexican drug trafficking organization (DTO) and enforce the will of the organization through bribery, intimidation, extortion, beatings, and murder,” said the reports.
A Government Accountability Office report released on August 31 pointed out that the Border Patrol’s top priority is to stop terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from entering the United States and revealed that three person’s “linked to terrorism” and hundreds of aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints in fiscal 2008. These checkpoints, which act as a final line of defense for the U.S. border, are typically set up on highways 25 to 100 miles north of the Mexican border.
“CBP reported that in fiscal year 2008, there were three individuals encountered by the Border Patrol at southwest border checkpoints who were identified as persons linked to terrorism,” said GAO.
“In addition, the Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008 checkpoints encountered 530 aliens from special interest countries, which are countries the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States,” said GAO. “While people from these countries may not have any ties to illegal or terrorist activities, Border Patrol agents detain aliens from special interest countries if they are in the United States illegally and Border Patrol agents report these encounters to the local Sector Intelligence Agent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations, and the CBP National Targeting Center.”
The GAO also said one illegal alien detained in West Texas had come from Iran.
“For example,” said GAO, “according to a Border Patrol official in the El Paso sector, a checkpoint stopped a vehicle and questioned its three Iranian occupants, determining that one of those occupants was in the United States illegally. The individual was detained and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further questioning.”
There has been much discussion in the past week about whether President Barack Obama will heed the advice of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to increase the U.S. troop deployment there. The administration, however, has already decided to decrease by 384 the Border Patrol agents deployed on our own southern frontier.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #98 on:
October 07, 2009, 07:02:10 AM »
Immigration Hard-Liner Has His Wings Clipped Recommend
RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
Published: October 6, 2009
PHOENIX — The Maricopa County sheriff, who has drawn scorn and praise for a running crackdown on illegal immigrants in this city’s metropolitan area, said Tuesday that federal officials had taken away his deputies’ authority to make immigration arrests in the field.
Joseph M. ArpaioThe sheriff, Joe Arpaio, whose high-profile sweeps have been cited in the fevered debate over the need for an overhaul of immigration laws, said he had sought a renewed agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to allow both field arrests and immigration checks at his jails. But a high-level department official presented a document a couple of weeks ago allowing only for jail checks, Mr. Arpaio said.
That prompted an angry, rambling outburst from the sheriff Tuesday at a news conference at which he called Homeland Security officials “liars” and vowed to press on with his campaign, using state laws, against illegal immigrants. He said he would drive those caught on the streets to the border if federal officers refused to take them into custody.
Homeland Security officials declined to comment, saying they are still reviewing their agreement with the sheriff’s department and the other 65 agencies that participate in a program that allows local and state officers to make immigration arrests.
Immigrant advocates and some lawmakers have called on the department to end the program, known as 287(g) after the section of the 1996 law that authorized it, saying it has led to racial profiling and other abuses. Several advocates put out statements Tuesday expressing dismay that the department was keeping any relationship with Mr. Arpaio.
Last week, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote to President Obama, urging him to “immediately terminate” the program because of the complaints.
A report this year by Congress’ watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, found that the program had not been closely supervised and that it had often led to the arrest of minor offenders instead of the criminals it was intended to pursue.
The Homeland Security Department has sought to mend it the program, not end it.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that runs it, this summer announced an overhaul of the program and sought to reach new agreements with the agencies involved. Two agencies in Massachusetts have since announced their withdrawal from the program.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, with some 160 federally trained deputies, is the largest in the program and the most closely scrutinized by people on all sides of the immigration debate.
Mr. Arpaio conceded that the vast majority of the 33,000 arrests of illegal immigrants his office has made in the past two years under the agreement followed a check on the immigration status of people in jails. About 300 have been arrested in the field during “crime suppression” operations, he said. He called those arrests symbolically important.
“It has to do with public perception,” he said, noting reports that some illegal immigrants are leaving the area in part because of his deputies. “I think the bad guys apparently are leaving because they know they are here illegally. This is a crime deterrent program, too.”
In March, the Justice Department’s civil rights division announced that it was investigating the department, but Mr. Arpaio has conducted sweeps since then and he predicted that he would be exonerated.
The Maricopa agreement was also being watched to see if Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a Democrat and the former governor of Arizona, would take the opportunity to rein in Mr. Arpaio, a Republican and one of the state’s most popular figures. Although they did not often clash publicly, their political supporters often lashed out at one another.
By the account of Mr. Arpaio and his aides, he signed a copy of a new agreement on Sept. 21, allowing for both field and jail arrests. But that evening, Alonzo Pena, a top Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, called from Washington and said he would be arriving in Phoenix the next day to discuss it.
After he arrived, Mr. Pena presented Mr. Arpaio another agreement that allowed only for jail checks.
Mr. Arpaio signed it, but it still must be approved by the county’s governing board. The board has been sympathetic to Mr. Arpaio on immigration matters, but he suggested the vote was far from a done deal.
Either way, he and his supporters vowed to press on.
Andrew Thomas, the county attorney, appeared with Mr. Arpaio to voice his support and condemn the “setback in the fight against illegal immigration.” Mr. Thomas said, “The fight goes on.”
He and Mr. Arpaio suggested that deputies could use the state anti-human smuggling law to make stops and refer suspected illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, though it was not clear whether the agency would take them.
If not, the sheriff said, “I’ll take a little trip to the border and turn them over to the border.”
Reply #99 on:
November 17, 2009, 09:10:46 AM »
Obama’s shamnesty distraction
By Michelle Malkin • April 9, 2009 12:13 AM I’m not sure why Drudge is hyping the New York Times’ stenography piece on Obama’s plans to carry through on his promise to pitch a shamnesty bill. It’s not news. It’s a White House-planted distraction sourced mainly to La Raza/The Race lobbyist-turned-White House open borders czar Cecilia Munoz.
I pointed a few weeks ago to Obama’s meeting with Latino groups pushing for faster action on paving the pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens. You know that the DREAM Act has been reintroduced in Congress. You know about the Obama Census plan to Leave No Illegal Alien Behind. And you know that Nancy Pelosi has been banging the “stop the unpatriotic raids” drum.
You also know that there is already a de facto shamnesty plan already in place — overseen by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, who is eroding interior immigration enforcement. A West Coast source tells me that customs and border patrol agents have been ordered not to confiscate Washington state IDs from illegal aliens. ICE agents are feeling pressure to curtail workplace investigations. And illegal alien deportation fugitive Zeituni Onyango, aunt of the president, is going nowhere.
What is more newsworthy is the rising tide of voices standing up against lax immigration enforcement and its costs.
It’s not just conservative immigration enforcement activists.
It’s politicians who have to answer to their law-abiding constituents demanding to know why scarce resources should be allocated to illegal aliens over citizens. Like the five Democrats in Colorado who helped kill the state version of the DREAM Act. And the local health officials in northern California who are finally ending taxpayer subsidies for non-emergency illegal alien care.
It’s citizens who have suffered the loss of loved ones as a result of bloody sanctuary policies. Like Ray Tranchant, who testified on Capitol Hill last week on how failure of local and federal immigration officials to cooperate contributed to the death of his daughter and her best friend at the hands of a revolving door illegal alien drunk driver. Or like Daniella Bologna, who filed suit against the open-borders government of San Francisco on Tuesday:
The family of a father and his two sons who were gunned down last year have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, claiming its sanctuary policy contributed to their deaths.
Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were gunned down in the Excelsior District on June 16 after possibly being mistaken for rival gang members, according to police.
Edwin Ramos, 22, a suspected member of the MS-13 gang, has been charged with their murders.
The Bologna family lawsuit alleges that the city’s sanctuary policy shielding illegal immigrants – even those charged with a crime – allowed Ramos to stay in this country illegally. Ramos had a history of violence and several prior contacts with San Francisco police as a minor. But city policy prevented officers from turning him over to federal immigration authorities for deportation.
“What we’re saying is that the city adopted and enforced a policy that was actually inconsistent with and prohibited by federal law,” Michael Kelly, an attorney for the Bologna family, said Tuesday.
Since the last immigration battle, more and more citizens and local and state officials have begun to recognize the ravages of lax enforcement. When Obama moves forward with his official shamnesty legislation, he better be prepared. We’ve been there. Done that. And the White House should know that we are ready to stop the Open-Borders Express again.
Stick that on your front page, Fishwrap of Record.
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