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Topic: Immigration issues (Read 225934 times)
November 25, 2006, 01:04:37 AM »
Peggy Noonan, as usual, in fine form:
What Grandma Would Say
We don't need to solve the immigration problem forever. We need to solve it now.
Friday, November 24, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST
It is July 10, 1858, a Saturday evening, and Lincoln is speaking in Chicago. The night before his opponent in their race for the U.S. Senate, Stephen Douglas, had referred to him graciously in his big speech, and invited him to take a good seat. Lincoln seized the opportunity and invited Douglas's audience to hear him the next night.
And so here he was, speaking, as usual, text and subtext, on slavery. But near the end, he turned to who populates America. Half or more of his audience, he suggested, could trace their personal ancestry back to the founding generation, "those iron men" who were "our fathers and grandfathers." Remembering their creation of the United States, thinking of "how it was done and who did it," has civic benefits. It leaves Americans feeling "more attached to one another, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit."
What of those who could not trace their bloodlines back to the Revolution? The immigrants of Europe are "not descendents at all," Lincoln said, and "cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us."
"But" he then said.
"But when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' " And that "moral sentiment" connects groups and generations and tells America's immigrants "that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration. And so they are."
"And so they are." With those four words he told the anti-immigrant Know Nothings that new Americans have an equal place. He was saying: Take That, haters of the Catholic Church, spoofers of foreign ways, nonsympathizers with the beset, bedraggled and be-brogued.
I love those words by Lincoln, and believe them. But it continues to amaze that 148 years after he said them, who populates America is still a matter of urgent argument.
Much of course has changed. Immigration in Lincoln's day was open and legal. Now it is open in effect because overwhelmingly illegal in practice. If you want to come across the border, you can, essentially, come. You make the decision about what is best for you; America does not make the decision as to what is best for it. Both Congress and the White House, our official deciders, will likely do in the next session what they did in the last: spend a lot of time trying to confuse people into thinking they're closing the borders without actually closing them. There will be talk again of fences, partial fences, fencelike entities and virtual fences. While they dither and mislead, towns and cities will continue to attempt to make their own immigration policy.
You know the facts. Immigrants are here in huge numbers, unlawfully, in the age of terror. They swell the cost of local life--emergency rooms, schools--which has an impact on local taxes. There are towns and cities that feel, and are, overwhelmed. And no one will help them.
The essential reason, I think, is that America's elites don't want America's borders closed. Businesses want low-wage workers; intellectuals are wed to global visions of cross-border prosperity; politicians want Hispanic loyalty and the Hispanic vote. It's not convenient for any of them to close the borders. If Americans on the ground are enduring difficulties over this, it's . . . too bad. This is further eroding America's already eroding faith in its institutions.
I think there are two unremarked elements of the debate that are now contributing to the government's inability or refusal to come up with a solution.
The problem is not partisanship. It is not polarization, not really. Sentiments on this of all issues in the nation of immigrants are and would be complicated, nuanced. The problem is doctrinaire-ness. Even as both parties have become less philosophical, less tied to their animating philosophies, they have become more doctrinaire. The people who should be solving the immigration problem are holding fiercely to abstractions--to big-think economic theory, to emanations of penumbras in the law--instead of facing a crucial, concrete and immediate challenge.
The second element is definitiveness. Our political figures say they have to concentrate on an overall, long-term, comprehensive answer to the immigration problem. So they huff and puff about the long-term implications of this move or that, and in the end they do nothing.
They are like people in a burning house who sit around discussing the long-term efficacy of various kinds of water hoses while the house burns down around them.
More and more our leaders forget the common sense of grandma. In most everyone's family there was a grandma who used to sit quietly in the corner and say nothing. Then someone would ask her opinion just to be polite, and she'd say something so wise, so commonsensical, it stopped everyone in their tracks. And you realized that she was smart, that she'd lived a life and seen things.
In the case of illegal immigration in America I think grandma would say, "Stop it. Build a wall. But put doors in the wall so when the problem is over, you can open the doors."
America has, since 1980, experienced the biggest wave of immigrants since the great wave of 1880-1920. And we have never stopped to absorb it. We have never stopped to digest what we've eaten. Is it any wonder we have indigestion?
We don't really have to solve the problem forever. We just have to solve it now. One wonders why we don't stop illegal immigration, now. Absorb, settle down, ease pressures--for now. Why not be empirical, and find out what's true? Some say stopping illegal immigration will lead to an increase in wages for low-income workers. This is to be desired. Let's find out if it happens.
And why not give the latest waves of immigrants time to become Americans? Time to absorb our meaning and history and traditions. Isn't that the way to help them feel "more attached" and "more firmly bound to the country we inhabit"?
I'm not sure we need more globalism, but I feel certain we need more grandmaism. A happy Thanksgiving to all, old and new.
Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father" (Penguin, 2005), which you can order from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Fridays on OpinionJournal.com.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #1 on:
November 29, 2006, 10:57:11 AM »
**Doing the work Americans won't do....**
45,000 terror-threat illegals released into U.S. population
Half from countries of 'special interest' let go between 2001, 2005, says report
Posted: November 29, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
? 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON ? Half of the 91,516 illegal aliens from terror-sponsoring countries and those of "special interest" apprehended at the border between 2001 and 2005 were released into the U.S. population, according to a report by the inspector general's office of the Department of Homeland Security.
The report, "Detention and Removal of Illegal Aliens," released earlier this year with little fanfare or attention, suggests about 85 percent of those aliens ? potentially the most dangerous ? would abscond and likely never be seen by authorities again.
Acknowledging the danger such aliens pose to the national security, the report cites a DHS official testifying that terrorist organizations "believe illegal entry into the U.S. is more advantageous than legal entry for operations reasons."
Budget shortfalls were the explanations for why some 45,008 potential terrorists were released by authorities over a period of nearly five years after Sept. 11, 2001. The budget crunches prompted immigration officials to place strict limits on detention bed space, recruitment, training, travel and expansion of enforcement programs, the report explained.
In addition to the release of these high-risk aliens, 27,947 known criminals were also released between 2001 and 2004 ? including 20, 967 "from countries where the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang members are know to be active."
Given that only one in four aliens attempting to enter the U.S. during this period was caught, that would suggest some 350,000 from high-risk nations entered the country through this five-year period. An additional 400,000 criminal aliens would also have made it into the country between 2001 and 2004, according to the report.
That's a total of 750,000 aliens who would be either known criminals before entering the country illegally or who originated from a terror-sponsoring nation or one in which terrorists are known to operate.
This news hits following WND's report yesterday that 12 Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens. That's 21,900 since Sept. 11, 2001.
But the carnage wrought by illegal alien murderers represents only a fraction of the pool of blood spilled by American citizens as a result of an open border and un-enforced immigration laws.
While King reports 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, he says 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers ? for another annual death toll of 4,745. That's 23,725 since Sept. 11, 2001.
While no one ? in or out of government ? tracks all U.S. accidents caused by illegal aliens, the statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests many of last year's 42,636 road deaths involved illegal aliens.
A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found 20 percent of fatal accidents involve at least one driver who lacks a valid license. In California, another study showed that those who have never held a valid license are about five times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than licensed drivers.
Statistically, that makes them an even greater danger on the road than drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked ? and nearly as dangerous as drunk drivers.
King also reports eight American children are victims of sexual abuse by illegal aliens every day ? a total of 2,920 annually.
Based on a one-year in-depth study, Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute of Atlanta estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each. She analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants.
As the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. increases, so does the number of American victims.
According to Edwin Rubenstien, president of ESR Research Economic Consultants, in Indianapolis in 1980, federal and state correctional facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens. But at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in all U.S. jails and prisons.
While the federal government doesn't track illegal alien murders, illegal alien rapes or illegal alien drunk driving deaths, it has studied illegal aliens incarcerated in U.S. prisons.
In April 2005, the Government Accountability Office released a report on a study of 55,322 illegal aliens incarcerated in federal, state, and local facilities during 2003. It found the following:
The 55,322 illegal aliens studied represented a total of 459,614 arrests ? some eight arrests per illegal alien;
Their arrests represented a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses ? some 13 offenses per illegal alien;
36 percent had been arrested at least five times before.
"While the vast majority of illegal aliens are decent people who work hard and are only trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, (something you or I would probably do if we were in their place), it is also a fact that a disproportionately high percentage of illegal aliens are criminals and sexual predators," states Peter Wagner, author of a new report called "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration." "That is part of the dark side of illegal immigration and when we allow the 'good' in we get the 'bad' along with them. The question is, how much 'bad' is acceptable and at what price?"
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #2 on:
January 09, 2007, 06:11:55 PM »
Reliability of source unknown:
t’s David and Goliath Time in Hazelton
The town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania has decided enough is enough where illegal aliens are concerned. Hazleton’s social infrastructure is being systematically dismantled by the crime, health needs, housing demands, and language barriers of Hispanic illegal aliens who have descended on Hazleton in numbers large enough to put a strain on the commonweal of that community. Here's how the mayor puts it:
I believe the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. People who are in this country have an incredible amount of opportunities and blessings. But some people have taken advantage of America’s openness and tolerance. Some come to this country and refuse to learn English, creating a language barrier for city employees. Others enter the country illegally and use government services by not paying taxes or by committing crime on our streets, further draining resources here in Hazleton.
Recent crimes - such as a high-profile murder, the discharge of a gun at a crowded city playground, and drug busts - have involved illegal immigrants. Some of those allegedly involved in those crimes were detained by other law enforcement officials over the years, but were somehow allowed to remain in this country. They eventually migrated into Hazleton, where they helped create a sense of fear in the good, hardworking residents who are here legally.
Illegal aliens in our City create an economic burden that threatens our quality of life.
With a growing problem and a limited budget, I could not sit back any longer and allow this to happen.
Thus, the mayor decided to act. In July, he drafted the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, and in September, the City Council passed the measures. Essentially, his draft upholds current American law: it says that landlords may not rent to illegal aliens and businesses may not hire them. All constitutional and within the law.
But of course, there is the ACLU to contend with, not to mention the sympathetic judges who go along with its openly anti-American sentiments. We think we know what the ACLU has been, and what it is now, but we don’t really look beyond the surface of the clever name. Here’s an excerpt from a comprehensive look at the long-established philosophy of the Anti-American, Uncivil, Socialist Union:
- - - - - - - - - -
Today’s ACLU still espouses the ideals of socialism under the guise of liberalism. They still defend Communist propaganda [the founder was a Communist and they have a long history with that murderously mistaken idea — d.] One of the goals of the Communist agenda is to abolish all loyalty oaths. It is interesting that the ACLU celebrate the fact that they will not sign oaths promising not to support terrorism.
Whether today’s ACLU is a communist/socialist organization or not their goals most definitely align with the ideologies of socialism. Regardless of what one labels today’s ACLU there are many dangerous positions in practice that have never changed with them. Their unflinching support of abortion, euthanasia, their strange position on the Second Amendment and their open border policy are just a few examples. They consistently work to thwart the government’s efforts to protect its citizens, undermine America’s sovereignty, and defend America’s enemies. They have defended traitors funding Hamas, the PLO, and confessed Al-Qaeda operatives. All of these seem to support their founder’s goal of abolishing of the State itself.
The Pennsylvania branch of the ACLU is particularly annoyed that Senator Santorum allowed two of his staff to help Hazleton establish a web presence. Since the Senator’s main concern had been illegal immigration, their “concern” seems misplaced. Are we to infer some wrong-doing here? —
If you check out the Small Town Defenders website, you’ll be greeted by a smiling Mayor Barletta promoting his small town Illegal Immigration Relief Act. As you know, Sen. Santorum is also a supporter of anti-immigrant efforts, but who would suspect that two of his own staffers contributed to getting Mayor Barletta’s smiling display of bigotry up on our World Wide Web?
To those who support the ACLU, watching a town disintegrate is immaterial. First and foremost, all illegal aliens are welcome anywhere, any time. And if you dare go against that rule, the iron curtain of ACLU hired guns will line you up in their sights. Here’s what Hazleton is facing:
The defense fund was joined in the suit by several branches of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Community Justice Project, as well as the law firms of Cozen O’Connor, Philadelphia, George Barron and Barry Dyller, both of Wilkes-Barre, David Vaida, Allentown, and Peter Winebrake, Philadelphia.
But Hazleton is proving to be a tougher nut to crack than other municipalities who have been forced to knuckle under or face bankruptcy in the form of endless litigation. The mayor says is saying it is prepared to go to the Supreme Court if necessary.
As you well know, the ACLU — like CAIR — bullies its adversaries into submission by, among other things, bankrupting them. And as you can see from the list of attorneys above, they certainly have their fellow-travelers, just as CAIR does.
Hazleton is asking American citizens to donate to the cause. It will be a long, drawn-out battle, but the city’s life is at stake. There is a donation page, and there is also a petition page. For those who are not comfortable with donating online, there is also a snail mail address:
City of Hazleton Legal Defense Fund
c/o Mayor Lou Barletta, City Hall
40 N. Church St.
Hazleton, PA 18201
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #3 on:
February 04, 2007, 03:09:22 PM »
The unintended consequence of raising the minimum wage
I am posting this because I think the question is interesting - how does a raising minimum wage affect the border issue - not because I agree with the answer. I'm still thinking about that. - Doug
Feb. 3, 2007, 6:36PM
Working toward reform
Effect of $7.25 on immigration
The unintended consequence of raising the minimum wage
By DALE O. CLONINGER
I have yet to see anyone address the effect of a significant increase in the federal minimum wage on illegal immigration. In that void, I offer the following observations: First, if most of the 11 million or 12 million illegal immigrants came to the United States because of the enticement of jobs and the prospect of earning $5.15 an hour, what do you think increasing that wage to $7.25 an hour would do? If you do not know the answer, I suggest you eschew our southern border lest you be trampled by the surge in illegal immigrants.
Second, given the Law of Diminishing Returns, what do you think the employer response to the sudden and significant increase will be? This question is not answered easily.
Theory suggests employers would reduce the number of employees to help offset the increase in the hourly wage. However, if demand for their products remains high, employers will most likely maintain production levels and look to cut costs (or raise prices) in other ways.
There are at least two ways employers can reduce their labor costs in the short run.
First, employers could outsource more jobs overseas, where labor costs are a mere fraction of those in the United States. Second, faced with paying an American the $7.25 above the table, employers could choose to hire (more) illegal immigrants at a subminimum wage under the table. This practice is not new; it will simply be magnified. The black-market wage will, in all likelihood, also rise — meaning that employers may be unwilling to employ all those scrambling across the borders looking for work. In any event, American workers (as well as legal immigrants) get the short end of the stick.
The heightened exodus across the Mexican border will undoubtedly create greater political pressure for immigration reform — read legal guest worker program. An effective guest worker program will lead to higher labor costs, as the now legal immigrant workers can petition for enforcement of the federal minimum wage law without fear of deportation.
The single most important reason why illegal immigrants are able to find jobs in the United States is that employers can employ them at wage rates significantly lower than their American counterparts. If employers lose this incentive, they will have less reason to offer jobs to immigrants. Fewer jobs for immigrants will mean fewer immigrants. In this manner, an unintended consequence of a higher federal minimum wage may be sound immigration reform that could result, eventually, in fewer immigrant workers in the United States.
There is an important caveat, however.
This conclusion assumes that a guest worker program will stem the flow of illegal immigrants and minimize the black market in their labor — heroic assumptions to say the least. As long as there is a mass of labor willing to work for wages below the minimum, there will be employers who will do so.
Cloninger is professor emeritus at the School of Business of the University Houston-Clear Lake.
Reply #4 on:
February 16, 2007, 07:54:43 PM »
An audio excerpt from a Newt Q&A. I must say, Newt continues to impress me. I hope he will run!
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #5 on:
April 20, 2007, 01:39:41 PM »
From: Roy Beck, President, NumbersUSA
Date: Friday 20APR07 1:30 p.m. EDT
Phone this aft to decry near-agreement on Senate amnesty
FRIENDS, MEDIA SAY THE END IS NEAR ...
PROVE THEM WRONG.
Please call offices of Republican Senators this afternoon.
The story below from CongressDailyAM suggests that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) may be moving slightly toward Republican Senate negotiators who, according to this story, are ready to sign off on an amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens.
If this is true, it means that a lot of Republican Senators are getting ready to back an amnesty even though they and their staffers have been telling you they will NEVER vote for an amnesty.
Your phone calls should not assume that any one of these GOP Senators has decided to sign-off on the Kennedy "compromise" amnesty. But you should express every bit of concern that the story below raises.
It also would be very helpful if you would call the Senators' local offices.
You can get all the phone numbers for your own two Senators at:
You can get phone numbers for other states' Senators at (pick a state, then click on the Senator -- scroll to the bottom of the Profile page for all the phone numbers):
Until yesterday, it had been looking like the differences were going to be too great for Kennedy and the "middle-ground" Republicans like Sen. Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Isakson (R-GA), as well as for Senate GOP leaders like Sen. McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lott (R-MS). But now, the danger appears to have risen considerably.
I have been meeting all last night and today with congressional staffers and leaders of other immigration-reduction organizations.
The overall consensus is that a disastrous compromise is very, very near. That would mean an amnesty passing the Senate in May and a lot of momentum for the House to pass it in July.
I cannot over-emphasize how important it is for you to give immediate feedback to all GOP Senators to this news.
And remember to state that an amnesty is anything that allows illegal aliens to keep what they broke the law to obtain: (1) residence in the U.S. and (2) jobs in the U.S. Don't let them get by with vague language about opposing a "blanket amnesty" or a "citizenship amnesty" or an "automatic amnesty."
Either these Senators are willing to let illegal aliens live and work in the U.S. legally and indefinitely, or they are willing to stand against amnesty.
And remember that agreeing to a "trigger" just means that illegal aliens will get immediate legal rights to live and work in U.S. but won't get to start the process for a permanent green card and citizenship until the trigger of enforcement is met. Anybody who agrees to a "trigger" is agreeing to an amnesty.
When you call, talk specifically about this article, which nearly all of our Senate contacts are telling us seems to be accurate.
You will see that our Rosemary is quoted as saying that we have all but given up on the Senate. That is true in terms of anything good coming out. But she was taken a bit out of context. We still have high hopes of voters putting enough pressure on their Senators to block the amnesty from coming out of the Senate.
Senate Group Close To Immigration Deal
By FAWN JOHNSON
A core group of senators that has been meeting almost daily for the last several weeks is close to announcing the outlines of a comprehensive immigration bill that could be the basis for Senate debate in late May.
"I think we've made a ton of progress, and I think next week, we might even be able to talk about it more publicly," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who is part of the group. "The problems are small and manageable."
"There isn't overall agreement," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. "The discussions, I think, are being taken in good faith. ...It's a constructive dialogue."
Two components likely to be part of the agreement are a "trigger" mechanism that would delay implementation of a guestworker program until enforcement mechanisms are in place and a new "Z visa" program for undocumented workers in the United States, according to Martinez.
The negotiators have agreed to use the Z visa to give undocumented workers benefits not available for future guestworkers. "Once you have a Z visa, you can do something for the population here. Give them, not a certain or immediate path to citizenship, but a potential path to citizenship. And then the guestworkers you can deal with just as guestworkers," Martinez said.
The trigger provision might be enough to win support from Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who voted against the Senate immigration bill last year. Isakson wants sophisticated surveillance at the border, bolstered border patrol and biometric ID cards for all foreign entrants into the country.
"If you have a meaningful security outline to trigger the reform, then that makes the reform work," Isakson said. "I've been very encouraged by the progress we've been making."
Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Gutierrez have been key players in the talks, which also include Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., Ken Salazar, D-Colo., Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz.
Last year, when Isakson first floated his trigger idea on the floor, he said it would take two years to satisfy his enforcement criteria. Today, he said, that process would take only 18 months because the Homeland Security Department has beefed up enforcement.
Lawmakers in the negotiations say the administration's stepped-up involvement and its willingness to debate details have gone a long way in mollifying members with differing points of view. "Kennedy and McCain and myself and others have moved. And I think Kyl and Cornyn have also moved," Martinez said.
Menendez concurred. "We've all moved," he said.
If the members of the group can hold together, Republicans who last year did not support the Senate bill could sign on, including Kyl, Cornyn, Isakson, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. That would fit with the administration's goal of attracting a substantial number of Senate Republicans to a comprehensive bill to give cover to House Republicans.
"The Senate is so far removed from reality," said NumbersUSA Government Relations Director Rosemary Jenks, whose group opposes any type of legal status for illegal immigrants. Jenks said she and other opponents have all but given up on the Senate, but they hope to stop a bill in the House that creates legalization opportunities for illegal workers.
House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who has been handed the task of shepherding an immigration bill through the House this year, is beginning the process with a series of hearings -- up to two a week -- on every aspect of the issue. "We'll know a lot more at the end," she said.
In the House, the plan is to pass an immigration bill in July. It could be the last bill members vote on before departing for the August recess.
In the Senate, lawmakers are considering moving an immigration proposal directly to the floor, bypassing the Judiciary Committee, which is mired in other issues. "And then it goes to the House, and then who knows," said Martinez.
CD I hear you but,
Reply #6 on:
June 03, 2007, 10:10:21 PM »
CD I hear you but,
« Reply #109 on: Today at 09:10:44 AM »
I understand what you are saying and
Well yes that's the argument that is made. And I would submit this has *obvious validity*. For example we made exceptions after WWII to obtain brilliant minded scientists like Von Braun. [ot: I just saw a cable show that (sadly as far as I feel) we allowed not only people who were swept up by the Nazi tidle wave but advid supporters and architects into the US as well.] Von Braun of course was great to have for us a nation.
I still am not convinced that Cao cannot apply for or receive citizenship like everyone else.
There is no shortage of Asian/Middle Eastern American doctors from my vantage point! They are here by the tens of thousands at least in the NYC metro area. I don't see how they could be practicing with a license if they were not legal.
If Cao is so smart he can marry a Chinese American girl? I have a South African niece. It took work, a lawyer, money, time and sweat but she is an American Citizen now.
Was GG protesting this about Cao? GG was the same guy who was proclaiming on his website (in the late 90's) that the export and stealing of military secrets to China was a bogus complaint. He typed on the message board more or less that the Chinese could figure this out anyway so what's the big deal. But if I had to choose I would keep Cao and send Gilder to China.
To set my opinion straight GG is obviously a genius. And he seems an honorable man. He invested his own money with us on his stock picks and his business. He made and lost money with us subscribers to his newsletters. I wonder how many other gurus do this. He was right about the telecosm just off by an unknown number of years. But some of his political ideas are based in fantasy and naivity like some his investment ideas - like "listen to the technology" as the key to investing success. He called Intel, ATT, and Microsoft a bunch of dinosaurs. Maybe they can be viewed that way froma technology point of view but they are not going away.
Somewhat off the topic: I notice Cao left Avanex before it crashed to one dollar a share. Or did someone at the immigration office lose their shirt in Avanex and get him deported? Sorry for my wiseguy remarks here. I lost a lot on Avanex. I take responsibility but it is hard not to be annoyed.
As always I appreciate the divergence of views and being able to express them here.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #7 on:
June 06, 2007, 08:47:49 AM »
Well, lets forget about my effort at a particular example
and stay with the big picture.
Here's this from today's WSJ-- I don't agree with all its points, but think it makes one worth considering well with regard to guest workers:
The 'Guest Worker' Folly
By PETER D. SALINS
June 6, 2007; Page A19
After years of inconclusive posturing and negotiation, Congress is finally getting serious about a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration policy. The Senate proposal under consideration, to its credit, deals with all three crucial elements of the immigration policy challenge: what to do about the illegal immigrants already here (whom no one honestly believes we would ever deport); how we might secure the border and stem future illegal entry; and whom we should admit in the future.
The bill is a decidedly mixed bag, however, with elements that are good, very good and downright ugly. Unfortunately, the ugly element may fatally outweigh the rest.
First, the good: The proposed legislation's convoluted path to legal status for the country's estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants is probably the best compromise to be achieved between the adamant proponents and opponents of "amnesty." It is essential that all immigrants who are permitted to stay actually become members of American society. The legalization provisions, however imperfect, are better than the status quo. More good: On border security, the proposed bill would focus primarily on an electronically supported implementation of employer sanctions. This makes real sense, because employer sanctions have always been a far more effective means of stopping illegal immigration in its tracks than border guards or fences. Those who claim that employer sanctions haven't worked are unaware that they have never been seriously tried. If we mean it this time, employer sanctions will work.
Turkish guest workers in Germany.
Second, the very good: The most commendable aspect of the bill is its retreat from family sponsorship -- indeed any form of sponsorship -- as the only basis for admitting immigrants, in favor of a merit-based point system. The point system is predicated on self-sponsorship, with bonus points for criteria well within the ability of most potential immigrants to meet: English language proficiency, modest levels of education and a set of specific skills. Of all aspects of the current proposal, this is the most far-reaching and creative, because the current family and employer sponsorship system is seriously flawed, at war with our immigration heritage and a major contributor to illegal entry.
Because it sets aside "family reunification," this provision is being vehemently attacked by supposed immigration "liberals" as being cruel and unfair. They have it backward; it is the current system that is cruel and unfair, and it was designed to be that way. It was instituted in the 1920s for only one deplorable purpose -- to keep out the growing number of immigrants from "undesirable" countries, then meaning those from southern and eastern Europe. The family sponsorship criteria that immigration advocates so cherish were designed not out of concern for family values at all, but to skew the immigrant mix toward nationalities already here.
As it happens, by the time the U.S. expanded its quotas after 1965, Europeans were less interested in coming, and Mexicans and other Latin Americans had secured enough of a demographic foothold to give the family sponsorship feature a decided Latino tilt. But family sponsorship is also profoundly unfair, and a major spur to illegal entry, because most potential immigrants -- even from Mexico -- do not have close American relatives.
In any case, the immigration reform bill's deleterious impact on families would be minimal, because it sets aside enough slots to finally clear the entire backlog of current family-sponsored applicants, and would allow point-based admittees to bring their close relatives with them.
Now the ugly: The most ill-conceived element of the Senate bill is its provision for admitting hundreds of thousands of temporary, or "guest," workers. As many critics have already noted, since it is unlikely that all, or even a majority, of temporary workers would actually return to their native countries when their visas expired, the guest-worker mechanism means that we can readily anticipate the next wave of illegal residents -- and is unlikely that we will ever again entertain any kind of post hoc residency legitimation.
But even if all temporary workers went back home after their allotted stay ended, the notion of inviting millions of new immigrants to live in American communities with no possibility of their ever becoming Americans is an affront to our civic and immigration heritage. (The current legislation is quite clear that neither extended stays nor citizenship will be options for temporary workers.) Can our civil society -- so grounded in the notions of assimilation and civic participation by all Americans -- tolerate an army of permanent aliens in our midst? I believe not.
Western Europe's experiment with foreign labor recruitment in the 1960s and 1970s, under various guest-worker rubrics, should give us pause. While the individual nations' policies varied widely, they all shared with the Senate proposal two expectations: that imported laborers would not stay very long, and that they would not assimilate into the national social fabric.
True enough, the guest workers in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia did not assimilate; but the majority have stayed, legally and illegally, residing in alienated economic and cultural enclaves, resentful of and resented by their unwelcoming host citizenry. If we are determined to replicate Western Europe's four decade old guest-worker experiment, we may soon reap the same civil discord it is experiencing today.
The temporary-worker provision has been included in the reform package supposedly at the behest of employers, especially those needing unskilled workers in agriculture and services. But if employers across America really need a larger labor force, this result could easily be achieved under the new point-based quota system. The quota could be enlarged by precisely the number of visas that the bill allots to temporary workers, and under the bill's Labor Department certification provisions, its criteria could be broadened to encompass the kinds of low-skill occupations that temporary workers would presumably fill. But the bedrock principle that must be sustained is that all who come to America must have the potential to become Americans.
As with all compromise legislation, no interest group, policy wonk (like myself), or partisan position gets everything it wants. There is now such a hunger for immigration reform across the policy spectrum that, regardless of our specific misgivings, we are all being asked to take the ugly along with the good and very good. But at this point I feel so strongly that the "guest worker" provision would be catastrophic that I would rather wait for a better bill without it.
Mr. Salins, a professor of political science at Stony Brook University, is the author of "Assimilation, American Style" (Basic Books, 1997).
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #8 on:
June 06, 2007, 09:07:51 AM »
Go to uscis.gov and you'll see that we already have guest worker programs in place. There is no need for "reform", there is a dire need for the laws that already exist to be enforced. Secure the borders, enforce the laws, penalize those that employ illegals and the illegals will self-deport. It's really that simple.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #9 on:
June 08, 2007, 12:40:45 PM »
I'm not familiar with the argument about the citizenship vel non of those born to illegal aliens.
Immigration, Part 2: “Subject to the jurisdiction thereof”?
Would it surprise you to know that more than 20 percent of children born in the United States are born to illegal aliens? As recently as 2002, that figure was 23 percent. Currently, all those children enjoy birthright citizenship and all its favors, despite the fact that there are legitimate questions about the constitutionality of such a right.
More on that in a minute.
Thursday morning, Demo Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to rally a test vote on the so-called “Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007,” but Republicans and a handful of Democrats refused to end debate on the legislation. Reid failed to muster the 60 votes necessary for cloture by a wide margin—only 32 Democrats and one Independent voted to close the debate. Thursday afternoon, Reid called again for a vote to end debate and move the legislation to the floor, but strike two. Rather than risk a third strike, Reid pulled the legislation—and it may not be back this year.
In other words, the Senate is a long way from passing an immigration bill of its own, much less coming up with something that can get through the House. Indeed, that’s the good news.
As I outlined in Part One of this series on immigration, the debate is nothing more than political pandering to 12 percent of the electorate—Latino voters—unless it begins with a commitment to secure our southern border and coastlines. As Ronald Reagan declared, “A nation without borders is not a nation.”
Only after the establishment of functional border security can a legitimate immigration debate take place.
At that point, immigration legislation must authorize and fund these priorities: enforcement of current immigration laws; immediate detention and deportation of those crossing our borders illegally; deportation of any foreign national convicted of a serious crime or seditious activity; a guest-worker program (with reliable documentation as a prerequisite) to meet the current demand for both skilled and unskilled labor; penalties against employers who hire illegal aliens; no extension of blanket amnesty or fast-track citizenship (new citizenship applicants go to the back of the line); the preservation and provision of tax-subsidized medical, educational and social services for American citizens and immigrants here legally; and the Americanization of new legal immigrants, including an end to bilingual education and a national mandate for English as our nation’s official language.
Currently, there are deportation orders for more than 600,000 illegal aliens, but virtually no funding or effort to enforce these orders. And while there are substantial penalties for hiring illegal immigrants, there is no funding or effort to enforce these laws, either.
Question: If there is no comprehensive effort to secure our borders and enforce existing immigration laws, what difference would any new legislation make, other than to shore up Latino voter constituencies?
While the swamp rats are sorting out that question, hundreds of thousands of immigrants are birthing children in the U.S. (more than three million at last count). It is assumed that they have a constitutional birthright to citizenship. As such, those children, and their attendant families, are served up a plethora of social services at taxpayer expense. They are also the anchors for a chain of migration because upon reaching age 21, the children of illegal immigrants can petition to have citizenship extended to the entire family.
But does the Constitution authorize birthright citizenship to illegal aliens?
The relevant constitutional clause concerning birthright is found in the 14th Amendment, one of three “reconstruction amendments” proposed after the War Between the States. The 13th Amendment banned slavery, the 14th ensured Due Process and Equal Protection under the law for former slaves and their children, and the 15th banned race-based qualification for voting rights.
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (as proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868) reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” It explicitly referred to children born to U.S. citizens and those born to aliens lawfully in the U.S.
Why did the amendment’s sponsors insist on adding, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”?
For insight, consider the words of Sen. Jacob Howard, co-author of the amendment’s citizenship clause. In 1866, he wrote that the amendment “will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, or who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States...”
By extension, then, it is fair to conclude that, in addition to the children of those legally in the U.S. under the above exclusion, this would apply to the children of those illegally in the U.S. —until the Supreme Court took up the question of the rights of illegal aliens to taxpayer services in 1982. In Plyler v. Doe, the judicial activists concluded that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”
But Plyler v. Doe is historically and legally inaccurate. In the context of original intent, children born to those who have entered the U.S. illegally—those who are not citizens—are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” One would hope, in the course of the current debate about immigration, that Congress and the courts would actually pay homage to the plain language of our Constitution.
Not much chance of that, though, especially when it’s not politically expedient.
Meanwhile, 12-20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. have hundreds of thousands of children, who are extended birthright citizenship—at an annual cost to taxpayers of between six and ten billion dollars.
On top of that, the “economic benefit” argument for “guest workers” is suffering a significant trade deficit. On average, the households of illegal aliens are paying about $9,000 in various taxes, and receiving about $30,000 in benefits—direct benefits, social services, public services and population based services like education.
Quote of the week
“In 1970, six percent of all births in the United States were to illegal aliens. In 2002, that figure was 23 percent. In 1994, 36 percent of the births paid for by Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid, were to illegals. That figure has doubtless increased in the intervening 12 years as the rate of illegal immigration has risen.” —Mona Charen
Newt: Refuse to Bow
Reply #10 on:
June 13, 2007, 05:41:07 PM »
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #11 on:
June 13, 2007, 07:51:44 PM »
Here's a piece from today's WSJ. I certainly don't agree with some of its points, but worth the reading:
Immigration Plan B
June 13, 2007; Page A18
Last week the Senate immigration bill was smothered in its crib by the same folks who said the status quo was unacceptable. Now the status quo is what they have. Congratulations. Hope they like it.
Our own view is that the current policy, warts and all, is preferable to some vast new enforcement regime that harasses employers for hiring willing workers. This makes no more sense today than when it was first proposed 20 years ago. We don't see the logic or fairness in punishing business owners for failing to detect and oust illegal aliens in their midst, especially when Citizenship and Immigration Services has proven so inept at performing the same task. Employers encounter enough red tape without also being required to double as deputy immigration cops or risk facing federal raids and steep fines.
We also had problems with some of the measure's proposed changes to our current legal immigration policies, such as replacing family-based migration with a government-run "point system" for newcomers that smacks of industrial policy. Silicon Valley can do a more efficient job than Uncle Sam when it comes to choosing and maintaining the high-skilled workers it needs to keep U.S. companies competitive.
Supporters are saying the Senate bill can be revived, but the legislation was moving in the wrong direction before last week's Senate vote. One amendment cut in half the size of a guest-worker program that probably wasn't big enough to begin with. Given the hostility on the right and left, and the Democratic Congress's desire to deny President Bush any political victory, the measure is probably too ambitious to survive.
The better approach might be to go with a more modest, stripped-down version that avoids the "amnesty" canard and improves things at the margin. Current laws are too restrictive for some industries, especially high-tech and agriculture. The visa quota for foreign professionals is filled faster every year, the market's way of saying make more visas available.
Regarding agriculture workers, the problem isn't the number of visas available; it's the cumbersome and litigation-prone process that employers and workers must navigate to use them. As John Hancock, a former Labor Department official, once put it, "The current program, with its multiple regulations and related requirements, is too complex for the average grower to comprehend and use without the aid of a good lawyer or experienced agent." The result is more illegal immigration.
A more streamlined bill could address both these concerns and in the process test the bona fides of restrictionists who keep saying they like immigrants, so long as they're here legally. The cap on visas for high-skilled workers could be lifted or removed. Congress might also consider exempting from the cap foreign nationals who receive a master's degree and above from a U.S. school. For agribusinesses, the procedure for a farmworker visa could be simplified by reducing paperwork and expediting the labor certification process.
But the most important thing Congress could do before giving up altogether is put in place a guest-worker program for future immigrants. If we want to reduce illegal entries, let's provide more legal ways for foreigners to enter the country. It's worked before and it could again.
Back in 1942, in response to a shortage of agriculture workers caused by World War II, Congress authorized the Bracero guest-worker program. For the next two decades, Mexican workers were permitted to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis to fill gaps in the labor market. As the nearby chart illustrates, illegal border crossings subsequently plummeted. Between 1953 and 1959 they fell by some 95%. In 1960, mainly in response to complaints from labor unions, the program was scaled back and eventually phased out. But there's no reason Congress can't put in place a Bracero- like program with proper worker protections and receive a similar result.
A guest-worker program for newcomers wouldn't solve the problem of the 12 million illegal aliens already here, but it would help ensure that our illegal population doesn't continue to grow. The lesson of the Bracero program is that if we provide immigrants with a regulated, legal way to enter the country, they'll use it.
Some restrictionists will oppose this, too, because their real goal is a "time out" on all immigration, as the Tom Tancredo Republicans put it. That may sell in some precincts on the right, notably among those who worry that the country is becoming less Anglo-Saxon. But that isn't the majority view among conservatives, much less the country.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #12 on:
June 15, 2007, 12:15:03 PM »
The Old Affection
It takes secure boundaries for it to flourish.
Friday, June 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
That's what I keep thinking as Americans fight the Washington establishment (the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, their big contributors) on immigration. Go deeper. Look at the real emotions driving the struggle as opposed to what politicians and the media claim are "the high emotions surrounding this issue."
You know what I think is the American mood right now on immigration? Anti-immigration and for the immigrant. Against the abstract and for the particular.
We're against gushing borders and illegal immigration, which is at this point even souring the general mood on legal immigration, because we don't trust our bureaucrats to let in the people America needs. We don't trust our bureaucrats and leaders to care a lot about America. (We assume that when senators are together, if someone says, "But what about America?" everyone laughs, and then the top senator says, dryly, "Your concern is duly noted. Next.")
But that's the abstract, "immigration." In the particular--the immigrants we see and work with and know--we're for them.
We're asking for closed borders and pulling for newcomers.
And this isn't ambivalence, and it isn't confusion. It's common sense plus humanity.
The White House is exploiting American alarm at uncontrolled borders to get its way. This of course has added to the sense of national alarm. They believe the alarm works for them: If you don't pass our bill we'll never control your borders--yes, "your"--and you'll suffer! In the general air of agitation, anger festers. People feel powerless. Rage follows, and in this case I believe deep fissures will follow that.
What gets lost in the alarm, and will get lost in the fissures, is the old affection the whole country felt, and still feels, for its newcomers. Not shallow sentiment or softness but something more constitutional, more civic.
As in: I'm in Mass, or in the deli down the street, or the bathroom of a restaurant, and I see a Hispanic woman, obviously hardworking, obviously so far not lucky, not yet. This is what I think: Hi, Grandma. My grandmother was a bathroom attendant on the fifth floor of the A&S department store in downtown Brooklyn. She was an immigrant from Ireland.
When I see new Americans, I think I'm seeing her. And I am not alone. And I know what we feel, and it is not antagonism. It is some kind of old civic love, some kind of connection that echoes back, that doesn't quite have a name but is part of who we are.
In New York last weekend we had the Puerto Rican Day Parade. I walked from midtown to uptown in the throngs. Babies, strollers, mommies, people dressed in red, white and blue. Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States, but some of the people around me were new arrivals. On 86th Street, at the end of the parade, I saw a teenage girl in a silver-white gown. She'd just gotten off a float and was sitting on the curb. She looked like a Miss Universe contestant--brown skin, big eyes, beautiful. She looked like she wants to be Jennifer Lopez. This is a very American thing to want to be. Near her there was another girl in a gown. She was shorter, thicker, and had a tattoo on her arm of the American flag. I thought: She'll be a Marine some day.
Some things were not good, not at all. A young man hurled an obscene epithet. He was that angry I wasn't Latin, and he felt I should know. Another young man deliberately frightened a shopkeeper on Madison Avenue. When he walked by the store, he put out his arm as if he had a gun in his hand, aiming it at her. I was behind him. I looked at the woman as she flinched, and our eyes locked: This is bad.
We're going to have to work on that young man, on both of them.
But we always have to work on young men, don't we?
Lately in the immigration debate we have been discussing and debating statistics on such things as family breakdown, education levels, and criminality among Hispanic newcomers. This reminds me of a number of things, some of them perhaps to this day delicate. One is that among the immigrant Irish of the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were fairly high levels of dysfunction, family neglect, alcoholism. As for criminality, they didn't call it the paddy wagon for nothing. My tribe was an obstreperous one. Many tribes are, at least the interesting ones. People are human and human is messy.
Another thought is that statistical breakdowns on our ethnic groups, Bell Curves and Reports on Out of Wedlock Birthrates, are not in themselves necessarily wrong, but there's something rather rude about them. That is perhaps a sissy thing to say, but what I mean is this: If you have a mother and a father with a big family of kids it would be rude--and unhelpful, and not conducive to promoting peace--for the grown-ups to sit around the table at night and say to their children, "Joey, you're the smart one," and "Elizabeth is dumber and yet dogged," and "Bobby here is our promiscuous one." How exactly would that help? It's not even "realistic": Today's reality can change. An academic might say, "I'm not their father." Fair enough, but you're a grown-up, and if you're a grown-up, you're in charge of America right now.
A little love would go a long way right now. We should stop putting newcomers in constant jeopardy by blithely importing ever-newer immigrants who'll work for ever lower wages. The ones here will never get a sure foot on the next rung that way.
We should close the border, pause, absorb what we have, and set ourselves to "patriating" the newcomers who are here. The young of AmeriCorps might help teach them English. Those reaching retirement age, who happen to be the last people in America who were taught and know American history, could help them learn the story of our country. We could, as a nation, set our minds to this.
We shouldn't be disheartened. So much good could be done once a Great Pause begins, once the alarm is abated.
What will we do about the 12 million here? Nothing radical. We're not really a radical people, Americans.
Having no borders--that's radical.
Saying, to the American people, in essence, Back my big bill or I will not close the borders, is radical.
Insisting on "all or nothing at all" is radical.
Leaving your country wide open in the age of terror is radical.
But America isn't radical. If its leaders only knew! Our leaders are in need not only of wisdom but of faith. And, as always, love, as opposed to mere sentiment, and vanity, and pride.
Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father" (Penguin, 2005), which you can order from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Fridays on OpinionJournal.com.
Newt's 10 point solution
Reply #13 on:
June 18, 2007, 05:09:51 PM »
Ten Simple, Direct Steps to a Legal American Immigration System
1: Keep the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli commitment and control the border. In The Reagan Diaries (HarperCollins, May 22, 2007), President Ronald Reagan wrote that he was going to sign the Simpson-Mazzoli bill because "it's high time we regained control of our borders and [this] bill will do this." For national security reasons, it is vital we regain control of our border. Congress should pass a narrowly written emergency border bill to finish the necessary fence in less than a year and to have complete border control within two years.
2: Announce an immediate shift of Internal Revenue Service resources to audit companies that are deliberately hiring people illegally. We do not have to focus on deporting those who want to work. We need to focus on the Americans who are getting richer by deliberately breaking our laws, hiring people illegally and failing to pay taxes. These people are cheating their own country. We should focus on fining and making it economically impractical for Americans to deliberately encourage law breaking. Economic penalties for knowingly hiring someone who is illegal should rise dramatically with each employer (including subcontractors) conviction, making it simply too expensive to cheat. This will eliminate the magnet of illegal jobs, will begin to diminish the flow of new illegal workers and will lead some illegal workers to return home voluntarily.
3: Outsource to American Express, Visa or MasterCard the job of building a real-time verification system so that honest companies can confirm the legal status of all workers and identify people with forged papers before they hire them as fast as your automatic teller machine identifies you and gives you money in a matter of seconds. We must distinguish between companies that deliberately hire illegal workers and companies that hire people who they believe are legal. It is the government's duty to help this second group of companies by providing a real-time verification system for identifying the legal status of all workers so that it is possible to screen out those with illegal documents. The government should outsource the creation of this system so that it is easy, fast and accurate.
4: Focus deportation efforts on criminals. Those who claim that opponents of the Bush-Kennedy-McCain bill support mass deportations are simply wrong. We want a system in which honest work is available for law-abiding workers and in which the natural attrition of declining job availability will reduce illegal behavior. However, there is one group that should be deported immediately, and the law should be modified to make it easy to do so. Criminals have no future in America. In every major city and increasingly in small cities and even small towns, gangs have become a problem and people feel a rising sense of insecurity. There are at least 30,000 illegal gang members now in the United States. The system should focus on deporting criminals so that people who are here illegally understand that breaking the law will get them deported immediately.
5: Cut off all federal aid to any city, county or state that refuses to investigate if a criminal is here illegally. These so-called "sanctuary cities" are in effect abetting the violation of American law and increasing the risk to honest, law-abiding Americans. They should be cut off from all federal aid if they refuse to help enforce federal law.
6: Offer intensive education in English to anyone who wants to learn English, and make English the official language of government. This will begin to reassert the commitment to assimilation and Americanization that has historically been part of legal immigration to America.
7: Ensure that becoming an American citizen requires passing a test on American history in English and giving up the right to vote in any other country.
8: Within the context of these proven changes, establish an economically driven temporary worker program like the Krieble Foundation proposals. Any temporary worker would have to pass a background check to ensure they are not a criminal, would have to give biometric information (retinal scan and thumbprint) for a special card that would be outsourced to American Express, MasterCard or Visa so it would be harder to defraud and counterfeit, and would have to sign a contract committing them to pay taxes and obey the law or be removed from the United States within two weeks without recourse to long court processes.
9: Create a special open-ended worker visa for high value workers who bring specialized education, entrepreneurial talent or capital that will grow the American economy and make America a more prosperous country.
10: Workers who came here illegally but have a good work relationship and community ties (including family), should have first opportunity to get the new temporary worker visas, but instead of paying penalties, they should be required to go home and get the visa at home. This way they are beginning their new career in America by obeying the law. It is amazing that those who advocate a large fine and the new Z visa, which would be administered in a hopelessly expedited manner, suggest that going home to get a new legal admission to the U.S. is somehow too complicated. If people can break the law by entering the county illegally, they should be able to obey the law and enter America legally.
These 10 steps would lead to a controlled border, a profound revitalization of the core values of American civilization, a renewed respect for the law and an economically driven system of legal temporary workers in an orderly and controllable manner.
This program would work vastly better than the dishonest and hopelessly complex Bush-Kennedy-McCain proposal now being pushed so hard by the establishment against the wishes of most Americans.
Why the Bush-Kennedy-McCain Immigration Bill Is Worse Then You Think
And make no mistake about it: the Bush-McCain-Kennedy immigration bill has to be stopped, once and for all. It was bad to begin with, and the Senate isn't making it any better. And it's not like they haven't had the opportunities. Consider these votes:
An amendment offered by Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota would have closed the gaping hole in our national security created by so-called "sanctuary cities" -- cities in which city policy forbids police from even inquiring about the immigration status of people they arrest. DEFEATED.
An amendment offered by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas would have denied legal status under the bill to gang members. DEFEATED.
An amendment offered by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma would have required congressionally approved certification that concrete border security and internal law enforcement measures have taken place before the amnesty and guest-worker provisions of the bill are implemented. DEFEATED.
Reply #14 on:
June 19, 2007, 09:46:26 AM »
14 problems with the latest incarnation
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #15 on:
June 20, 2007, 09:06:46 AM »
Published: June 20, 2007
McALLEN, Tex., June 15 — Antonio N. Zavaleta, a vice president and professor of anthropology at the University of Texas branch in Brownsville, saw a slight problem in the route of a border fence that federal officials displayed at a community meeting earlier this month.
Dr Antonio N. Zavaleta, a vice president of the University of Texas branch in Brownsville, at the site of the planned fence, which would split the university. “Would the students need to show a passport?” he asked.
“Part of our university,” Dr. Zavaleta said, “would be on the Mexican side of the fence.”
What about traffic between classes, he wondered. “Would the students need to show a passport?”
He was not the only one who was startled. Local leaders throughout South Texas have been voicing puzzlement and alarm at the implications of the barrier, which Congress has authorized the Department of Homeland Security to construct along 370 miles of the United States-Mexico border, including 153 miles in Texas, by December 2008.
Some of the gravest concern involves the effect on wildlife in the 90,000 acres of national refuges in South Texas, where bumper stickers read “No Border Wall” and a group of naturalists, Los Caminos del Rio, has been staging ecotourism forays into a long-closed sanctuary to draw attention to endangered habitats.
Customs and Border Protection officials say that the path of the fence is far from settled and that they are discussing it with local officials.
But maps like the one shown in Brownsville on June 4 by Chief David Aguilar of the Border Patrol put the route along a levee built inland to hold back flooding on the Rio Grande. That location, some here say, would in effect cede to Mexico the land on the other side of the fence up to the official international border, the middle of the Rio Grande.
In Brownsville, Dr. Zavaleta said, that path would cut off not only the International Technology, Education and Commerce campus of the University of Texas and Texas Southmost College, which is in a former shopping center about a mile from the main campus, but also its golf course and a national historic site, Fort Brown, where an upright cannon marks an opening skirmish of the Mexican War.
Even the heavily trafficked bridge between Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico, would be on the Mexican side of the fence, Dr. Zavaleta said.
He said Chief Aguilar had seemed taken aback by the observations and agreed to review the route.
“Nothing has been finalized yet,” said Xavier Rios, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection. “To say something will be cut off is way premature.”
Mr. Rios added that the fence would have many access points to allow monitored passage.
But in Laredo, where Mayor Raul G. Salinas, a former officer for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has complained of being bypassed, a city spokeswoman, Xochitl Mora Garcia, said that after promising to consult with local officials, federal authorities recently invited contract proposals for construction of the fence.
“What they’re saying and doing are two different things,” Ms. Garcia said.
In Brownsville, the district clerk, Aurora De La Garza, and a county commissioner, Sofia Benavides — who emerged from a hurricane-planning visit to the Mexican consulate at the university campus that would be isolated — derided officials in Washington as not understanding family ties across the border.
“This is a relationship that cannot be broken by a fence,” Ms. Benavides said.
Representative Henry Cuellar, the South Texas Democrat who has been organizing local forums to air grievances, said the Homeland Security Department had become more responsive.
“They may have started off on the wrong foot,” Mr. Cuellar said, “but they’re trying to work with the locals now.”
On Friday, the House passed a bill, now before the Senate, appropriating $37 billion for the Homeland Security Department with a provision, insisted on by Mr. Cuellar and others, requiring federal officials to consult with local communities about the fence, which could cost $2 billion to $49 billion.
Supporters say a fence is crucial to shoring up the nation’s southern border. Critics say that a 10-foot-high wall in San Diego is already being scaled by illegal immigrants using ladders, and that technology alone — a virtual fence — could provide much of the same security.
Furthermore, congested areas like Laredo, where development extends to the Rio Grande amid tightly intertwined commercial and social ties to its sister city across the border, Nuevo Laredo, do not lend themselves to a fence.
In an unusual step in the booming border crossroads city of McAllen, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service has taken a role in the debate, providing a rare permit to Los Caminos del Rio (Ways of the River), to run scheduled biking and kayaking outings into the long-restricted Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge. Members have to announce their visits ahead of time to tip off the Border Patrol and assure protection from the human smugglers who infest the refuge — like, for example, the three jumpy fellows who had just crossed the river from Mexico the other evening to stash a bag of dry clothes for nightfall.
“Don’t mess with us or we’ll both get messed up,” warned one (or words to that effect).
Eric Ellman, executive director of the 17-year-old Los Caminos group, said the strategy was akin to that devised in New York City at the height of the 1970s crime wave.
“Legal activity will displace illegal activity,” Mr. Ellman said, maintaining that the presence of ecotourists would make the refuge less appealing to illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.
Bryan R. Wynton, the refuge manager, said he was concerned that a fence could prove ruinous to wildlife relying on the river. “It pretty much destroys 20 years of efforts,” he said.
But Mr. Wynton added, “I’m smart enough to know national security is going to trump fish and wildlife management any day, but that doesn’t mean I need to throw in the towel.”
A morning spent biking and kayaking the refuge with about a dozen members of Los Caminos showcased the diversity of the wildlife. As Lori Humphreys, executive secretary of the group, led the group with an S.U.V. full of gear, and Mel Piñeda, a consultant, followed in a pickup loaded with kayaks, a herd of javelinas bolted into the mesquite. A turkey buzzard circled overhead along with menacing-looking tarantula wasps that lay their eggs inside tarantulas also in evidence from a dried carcass at the side of the road.
Sue Thompson, a local farmer and a member of the North American Butterfly Association, with its own reserve nearby, said she had seen smugglers in the refuge driving up to unload boxes of drugs ferried across the Rio Grande.
Just the evening before, on a run-through of the next morning’s nature tour, Mr. Piñeda stumbled across the three men huddling on the shore of the river waiting for dark with their bag of dry clothes.
On the Mexican side, families frolicked in the water, and Mr. Piñeda shouted across, asking what they thought of the wall. “It’s an insult,” one man shouted back, adding, “We’ll make tunnels.”
As nightfall came, Napoleon Garza, an armed local caretaker who was patrolling the reserve against feral hogs, warned the visitors to leave.
“There’s a lot of dope being run across here,” he said.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #16 on:
June 21, 2007, 05:45:23 AM »
Poisonous and Treasonous
By Quin Hillyer
Published 6/20/2007 12:08:40 AM
For those of us out here who really do have a moderate position on
immigration, who really do seek a reasoned approach that in the long
run allows for some form of "guest workers," the immigration bill
being considered by the Senate is more and more of an affront the
more and more its details become clear. It is an affront because it
appears to have been written in bad faith, by illegitimate
procedures, with all sorts of smoke screens meant to snooker us into
believing the bill is moderate and balanced.
In fact, the bill is a radical and dangerous attempt to open the
It must be stopped.
That's the only conclusion one can reach after re-reading, closely,
the report called "20 Loopholes in the Senate Immigration Bill,"
released on June 4 by Alabama's Sen. Jeff Sessions. (Of the 20, only
one minor "loophole" has since been improved by amendment.)
For "Loophole 1," Sessions has identified the provision which, all
along, has been the single biggest stumbling block to people of good
will who wish to take this bill seriously. It is the now-infamous
allowance for "probationary benefits," which effectively makes every
other law-and-order provision in the bill utterly worthless. Allow me
to quote Sessions' entire paragraph:
Amnesty benefits do not wait for the "enforcement trigger." After
filing an application and waiting 24 hours, illegal aliens will
receive full "probationary benefits," complete with the ability to
legally live and work in the U.S., travel outside of the U.S. and
return, and their own social security card. Astonishingly, if the
trigger is never met and amnesty applications are therefore never
"approved," the probationary benefits granted to the illegal alien
population never expire, and the new social security cards issued to
the illegal alien population are not revoked. [See pp. 1, 290-291, &
Even worse is the combination of that loophole with "Loophole 5 --
Completion of Background Checks Not Required For Probationary Legal
Status." Again, I quote:
Legal status must be granted to illegal aliens 24 hours after they
file an application, even if the aliens have not yet "passed all
appropriate background checks." (Last year's bill gave DHS 90 days to
check an alien's background before any status was granted.)... [See
As Sessions then comments, on the contrary, "No legal status should
[my emphasis] be given to any illegal alien until all appropriate
background checks are complete."
As long as the probationary visa provisions remain in the bill, all
reasonable people ought to consider this bill poisonous. No matter
how one slices it, this is complete amnesty, pure and simple, with no
enforcement, no respect for the law, no guarantee of safety, no
requirement to learn English, no reliable insistence that businesses
hire only legal visitors, no protection against Social Security and
welfare fraud that could cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions
of dollars over the next several decades.
It is hard to see this as anything other than a deliberate attempt by
the bill's drafters to provide an end-run around everything else in
the bill, in effect to make everything else into window dressing.
What other reason could there be for cutting the background check
time period from 90 days to a single day? (!!!!!!!)
Collectively, all the other loopholes identified by Sessions are at
least equally scary. For instance, the trigger does not require full
implementation of the U.S. VISIT system, which is the biometric
border check-in/check-out program that already is two years overdue.
The trigger's requirements for detention capabilities for scofflaws
is off by about 50 percent, or more than 30 thousand beds, from what
a later part of the bill acknowledges is the desirable amount.
Also, "Aliens who broke into the country illegally a mere 5 months
ago are treated better than foreign nationals who legally applied to
come to the U.S. more than two years ago."
There are loopholes that fail to protect against certain child
molesters, fail to protect against certain people with terrorist
connections, fail against known gang members (who must merely
"renounce" their gang membership on their application), and fail
against absconders (people who already have been given deportation
orders but ignored them and remain in our country).
On and on goes Sessions' list, with the senator also identifying a
number of provisions that would make the bill financially costly to
American taxpayers. One of these provisions is so bad that it, too,
merits quoting Sessions' description in full:
Free legal counsel and the fees and expense of arbitrators will be
provided to aliens that have been working illegally in agriculture.
The U.S. taxpayer will fund the attorneys that help these individuals
fill out their amnesty applications. Additionally, if these
individuals have a dispute with their employer over whether they were
fired for "just cause," DHS will "pay the fee and expenses of the
arbitrator." [See p. 339:37-41, & p. 332: 37-38.]
In all, if passed in its current form, this might be one of the
single worst bills in the history of the United States, ranking right
up there with the Smoot-Hawley tariff that helped usher in the Great
Depression. It makes a mockery of law and order and public safety,
and it makes a mockery of the entire notion of American citizenship.
It is outrageously irresponsible.
Not only that, but by concocting it via the alchemy of back-room deal-
making, without benefit of a single committee hearing, its drafters
contemptuously insult the American people by refusing to trust the
people with the ability to analyze and comment on the legislation the
drafters would impose upon them. Such shenanigans are utterly
destructive to all efforts to maintain within our populace what the
poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson called "some sense of duty, something of a
faith, some reverence for the laws ourselves have made."
There is no way, none whatsoever, that this bill can inculcate a
reverence for this nation's laws. Instead, it breeds only further
contempt: the contempt for our laws it will instill in the minds of
illegal immigrants, and the contempt for our system with which a
clear majority of Americans will greet such legislation if passed
Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator. He can be
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #17 on:
June 25, 2007, 08:04:07 AM »
This from today's NY Times discusses the H1B Visa issue. I am sympathetic to the companies desire for more H1Bs, but the devil is in the details , , ,
WASHINGTON, June 24 — Bill Gates and Steven A. Ballmer of Microsoft have led a parade of high-tech executives to Capitol Hill, urging lawmakers to provide more visas for temporary foreign workers and permanent immigrants who can fill critical jobs.
Google has reminded senators that one of its founders, Sergey Brin, came from the Soviet Union as a young boy. To stay competitive in a “knowledge-based economy,” company officials have said, Google needs to hire many more immigrants as software engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists.
The top executives of these and other high-tech companies have been making a huge effort to reshape the Senate immigration bill to meet their demand for more foreign workers. But they have had only limited success, as is often the case when strong-willed corporate leaders confront powerful members of Congress.
The Senate plans to resume work on the bill this week. Much of the debate will focus on proposals for granting legal status to illegal immigrants. But the sections of the bill affecting high-tech industries could prove to be very important as well.
High-tech companies want to be able to hire larger numbers of well-educated, foreign-born professionals who, they say, can help them succeed in the global economy. For these scientists and engineers, they seek permanent-residence visas, known as green cards, and H-1B visas. The H-1B program provides temporary work visas for people who have university degrees or the equivalent to fill jobs in specialty occupations including health care and technology. The Senate bill would expand the number of work visas for skilled professionals, but high-tech companies say the proposed increase is not nearly enough. Several provisions of the Senate bill are meant to enhance protections for American workers and to prevent visa fraud and abuse.
High-tech companies were surprised and upset by the bill that emerged last month from secret Senate negotiations. E. John Krumholtz, director of federal affairs at Microsoft, said the bill was “worse than the status quo, and the status quo is a disaster.”
In the last two weeks, these businesses have quietly negotiated for changes to meet some of their needs. But the bill still falls far short of what they want, an outcome suggesting that their political clout does not match their economic strength.
Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, a co-author of a treatise on immigration law, said: “High-tech companies are very organized. They have numerous lobby groups. When Bill Gates advocates more H-1B visas and green cards for tech workers, everyone listens.
“But that supposed influence has not translated into legislative results,” Mr. Yale-Loehr, who teaches at Cornell Law School, continued. “High-tech companies have been lobbying unsuccessfully since 2003 for more H-1B visas. It’s hard to get anything through Congress these days. In addition, anti-immigrant groups are well organized. U.S. computer programmers are constantly arguing that H-1B workers undercut their wages.”
The Republican architects of the Senate bill, like Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, thought they were doing a favor for high-tech companies when they proposed a “point system” to evaluate immigrants seeking green cards. The point system would reward people who have advanced degrees and job skills needed in the United States.
But the high-tech companies were upset because the bill would have stripped them of the ability to sponsor specific immigrants for particular jobs.
The companies flooded Senate offices with letters, telephone calls and e-mail messages seeking changes to the bill. Mr. Ballmer, the blunt-spoken chief executive of Microsoft, Craig R. Barrett, the chairman of Intel, and other executives pressed their concerns in person.
These advocates have made some gains, which are embodied in an amendment to be proposed by Mr. Kyl and Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington.
Edward J. Sweeney, senior vice president of National Semiconductor, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said, “I’ve spent many hours in Washington talking with senators to get their support on this amendment.”
Likewise, William D. Watkins, the chief executive of Seagate Technology, the world’s largest maker of computer disk drives, said he met with five or six senators two weeks ago.
Under the Kyl-Cantwell proposal, 20,000 green cards would be set aside each year for immigrants of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers and certain managers and executives of multinational corporations. The original bill would have eliminated the existing preference for such workers.
In addition, the amendment would give employers five years to adjust their hiring practices to the new “merit-based” point system for obtaining green cards.
“For the first five years, employers would still have a say,” Ms. Cantwell said in an interview. “They could recruit the best and the brightest.”
The number of green cards for employer-sponsored immigrants would gradually decline, to 44,000 in the fifth year from 115,000 in each of the first two years. No green cards would be set aside for employer-sponsored immigrants after that.
Many high-tech companies bring in foreign professionals on temporary H-1B visas. The government is swamped with petitions. On the first two days of the application period in April, it received more than 123,000 petitions for 65,000 slots.
The Senate bill would raise the cap to 115,000 in 2008, with a possible increase to 180,000 in later years, based on labor market needs.
Many high-tech businesses want to hire foreign students who obtain advanced degrees from American universities, and many of the students want to work here, but cannot get visas.
Under current law, up to 20,000 foreigners who earn a master’s degree or higher from an American university are generally exempt from the annual limit on new H-1B visas. The Kyl-Cantwell proposal would double the number.
The amendment would also establish a new exemption, providing 20,000 additional H-1B visas for people who have earned advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from a university outside the United States.
The technology companies face a serious challenge from a different direction, as lawmakers of both parties worry about possible abuses in the H-1B program.
Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, have a proposal that would overhaul the H-1 B program and give priority to American workers. Their proposal would also define, in great detail, the wages that must be paid to workers who have H-1B visas.
Mr. Durbin contended that some companies have used foreign workers to undercut the wages of American workers. And in some cases, he said, foreign workers come to this country for a few years of training, then return home “to populate businesses competing with the United States.”
“The H-1B visa program is being abused by foreign companies to deprive qualified Americans of good jobs,” Mr. Durbin said. “Some companies are so brazen, they say ‘no Americans need apply’ in their job advertisements.”
High-tech companies said that the wage standards in the Durbin-Grassley proposal would, in effect, require them to pay some H-1B employees more than some equally qualified American workers who are performing the same duties.
The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said that thousands of H-1B workers have been paid less than the prevailing wage.
One company, Patni Computer Systems, agreed this month to pay more than $2.4 million to 607 workers with visas after Labor Department investigators found that they had not been paid the wages required by federal law. The company’s global headquarters are in Mumbai, India, and its American operations are based in Cambridge, Mass.
Du Pont on Immigration
Reply #18 on:
June 27, 2007, 09:17:46 AM »
How to protect the borders while welcoming the immigrants America needs.
BY PETE DU PONT
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
The immigration bill may be back on the Senate floor this week, and the policies that are adopted will have a significant impact on the sovereignty, security, economic growth and opportunity of America in the coming decades.
America's modern immigration trend began in 1986 when President Reagan's bill granted amnesty to some three million illegal immigrants yet failed to improve border security. That amnesty sent a message to people across the border: If you slip into America you will be able to work and live here, and nothing negative will happen to you. Almost 20 years went by before any serious effort was undertaken to secure our borders, so that three million 1986 illegal immigrants have turned into 12 million today. About eight million people have entered the U.S. during the current Bush administration, half or more illegally, and according to the Washington Post, undocumented workers now make up "about 5 percent of all employees nationally."
The Secure Fence Act of 2006 authorized 750 miles of fence to be built along our border with Mexico, where almost all of our illegal immigrants enter--over 80% of them come from Mexico and Latin American countries--but only about 150 miles of that border fence will have been built by the end of this year.
With this growing influx of illegal entrants into America, there are five essential actions the Senate should take next week:
First, secure the Mexican border so that America is closed to illegal immigration. Controlling our borders is essential to our national security. The additional 600 miles of border fencing authorized by the 2006 law must immediately be built; and we must add surveillance technology and more border security agents to our entire southern border. President Bush has agreed to add an upfront $4.4 billion to the bill to strengthen border security, enforce our immigration law, and prosecute employers who hire illegal workers--a good first step to solve our illegal immigration problems.
Second, make sure the bill contains the provisions of the Isakson Rule (proposed by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R., Ga.) that no other immigration reform programs can be implemented until the border is secure.
Third, once the border has been secured, require tamper-proof ID cards of all immigrants. Today there are no such cards, and verifiable identification is essential to both immigration policy and national security. We must know who is entering our country and what their background is.
Fourth, identify the skills required for the jobs immigrants need to fill, so that immigration policy will reflect America's economic needs. The Senate bill contains a merit-based system for evaluating immigration applicants. It encourages higher education, those skilled in specialist occupations (including scientists, engineers and technicians) and people who have previously worked in America and speak English. Working skills should be the focus of our immigration policy, so we must move from the current "chain migration" policy which gives preference to extended families of current immigrants--like sisters, cousins, uncles, and grandparents, to one that admits the skilled working people we need. Sen. Barack Obama tried to sunset this merit program after five years, and fortunately his attempt was defeated.
Fifth, get rid of the existing "visa lottery" that randomly selects 50,000 immigrants from the application list each year. An effective immigration policy isn't based on gambling.
These are the essential elements of any immigration policy, and all must must be enacted to have both a secure America and enough guest workers for a prosperous society. Passage of them would greatly improve our immigration system, our economy, and the quality of our workforce.
Then comes the difficult question of what to do about the aforementioned 12 million undocumented aliens who are in the country already. Sen. Ted Kennedy proposes allowing them to stay indefinitely and pursue citizenship. They would have to apply for a Z visa (temporary legal status) by admitting they have broken the law, pay an initial $1,000 fine, and submit to a background check. They would still not then eligible for welfare benefits or food stamps, and if they wanted a green card and permanent legal status, they would have to pay an additional $4,000 fine, learn English, and then return to their home countries to file for it. The Department of Homeland Security has estimated that some 15% to 20% of the 12 million illegal immigrants in America have criminal records and would be ineligible for Z visas or green cards.
Granting blanket amnesty to the 12 million illegal immigrants would be abandoning the rule of law, and deporting them would be difficult and chaotic. So a serious, enforceable visa plan makes sense.
America's illegal immigrant admission has accelerated over time. Congress and President Reagan granted amnesty to three million illegal aliens in 1986; and the current President Bush wants to legalize another 12 million now, which sends an arithmetic signal to other immigrants who want to slip into America that 20 years from now whoever is president will perhaps grant amnesty to 48 million illegal immigrants.
We do need to secure our borders, issue legal ID cards to immigrants, and admit people skilled in the jobs we need to fill. But experience shows that our government lacks the political will to enforce such an immigration policy. Georgia state employee Reagan W. Dean was recently quoted in the New York Times: "Maybe it is possible to secure the border. Maybe it is possible to establish an employee identification system. But I don't have any confidence it will be done."
Many Americans agree with him, so a serious and substantive bill that would restore the people's confidence is the Senate's task this week.
Mr. du Pont, a former governor of Delaware, is chairman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. His column appears once a month.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #19 on:
June 27, 2007, 02:32:53 PM »
DuPont has some sound ideas but the devil is in the details. A couple of points/questions for others on this forum:
1) "First, secure the Mexican border so that America is closed to illegal immigration" Can we also discuss the entrance of illegal workers from the North, East, and West? There are plenty of illegal workers that aren't from Mexico getting jobs . We tend to focus (rightly so) on Mexico but forget that there are a ton of ways to get here and get a job without papers. How about
2) "...no other immigration reform programs can be implemented until the border is secure." How do we gauge the security level of a border? Are we now satisfied with border security re: Canada?
3) "...require tamper-proof ID cards of all immigrants". I for one don't believe that we will ever invent a tamper proof ID card. When I worked as a bouncer the new CA IDs came out and no one thought they could be faked...until the fakes showed up a couple of month later.
4) "Working skills should be the focus of our immigration policy" Excellent idea, but how do we implement it? Applications? Testing? Where, when, and by who?
5) "They would have to apply for a Z visa...pay a $1,000 fine, submit to a background check...If they wanted a green card and permanent legal status, they would pay an additional $4,000 fine, learn English, and then return to their home countries to file for it...So a serious, enforceable visa plan makes sense"
This is only point which I find to be absolutely ludicrous. How the h*ll are we going to enforce this? What illegal is actually going to admit they are here illegally? Where are they going to get $1,000 not to mention $4000?!?!? Why not just get a fake green card?
The State Dept. just had a major passport renewal fiasco, how do we expect them or the INS to deal with 12
Sorry, I guess that I am just frustrated by the broad strokes with which we attempt to handle issues like immigration, while completely ignoring the detailed reality of solving the problem. It seems that many these proposals will only add to the already too-thick layers of government bureaucracy. I fear that in the long run, any immigration bill that is passed will actually accomplish nothing.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #20 on:
June 27, 2007, 05:17:28 PM »
There is no need for new laws, just active enforcement of the law already in existance. The borders must be secured. Canada is a staging ground for all sorts of terror cells. Militarize the borders, take the BP agents and turn them over to ICE for internal enforcement. Start seizing assets of employers and the millions of illegals will self-deport.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #21 on:
June 27, 2007, 05:28:29 PM »
Hiding the Cost of Amnesty
By Robert Rector
Heritage Foundation | June 27, 2007
Last week, the White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report entitled "Immigration's Economic Impact" which defended the President's promotion of the Senate's "comprehensive" immigration legislation (S.1348). On June 25, the White House issued a follow-up editorial elaborating on the points made in the CEA report. These publications criticized Heritage Foundation research on the fiscal costs of low skill immigration and amnesty.
The Heritage research criticized by the White House made the following basic points about immigration and its costs:
Individuals without a high school degree impose significant net costs (the extent to which benefits and services received exceed taxes paid) on taxpayers.
The net fiscal cost of families of immigrants who lack a high school degree is not markedly different from the net fiscal cost of families of non-immigrants who lack a high school degree.
Immigrants are disproportionately low skilled; one-third of all immigrants and 50 to 60 percent of illegal immigrants lack a high school degree.
Unlike low and moderate skill immigrants, immigrants with a college education will pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits; therefore. immigration policy should increase the number of high skill immigrants entering the country and sharply decrease the number of low skill, fiscally dependent immigrants.
Heritage research has shown that low skill immigrants (those without a high school degree) receive, on average, three dollars in government benefits and services for each dollar of taxes they pay. This imbalance imposes a net cost of $89 billion per year on U.S. taxpayers. Over a lifetime, the typical low skill immigrant household will cost taxpayers $1.2 million.
Future taxpayer costs will be increased by policies which increase (1) the number of low skill immigrants entering the U.S., (2) the length of low skill immigrants' stays in the U.S., or (3) low skill immigrants' access to government benefits and services. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Senate immigration bill does:
The bill would triple the flow of low skill chain immigration into the U.S.
By granting amnesty to at least 12 million illegal immigrants, the bill would greatly lengthen their stay in the U.S., particularly during retirement years.
The bill would grant illegal immigrants access to Social Security and Medicare benefits and, over time, to more than 60 different federal welfare programs.
Although the bill does not currently permit Z visa holders to bring spouses and children in from abroad, this would likely be amended at some future point on humanitarian grounds, resulting in another 5 million predominantly low-skill immigrants entering the country.
Heritage research has concluded that the cost of amnesty alone will be $2.6 trillion once the amnesty recipients reach retirement age.
In an effort to defend the Senate bill, the White has contested these conclusions. As described below, many of the assertions made by the White House are inaccurate or misleading.
The White House claims that, under the Senate immigration bill, amnesty recipients would receive little or no welfare.
CEA Chairman Edward Lazear charged that the Heritage claims concerning the cost of the Senate immigration bill were flawed because, under the bill, amnesty recipients would be barred from receiving "the vast majority of welfare benefits." Like previous statements by White House spokesmen, this assertion mischaracterizes the Senate bill and also shows a lack of understanding of the Heritage estimates of the bill's costs.
While provisions of the Senate bill would delay illegal immigrants' access to welfare for several years, over time, nearly all amnesty recipients would be offered legal permanent residence and access to more than 60 federal means-tested welfare programs. Specifically, Z visa holders would immediately be given Social Security numbers and would begin earning entitlement to Social Security and Medicare (which are not means-tested welfare programs). Some ten to thirteen years after enactment, amnesty recipients would begin to gain access to a wide variety of means-tested welfare programs, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, public housing, and Food Stamps. Children born to illegal and legal immigrants in the U.S. have immediate, lifetime access to all welfare programs.
The initial limitation on the receipt of means-tested welfare will have only a small effect on governmental costs. Adult welfare comprises only a small part of the benefits received by immigrant families. Moreover, the average adult amnesty recipient can be expected to live more than 50 years after receiving his Z visa. While his eligibility for means-tested welfare would be constrained for the first 10 to 15 years, each amnesty recipient would be fully eligible for welfare during the last 30 to 40 years of his life. Use of welfare during these years will be heavy.
The White House claims that, to the extent that amnesty recipients receive welfare benefits, they would receive the same low levels of benefits as other poorly educated immigrants, who (in the White House's view) receive little welfare.
The White House reassures taxpayers that amnesty recipients and millions of future low skill immigrants will not generate welfare costs because they must "qualify for…government [welfare] transfers only the old fashioned way." The implication is that those who must struggle to earn access to welfare "the old fashioned way" will, in the end, get very little welfare. Contrary to this claim, the average low skill immigrant family actually receives $10,500 per year in means-tested welfare, or about a half million dollars over the course of a lifetime. Amnesty recipients would indeed gain access to welfare "the old fashioned way," and the old fashioned way is extraordinarily expensive.
The brief delay in adult access to welfare under S. 1348 and current law would have only a tiny effect on the long-term welfare costs of low skill immigrants. Further, the White House's touting the delays on immigrants receiving welfare under existing law is hypocritical: The actual policy pursued by the White House up to this time has been to dismantle the barriers in current law and increase immigrant families' access to welfare.
The White House strongly suggests that, under the Senate immigration bill, amnesty recipients would be net tax contributors.
Some 50 to 60 percent of illegal immigrants who would receive amnesty under S. 1348 lack a high school degree. Another 25 percent have only a high school degree. Based on the example of current immigrants with similar levels of education, these individuals would be a net burden on the taxpayer over the entire course of their lives.
The White House claims that amnesty recipients would increase the net government revenue available to support Americans in retirement.
The White House trumpets that "immigrants improve the solvency of our retirement system." One must assume that they believe that the same will be true of amnesty recipients, because otherwise the assertion would be irrelevant in the current debate. The White House does correctly point out that amnesty recipients would pay Social Security taxes during their working years. Amnesty recipients' low skill levels, however, mean that the Social Security tax payments they make would, on average, be quite modest.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #22 on:
June 27, 2007, 05:28:46 PM »
More important is the fact that, in future years, Social Security benefits will be funded by both Social Security taxes and general revenue. What matters is not the small amount of Social Security taxes that would be paid by amnesty recipients but their overall fiscal balance—that is, the total federal state and local benefits received, minus all taxes paid. Because the total benefits taken by amnesty recipients and their families would exceed the Social Security and other taxes that they would pay, amnesty recipients would undermine, rather than strengthen, financial support for U.S. retirees, even before the amnesty recipients reach retirement age themselves.
The White House suggests that the retirement costs of amnesty recipients would not impose a significant tax burden on U.S. taxpayers.
The Senate bill would give amnesty recipients access not only to means-tested welfare, but also to government retirement benefits. The Heritage Foundation has estimated that the net fiscal costs of amnesty recipients during retirement would be $2.6 trillion. These particular costs would begin to impact the taxpayer about 30 years after enactment of the Senate legislation. The White House has made no specific refutation of this estimate.
The bulk of the net expenditure would be in the Social Security and Medicare programs; substantial costs would also occur in the means-tested Medicaid program (amnesty recipients would be fully eligible for Medicaid benefits long before they reach retirement). Contrary to any suggestions made by the White House, temporary restrictions on access to means-tested welfare by amnesty recipients is irrelevant to the estimated $2.6 trillion cost of amnesty.
The White House does point out that amnesty recipients will have paid Social Security taxes prior to retirement and thereby might be seen as having "earned" all the government benefits they would receive. But, as noted above, the Social Security taxes paid by amnesty recipients would be modest. Even during working years, most amnesty recipients would be a drain on the taxpayer, and during retirement their fiscal cost would be dramatic.
The White House claims that the Senate immigration bill would benefit U.S. taxpayers by increasing the future flow of high skill immigrants (who would be strong net tax contributors) and decreasing the flow of low skill immigrants who are more likely to be a fiscal burden.
The White House claims that the Senate immigration bill would "sharply improve" the fiscal contributions of immigrants by increasing the share of future immigrants who are high skilled. It asserts, "[T]he bill will end chain migration which allows legal immigrants to bring extended family members to the U.S" and replace it with a "new merit-based system to select future immigrants based on [their]…skills and attributes."
In reality, the bill would triple the annual rate of family chain migration, raising the annual allotment for these immigrants from the current level of 147,000 to 440,000 and bringing up to 5.9 million such immigrants into the U.S. over the next decade. Family chain immigrants are predominately low skilled: 60 percent have only a high school degree or less and 38 percent lack a high school degree.
What about the new merit-based system, ostensibly intended to bring in highly educated high tech workers? The core of this proposal is a point system to select future green card holders, but this point system is far from merit-based. For example, green card applicants would receive a high number of points if they are currently employed in "high demand" occupations, which include janitor, waitress, sales clerk, fast food worker, freight handler, laborer, grounds keeping worker, food preparation worker, maid, and house cleaner. Under the proposed point system, a high school dropout working in a fast food restaurant who has the recommendation of her employer would outscore an applicant with a Ph.D. trying to enter the country from abroad. The merit system is actually designed to confer citizenship on low skill "temporary guest workers" rather than bring in professionals from abroad.
The bill would eliminate the current green card allocation for workers of "exceptional ability" but allocate 90,000 green cards per year for the next eight years to reduce the existing employment visa backlog of primarily low skill workers. Contrary to White House claims, it seems unlikely that S. 1348 would increase the number of green cards for high-skill workers, at least through the first eight years of operation.
The White House claims high school dropouts are a "very small part" of the immigrant population.
The Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers dismissed Heritage research on the negative fiscal impact of poorly educated immigrants as "relevant only to a very small part of the population" and therefore of little importance in assessing the Senate immigration bill. In reality, a large and disproportionate share of current immigrants in the U.S. is poorly educated. One-third of all current immigrants lack a high school degree, compared to nine percent of native-born Americans. The families of immigrants without a high school degree now comprise 5 percent of the U.S. population. As noted, among the ten million adult illegal immigrants who would receive amnesty and citizenship under the Senate's immigration bill, some 50 to 60 percent lack a high school degree and many have only a high school degree.
The White House asserts that low skill immigrant families impose a substantially lesser burden on taxpayers than do low skill non-immigrant families.
The White House asserts, "[L]ow-skill immigrants are actually comparatively self-sufficient compared to low skill native households." This assertion is false. Low skill immigrants and non-immigrants impose similar burdens on the taxpayer. Wages, tax payments, and receipt of welfare are quite similar for the two groups. Low skill non-immigrants differ from immigrants primarily because they are more likely to be elderly and therefore less likely to be employed.
The White House asserts that the children of low skill immigrants quickly become fiscal contributors (taxes paid exceed benefits and services received) and thereby compensate taxpayers for nearly all the fiscal losses generated by their parents.
The White House has suggested that while low skill immigrants may impose some initial taxpayer costs, these costs are "recovered quickly" by the net taxes paid by the immigrants' children. This is not true. Low skill immigrants impose very heavy costs on U.S. taxpayers. As noted, on average, each low skill immigrant household receives three dollars in benefits for each one dollar of taxes paid; over a lifetime, each household costs the taxpayer more than $1 million.
The children of low skill immigrants do better than their parents. With higher levels of education, they will receive fewer welfare benefits and pay more taxes. Nonetheless, despite this upward progress, the children of immigrant dropouts are likely to remain a net drain on the taxpayers.
The White House asserts that the "children of immigrant parents are 12 percent more likely to obtain a college degree than other natives." It neglects to note that the relevant group, the children of low skill immigrant parents, have below-average educational attainment. For example, the children of Hispanic dropout parents are three times more likely to drop out of high school and 75 percent less likely to have a college degree than the general population.
With prevailing trends in upward mobility, the descendents of immigrant dropouts will not become net tax contributors until the third generation. This means that the net fiscal impact of low skill immigrants will remains negative for 50 to 60 years after the immigrants' arrival in the U.S.
The White House obscures the cost of low skill immigrants.
The White House report asserted that Heritage Foundation research on low skill immigrants is flawed because it lacks a "forward looking projection." The Council of Economic Advisers stated that, from the 'long-run point of view," low skill immigrants are remarkably inexpensive: Each immigrant without a high school degree costs the taxpayer a mere $13,000 overall. The CEA failed to note that its "long-run point of view" includes the estimated taxes paid by the low skill immigrants' descendents for the next 300 years. In other words, the White House is asserting that taxpayers should not be concerned about the $89 billion annual cost generated by low skill immigrants because that cost would be largely offset by the taxes paid by the immigrants' descendents in the year 2407. In addition, the 300-year estimate cited by White House assumes very large tax increases and benefits reductions in the near future.
In its defense of the Senate immigration bill, the White House employs statistics about the fiscal contributions of college-educated immigrants, but the taxes paid by college-educated immigrants are almost completely irrelevant to a fiscal analysis of S. 1348. The main fiscal impact of S. 1348 will occur through two mechanisms: (1) the grant of amnesty, with accompanying access to Social Security, Medicare and welfare benefits, to 12 million illegal immigrants who are overwhelmingly low skilled; and (2) a dramatic increase in chain immigration, which will also be predominantly low skilled.
In this context, talking about the taxes paid by college-educated immigrants is a red herring and merely serves to obscure the obvious fiscal consequences of the legislation.
The bottom line is that high school dropouts are extremely expensive to U.S. taxpayers. It does not matter whether the dropout comes from Ohio, Tennessee, or Mexico. It does matter that the Senate immigration bill would increase the future flow of poorly educated immigrants into the U.S. and grant amnesty and access to government benefits to millions of poorly educated illegal aliens already here. Such legislation would inevitably impose huge costs on U.S. taxpayers.
 The President's Council of Economic Advisers, "Immigration's Economic Impact," June 20, 2007.
 Karl Zinsmeister and Edward Lazear, "Lead Weight or Gold Mine: What are the True Costs of Immigration?" RealClearPolitics, June 25, 2007.
 Robert Rector and Christine Kim, "The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer," Heritage Foundation Special Report No. 14, May 21, 2007.
 Robert Rector, "Amnesty will Cost the U.S. Taxpayers at least $2.6 Trillion," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1490, June 6, 2007, at
 Lori Montgomery, "Immigration Lifts Wages, Report Says," Washington Post, June 21, 2007, p. D3.
 "Response to False Claims That Illegal Immigrants Will Not Receive Welfare Under Senate Bill," Robert E. Rector, Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1509, June 18, 2007.
 Zinsmeister and Lazear.
 The White House, "Fact Sheet: Ending Chain Migration," May 29, 2007, at
 Robert Rector, "Merit-based Immigration under S. 1348: Bringing in the High Tech Waitresses," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1492, June 7, 2007.
 Tamar Jacoby, "'Temporary is Temporary' Won't Work for All Immigrants," Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2007, at
 Interview with Edward Lazear, "Washington Journal," C-SPAN, June 21, 2007.
 Zinsmeister and Lazear.
 Montgomery, "Immigration Lifts Wages, Report Says."
 This conclusion is based on forthcoming research by The Heritage Foundation that employs the fiscal methodology of Rector and Kim, "The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer."
 Zinsmeister and Lazear.
 The President's Council of Economic Advisers, "Immigration's Economic Impact," p. 5
 National Research Council, The New Americans: Economic, Demographic and Fiscal Effects of Immigration (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1997), pp. 334, 342.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #23 on:
June 27, 2007, 05:37:54 PM »
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #24 on:
June 27, 2007, 06:53:20 PM »
Start seizing assets of employers and the millions of illegals will self-deport
Man, I would be so curious to see how many businesses got busted.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #25 on:
June 27, 2007, 07:04:10 PM »
As a partial aside, I heard on the radio (yesterday or today) that the Mexican govn't has basically taken a "hand-off" approach to tackling illegal immigration. Hmmm, could it be because it bolsters the Mexican economy?
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #26 on:
June 27, 2007, 10:41:42 PM »
Mexico has draconian laws against illegal immigration that they enforce. Remittances from Mexicans in Estados Unidos are a major part of Mexico's economy. Not only are they "hands off", the Mexican gov't has published comic book guides on how to illegally enter the US. What poverty problem, just outsource your poor to America....
Illegal Alien crime rates
Reply #27 on:
June 28, 2007, 06:32:07 PM »
The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave
Heather Mac Donald
Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.
The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These “sanctuary policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.
Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies, a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave. “We can’t even talk about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration law against illegals].” Neither captain would speak for attribution.
But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom of a much broader disease: the nation’s near-total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy might have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy. The nonstop increase of immigration is reshaping the language and the law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal aliens and, ultimately, the very idea of national borders.
It is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has become that to ask police officials about the illegal-alien crime problem feels like a gross faux pas, not done in polite company. And a police official asked to violate this powerful taboo will give a strangled response—or, as in the case of a New York deputy commissioner, break off communication altogether. Meanwhile, millions of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view, utterly secure in their de facto immunity from the immigration law.
I asked the Miami Police Department’s spokesman, Detective Delrish Moss, about his employer’s policy on lawbreaking illegals. In September, the force arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven vicious rapes. The previous year, Miami cops had had the suspect in custody for lewd and lascivious molestation, without checking his immigration status. Had they done so, they would have discovered his visa overstay, a deportable offense, and so could have forestalled the rapes. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing with immigration issues,” explains Moss, choosing his words carefully, “because of our large immigrant population.”
Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the illegal-alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is startling. Some examples:
• In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.
• A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern California is illegal; police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complex drug-distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, most of them illegal, from Central America and Mexico.
• The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li. Francisco Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and an illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.
Good luck finding any reference to such facts in official crime analysis. The LAPD and the L.A. city attorney recently requested an injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood, targeting the 18th Street Gang and the “non–gang members” who sell drugs in Hollywood for the gang. Those non–gang members are virtually all illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a ring organized by 18th Street bigs. The Mexicans pay off their transportation debts to the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line of work is and stay in the business.
Cops and prosecutors universally know the immigration status of these non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the city attorney calls them, but the gang injunction is assiduously silent on the matter. And if a Hollywood officer were to arrest an illegal dealer (known on the street as a “border brother”) for his immigration status, or even notify the Immigration and Naturalization Service (since early 2003, absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security), he would face severe discipline for violating Special Order 40, the city’s sanctuary policy.
The ordinarily tough-as-nails former LAPD chief Daryl Gates enacted Special Order 40 in 1979—showing that even the most unapologetic law-and-order cop is no match for immigration advocates. The order prohibits officers from “initiating police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person”—in other words, the police may not even ask someone they have arrested about his immigration status until after they have filed criminal charges, nor may they arrest someone for immigration violations. They may not notify immigration authorities about an illegal alien picked up for minor violations. Only if they have already booked an illegal alien for a felony or for multiple misdemeanors may they inquire into his status or report him. The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.
L.A.’s sanctuary law and all others like it contradict a key 1990s policing discovery: the Great Chain of Being in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you might well prevent a major crime: enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known felons, would be even more productive. LAPD officers recognize illegal deported gang members all the time—flashing gang signs at court hearings for rival gangbangers, hanging out on the corner, or casing a target. These illegal returnees are, simply by being in the country after deportation, committing a felony (in contrast to garden-variety illegals on their first trip to the U.S., say, who are only committing a misdemeanor). “But if I see a deportee from the Mara Salvatrucha [Salvadoran prison] gang crossing the street, I know I can’t touch him,” laments a Los Angeles gang officer. Only if the deported felon has given the officer some other reason to stop him, such as an observed narcotics sale, can the cop accost him—but not for the immigration felony.
Though such a policy puts the community at risk, the department’s top brass brush off such concerns. No big deal if you see deported gangbangers back on the streets, they say. Just put them under surveillance for “real” crimes and arrest them for those. But surveillance is very manpower-intensive. Where there is an immediate ground for getting a violent felon off the street and for questioning him further, it is absurd to demand that the woefully understaffed LAPD ignore it.
Reply #28 on:
June 28, 2007, 06:33:46 PM »
The stated reasons for sanctuary policies are that they encourage illegal-alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with cops without fear of deportation, and that they encourage illegals to take advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose maintenance few illegals have contributed a single tax dollar, of course). There has never been any empirical verification that sanctuary laws actually accomplish these goals—and no one has ever suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating drug-using crime victims. But in any case, this official rationale could be honored by limiting police use of immigration laws to some subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat criminal offenders whose immigration status police already know.
The real reason cities prohibit their cops and other employees from immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else in immigration policy, the numbers. The immigrant population has grown so large that public officials are terrified of alienating it, even at the expense of ignoring the law and tolerating violence. In 1996, a breathtaking Los Angeles Times exposé on the 18th Street Gang, which included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by laughing cholos (gang members), revealed the rate of illegal-alien membership in the gang. In response to the public outcry, the Los Angeles City Council ordered the police to reexamine Special Order 40. You would have thought it had suggested reconsidering Roe v. Wade. A police commander warned the council: “This is going to open a significant, heated debate.” City Councilwoman Laura Chick put on a brave front: “We mustn’t be afraid,” she declared firmly.
But of course immigrant pandering trumped public safety. Law-abiding residents of gang-infested neighborhoods may live in terror of the tattooed gangbangers dealing drugs, spraying graffiti, and shooting up rivals outside their homes, but such anxiety can never equal a politician’s fear of offending Hispanics. At the start of the reexamination process, LAPD deputy chief John White had argued that allowing the department to work closely with the INS would give cops another tool for getting gang members off the streets. Trying to build a homicide case, say, against an illegal gang member is often futile, he explained, since witnesses fear deadly retaliation if they cooperate with the police. Enforcing an immigration violation would allow the cops to lock up the murderer right now, without putting a witness’s life at risk.
But six months later, Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business,” he asserted. “It’s a federal law-enforcement issue, not a local law-enforcement issue.” Interim police chief Bayan Lewis told the L.A. Police Commission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to look at Special Order 40.”
Nor will it ever be, as long as immigration numbers continue to grow. After their brief moment of truth in 1996, Los Angeles politicians have only grown more adamant in defense of Special Order 40. After learning that cops in the scandal-plagued Rampart Division had cooperated with the INS to try to uproot murderous gang members from the community, local politicians threw a fit, criticizing district commanders for even allowing INS agents into their station houses. In turn, the LAPD strictly disciplined the offending officers. By now, big-city police chiefs are unfortunately just as determined to defend sanctuary policies as the politicians who appoint them; not so the rank and file, however, who see daily the benefit that an immigration tool would bring.
Immigration politics have similarly harmed New York. Former mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend the city’s sanctuary policy against a 1996 federal law decreeing that cities could not prohibit their employees from cooperating with the INS. Oh yeah? said Giuliani; just watch me. The INS, he claimed, with what turned out to be grotesque irony, only aims to “terrorize people.” Though he lost in court, he remained defiant to the end. On September 5, 2001, his handpicked charter-revision committee ruled that New York could still require that its employees keep immigration information confidential to preserve trust between immigrants and government. Six days later, several visa-overstayers participated in the most devastating attack on the city and the country in history.
New York conveniently forgot the 1996 federal ban on sanctuary laws until a gang of five Mexicans—four of them illegal—abducted and brutally raped a 42-year-old mother of two near some railroad tracks in Queens. The NYPD had already arrested three of the illegal aliens numerous times for such crimes as assault, attempted robbery, criminal trespass, illegal gun possession, and drug offenses. The department had never notified the INS.
Citizen outrage forced Mayor Michael Bloomberg to revisit the city’s sanctuary decree yet again. In May 2003, Bloomberg tweaked the policy minimally to allow city staffers to inquire into immigration status only if it is relevant to the awarding of a government benefit. Though Bloomberg’s new rule said nothing about reporting immigration violations to federal officials, advocates immediately claimed that it did allow such reporting, and the ethnic lobbies went ballistic. “What we’re seeing is the erosion of people’s rights,” thundered Angelo Falcon of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. After three months of intense agitation by immigrant groups, Bloomberg replaced this innocuous “don’t ask” policy with a “don’t tell” rule even broader than Gotham’s original sanctuary policy. The new rule prohibits city employees from giving other government officials information not just about immigration status but about tax payments, sexual orientation, welfare status, and other matters.
But even were immigrant-saturated cities to discard their sanctuary policies and start enforcing immigration violations where public safety demands it, the resource-starved immigration authorities couldn’t handle the overwhelming additional workload.
The chronic shortage of manpower to oversee, and detention space to house, aliens as they await their deportation hearings (or, following an order of removal from a federal judge, their actual deportation) has forced immigration officials to practice a constant triage. Long ago, the feds stopped trying to find and deport aliens who had “merely” entered the country illegally through stealth or fraudulent documents. Currently, the only types of illegal aliens who run any risk of catching federal attention are those who have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” (a particularly egregious crime) or who have been deported following conviction for an aggravated felony and who have reentered (an offense punishable with 20 years in jail).
That triage has been going on for a long time, as former INS investigator Mike Cutler, who worked with the NYPD catching Brooklyn drug dealers in the 1970s, explains. “If you arrested someone you wanted to detain, you’d go to your boss and start a bidding war,” Cutler recalls. “You’d say: 'My guy ran three blocks, threw a couple of punches, and had six pieces of ID.' The boss would turn to another agent: 'Next! Whaddid your guy do?' 'He ran 18 blocks, pushed over an old lady, and had a gun.' ” But such one-upmanship was usually fruitless. “Without the jail space,” explains Cutler, “it was like the Fish and Wildlife Service; you’d tag their ear and let them go.”
But even when immigration officials actually arrest someone, and even if a judge issues a final deportation order (usually after years of litigation and appeals), they rarely have the manpower to put the alien on a bus or plane and take him across the border. Second alternative: detain him pending removal. Again, inadequate space and staff. In the early 1990s, for example, 15 INS officers were in charge of the deportation of approximately 85,000 aliens (not all of them criminals) in New York City. The agency’s actual response to final orders of removal was what is known as a “run letter”—a notice asking the deportable alien kindly to show up in a month or two to be deported, when the agency might be able to process him. Results: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received run letters disappeared, a number that was even higher—94 percent—if they were from terror-sponsoring countries.
To other law-enforcement agencies, the feds’ triage often looks like complete indifference to immigration violations. Testifying to Congress about the Queens rape by illegal Mexicans, New York’s criminal justice coordinator defended the city’s failure to notify the INS after the rapists’ previous arrests on the ground that the agency wouldn’t have responded anyway. “We have time and time again been unable to reach INS on the phone,” John Feinblatt said last February. “When we reach them on the phone, they require that we write a letter. When we write a letter, they require that it be by a superior.”
Criminal aliens also interpret the triage as indifference. John Mullaly a former NYPD homicide detective, estimates that 70 percent of the drug dealers and other criminals in Manhattan’s Washington Heights were illegal. Were Mullaly to threaten an illegal-alien thug in custody that his next stop would be El Salvador unless he cooperated, the criminal would just laugh, knowing that the INS would never show up. The message could not be clearer: this is a culture that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. If policing’s broken-windows theory is correct, the failure to enforce one set of rules breeds overall contempt for the law.
The sheer number of criminal aliens overwhelmed an innovative program that would allow immigration officials to complete deportation hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so that upon his release he could be immediately ejected without taking up precious INS detention space. But the process, begun in 1988, immediately bogged down due to the numbers—in 2000, for example, nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born. The agency couldn’t find enough pro bono attorneys to represent such an army of criminal aliens (who have extensive due-process rights in contesting deportation) and so would have to request delay after delay. Or enough immigration judges would not be available. In 1997, the INS simply had no record of a whopping 36 percent of foreign-born inmates who had been released from federal and four state prisons without any review of their deportability. They included 1,198 aggravated felons, 80 of whom were soon re-arrested for new crimes.
Resource starvation is not the only reason for federal inaction. The INS was a creature of immigration politics, and INS district directors came under great pressure from local politicians to divert scarce resources into distribution of such “benefits” as permanent residency, citizenship, and work permits, and away from criminal or other investigations. In the late 1980s, for example, the INS refused to join an FBI task force against Haitian drug trafficking in Miami, fearing criticism for “Haitian-bashing.” In 1997, after Hispanic activists protested a much-publicized raid that netted nearly two dozen illegals, the Border Patrol said that it would no longer join Simi Valley, California, probation officers on home searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs.
The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a luminous case of politics driving the INS to sacrifice enforcement to “benefits.” When, in the early 1990s, the prospect of welfare reform drove immigrants to apply for citizenship in record numbers to preserve their welfare eligibility, the Clinton administration, seeing a political bonanza in hundreds of thousands of new welfare-dependent citizens, ordered the naturalization process radically expedited. Thanks to relentless administration pressure, processing errors in 1996 were 99 percent in New York and 90 percent in Los Angeles, and tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.
Reply #29 on:
June 28, 2007, 06:35:33 PM »
Another powerful political force, the immigration bar association, has won from Congress an elaborate set of due-process rights for criminal aliens that can keep them in the country indefinitely. Federal probation officers in Brooklyn are supervising two illegals—a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship—who look “ready to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” according to a probation official, but the officers can’t get rid of them. The Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen Social Security and tax-refund checks; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense: using a fraudulent Social Security number to get employment—a puzzlingly unnecessary scam, since he receives large sums from the Middle East, including from millionaire relatives. But intelligence links him to terrorism, so presumably he worked in order not to draw attention to himself. Currently, he changes his cell phone every month. Ordinarily such a minor offense would not be prosecuted, but the government, fearing that he had terrorist intentions, used whatever it had to put him in prison.
Now, probation officers desperately want to see the duo out of the country, but the two ex-cons have hired lawyers, who are relentlessly fighting their deportation. “Due process allows you to stay for years without an adjudication,” says a probation officer in frustration. “A regular immigration attorney can keep you in the country for three years, a high-priced one for ten.” In the meantime, Brooklyn probation officials are watching the bridges.
Even where immigration officials successfully nab and deport criminal aliens, the reality, says a former federal gang prosecutor, is that “they all come back. They can’t make it in Mexico.” The tens of thousands of illegal farmworkers and dishwashers who overpower U.S. border controls every year carry in their wake thousands of brutal assailants and terrorists who use the same smuggling industry and who benefit from the same irresistible odds: there are so many more of them than the Border Patrol.
For, of course, the government’s inability to keep out criminal aliens is part and parcel of its inability to patrol the border, period. For decades, the INS had as much effect on the migration of millions of illegals as a can tied to the tail of a tiger. And the immigrants themselves, despite the press cliché of hapless aliens living fearfully in the shadows, seemed to regard immigration authorities with all the concern of an elephant for a flea.
Certainly fear of immigration officers is not in evidence among the hundreds of illegal day laborers who hang out on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, New York, in front of money wire services, travel agencies, immigration-attorney offices, and phone arcades, all catering to the local Hispanic population (as well as to drug dealers and terrorists). “There is no chance of getting caught,” cheerfully explains Rafael, an Ecuadoran. Like the dozen Ecuadorans and Mexicans on his particular corner, Rafael is hoping that an SUV seeking carpenters for $100 a day will show up soon. “We don’t worry, because we’re not doing anything wrong. I know it’s illegal; I need the papers, but here, nobody asks you for papers.”
Even the newly fortified Mexican border, the one spot where the government really tries to prevent illegal immigration, looms as only a minor inconvenience to the day laborers. The odds, they realize, are overwhelmingly in their favor. Miguel, a reserved young carpenter, crossed the border at Tijuana three years ago with 15 others. Border Patrol spotted them, but with six officers to 16 illegals, only five got caught. In illegal border crossings, you get what you pay for, Miguel says. If you try to shave on the fee, the coyotes will abandon you at the first problem. Miguel’s wife was flying into New York from Los Angeles that very day; it had cost him $2,200 to get her across the border. “Because I pay, I don’t worry,” he says complacently.
The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists—short of an economic revolution in the sending countries or an impregnably militarized border—is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants know they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But enforcing laws against illegal labor is among government’s lowest priorities. In 2001, only 124 agents nationwide were trying to find and prosecute the hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of illegal aliens who violate the employment laws, the Associated Press reports.
Even were immigration officials to devote adequate resources to worksite investigations, not much would change, because their legal weapons are so weak. That’s no accident: though it is a crime to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the fraud-proof form of work authorization necessary to enforce that ban. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number to the Social Security Administration for employers to confirm Social Security numbers. Hispanics warn just as stridently that helping employers verify work eligibility would result in discrimination against Hispanics—implicitly conceding that vast numbers of Hispanics work illegally.
The result: hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated industries are a charade. Millions of illegal workers pretend to present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to believe them. The law doesn’t require the employer to verify that a worker is actually qualified to work, and as long as the proffered documents are not patently phony—scrawled with red crayon on a matchbook, say—the employer will nearly always be exempt from liability merely by having eyeballed them. To find an employer guilty of violating the ban on hiring illegal aliens, immigration authorities must prove that he knew he was getting fake papers—an almost insurmountable burden. Meanwhile, the market for counterfeit documents has exploded: in one month alone in 1998, immigration authorities seized nearly 2 million of them in Los Angeles, destined for immigrant workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.
For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration officials ever do try to conduct an industry-wide investigation—which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers—local congressmen will almost certainly head it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia-onion industry in Georgia was not only aborted by Georgia’s congressional delegation; it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the growers’ illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.
Of the incalculable changes in American politics, demographics, and culture that the continuing surge of migrants is causing, one of the most profound is the breakdown of the distinction between legal and illegal entry. Everywhere, illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense; 13 states offer them driver’s licenses. States everywhere have been pushed to grant illegal aliens college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition. One hundred banks, over 800 law-enforcement agencies, and dozens of cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to credentialize illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. The Bush administration has given its blessing to this matricula consular card, over the strong protest of the FBI, which warns that the gaping security loopholes that the card creates make it a boon to money launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border this year, Mexican matricula card in hand.
Hispanic advocates have helped blur the distinction between a legal and an illegal resident by asserting that differentiating the two is an act of irrational bigotry. Arrests of illegal aliens inside the border now inevitably spark protests, often led by the Mexican government, that feature signs calling for “no más racismo.” Immigrant advocates use the language of “human rights” to appeal to an authority higher than such trivia as citizenship laws. They attack the term “amnesty” for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders. Indeed, grouses Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez, “There’s an implication that somehow you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven.”
Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think the U.S. owes them, not vice versa. “I believe they have a right . . . to work, to drive their kids to school,” said California assemblywoman Sarah Reyes. An immigration agent says that people he stops “get in your face about their rights, because our failure to enforce the law emboldens them.” Taking this idea to its extreme, Joaquín Avila, a UCLA Chicano studies professor and law lecturer, argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of apartheid.
Yet no poll has ever shown that Americans want more open borders. Quite the reverse. By a huge majority—at least 60 percent—they want to rein in immigration, and they endorse an observation that Senator Alan Simpson made 20 years ago: Americans “are fed up with efforts to make them feel that [they] do not have that fundamental right of any people—to decide who will join them and help form the future country in which they and their posterity will live.” But if the elites’ and the advocates’ idea of giving voting rights to non-citizen majorities catches on—and don’t be surprised if it does—Americans could be faced with the ultimate absurdity of people outside the social compact making rules for those inside it.
However the nation ultimately decides to rationalize its chaotic and incoherent immigration system, surely all can agree that, at a minimum, authorities should expel illegal-alien criminals swiftly. Even on the grounds of protecting non-criminal illegal immigrants, we should start by junking sanctuary policies. By stripping cops of what may be their only immediate tool to remove felons from the community, these policies leave law-abiding immigrants prey to crime.
But the non-enforcement of immigration laws in general has an even more destructive effect. In many immigrant communities, assimilation into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture. Toddlers are learning to flash gang signals and hate the police, reports the Los Angeles Times. In New York City, “every high school has its Mexican gang,” and most 12- to 14-year-olds have already joined, claims Ernesto Vega, an illegal 18-year-old Mexican. Such pathologies only worsen when the first lesson that immigrants learn about U.S. law is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it. “Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people that anything goes in the U.S.,” observes Patrick Ortega, the news and public-affairs director of Radio Nueva Vida in southern California. “It creates a new subculture, with a sequela of social ills.” It is broken windows writ large.
For the sake of immigrants and native-born Americans alike, it’s time to decide what our immigration policy is—and enforce it.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #30 on:
June 28, 2007, 07:19:00 PM »
Fred discusses the Amnestias' loss today.
Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 06:32:27 AM by Crafty_Dog
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #31 on:
June 30, 2007, 11:34:20 PM »
Buchanan and Gheen. Gheen makes some good points including about the Prez's Constitutional duty to enforce the laws.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #32 on:
July 03, 2007, 08:20:02 AM »
Expressing frustration with the lack of a federal immigration law overhaul, Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona signed a bill yesterday providing what are thought to be the toughest state sanctions in the country against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
Ms. Napolitano, a Democrat, called the bill flawed and suggested that the Arizona Legislature reconvene to repair problems with it, but she nevertheless moved forward “because Congress has failed miserably,” she wrote in a statement.
The bill requires employers to verify the legal status of their employees. If they fail to do so, they risk having their business licenses suspended. A second offense could result in the “business death penalty,” a permanent revocation of the state business license, effectively preventing a business from operating in the state.
Ms. Napolitano said she was concerned, among other problems, that under the law hospitals and nursing homes could end up shuttered because of hiring one illegal immigrant. She also said the bill did not provide enough money for the state attorney general to investigate complaints.
Although federal law already makes it a crime to hire illegal workers, supporters of the Arizona bill have said enforcement is lax.
Ms. Napolitano sent a letter to Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Arizona and the majority leader, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, saying Congressional inaction on immigration was forcing states to act.
Ms. Napolitano’s decision had been anxiously awaited in Arizona, the state where more people cross illegally into the United States than any other.
Last year, Ms. Napolitano vetoed an employer-sanctions bill, saying that its language was flawed and that it would not achieve its goals.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #33 on:
July 07, 2007, 09:14:48 AM »
Has anyone heard the MM discuss any estimates of how many people are coming into this country every year who are not Latino. From my vantage point I am seeing ever increasing Middle and Far Easterners, Africans, Europeans (like Irish, Polish , Russian) flodding into the US every year. The ever endless focus on the Mexican border and Spanish makes it look like we are singling out Latinos. This is not a Latino - nonLatino thing. This is about the absolute flood of immigrants from everywhere. It is clearly out of control.
There are far more Asians where I live then Latinos. Yet everyone looks the other way rather than anyone evaluating this trend and what it means. In some places i go I feel like I'm in Indonesia.
I don't get it. I really don't. Bush without a doubt should have State of the Union Addresses and give us real facts and explain why we should continue to turn our heads over this issue. Dobbs is about the only one in the media with any balls on this issue. Yet even he only seems interested in the Mexican Spanish issue. And that is why he comes of as prejudiced. Why is it obvious to me that entire regions, towns, are obviously being overtaken by Asians and not a single blirb about this. What about illegals Europeans - Russians, Poles, Irish. I am also seeing more and more Africans. How many of these peoples are here legitimately? How is it that whole families can come here and have health insurance, Medicare, and attend schools as though they have been here for years? What is going on? How is it that there are thousands of illegals working for government agencies? What is going on? I couldn't agree with Dobbs more. I just think he is not recognizing the question of what is going on with these other non Latino immigrants.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #34 on:
July 07, 2007, 09:27:54 AM »
This is a good question I think.
Actually there are two issues here:
a) Illegal immigration and defending our borders
b) What should the overall level of immigration be? (and what should the criteria for admission be?)
IMHO Until we deal with a) our opinions on b) are irrelevant.
On the whole IMHO immigration has been a source of strength for America.
I think the emphasis by many on the massive immigration of Mexicans is because, unlike those immigrating from other parts of the world, they do not have to commit 100% to America because of the nature of our border with Mexico.
NY Times editorial:
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Published: July 7, 2007
The prickliness and glacial ineptitude of the immigration system is old news to millions of would-be Americans. Immigrants who play by the rules know that the rules are stringent, arbitrary, expensive and very time-consuming. But even the most seasoned citizens-in-waiting were stunned by the nasty bait-and-switch the federal bureaucracy pulled on them this month. After encouraging thousands of highly skilled workers to apply for green cards, the government snatched the opportunity away.
The tease came in a bulletin issued by the State Department in June announcing that green cards for a wide range of skilled workers would be available to those who filed by July 2. That prompted untold numbers of doctors, medical technicians and other professionals, many of whom have lived here with their families for years, to assemble little mountains of paper. They got certified records and sponsorship documents, paid for medical exams and lawyers and sent their applications in. Many canceled vacations to be in the United States when their applications arrived, as the law requires.
Then they learned that the hope was effectively a hoax. The State Department had issued the bulletin to prod Citizenship and Immigration Services, the bureaucracy that handles immigration applications, to get cracking on processing them. The agency is notorious for fainting over paperwork — 182,694 green cards have been squandered since 2000 because it did not process them in time. That bureaucratic travesty is a tragedy, since the annual supply of green cards is capped by law, and the demand chronically outstrips supply. The State Department said it put out the bulletin to ensure that every available green card would be used this time.
After working through the weekend, the citizenship agency processed tens of thousands of applications. On Monday, the State Department announced that all 140,000 employment-based green cards had been used and no applications would be accepted.
Citizenship and Immigration Services, the definition of a hangdog bureaucracy, says the law forbids it to accept the applications. The American Immigration Lawyers Association says this interpretation is rubbish. It is preparing a class-action lawsuit to compel the bureaucracy to accept the application wave that it provoked.
The good news is that immigrants’ hope is pretty much unquenchable. Think of the hundreds of people standing in the rain in ponchos at Walt Disney World on Independence Day, joining the flood of new citizens now cresting across the country. They celebrated on July Fourth, but for many of them the magic date is July 30, when a new fee schedule for immigrants takes effect, drastically jacking up the cost of the American dream.
The collapse of immigration reform in the Senate showed the world what America thinks of illegal immigrants — it wants them all to go away. But the federal government, through bureaucratic malpractice, is sending the same message to millions of legal immigrants, too.
Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 10:13:07 AM by Crafty_Dog
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #35 on:
July 23, 2007, 05:54:43 PM »
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Reuters) - As many U.S. cities and states arrest illegal immigrants in raids and toughen laws against them, a Connecticut city is offering to validate them under a controversial, first-in-the-nation ID card program.
Starting Tuesday, New Haven will offer illegal immigrants municipal identification cards that allow access to city services such as libraries and a chance to open bank accounts.
Supporters say the cards will improve public safety and give undocumented workers protections now afforded legal residents. Critics contend it will unleash a flood of illegal immigration, straining services and wasting taxpayer money.
New Haven officials overwhelmingly approved the program last month in a 25 to 1 vote.
Backers and detractors alike say the program appears to fill a vacuum after Congress failed to act on immigration reform, leaving many towns and cities to struggle with how to deal with a growing undocumented population.
Kica Matos, who administers the program for New Haven, said undocumented workers are often targeted by thieves and robbed because they carry cash, a result of not being able to open a bank account.
"Part of the reason they can't open bank accounts is because they don't have forms of identification that were valid," she said.
She said two banks had already agreed to accept the new city card, which will be offered to all New Haven residents, as legitimate identification sufficient for opening an account.
Local Latino advocacy group Junta for Progressive Action estimates 3,000 to 5,000 illegal immigrants live in the city of 124,000 people, many from Mexico, Ecuador and Guatemala.
Yale University Law School, based in New Haven, helped research the city's idea and volunteered legal services. Several immigrants' rights groups also helped build up local support for the identification cards.
Opponents hope to rally the public against it. Southern Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Reform says the ID cards will change "the entire country as we know it" and is organizing a protest on Tuesday at city hall.
"There are millions of illegal aliens right around us that when these ID cards are available to them, they will rush to them and get some identification that will allow them to go to other cities," said Ted Pechinski, who leads the group.
North Carolina-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC has circulated a flier in 40 states urging illegal workers to move to New Haven, said its president William Gheen.
"Maybe New Haven needs to learn, if they want the illegals, then they'll get the illegals," he said.
His flier, in English and Spanish, says: "Come to New Haven CT for sanctuary. Bring your friends and family members quickly."
Officials in several cities including New York and San Francisco have expressed interest in possibly starting similar programs, said Matos.
The new ID, she added, does not easily identify a person as an illegal immigrant. "That is the last thing that we want to have happen," she said. The card was created with several features to appeal to all residents, including a debit component and access to city services such as parks.
Fatima, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, said she is eager to apply for the card. "The ID will help me because it's a way to be in this country and get people to know who you are, especially for people who crossed the border and lost their papers," she said. "I feel safe here in New Haven."
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #36 on:
July 27, 2007, 09:29:56 AM »
Ever wonder how Wall Street sees this issue?
By GEORGE MELLOAN
July 27, 2007; Page A13
On a hot Arizona day along Interstate 19 just north of the Mexican border, we see a sight all too familiar in these parts. Border Patrol officers in an olive-colored SUV have detained a group of young Mexicans who were motoring north. The Mexicans are squatting on the grassy highway embankment, waiting for the officers to ascertain whether they have entered the U.S. legally or illegally.
A few days later, when our journey has taken us to Twin Falls, Idaho, we read in a local newspaper that potato farmers are being forced to obtain convict labor because there's a shortage of the migrants they have traditionally used to work their fields. In fact, the farm worker dearth is national, particularly for growers of labor-intensive fresh produce. Crops are rotting in the fields and prices going up.
Observations recorded during a month-long motoring sweep around the Western U.S. by my wife Jody and me reveal a disconnect between law and reality. A legislative paralysis on immigration reform perhaps helps explain why a new AP-Ipsos opinion poll shows that the performance rating for Congress has slumped 11 percentage points since May, with only 24% of respondents voicing satisfaction with that body's work. After years of quarreling over reform of the dysfunctional 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which made it a crime to knowingly hire illegal immigrants, lawmakers are still batting a big, fat zero. Hence, willing workers are being turned back at the border at a time when growers are desperate for hired help.
The federally mandated severance of labor supply from demand is inopportune. Our Western tour, and an earlier swing through the South, dramatized to us that over the last quarter-century the U.S. has become an incredibly wealthy country. Millions of late-model cars zoom the freeways. Lake and harbor marinas are choked with pleasure boats. Fitness centers and pet grooming parlors are now commonplace as an affluent middle class spends freely on non-essential services. In Seattle, which gets rain 154 days a year, people buy bottled water from France. As a street entertainer puts it, "Evian spelled backwards is naïve."
A fascinating Web site called "strange maps" compares the Gross Domestic Product of each U.S. state with a foreign country. Texas produces more than Canada, California matches France, Illinois is on a par with Mexico and little New Jersey equals the output of huge Russia. Economist John Rutledge estimates the worth of all privately owned assets in the U.S. at $165 trillion.
Still, the $13 trillion American economy demands labor. Mexico has had a high birth rate (although it is rapidly slowing) and can supply the needed workers, with benefits on both sides of the border. But the U.S. political class can only talk of new barriers. Why is this such a hard equation for politicians? The longer this problem festers, the more likely it will push the Mexican polity to turn away from being an uneasy friend of the U.S. to becoming a troublesome enemy.
The fundamental mistake, one that American politicians have made over and over again, is the belief that the government's police powers can overwhelm powerful market forces. Richard Nixon and the Congress attempted this feat in 1971 with wage and price controls, stalling American growth for a decade. Simpson-Mazzoli was a similar effort to strong-arm a key market -- for labor -- by threatening something that proved to be unenforceable, jail sentences for employers of illegal aliens. Luckily, that didn't shut off the labor supply from Mexico, it just drove it underground. Estimates are that there at least 12 million illegals in the U.S. and that may be far lower than the actual number.
Hotels and restaurants in places like Chicago, Miami and just about every other city would have to shut down without waiters, maids and others with dubious credentials. The well-manicured lawns in my home town would soon become weed gardens in the absence of the Mexicans who man landscape services. Americans genuinely worry about maintaining the rule of law, but the biggest threat to that is the disrespect for law created when legislative grandstanders pass draconian measures that the authorities are incapable of enforcing.
Arizona's legislature, which apparently has learned nothing from the federal law's failure, has just compounded the crime by passing a measure that is even more draconian than Simpson-Mazzoli. It has caused an uprising among Arizona businessmen and farmers, who shout that a law making them felons for trying to keep their enterprises afloat is just bonkers.
Washington efforts to reform Simpson-Mazzoli are plagued by the death struggle the two parties are conducting over control of the government. Republicans, who perhaps have noticed that they are losing that struggle, are frozen in the headlights of the anti-immigrant campaigns being conducted by nativists and vigilantes in their home states. Hate and emotion do not produce good laws.
My friend Robert Halbrook, a retired lawyer living in Tucson, Ariz., is aware that politics are not always logical or even rational, but offers a logical solution nonetheless: Legislators must do away with all the threats and penalties that drive labor and its employers underground. It must be made possible for illegal workers to achieve legal status without fear. That way Mexicans can come to the U.S. to fill jobs and go home safe in the knowledge that when their work is demanded they will be able to come back again. Many will go back with skills learned in the U.S., enabling them to earn a living at home. Most, he believes, do not crave U.S. citizenship. Why should they want to cope with a new language and culture, if they can return home without penalty? They just want to feed their families and try to move up the economic ladder.
Is it too much to ask of Congress that it employ some of this clear logic? Apparently so, judging from the paralysis in Washington.
Mr. Melloan is a former deputy editor of the Journal's editorial page.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #37 on:
August 11, 2007, 01:09:51 AM »
Bush orders new crackdown on U.S. border
By: Mike Allen
Aug 9, 2007 08:53 PM EST
The Bush administration announced plans Friday to enlist state and local law enforcement in cracking down on illegal immigrants, which previously was largely a federal function.
The administration unveiled a series of tough border control and employer enforcement measures designed to make up for security provisions that failed when Congress rejected a broad rewrite of the nation’s immigration laws in June.
The plans were announced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez.
The package revealed Friday has 26 elements, and the administration announcement said they "represent steps the Administration can take within the boundaries of existing law to secure our borders more effectively, improve interior and worksite enforcement, streamline existing guest worker programs, improve the current immigration system, and help new immigrants assimilate into American culture.
After the announcement, President Bush released a statement in Kennebunkport, Maine, saying that despite the failure of Congress to pass a new law, his administration "will continue to take every possible step to build upon the progress already made in strengthening our borders, enforcing our worksite laws, keeping our economy well-supplied with vital workers, and helping new Americans learn English."
As part of the new measures, the secretary of Homeland Security will deliver regular “State of the Border” reports beginning this fall.
In one of the most interesting revelations, the plans call for the administration to “train growing numbers of state and local law enforcement officers to identify and detain immigration offenders whom they encounter in the course of daily law enforcement.”
“By this fall, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will have quintupled the number of enforcement teams devoted to removing fugitive aliens (from 15 to 75 in less than three years),” a summary of the plan states.
The announcement is aimed at restoring Bush’s credibility with conservatives who were dismayed that he pushed so hard for broad immigration reform, including a guest worker program for people now here illegally, before the border was more secure.
“The biggest message that emerged from this failed immigration bill is that if immigration reform is to happen in the future, they must first restore the American people's confidence that the federal government is serious about securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws,” said a Senate Republican leadership official. “Frankly, this should have been addressed several years ago.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney jumped on the announcement with a supportive statement ahead of Saturday's straw poll in Iowa, calling the new package "a weclome development" and declaring that the nation "must get serious if we are to secure our nation's borders."
As part of the package, Bush is planning to increase muscle at the Mexican border, as conservatives have long pleaded.
“The administration will add more border personnel and infrastructure, going beyond previously announced targets,” according to the summary. “The Departments of State and Homeland Security will expand the list of international gangs whose members are automatically denied admission to the U.S.”
Employers will face tough new scrutiny and requirements. “There are now 29 categories of documents that employers must accept to establish identity and work eligibility among their workers,” the summary says. “The Department of Homeland Security will reduce that number and weed out the most insecure.”
“The Department of Homeland Security will raise the civil fines imposed on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants by approximately 25 percent,” the summary continues. “The administration will continue its aggressive expansion of criminal investigations against employers who knowingly hire large numbers of illegal aliens.”
The administration is promising to reduce processing times for immigration background checks by adding agents and converting paper documentation to electronic forms.
And the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration say they will study and report on the technical and recordkeeping changes necessary to deny credit in our Social Security system for illegal work.
Under the tougher menu, the administration vows to fund additional beds for people caught breaching the border, ensuring that illegal entrants are returned to Mexico rather than being let go because there’s no space for them, as often occurred in the past.
“The administration will implement an exit requirement at airports and seaports by the end of 2008, and will launch a pilot land-border exit system for guest workers,” the summary says. “By the end of 2008, the administration will require most arrivals at our ports-of-entry to use passports or similarly secure documents.”
Other elements of the package:
—The Department of Labor will reform the H-2A agriculture worker program so farmers can readily hire legal temporary workers, while protecting their rights.
—The Department of Labor will issue regulations streamlining the H-2B program for non-agricultural seasonal workers.
—The Department of Homeland Security will extend, from one year to three, the length of the NAFTA-created TN visa for professional workers from Canada and Mexico, removing the administrative hassle of annual renewals for these talented workers.
—The Office of Citizenship will unveil in September a revised naturalization test that emphasizes fundamentals of American democracy, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
—The Office of Citizenship will introduce a Web-based electronic training program and convene eight regional training conferences for volunteers and adult educators who lead immigrants through the naturalization process.
—The Department of Education will develop a free, Web-based model to help immigrants learn English.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #38 on:
August 19, 2007, 05:43:04 PM »
Mark Steyn: Speaking of sanctuary, where's ours?
At the funeral of Iofemi Hightower, her classmate Mecca Ali wore a T-shirt with the slogan: "Tell Me Why They Had To Die."
"They" are Miss Hightower, Dashon Harvey and Terrance Aeriel, three young citizens of Newark, New Jersey, lined up against a schoolyard wall, forced to kneel and then shot in the head.
Miss Ali poses an interesting question. No one can say why they "had" to die, but it ought to be possible to advance theories as to what factors make violent death in Newark a more-likely proposition than it should be. That's usually what happens when lurid cases make national headlines: When Matthew Shepard was beaten and hung on a fence in Wyoming, Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times that it was merely the latest stage in a "war" against homosexuals loosed by the forces of intolerance. Mr. Shepard's murder was dramatized in plays and movies and innumerable songs by Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc. The fact that this vile crucifixion was a grisly one-off and that American gays have never been less at risk from getting bashed did not deter pundits and politicians and lobby groups galore from arguing that this freak case demonstrated the need for special legislation.
By contrast, there's been a succession of prominent stories with one common feature that the very same pundits, politicians and lobby groups have a curious reluctance to go anywhere near. In a New York Times report headlined "Sorrow And Anger As Newark Buries Slain Youth," the limpidly tasteful Times prose prioritized "sorrow" over "anger," and offered only the following reference to the perpetrators: "The authorities have said robbery appeared to be the motive. Three suspects – two 15-year-olds and a 28-year-old construction worker from Peru – have been arrested."
So, this Peruvian guy was here on a green card? Or did he apply for a temporary construction-work visa from the U.S. Embassy in Lima?
Not exactly. Jose Carranza is an "undocumented" immigrant. His criminal career did not begin with the triple murder he's alleged to have committed, nor with the barroom assault from earlier this year, nor with the 31 counts of aggravated sexual assault relating to the rape of a 5-year-old child, for which Mr. Carranza had been released on bail. (His $50,000 bail on the assault charge and $150,000 bail on the child-rape charges have now been revoked.) No, Mr. Carranza's criminal career in the United States began when he decided to live in this country unlawfully.
Jose Carranza isn't exactly a member of an exclusive club. Violent crime committed by fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community is now a routine feature of American life. But who cares? In 2002, as the "Washington Sniper" piled up his body count, "experts" lined up to tell the media that he was most likely an "angry white male," a "macho hunter" or an "icy loner." When the icy loner turned out to be a black Muslim named Muhammad accompanied by an illegal immigrant from Jamaica, the only angry white males around were the lads in America's newsrooms who were noticeably reluctant to abandon their thesis: Early editions of the New York Times speculated that Muhammad and John Lee Malvo were being sought for "possible ties to 'skinhead militia' groups," which seemed a somewhat improbable alliance given the size of Mr. Muhammad's hair in the only available mug shot. As for his illegal sidekick, Malvo was detained and released by the INS in breach of their own procedures.
America has a high murder rate: Murdering people is definitely one of the jobs Americans can do. But that's what ties young Malvo to Jose Carranza: He's just another killer let loose in this country to kill Americans by the bureaucracy's boundless sensitivity toward the "undocumented." Will the Newark murders change anything? Will there be an Ioefemi Hightower Act of Congress like the Matthew Shepard Act passed by the House of Representatives? No. Three thousand people died Sept. 11, 2001, in an act of murder facilitated by the illegal-immigration support structures in this country, and, if that didn't rouse Americans to action, another trio of victims seems unlikely to tip the scales. As Michelle Malkin documented in her book "Invasion," four of the killers boarded the plane with photo ID obtained through the "undocumented worker" network at the 7-Eleven in Falls Church, Va. That's to say, officialdom's tolerance of the illegal immigration shadow-state enabled 9/11. And what did we do? Not only did we not shut it down, we enshrined the shadow-state's charade as part of the new tough post-slaughter security procedures.
Go take a flight from Newark Airport. The TSA guy will ask for your driver's license, glance at the name and picture, and hand it back to you. Feel safer? The terrorists could pass that test, and the morning of 9/11 they did: 19 foreign "visitors" had, between them, 63 valid U.S. driver's licenses. Did government agencies then make it harder to obtain lawful photo ID? No. Since 9/11, the likes of Maryland and New Mexico have joined those states that issue legal driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
Newark is the logical end point of these policies. It is a failed city: 60 percent of its children are being raised in households without fathers. Into that vacuum pour all kinds of alternative authority structures: Mr. Carranza is alleged to have committed his crime with various teenage members of MS-13, a gang with origins in El Salvador's civil war of the 1980s that now operates in some 30 U.S. states. In its toughest redoubts, immigrants don't assimilate with America, America assimilates to the immigrants, and a Fairfax, Va., teenager finds himself getting hacked at by machete wielders.
One could, I suppose, regard this as one of those unforeseen incremental consequences that happens in the darkest shadows of society. But that doesn't extend to Newark's official status as an illegal-immigrant "sanctuary city." Like Los Angeles, New York and untold others, Newark has formally erased the distinction between U.S. citizens and the armies of the undocumented. This is the active collusion by multiple cities and states in the subversion of U.S. sovereignty. In Newark, N.J., it means an illegal-immigrant child rapist is free to murder on a Saturday night. In Somerville, Mass., it means two deaf girls are raped by MS-13 members. And in Falls Church, Va., it means Saudi Wahhabists figuring out that, if the "sanctuary nation" (in Michelle Malkin's phrases) offers such rich pickings to imported killers and imported gangs, why not to jihadists?
"Tell Me Why They Had To Die"? Hard to answer. But tell me why, no matter how many Jose Carranzas it spawns, the nationwide undocumented-immigration protection program erected by this country's political class remains untouchable and ever-expanding.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #39 on:
August 25, 2007, 05:59:33 AM »
US faces reverse brain drain, says study
23 Aug 2007, 0236 hrs IST, Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN
SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates
WASHINGTON: The United States is facing a brain drain, the loss of intellectual resources that till recently deprived countries such as India and China of its best and brightest, according to a new study.
The cause: "misplaced" US immigration policies that that block high skilled immigrants from becoming permanent American residents. The beneficiaries of the reverse brain drain: previous losers such as India and China, whose booming economies are starting to win back those who left for better prospects.
Researchers from Harvard, Duke and New York University on Wednesday released an analysis of international patent filings that also tracked what is being called "reverse brain drain."
The study shows that while foreign nationals, mostly Indians and Chinese, contributed to 25.6% of all US international patent applications in 2006, thousands of them are heading home because of hurdles in their bid to become permanent US residents.
"So far, the US has the benefit of attracting the worlds best and brightest. Now, because of our flawed immigration policies, we have set the stage for the departure of hundreds of thousands of highly skilled professionals - who we have trained in our technology, techniques and markets and made even more valuable," says Vivek Wadhwa, a Delhi-born engineering and business lecturer at Duke and Harvard, who is the lead researcher of the study.
"This is lose-lose for the US. Our corporations lose key talent that is contributing to innovation and competitiveness, and we end up creating potential competitors," he said in notes attached to the study.
Wadhwa reckons that India may have provided more intellectual capital to the United States over the last decade than all the financial aid Washington has given to India over the past 60 years. But this trend is reversing as Indians head back to home, frustrated by US immigration policies that keep them in limbo.
The study does not offer precise numbers of people returning to India or China but says "approximately one in five new legal immigrants and one on three employment principals either plan to leave the US or are uncertain about remaining."
It estimates that around a million high-skilled foreign workers are caught in an "immigration limbo," far more than the 300,000 previously estimated. Some reports put the number of high-skilled Indian immigrants who have returned from the US at between 35,000 and 60,000. Wadhwa says he is not for expanding the number of temporary H-1B visas - which he says is part of the problem - but favours more Green Cards.
"For the first time in its history, the US faces the prospect of a reverse brain-drain," he says. "If the US needs skilled immigrants, we should bring them here to stay – not as temporary workers."
The new study shows that in 2006, 16.8 per cent of international patent applications from the United States had an inventor or co-inventor with a Chinese heritage name while the contribution of inventors with Indian-heritage names was 13.7 per cent.
Both Indian and Chinese inventors tended to file most patents in the field of medical/sanitation preparations, pharmaceuticals, semi-conductors and electronics. An earlier report by the same group found that one in four engineering and technology companies founded between 1995 and 2005 had an immigrant founder. These companies employed 450,000 people and generated $52 billion in revenues in 2006.
Indian immigrants founded more companies than the next four groups (from UK, China, Taiwan, and Japan).
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #40 on:
August 28, 2007, 07:03:20 PM »
Article published Aug 27, 2007
August 27, 2007
By Mark Cromer - Dr. Gene Rogers had a pretty good idea of what was coming when he saw his supervisor and a county security officer arrive at his office door. His supervisor was holding paperwork; the security guard was holding an empty box.
Dr. Gene Rogers knew what they had come to do, and why they were doing it. As the medical director for Sacramento County's Indigent Services program for the better part of the past decade, Dr. Rogers has waged a long fight against the central California county's practice of providing non-emergency medical care to illegal immigrants — a policy he says violates federal law and results in the poorest American citizens being denied the care they deserve.
That fight cost Dr. Rogers his job. In a two-sentence memo to Dr. Rogers, the county's Health and Human Services director, Lynn Frank, informed him that he was fired, but thanked him for his services. No reason for his termination was offered, but then he didn't really expect one. "Sacramento County knowingly violated state and federal laws, misappropriated taxpayer revenues and diverted funds designated for indigent citizens to pay for services delivered to illegal aliens," Dr. Rogers said. "And they did so even as they cut the budget."
Fired earlier this month, Dr. Rogers is the latest casualty on a frontline in the struggle over illegal immigration that's often overshadowed: the battle that has simmered throughout government agencies. Many government employees remain silent in the face of what's happening — fearful for their jobs and perhaps doubtful that they would make a difference. But Dr. Rogers, a Vietnam veteran, felt compelled to become a conscientious objector to the status quo.
The local cost of the medical treatment provided to illegal immigrants is small when contrasted to the billions of dollars the state and federal governments spend every year on the "undocumented," but the numbers have grown dramatically. According to county health officials, the hundreds of illegal immigrants who were being treated through the indigent program in the mid-1990s have now grown to thousands of people, with the annual cost to taxpayers swelling into the millions of dollars.
Ironically, when Dr. Rogers, 67, took the position of medical director for the indigent services program back in 1999, he arrived in the Central Valley with hardly a clue (let alone an opinion) about illegal immigration and its impact on social services. He had one goal: to provide the best care possible for those who need it most.
As the years went by, however, that egalitarian perspective began to be tinged with cynicism as he watched poor citizens get squeezed out of the system even as illegal immigrants gleefully manipulated it, all while bureaucrats facilitated the rampant violations of the very laws they were entrusted to enforce.
"I've seen cases and case histories of patients who essentially have come up from Mexico for the express purpose of being treated here, and then leaving to return home," Dr. Rogers said. "I've watched illegal immigrants brazenly demand free, non-emergency health care that was meant for our poorest citizens. I've heard them and their families complain. They feel entitled to it." Dr. Rogers filed a lawsuit in 2003 after county officials "stonewalled" him when he questioned why they were cutting budgets while still providing non-emergency medical treatment to people who have no legal right to be in the country.
The lawsuit is currently under appeal in federal court, but its impact was felt in the state capital, causing a nervous Latino Legislative Caucus in California last year to push through a bill by state Sen. Deborah Ortiz that explicitly allows counties to "opt" to provide non-emergency medical care to illegal immigrants. Sacramento County also responded, Dr. Rogers said, by seeking to alienate him from his prior relationships with county medical staff and by methodically preparing to fire him — with a little humiliation thrown in along the way. On one occasion, Dr. Rogers said, he was forced to sit through a staff meeting in which his supervisors asked case-management nurses one by one if they had any issues or problems with him. None said they did, but it was a humiliating experience.
"I am concerned that you continue to focus on patients' immigration status," Program Manager Nancy Gilberti said in a negative work review, "which is outside your and [the] program's purview." Mrs. Gilberti's remarks reflect a prevailing culture that has emerged in government: a culture that will not tolerate anyone who dares to draw a distinction between American citizens and illegal immigrants. It is a culture that now pervades police departments, public schools and universities, social services and health care.
But when someone like Dr. Rogers speaks up to question the impact on citizens of such allocation of funds for health services like those in Sacramento, the response is clear: Sit down and shut up — or else.
But considering that a young Dr. Rogers started his medical career trying to save the lives of horrifically wounded American soldiers in the jungles of Vietnam, Sacramento County's apparatchiks picked the wrong target this time. For Gene Rogers himself, his crusade is deeply rooted in those grim battlefields he found himself on more than 30 years ago. He watched young men fight and die, men who sacrificed all for the very distinction that citizenship brings to Americans.
It's a distinction that Sacramento County and so many others may choose to ignore, but for Dr. Rogers, that loyalty is a sacred trust he is determined to keep.
Mark Cromer is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization.
Britain same immigration situation as US
Reply #41 on:
September 02, 2007, 12:22:47 PM »
In the opinion of Cal Thomas:
Reply #42 on:
September 04, 2007, 09:06:58 AM »
Arrest renews debate over handling of criminal aliens
By DAVE MONTGOMERY
Star-Telegram Austin Bureau
WASHINGTON -- Sheriff Jim Pendergraph first noticed the changes in his jail population early in the decade, as illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries poured into Charlotte and elsewhere in Mecklenburg County, N.C., to find jobs in the robust North Carolina economy.
In Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Richard K. Jones became so frustrated with the swelling population of illegal immigrant suspects in his jail a couple of years ago that he symbolically billed the federal government for his incarceration costs and posted a big yellow sign near the jail reading: "Illegal aliens here."
Pendergraph and Jones are part of a growing national debate over how to handle illegal immigrant criminals, a debate that's flared anew with the arrest of an illegal immigrant in the execution-style slayings of three college students in New Jersey.
Criminal aliens, as the federal government classifies them, constitute more than a fourth of the inmates in federal prisons. Those still at large often fall between the cracks of an overburdened and uneven enforcement system, escaping detection and deportation.
More than 300,000 criminal aliens are expected to be placed in state and local jails this year, according to a forecast last year by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general. Most might remain in this country after serving their sentences because the federal government lacks the resources to identify, detain and deport them, the audit said.
The suspect in the Newark, N.J., killings, Jose Carranza, is an illegal immigrant from Peru who was out on bond on assault and child-rape charges. Authorities said they were unaware that Carranza was in the country illegally, largely because local policy prohibits officers from questioning suspects about their immigration status.
Newark is one of dozens of cities with "sanctuary" policies designed to keep officers from racially profiling suspects and intimidating immigrant communities, thus making them reluctant to report crimes and cooperate with authorities.
The Newark case erupted barely two months after Congress abandoned efforts to overhaul immigration laws, bringing new calls from law-and-order conservatives to further safeguard the border and root out lawbreakers among the nation's 12 million or more illegal immigrants.
Pro-immigrant groups and a number of big-city police officials defend sanctuary policies and argue that police departments should concentrate on enforcing state and local laws rather than federal immigration policy.
In a study this year, the Immigration Policy Center contended that the perception of "immigrant criminality" is greatly exaggerated, noting that illegal immigrants commit proportionately much fewer crimes than native-born white males.
But others, including Pendergraph and Jones, say the accused immigrant in Newark is just one example of what they describe as a deeply flawed approach to dealing with criminal aliens.
"Most of them fall between the cracks," Pendergraph said. "How many in this country are arrested daily for serious crimes and have been convicted of serious crimes before, and nobody has bothered to check on their immigration status? It's obscene."
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a branch of the Homeland Security Department, is charged with finding and removing criminal aliens. But ICE officials say they're stretched thin and often hampered by state and local sanctuary policies that limit cooperation.
"What we hope for is to improve our relationship with these local law enforcement agencies," said Deborah Achim, the ICE assistant director for detention and removal operations.
The police departments of eight major cities -- including Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Miami-Dade -- said in a joint statement last year that local police can't "even begin to consider dedicating limited local resources to immigration enforcement" until the federal government seals the border.
News researchers Stacy Garcia, Cathy Belcher and Marcia Melton contributed to this report.
Online: Immigration Policy Center,
Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
Washington correspondent Dave Montgomery, 202-383-6016
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #43 on:
September 09, 2007, 02:37:39 PM »
Open borders shill gets his clock cleaned by Lou Dobbs.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #44 on:
September 12, 2007, 05:58:32 PM »
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September 12, 2007; Page A18
It's been reported in these columns and elsewhere that the dysfunctional U.S. immigration system contributes to labor shortages in agriculture. Less well-known is that low green card quotas have also left the U.S. with an undersupply of nurses that threatens patient care.
"The ageing U.S. population and low domestic production of nurses in the U.S. has created a nursing shortage that carries deadly consequences," says a new study by Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy. "[A] shortage of nurses at U.S. hospitals is leading to increased death and illness for Americans."
Estimates of the looming shortage vary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Health and Human Services project that more than a million new and replacement nurses will be needed over the next decade. Health analysts David Auerbach, Peter Buerhaus and Douglas Staiger cite a lower but still substantial 340,000, though even that "is three times larger than the size of the current shortage when it was at its peak in 2001." All agree that the coming retirement of 77 million baby boomers means something will have to give.
Wage increases in recent years have attracted more people to nursing. In California, annual average salaries for full-time registered nurses grew to $69,000 in 2006 from $52,000 in 2000, a 32% gain. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nationwide mean salary for registered nurses today is nearly $60,000. Better pay alone, however, won't solve the problem, or at least not anytime soon.
Despite more interest in the profession, faculty shortages and inadequate facilities have prevented nursing programs from expanding enrollment. More than 70% of schools responding to a 2006 American Association of College Nursing survey listed faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants. In 2005 nursing schools rejected 147,000 qualified applicants, citing lack of classroom space and clinical placement sites for students.
When growers can't find field hands, food rots and businesses lose money. But when hospitals can't find nurses, patient care suffers. "The effectiveness of nurse surveillance is influenced by the number of registered nurses available to assess patients on an ongoing basis," concluded a 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association study. The study -- which looked at general, orthopedic and vascular surgery patients at hospitals -- found a 31% increase in patient mortality when a nurse's workload rose to eight from four patients.
"Given that even optimistic projections of raising wages and increasing domestic nurse production assumes a continued shortage of a decade or more," writes Mr. Anderson, "policymakers concerned about the impact of the nursing shortage on patient deaths and illnesses must consider relaxing current immigration quotas."
The long-term solution here is to increase nursing faculty and teaching facilities. But in the short run, Congress could help enormously by easing the limit on foreign nurses allowed entry to the U.S. That's what lawmakers did in 2005 when they allocated 50,000 extra green cards with a priority for foreign nurses. They were used up in 18 months. About 4% of U.S. registered nurses are foreign-trained, which means many hospitals couldn't function without them.
More such green cards are needed now, before hospital understaffing contributes to more preventable illness and death.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #45 on:
September 14, 2007, 03:13:59 PM »
September 13, 2007
A Sleeper Amnesty: Time to Wake Up from the DREAM Act
by Kris W. Kobach, D.Phil., J.D.
Just three months after the Senate immigration bill met its well-deserved end, amnesty advocates in the U.S. Congress resumed their efforts. Recently, Senator Richard Durbin (D–IL) announced on the Senate floor his intention to offer the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act as an amendment to the defense authorization bill.
The DREAM Act (S. 774) is a nightmare. It is a massive amnesty that extends to the millions of illegal aliens who entered the United States before the age of 16. The illegal alien who applies for this amnesty is immediately rewarded with "conditional" lawful permanent resident (green card) status, which can be converted to a non-conditional green card in short order. The alien can then use his newly acquired status to seek green cards for the parents who brought him in illegally in the first place. In this way, it is also a backdoor amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens who brought their children with them to the United States.
What is less well known about the DREAM Act is that it also allows illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition rates at public universities, discriminating against U.S. citizens from out of state and law-abiding foreign students. It repeals a 1996 federal law that prohibits any state from offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens unless the state also offers in-state tuition rates to all U.S. citizens.
On its own, the DREAM Act never stood a chance of passing. Every scientific opinion poll on the subject has shown over 70 percent opposition to giving in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens.
Not surprisingly, the DREAM Act languished in committee for five years after it was first introduced in 2001—until the opportunity arose to hitch it to the Senate's "comprehensive" immigration bills of 2006 and 2007.
To understand just what an insult to the rule of law the DREAM Act is, it is important to look at the history behind it.
A Brief History of the In-State Tuition Debate
In September 1996, Congress passed the landmark Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). Led by Lamar Smith (R– TX) in the House of Representatives and Alan Simpson (R–WY) in the Senate, Congress significantly toughened the nation's immigration laws. To his credit, President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.
Open-borders advocates in some states—most notably California—had already raised the possibility of offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens who attend public universities. To prevent such a development, the IIRIRA's sponsors inserted a clearly worded provision that prohibited any state from doing so unless it provided the same discounted tuition to all U.S. citizens:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.
Members of Congress reasoned that no state would be interested in giving up the extra revenue from out-of-state students, so this provision would ensure that illegal aliens would not be rewarded with a taxpayer-subsidized college education. The IIRIRA's proponents never imagined that some states might simply disobey federal law.
States Subsidizing the College Education of Illegal Aliens
However, that is precisely what happened. In 1999, radical liberals in the California legislature pushed ahead with their plan to have taxpayers subsidize the college education of illegal aliens.
Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh (D) sponsored a bill that would have made illegal aliens who had resided in California for three years during high school eligible for in-state tuition rates at California community colleges and universities. In August 2000, the California legislature passed his bill. However, Democrat Governor Gray Davis vetoed the bill in September 2000, stating clearly in his veto message that the bill would violate federal law:
ndocumented aliens are ineligible to receive postsecondary education benefits based on state residence…. IIRIRA would require that all out-of-state legal residents be eligible for this same benefit. Based on Fall 1998 enrollment figures…this legislation could result in a revenue loss of over $63.7 million to the state.
Undeterred, Firebaugh introduced his bill again, and the California legislature passed it again. In 2002, facing flagging poll numbers and desperate to rally Hispanic voters to his cause, Governor Davis signed the bill.
Meanwhile, similar interests in Texas had succeeded in enacting their own version of the bill. Since then, interest groups lobbying for illegal aliens have introduced similar legislation in most of the other states. The majority of state legislatures had the good sense to reject the idea, but eight states followed the examples of California and Texas, including some states in the heart of "red" America. Today, the 10 states that offer in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens are: California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington. (The legislatures of Maryland and Connecticut passed similar bills in 2007, but the governors of those states rightly vetoed the bills.)
In most of these 10 states, the law was passed under cover of darkness because public opinion was strongly against subsidizing the college education of illegal aliens at taxpayer expense. The governors even declined to hold press conferences or signing ceremonies heralding the new laws.
Not surprisingly, when voters themselves decide the question, a very different result occurs. In November 2006, Arizona voters passed Proposition 300, which expressly barred Arizona universities from offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens— 71.4 percent voted in favor.
The American people realize the injustice of giving illegal aliens a taxpayer-subsidized education when out-of-state U.S. citizens and law-abiding foreign students have to pay the full cost of their education.
This strong public sentiment against giving illegal aliens access to in-state tuition rates is powerful enough to swing the results of an election. In Nebraska, the last of the 10 states to pass the law, that is exactly what happened. During the 2006 session, Nebraska's unicameral legislature passed an in-state tuition bill for illegal aliens. Governor Dave Heineman vetoed the bill because it violated federal law and was bad policy. In mid-April the legislature, which included an unusually large number of lame-duck Senators, overrode his veto by a vote of 30 to 19.
The veto would become an issue in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary. Heineman's opponent was the legendary University of Nebraska football coach and sitting U.S. Representative Tom Osborne, a political demigod in the Cornhusker State. Osborne had never received less than 82 percent of the vote in any election. Heineman, on the other hand, had not yet won a gubernatorial election. He became governor in 2005 when Governor Mike Johanns resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Few believed that Heineman had a chance of winning the primary. He was behind in all of the polls. But then Coach Osborne fumbled. During a debate, he stated that he favored the idea of giving subsidized tuition to illegal aliens. Heineman seized the opportunity, and highlighted this difference of opinion between the candidates in his political ads. The voters reacted negatively to Osborn's position, and Heineman surged ahead in the final weeks of the race. He beat Osborn by 50 percent to 44 percent in the primary election on May 9, 2006. After the vote, both candidates said that the in-state tuition issue had been decisive.
In all 10 states, the in-state tuition laws make for shockingly bad policy.
First, providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens amounts to giving them a taxpayer-financed education. In contrast, out-of-state students pay the full cost of their education. This gift to illegal aliens costs taxpayers a great deal of money at a time when tuition rates are rising across the country. For example, in California, a lawsuit on the matter has revealed the staggering cost to the taxpayer: The state pays more than $100 million annually to subsidize the college education of thousands of illegal aliens.
Second, these states are encouraging aliens to violate federal immigration law. Indeed, in some of the states, breaking federal law is an express prerequisite to receive the benefit of in-state tuition rates. Those states expressly deny in-state tuition to legal aliens who have valid student visas. And in all 10 states, an alien is eligible for in-state tuition rates only if he remains in the state in violation of federal law and evades federal law enforcement. In this way states are directly rewarding this illegal behavior.
This situation is comparable to a state passing a law that rewards residents with state tax credits for cheating on their federal income taxes. These states are providing direct financial subsidies to those who violate federal law.
Third, not only are such laws unfair to aliens who follow the law, but they are slaps in the faces of law-abiding American citizens. For example, a student from Missouri who attends Kansas University and has always played by the rules and obeyed the law is charged three times the tuition charged to an alien whose very presence in the country is a violation of federal criminal law.
This gift to illegal aliens comes at a time when millions of U.S. citizens have had to mortgage their future to attend college. During 2002–2007, college costs rose 35 percent after adjusting for inflation. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, and the amount of debt averages $19,200. In a world of scarce education resources, U.S. citizens should be first in line to receive a break on college costs—not aliens who break federal law.
Even if a good argument could be made for giving in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens, the bottom line is that the policy violates federal law. These 10 states have brazenly cast aside the constraints imposed by Congress and the U.S. Constitution.
In July 2004, a group of U.S. citizen students from out of state filed suit in federal district court in Kansas to enjoin the state from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens.They pointed out that Kansas is clearly violating federal law, as well as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against them in favor of illegal aliens.
The district judge did not render any decision on the central questions of the case. Instead, he avoided the issues entirely by ruling that the plaintiffs lacked a private right of action to bring their statutory challenge and lacked standing to bring their Equal Protection challenge. The case is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Meanwhile, in December 2005, another group of U.S. citizen students filed a class-action suit in a California state court.They too maintain that the state is violating federal law and the U.S. Constitution. Pursuant to a California civil rights statute, they are also seeking damages to compensate them for the extra tuition that they have paid above that charged to illegal aliens.
The DREAM Act Amnesty
Now, just when it looks as if U.S. citizens might vindicate their rights under federal law and the wayward states might be held accountable, Senator Durbin and his pro-amnesty allies are seeking to offer the offending states a pardon.
The DREAM Act grants an unusual reprieve to the 10 states that have ignored federal law. The Act retroactively repeals the 1996 federal law that the 10 states violated, making it as though the provisions in the 1996 law never existed.
On top of this insult to the rule of law, the DREAM Act includes a massive amnesty, as noted above. This amnesty opens a wide path to citizenship for any alien who entered the country before the age of 16 and has been in the country for at least five years. The guiding notion seems to be "The longer you have violated federal law, the better."
Beyond that, all the alien needs is a high school diploma or a GED earned in the United States. If he can persuade an institution of higher education in the United States—any community college, technical school, or college—to admit him, that will suffice. Any illegal alien who meets these conditions (or who can produce fraudulent papers indicating that he meets the conditions) gets immediate legal status in the form of a "conditional" green card good for six years, according to Section 4(a)(1).
It is important to recognize just how sweeping this amnesty is.
There is no upper age limit. Any illegal alien can walk into a U.S. Customs and Immigration Services office and declare that he is eligible. For example, a 45 year old can claim that he illegally entered the United States 30 years ago at the age of 15. There is no requirement that the alien prove that he entered the United States at the claimed time by providing particular documents. The DREAM Act's Section 4(a) merely requires him to "demonstrate" that he is eligible—which in practice could mean simply making a sworn statement to that effect. Thus, it is an invitation for just about every illegal alien to fraudulently claim the amnesty.
The alien then has six years to adjust his status from a conditional green card holder to a non-conditional one. To do so, he need only complete two years of study at an institution of higher education. If the alien has already completed two years of study, he can convert to non-conditional status immediately (and use his green card as a platform to bring in family members). As an alternative to two years of study, he can enlist in the U.S. military and spend two years there. This provision allows Senator Durbin to claim that the DREAM Act is somehow germane to a defense authorization bill.
An illegal alien who applies for the DREAM Act amnesty gets to count his years under "conditional" green card status toward the five years needed for citizenship. (Section 5(e)) On top of that, the illegal alien could claim "retroactive benefits" and start the clock running the day that the DREAM Act is enacted. (Section 6) In combination, these two provisions put illegal aliens on a high-speed track to U.S. citizenship—moving from illegal alien to U.S. citizen in as little as five years. Lawfully present aliens, meanwhile, must follow a slower path to citizenship.
It would be absurdly easy for just about any illegal alien—even one who does not qualify for the amnesty—to evade the law. According to Section 4(f) of the DREAM Act, once an alien files an application—any application, no matter how ridiculous—the federal government is prohibited from deporting him. Moreover, with few exceptions, federal officers are prohibited from either using information from the application to deport the alien or sharing that information with another federal agency, under threat of up to $10,000 fine. Thus, an alien's admission that he has violated federal immigration law cannot be used against him—even if he never had any chance of qualifying for the DREAM Act amnesty in the first place.
The DREAM Act also makes the illegal aliens eligible for federal student loans and federal work-study programs—another benefit that law-abiding foreign students cannot receive—all at taxpayer expense. A consistent theme emerges: Illegal aliens are treated much more favorably than aliens who follow the law. There is no penalty for illegal behavior.
In addition to being a dream for those who have broken the law, the DREAM Act raises an even larger issue regarding the relationship between states and the federal government. The 10 states have created a 21st century version of the nullification movement—defying federal law simply because they do not like it. In so doing, they have challenged the basic structure of the republic. The DREAM Act would pardon this offense and, in so doing, encourage states to defy other federal law in the future.
One thing that we have learned in the struggle to enforce our nation's immigration laws is that states cannot be allowed to undermine the efforts of the federal government to enforce the law. Only if all levels of government are working in concert to uphold the rule of law can it be fully restored.
Kris W. Kobach is Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Visiting Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He served as counsel and chief adviser on immigration law to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft from 2001 to 2003. He is representing the U.S. citizen plaintiffs in the Kansas and California lawsuits described in this paper, and has published a longer article explaining this issue, as well as the legal arguments involved, in the New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, vol. 10, no. 3 (2006-07).
 8 U.S.C. § 1623.
 Gray Davis, veto message to California Assembly on AB 1197, September 29, 2000, at info.sen.ca.gov/pub/99-00/bill/asm/ab_1151-
1200/ab_1197_vt_20000929.html (August 10, 2006).
 See Day v. Sebelius, 376 F. Supp. 2d 1022 (2005).
 See Stuart Silverstein, "Out-of-State Students Sue over Tuition: Plaintiffs Are Challenging California Practices That Require Them to Pay Higher College Costs Than Some Illegal Immigrants," Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2005, p. B3.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #46 on:
September 15, 2007, 09:50:15 AM »
I find controlling our border and putting an end to illegal immigration to be vital national interests. Still there is more to the story than that:
Hispanics and the GOP
How to lose elections in one Lou Dobbs lesson.
Saturday, September 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Between 1996 and 2004, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote doubled to more than 40%, only to fall in last year's midterm election to less than 30%. The most recent polls show Hispanics breaking for Democrats over Republicans by 51% to 21%. What gives?
To understand this remarkable erosion of Latino support for Republicans, look no further than the most recent Presidential debates. While GOP candidates debated the urgency of erecting a fence from California to Texas along the Mexican border, Democrats debated in Spanish on Univision.
To reverse current trends, the GOP need not resort to ethnic pandering, which is the left's métier. But Republicans would help their cause tremendously if the party at the very least adopted a welcoming stance toward Latino newcomers. People aren't going to listen to your message unless they believe you care about them. Ronald Reagan didn't regularly receive a third of the Hispanic vote by sounding like Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson on immigration.
Tone matters in politics, and getting people to vote for you is easier when you're not likening them to Islamic terrorists, or implying that Latino men are hard-wired for gang-banging. Unlike blacks, who have hewed to Democrats in large majorities for decades, Latinos are proven swing voters, and Republican energies would be better employed trying to win them over instead of trying to capitalize on ethnic polarization to win GOP primaries.
There's precedent here. In the mid-1990s after California Governor Pete Wilson embraced Proposition 187, which denied education and health-care benefits to the children of illegal aliens, Latino support for Republicans fell to 25% from 53%, and GOP support among Asians and women declined as well.
Some conservatives insist that it's only the illegal aliens who have earned their wrath, but when the target of scorn is the mother or brother or cousin of someone here lawfully, that becomes a difference without much of a distinction politically. Moreover, Tom Tancredo, the pied piper of restrictionists in Congress, wants a "time out" on all legal immigration, and Hispanic voters are wise to the fact that it's not because he thinks there are too many Italians in the U.S. Republican pols may decide to follow Mr. Tancredo, Lou Dobbs, Fox News populists and obsessive bloggers down this path, but it's likely to lead to political defeat.
Hispanics are now about 8% of the electorate, but they're projected to become 20% by 2020 and one-quarter of the total U.S. population by 2050. The political reality is that going forward Hispanics will have to play a bigger and bigger role in keeping the GOP competitive nationally. It's hard to see how Republicans have any hope of building a permanent majority if Hispanics start voting for Democrats in the percentages that blacks already do.
Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona all boast heavy Latino populations and are states that a GOP Presidential candidate probably has to carry unless he can pick up states on the West coast or in the Northeast that Republicans haven't won since the 1980s. President Bush won Nevada, Colorado and Arizona twice. Al Gore won New Mexico in 2000, but it switched to Mr. Bush in 2004 in part because the President did well among the state's large Hispanic population.
Which brings us to a final, somewhat ironic, point about these political and demographic trends. Republican strategists, led by Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and Matthew Dowd, took note of what was happening long before their Democratic counterparts. As recently as 2004, Democrats still viewed Latinos as voters they could take for granted. The assumption was that, as with blacks, perfunctory appeals to past discrimination would suffice to win them over. John Kerry ran no significant campaign in Hispanic communities and rarely traveled to the Southwest.
But it turns out that 50% of Hispanic voters are foreign-born and grew up speaking Spanish, not nursing racial grievances. That's an increase from 20% in 1988, and most of Mr. Bush's gains among Hispanics in 2004 came from this cohort. The point is that Republican principles--economic or cultural--are not lost on Hispanics, who are hardly wedded to one party, even if some conservatives insist this vote is lost to them. And it's no coincidence the 2008 Democratic convention will be in Colorado, where Hispanics are 19% of the population.
President Bush proved that the GOP could make significant inroads with Latinos, and smart Governors like Rick Perry in Texas and Jeb Bush in Florida have also shown the political wisdom of avoiding anti-immigration appeals. It's unfortunate that other Republicans, including most of Mr. Bush's would-be successors, seem so eager to help the Democrats make up lost ground.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #47 on:
September 22, 2007, 02:11:08 PM »
**Ah, what suicidal act won't we do in the name of "diversity"?**
U.S. admits nearly 10,000 from "terrorism" states
Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:13pm EDT
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 10,000 people from countries designated as sponsors of terrorism have entered the United States under an immigration diversity program with relatively few restrictions, a report released on Friday said.
The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office said the State Department's inspector general warned in 2003 that the Diversity Visa Program posed a significant risk to national security and recommended it be closed to people from countries on the U.S. list of state terrorism sponsors.
But four years later, the program remains open to people from those nations and little is known about what becomes of them once they enter the United States, the GAO said.
From 2000 to 2006, the program allowed 3,703 people from Sudan, 3,164 from Iran, 2,763 from Cuba and 162 from Syria to enter the United States and apply for permanent legal resident status, the report said. That totals 9,792 new immigrants.
"We found no documented evidence of ... immigrants from state sponsors of terrorism committing any terrorist acts," said the GAO, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress.
"However ... the Department of Homeland Security, terrorism experts and federal law enforcement officials familiar with immigration fraud believe that some individuals including terrorists and criminals could use fraudulent means to enter or remain in the United States."
The report quoted a U.S. security officer in Turkey as saying it would be possible for Iranian intelligence officers to pose as applicants and not be detected if their identities were not already known to U.S. intelligence.
The GAO said the State Department expressed disappointment with the report's findings and rejected recommendations that the department compile more comprehensive data on fraud activity and formulate a new strategy for combating
The Department of Homeland Security did not comment on the report, the GAO said.
The Diversity Visa Program was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 and provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each year to people from countries with relatively low rates of immigration to the United States. People from 179 countries are eligible to participate this year.
The program has enabled more than half a million immigrants -- mainly from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia -- to gain permanent legal status in the United States.
But unlike most U.S. visa programs, the diversity program does not require applicants to have family members or employers in the United States to petition on their behalf.
Applicants from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism normally are granted non-immigrant visas under limited circumstances. But the GAO report said no parallel restrictions exist for diversity visas.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #48 on:
September 22, 2007, 03:29:47 PM »
Good read on immigration policy and the global jihad.
Re: Immigration issues
Reply #49 on:
September 22, 2007, 04:07:00 PM »
**The high cost of cheap labor.**
After deportation, shooter was caught, freed again
Judi Villa, Michael Kiefer, Carol Sowers and Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 20, 2007 12:00 AM
Erik Jovani Martinez should have been in prison and not jaywalking the day he gunned down Phoenix police Officer Nick Erfle.
But despite a lengthy criminal history and a deportation, Martinez remained free, even after he was arrested again in the Valley just two months after he had been forced to leave the country in 2006.
Scottsdale police say they didn't know Martinez, 22, was an illegal immigrant or that he had been deported when they arrested him in May 2006 for grabbing his girlfriend's arm twice during a quarrel.
Martinez was deported in March 2006 after a felony conviction for theft.
Had Scottsdale police known, Martinez should have been jailed and should have faced federal charges for returning to the country illegally. A conviction would have earned him up to 20 years in prison.
Instead, he posted $300 bail and was released.
On Wednesday, one day after Martinez gunned down Erfle on a central Phoenix street, the officer's death reignited the ongoing immigration debate.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called on Washington officials to "secure the border and secure it now" before another officer pays the ultimate price.
"This individual that took our officer's life is a perfect example, a poster child, of our failed Washington policy for securing our borders," Gordon said.
But others say Martinez shouldn't necessarily be a flashpoint in the acrimonious debate over where immigration policy and law enforcement should intersect.
Martinez was brought to the United States as an infant and lived his whole life here. Clearly, he also was a career criminal, racking up a dozen arrests before he turned 18 and continuing to have brushes with the law afterward.
Even law-enforcement officials said they were hesitant to say Erfle's murder could be blamed on immigration issues.
"It's a big, complex issue," said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been in the national forefront when it comes to pursuing undocumented immigrants.
Still, Arpaio admitted, "You can't catch 'em all. We have a lot of violence out there, whether you're legal or illegal."
A troubled youth
Martinez has an extensive juvenile record that includes assaults and auto thefts. He was a documented gang member who admitted in court papers that he drank and smoked marijuana and crack cocaine. His first arrest, in July 1999, came after his parents reported him as incorrigible.
Martinez spent most of his teens on probation. Arrests for truancy led to more serious things: underage drinking, several threats and assault and stealing a vehicle. Martinez was serving time in juvenile detention for auto theft when he turned 18 and had to be released, according to court records.
Just months later, he was in trouble again, arrested for auto theft. He served time in a Maricopa County jail, then violated his probation and eventually wound up in prison in January 2006. Two months later, Martinez was deported. Typically, illegal immigrants convicted of a felony must serve all or part of their sentence before being deported.
Martinez apparently sneaked back across the border almost immediately. Scottsdale police arrested him on May 15, 2006, after an officer saw him quarreling with his girlfriend. Scottsdale police spokeswoman Shawn Sanders couldn't say whether officers had contacted immigration officials after the arrest. She would say only that information about Martinez's deportation was "not available to us at that time."
A spokesman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said he didn't believe Scottsdale police had contacted the agency, but he couldn't say that unequivocally.
A judge ordered Martinez into a domestic-violence counseling program, but he "didn't comply" and an arrest warrant was issued, Sanders said.
By the time Erfle was killed, Phoenix police were trying to find Martinez for hitting his girlfriend and threatening her with a shotgun in June 2006. Phoenix police obtained a warrant for his arrest in January and were trying to locate him.
The link between undocumented immigrants and crime is difficult to quantify. On Wednesday, about 18 percent of the 10,108 inmates in Maricopa County jails had immigration holds, sheriff's Capt. Paul Chagolla said. An estimated 10 percent of Arizona's population is Mexican nationals.
It's difficult to say whether that's a reflection of illegal immigrants committing a disproportionate amount of crimes or if it reflects Arpaio's crackdown on those who enter the United States illegally. The percentage of the jail population with immigration holds has doubled since Arpaio began his crackdown.
Still, crime certainly has morphed into a hot-button issue in the immigration debate.
Phoenix police were reluctant to address the issue before Erfle is laid to rest, but officials acknowledged that they could not draw a link between immigration policy and the officer's murder. "It's random," Lt. Benny Piña said. "I don't think there's a correlation there."
Before Erfle, the last Phoenix police officer killed by an undocumented immigrant was Marc Atkinson, who was ambushed and shot to death in 1999. Since then, five Phoenix police officers, including Erfle, have been shot to death in the line of duty.
"I think the officers are committed to doing their job regardless of whether the person's in the country illegally or not," Police Chief Jack Harris said.
Police Sgt. Andy Hill recalled that when Phoenix police Officer George Cortez Jr. was shot to death in July while answering a call about a bad check, the questions revolved around whether officers should travel alone or in pairs. Cortez did not have a partner.
"It's the job," Hill said. "It's you putting human beings in circumstances, and that human being is subject to all the dangers that are out there.
"We arrest people like that every single day who don't say they're going to kill a police officer."
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