Jerry Kammer's blog

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IRCA's 30th Anniversary: What Lawmakers Were Saying When They Finally Reached Agreement

By Jerry Kammer, October 17, 2016

On October 15, 1986, the New York Times announced that negotiators for the House and Senate had agreed on "a landmark immigration bill that would prohibit the hiring of illegal aliens and offer legal status to several million illegal aliens already in the United States." Read more...

Tweedledum and Tweedledee Assure Diane Rehm that Illegal Immigration Is Not a Problem for American Workers

By Jerry Kammer, October 13, 2016

The Diane Rehm Show, a public-affairs program carried by many public radio stations around the country, has a deserved reputation for sophistication and fair-mindedness in presenting competing points of view. But Wednesday's program, where Rehm and her guests discussed the roots of political alienation in the American working class, badly missed that mark.

Instead of an informed and lively discussion of an issue that is reverberating across the electoral landscape, the program gave a forum to an immigration-policy version of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They were conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum and liberal columnist David Leonhardt of the New York Times. Read more...

IRCA's 30th Anniversary: Looking Back at October 10, 1986

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

Thirty years ago, on October 9, 1986, the House of Representatives passed a major immigration reform bill, putting it on course to be signed a month later by President Reagan. Today this blog begins an occasional series to take a look back at the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the political circumstances from which it emerged. Here is the top of the Washington Post's report on October 10, 1986: Read more...

The New Yorker Begins to Open Its Eyes to the Reasons for Trump's Durable Popularity

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

The New Yorker magazine has long shown the way for post-national cosmopolitans whose citizen-of-the world sense of moral superiority inclines them to disdain or simply ignore working-class Americans.

But in recent months, bewilderment at the popularity of Donald Trump has moved the magazine's editors to encourage a sort of anthropological journalism that has come up with some valuable insights into the durable support in much of the United States for the New York billionaire businessman. Read more...

What Sen. Kennedy Didn't Say About Immigration Says a Lot About Liberals' Abandonment of the Working Class

By Jerry Kammer, October 7, 2016

Many Americans of both liberal and conservative persuasion view the enduring popularity of Donald Trump with bewildered dismay. Yesterday we pointed to two poignant statements that offer a partial explanation for this phenomenon. They described working-class despair rooted in a sense of abandonment by the rest of American society. Read more...

How "Death of a Salesman" and Chris Matthews Explain Donald Trump's Enduring Support

By Jerry Kammer, October 5, 2016

In one of many wrenching scenes of "Death of a Salesman", the wife of Willy Loman pours out her own anguish as she demands respect for Willy's basic human dignity:

I don't say he's a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.

The Times Prints All the News that Fits the Julia Preston Stereotype

By Jerry Kammer, October 3, 2016

Walter Lippmann, the late political journalist and philosopher, observed that we humans try to understand our complex social world by forming "systems of stereotypes". I thought of Lippmann over the weekend as I pondered two recent Julia Preston stories in the New York Times that encapsulate the stereotypical view of immigration that prevails in her work as national immigration reporter. Read more...

A Look at 'Hillbilly Elegy', news the Times Finds Unfit to Print, and the Backlash Against Stifling Lefty Orthodoxy

By Jerry Kammer, September 27, 2016

The remarkable new book Hillbilly Elegy is receiving rave reviews for its depiction of a large segment of the white working class. Liberal columnist Leonard Pitts, comparing the book to Ralph Ellison's classic about black America titled Invisible Man, called it "a compelling and compassionate portrait of a people politicians seldom address and media seldom reflect." Read more...

A Look at the Washington Post's 'Taco Truck' Snark Fest

By Jerry Kammer, September 8, 2016

Last week's media response to the warning that unchecked immigration would bring the United States "a taco truck [on every] corner" was sadly predictable. Reporters piled the mockery onto Marco Gutierrez, who issued the warning on MSNBC. Gutierrez is the founder of Latinos for Trump and himself an immigrant from Mexico. The subtext of the media pile-on was plain: "See how ridiculous this opposition to illegal immigration is? See how laughable? See how morally superior we are for ridiculing this Trump stooge?" Read more...

The Elites Are Outraged at the "Taco Trucks" Warning

By Jerry Kammer, September 2, 2016

The New York-to-Washington cognoscenti corridor of media elites is abuzz over the warning from Marcos Gutierrez, the founder of Latinos for Trump, that unless the United States gets serious about stopping illegal immigration, "you're going to have taco trucks [on] every corner."

The reactions run the spectrum from mockery to amusement to outrage. Read more...

Mexican Columnists Vent Their Anger at Trump Visit

By Jerry Kammer, September 1, 2016

If there is anyone in Mexico today who is less popular than Donald Trump, it may be the man who invited Trump to Mexico City yesterday. That is clear throughout the Mexican press, including the opinion page of today's El Universal, a Mexico City daily and the country's largest newspaper. Here are samples from four of the newspaper's columnists, who were clearly eager to vent their frustration and anger. Read more...

Mexico Launches Campaign to Boost Its Image in the U.S.

By Jerry Kammer, August 9, 2016

Mexico's Foreign Secretary is embarking on a campaign to enlist lobbyists and allies in many spheres of American life in order to rehabilitate the nation's reputation in the United States, according to an article in Mexico's largest newspaper. Donald Trump has seriously damaged that image in his campaign for the presidency, El Universal reported on Sunday. Read more...

"On the Media" Shreds the NPR Ethics Handbook

By Jerry Kammer, August 5, 2016

In 2004, Daniel Okrent, the public editor of The New York Times, flatly acknowledged that The Times is a liberal paper. "If you think The Times plays it down the middle" on its coverage of social issues, "you've been reading the paper with your eyes close," he wrote.

Well, if you listen to your NPR station's broadcast of the "On the Media" program and you think its work on immigration reporting lives up to standards for fairness, accuracy, and impartiality that are spelled out in the NPR Ethics Handbook, then you've been listening with your ears closed. Read more...

"On the Media" Goes Off the Cliff

By Jerry Kammer, August 3, 2016

I can think of one positive thing to say about Donald Trump's presidential campaign, which otherwise is becoming a national embarrassment. Trump has forced the national media to consider the plight of working-class Americans who have suffered from mass immigration and free trade. Even David Brooks, writing that "people across America have been falling through the cracks," acknowledges that "Trump, to his credit, made them visible." Read more...

Remembering When Democrats Turned Their Backs on American Workers

By Jerry Kammer, August 2, 2016

"Democrats are the party of working people. But we haven't done a good enough job showing that we get what you're going through, and that we're going to do something about it."
– Hillary Clinton, accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for president, July 28

Hillary Clinton's claim that Democrats are "the party of working people" brings to mind the Senate hearing where Ted Kennedy made it clear that on immigration policy they had walked away from that historic trust. I was a reporter at that hearing, and I remember it well. Read more...

How about a Few Pinocchios for the Washington Post's Editorial Nonsense about Jobs?

By Jerry Kammer, July 28, 2016

I am no fan of Donald Trump. I think he would be a terrible president. So I have no complaint with most of the Washington Post editorial that declares Trump to be "uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament" and that his campaign is one "of snarl and sneer, not substance." I agree with all that, especially in regard to Trump's vicious categorization of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.

But the Post editorial board, which collectively claims authorship of the paper's editorials, goes off the rails in its declaration that immigrants "take jobs that no one else will." That is not just a comforting cliché for enthusiasts of wide-open immigration; it's also untrue. If the fact-checkers at the Post got on the case, I think they'd award the board a few Pinocchios. Read more...

A Call for "Responsible Nationalism" and Attention to Those Who are Falling Through the Cracks

By Jerry Kammer, July 13, 2016

The populist revolts in the United States and Great Britain against unchecked immigration and free trade are forcing a rethinking of the ideology of post-national cosmopolitans. David Brooks, while dismayed at Donald Trump’s candidacy, acknowledges that Trump has brought attention to the fact that “people across America have been falling through the cracks.” Read more...

Two Prominent Latinos Take Sharply Different Approaches to Trump

By Jerry Kammer, July 5, 2016

On Sunday, Univision newsman Jorge Ramos pressed his case against Donald Trump during interviews with two prominent Latinos.

First the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, pushed back against Ramos, making it clear that he wanted to have a dialogue with the presumptive Republican nominee. Then Lionel Sosa, the Texas-based marketing executive who helped Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush appeal to Latino voters, echoed Ramos's disgust with Trump. Both men spoke with Ramos for the "Al Punto" program. Read more...

The Sensibility That Ties Open Immigration with 'Marriage Equality'

By Jerry Kammer, June 30, 2016

Those of us who want to limit immigration tend to think of ourselves as pragmatists. We believe that immigration can be a force for good if it is held within prescribed limits. We believe that those who think immigration is a basic human right are espousing a utopian fantasy.

One interesting subset of open borders advocates comprises those who see the fight for unrestricted immigration as part of the fight for equality and freedom that in recent years has been successfully waged by advocates of same-sex marriage, who say they are seeking "marriage equality". Read more...

Sheila Jackson Lee's Self-Serving Speculation on Barbara Jordan and Immigration Policy

By Jerry Kammer, June 9, 2016

The Houston Chronicle on Monday published an article about Barbara Jordan, the native of Houston who became a civil rights leader, the first black woman elected to the Texas State Senate, and, in 1972, the first black person elected to Congress from Texas since Reconstruction. At the time of her death in 1996 she was the chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform.

As the Chronicle noted, the commission "proposed sharp cuts in immigration to protect American workers, a plan some immigration restriction groups still promote in Jordan's name." Read more...

Univision Hits a New Low in Its Report on South Carolina-Based "Americans Have Had Enough"

By Jerry Kammer, May 26, 2016

Univision makes no effort to conceal its conviction that illegal immigrants should be treated no differently from those who follow immigration law. Its news anchors routinely refer to opponents of illegal immigration as "anti-immigrant".

But on last Friday's evening news, the Spanish-language network reached a new low in its bias. Its offense came in its treatment of the South Carolina group called Americans Have Had Enough. Read more...

Univision Has a Go-To Guy for Outrage Against Deportation

By Jerry Kammer, May 20, 2016

Jorge Mario Cabrera is the spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. He is also Univision's go-to guy for denunciations of efforts to enforce immigration law.

Last night, Univision's newscast went to Cabrera again. This time he directed his fury at the arrest of 18-year-old Henry Sanchez of Guatemala by ICE agents. Sanchez came illegally to the United States about a year ago to be with his parents, who came — apparently illegally — more than 10 years ago. Those circumstances made Sanchez a high priority for arrest according to standards adopted by the Obama administration. Those standards made his parents a low priority. Read more...

F.H. Buckley: Canada Is a More Successful Melting Pot than the U.S.

By Jerry Kammer, May 17, 2016

Yesterday's post reported on the appearance last week of George Mason law professor F.H. Buckley on MSNBC's Morning Joe program. Today we have more thoughts from the professor, who holds both U.S. and Canadian citizenship and says Canada has a better system of legal immigration than the United States because Canada, he notes, prioritizes the selection of immigrants who have skills and educational achievement that will allow them to integrate into the country's cultural and economic life. The U.S. system for awarding green cards, meanwhile, is heavily weighted toward family unification, i.e., allowing migrants who are already here to bring over their relatives, without regard to skill. Read more...

U.S. Immigration Policy Imports Immobility and Boosts American Aristocracy, New Book Says

By Jerry Kammer, May 16, 2016

As we at CIS prepare for our annual week-long border trip, which this year takes us to the Canadian border with New York and Vermont, I have been reading up on our northern neighbor's approach to border management and immigration policy. So my ears perked up last week when a native of Canada who studies immigration policy was a guest on the Morning Joe program. Read more...

New Yorker Surprise: Understanding for Trump's Appeal Among the White Working Class

By Jerry Kammer, May 12, 2016

This blog has posted several laments about the sneering New Yorker disdain for those of us who oppose illegal immigration or want to reduce legal immigration. Six years ago, I noted the complaint by the magazine’s William Finnegan that: "Anti-immigrant groups, which have proliferated in recent years, are not racist by nature, but they certainly attract racists and give them a platform." I added this response to Finnegan: "So what's your point for those of us whose concerns are non-racist, and in many cases rooted in progressive values? Shut up or you’ll be smeared?" Read more...

One Inspirational Story Doesn't Blot Out Realities of Illegal Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, May 9, 2016

During Sunday's "Al Punto" program on Univision, host Jorge Ramos spoke with renowned brain surgeon Alfredo Quinones, a former illegal immigrant from Mexico. They spoke about plans to make a feature film about Quinones's remarkable story of entering the United States illegally in 1987, working in the fields near Fresno, and beginning a remarkable ascent that took him to Berkeley, Harvard Medical School, and on to the Johns Hopkins Hospital to become one of the country's most respected brain surgeons. It is, as Dr. Quinones told Ramos, "a Cinderella story". Read more...

David Brooks, Donald Trump, and a Letter from Mesa, Ariz.

By Jerry Kammer, April 29, 2016

David Brooks of the New York Times is dismayed at the rise of Donald Trump. But in Friday's column, Brooks once again acknowledges that Trump has brought attention to the fact that "people across America have been falling through the cracks." Writes Brooks, "Trump to his credit, made them visible." Read more...

A Brief Chronology of the Sierra Club's Retreat from the Immigration-Population Connection

By Jerry Kammer, April 21, 2016

As this blog noted yesterday, the Austin American-Statesman has reported that the Austin chapter of the Sierra Club won't participate in Saturday's local Earth Day festival because the festival's chief underwriter, developer Trammell Crow, supports organizations that advocate reduction of immigration. Today we provide an abbreviated chronology of the Sierra Club's decades-long retreat from the debate about immigration's role as the principal source of the rapid population growth of the United States. We begin in 1980, when the club was concerned about that connection and discussed it openly. A full account can be found in the Center for Immigration Studies report, "Strategic Negligence: How the Sierra Club's Distortions on Border and Immigration Policy are Undermining its Environmental Legacy". Read more...

Sierra Club Takes Another Step in Its Retreat from the Immigration-Population Connection

By Jerry Kammer, April 20, 2016

The Sierra Club has made news again in its decades-long retreat from what used to be one of its central concerns: the influence of immigration on the population growth of the United States.

This time the story comes from Texas, where the Austin American-Statesman newspaper reports that the Austin chapter of the Sierra Club says it won't participate in that city's Earth Day festival Saturday because its chief underwriter, developer Trammell Crow, supports organizations that advocate reduction of immigration. Read more...

Univision Combines Exploitation Film about Immigration with Exploitation Campaign of Trump

By Jerry Kammer, April 19, 2016

An exploitation film is one that seeks to cash in by presenting a sensational and shocking story that plays on deep-seated fears or portrays lurid extremes of human behavior. Some examples are "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Cannibal Holocaust", and just about any movie with Zombie in the title. Another doozie is "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!", which is described as the story of a trio of sadistic go-go dancers who "break free from the nightclub where they perform and race out to the desert to stir up a little mayhem." Read more...