May 20, 2016
At yesterday’s Senate immigration subcommittee hearing, Brandon Judd, head of the Border Patrol agents’ union, decried the “catch and release” policy imposed by the White House. (His statement starts at 2:05:50.) He estimated that some 80 percent of the illegal aliens that are apprehended are released into the United States. The key lines from his statement (emphasis added):
If you are an unaccompanied minor we will not only release you, but will escort you to your final destination.
If you are a family unit, we will release you.
If you claim credible fear [of persecution], we will release you.
If you are a single male and we do not physically see you cross the border and you claim that you have been in this country since 2014, we will release you.
May 16, 2016
Congress in 1990 created something called Temporary Protected Status in an attempt to hem in unilateral executive actions on immigration. The law created a framework for presidents to let illegal aliens from a country stay here for a limited period of time if there was a natural disaster or civil violence back home that made the country "unable, temporarily, to adequately handle the return of its nationals." The point was to prevent presidential freelancing, though what had happened up to that time was microscopic compared to Obama's outrages. (I wrote last month about the likely grant of TPS to Ecuadorian illegals in the wake of the earthquake there.) Read more...
May 15, 2016
"Immigration cases — like old soldiers — seem never to die."
That's the opening line of the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a recent case that exemplifies the relentless war on America's borders being waged by immigration lawyers and their illegal-alien clients.
This is an utterly conventional case, like thousands of others that clog the courts, the result of "serial attempts to revisit a final order of removal" (a deportation order), in the words of the ruling. The alien plaintiff's 20-year campaign of lies and immigration fraud shows what our immigration-enforcement system is up against. Read more...
April 27, 2016
Almost every natural disaster in the Third World is followed by calls for amnesty for illegal aliens from the afflicted country. Such amnesties are de facto permanent, despite their label: Temporary Protected Status.
TPS is what you might call green card-lite – it provides the illegal immigrants (and legal tourists, students, et al. whose visas are expiring) a work permit, Social Security number, driver’s license, and access to certain welfare benefits, but not an immediate path to citizenship. Obama’s lawless DACA and DAPA amnesties were modeled on TPS. Read more...
March 11, 2016
The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan also took the radical step last night of asking the Republican candidates about the level of legal immigration. Over the previous 47,000 debates this season, this question – one of the most important faced by any country – has only come up once before. In January, Rubio was asked why he wanted to massively increase immigration; his panicked response was a fruit salad of non sequiturs. Read more...
March 11, 2016
I was delighted to see Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times in one of the moderators’ chairs last night. He asked about immigration right at the beginning of the night, with questions on both foreign worker visas and immigration levels overall. Here’s what was said about the first topic. Read more...
March 10, 2016
I wrote the other day that if the Supreme Court validates Obama's lawless amnesty decrees, much of immigration law will effectively be rendered null and void. I was referring to the many criteria for admission and exclusion, which Obama claims he can ignore at will.
Of course he's already ignoring much of the law anyway, choosing not to enforce the law against virtually all illegal aliens under the pretext of "prosecutorial discretion." (The Supreme Court case is about Obama's attempt to go the next step and formally award them work permits and Social Security accounts.)
The Democratic candidates in last night's debate suggested Obama was too strict on immigration, and tried to outdo each other in pledging to gut the law even further. Read more...
February 29, 2016
You want to see the roots of Trump’s appeal? Read Sunday's New York Times:
A few weeks after Senator Marco Rubio joined a bipartisan push for an immigration overhaul in 2013, he arrived alongside Senator Chuck Schumer at the executive dining room of News Corporation’s Manhattan headquarters for dinner.
February 3, 2016
[This is a short piece by me that appears in today's issue of the Latin America Advisor, published by the Inter-American Dialogue.]
In June, the Supreme Court will drop an immigration bomb into the middle of the presidential campaign.
That's when it is expected to rule on the 26-state lawsuit challenging President Obama's edict granting work permits and Social Security numbers to as many as four million illegal aliens who have U.S.-citizen or legal-resident children. This legalization program proposed by Obama is ostensibly temporary, but is understood by everyone to be de facto permanent; revoking lawful work permits from four people is easy, but from four million is essentially impossible. Read more...
January 15, 2016
Finally, someone asked about the central question of immigration policy: How many? Here's what Maria Bartiromo asked of Rubio in Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina:
Under current law, the U.S. is on track to issue more new permanent immigrants on green cards over the next five years than the entire population of South Carolina. The CBO says your 2013 immigration bill would have increased green cardholders by another 10 million over 10 years.
December 17, 2015
Tucked into the 2,000-plus pages of Paul Ryan’s monster spending bill to fund the federal government through the rest of this fiscal year are two immigration measures that testify to the strength of employer interests in bending immigration policy to their will.
One is a change that would effectively quadruple the number of H-2B foreign workers. These are unskilled non-farm workers (a companion program to the H-2A for farmworkers, and the H-1B for tech workers) who work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, tourism, lifeguards, seafood processing – you know, jobs Americans won't do. Read more...
November 20, 2015
Is the era of mass migration from Mexico really "at an end"?
That's the claim of a new report from the Pew Research Center titled "More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S." It finds a net decline of the Mexican population of 140,000 from 2009 to 2014. Herewith a few thoughts. Read more...
November 20, 2015
One of my staff accompanied me to yesterday's House immigration subcommittee hearing on Syrian refugee resettlement and she said afterwards, "We didn't learn anything." Never having attended a congressional hearing, she was surprised by this.
The Democrats followed the president's lead in dismissing concerns about security. I think one or another of them (Lofgren, Gutierrez, and Conyers, plus their witness, the head of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) ended up ticking off every cliché I'd expected: the "wrong side of history," the Holocaust, the SS St. Louis, and the internment of the Japanese. (I don't think slavery came up.) Read more...
November 19, 2015
From my witness statement for today's hearing on Syrian refugee resettlement before the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee: Read more...
November 16, 2015
From my article today at National Review Online:
Sure, welcoming refugees here makes us feel good. Newspapers run heart-warming stories of overcoming adversity; churches embrace the objects of their charity; politicians can wax nostalgic about their grandparents.
November 15, 2015
Ted Cruz released a new, detailed immigration plan today. It's not everything I would want, in that he doesn't call for an actual reduction in overall legal immigration levels; he merely opposes any further increases in the current economic environment.
But considering that he was, until recently, in favor of increased legal immigration, his plan is a huge improvement, and an important development. Read more...
November 6, 2015
The Obama administration may not give a fig about the real Bill of Rights, but it seems determined to adhere to every emanation and penumbra of a new "bill of rights" for illegal aliens – or, as the promoters would have it, for "undocumented Americans." It's basically just planks from next year's Democratic platform – illegals must not be deported because they have the right to be here, they all deserve citizenship, in the meantime they should all be given work permits and access to taxpayer-funded health care. Read more...
November 2, 2015
Last week, the Center for Migration Studies hosted a day-long symposium in New York addressing a wide variety of immigration and refugee issues. (CMS is a Catholic think tank that generally promotes higher levels of immigration and looser enforcement.) The final speaker at the event was Kevin Appleby, the Catholic bishops' longtime point man on immigration policy. His comments to the largely like-minded crowd on Paul Ryan reinforce concerns about the immigration views of the new Speaker of the House. Here are some excerpts (emphasis added): Read more...
October 30, 2015
In response the surge of Central Americans sneaking into Texas in the summer of 2014, the Obama administration launched an ad campaign in the sending countries earlier this year to stem the flow. The radio and TV spots assert that "there are no permits for the people trying to cross the border without papers" and promise "the immediate deportation of those trying to cross the border without documents."
None of it is true. There are permits for illegal-alien minors and families. Formally known as Notices to Appear but known colloquially in Spanish as permisos, they require the aliens to present themselves to immigration authorities by a certain date, until which they have temporary legal status. That gives them time enough to travel to join their relatives and disappear into the existing illegal population. And disappear they do, since, despite the tough promises, virtually none of them are deported, immediately or otherwise. Read more...
October 12, 2015
Right after the Senate passed Marco Rubio's amnesty/immigration-surge bill, the Associated Press ran a story headlined "Dems pin immigration hopes on GOP's Ryan."
They pin them there still.
In his still-hypothetical bid for the Speakership, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has secured the coveted endorsement of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), probably the most strident voice for amnesty in Congress. Gutierrez told MSBNC: "He would be good for the country. He would be good for the Republican Party. Paul Ryan is the kind of individual that would work with people on the other side of the aisle and that's what we need." Read more...
October 7, 2015
Using preliminary numbers, the Associated Press reports that deportations are down to the lowest level in nearly a decade. As you can see from the graphic, deportations (or, strictly speaking, removals attributed to ICE rather than to the Border Patrol) grew significantly under Bush (as they had under Clinton), initially plateaued under Obama, and are now collapsing. Read more...
October 6, 2015
An indication of the unpopularity of the anti-borders position is the ubiquity of euphemism. Immigration being an Up vs. Down issue, rather than the conventional Right vs. Left, anti-borders elites have to use their cultural sway to transform even the utterance of certain ungood words into crimethink. Read more...
September 24, 2015
The CBS affiliate in Miami reports that Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate & resort in Palm Beach has requested hundreds of foreign worker visas for jobs such as cooks, waitresses, and housekeepers. This would appear to conflict with his boast that "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created," and with the assertion in his immigration policy paper that "we need companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed." Read more...
September 22, 2015
On immigration as on other issues, there was a clear sense that Scott Walker personified the Groucho Marx line that "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." Likewise, Walker simply doesn't know much of anything about issues beyond his experience in Wisconsin, whether immigration or the Ex-Im Bank. Read more...
September 16, 2015
A question on the refugee crisis facing Europe is likely to come up at the Republican debate tonight and I have a slim hope that some of the candidates will come up with a coherent answer. Here’s a possible response:
Jake, as the father of (insert number), I found the picture of that dead Syrian child especially heartbreaking. For both humanitarian and foreign policy reasons, we should work with other countries to help Syria's neighbors manage the large numbers of people seeking safety. The goal should be to enable those fleeing war to be able to live in dignity as near as possible to their homes so they can return when the fighting ends. Read more...
September 16, 2015
Participants in the two Republican debates later today are certain to be asked about their views on illegal immigration and the Middle Eastern refugee crisis. The answers are not difficult, and yet one candidate after another flubs them. Here's a template for answering the first question, with the second to follow. Read more...
September 11, 2015
The White House announced that it plans to admit 10,000 Syrians next year through the refugee resettlement program, on top of the 1,500 or so we’ve already admitted. But the number could go much higher, since the president claims the right to "parole" into the United States anyone he wants, in any number he wants, for any reason he wants. As Senator Grassley put it this week after being informed by Secretary of State Kerry of Obama's 2016 refugee edict: Read more...
September 4, 2015
In January of this year Mexico launched an amnesty for illegal aliens.
Called the Temporary Program for Immigration Regularization (the Spanish initials are PTRM), the amnesty is run by the Interior Ministry (Gobernación) through the National Immigration Institute (INM).
Illegal aliens who entered before November 9, 2012, can get a four-year temporary residency after paying a fee of a little more than 9,000 pesos (somewhat over $500). The application period ends December 18 of this year. Read more...
August 17, 2015
Maybe what is most remarkable about Trump's new immigration paper is that none of the other candidates beat him to it.
I mean no disrespect to his policy people, but anyone could have written it in a few days, a week maybe. The material is easily found online and unlike, say, health care policy, it's really not that complicated.
Which suggests that the campaigns of most of the other leading candidates hoped they could avoid offering an actual plan, finessing the issue instead by mouthing platitudes for the yahoos without specifics that might upset donors. Trump's paper takes direct aim at this strategy when it states "Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors." Read more...