Mark Krikorian's blog

Of Course I'll Respect Your Immigration Laws in the Morning

By Mark Krikorian, October 15, 2013

The core obstacle to amnesty is trust. Yes, it would reward lawbreakers. It would be extremely costly. It would create millions of additional Democrat voters. But the stupefying sums of corporate money pushing the Schumer-Rubio amnesty could drown out these concerns if not for one thing: No one, not anyone anywhere, believes a new set of immigration laws would be enforced any more zealously than the old set, meaning we'd just end up with a new illegal-alien population a few years hence that Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio and Reince Priebus would tell us had to be amnestied. Read more...

"Firemen First " in Immigration?

By Mark Krikorian, October 1, 2013

Whenever there's a partial shutdown of the federal government -- or even discussion of cutting government budgets, including at the state and local levels -- politicians often follow the "Fireman First Principle", described by Mickey Kaus this way:

a clever bureaucrat, faced with a budget reduction, will threaten to cut not the least essential services but the most essential (in order to provoke public outrage that results in the budget reduction getting cancelled)

Like Fish in the Sea

By Mark Krikorian, September 27, 2013

In 1937, Mao wrote in On Guerrilla Warfare about “the relationship that should exist between the people and the troops,” noting that “the former may be likened to water, the latter to the fish who inhabit it.”

The image is as relevant to today’s asymmetric warfare against terrorists and drug cartels as it was to Mao’s war against the Japanese. Large, constantly refreshed and poorly assimilated immigrant communities serve as cover and incubators for our enemies, even though — obviously – most of the people in them are not included among the ranks of those enemies. I was reminded of this by two recent news stories. Read more...

What Can We Expect on Immigration in the House?

By Mark Krikorian, September 26, 2013

House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte posted yesterday at National Review Online, objecting to NRO reporter Andrew Stiles's report suggesting that the chairman was boosting the anemic prospects of the Senate's Gang of Eight amnesty bill. He wrote that he has not wavered in his belief that the comprehensive Schumer-Rubio bill passed by the Senate is "fundamentally flawed and unworkable" and that he is pursuing a "step-by-step approach to immigration reform" by considering targeted legislation addressing discrete issues. Read more...

Wisdom from the Pews

By Mark Krikorian, September 9, 2013

My posting this morning on the fading prospects for amnesty mentioned the Roman Catholic hierarchy's lobbying push, which included instructions that Sunday's sermons were to have focused on immigration. No one I've heard from, at parishes around the country, heard a sermon on immigration or even saw a letter from their bishop on it in their church bulletins. Read more...

Amnesty Slipping Through Their Fingers

By Mark Krikorian, September 9, 2013

They must be cursing Assad at the Chamber of Commerce and La Raza. If only he'd held off gassing his enemies (assuming it was, in fact, him) until after the House passed an immigration bill, it wouldn't have been so bad.
As it is, "Immigration Reform Falls to the Back of the Line," notes today's New York Times: Read more...

In Which I Agree with Josh Marshall

By Mark Krikorian, August 21, 2013

Lefty blogger Josh Marshall chastises his fellow amnesty advocates to stop pretending a bill will pass this Congress. While I hope he's right, I think he underestimates the GOP leadership's pathological desire to save Obama's presidency by passing an amnesty.

Nonetheless, his main point is that the mass-immigration crowd should instead start the campaign against Republicans for killing the amnesty/increased immigration bill: Read more...

Asylum Antics

By Mark Krikorian, August 13, 2013

While media grannies are getting their knickers in a twist over the antics of a Missouri rodeo clown, a cascading, Mariel Boatlift-style immigration emergency may be brewing on the Mexican border. Fox reports:

A sudden influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico requesting asylum is overwhelming immigration agents in San Diego, forcing agencies to rent hotel rooms for some undocumented families and release others to cities around the U.S.

Everything Ezra Klein Knows About Immigration Is Wrong

By Mark Krikorian, August 12, 2013

Ezra Klein’s recent column on immigration (Here at Bloomberg, then reprinted in the Washington Post) starts this way: “Everything you know about immigration, particularly unauthorized immigration, is wrong.” He then goes on to retail the pet theory of immigration-expansionist sociology professor Douglas Massey to the effect that border Read more...

Judge: Obama’s DREAM Act Amnesty Is Illegal, but ICE Agents Can’t Sue

By Mark Krikorian, August 1, 2013

Just back from braving the wilds of western New York, and I see that a federal judge in Dallas has dismissed a civil suit by ICE agents challenging the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty (Obama's administrative version of the DREAM Act). The agents claimed that Obama's illegal amnesty forced them to violate federal law, contrary to their oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution. Read more...

Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia, Immigration Edition

By Mark Krikorian, July 11, 2013

A liberal-ish reader comments on my article at National Review Online on the political fallout for the GOP of passing an amnesty/mass immigration bill: Read more...

Some Shadows

By Mark Krikorian, June 27, 2013

Illegal aliens are living so deep in the shadows that they were on hand in the Senate galleries for this afternoon's 68-32 vote for the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill, and they yelled out Obama's campaign chant when the vote was announced.

Lots of bloviation beforehand about how "historic" the vote was. No one mentioned that the Senate passed an amnesty in 2006 that wasn't approved by the House. Was that "historic", too? Read more...

No Americans Need Apply

By Mark Krikorian, June 27, 2013

There were never any “No Irish Need Apply” signs in 19th-century shop windows; it’s what historian Richard Jensen calls “a myth of victimization”. But, incredibly, there are signs now that say, in effect, “No Americans Need Apply”, like this one in the window of an Asian restaurant in my town, seeking kitchen help and a dishwasher: Read more...

"The Border Security Ruse"

By Mark Krikorian, June 20, 2013

For a brief moment, I thought the Wall Street Journal had published an editorial on immigration I agreed with. It's titled "The Border Security Ruse" and I thought it would be about the efforts to add increasingly stringent border enforcement provisions as a way of buying Republican votes for the amnesty, pointing out that they were only included for political purposes and would never actually be implemented. Read more...

CBO: Schumer-Rubio Bill Will Be a Failure

By Mark Krikorian, June 19, 2013

Heritage, CIS, and others will be examining the assumptions behind the Congressional Budget Office projections of the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill's budget impact, but why not start by just assuming, for the sake of argument, that all the CBO assumptions are plausible and their calculations correct? If so, the bill will fail on its own terms. Read more...

Schumer-Rubio: 27X Longer than the Constitution

By Mark Krikorian, June 10, 2013

The Senate is expected to take its first procedural vote this week on the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill. Aside from its specific provisions, an important characteristic of such "comprehensive" legislation is its size. At 209,000 words in 1,077 pages, the legislation is almost impossible for even the educated layman to comprehend, rendering it inherently undemocratic.

To provide an sense of how long the bill is, here are a few comparisons:

  • 27 times longer than the Constitution (7,600 words)
  • 14 times longer than the Social Security Act of 1935 (15,000 words)

Cornyn's RESULTS Amendment Would Get No Results

By Mark Krikorian, June 5, 2013

Senator Cornyn is floating what he's calling the RESULTS Amendment (I hate these ridiculous acronyms) to tighten up the Schumer-Rubio bill. It's part of the attempt, described by Jonathan Strong over at the Corner, to provide political cover for Republican senators to vote for the amnesty. Read more...

Imaginary Immigration Bills

By Mark Krikorian, May 24, 2013

That Fox News poll from my previous post on security first reminded of the vague and theoretical nature of much of the advocacy for the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill. The poll's 66 percent support for amnesty is touted by supporters of S. 744 as proof of public backing for the bill. But the question describes an imaginary bill that requires payment of back taxes and the mastery of English, elements which do not exist in S. 744. And, in an example of how advocates compound the falsehood, Ralph Reed's tweet crowing about the poll said people expressed their support for a measure that said "illegals must pay fines, back taxes, learn English, get job, & go to back of line", when neither fines nor jobs nor a line are ever mentioned in the question. Read more...

Security First or Legalization First?

By Mark Krikorian, May 24, 2013

A Fox News poll this week illuminates the core issue in the current immigration debate. On the one hand, 66 percent of registered voters chose the following option over sending all illegals back or enrolling them in a temporary worker program:

Allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, but only if they meet certain requirements like paying back taxes, learning English, and passing a background check.

Contra Norquist

By Mark Krikorian, May 13, 2013

Grover Norquist’s piece last week at National Review Online was the usual we-were-mean-to-the-Irish-so-we-need-open-borders stuff, but three points I think are worth making.

First, Norquist misrepresents the central feature of the Schumer-Rubio bill when he writes that: Read more...

White House Immigration Czarina

By Mark Krikorian, May 6, 2013

The Times ran a piece over the weekend profiling Cecilia Munoz, who is technically director of the White House Domestic Policy Council but in effect is chief of the administration's immigration-policy operation. A former top lobbyist for La Raza (for which activity she won a MacArthur genius grant), she's been gamely telling her former colleagues in the open-borders pressure groups that maintaining the appearance of immigration enforcement is necessary to get an amnesty through Congress. Specifically, she’s had to defend the administration decision to keep deportations at the congressionally mandated level of 400,000 per year (though they've cooked the books to reach that number). The point of that strategy (other than, you know, complying with the law) was to be able to point to "record levels" of deportations as proof that the enforcement-first demand has already been satisfied and that any further objections to amnesty were in bad faith. Read more...

The Complete Phoniness of the Gang of 8 Immigration Bill

By Mark Krikorian, April 18, 2013

The key political problem amnesty advocates face is a trust gap. The public, rightly, doesn't believe promises from the political class that they're newly committed to enforcing immigration laws after decades of non-enforcement.

One key provision of the Schumer/Rubio immigration bill tells you all you need to know about its phoniness. It requires the development within 10 years of a check-in/check-out system for foreign visitors. That's important because nearly half the illegal population came here legally but never left. Only if we record who leaves can we know who's still here illegally. Read more...

Everything We've Come to Expect from Years of Amnesty Talks

By Mark Krikorian, April 11, 2013

We still don't have an amnesty bill to examine — maybe today, maybe next week, like a contractor telling you when he'll be done remodeling the bathroom. But based on Katrina Trinko's post over at National Review Online and the New York Times story, a few thoughts: Read more...

Where Have You Gone, Marco Rubio? The GOP Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You

By Mark Krikorian, March 28, 2013

The Democrats seem to be testing Senator Marco Rubio to see how desperate he is to pass an illegal-alien amnesty. Over the past few days, the administration or congressional Democrats have openly rejected all of Rubio's preconditions for an immigration bill, effectively daring him to walk away from the Gang of Eight. Read more...

Will We Get Another 11 Million Illegals after an Amnesty?

By Mark Krikorian, March 25, 2013

Over the weekend, Michael Barone posited that, contra claims by Steve Sailer and Mickey Kaus, he doesn't think massive Mexican immigration will resume once the economy rebounds and if we pass an amnesty. James Pethokoukis from AEI made the same point, without really any elucidation, during the podcast we did (with Kaus and Trevino) at Ricochet a while back. Read more...

Adventures in Manipulative Polling

By Mark Krikorian, March 22, 2013

Brookings has put out the latest example of bogus immigration polling. Here’s the New York Times lede: Read more...

#DontStandWithRand

By Mark Krikorian, March 20, 2013

Rand Paul’s amnesty speech before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was a pastiche of establishment cliches. Permit me to select some and respond:

Growing up in Texas I never met a Latino who wasn’t working.

American Opportunity Centers

By Mark Krikorian, February 7, 2013

In the most recent episode of the Ricochet Podcast, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus talks about the need to create a permanent party infrastructure in minority communities. I defer to his expertise on the specifically political, but one idea I've had is for the Republican Party to establish a non-profit that would open "American Opportunity Centers" around the country to teach immigrants English and history/civics. Read more...

Will Rubio Pull Out of the Gang of Eight Now?

By Mark Krikorian, February 1, 2013

Senator Rubio has been making a big deal of the border enforcement "trigger" that would have to be met before the amnestied illegals would be able to move from their immediately-issued green-card-lite status to a full green card. I thinks that's a mistake for a whole variety of reasons, but at least he seems to genuinely believe in the trigger idea. Read more...

What Was the Point of Obama’s Immigration Speech?

By Mark Krikorian, January 29, 2013

I know the president likes the sound of his own voice, but, really, what was the point of his immigration speech today in Las Vegas? Read more...