Mark Krikorian's blog

Sterility of the Border Fence Debate

By Mark Krikorian, October 26, 2011

U.S. News (yes, it's still around, in some form anyway) has an online commentary thing called Debate Club and the most recent question was "Should the United States Build a Fence on Its Southern Border?" There were five responses (including mine), and disregarding the lame "No" response from a representative of a sketchy group with "tea party" in its name (who's also lobbied against E-Verify), the four germane responses were split, two Yes and two No. Read more...

CIS Study in the GOP Debate

By Mark Krikorian, October 19, 2011

We're still looking for the video, but last night's Republican presidential debate included reference to the Center's analysis of job growth in Texas, which found that about 40 percent of job growth there from 2007 to 2010 went to illegal aliens, with another 40 percent going to legal immigrants. Here's the exchange between Romney and Perry from CNN's transcript: Read more...

Hollow Deportation Boast

By Mark Krikorian, October 19, 2011

The administration released the preliminary FY 2011 statistics for "removals" (the largest part of which is deportations), described as "the largest number in the agency's history." But when you look at history, the "largest number" is only about 1,700 more than two years ago; in fact, once the final numbers came out last year, the total had actually dropped slightly from the previous year, even though the agency had also touted those preliminary numbers as the "largest ever" and had Read more...

But How Much Legal Immigration?

By Mark Krikorian, October 19, 2011

In last night's debate, Romney was right when he said:

I think it's important for us as Republicans on this stage to say something that hasn't been said, and that's that every person here loves legal immigration. We respect people who come here legally.

Both true and necessary to say amidst the back and forth about illegal immigration. Americans are uniquely accepting of newcomers whom we've admitted to join our city on a hill; as Teddy Roosevelt put it: Read more...

Who Benefited from Job Growth In Texas, Redux

By Mark Krikorian, October 10, 2011

Over at National Review Online, California politician Chuck DeVore has attempted to debunk the recent CIS report on the immigrant share of job growth in Texas. CIS's Steven Camarota debunks DeVore's attempted debunking here.

J.A.W.D.?

By Mark Krikorian, September 29, 2011

The Jobs Americans Won't Do phenomenon has reached a level of true absurdity: will Americans really not work as gym teachers? Along these lines, my CIS colleague David North delved into rulings he stumbled across from tax court to get a detailed look at the grim world of a group of Filipino indentured teachers brought in under the guise of a "cultural exchange" program. The sliminess of this whole practice of foreign contract labor never ceases to amaze me. Read more...

Boycott? Never Mind!

By Mark Krikorian, September 16, 2011

La Raza announced last week that it was lifting its boycott of Arizona, imposed last year in response to the passage of SB 1070, the state's controversial immigration law. I missed the announcement because, you know, what boycott? They put a brave face on the whole thing, saying they'd succeeded in scaring off other states from passing similar measures (except Alabama, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Utah, of course!). Read more...

Will the Justice Department Sue?

By Mark Krikorian, September 16, 2011

California wants to ensure that illegal aliens keep getting hired:

State poised to restrict use of immigration database

California is poised to nullify immigration enforcement ordinances in about a half dozen Inland Empire cities – and to continue to buck a national trend – by restricting the use of E-Verify, the national online database used to check the immigration status of workers.

Dissolve the McDonald's Workforce and Elect a New One

By Mark Krikorian, September 5, 2011

The cover story in Sunday's Washington Post magazine was a profile of a McDonald's store just south of the House office buildings in Washington, one of the busiest in the whole metro area, focusing on the manager, Raul Reyes, and his rise from a teenager selling coconuts on buses in Guatemala to running a busy and successful fast-food restaurant. Read more...

Whose Side Are You On?

By Mark Krikorian, September 2, 2011

A front-page piece in today's Washington Post reports:

Polls may not suggest it, and the candidates may not be catering to it, but immigration is an issue that voters won't let the GOP White House hopefuls escape.

Republican primary voters keep bringing immigration up as the candidates campaign in back yards, opera houses and recreation halls across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. To a sizable chunk of those who will pick the GOP's presidential nominee, immigration is an urgent issue, even a litmus test.

How Did Obama's Uncle Omar Get a Social Security Number?

By Mark Krikorian, August 30, 2011

The Boston Herald is reporting that the president's other illegal-alien relative, Uncle Omar Onyango Obama, arrested last week for drunk driving, has had a valid Social Security number for at least 19 years. Read more...

Perry: Pay No Attention to That Amnesty Supporter Behind the Curtain!

By Mark Krikorian, August 29, 2011

Rick Perry's letter earlier this month to DHS Secretary Napolitano demanding $349 million in compensation for having to house illegal-alien criminals is, I'm afraid, a political stunt — basically, shooting a coyote to distract attention from his bad immigration track record. And there's a lot to distract attention from:

Obama Arrested for Drunk Driving in Massachusetts!

By Mark Krikorian, August 26, 2011

No, not that Obama, silly. Boston talkmeister Michael Graham points to the story of Onyango Obama, a 67-year-old illegal alien from Kenya, arrested Wednesday night in Framingham for drunk driving after he almost crashed into a police car. Read more...

Yes, He Did! Yes, He Did!

By Mark Krikorian, August 19, 2011

When the president spoke to La Raza recently and said he couldn’t just go around Congress and enact an amnesty, the assembly started chanting, “Yes, you can! Yes, you can!

Well, he did. Read more...

Half-Measures Don't Work

By Mark Krikorian, August 16, 2011

The Wall Street Journal bemoans the administration's campaign of immigration audits of companies' personnel records as bad for illegal aliens:

The journey from prosperity to the economic margins followed by Alba and Eugenio is an increasingly common path for thousands of undocumented workers pushed out of their jobs by the federal government’s audits of U.S. businesses, according to immigration experts, business owners and unions.

Basic, Upgraded, or Premium?

By Mark Krikorian, August 15, 2011

I have an article in National Review laying out three packages of immigration reforms that presidential candidates might consider, starting from the bare-bones reforms that shouldn't even be especially controversial, to a robust and ambitious package that would take us a good way towards sensible immigration policy. Feel free to send your reactions to me at msk@cis.org.

Not Enough Room for Debate

By Mark Krikorian, July 14, 2011

I like the New York Times "Room for Debate" web feature, which solicits mini-op-eds on the topic of that day from five to ten people, giving you a better sense of the various wrinkles of a given policy discussion. Read more...

RITF

By Mark Krikorian, June 24, 2011

That's "Rotting In The Fields" — the F1 key on farm lobbyists' keyboards. I dealt with this fairy tale at some length here, and 24ahead.com has an index of RITF articles. The latest dupe to fall for this trick is Adam Ozimek at Megan McArdle's blog, who links to an Atlanta Journal Constitution column bemoaning the state's wicked, wicked immigration law (which may or may not go into effect July 1): Read more...

Truth in Advertising, Finally

By Mark Krikorian, June 22, 2011

Mickey Kaus points to a pro-amnesty editorial at Bloomberg that admits the obvious:

Opponents decry a pathway to citizenship — which would require the payment of fines and other measures in return for legal status — as "amnesty." We cede the point. With comprehensive reform, illegal immigrants would, in effect, be rewarded for having broken the law and outlasted the political opposition.

That wasn't so hard, was it? Read more...

Misadventures in Sarcasm

By Mark Krikorian, June 21, 2011

I was on Fox an hour ago talking about the Obama administration's latest stealth amnesty memo (which CIS's Jessica Vaughan discusses in this news story). In describing the tensions faced by the White House I said it was torn between its natural sympathy for the open-borders views of La Raza, the ACLU, and their ilk, on the one hand, and the need to pretend to be tough on enforcement to placate the "Neanderthals who watch Fox News". I'm afraid the sarcasm was lost on some people, if the slew of e-mails I've already received is any indication. So, just for the record, it's the Obama people who think Fox News viewers are Neanderthals, not me! Read more...

Iraqi Refugee Terrorists

By Mark Krikorian, June 1, 2011

Two Iraqis (apparently Sunnis) have been arrested in Kentucky for conspiring to ship weapons and money to fellow terrorists in their homeland. The two were admitted as refugees, one less than two years ago. And these weren't just blowhards, either; the fingerprints of one of these guys was found on a bomb in the Sunni Triangle, and another told the FBI's informant that he’d been arrested by Iraqi authorities after placing an IED. Read more...

Creating Facts on the Ground

By Mark Krikorian, May 26, 2011

The Supremes' complete repudiation of the Chamber of Commerce/Obama administration opposition to state E-Verify requirements will likely result in such mandates making more progress in the states' next legislative sessions; Georgia passed a mandate this year, and the Chamber's strategy of scaring lawmakers away from E-Verify with the bogeyman of Arizona's SB1070 won’t work any more. Read more...

The Magnitude of the E-Verify Win

By Mark Krikorian, May 26, 2011

A lawyer friend writes:

By the way, an interesting tidbit – the administration not only supported the Chamber, but had Neal Katyal — the Acting SG [Solicitor General, who represents the federal government before the Supreme Court] — argue the case. The SG normally argues only one, maybe two, cases per sitting, and that's reserved for the cases the gov't sees as the most important/prominent.

Border Exchange

By Mark Krikorian, May 16, 2011

Angelo Codevilla, a Boston University professor of international relations, and I have been engaged in a back-and-forth on the need for (or futility of) border enforcement:

His article which got the whole thing started ran in the Claremont Review of Books entitled "Our Borders, Ourselves". Read more...

Credibility Gap

By Mark Krikorian, May 11, 2011

The president still doesn't get it.

If his amnesty speech yesterday in El Paso is any indication, he really believes that the call for "enforcement first" is merely a ploy to avoid amnesty. His crack about alligators suggests he thinks that he's done all the enforcement that can reasonably be expected of him and that further opposition to amnesty is simple demagoguery. Read more...

Republicans and Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, May 5, 2011

The standard line among the high-immigration right (earnestly, if insincerely, seconded by their fellow-travelers on the left) is that Republican opposition to open immigration is driving otherwise-conservative immigrant (and/or Hispanic) voters into the arms of the Democratic Party. Some new research suggests it's actually the other way around. Far from Republican anti-immigration views pushing immigrants further toward the Democrats, it's immigrant anti-Republican views that pushes Republicans further toward restriction. Read more...

SB1070 as Bogeyman

By Mark Krikorian, April 28, 2011

After the passage of Arizona's SB1070 and Republican gains in many state legislatures, there was a lot of talk of similar immigration measures sweeping other states. There has been some real progress, most notably in Georgia, but not as much as you would have thought from the hype. Some of that is because it was hype, and most bills in any legislature never get anywhere. Read more...

Failure of Imagination

By Mark Krikorian, April 21, 2011

After I'd finished writing the piece that's at National Review Online today about the anti-climactic denouement of the open-borders smear campaign against immigration skeptics, it occurred to me that the whole sordid affair was the result of the other side's lack of imagination or empathy. Read more...

Importing Poverty

By Mark Krikorian, April 5, 2011

In news sort of related to today's new CIS welfare report comes this disturbing information in the latest Rural Migration News: Read more...

Restore Our Border

By Mark Krikorian, March 28, 2011

It was a year ago yesterday that Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was murdered by an illegal border-crosser. Over at National Review Online today, I outline the border-enforcement blueprint put together by his fellow ranchers, for whom the security of our frontier with Mexico is a life-or-death issue. Read more...