Mark Krikorian's blog

Immigration Myths

By Mark Krikorian, July 22, 2010

There's too much wrong-headed commentary about immigration to bother with most of it, but the op-ed in today's Washington Post by the last two heads of the INS is worth comment, both because of the venue and the particular myths its authors purvey. Read more...

There's Nothing as Permanent as a Temporary Refugee

By Mark Krikorian, July 13, 2010

Well, imagine that! The "Temporary" Protected Status of certain illegal aliens from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua was just extended, again, for another 18 months. Read more...

Cutting Immigration Is Pro-Marriage

By Mark Krikorian, July 13, 2010

At least that's the conclusion of one economic historian:

America's settling down: How Better Jobs and Falling Immigration led to a Rise in Marriage, 1880 – 1930
Tomas Cvrcek
NBER Working Paper No. 16161

Immigration and Child Poverty

By Mark Krikorian, July 12, 2010

A few days ago, Reihan Salam at National Review Online questioned whether David Frum was correct that one of the reasons we have a higher rate of child poverty than other developed countries is immigration. As Reihan wrote, "I personally think our immigration policy should change. But I don't think child poverty rates are the reason." Read more...

Lots of Nothing

By Mark Krikorian, July 1, 2010

So, I figured the president’s major address on immigration might reveal something important. I’m at Cub Scout camp out in western Virginia, but I had to go to the laundromat anyway, so I watched the stream of the address using their free wi-fi while the clothes spun and tumbled. And what was the news that came out of it?

Nothing. Bupkes. Zilch.

A New Recruit to the Enforcement-First Caucus

By Mark Krikorian, June 29, 2010

Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal has come around to enforcement-first perspective; his column can be summed up by its subtitle: "Secure the border and a healthy debate might follow."

McGurn opens his column well enough, but after condemning "those who effectively oppose real enforcement of any immigration law," he resorts to a false equivalence: Read more...

Amnesty by Fiat?

By Mark Krikorian, June 23, 2010

A group of senators sent a letter to the president this week to warn him against something that's apparently being tossed around inside the administration: granting an amnesty unilaterally, without input from Congress. Apparently, this plan would apply only to visa overstayers and other illegals who've applied for green cards as a delaying tactic knowing they won't qualify — but that would mean maybe 5 million people. Read more...

Gone to Texas

By Mark Krikorian, June 18, 2010

Fox reports that 17 members of the Afghan military have gone missing over the past two years from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. While this is an obvious security vulnerability because "Each Afghan was issued a Department of Defense Common Access Card, an identification card used to gain access to secure military installations," I suspect it's more likely that they're washing dishes in the back of a cousin's restaurant in San Francisco or Northern Virginia. Read more...

Plug the Damn Hole

By Mark Krikorian, June 18, 2010

A column in yesterday's Globe and Mail on the "honor-killing" of Aqsa Parvez in Canada by her Pakistani immigrant family gets to the policy point too many want to avoid:

Decades ago, illiterate Italians also immigrated to Canada, bringing with them a harsh, patriarchal culture where religion dominated all. But they didn't marry cousins imported fresh from the old country. And so they began to raise their children differently.

One Slice at a Time on Amnesty?

By Mark Krikorian, June 10, 2010

As the name suggests, supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform” have long resisted the mere suggestion that they should try a piecemeal approach and pursue smaller, less politically toxic amnesties. About a year ago, I was on a panel with Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, one of the chief pro-amnesty activists, and Esther Olavarria, the policy director for DHS who used to be Kennedy’s immigration person. Read more...

'Temporary' Status Means Never Having to Go Home

By Mark Krikorian, May 5, 2010

Well, knock me over with a feather! The "Temporary" Protected Status for a total of about 70,000 Honduran and Nicaraguan illegal aliens, which was set to expire in July, has been extended til January of 2012. You know when they were first given this "temporary" amnesty? Almost 11 years ago. Only in Washington, where $1 billion is chump change and terrorism is a "man-caused disaster," would 11 years be considered temporary. Read more...

Ignoring Their Betters

By Mark Krikorian, May 5, 2010

Despite (or maybe because of) the sustained elite attack on the Arizona law, public support is holding steady. A new poll from Investors Business Daily finds 2 to 1 support for the bill nationwide, about the same as the NYT/CBS poll (combining the 51 percent who said it was about right and the 9 percent who said it didn't go far enough) and Rasmussen. Read more...

The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good

By Mark Krikorian, May 3, 2010

The mass-immigration crowd's latest argument against the E-Verify system is that it's just not tough enough, dammit! A piece in the Washington Post over the weekend argued that I specifically, and restrictionists in general, back E-Verify precisely because it doesn't work perfectly — the intent being, if I can divine the true nature of the conspiracy, to prevent amnesty by preventing a solution to illegal immigration. Or, as the authors write: Read more...

Center of Debate Moves Toward Immigration Hawks

By Mark Krikorian, May 3, 2010

Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post had an analysis piece yesterday making the argument that the Reid-Schumer-Menendez amnesty outline shows how much the immigration debate has moved "to the right" (obviously not the proper adverb, given Grover Norquist, Linda Chavez, Dick Armey, et al., but you get the idea). Read more...

Holier than Thou

By Mark Krikorian, April 28, 2010

Related Content: Arizona Law SB 1070 Topic Page

The Arizona immigration law is catnip for Michael Gerson's brand of moral preening. In his column today he writes, "It sorts Republicans according to their political and moral seriousness." (I'm in the morally unserious camp, in case you're keeping score, along with George Will, whose column ran right below Gerson's.) Read more...

Too Good to Check

By Mark Krikorian, April 27, 2010

I have pity on Linda Greenhouse's students at Yale Law School. The former New York Times Supreme Court correspondent has a column on the Arizona immigration law in her old paper peddling all the usual cliches about Nazism, apartheid, blah, blah, blah. But what's hilarious is that Greenhouse, the "Senior Research Scholar in Law, Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence, and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law," based her whole column on the wrong version of the bill. Read more...

Activists Amplify Arizona Act, Accelerating Attrition Aftermath

By Mark Krikorian, April 23, 2010

Arizona Gov. Brewer dealt with the immigration bill very neatly this afternoon — she signed the bill, supporting it unapologetically, but at the same time issued an executive order directing the development of a training program on how to implement the law without racial profiling. Read more...

Poetry vs. Prose

By Mark Krikorian, April 23, 2010

The president's comments today criticizing the Arizona bill were pretty anodyne. He described it as an example of "irresponsibility" (at least he didn't say they "acted stupidly"), but implicitly justified it in a clinging-to-their-guns-and-religion fashion by saying it was the kind of thing that would happen in the absence of amnesty. Read more...

Will They or Won't They?

By Mark Krikorian, April 23, 2010

As I've written before, there isn't going to be a "comprehensive immigration reform" bill reaching the president's desk this year; it's just not going to happen. But there is going to be a lot of sturm und drang about it, as the president signaled in his comments today on the subject. Read more...

Attrition Through Enforcement Marches On

By Mark Krikorian, April 20, 2010

The Arizona Senate yesterday approved the final House version of an immigration bill, sending it to the governor for her signature (which is expected, though she hasn't committed to it yet). The bill describes its intent this way: Read more...

Armenian VOA Interview on Illegal Immigration Issues

By Mark Krikorian, April 13, 2010

Անօրինական ներգաղթի մասին հարցազրոյց Մարկ Գրիգորեանի հետ.

An interview on illegal immigration with Mark Krikorian.

Poverty Palace

By Mark Krikorian, April 12, 2010

Millionaire huckster Morris Dees, whose venomous and malevolent Southern Poverty Law Center exists almost exclusively "to separate wealthy liberals from their money," in the words of Harper's Ken Silverstein, has done remarkably well for himself. (See a CIS profile of Dees' foray into the immigration business here.) You can see for yourself just how well he's done in this slide show of his Montgomery, Ala. estate. I'm not sure which I like better — the pool house, the guest house, the studio building, or the main mansion. Read more...

George Will and Citizenship

By Mark Krikorian, March 29, 2010

George Will has never been particularly good on immigration, so I was a little surprised by his column calling for an end to automatic citizenship at birth (specifically, for the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens). Read more...

War and Rumors of War

By Mark Krikorian, March 16, 2010

Things aren't quite spinning out of control yet in Mexico, but it's not looking good, as seen in this weekend's murder of three people associated with our consulate in Juarez, right across the river from El Paso — three among 100 people killed over the weekend in what has turned into a war against the state itself. Read more...

Missing the Elephant in the Room

By Mark Krikorian, March 8, 2010

I was disappointed with Reihan Salam's Forbes column on "what we can and can't do to raise wages": Read more...

Homeschooling Asylum

By Mark Krikorian, March 1, 2010

The New York Times writes about a family from Germany which has received asylum in the U.S. because homeschooling is prohibited in their country. This is yet another example of misuse of asylum, as we see our domestic culture wars bleed over into asylum policy; first it was feminists and homosexual-rights campaigners, then disabilities-rights activists, and now homeschoolers. Read more...

The E-Verify Glass Is Half Full

By Mark Krikorian, February 25, 2010

An evaluation of the E-Verify program conducted about two years ago has just been released. (The 338-page pdf is here.) It estimates, among other things, that about half of illegal aliens who were screened between April and June 2008 managed to foil the system and get approved for employment, and opponents of immigration enforcement are tickled pink. Read more...

Book Burning

By Mark Krikorian, February 12, 2010

Linda Chavez and I have had our disagreements, so take this for what it's worth, but a paragraph in her column today was deeply disturbing, all the more so for its casualness. In listing lessons she learned from weathering the snow storms, she wrote: Read more...

'Temporary' Status Means Never Having to Say Goodbye

By Mark Krikorian, February 4, 2010

If you think the Haitian illegal aliens and legal visitors to whom the administration has granted "Temporary" Protected Status (TPS) are ever going back, look at the experience of the Liberians.

About 3,000 or so of them were granted this status (which allows them to live and work here legally) in 1991 because civil strife back in Liberia supposedly made the normal enforcement of our immigration laws impossible. The civil war there ended in 2003. After repeated renewals, their TPS was finally allowed to expire in 2007. Read more...

Amnesty Deported from SOTU

By Mark Krikorian, January 28, 2010

Since I knew His Majesty wouldn't say much of anything about immigration, and I can no longer stand the sound of his voice, I just went to bed. But he said even less than I expected:

We should continue to work at fixing our broken immigration system to secure our borders and enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.