Immigration Blog

What's in a Name? The Meaning of "La Raza"

By Jerry Kammer, January 7, 2015

One of the fascinating things about the study of immigration policy is that it often brings up seemingly straightforward facts from which differing groups draw dramatically different interpretations, thereby making it difficult to establish a basis for civil dialogue.

For example, consider the interpretation of the term "la raza" that Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, provided recently to Brian Lamb of C-SPAN. Then consider less benign interpretations that have shadowed the organization.

Here is the Lamb-Murguia exchange: Read more...

ACA Gives Employers Even More Incentives to Hire Alien Workers

By David North, January 7, 2015

One of the unanticipated by-products of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is that it gives yet another set of financial incentives to many employers to hire alien workers rather than citizens or green card holders.

There are already plenty of existing tax incentives to employers to not hire American workers.

But under ACA it gets worse. For all classes of alien workers, even illegal aliens, it can be less expensive for an employer to hire a foreign worker than a domestic one. This relates to the unfortunate manner (in my eyes) in which the ACA is funded by tying support of the program to employment rather than to the overall tax base. (Unlike some of my colleagues here at CIS, I favor widespread, government-managed medical insurance, as is provided in Canada.) Read more...

How an Alert Undocumented Syrian Could Obtain Life-Long Legal Status - Today

By David North, January 5, 2015

It is 11:36 a.m. on Monday, January 5, 2015. You are Ali Abdullah, a Syrian who desperately wants legal status in the United States but has been refused a visa. You have just seated yourself for an early lunch in Kingston, Canada, on the northern edge of Lake Ontario.

As you wait for the waiter, you check your laptop for the latest immigration news from the States (you had foresightedly asked USCIS to send you bulletins, as I have done).

And there it is – the announcement that the U.S. will offer legal status (Temporary Protected Status, or TPS) to all Syrian Nationals who can claim “continuous residence in the United States since January 5, 2015". Read more...

Janet Murguia of La Raza Takes the High Road on Immigration Debate

By Jerry Kammer, January 5, 2015

Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, made some powerful observations about the immigration debate during a recent appearance on C-SPAN. She was interviewed by Brian Lamb, the network's founder and former CEO.

The Kansas-born Murguia spoke warmly about her family background, especially the teachings of her parents, who came to the United States from Mexico in the 1950s and raised six children. Two of her siblings are now federal judges, while a third is an attorney who sits on the board of trustees of the W.H. Kellogg Foundation. "They taught us the importance of family, of faith, of community, hard work, sacrifice, honesty, integrity," she said.

On the volatile issue of race in the immigration debate, Murguia said: Read more...

"Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Agents Seize Over 1,500 Pounds of Marijuana in Abandoned Water Buffalo"

By David North, January 4, 2015

The headline above and the text below are direct quotes from a December 29 Border Patrol press release:

On December 26, 2014, at approximately 2:00 pm, Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Rio Grande City Station conducting line-watch duties near Rio Grande City, Texas, came upon an abandoned water buffalo. As the agents approached the water buffalo, they noticed a distinct smell of marijuana ...

How Little Does the Administration Think of Immigration Enforcement?

By David North, December 30, 2014

For another indication of how little the Obama administration thinks of immigration enforcement, there's the story of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Ellen Thomas.

Ms. Thomas has a blameless record, but she symbolizes the government's lack of zeal for enforcing employer sanctions, the long-standing statute that says, in effect: "thou shalt not hire illegal aliens." Read more...

Immigration Misadventures of Political Fundraisers

By David North, December 29, 2014

There have been recent developments in immigration-related news stories related to tainted political fundraisers from both parties.

Perhaps the most thoroughly reported was the latest twist in the story of Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who was re-elected in November despite a battery of federal tax and immigration charges against him, and who copped a plea bargain last week that probably will lead to jail time. Read more...

A Snapshot Comparison: Naturalizations in Canada and the United States

By Dan Cadman, December 29, 2014

A record 260,000 people became naturalized Canadians in 2014, double the number from 2013, and more than any other year in Canada's history.

By comparison, according to the most recent available statistics,in the United States in 2013, 779,929 individuals naturalized — almost exactly three times the number of individuals naturalized in Canada.

However, for this comparison to be meaningful, a look at the respective populations of the two countries is in order: On July 1, 2014, Canada's population was estimated at 35,540,400, whereas the U.S. population in 2013 (to keep the year relating to naturalizations consistent) was estimated at 316,497,531. Read more...

Contrary to Administration Claims, Only a Tiny Fraction of 'Surge' Border-Jumpers Deported

By Jessica Vaughan, December 24, 2014

An investigative report by a Houston television station exposed that only a tiny fraction of the families and children who crossed in the border surge of 2012-14 are being returned to their home countries, despite Obama administration claims that the cases are a priority. According to immigration court records obtained by the station, only a few of the illegal family or child arrivals are qualified to stay in the United States, and the vast majority (91 percent) have simply absconded from their proceedings after release and joined the resident illegal population, where they are no longer a priority for enforcement under the new, expanded "prosecutorial discretion" policies. Read more...

Who Will Inspect the Inspector General?
Corruption at DHS watchdog office does serious damage

By Dan Cadman, December 24, 2014
Corruption at DHS watchdog office does serious damage

Even in the best of times, it's not easy being a federal officer who enforces the immigration laws, whether a border patrol agent, an inspector, or an interior enforcement agent. The work is gritty, often dangerous, sometimes heart-rending, and your job plants you right in the middle of the great divide of political and public opinion, as a result of which you constantly hear that you're not doing enough, or that you're doing too much, or that you're focusing on the wrong stuff. That's in the best of times. Read more...

Congressional Non-Action Is OK when the Administration Likes the Result

By David North, December 22, 2014

One of the key arguments advanced by the Obama administration in support of its massive executive amnesty program is that the White House must take action because Congress has failed to do so.

In other words, the lack of congressional action on this front means that there's a big void out there that must be filled by the president's edict, more or less legalizing the immigration status of millions of illegal aliens.

This is what happens when the White House does not like congressional inaction.

But what happens if Congress does not act in a way that is useful to the administration? Suppose the administration likes such inaction?

Well, that's different. That kind of inaction is decisive. Read more...

Another Visa Mill Zapped, but Not by the Feds — Again

By David North, December 19, 2014

It's happened again. Another immigration-related visa mill has been identified, but not by any agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

This time it is the local police and a plaintiffs' lawyer that are taking the lead. That's the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Police Department; the lawyer is Richard Samms. Read more...

Indian Outsourcing Firm Snags Two Sets of Benefits in a Single Deal

By David North, December 18, 2014

Many exploitative companies take advantage of the federal immigration laws to enhance their profits. Others make use of loose state-level (non-immigration-related) policies to get richer. And a few manage to use both systems at the same time.

The media is rarely perceptive enough to notice these "twofer" arrangements, but National Public Radio (of all places) noticed one such deal the other day in North Carolina. Read more...

What Do "Normalized" Diplomatic Relations with Cuba Mean in the Immigration Context?

By Dan Cadman, December 18, 2014

The president has announced that the United States is normalizing relations with the island nation of Cuba, our longtime antagonists. Full diplomatic relations means exchange of ambassadors and staff, and a panoply of discussions on any number of issues, including if-and-how sanctions against Cuba will be eased or lifted.

In the immigration context, it raises three questions: Read more...

DACA and the Next Amnesty Are Missing Big Public Health Opportunities

By David North, December 17, 2014

Suppose your community is taking on millions of new members — wouldn't it be a good idea for their sake, as well as for those of the existing community — if their health were checked on their way through the door? Read more...

Illegal Alien Caught Driving Drunk with a Juvenile Instigates a Judicial Finding of Unconstitutionality

By Dan Cadman, December 17, 2014

Even before the president followed through on executive actions effectively granting amnesty to millions of aliens, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of what the administration had already done, vis-à-vis dismantling immigration law enforcement. Of course that lawsuit never materialized — no surprise to those who question Boehner's real commitment to the rule of law, at least where immigration processes are concerned. Read more...

More on Roy Beck and What Was Not Reported in the NYT

By Jerry Kammer, December 16, 2014

Yesterday I expressed dismay at the New York Times story that used the Southern Poverty Law Center's Heidi Beirich to cast a moral shadow on Roy Beck, the head of NunmbersUSA. Now, writing as a former reporter, I need to flesh out the journalistic indictment.

Heidi Beirich is not a credible source on Roy Beck. To understand why, just do a word search here for "Beck" or "Beirich". Much of what she has said about those who want to limit immigration is intellectually bankrupt, morally negligent, and ethically reckless. When it is invoked by an important newspaper like the New York Times, it has a chilling effect on a national discussion that should be civil, well informed, and intellectually vibrant. That discussion should not be strangled by the SPLC's McCarthyite tactics of smear and character assassination. Read more...

Why Is There So Little Interior Immigration Enforcement?

By David North, December 15, 2014

Why is there so little enforcement of the immigration laws, except right at the southern border?

The basic reason, of course, is that except for intercepting those entering without inspection (EWIs), the administration is not very interested in the subject. Read more...

A Few Restrained Comments about the NYT on Roy Beck

By Jerry Kammer, December 15, 2014

It is sadly ironic that New York Times reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis thought she could illuminate the character of NumbersUSA head Roy Beck by consulting Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose serial efforts to assassinate the character of those who want to limit immigration show the ethics and subtlety of a $100 hit man.

The result was not fit to print, particularly this paragraph, which is fit to be stuffed, mounted, and hung in the newspaper Hall of Shame. Read more...

Income Tax Refunds for Illegals Should Be Sent to Their Homeland Addresses

By David North, December 12, 2014

Let's use the income tax system to encourage the voluntary departure of some of the millions of illegal aliens now in the United States.

Here are the facts: Read more...

Keeping the Homeland Safe

By Dan Cadman, December 12, 2014

Keeping the homeland safe. That's what it's supposed to be all about, in this near-apocalyptic post-9/11 world, isn't it? Isn't that the reason we've spent billions upon billions reengineering the organs of government, created a massive new homeland security department, infringed on the liberties of ordinary Americans in ways unimagined and unimaginable since 2001, invaded nations and sent young men and women to more than a decade's worth of war, and killed and captured hundreds of extremists — including quite a number of them here in the homeland itself — who are hell-bent on doing us harm? Read more...

Republicans Make Out Like Bandits with Obama's EB-5 Program

By David North, December 12, 2014

One of the odd elements of the Obama administration's management of the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is the way Republicans use it to make out like bandits.

The most recent example of this bit of bipartisanship-for-profit is taking place, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, in connection with fixing an old, old infrastructure problem — the lack of a direct connection between the granddaddy of super-highways, the east-west Pennsylvania Turnpike, and the north-south I-95. The two routes cross in Pennsylvania near Trenton, N.J., but it is difficult to get from one to the other.

The EB-5 program is about to be used to help finance a $420 million linkage between the two super-highways, with the apparent blessing of the Obama administration, but to the profit of well-connected Republican operatives in Pennsylvania. Read more...

Obama's Amnesty Benefits Lawbreaking Employers

By Jon Feere, December 11, 2014

From my latest op-ed posted today at TheHill.com:

President Obama’s decision to grant work permits and Social Security accounts to millions of illegal aliens guts the central enforcement provision of the 1986 amnesty bill and simultaneously illustrates why he cannot be trusted to carry out comprehensive reform of our immigration laws. Read more...

Handcuffed Cops Have Low Morale

By Mark Krikorian, December 10, 2014

Guess which agency's employees have the lowest job satisfaction in the government. Here's a hint: It's the one whose employees are prohibited from doing their jobs. Read more...

"Naturalized Citizen Terrorist" = "Systemic Immigration Failure"

By Dan Cadman, December 10, 2014

Adnan al Shukrijumah, a Saudi-born al Qaeda leader, was killed recently by Pakistan's military in a raid conducted in South Waziristan, one of the notoriously restive areas in the mountainous northwest of the country. Shukrijumah was known for his involvement in hatching plots against the West, including one to blow up the New York City subways. At the time of his death, there was a $5 million bounty on his head. Read more...

What Do Falling Gas Prices Tell Us About the Impact of Illegal Immigration on Consumer Prices?

By David Seminara, December 10, 2014

Amid mounting evidence that President Obama's executive amnesty will cost American taxpayers a bundle, one persistent myth perpetuated by talking heads and members of the media looking to bolster the case for amnesty is the contention that illegal immigration benefits Americans by keeping consumer prices low. Plunging gas prices give us a textbook example of why illegal labor has little or no positive impact on the price of food or just about anything else made with the help of illegal labor. Read more...

Less-Educated Americans Continue to Struggle

By Steven A. Camarota, December 9, 2014

Although there has been significant job growth this year, the share of less-educated Americans holding a job continues to be well below what it was in 2007 or 2000. Data from the third quarter of this year still show that less-educated natives are struggling in the labor market. This is particularly true for less-educated minorities. If we look at the share of native-born Americans 18 to 65 with no more than a high school education or those natives with less than a bachelor's degree, the share working remains at or near historic lows. Read more...

Amnesty Requires Immigration Cuts

By Mark Krikorian, December 9, 2014

I sincerely hope the next Congress will succeed in stopping Obama's lawless amnesty (though it's far from clear the GOP leadership is fully invested in doing so). Apart from the blatant Caesarism of Obama's decrees, we shouldn't even be considering amnesty until the tools are fully in place to prevent another wave of illegal settlement. Instead, Obama is actually dismantling enforcement. Read more...

Oklahoma Shows the Way to Collect Taxes from Illegals — Again

By David North, December 8, 2014

OOOOk-lahoma! not only has the best state song in the nation, it also is the only state that collects taxes from its illegal aliens in a sensible and effective way — as the Oklahoma Tax Commission's annual report for 2014 reveals (p. 11).

It is widely agreed that many illegal aliens work in the underground (cash) economy and do not pay state and federal income taxes as a result. (Some do, of course, but a lot of money is missing). Read more...

Analysis of Obama's Executive Amnesty Scheme: Ending Secure Communities

By Dan Cadman, December 8, 2014

(Note: This is the fourth and final item in a series analyzing enforcement-related portions of the executive action authorized by the president.)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson testified before the House of Representatives on December 2 that he thinks it's a "bad idea" for Congress to consider a short-term funding bill in lieu of full funding for his department, so that it can implement the stunningly broad sweep of "executive actions" on immigration announced by the president during a nationally televised speech on November 20. He may think so, but it's not at all clear why the House should adopt that view given the executive branch usurpation of authorities granted to the legislature under Article I of the Constitution, and the undermining of an entire system of federal immigration laws. Read more...