Immigration Blog

Excerpts from Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind", Part 2

By Jerry Kammer, May 8, 2013

Read Part 1

More on the liberal/conservative divide that is explored in Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind. Today we present the second of two sets of excerpts from the book, which The Guardian called "a compelling study of the morality of those on the left and right [that] reaches some surprising conclusions." Read more...

Four Nuggets from the Senate Homeland Security Committee Hearing

By Jerry Kammer, May 7, 2013

The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing today to examine the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill, which is titled "The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act". It featured several interesting exchanges between individual senators and DHS witnesses, including Border Patrol chief Michael Fisher and Anne Richards, an auditor in the DHS Inspector General's office. Read more...

Here Comes the Judge

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 7, 2013

The federal judge hearing the ICE agents' case against President Obama's de facto amnesty through executive fiat is proceeding at the very same time the U.S. Senate is considering a massive amnesty bill that includes the DREAM amnesty for those who claim to have come to the country as young children.

It's also interesting that so far the judge has ruled in the agents' favor — and against the administration. A final ruling is expected soon. Read more...

Fact-Checking the Zuckerberg-Rubio Ad

By Jerry Kammer, May 7, 2013

Maybe you've seen the television spot called "Marco Rubio on Conservative Immigration Reform".

It begins with the Florida Republican saying, "Anyone who thinks that what we have now in immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves. What we have in place today is de facto amnesty." Then comes the on-screen message: "A Conservative Plan", as a narrator reads statements from articles or commentary about the Gang of Eight bill that have been published or aired by various media outlets. Read more...

Schumer-Rubio Bill: Employer Strategies and the National Interest

By Ronald W. Mortensen, May 7, 2013

While most of the focus has been on the multiple amnesties and other benefits that S. 744 bestows on illegal aliens, only scant attention has been paid to the strategy and tactics that powerful business interests will use to get a business-friendly amnesty bill passed that is not necessarily in the interest of the citizens or the nation.

S.744 is very similar in many respects to Utah's amnesty bill (HB116), which was passed in 2011 and has been touted as a model for the nation. 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...

NBC Story Shows Border Reality

By Jerry Kammer, May 6, 2013

Thursday night's NBC Nightly News featured a strong story by Mark Potter that came straight from the just-the-facts-ma'am school of reporting. In less than three minutes Potter presented the familiar border-security assurances of the Border Patrol and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, then showed graphic footage from Arizona and Texas — some of it recorded by hidden cameras — that contradicted those assurances. San Juan, Texas, Police Chief Juan Gonzalez told Potter the influx of illegal immigrants into his community on the Rio Grande is happening "every single day." You can see Potter's story here And you can see the 2010 CIS video from the same Arizona border region here. Read more...

Excerpts from "The Righteous Mind", Part 1

By Jerry Kammer, May 6, 2013

This blog reported the other day that a recent Senate hearing on immigration provided a demonstration of the liberal/conservative divide that is explored in Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind. Today we present the first of two sets of excerpts from the book, which The Guardian called "a compelling study of the morality of those on the left and right [that] reaches some surprising conclusions." Haidt, by the way, describes himself as a life-long liberal whose research has led him to respect the values of social conservatives. Read more...

Should Restrictionists Use the Old Powell Amendment Ploy vs. CIR?

By David North, May 4, 2013

It strikes me that a highly successful congressional maneuver of the 1950s might be revived in effort to sink the proposed "comprehensive immigration reform" bill (S.744).

It was then called the Powell Amendment, and it was named for the flamboyant and controversial congressman from Harlem, Adam Clayton Powell (D-N.Y.). Read more...

Gang of Eight's Bill Gives the EB-5 Deal Some Competition

By David North, May 3, 2013

It's amusing, as I have noted in connection with the rivalry among H-1B users, when there is internal competition among those using the immigration law both to expand migration and line their own pockets. Read more...

Schumer-Rubio's $1,000 "Penalty" Is a Bargain

By Ronald W. Mortensen, May 3, 2013

The Schumer-Rubio led Gang of Eight continues to argue that "comprehensive immigration reform" is not amnesty because illegal aliens applying for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status have to pay a stiff penalty — $1,000 (pp. 83-84 of S. 744). A second $1,000 penalty comes into effect when the illegal aliens eventually apply for permanent resident status. (pp. 107-108) Read more...

Is the Gang of Eight Plan "Amnesty"?

By Steven A. Camarota, May 3, 2013

The "Gang of Eight" senators argue that their bill (S.744) is not an amnesty because illegal immigrants would have to pay a fine and fulfill other requirements as a condition of legalization. Yet seven recent tax and parking-ticket amnesties imposed conditions and payments on those who violated the law, and in every case these programs were considered to be amnesties by elected officials, the public, and the media. Like the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill, each of the amnesties discussed below set aside the normal penalty, but still required payment.

Examples of recent amnesties: Read more...

National Review Editor Discusses "Rubio's Folly" on Morning Joe

By Jerry Kammer, May 3, 2013

This morning's "Morning Joe" program featured a discussion of "Rubio's Folly", the National Review cover story written by CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian. Host Mika Brzezinski launched the conversation — which included National Review editor Jay Nordlinger, Huffington Post correspondent Sam Stein, and Donny Deutsch, by reading this excerpt from the article: Read more...

Suppose There's a Tax-Break for Hiring Alien Workers – and Many Do Not Notice?

By David North, May 3, 2013

Suppose there is a tax incentive for employers to hire foreign workers rather than American ones (as there is in a special set of circumstances).

The routine assumption is that the foreign workers will know about it and that the favored employers will take advantage of it. We tend to think that no one is going to leave money on the table.

More broadly, too many of us (including this writer) often assume that a stated federal policy will, in fact, be routinely implemented in real life. Not so in this case. Read more...

Highly Skilled for H-1B Application; Low-Skilled for Paycheck

By John Miano, May 3, 2013

Thursday morning NPR had yet another lobbyist sob story on H-1B.

A small company called GYMPACT has made an H-1B application for a "highly skilled" worker and they do not know if it will be approved.

That inspired me to take a look at the H-1B disclosure data at the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center. Read more...

Nothing Good Left Untouched: Senate Bill Puts National Security, Public Safety at Risk

By W.D. Reasoner, May 2, 2013

I've been closely reading the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill introduced into the Senate (the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act"). And I have to admit the more I read, the more I feel sullied. To say it is deeply flawed is a sad understatement, like describing a catastrophic category-5 hurricane as a "bad storm". Read more...

"Morning Joe" Talks about Republican Skepticism

By Jerry Kammer, May 2, 2013

On this morning's "Morning Joe" program, co-host Willy Geist began a conversation with Politico's Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei by noting the growing skepticism of some Republicans about the Gang of Eight immigration reform legislation. Here is how the conversation unfolded.

GEIST: This is no sure thing before the end of the year, is it? Read more...

Senate Bill Rewards & Protects Lawbreakers, Undermines Law Enforcement

By Jessica Vaughan, May 2, 2013

A thorough analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of S.744 finds that the enforcement and compliance provisions of the Gang of Eight bill are designed to reward and protect lawbreakers while undermining many effective and common-sense provisions in our immigration law. A number of the provisions mask their true intent under innocuous or downright misleading titles.

The enforcement-related measures in this bill have profound implications for public safety and will greatly hamper federal and local law enforcement programs designed to prevent criminals and terrorists from settling and operating here. Because the bill essentially excuses nearly all forms of immigration and identity fraud, the integrity of our immigration system is greatly compromised by this bill. Read more...

"The Righteous Mind" at Senate Hearing

By Jerry Kammer, May 1, 2013

If Jonathan Haidt, whose book The Righteous Mind is the best explanation of the liberal/conservative divide I have ever seen, ever makes a documentary film based on the book, video of the April 22 Senate hearing on immigration would provide an excellent opening scene. Read more...

Immigration Reform in the National Interest: Me First! How Big Stakeholder Immigration Preferences Ignore the Public's Interest

By Stanley Renshon, May 1, 2013

Political observers have long been aware that major policy stakeholder groups "justify and package their interests in terms of the common good", thereby supporting and enhancing their power positions. There would be no reason to suppose that the current Senate immigration legislation is any exception. And it isn't. Read more...

Canada Moves to Reduce Foreign Worker Program Abuse

By David North, May 1, 2013

While in the United States the two political parties seem to compete with other as to how far to expand foreign worker programs, the Canadian government seems to be moving — at least a bit — in the opposite direction.

The most recent controversy started when an H-1B-using outsourcing firm (in the States) spread its tentacles into Canada, and started replacing Canadian workers with foreign ones at the Royal Bank of Canada. That stirred many protests and a lot of media coverage. Read more...

Immigration Bill Contains Slush Funds for Pro-Amnesty Groups

By Jon Feere, May 1, 2013

The pro-amnesty lobbyists who helped craft the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill included within the bill two "slush funds" amounting to $150 million that may be supplemented with additional taxpayer dollars for years to come. Slush fund grantees are "public or private, non-profit organizations" described in the bill as including "a community, faith-based, or other immigrant-serving organization whose staff has demonstrated qualifications, experience, and expertise in providing quality services to immigrants, refugees, persons granted asylum, or persons applying for such statuses." In other words, the grantees would include many of the groups involved in writing and promoting the amnesty. Read more...

S.744: 91 pp. of Amnesty + 753 pp. of Goodies for Lobbyists = 844 pp. of Bad News for American Workers

By John Miano, April 30, 2013

After spending several days reading the Gang of Eight's immigration bill, I share a number of observations:

Observation 1: The current immigration system is 120 pages long. Reform should not take 844 pages. Amnesty for illegal aliens takes up 91 pages. The other 753 pages of mischief should be of greatest concern to the public. Read more...

Immigration Reform in the National Interest: A Political, Not a Substantive, Process

By Stanley Renshon, April 30, 2013

At its core, the fundamental problem of the Gang of Eight's legislation is that it thinks it has arrived at the country's national interest by a secret process of narrow-gauge bargaining among special interests. It has not.

Large businesses want a reliable supply of cheap labor beyond the one million-plus new immigrants that the country already admits every year. So they bargain for tens of thousands more low-skill "guest workers". There is however, nothing temporary about these workers since they will be able to apply for green cards. Read more...

Big IT Companies Seek to Deny Indian Firms Many H-1B Visas

By David North, April 30, 2013

It's fun watching those exploitative H-1B employers fight …

Not the government;

Not the workers; but

Each other!

Normally, big business interests using foreign worker programs to lower wages and displace resident workers do so in harmony with each other; they unite to keep the workers in check and to fend off government regulations. And when they are all using the same program, they tend to move in lock-step with each other. Read more...

What Back Taxes?

By Jon Feere, April 30, 2013

For months now, the "Gang of Eight" senators, President Obama, and the lobbyists who helped craft the Schumer-Rubio bill have been justifying amnesty by assuring skeptics that illegal immigrants applying for legal status would be required to pay back taxes on money earned during the years they lived illegally in the United States.

Except the actual bill does not require the payment of back taxes. Read more...

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Talking Point of the Week: "We Need to Know Who They Are"

By W.D. Reasoner, April 29, 2013

Both Republicans and Democrats alike seem to be rallying round the same talking point when referring to "comprehensive immigration reform" in the wake of the Boston bombings — something along the lines of "we need to press forward; we'll be better off knowing who all these people are."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), member of the Gang of Eight, has taken that line, as explained by Jon Feere in his April 26 blog for the Center. Read more...

Immigration Reform in the National Interest: Immigration Ideals and Grand Bargains

By Stanley Renshon, April 29, 2013

One question before the American people is whether the legislative substance of what the "Gang of Eight" has presented lives up to its loftily stated ideals.

The sentiments are stirring, and beyond reproach. Who could be against securing "the sovereignty of the United States of America"? Who would oppose keeping "our country safe and prosperous"? And what critic of the current immigration system would rail against "establishing a safe, just, and efficient immigration system"? Read more...

Some Illegals to Get Legal Status after Only Four Months in the U.S.

By David North, April 29, 2013

An illegal alien, with the right work history, would not even need to be in the United States when he applies for legal status under one provision of the Gang of Eight's big immigration bill, S.744.

The same alien could get legal status even though his entire life experience in the United States consisted of a single four-month visit.

Are these rules set up for Nobel Prize winners? It might make sense for them. Read more...

The President's Laugh Line: The Joke's on MSNBC

By Jerry Kammer, April 29, 2013

If you believe that reporters need to play it straight with their reporting and pundits have an obligation to rise above cheap disdain toward those with whom they disagree, you can only shake your head at MSNBC's coverage of the immigration policy debate. Read more...