Immigration Blog

A Virtual Debate with Sen. Pat Toomey, Champion of the World's Unskilled (but Not Our Own)

By Jerry Kammer, June 23, 2013

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) took up the cause of the unskilled workers of the world on Thursday when he declared that the Senate immigration bill's provisions for low-wage, non-agricultural guest worker visas are "wildly inadequate" to the needs of the American economy.

Toomey, of course, is a former president of the Club for Growth, which recently hailed him as "a fighter for free markets and limited government". In Thursday's speech on the Senate floor, Toomey made it clear that he doesn't believe in limited foreign competition for low-skilled and unskilled jobs in the United States. Read more...

Labor Department H-1B Enforcement: A Paper Tiger

By David North, June 21, 2013

One of the problems with the H-1B program, which brings low-paid, high-tech workers to the United States in the hundreds of thousands (and that would be dramatically expanded by the Schumer-Rubio bill now being debated in the Senate), is that there is a broad streak of fraud within it.

It should be noted that even when the program runs as it is supposed to, it takes multitudinous jobs away from American workers and it reduces wages for all in its ambit. 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 Report as S.744 Rorschach Test

By Jerry Kammer, June 20, 2013

The Congressional Budget Office's report on the Senate immigration reform bill quickly served as a Rorschach test for the opposing sides in the Senate debate. Here are excerpts from two very different reactions to the report Wednesday on the Senate floor. The first is from Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and the second from Jeff Session (R-Ala.).

Menendez

That Big Raid on the 7-Eleven Stores – Some Comments

By David North, June 20, 2013

ICE and other law enforcement organizations mounted a big, two-state raid earlier this week on a collection of 7-Eleven stores that had been employing – and cheating – dozens of illegal aliens; there was extensive reporting by the New York Times and the Associated Press.

This was a bonanza, financially, for the employers. The various 7-Eleven interests had made $182 million in profits from these stores, according to the AP.

Was it a whopping success for the good guys? Were the raids staged to support the administration's immigration policies? Did it reveal a long series of corporate, governmental, and community failings? 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...

Sanders: S.744 Tramples Young Americans in Rush to Bring in Foreign Workers

By Jerry Kammer, June 19, 2013

One of the most interesting elements of the Senate's immigration reform debate is the contrast between the many who tell family stories as they urge passage of the legislation and the few who warn that the bill could have devastating consequences for young Americans. Vermont independent Bernie Sanders took to the floor again Tuesday. He defended the interests of young job-seeking Americans, saying they are being trampled in the rush to satiate employers' appetite for foreign workers.

Said Sanders:

The Beauty and Danger of Sen. Klobuchar's Speech

By Jerry Kammer, June 19, 2013

Yesterday on the Senate floor, Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) gave a speech that was a fine illustration of how the emotion of immigration complicates the job of policy-making. The emotion was especially poignant in the last 400 words of her 2,300-word speech, in which she told her family's own story and projected it onto the current policy debate. I reproduce her comments here as she actually delivered them, not as they appear in the Congressional Record, which apparently relied on a written text. Then I offer a brief comment. Read more...

NYT Highlights Border Insecurity in Texas

By Jerry Kammer, June 18, 2013

Reporters Eric Lipton and Julia Preston of the New York Times produced a fine story from South Texas for the Sunday paper, putting the surge in illegal immigration in the context of the immigration reform debate in the Senate.

But it seems to me they buried the lede, placing it at the mid-point of the story with this remarkable revelation about the state of border security in the Rio Grande Valley. Lipton and Preston reported: Read more...

Pro-Amnesty Stance Not Enough to Earn Latino Support

By Jessica Vaughan, June 18, 2013

Sen. Lindsay Graham's (R-S.C.) absurd notion that Latino voters will flock to Republican candidates if they embrace amnesty and "comprehensive immigration reform" has been once more refuted, this time a Massachusetts special election to fill John Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat. On Friday, El Planeta, the state's largest Spanish-language newspaper, endorsed Democrat Ed Markey, a long-serving member of the House who only occasionally actually sets foot in his district, over Republican newcomer and fellow Latino Gabriel Gomez, son of Colombian immigrants, who often gives his campaign speeches in Spanish followed by an English translation and who is an enthusiastic supporter of the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill.

From Friday's Boston Globe:

Hatch's Back Tax Demand Targets Illegal Aliens, Ignores Their Employers

By Ronald W. Mortensen, June 18, 2013

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says that illegal aliens must pay back taxes. Most Americans would agree with that.

However, Hatch doesn't call for employers who hire illegal aliens under the table to pay back taxes. Almost all Americans would disagree with that.

Here is what Hatch is quoted as saying about illegal aliens paying back taxes: Read more...

Bulletin: NYT Editorial Shows Concern for American Workers

By Jerry Kammer, June 18, 2013

The New York Times published a remarkable editorial on Sunday. It made me wonder if the editorial board is beginning to feel that U.S. immigration policy-makers and business leaders should be more concerned with the fate of American workers and less interested in expanding the alphabet-soup of visa categories that every year brings hundreds of thousands of lower-wage foreign workers to every level of the American economy.

Here is an excerpt from the editorial:

The Inevitable? — More TPS Eligibility for Syrians

By David North, June 17, 2013

I suppose it was inevitable.

DHS announced today that Syrians who arrived in the United States before today and those who will arrive in the United States in the next few hours (before midnight) are to be granted Temporary Protected Status and allowed to work — no matter how they got here or what their visa status. Read more...

2 Weeks in a Row, Rubio Produces an Awkward Sunday Disconnect

By Jerry Kammer, June 17, 2013

Senator Rubio's people need to talk to Senator Rubio's people about the senator's principles regarding character assassination.

The past 48 hours have made clear that there is a severe disconnect between what the senator claims to believe and what his supporters are saying in their attacks on organizations critical of the Senate immigration reform bill. Read more...

Reid and Goodlatte Press Opposite Agendas

By Jerry Kammer, June 14, 2013

While Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was using the Democrat majority Thursday to shut down a Republican effort to toughen the immigration reform bill, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was using the Republican majority in the House to tout a fix for problems he has with the Senate bill.

"Unfortunately, the Senate bill actually weakens interior enforcement in many areas or is simply ineffectual," Goodlatte said at a hearing on legislation called the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, or the SAFE Act. Read more...

Glowing Portraits of Illegals vs. the Categorical Imperative

By David North, June 14, 2013

The New York Times did it again Friday morning, on the front page, as it did on the op-ed page Thursday.

It trotted out glowing portraits of specific illegal aliens as part of its campaign to pass the Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration law. Friday's heroes were people granted temporary legal status under the administration's fiat Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Read more...

Sanders and Sessions: Odd Couple of Immigration Debate

By Jerry Kammer, June 14, 2013

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have become the odd couple of the immigration reform debate.

Until Thursday's Senate session on the immigration reform bill, the most outspoken defender of American workers against low-wage foreign competition had been the Alabama Republican.

But late Thursday afternoon, Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, who is widely regarded as the most liberal member of the Senate, weighed in with a full-throated condemnation of guest worker programs which he condemns as a betrayal of American workers. Read more...

Yahoo Lobbyists Should Read Yahoo Education on Tech Skills "Shortages"

By David North, June 14, 2013

This is one of those "the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing" stories.

It shows that Yahoo as a corporation is lobbying for more H-1Bs on the grounds of an alleged "skills shortage" in the high-tech fields, while another part of Yahoo says, in effect, Americans should not bother to study information systems in college because it will not help them get a job.

Here are the facts in the case:

U.S. Judicial Conference: Immigration Bill Would Overwhelm Federal Courts

By Jon Feere, June 13, 2013

The Judicial Conference of the United States, the policy-making body for the federal judiciary, has come out with a scathing letter on the costs that the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill would create for our court system. Sent to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the letter outlines the many ways in which the immigration bill would put strains on the nation's court system, noting that "without increased resources, the federal courts cannot sustain the increased workload this legislation would create." The Conference is calling for the immigration bill to be amended, a move that will necessarily make the 1,000-page bill even larger and more costly. Read more...

Portman Takes on Gang of Eight's Flawed Version of E-Verify

By Jerry Kammer, June 13, 2013

Press attention on yesterday's Senate debate has focused on the battle over the amendment proposed by John Cornyn to tighten border security metrics. It is an important discussion that will continue for some time. But I was more impressed with the strong performance of Ohio Republican Rob Portman in exposing the problems with the Gang of Eight's proposal for a new E-Verify system. Read more...

Sen. Schumer's Reach Exceeding His Grasp

By Jerry Kammer, June 12, 2013

As I listened to Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) speech Tuesday on the Senate floor, some famous words of the poet Robert Browning came to mind: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

Sen. Schumer seems to think that comprehensive immigration reform should serve the same purpose — inspiring sweeping promises that have scant chance of being fulfilled. Read more...

Two More EB-5 Projects, in Vermont and Virginia, Are in Trouble

By David North, June 12, 2013

Hard on the heels of the news of the huge EB-5 fraud scandal in Chicago, two other EB-5 projects, one in Vermont and the other headquartered in Virginia, were reported to be in trouble recently.

The Vermont case involved plans for building retirement centers, while the one in Virginia related to the production of small automobiles at a planned plant in Mississippi. Unlike the Chicago case — in which two developers were indicted on criminal charges — the two new cases do not involve any indictments. Read more...

Obama on Immigration, Now and Then

By Jerry Kammer, June 12, 2013

In his Tuesday speech on immigration reform, President Obama ignored the Senate bill's proposal for a major expansion of unskilled immigrants into the U.S. economy. Read more...

Here's a Checklist of the GOP Senators Who Voted to Advance S.744

By David North, June 12, 2013

The Senate voted Tuesday to consider S.744 by 82-15, with three abstentions.

All 54 Democrats voted to move the bill to the floor, as did 28 of the Republicans. Fifteen GOP members, including Sens. Grassley (Iowa) and Sessions (Ala.) voted to keep it off the agenda.

Three Republicans did not vote on the issue: McCain (Ariz., a likely supporter of the massive comprehensive immigration reform bill), Murkowski (Alaska), and Coburn (Okla.). Read more...

False Promise: Immigration Policy in the President's First Term

By Stanley Renshon, June 12, 2013

Given the poor state of the economy, the president's reelection prospects in 2012 were uncertain. His most fervent supporters still adored him, but there were fewer of them. And many others questioned whether he had been successful in addressing their number one concern — the economy.

However, not every voting group cared only about the economy. Members of the community from Spanish-speaking backgrounds cared a great deal about the economy, but also immigration reform because it touched so many members of their community. Read more...

From 2002, a Cautionary Tale for the Gang of Eight

By Jerry Kammer, June 11, 2013

The enforcement flat-liners at the New York Times editorial board are at it again. On Saturday they again denounced critics of the Gang of Eight reform bill. This time, instead of labeling them "hardliners" as it so often does, the board classified their bad guys as "die-hard obstructionists" and "dead-enders". Read more...

Amnesty, Government Surveillance, and High-Tech Companies

By Ronald W. Mortensen, June 11, 2013

Why do America's high-tech business elites support amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens who have so little to do with their industry or their fortunes?

Is it because of loyalty to the illegal aliens working for the janitorial contractors that clean their facilities?

Is it because they want their domestic servants who are illegally in the United States to be legal so they can pay them higher wages and benefits? Read more...

It's Quite Indirect, but Every Bit Helps

By David North, June 11, 2013

One way to discourage the use of nonimmigrant workers (aka guest workers) is to make sure that these workers can sue employers that abuse them. That runs up the costs of the workers to the employers, and thus makes them think twice about hiring them in the future.

One of the problems with getting economic justice for nonimmigrant workers is that they are not — quite appropriately — in the United States all the time; they may well be back in their homeland when they become aware that there are ways that they can seek justice from their U.S.-based employers, but there they are in Mexico or Central America, and the employer is in the United States. Read more...

The President's Reelection Immigration Policy

By Stanley Renshon, June 11, 2013

No one expects a president up for reelection not to make use of the benefits of his office. One of them is to announce new examples of federal largess, be they grants for a "promising neighborhood" program; "a major expansion of Skills for America's Future, an industry-led initiative to dramatically improve industry partnerships with community colleges and build a nation-wide network to maximize workforce development strategies, job training programs, and job placements"; or plans to "Win the Future" by making grants for better energy efficiency.

What Americans do not expect is that their president will abruptly and summarily subvert the administrative machinery of the executive branch to further his own reelection prospects. But that is exactly what President Obama did. Read more...

Looking at the Mavericks in the House Voting on DACA

By David North, June 10, 2013

The big picture on the House of Representatives vote on DACA last week — 224 to 201 in favor of its repeal — is that party lines largely held as the restrictionists won with a substantial but not overpowering majority.

A more detailed look shows nine members voted against their party, six Republicans who voted against repeal and three Democrats who voted for; plus nine non-voters. That's a total of 18 House members to watch more closely as the summer progresses.

So, who are they and why did they vote (or not vote) as they did? Read more...