Immigration Blog

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: Read more...

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...

Soros' Prophets of Baal

By James R. Edwards Jr., June 10, 2013

George Soros' dollars are funding a pep rally for the Senate's obese amnesty bill, S. 744. On Wednesday, while the Senate is expected to be debating the legislation, Soros' pet project, "Bibles, Badges, and Business" (BBB), will gather its modern-day prophets of Baal on Capitol Hill to try to create the impression that Christians, law enforcement, and business owners favor mass amnesty, open borders, and the disadvantaging of American citizens who can't find full-time jobs (rightly known as "the least of these"). Read more...

Rubio, McCain, Reid Talk Strategy on Reform Bill

By Jerry Kammer, June 10, 2013

Some excerpts from Sunday morning's "Al Punto" program on Univision, where Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) responded to questions from host Maria Elena Salinas:

Salinas to Rubio: You said this week that you would be inclined to vote against the legislation that you yourself helped to write unless there were some amendments that would strengthen even more the security of the border. Would you be willing to throw everything overboard? Read more...

Schumer-Rubio: 27X Longer than the Constitution

By Mark Krikorian, June 10, 2013

The Senate is expected to take its first procedural vote this week on the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill. Aside from its specific provisions, an important characteristic of such "comprehensive" legislation is its size. At 209,000 words in 1,077 pages, the legislation is almost impossible for even the educated layman to comprehend, rendering it inherently undemocratic.

To provide an sense of how long the bill is, here are a few comparisons:

  • 27 times longer than the Constitution (7,600 words)
  • 14 times longer than the Social Security Act of 1935 (15,000 words)

News from South of The Border Shadows Senate Immigration Reform Bill

By Jerry Kammer, June 7, 2013

In recent months, many members of Congress have declared their determination to pass immigration reform legislation that will prevent another wave of illegal immigration.

"I've got one goal," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who has emerged as one of the staunchest proponents of the bill he helped draft as a member of the Gang of Eight. "When all is said and done, there will not be a third wave of illegal immigration." Read more...

Senate Neros Fiddling Away

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

Let's state the bottom line about S. 744, the Schumer-Rubio-Obama amnesty bill: This legislation is fundamentally flawed and cannot be amended in any way that makes it acceptable.

The central design of the bill is mass amnesty immediately, enforcement never, gallons of red ink committed to be spent for the rest of the amnesty recipients' and new immigrants' lives, and further opening the floodgates to irresponsible levels of immigration. Read more...

Alien Minors in Adult Lockup: Who's Behind Bars and What's Behind the Numbers?

By W.D. Reasoner, June 7, 2013

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that "[m]ore than 1,300 minors — including several dozen 14 or younger — were held for days in immigration detention facilities for adults over a four-year period when the Obama administration ramped up deportations, according to a new report by an advocacy group [the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)]." Read more...

How Independent is the DHS Inspector General?

By David North, June 6, 2013

Inspector Generals (IGs) of government agencies are supposed to be junk-yard dogs in their fierceness and independence. They investigate things and report to the public. It is a useful institution, generally.

But something came over the Internet yesterday morning that puts the independence of the Department of Homeland Security's IG in question. Read more...

Cornyn's RESULTS Amendment Would Get No Results

By Mark Krikorian, June 5, 2013

Senator Cornyn is floating what he's calling the RESULTS Amendment (I hate these ridiculous acronyms) to tighten up the Schumer-Rubio bill. It's part of the attempt, described by Jonathan Strong over at the Corner, to provide political cover for Republican senators to vote for the amnesty. Read more...

Central American Exodus Shakes South Texas

By Jerry Kammer, June 4, 2013

The exodus from the stunning violence and brutal poverty of Central America is a growing tragedy.

The implications for the United States can be seen most readily in South Texas. Many news reports have taken note of the Border Patrol's inability to control the narrow corridor leading northward from the border town of McAllen. Read more...

Gang of Eight Offers Two New Ways to Buy U.S. Visas

By David North, June 4, 2013

This blog has previously reported the existence of three different ways that aliens could legitimately buy legal status in the United States.

Now, the ever-generous Gang of Eight has proposed two additional ways to convert money into visas. Read more...

Where Ought Christians Come Down on the Schumer-Rubio-Obama Amnesty?

By James R. Edwards Jr., June 4, 2013

I'm not going to answer the question posed in the headline of this blog. I leave the answer to the consciences of individual Americans who practice the Christian faith, based on how the Holy Spirit guides them according to the Bible's teachings.

What I'm going to do, however, is share four biblical principles I, as a follower of Jesus whose calling has been to the Washington policy arena, have derived for addressing such matters of prudential judgment. I'll apply those criteria to the amnesty issue and the bill presently before the Senate, S.744. Read more...

Castaneda Warns of "New Underclass of the Undocumented"

By Jerry Kammer, June 3, 2013

Jorge Castaneda, the former foreign minister of Mexico, is warning that a "new underclass of the undocumented" will form in the United States unless the immigration bill that will be debated in the Senate beginning next week is amended to provide more visas for low-skilled Mexicans. Read more...

William Finnegan of the New Yorker Defends the Facts on Immigration and Wages – His Version, Anyway

By Jerry Kammer, June 3, 2013

William Finnegan, the accomplished New Yorker writer with an unfortunate tendency to denigrate those who resist large-scale immigration of low-skilled workers, did it again this week. This time he questioned the character and competence of those who claim that an oversupply of immigrant labor has suppressed wages among unskilled workers.

Finnegan called that concern "a venerable argument against immigration, with unfortunate nativist echoes and only a glancing association with the facts." Read more...

Whistling Past the Fiscal Graveyard

By James R. Edwards Jr., June 3, 2013

Some amnesty proponents on the right have made the ludicrous suggestion that we somehow can wave a magic wand and reduce the U.S. welfare state. That, they suggest, would reduce the humongous costs of amnesty to our country and American taxpayers. Well, don't hold your breath for this cost liability reduction to happen. Read more...

MSNBC'S Alex Wagner Visits the Border, Delivers Nothing

By Jerry Kammer, May 30, 2013

Over the past month an interesting debate has involved liberal commentator Matt Yglesias, who defends large-scale immigration of poor people from Third World countries, and conservative Ross Douthat, who suggests that immigration should be limited in order to avoid overwhelming our ability to provide poor immigrants with the opportunity to incorporate themselves economically and civically into American society. See, for example, here and here.

Their debate has contrasted the liberal tendency to regard national identity as subordinate to our common human identity with the conservative inclination to believe that the nation state and national boundaries are both natural and necessary. Read more...

NY Times Prints Apples vs. Oranges Study on Medicare Costs and Income

By David North, May 30, 2013

This morning's New York Times carries another one of those stories on biased academic studies that suggest that immigrants financially help support federal programs, in this case Medicare.

It is one of those studies where the numbers quoted are probably accurate, but they are totally misleading. Read more...