Immigration Blog

Triggers and Terror

By Jessica Vaughan, April 23, 2013

An excellent column by former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey for the Wall Street Journal notes that "Tamerlan Tsarnaev [one of the brothers accused in the Boston Marathon attack] is the fifth person since 9/11 who has participated in terror attacks after questioning by the FBI."

This sentence is loaded in several ways, but is directly relevant to the debate over the Schumer-Rubio amnesty proposal now being debated in the Senate. Read more...

What Happened in Boston, Part 1: On the Nature of Terror, and Other Questions

By W.D. Reasoner, April 23, 2013

Author's note: This is the first of two blogs on the subject of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings. Read Part 2.


Schumer Corrects Rubio on Immigration Bill Trigger

By Jerry Kammer, April 22, 2013

In an interview broadcast Sunday morning on the Univision news program "Al Punto", Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) corrected an erroneous description of the new Senate immigration reform legislation by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Sen. Rubio, who has emerged as one of the most outspoken and widely quoted advocates of the bill, has published a detailed analysis of the bill on a webpage that describes it as providing "the toughest border security and enforcement measures in U.S. history". Read more...

When "Brief, Casual, and Innocent" Absences Just Aren't

By W.D. Reasoner, April 22, 2013

I've been contemplating the linguistic gymnastics that the Gang of Eight has used — not only to describe their massive, 800-plus page immigration bill as "stringent but fair", but also within the bill itself. They (the gymnastics) are a wonder to behold. Read more...

McCain and Napolitano Clash: The Battle of Border Metrics

By Jerry Kammer, April 22, 2013

A recent Senate hearing featured a confrontation between two Arizonans known for strong wills and large egos.

They were Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who as governor of Arizona in 2005 declared a state of emergency on the state's southern border and now insists that the border is secure; and Sen. John McCain, who as a member of the House of Representatives in 1986 voted for the notorious Immigration Reform and Control Act and now vows that its failure will not be repeated. Read more...

Update: Most Terrorist Incidents in the Past Five Years Committed by Foreign-Born Individuals

By Janice Kephart, April 19, 2013

According to the Terrorist Screening Center, 98 percent of the approximately 550,000 individuals on the terrorist watchlist are foreign-born. Roughly 10,000 to 20,000 on the watchlist reside within the United States. It is therefore not surprising that four of the 13 most notorious terrorism arrests since 2009 involved naturalized U.S. citizens. Five cases involved native-born U.S. Read more...

Boston Bombers May Complicate Matters for the Gang of Eight

By David North, April 19, 2013

While no immigration data on the Brothers Tsarnaev have been confirmed, it may well be that the bombing in Boston will complicate matters for the Senate’s Gang of Eight that is promoting comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). Read more...

Immigration Reform in the National Interest: The Jordan Commission vs. the "Gang of Eight"

By Stanley Renshon, April 19, 2013

In 1990 Congress authorized a bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform, chaired by then-Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-Texas), hereafter the Jordan Commission. The Commission was mandated "to review and evaluate the implementation and impact of U.S. immigration policy and to transmit to the Congress reports of its findings and recommendations." Read more...

Was Bad News for Gun Control Good for Immigration Bill?

By Jerry Kammer, April 18, 2013

A report from NBC's Kelly O'Donnell suggests that yesterday's defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate might be good for the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill.

Reporting on yesterday's vote for the "Morning Joe" program on MSNBC, O'Donnell said: "The politics was about more than gun rights. Later today a bipartisan group of senators will roll out immigration reform. Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who fought hard to get enough votes on background checks, found that with two politically hard votes, some senators chose immigration over guns." Read more...

Immigration Reform in the National Interest: An Audacious and Unnecessary "Grand Plan"

By Stanley Renshon, April 18, 2013

The so-called "Gang of Eight" senators have released their plan for "comprehensive immigration reform" — The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. A comprehensive immigration bill, if enacted, would constitute, for better or worse, the most fundamental change to American immigration law since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (the Hart-Celler Act). Read more...

Senate Bill: New Promised Land, or Son of IRCA?

By Jerry Kammer, April 18, 2013

Three of the leading congressional advocates of the comprehensive reform legislation that will be debated in the Senate and House over the next several months made solemn pledges this week about what the bill would offer. If what Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) promised matches up with what the bill actually provides, it would represent an historic compromise to resolve our long-simmering immigration policy crisis. It will meet a key test. It will be hard-headed, but not hard-hearted. Read more...

The Complete Phoniness of the Gang of 8 Immigration Bill

By Mark Krikorian, April 18, 2013

The key political problem amnesty advocates face is a trust gap. The public, rightly, doesn't believe promises from the political class that they're newly committed to enforcing immigration laws after decades of non-enforcement.

One key provision of the Schumer/Rubio immigration bill tells you all you need to know about its phoniness. It requires the development within 10 years of a check-in/check-out system for foreign visitors. That's important because nearly half the illegal population came here legally but never left. Only if we record who leaves can we know who's still here illegally. Read more...

Some Thoughts about the Waiting Periods for the Amnestied

By David North, April 18, 2013

The Gang of Eight in the U.S. Senate has advocated 10-year wait for a green card for most of those in the proposed amnesty followed by a three-year period before naturalization could begin.

How should we think about that?

My position is that any broad-brush amnesty is a bad idea because it would encourage more illegal immigration in the future. That certainly was the result of the IRCA legalization of the 1980s. Read more...

Question for the Gang of Eight: What Color Is the Sky on Your World?

By W.D. Reasoner, April 16, 2013

When observing the folks who make up our political class, I'm often of the opinion that, somehow, reality is always just slightly distorted around them — as if they are in another, alternate universe altogether and they only seem to share space and time with us, but not in any meaningful way. Read more...

On the Side, Let's Have 4.7 Million More Extended Family Immigrants

By David North, April 16, 2013

The breathtaking casualness of the Gang of Eight — and the media — as they deal with the exploding population of the United States was demonstrated in this morning's New York Times with this off-hand remark:

The legislation also aims to eliminate the backlog of 4.7 million immigrants who have applied to come here legally and have been languishing waiting for green cards.

Borjas Charted: Who Benefits Economically from Immigration?

By David North, April 16, 2013

These numbers are drawn from a recent CIS Backgrounder, "Immigration and the American Worker: A Review of the Academic Literature", by Harvard Professor George Borjas, who is generally recognized to be the nation's leading immigration economist. They show only the non-fiscal economic impacts of international migration. Were tax and welfare balances to be shown, since immigrants are, on average, a low-income population, the picture would be even more dramatic. Read more...

Do We Really Need Huge Numbers of Foreign Workers?

By David North, April 15, 2013

If the government's experts tell us that we are producing far more high-tech grads than the industry needs (as they do), why are the politicians thinking about importing even larger cohorts of alien tech workers? Are the pols, maybe, paying more attention to the lobbyists than to the facts? Read more...

US-VISIT Is Now the Office of Biometric Identity Management (and That's a Good Thing)

By Janice Kephart, April 15, 2013

Every day, 30,000 authorized federal, state, and local government users query US-VISIT's data in order to accurately identify people and determine whether they pose a risk to the United States. US-VISIT supplies the technology for collecting and storing biometric data, provides analysis of the data to decision-makers, and ensures the integrity of the data.

By using biometrics, US-VISIT is helping to prevent the use of fraudulent documents, protect visitors from identity theft, and stop thousands of criminals and immigration violators from entering the country.

US-VISIT website

Schadenfreude and the Brazilian Illegal Immigration Experience

By W.D. Reasoner, April 12, 2013

Dictionary.com defines the interesting German word schadenfreude as "satisfaction or pleasure at someone else's misfortune". Every language should have such a word, although I suspect many don't because few of us admit to such feelings — they're among life's guilty little pleasures. Read more...

Utah Chamber Leader Threatens Senators Hatch and Lee with Recall

By Ronald W. Mortensen, April 12, 2013

Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the powerful Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, threatened Republican Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee with recall if they don't bow to the Chamber's demands for immediate amnesty for illegal aliens and their employers.

Beattie characterized the senators' requests for more time to evaluate and debate the overhaul of the nation's immigration system as "absolutely ridiculous to me". Then he played the recall card: "Good night. Maybe it's time to recall and get some people who understand what we need in business because in businesses we need some immigration changes. (Click here to listen to Beattie.) Read more...

Capitol Footnotes: The Gang of Three, Diversity Lottery, and the Hastert Rule

By David North, April 12, 2013

Watching the on-going legislative scramble over "comprehensive immigration reform" I am reminded of:

IRCA's Gang of Three. Currently there are Gangs of Eight in both the Senate and the House trying to resolve the inevitable immigration policy conflicts by quiet negotiation among these self-selected, bipartisan groupings. Too many commentators regard these (conspiratorial?) gatherings as signs of progress. I beg to differ. Read more...

Everything We've Come to Expect from Years of Amnesty Talks

By Mark Krikorian, April 11, 2013

We still don't have an amnesty bill to examine — maybe today, maybe next week, like a contractor telling you when he'll be done remodeling the bathroom. But based on Katrina Trinko's post over at National Review Online and the New York Times story, a few thoughts: Read more...

Lawsuit Documents Criminal Alien Releases, Decline in Enforcement, Cooked Statistics

By Jessica Vaughan, April 9, 2013

On April 8, a federal judge in Dallas heard arguments in Crane v Napolitano, the lawsuit brought by 10 ICE officers challenging the Obama administration's Deferred Action program (DACA) and "prosecutorial discretion" policies. Read more...

The Year's H-1B Slots Are Filled in Less than a Week: Thoughts Thereon

By David North, April 9, 2013

The year's supply of H-1B visas for inexpensive high-tech workers was exhausted the first week that the window was opened — to no one's surprise. Every year the visas become available to employers on April 1 — 65,000 in the general category and 20,000 in the advanced-degree-in-the-U.S. category.

Bargain-hunting employers, particularly the Indian body shops (i.e. placement agencies), poured in their applications, hoping to obtain nearly indentured college graduates on the cheap, most of whom will be assigned to routine technological jobs. Read more...

The Migration Equation: Big Business+Big Agriculture+Big Labor+Big Religion=Big Immigration

By W.D. Reasoner, April 9, 2013

If, as they say, politics makes for strange bedfellows, then immigration politics in today's America makes for absolutely bizarre bedfellows.

Business and agriculture rarely have anything useful to say about unionization and the labor movement. Conversely, labor leaders routinely disparage employers, whether in business or agriculture, for their views on wages, benefits, and employee working conditions. And religious leaders frequently shun involvement in such earthly matters, preferring instead to focus on the moral health of their flock and the nation as a whole. Read more...

The Alien's Guide to Buying an American Visa: Three Pathways Available

By David North, April 8, 2013

Many people think that the only way to buy your way into legal presence in the United States is through the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program. Not so.

There are three different ways that an alien can buy his or her way into legal status; each pathway has a different price, sometimes involving more than just money; and each pathway has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a summary, more or less in the style of Consumer Reports, for the three routes to buy legal status: Read more...

Mexican Columnist Calls U.S. Economy a Migrant-Eating Beast

By Jerry Kammer, April 8, 2013

The Saturday edition of Mexico City's Reforma newspaper published a bitter description of what its author sees as a long chain of exploitation suffered by Central American migrants on their journey to the United States. Read more...

Reporters, Beware of Lobbyists Bearing Stories

By John Miano, April 5, 2013

One of the toughest challenges for the media is to put a personal face on a story. They always want to have a subject to show how an issue affects an individual. This can be very tough for a national issue like H-1B visas. Over the years I have frequently received requests from reporters like "Do you know an American living in Peoria who has been replaced by an H-1B worker within the past three months?" This was tough even when I was working as a programmer. I saw Americans being replaced by H-1B workers first hand, but they were always in New Jersey. Read more...

The Guestworker Debate: Views from the Right and the Left

By Jerry Kammer, April 5, 2013

What I most enjoy about my work here at CIS is the opportunity to do to the sort of research I did in the good old days when I was an investigative reporter and had weeks or months to dig into a story.

This week I got two fascinating views of the ongoing debate over guestworkers. One came from the right, via C-Span's website. The other came from the left, via Audible.com. Read more...

AP Tries Out New Terminology after Illegal Alien Allegedly Kills Arizona Mother

By Jon Feere, April 5, 2013

In a horrific story that the national newspapers are thus far ignoring, the Associated Press is trying out its new linguistic gymnastics on illegal alien and murder suspect Jose Zarate. Read more...