Immigration Blog

How the President Resolved His Deportation Dilemmas: Part 2

By Stanley Renshon, June 27, 2013

Caught between his ambitions and his circumstances, the president tried to present himself as unusually strict on immigration enforcement.

However, he failed to convince Republicans whose help he needed to pass an immigration bill in order to cement his appeal to the Spanish-speaking-descent community. They saw the administration's increasing use of discretion as questionable, at minimum. Read more...

No Americans Need Apply

By Mark Krikorian, June 27, 2013

There were never any “No Irish Need Apply” signs in 19th-century shop windows; it’s what historian Richard Jensen calls “a myth of victimization”. But, incredibly, there are signs now that say, in effect, “No Americans Need Apply”, like this one in the window of an Asian restaurant in my town, seeking kitchen help and a dishwasher: Read more...

For Sen. Portman, an Uneasy Sense of 1986 Deja Vu

By Jerry Kammer, June 27, 2013

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), whose bipartisan amendment to fortify E-Verify was blocked Wednesday in a partisan quarrel over Senate procedure, described its purpose with the urgency of a man on a mission to avert a disaster he has seen before.

"I'm passionate about this," Portman said on the Senate floor. He insisted that his amendment was essential to the Gang of Eight's announced commitment to avoid another wave of illegal immigration with their bill for comprehensive immigration reform. Read more...

Drama vs. Demographics in the S.744 Debate

By David North, June 27, 2013

I have been both fascinated with, and appalled by, the over-emphasis on border security in the current debates about the legalization of some 11 million illegal aliens.

It is as if the minds of Congress have slipped into reverse historical gear, and are dealing with the high drama of the wars between the U.S. Cavalry and the Indians on the western frontier during the 1800s. Read more...

Former Immigration Court Judge Blasts Senate Bill

By Jerry Kammer, June 27, 2013

During Wednesday afternoon's debate of the immigration reform bill, Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) read a guest column in the Des Moines Register that blasted the bill for failing to address weaknesses in the nation's immigration courts. The column was written by former immigration court judge Mark H. Metcalf. You can read it here. Read more...

How the President Resolved His Deportation Dilemmas: Part 1

By Stanley Renshon, June 26, 2013

Time and circumstances were closing in on President Obama in 2011. The presidential election was fast approaching. He had no major accomplishments to his credit that the public supported. Enthusiasm among his ardent supporters had waned and skepticism about his leadership efforts among the general public had increased. Read more...

Some Thoughts on the Immigration Side Effects of the DOMA Decision

By David North, June 26, 2013

Setting aside the policy question of recognizing same-sex marriages – it does not bother me but it certainly bothers others – what will the impact of the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act decision be on the extent of legal immigration to the U.S.? Read more...

Away from the Phony Surge, Praise for Durbin and Sessions

By Jerry Kammer, June 26, 2013

It has been depressing to listen to Sens. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and McCain (R-Ariz.) talk about the "border surge" they hatched in order to con — er, persuade — reluctant Republicans to vote for the immigration reform bill.

"This is the toughest, strongest, most expensive border provision that we have had," huffed Sen. Chuck Schumer, pretending to believe that the surge will actually become law and double the size of the Border Patrol while doing little to improve interior security. Read more...

The IT Industry Should Learn an H-1B Lesson from America's Schools

By David North, June 26, 2013

Amidst all the talk on Capitol Hill about the alleged "need" for more alien workers, here is a bit of contrary news: Read more...

President Obama's Deportation Dilemmas

By Stanley Renshon, June 26, 2013

The president was caught in a bind. He had promised that immigration reform would be one of his top agenda items during his first year in office, or at least his first term, and it wasn't. What's more, activists from the Spanish-background community were angry that he had broken his promise. They pushed him to make a commitment to immigration "reform", which, in their minds and his, required a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11.5 million illegal aliens living and working in the United States. Read more...

Schumer Contradicts Himself: He Was Against the "Border Surge" Before He Was for It

By Jerry Kammer, June 25, 2013

During the Senate immigration debate last Friday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) enthusiastically described the breakthrough he had brokered with Republican senators who wanted tougher border security measures. In outlining the deal laid out in the Corker-Hoeven amendment, Schumer contradicted the arguments he presented nine days earlier in opposition to the border-security amendment proposed by John Cornyn (R-Texas). Read more...

Open-Borders Religious Front Loses Prominent Member

By James R. Edwards Jr., June 25, 2013

Like the scales falling from the Apostle Paul's eyes, a prominent member of the Evangelical Immigration Table has distanced himself from the front group after learning of its funding by liberal atheist billionaire George Soros through the open-borders National Immigration Forum.

Eric Metaxas, who penned stellar biographies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and William Wilberforce, has cut his ties to the NIF's project that gives the impression Christians broadly support mass amnesty and the Senate amnesty bill in particular. Read more...

UK to Try Reverse Twist on Our Visa Waiver Program – The Bonded Visa

By David North, June 25, 2013

The United Kingdom is about to experiment with an interesting reverse twist on our visa waiver program – a technique that should be considered by our Congress.

Visa waivers are offered by the United States to would-be visitors from a carefully constructed list of nations that do not produce many visa over-stays, such as Japan and Great Britain. It eases travel for these aliens, pleases the lobbyists from the American travel industry, and does not produce much of a headache for the United States. Read more...

Selective Immigration Enforcement: Discretion in the Service of President's Reelection

By Stanley Renshon, June 25, 2013

Heading into his 2012 reelection campaign, the president had a large problem. He had managed to accrue only a mediocre record of accomplishment in the area that mattered most to most Americans — the economy. Moreover, the president's policies and, in some cases the lack of same, had diminished the enthusiasm of several groups that had been among his staunch supporters in his first presidential campaign.

One of these groups consisted of legal American residents with roots in Spanish-speaking countries. Hispanics, it was endlessly repeated, were America's fastest growing ethnic group and that their presence in large numbers in the so-called swing states made them an important constituency to engage, and a crucial one for the president to win. Read more...

Schumer-Corker-Hoeven Overstay Provisions Overstated

By Jessica Vaughan, June 24, 2013

Among the faux enforcement improvements being hyped by supporters of the deceptive Schumer-Corker-Hoeven substitute amendment to the Gang of Eight bill is a new section titled "Removal of Nonimmigrants Who Overstay Their Visas". Not exactly.

The new provision (Section 1201) says that no later than six months after the enactment of the bill, the DHS Secretary shall begin dealing with those foreign visitors who arrived after the bill's enactment and who overstayed their temporary visa by at least six months. The Secretary is required to deal with at least 90 percent of the overstayers. Read more...

For Dealmaker Schumer, Memories of 1986

By Jerry Kammer, June 24, 2013

Last Friday on the Senate floor, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) gratefully acknowledged the role Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had played in forging an amendment that Corker was sponsoring with fellow Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota. The amendment was an effort to win Republican support for the immigration reform bill with a massive increase in spending on border security.

Said Corker in a tribute to Schumer, "My last call last night, at 12:33, was with him. And my first call early, early this morning was with him. I thank him for the way he has worked with us to try to work through Republican sensibilities." Read more...

Quick Look at Some of the Corker-Hoeven Amendment's Many Flaws

By James R. Edwards Jr., June 24, 2013

A document circulating on the Hill highlights some of the Corker-Hoeven substitute amendment's worst provisions. The amendment leaves in place the basic structure of the Schumer-Rubio amnesty: mass amnesty first, real enforcement never.

The gory details include:

Hoeven-Corker Amendment – Long on Amnesty, Short on Everything Else

By Ronald W. Mortensen, June 24, 2013

The Hoeven-Corker amendment has been incorporated into the full text of the amnesty bill (S. 744) expanding it from its original 800-plus pages to just under 1,200 pages.

The first thing that jumps out about the Senate's desperate attempt to pass comprehensive immigration reform is just how similar this process is to the 1986 amnesty, which granted illegal aliens citizenship with a promise of future border security and restrictions on the employment of illegal aliens. And we all know how well that worked out! Read more...

Sen. Begich Angles to Bring Home Some S.744 Bacon: Low-Wage Foreign Workers to Process Alaska Salmon

By Jerry Kammer, June 23, 2013

Sen. Mark Begich, D-AK, is determined to bring home some bacon from the Senate immigration bill. Actually, it would be closer to the truth to say that he's bringing home some salmon filets. To be precise, his mission to bring home the foreign college students for which his state's powerful seafood-processing industry has developed a dependence that comes mighty close to addiction.

Begich, leveraging his vote with the Gang of Eight, has managed to insert in the Senate bill a provision that would nullify the State Department's decision to put seafood processing off-limits to the Summer Work Travel program. Read more...

Hoeven-Corker Amendment and the Pelosi Rule

By James R. Edwards Jr., June 23, 2013

It's ba-ack! The ugliest, most monstrous procedure of legislative sausage making is now being employed by senators on both sides of the aisle. They're resurrecting this approach to hurry a vote on a major, humongous amendment to a major, controversial bill.

Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-Calif.) infamously said of the Obamacare legislation that lawmakers needed to rush to "pass the bill so you can find out what's in it". I'm dubbing this the Pelosi Rule — an inadvisable, reckless approach that should never, ever be allowed for justifying the rushed passage of legislation under an arbitrary deadline. Read more...

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: