Immigration Blog

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:

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...

High DACA Approval Rate Raises Amnesty Questions

By Jessica Vaughan, April 26, 2013

Statistics from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) indicate that the agency is rubber-stamping the applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. They report that 99.5 percent of applicants have been approved, which is well above approval rates for other legal programs, which have fraud and rejection rates in the double digits. Read more...

DACA: Prosecutorial Discretion ... or Egregious Abuse of Discretion?

By W.D. Reasoner, April 26, 2013

As probably most readers of the Center's website know, a federal lawsuit was filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in a challenge to the Obama administration's end run around Congress when it refused to move forward with DREAM Act legislation, and instituted instead an administrative deferred action program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or "DACA") under the guise of its Department of Homeland Security's "prosecutorial discretion" policies.

Many people (myself among them) believe that the program is both unconstitutional, because it infringes on the lawmaking prerogative unique to Congress under the separation of powers, and illegal, because it is not an act of prosecutorial discretion, but rather an abuse of discretion. Read more...

Wanted: More Reporting on K Street's Influence

By Jerry Kammer, April 26, 2013

The Hill, the Capitol Hill newspaper, has noted in an editorial that the new immigration reform bill was produced by a "bipartisan group of eight senators [who claim it] will both secure the border and create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants." The paper said that accomplishment "follows months of difficult negotiations in which the Gang of Eight sought to address weaknesses that have killed prior immigration bills."

True enough, as far as it goes. But there has been little reporting on efforts to shape the bill for purely commercial purposes. The public needs to understand what is being done along the axis of influence that ties K Street and Capitol Hill. There, dozens of lobbyists are representing the interests of a myriad of employers who want to shape the bill to suit their purposes. They also perform the complementary duty of raising money for the politicians whose opinions they seek to shape — and for whom many of the lobbyists previously worked. Read more...

"Tough" H1-B Rules in S.744 Come with Massive Loophole

By David North, April 26, 2013

There are some tough-looking new rules in the Gang of Eight's proposed legislation seeking to discourage employers from becoming dependent on H-1B workers.

This is in S.744, the omnibus immigration "reform" bill, and the new H-1B rules are typical of the deceptive elements that are so common in that package. Read more...

Rubio: Amnesty Needed to Identify Illegals - But Law Already Requires Registration

By Jon Feere, April 26, 2013

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is claiming amnesty is necessary so that the United States can determine the identity of illegal aliens in the country. However, basic enforcement of existing immigration law is all that is necessary to acquire the identities of all illegal aliens. Instead of promoting amnesty, Sen. Rubio could demand that the Obama administration enforce 8 U.S.C. § 1302, "Registration of Aliens", which makes it "the duty of every alien" to register their presence in the United States if they remain here 30 days or longer. Read more...

Boston Bomber's Background Check Highlights Amnesty Bill Flaw

By Jon Feere, April 25, 2013

While amnesty advocates are exploiting the horrific Boston Marathon attack as justification for quickly passing an amnesty, the Center for Immigration Studies finds that the failed FBI background checks of terrorism suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev indicate that the government does not have the capacity to adequately vet the backgrounds of 11 million illegal aliens, and that an amnesty might actually facilitate terrorism. Read more...

What Happened in Boston, Part 2: On the Matters of Immigration Screening, Naturalization, and Denaturalization

By W.D. Reasoner, April 25, 2013

Author's note: This is the second of two blogs on the subject of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings. Read Part 1.

Two bombs serially exploded at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, wounding 280-plus people and killing another three. By the early morning hours of Friday, April 19, two brothers, in a panic that their photos had been released by police to the media as suspects of interest, went on a crime spree involving a carjacking, an ATM theft, and the murder of one police officer and serious wounding of a second. They were tracked and the older brother died in a shootout at the scene while the younger escaped, only to be found and arrested 20 hours later (Friday evening), wounded and hiding in a boat. Read more...

Who's Cooking the Deportation Books? You Make the Call

By Jessica Vaughan, April 24, 2013

Last week, during a budget hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) asked DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano about my recent testimony in the ICE officers' lawsuit pointing out that total removals and removals of criminals have declined by 40 percent since the implementation of the administration's lenient "prosecutorial discretion" policies. Read more...

Chain Migration's Health Care Drain

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

Too many mass immigration proponents gloss over the real costs and drain on America's public resources that chain migration causes. And you hardly ever hear a peep in lame-stream news media. A rare exception comes from Bloomberg, in an essay by a Princeton researcher. Read more...

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.