Immigration Blog

As Mexico Improves, Central America Struggles

By Jerry Kammer, January 31, 2013

Mexico's improving economic situation has received a great deal of press recently, raising hopes that fewer Mexicans will feel compelled to cross the U.S. border illegally.

Meanwhile, deteriorating economic and social conditions in much of Central America have received little attention in the English-language press. Read more...

Another Look at the Forces Behind Birth Tourism

By David North, January 30, 2013

Birth tourism — which recently has become a local controversy in Southern California — arises from a confluence of strong factors, illustrated in the diagram below.

Birth tourism is the planned birth of an infant in the United States by a visiting alien mother who seeks at-birth citizenship for the baby; typically she and the baby leave the country after the birth, but the child can return at any time in the future, and years later can set in motion the legal immigration of his or her parents and other family members. Read more...

When Trespassing Apparently Isn't, and When "Sovereign Citizens" Apparently Aren't

By W.D. Reasoner, January 30, 2013

The following is a special update from our Forrest Gump Department, which is always diligently tracking and bringing to you the latest insanities and inanities on the subject of immigration in these here United States. Read more...

Awards for Commentary on Reform Proposal

By Jerry Kammer, January 30, 2013

Most Sweeping Statement. Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos: "It's the most important immigration news since the amnesty 27 years ago." Read more...

Does McCain Really Mean that 75 Percent of Illegal Aliens Will Be Denied Legal Status?

By Ronald W. Mortensen, January 30, 2013

During an appearance on CBS This Morning, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said: "People who have not committed a crime here or done something wrong will have a legal status, but they will not be able to have citizenship until they line up behind those who came here legally to get a green card on a path to citizenship." Read more...

What Was the Point of Obama’s Immigration Speech?

By Mark Krikorian, January 29, 2013

I know the president likes the sound of his own voice, but, really, what was the point of his immigration speech today in Las Vegas? Read more...

Aliens Who Thumb Their Noses at the United States Get Green Cards Anyway

By David North, January 29, 2013

Two small classes of aliens who have, in effect, thumbed their noses at the United States, are now about to get their green cards — despite non-admirable behavior in the application process.

Neither group has done anything criminal, but they have (at least in my eyes) treated Uncle Sam with disdain. Despite this, USCIS has set in motion techniques for them to get admitted to the United States.

These are the careless brides and grooms, on one hand, and the overly casual, overseas relatives of people who have secured refugee or asylee status, on the other. Here are the stories: Read more...

Lies, Damn Lies, and Enforcement Promises

By Mark Krikorian, January 28, 2013

Even amnesty advocates acknowledge that the enforcement provisions of any package deal are bogus. For instance, over at the Plum Line, Greg Sargent writes about the Senate outline's proposal for a commission of southwestern leaders to certify control over the border before the "provisionally" amnestied illegals get green cards: Read more...

We've Seen This Senate Amnesty Movie Before

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 28, 2013

A front-page article in the Washington Post breathily proclaimed that a small, self-appointed group of senators will unveil a broad overhaul of the immigration system and will stage a big announcement setting forth their accomplishment. Read more...

Won’t Get Fooled Again

By Mark Krikorian, January 28, 2013

This latest iteration of the decade-old amnesty con contains the same old “back of the line” baloney as its predecessors. In other words, illegal immigrants will supposedly not be able to cut ahead of those who didn’t break the law. But, of course, that’s nonsense, because the only line they might have to wait in is the line for an actual green card. Read more...

Dreamy Enforcement Provisions vs. Genuine Steps Forward: A Checklist

By David North, January 28, 2013

Today's New York Times and Washington Post ran news articles about how a group of eight senators has cobbled together a "comprehensive immigration reform" plan that will introduce a massive amnesty program after some "tougher enforcement" strategies have been put in place.

The proposed enhancements of immigration enforcement are largely symbolic and are designed to sound good, rather than to actually reduce the populations of legal and illegal immigrants.

Here's a little checklist on some of the weakest of these proposals: Read more...

Jeb's Tyranny of Immigration Cliches

By Mark Krikorian, January 25, 2013

Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick's immigration op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal is the usual string of cliches, and thus hardly worth commenting on. But given the authors, the venue and, frankly, my job, I'll give it a go.

Immigration hubris. The piece is a list of subheaded assertions, so I'll follow its format. The authors' introductory point is that immigration changes must be wholesale — "comprehensive", in the current jargon: Read more...

Rubio Refining Immigration Message

By Mark Krikorian, January 25, 2013

Senator Rubio was on Mark Levin’s show Wednesday (view the YouTube video below right to listen), revising and extending his earlier remarks on amnesty to the Journal and the Times. He seems to be walking back some of what he said last week, asserting the need for “triggers” to “certify that, indeed, the workplace security thing is in place, the visa tracking is in place, and there’s some level of significant operational control of the border.” Whatever its superficial appeal, this trigger idea is an old gimmick used to reconcile the “enforcement first” demand with amnesty. Read more...

Irish Overstayer Accused of Murdering Child

By Jessica Vaughan, January 24, 2013

The stories plastered all over the front pages of newspapers in the Boston area reveal that the nanny accused of delivering what the police report called "abusive head trauma" to a one-year-old child, who later died, is an illegal alien. This case is further illustration of the serious deficiencies in our immigration enforcement system, and the tragedy that can result. Read more...

Establishment Republicans Support Amnesty - Is Gun Control Next?

By Ronald W. Mortensen, January 22, 2013

Establishment Republicans like Grover Norquist, Haley Barbour, Charles Krauthammer, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) all panicked following the defeat of Mitt Romney and, like a routed army with no leadership, they are in full retreat. However, in this case they are not just throwing their arms away as they desert the battlefield, they are also jettisoning their principles. Read more...

Harper's Magazine Gives the Free Market a Pass on Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, January 21, 2013

Unlike many of my CIS colleagues, I consider myself a liberal. One reason is that I believe government regulation is necessary to curb abuses of the free market. Another is that I think government should be involved in checking the free market's tendency to devalue the work of those at the bottom and to concentrate too much wealth at the top.

I believe that we need to restrict immigration, especially of the unskilled and poorly educated, in order to protect the social safety net and limit the ability of employers to displace American workers or drive down their wages. Read more...

Enroll'em First, Verify'em Later

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 21, 2013

With Obama's health law continuing to be put into effect, new regulations have been rolled out that relate to enrolling people in Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and for premium subsidies through the exchanges. The regulations squarely address aspects of verification of immigration status. Bottom line, it directs states and others to take someone's word for it that he or she is "lawfully present". Read more...

The Multiple Negatives in Immigration Speak

By David North, January 21, 2013

Two of the characteristics of the lingo of the immigration business are its often-convoluted nature and its double-negatives.

For example, cancellation or suspension of removal is good news for the alien — it means that he will not be deported — but voluntary departure is bad news, it means that he has to leave the country (but not in custody).

But the indoor gold medal in the field of awkward, multiple-negative, complex convolutions in immigration law terminology must go to this wonderful headline in the January 7 issue of Interpreter Releases: Read more...

Man Bites Dog: ICE Arrests Deportable Unlicensed Driver

By Jessica Vaughan, January 17, 2013

Last week ICE arrested Roberto Galo, the unlicensed Honduran who killed a young man named Drew Rosenberg in a traffic crash in November 2010, and is detaining him without bond. Galo's arrest is appropriate but, incredibly, despite the fact that Galo repeatedly violated California driving laws and killed someone, ICE had to make an exception to its policies in order to take him into custody and seek his removal. Read more...

Do Rubio, Ryan Really Trust Obama to Enforce the Law?

By Mark Krikorian, January 16, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio has effectively endorsed President Obama's approach to immigration, and that endorsement was in turn endorsed by Rep. Paul Ryan. Or, as Julia Preston put it in the New York Times yesterday, "Strikingly, Mr. Rubio's principles did not sound that different from proposals for an immigration overhaul by Mr. Obama, Democratic leaders and a handful of other Republicans."

So, in considering what can now accurately be referred to as the Obama-Rubio-Ryan amnesty plan of 2013, there's one central question that Rubio and Ryan need to be asked: Do they trust President Obama to enforce the immigration laws in the future, after today's illegals have been legalized? Read more...

Here's a Puzzler — Drenched in Irony — about Amnesties

By David North, January 16, 2013

Here's a puzzling, immigration-related, political and philosophical question, one that may call for the diagramming of the sentence below:

If we are going to have an amnesty for illegal aliens, which is not a good idea, should it be designed to make it relatively harder for more-useful potential residents of the United States to cheat the system than for less-useful potential residents to do so? Read more...

REAL ID Compliance and the Effect of Deferred Action

By Janice Kephart, January 15, 2013

Facing a final compliance deadline of today, January 15, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last month issued a press release providing a six-month grace period for states to become fully compliant with the federal driver's license law known as the REAL ID Act of 2005. DHS states that enforcement would then begin at the earliest in the autumn of 2013. Read more...

The Rest of the Story on Partial Federal Court Secrecy in Immigration Cases

By David North, January 15, 2013

Last month I reported on a case of puzzling, partial judicial secrecy about an immigration case in a blog entitled "It's a Sealed Court Document, But if You Cross My Palm with Silver ...". Read more...

Biblical Limits of Hospitality

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 15, 2013

As evangelicals get pushed into liberal immigration policies, too few Christian commentators have voiced much reason. They're typically long on emotionalism and anecdote and short on analytical rigor.

But one recent voice did reflect a degree of thought, balance, and use of the sense God gave him. Read more...

Groundhog Day for Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, January 14, 2013

The Wall Street Journal article on Senator Marco Rubio's amnesty plan makes me want to take piano lessons or learn ice sculpture — because it's Groundhog Day for immigration policy, and it's like yesterday never happened. Read more...

Pravda and the Rise of a Toothless Tiger

By W.D. Reasoner, January 11, 2013

On January 7, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) — which bills itself as "an independent, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide" — held a symposium entitled "Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery".

Alright, I admit it was rude, but I laughed out loud when I read the MPI lead-in announcing the event. "Formidable"? Hardly. This administration has done more to dismantle the effective enforcement of immigration laws — and to use presidential orders to circumvent the proper role of Congress in establishing immigration policy — than any other administration in recent history, perhaps in all of American history. It is the executive branch equivalent of "judicial activism" and, sadly, our legislative leaders appear unable or unwilling to push back and stop the assault on their constitutionally mandated role. Read more...

Doubling Down on an Immigration Factoid

By Mark Krikorian, January 11, 2013

I'm delighted Doris Meissner has responded to my critique of the report she co-authored for the immigration-expansionist Migration Policy Institute, which falsely claims that we spend more money on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement combined. Read more...

Immigration Vox Populi on C-SPAN, Part Two

By Jerry Kammer, January 11, 2013

Read "Immigration Vox Populi on C-SPAN, Part One"

More comments from callers to Thursday's Washington Journal:

Brilliant at Everything but Managing the Immigration Rules

By David North, January 11, 2013

It is a strange combination, but it keeps appearing.

Some alien, or sometimes a group of them, is absolutely brilliant at some kind of activity, but a total klutz at managing immigration regulation.

Sometimes this odd mix is used as an argument that we really should loosen our immigration laws on behalf of some partially-brilliant group, or an individual. Here are three examples of this mix of talent and ineptitude. Read more...