Immigration Blog

America's Immigration Stalemate: Conflicted Policies

By Stanley Renshon, June 19, 2012

An immigration datum buried deep inside a New York Times-CBS political poll is a timely reminder of America's immigration stalemate. The poll was conducted from May 31 to June 6 and primarily focused on the Supreme Court and its upcoming health care decision.

But reading through the poll, one comes to Question 18: Read more...

Pennsylvania's Decision to Play Chicken with the Feds over Driver's Licenses Is a Bad Idea

By Janice Kephart, June 18, 2012

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's decision last month to sign a law rejecting compliance with REAL ID, the federal secure driver's license statute, is putting the state's residents at risk of unknowingly playing the lead role in a game of "chicken" with the feds on airport security ID requirements. Gov. Corbett is claiming an inability to comply with REAL ID standards and exaggerating the costs, both of which are highly inaccurate based on documentation obtained under Pennsylvania's "Right to Know Law". Corbett's irresponsible decisions will not only cost residents more hassle and money, but make a mockery out of 9/11 Commission recommendations on why we need secure IDs. These include facts pertaining to Ziad Jarrah, who crashed United Airlines Flight 93 into a Shanksville, Pa., field on September 11, 2001. Read more...

Immigrants Neither More nor Less Entrepreneurial than the Native-Born

By Steven A. Camarota, June 18, 2012

A recent report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) seems to imply that immigrants are particularly entrepreneurial. The authors of the report, "Immigrant Small Business Owners: A Significant and Growing part of the Economy", never really say this because the data does not support such a conclusion. But some of the coverage of the report is not as careful; see, for instance, "When You Think 'Immigrant,' Think 'Small Business Owner'", or "Immigrants Make Big Impact through Small Business".

The idea that immigrants are uniquely entrepreneurial is longstanding and common, but it is largely mistaken. It is true that immigrants were once more likely to operate their own business, but this has not been true for decades. For at least the last 20 years government surveys have repeatedly shown that there is no meaningful difference in the share of immigrants and natives who operate their own business. Read more...

The Rule of Unintended Consequences: Executive Order May Put Illegal Alien Youths at Risk

By W.D. Reasoner, June 18, 2012

Last Friday the Obama administration announced that, by executive order, it would direct Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies to halt the deportation, for at least two years, of a group of young illegal aliens meeting certain criteria, and in addition grant these youths employment authorization. Read more...

Plenty of Room for Fraud & Fuzz in Obama's Dream Scheme

By David North, June 18, 2012

There is plenty of room for both deliberate applicant fraud and deliberate administrative fuzziness (in definitions) in the White House's newly announced Dream Scheme. Read more...

Obama's Administrative Dream Act Myths

By Jon Feere, June 17, 2012

The Obama administration's latest attempt at amnesty is a lawless act and an end run around American citizens and their representatives in Congress. It is also a hostile act toward the millions of legal residents looking for jobs. Legalizing illegal aliens is unpopular and this plan may well drive voters away from the Obama campaign. Read more...

Phony Military Frosting on the Dream Scheme Cake

By David North, June 16, 2012

Let me quote a flash from the White House that came over the Internet yesterday:

"BREAKING NEWS: President Obama just announced a long-overdue policy that gives legal status to young immigrants, including students and members of the military."

I have underlined the last four words because they are totally extraneous; window dressing, if you will, or, more harshly, a phony frill. Read more...

What Is Deferred Action?

By Jessica Vaughan, June 15, 2012

The following explanation of Deferred Action, the tool that will be used by President Obama for the DREAMer amnesty, is from testimony I provided last summer to the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement: Read more...

Contrasts Between the IRCA Legalization and the Administration's Dream

By David North, June 15, 2012

Today's announcement of an amnesty for some young illegal immigrants foreshadows tomorrow's administrative nightmares for the Department of Homeland Security, its staff, and for the large numbers of applicants, legitimate or not.

I say this based on the two years I spent watching every move of the legalization programs that were spawned by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. I headed a small staff monitoring that somewhat similar program for the Ford Foundation. Read more...

H-2B Exploiters Beat Obama Administration in Senate Committee Vote

By David North, June 15, 2012

The power of exploitative employers to derail any meaningful improvement in temporary foreign worker programs was shown again yesterday, when the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 19-11 to postpone for a year the Obama administration's mild changes in the H-2B program. Read more...

Meanwhile, at the Border . . .

By Mark Krikorian, June 15, 2012

Obscured by the president's illegal DREAM decree is a report by Steve Dinan in today's Washington Times on a draft memo instructing Border Patrol agents to let certain illegal aliens go: Read more...

Who Will Pay to Process the Dream?

By Mark Krikorian, June 15, 2012

A mole inside the government raises some important questions about the president’s illegal DREAM decree. For instance, how would USCIS process all the applications if it can’t charge any processing fees? This is vital, because USCIS operates almost entirely from fee revenue rather than appropriated funds — if it has no additional fees, then it would need to have adjudicators stop processing citizenship and green-card applications so they could process the illegals. Read more...

Rubio’s Response to Obama's Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian, June 15, 2012

Senator Rubio’s statement:

“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future. This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run.

The End Justifies the Means

By Mark Krikorian, June 15, 2012

The White House decision to enact the DREAM Act through executive fiat is a lawless act. This isn’t even about immigration; it’s about the Constitution. Read more...

Lessons for U.S. Southern Border from Interview with Canadian Mountie

By Janice Kephart, June 14, 2012

Barely anyone in the United States bothers to talk about the northern border with Canada because it is basically tranquil. While I blogged about 330 illegal aliens over a 12 mile stretch of Arizona in one night a few weeks ago, Canada's twice-as-long border with the U.S. gets about 1,700 apprehensions a whole year. So we needn't pay attention to the northern border, right?

Wrong. While it may never be possible to 100 percent secure any border, listening to how criminal movement across our borders can successfully be interdicted is essential to anyone who really wants to understand what "border security" can mean. Read more...

DHS Wastes Money on Adult Toys (i.e., Drones), OIG Reports

By David North, June 14, 2012

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has found that DHS under-uses its pilot-less drones, and does so without sufficient planning or budgeting.

My sense is that DHS has fallen into the same trap as the Pentagon on a smaller scale and is infatuated with toys for adult males, in this case the drones. The wasteful nature of using (or having and not using) the drones was something I covered in a blog nearly two years ago. Read more...

State Agencies Should Prepare for a War of Attrition on Enforcement Measures

By W.D. Reasoner, June 14, 2012

A recent Associated Press article indicated that, notwithstanding the pending Supreme Court decision in the lawsuit the federal government filed against the state of Arizona to enjoin its co-enforcement of immigration laws — key facets of which are likely to be upheld — many legal analysts believe that various open-borders and immigrant advocacy groups intend to continue filing lawsuits based on the Arizona statute, primarily the portion that authorizes state and local police to question suspects as to their immigration status based on articulable facts. Read more...

California Senate Advances Sanctuary Bill, Ignoring Lessons of Triple Murder Case

By Jessica Vaughan, June 13, 2012

On Monday, a California judge sentenced unapologetic illegal alien and MS-13 gang member Edwin Ramos to spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of American citizens Tony Bologna and his two sons, whom Ramos had mistaken for rival gang members. For years before the murder, despite several arrests, Ramos had been shielded from deportation by San Francisco's sanctuary policies. Read more...

Summertime, Brought to You by Eastern Europe

By John Wahala, June 13, 2012

The season of outdoor amusement has arrived. Across the country, the young and the young at heart bask in sun-drenched days and long tranquil evenings, enjoying cookouts, concerts, sporting events, and of course trips to the pool and the beach. It is the time of many American traditions. In recent years this has included the arrival of legions of young foreign workers who descend on resorts and recreational areas to keep them running day and night. Read more...

Ag Employers Cry Wolf on Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, June 13, 2012

Business owners testified before the Senate against a measure that would "paralyze the country", the passage of which would "stop my machines", leading to a situation where "investors would never receive another dividend".

The bill placed limits on child labor. The year was 1916. Read more...

Voter ID – Sometimes Even Politicians Get It Right

By W.D. Reasoner, June 12, 2012

I went to my local big-box home improvement store yesterday. At checkout, I paid with plastic because I rarely have much real money with me at all these days: Who needs it, and why risk a lot of cash in the event you're mugged? Such is the state of affairs today, for better or worse. Read more...

On Capitol Hill, a Strong Indictment of Administrative Amnesty Policies

By Janice Kephart, June 12, 2012

Immigration was finally at the top of the agenda on Capitol Hill this week. While the House leadership has refused to take up any real immigration measures this session, individual representatives showed some political will on immigration enforcement via the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill. Perhaps encouraged by some harsh words from Supreme Court justices on the Obama administration's arguments against Arizona's S.B. 1070, the House passed measures by large voting margins to prohibit funding of the administration's "amnesty by any means" programs. Read more...

Beyond the Hoopla — Older Immigrants Are Economic Disasters

By David North, June 12, 2012

We keep reading the publicity about the economic value of immigrants — and some of them are truly helpful — but when all is said and done and they retire, they are, as a group, economic basket cases.

The basic data for that conclusion, if not the conclusion itself, come from a report just issued by the Migration Policy Institute, the Washington, D.C.-based more-migration think tank. Read more...

Time for Another DREAM Act Story

By Mark Krikorian, June 11, 2012

You can almost hear the Washington Post editorial meeting a few weeks back: "Hey, we haven't run a tear-jerker pushing the DREAM Act in a while, so assign it to someone!" Thus today's "Virginia student graduates from high school, braces for deportation". It's the usual stuff, but a few points bear repeating: Read more...

Irish Workers in the Big Apple: American Kids (Apparently) Need Not Apply

By Jerry Kammer, June 11, 2012

When I was working on our report "Cheap Labor as Cultural Exchange", about the State Department program that brings more than 100,000 foreign college students to the United States every year for temporary jobs and includes financial incentives for American employers not to hire American workers, I frequently heard complaints that employers couldn't find American kids to do the jobs. Read more...

DOJ Expands Gun Rights for Certain Nonimmigrant Aliens

By David North, June 11, 2012

The Department of Justice has used its power to define legal terminology to give a large class of nonimmigrant aliens gun rights that they did not have previously.

Whether intended to be one or not, it is simultaneously a victory for the more-guns people and the more-migration people, an interesting (and to me, depressing) two-fer. Read more...

Why Not Reduce Immigration Too?

By Otis Graham, June 8, 2012

Last month, I posted a blog, "Do Immigrants Bowl Together?", an assessment of Robert Putnam's influential 2000 book Bowling Alone. Putnam presented a richly documented argument that America was enduring a decades-long weakening of the bonds of social capital that had commenced in the 1950s. Read more...

Death Threats and Bond Defaults Linked to Different H-1B Programs

By David North, June 8, 2012

Death threats were linked in a court document to one major H-1B program and a $19 million bond issue default to another H-1B user, the latter according to this week's New York Times.

The death threats were made against Jay Palmer, the stand-up U.S. citizen who blew the whistle against Infosys, one of the largest of the Indian bodyshops in the H-1B business, and the bond default was announced by Wells Fargo, trustee of a series of bonds issued by three tax-supported charter schools run by the controversial Turkish Gulen movement. Read more...

Proposal: Let's Look at All the Foreign Worker Programs as a Whole

By David North, June 7, 2012

Let's stop looking at the nonimmigrant worker programs one at a time and instead address them as a worrisome whole.

That was the central idea presented at a meeting hosted yesterday by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive Washington think tank. Read more...

Hiring Illegals? Securities Regulators May Call

By James R. Edwards Jr., June 7, 2012

A Bloomberg Businessweek report says the Securities and Exchange Commission is increasingly investigating publicly traded companies that run afoul of immigration laws. That's good news because businesses that gain an unfair competitive advantage over law-abiding firms should be held to account for all aspects of their ill-gotten gains. Read more...