Immigration Blog

Supreme Stop Sign

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 18, 2011

The Virginia Supreme Court has struck a blow for common sense. And its recent ruling is the first rational measure to check some of the worst ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court's overreaching Padilla v. Kentucky decision. Read more...

The Hyphen as a Bridge to an American Identity

By Stanley Renshon, January 18, 2011

New legal immigrants have chosen the United States as their home in which to live and work, but it is not yet fully their country. Nor, can we expect it to be right away.

The new immigrant arrives having spent his childhood and formative years in his country of origin. She has absorbed its language, culture, and outlook, while at the same time having had an uncountable number of experiences that reinforce and deepened the connections among these elements. So that immigrant arrives here with an already formed identity. He or she is a Nigerian, a Chilean, a Vietnamese, and so on. Read more...

The Big Lie Never Dies: The Washington Post on Mass Deportation

By Stephen Steinlight, January 17, 2011

Despite execrable historical roots, the primary rhetorical strategy employed in the Washington Post editorial "Immigration impasse ahead" (given a different title online) is the Big Lie. Whether consciously or not, its authors effectively turn George Orwell's critique of mass disinformation in 1984 into praxis to make their central point. Read more...

A Small Hyphen's Large Assimilation Results

By Stanley Renshon, January 17, 2011

To understand the role of the hyphen in helping legal immigrants become Americans it is important to keep in mind its role in managing the emotional currents of the immigration process.

Immigration begins with the decision to give up a great deal to make a fresh start in a new country. For most immigrants this requires adjusting to a new culture, a new language, unknown economic prospects, and a lonely existence apart from family, friends, and community. Read more...

Hyphenation vs. Dual Citizenship

By Stanley Renshon, January 16, 2011

Theodore Roosevelt's hyphen animus was as mistaken as it was understandable. He had a country about to go to war and 23 million new immigrants, most of them from the very continent where the war was being fought. And some of these immigrants had mixed feelings about plunging into a conflict that reignited complex feelings about their former home countries. Read more...

Just How Does an Anchor Baby Anchor the Illegal Alien Parent?

By David North, January 16, 2011

A reader asked: "Just what is the mechanism that allows an anchor baby to keep his or her illegal alien parents in the U.S.?"

There are four different mechanisms at work here, as my CIS colleague, Jon Feere, and I see it: Read more...

What's in a Name? Assimilation's Secret Weapon

By Stanley Renshon, January 14, 2011

One of the most successful tools in the arsenal of assimilation is barely noticed. It is not as obvious as learning English. Its benefits are not as apparent as getting an education, or a job. But it has been instrumental in helping millions of immigrants make the emotional transition from their countries of origin to new attachments that are, in the best circumstances, part of becoming an American.

I am writing about the mighty hyphen. Read more...

Morton Kondracke and the Immigration-Industrial Complex

By Jerry Kammer, January 14, 2011

Ever since his days as a regular on the McLaughlin Group, Morton Kondracke struck me as a decent fellow. He was a little conservative for my tastes, but he came across as a fundamentally decent man.

Well, "Mor-tahn," as host John McLaughlin famously called him, did some damage to that impression yesterday. In his column for Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper where he is the executive editor, Kondracke declared that Arizona had been reduced to "a state of Minuteman vigilantism, death threats against politicians and judges, talk-radio demagoguery, and bullying of Latinos and rival politicians by 'America's toughest sheriff.'" Read more...

Plan B for the Pro-Migration Advocates

By David North, January 14, 2011

Now that "comprehensive immigration reform" is either dead or in slumber for the next two years, the pro-migration people have come up with a somewhat different approach, and it was discussed at a meeting in Washington Thursday.

It is useful to note that the pro-migration advocates, though allied with each other, come in three different groupings. There are the employers, who want lower wages; there are the ethnic organizations who say, in effect, "Let My People In"; and then there are the intellectuals, represented Thursday at a session of the foundation-supported Migration Policy Institute. Read more...

Not Your Father's Latino Officials

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 13, 2011

Longtime political observer Hastings Wyman at the Southern Political Report recently noted Republican Latino candidates winning more offices from the South in the fall elections. His column is titled "Latino Republicans Gain in Dixie." Read more...

Would Advanced Immigrant Visas for 55,000 Haitians Help Haiti?

By David North, January 12, 2011

A Washington Post editorial of a few days ago urged the Obama Administration to let 55,000 Haitian immigrants come to the U.S. despite the fact that they would be jumping the visa-backlog queues and numerical ceilings established by Congress.

There are three sets of considerations here: 1) would this be good for the individuals involved? 2) what consequences would be imposed on the U.S.? and 3) would it be good for Haiti? Read more...

Phoenix ICE Agents Raid Business!

By Jessica Vaughan, January 11, 2011

Today's batch of press releases from ICE included several noteworthy announcements: an impressive successful MS-13 gang prosecution in San Francisco, the continued steady implementation of Secure Communities, and the usual report of a child porn case. But one in the group caught my eye: "ICE Seizes Counterfeit NFL Jerseys in Phoenix." Read more...

Decision Makers: Gallegly in House of Representatives, Sperling in White House

By David North, January 11, 2011

There have been two recent Washington personnel decisions that may impact the making of immigration policy, one in the legislative branch, the other in the executive.

Lamar Smith (R-TX), incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee, contrary to many expectations, has named longtime Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) as chair of the immigration subcommittee; Steve King (R- IA) an equally conservative member and until recently the ranking Republican on that subcommittee, had been thought to be in line for the position. Read more...

Arlington-Based Outfit Urges India to Fight Against U.S. Interests in WTO

By David North, January 10, 2011

Is it fair play for an American organization to encourage a foreign government to take action against our government in a dispute before an international organization?

Clearly it is OK for an American organization to seek to change the policies of the American government directly, or in alliance with other American organizations. And it would be acceptable for an American organization – say the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce – to seek to change the policies of an international organization, say the UN. Read more...

Anti-Civil Discourse

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 10, 2011

A group of state legislators and the incoming Kansas secretary of state held a press conference in Washington the day the 112th Congress was sworn in last week. These distinguished officials unveiled a novel strategy to end birthright citizenship – the de facto awarding of U.S. citizenship to the American-born children of illegal aliens and "citizenship tourists." Read more...

New Foreign PhDs Much Less in Debt than New U.S. Citizen PhDs

By David North, January 9, 2011

Many systems in America tilt in favor of its citizens, such as voting or obtaining government jobs, but at least one does not.

That's the system that funds PhD-level educations.

New foreign PhDs, or more precisely, those with temporary visas, have considerably less educational debt on graduation than new PhDs who are U.S. citizens or green card holders. Read more...

The Yin and Yang of Immigration Debate Extremes

By Stanley Renshon, January 7, 2011

Two recent pieces of commentary on the extremes of the immigration debate deserve recognition for casting light on immigration rhetoric that has no legitimate place in our discussions. Read more...

Morning News, 1/7/11

By Bryan Griffith, January 7, 2011

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1. New round of talks with Cuba
2. Issue is about jobs for GOP
3. SC AZ-style bill moves forward
4. Ambassador says teen shot
5. TX Pastor accused of ID fraud Read more...

Guam Employer of Foreign Workers Caught in Quadruple Abuse Scheme

By David North, January 6, 2011

A Guam employer, using the H-2B foreign worker program, has just been caught in a quadruple abuse scheme.

Were there such a thing, he would have won the title of World Champion Ignoble Employer, hands down.

The employer's name is Shui Cheng (aka Steven Wang). He is in construction, a booming business on Guam because of the U.S. military build-up there. He managed, all at once, to:

  • break the U.S. labor and immigration laws;
  • exploit and abuse his countrymen;
  • cheat legal workers out of available jobs; and

Department of Very Bad Immigration Ideas: 'Every child in the United States should learn Spanish'

By Stanley Renshon, January 6, 2011

Some ideas are so astoundingly bad that it is not only hard to take them seriously, but also to understand how they could be seriously made. Which brings us to Nicholas Kristof's recent column entitled "Primero Hay Que Aprender Espanol, Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen," which translates to "First, one must learn Spanish. Then Learn Chinese." Read more...

Amnesty Advocates Interrupt Birthright Event, Tackle Senior Citizen

By Jon Feere, January 5, 2011

While attending a discussion on birthright citizenship held by the State Legislators for Legal Immigration at the National Press Club in Washington this morning, I was able to witness the true face of the pro-amnesty, pro-illegal immigration crowd. On at least four occasions, the so-called "pro-immigrant" activists attempted to stop discussion by rudely interrupting the speakers and shouting down state legislators and professors. Read more...

Morning News, 1/5/11

By Bryan Griffith, January 5, 2011

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1. Congressional GOP prepares
2. Sen. McCain open to overhaul
3. Immigration-fueled population
4. Study: Border town unemployment
5. Buoys strung along CA canal Read more...

Mexican Education's Sad Legacy in the U.S.

By Jerry Kammer, January 5, 2011

Yesterday I described the situation of a Mexican couple who are illegal immigrants in New York and who have been saving their money to pay a $2,000 fee to a smuggler prepared to bring them their 11-year-old daughter, who is living with relatives in the state of Puebla. I noted the traumatic changes the young girl is likely to experience during the journey and after she arrives. Read more...

Decision Maker: Justice Appoints Osuna to Head EOIR

By David North, January 5, 2011

Juan P. Osuna, formerly Associate Deputy Attorney General, had been appointed Acting Director of the Justice Department's Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). Who succeeds Osuna in the policy job in the AG's office may be more interesting than the acting EOIR appointment. Will we get an immigration enthusiast (like USCIS Director Mayorkas) or another sober careerist, like Osuna? Read more...

Education as Patriotism: A Novel and Dubious Defense of the DREAM Act

By Stanley Renshon, January 5, 2011

Gregory Rodriguez put one of the most novel defenses of the recently defeated DREAM Act in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece. He does not, of course, take up any of the glaring and egregious loopholes contained in the bill as written, but his argument is unusual enough to be considered on its own merits, or lack thereof. Read more...

Flashback: Sen. Reid on Birthright Citizenship

By Jon Feere, January 4, 2011

In 1993, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) introduced legislation to clarify the scope of the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause and to end the practice of granting U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants.

Specifically, in a section titled "Basis of Citizenship Clarified," Reid's bill explained: Read more...

A View from Manhattan

By Jerry Kammer, January 4, 2011

During a visit to New York last week, I had the opportunity to speak with a few of the Mexican immigrants who are ubiquitous workers in Manhattan's countless restaurants, delis, cafes, corner markets, pizzerias, bagel shops, and hotels. Read more...

Morning News, 1/4/11

By Bryan Griffith, January 4, 2011

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1. States target 14th amendment
2. CO Gov. reverses course
3. New AZ AG to defend SB1070
4. FL lawmaker pushes enforcement
5. UT man sentenced for ID fraud Read more...

Foriegn Workers and the Mismatch Theory

By Stanley Renshon, January 4, 2011

The idea that the United States needs a temporary worker program is fast becoming conventional wisdom. The logic underlying this supposed need is well captured in an article by Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute. He writes, "The fact that 400,000 to 500,000 foreign born workers were joining the U.S. labor force illegally in years past indicates the general magnitude of the need for additional legal workers when the U.S. economy resumes normal growth. Read more...

The More-Workers-Needed Fallacy

By Stanley Renshon, January 3, 2011

With the decreasing likelihood of "comprehensive immigration reform," at least as it has been formulated to date, and the defeat of the so-called DREAM act, interested parties on all sides of the immigration debate are searching for new policy initiatives that can stand on their own and not be dependent on any "grand bargain" of amnesty and increased immigration in exchange for promises of enforcement. Read more...