Immigration Blog

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Fish or Cut Bait

As the National Guard deployment on the border comes to an end, an article in Military Review (a journal published by the Army) looks at what the Army's experience along the Mexican border in 1915-1917 (Pancho Villa and all that) might teach us about today. (The pdf is here.) The author, a professor at the Army staff college at Ft. Leavenworth, concludes sensibly that:

Baiting McCain

Since McCain and Obama have identical views on immigration, I used to think that the issue wouldn't come up much in the general election campaign, just like in 2000 and 2004. But after their respective speeches to NALEO this week (the Sunday Post had a roundup piece) and watching Emanuel and Pawlenty trading barbs Sunday morning on "This Week," I see that I was wrong. It looks like Obama will be bringing the issue up repeatedly, accusing McCain of being insufficiently committed to amnesty, and McCain will take the bait and pledge in increasingly strident terms his commitment to legalizing all the illegal aliens. It's a win-win for Obama: he shows his solidarity with skeptical Hispanic Democrats by pointing to McCain's modified limited hangout on immigration after the collapse of last summer's bill, and McCain continues to inflame his ostensible supporters by constantly reminding them that he's Amnesty John.

Third Time's the Charm

Pro-amnesty crusader Chris Cannon, Republican congressman from Utah (motto: "We love immigrants in Utah. And we don't make the distinction very often between legal and illegal."), finally got his comeuppance Tuesday by losing a primary to Jason Chaffetz, who ran on, among other things, a hawkish immigration platform. This comes after two primary close calls against other challengers in 2004 and 2006. In this race, Cannon lost despite outraising Chaffetz nearly 7 to 1 and garnering the endorsement of President Bush. (On second thought, maybe that endorsement was part of the problem.)

Supreme Court OK's Border Fence

The Supreme Court today rejected a plea by environmental groups to prevent Homeland Security from constructing part of the pending U.S.-Mexico border fence. The White House had made use of a statutory provision in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (provided via amendment by 2005’s REAL ID Act) which reads, in part: “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive all legal requirements such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads.” In other words, Congress gave the White House direct authority to waive various laws, such as environmental protection statutes, when securing our borders.

9th Circuit: Continue Employing Suspected Illegal Aliens

In their quest to continue the unlawful employment of illegal aliens, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) found support from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week. At issue was the firing of 33 individuals with mismatched Social Security numbers who had been employed by Aramark, a large professional services company.

Subordinating Immigration to Foreign Policy

DHS announced today that the process leading to visa-free access to the United States has been started for, I kid you not, Bulgaria. Michael Chertoff said "I look forward to the day when we greet the first visa-free travelers from Bulgaria on our soil."

I don't. First of all, we still don't have a fully implemented entry-exit system, so we don't know whether a visitor actually left when he was supposed to — which means we don't know how many visa overstayers there are. A fully functioning exit-tracking system should be a prerequisite to a visa-waiver program, so that you can remove from the program any country whose people aren't leaving on time. And believe me, Bulgarians wouldn't leave; the country has a lower per capita income than Mexico or Turkey.

Robo-Restaurant

Who says we need mass immigration because there's no way to automate the service sector? CNN has a piece on a restaurant in Germany where you order and pay at tabletop touch-screens and the food is delivered down spiral rails from the kitchen above. (The BBC's story is here, and the restaurant's home page is here.) From the BBC story:

Toughest Sheriff in America

Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix gets attrition through enforcement:

About 16 percent of the 77,000 inmates booked into county jail this year were illegal immigrants. Arpaio believes that by keeping pressure on illegal immigrants, he can drive them from Arizona.

"They're heading south, or they're going to California, but they're sure getting out of Arizona," he said.

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