Immigration Blog

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More Slaves, Please

An op-ed in yesterday's Post is titled "Immigration Pitfall: Why 'Legalization Only' Won't Fly" and I thought to myself it'd be worth a look to see what pro-enforcement arguments might have made it into the paper. Then I saw the authors and figured out what was up.

No Green Cards for Grads

The U.S. currently has the very sensible policy of not allowing student visas to be the gateway to immigration. Currently the law requires that those seeking student visas must prove they intend only to come to the U.S. to study and will return home at the completion of their studies. There are, however, mechanisms for some students to remain in the U.S. after graduation. Still, as a general policy, the immigration system expects that one comes to the U.S. on a student visa only to be a student.

Think Globally? On the Whole, I’d Rather Not: Interviewing on Al Jazeera

Recently I gave an interview to Al Jazeera English to be aired on a TV show about "Unemployed Day Laborers in New York City." When the host called to invite me, the topic initially struck me as oddly narrow and provincial, arguably even a tad esoteric for an audience Al Jazeera claims spans several continents. (I was told the service is "hip," multicultural, and has a broad range of viewers.) Nor was it immediately clear to me what my role was to be considering my professional focus. But I was starting out with several mistaken assumptions.

A Story of Kidnapping in Mexico

The report by Mexico s National Commission on Human Rights about the kidnapping of thousands of mostly Central American migrants on their way through Mexico is a remarkable catalog of abuses committed not only by gangs but also by Mexican law enforcement officials who carry out the kidnappings. I learned of such a case in 2005. It involved two Salvadorans who told me of being detained by Mexican immigration officials as they approached the border city of Reynosa. I spoke to the two men, Miguel Angel and Gustavo, after they had crossed into the United States. Here is a brief account, assembled from my notes at the time:

Top Visa Lottery Countries for 2010

Last week the State Department announced the lucky winners in this year’s Visa Lottery, who will be arriving in communities near you by September, 2010. Fourteen percent of the winners (13,988 people) hail from countries of special interest in the war on terror. Here are the top twelve winning countries:

Sotomayor to Make Immigration Policy from the Bench?

Evidence suggests that Judge Sonya Sotomayor has repudiated over a century of Supreme Court jurisprudence aimed at limiting judicial involvement in immigration matters.A simple analysis of Sotomayor’s post-2000 immigration-related holdings shows that she has ruled against the government – and for the alien – over 60 percent of the time.

REAL ID v. PASS ID Powerpoint Presentation

Today I participated in a REAL ID v. PASS ID event at the Heritage Foundation. For the Heritage event, I created a Powerpoint presentation covering the following topics:

the key flaws of PASS ID including the elimination of identity verification;the one benefit of PASS ID in enabling Enhanced Driver Licenses to be deemed compliant (which could simply be an add-on to REAL ID); and the importance of birth record digitization and interstate connectivity mandated by REAL ID but eliminated by PASS ID, resulting in a tremendous loss for every state's anti-fraud measures.

The Shame of Migrant Kidnapping in Mexico

Sen. John McCain and other advocates of a guest worker program to ensure an ample supply of low-wage labor for U.S. employers know that such a program would need the cooperation of workers’ home countries, especially Mexico.So they have reason to be alarmed at the stunning report of Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission about the kidnapping in that country of 10,000 illegal immigrants from other countries in the six months between last September and last February.

On a Roll

Wednesday and Thursday saw Senate approval of four good immigration amendments to the Homeland Security appropriations bill — not silver bullets that will solve everything, but real steps in the right direction nonetheless. A measure sponsored by Sen. Jeff Sessions would permanently reauthorize E-Verify and require federal contractors to use it (the similar contractor rule hyped by the administration is much narrower and riddled with loopholes). This amendment had failed in March by a vote of 47–50, but passed this week 53–44, with eight Democrats switching from no to yes votes (and two switching the other way). Every single Republican voted for it. A measure to require completion of the border fencing passed 54–44, and two other amnedments passed by voice vote — i.e., unanimously: one requires implementation of the Social Security No-Match Rule (overturning the administration announcement Wednesday to rescind the rule), while the other would permit employers to screen their existing workforce with the E-Verify system, which now may be used only for new hires.

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