Immigration in Trump's Quasi-SOTU

There were two important points related to immigration in last night's speech. The first is that the media hype about Trump possibly floating an amnesty plan was nonsense. It was driven by comments from the president himself to reporters earlier in the day that he’d be open to a deal that offered a non-citizenship amnesty to non-violent illegal aliens and a regular citizenship amnesty for the DACAs (illegals who came before age 16 whom Obama lawlessly amnestied). I don't think that was planned; he’s seemed to embrace a Jeb-like immigration plan in past off-the-cuff comments, only to back away when speaking formally, and that seems to be what happened. Taking this seriously was wishful thinking by the media and paranoia by immigration hawks (including myself) – though the paranoia, or better, eternal vigilance, is always necessary.
Topics: Politics

Immigration Enforcement Big Bang

"This is a law-enforcement agency." That's what President Trump told Department of Homeland Security staff Wednesday after he signed two executive orders on immigration enforcement.The fact that he had to say that – and that the assembled ICE agents, Border Patrol officers, and others heartily applauded – tells you all you need to know about how badly Obama gutted immigration enforcement and torpedoed employee morale.

Is Trump Going to Cancel DACA or Not?

Politicians will always disappoint you. Rich Lowry at National Review tells the story of how, during the few hours he was considering a run for New York City mayor, he found himself already starting to waffle on principle to a potential voter in the elevator. If I were ever so unwise as to run for office, I too would no doubt disappoint those who unwisely voted for me.So I was fully prepared for the Trump administration to do some things I wouldn't be happy with. But I expected the problems to arise in the area of foreign-worker visas; the president, while running for the nomination, made frequent statements in support of importing foreign workers on visas. (See here and here and here.)

Will Trump Restore 'Wet Foot-Dry Foot' for Cubans?

Spoiler: Probably not.Last week, President Obama ended the "wet foot-dry foot" policy for Cuban illegal aliens. Under the old approach, any Cubans apprehended at sea by the Coast Guard were returned to the island (unless they made a credible case for asylum), while those who reached shore were allowed to stay, enabling them to get green cards after one year, per the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.Wet foot-dry foot is itself a narrowing of earlier practice; before President Clinton formulated it in 1995, all Cubans, even those at sea, were simply brought to the U.S.
Topics: Cuba

As Sessions Moves On, Cotton Steps Up

I was among those begging Jeff Sessions not to take a position in the Trump cabinet. For sure, he will be among the finest Attorneys General in our nation's history, but I feared his departure from the Senate would leave a leadership vacuum, with no forceful, knowledgeable immigration skeptic to push back against the McCain/Schumer expansionists.Fear not: Tom Cotton has reported for duty.
Topics: Politics

Damning Report on Illegal-Alien Entries Now Available

In September the media reported that the Obama administration was sitting on a damning Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that called into question the administration’s claim that as many as 81 percent of people attempting to cross the border illegally are apprehended.This new report, whose full text the Center for Immigration Studies has now obtained, estimates that nearly half of illegal aliens slip through the southern border undetected.

Remember CIS on This #GivingTuesday

Today is "Giving Tuesday" – the well-meaning but contrived attempt to counter the rampant commercialization of the Christmas season. (Maybe next year, I'll invent Wonky Wednesday to promote donations specifically to think tanks!) Contrived or not, everybody's doing it, so here's why you should direct some of your giving this Tuesday to the Center for Immigration Studies.

When Are We Going to Get Serious About Immigration?

The news over the past couple of days highlights how screwed up our immigration policy is.

In response to the Minnesota attack by a Somali immigrant jihadist, Jeremy Carl asks at National Review, "But if even a small, but meaningful number of Somali immigrants join terror groups, which they most certainly do in numbers far out of proportion to their population, why do we need to bring in more?"

Being Pro-Me Doesn’t Mean I’m Anti-You

Rich Lowry at National Review is right about Trump's Phoenix address that "From an immigration hawk point of view, it is almost certainly the soundest speech ever given by a major-party presidential candidate." It was detailed and substantive and touched on issues that everyone's familiar with (like sanctuary cities) as well as less well-known ones, like the administration's unwillingness to sanction countries that won't take their own citizens back. (The text is here.) I hope this puts an end to the Jeb/Marco/Schumer talk that was so alarming last week, though I fully expect to be disappointed soon enough by the next dumb thing Trump says.

Topics: Politics, Mexico

'Extreme Vetting' Is Extremely Overdue

Donald Trump's speech yesterday on the threat of radical Islam included a section about immigration policy that has the usual suspects in a tizzy. This section focused not on terrorism, but rather on what Andy McCarthy calls the "grand jihad," the importation of Islamist ideology that rejects our constitutional order and open society.

Topics: Politics