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31 July, 2009
Australia: A nation of immigrants
I imagine that Israel still tops the league by far when we look at the proportion of people living in a country who were not actually born in that country. Even apart from millions of Russians and a few Americans out of a total population of about 6 million, Israel has a couple of hundred thousand illegals from Islamic countries living there too -- surprising though that no doubt will be to most non-Israelis. And if you count illegals, America is once again a nation with a lot of immigrants too. But the figures below probably put Australia second to Israel in proportion of non-native-born. Not mentioned below is that the Australian population total is just over 20 million and about 10% of those are East Asian, mostly Han Chinese, in ancestry.
Although there is no doubt that Australians and Britons have proudly different cultures and traditions and are not slow to say so, the differences are in absolute terms quite small, particularly when we realize that there is a great deal of diversity within Britain itself. So that someone from the Home Counties (say) who visits Australia will experience a transition not unlike visiting Yorkshire, though with much better weather and greater prosperity, of course.
So the fact that over a million out of 20 million Australians were actually born on the other side of the world in Britain should be no surprise. They could almost be in just another region of England. Again something unmentioned below, however, is that the immigrant Brits in Australia are mostly from North of Watford. That information will mean nothing to most of the world but Brits sure know what it means. Putting it formally, it means that most British immigrants are from regional England rather than metropolitan England
Nearly 60 per cent of Australia's population growth is from migration, and the United Kingdom still remains the greatest source of new emigrants. New Australian immigration statistics have shown that Britons make up the greatest amount of migrants to Australia.
The latest Australian immigration figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 5.5 million Australians, or around a quarter of the population, were born overseas.
Around 213,000 people migrated to Australia in 2007/08, that is 60 per cent of the nation's population growth, and the majority of the new arrivals (60 per cent) were aged between 15 and 34.
The United Kingdom is greatest source with 1.2 million people who were born in Britain now living in the country after emigrating to Australia.
The figures show people from more than 200 countries resettled in Australia in 2007/08 with New Zealand, China, India and Italy also high on the list as sources of migrants to Australia.
The most popular state destination for people arriving from overseas was NSW, although Queensland is the most popular choice in terms of domestic migration.
More than 360,000 Australians moved interstate in 2007/08 with people aged 20 to 34 representing about 40 per cent of that figure.
Illegal Immigrant Population Declining
New CIS Report Estimates 1.7 Million Drop Since Summer 2007
An analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of monthly data collected by the Census Bureau shows that fewer illegal immigrants are coming and more are returning home. The findings also show that the legal immigrant population has not declined. As a result, the overall foreign-born population has held relatively steady. The report examines the extent to which stepped-up enforcement and the downturn in the economy account for this trend.
The report, “A Shifting Tide: Recent Trends in the Illegal Immigrant Population,” is written by Steven Camarota, the Center’s Director of Research, and Karen Jensenius, the Center’s Demographer.
Among the findings:
Our best estimate is that the illegal population declined 13.7 percent (1.7 million) from a peak of 12.5 million in the summer of 2007 to 10.8 million in the first quarter of 2009.
If we compare the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2009, the implied decline is 1.3 million (10.9 percent). In just the last year the decline was 5.7 percent.
By design, these estimates produce results similar to those from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS estimates of the illegal population show a 1.5 percent decline between January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2008. Our estimates show a 1.6 percent decline over the same time period. DHS has not yet estimated the illegal population for January 2009.
There is evidence that the number of new illegal immigrants arriving has fallen by about one-third in the last two years compared to earlier in this decade.
There is also evidence that the number of illegal immigrants returning home has more than doubled in the last two years compared to earlier in this decade.
While migration patterns have fundamentally changed, it must be remembered that the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants have not left the country, and tens of thousands of new illegal immigrants continue to settle in the country each year.
Our analysis shows that only the illegal immigrant population has declined. The legal immigrant population does not show the same decline. This is true overall and for Mexico specifically, the top illegal-immigrant-sending country.
The fact that the legal immigrant population does not show the same decline is an indication that stepped-up enforcement has played a role.
Another indication that enforcement has contributed to the decline is that the illegal immigrant population began falling before there was a significant rise in the unemployment rate for illegal immigrants.
While the decline began before unemployment among illegal immigrants rose, since then unemployment among illegal immigrants has increased dramatically and must now be playing a significant role in reducing their numbers.
There is evidence that the illegal population rose in the summer of 2007, while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population quickly began a dramatic fall.
There is no way to know if the current trend will continue. Given President Obama’s stated desire to legalize illegal immigrants and his backing away from enforcement efforts, it seems likely that when the economy recovers, the illegal population will resume its growth.
Discussion: These findings are consistent with anecdotal evidence. They are also consistent with data showing a decline in remittances sent home by immigrants. Additionally, they are in line with a drop in border apprehensions. The decline in the illegal population, whatever the cause, challenges the argument that illegal aliens are so firmly attached to their lives in this country that it is not possible to induce many of them to return home. The evidence indicates that this is not the case. If the current trend were to continue for another five years, it could cut the illegal population in half from its peak in the summary of 2007.
Methodology: This study uses monthly data from the Current Population Survey collected by the Census Bureau. The Department of Homeland Security, the former INS, and other outside research organizations have used Census Bureau data to estimate the illegal immigrant population. We examine trends in the number of foreign-born, less-educated, young, Hispanic immigrants. Prior research indicates that 80 percent of these individuals are in the country illegally. Please see the report itself for more detail.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. For more information, contact Steven Camarota at (202) 466-8185 or email@example.com.
30 July, 2009
Hundreds of thousands of migrants in Britain for handouts, says senior judge
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants come to Britain just to get welfare benefits, a senior judge declared yesterday. Judge Ian Trigger said the cost of the handouts has helped to double the national debt. He spoke out as he gave a two-year jail sentence to a Jamaican drug minder who disappeared from the notice of immigration authorities after claiming asylum.
He told Lucien McClearley, 31, at Liverpool Crown Court: 'Your case illustrates all too clearly the completely lax immigration policy that exists and has existed over recent years.' Sentencing McClearley, he added: 'People like you, and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people like you, come to these shores to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits that exist here.
'In the past ten years the national debt of this country has risen to extraordinary heights, largely because central Government has wasted billions of pounds. Much of that has been wasted on welfare payments. 'For every £1 that the decent citizen, who is hard-working, pays in taxes, nearly 10 per cent goes on servicing that national debt. That is twice the amount it was in 1997 when this Government came to power.'
McClearley arrived legally in Britain in November 2001 on a visitor's visa. He was arrested in October 2002 after it ran out but claimed asylum and was released while this was being processed.
He then 'disappeared from the radar of the authorities', the court heard. His application was rejected in 2004 but he was only arrested this February after police stopped a car he was driving and noticed it smelled of cannabis. A search of the house where McClearley was staying in Everton uncovered cannabis worth £7,200, a gram of cocaine and a fake passport.
He admitted taking a vehicle without consent, possessing cannabis and cocaine, possessing a class-B drug with intent and two counts of possessing false identity documents.
Judge Trigger, who is also a part-time immigration judge, told McClearley: 'The fact that it took nearly two years to process your claim shows how desperate the situation in this country has become.' The 65-year-old judge said he 'hoped and trusted' McClearley would be deported immediately on release.
One long whine from the Left
They even want agents punished for carrying out administration policy during the Bush presidency! They just make themselves sound as totally unreasonable as they actually are. Not clever. If they pushed hard for just one concession they might get it but they want to own the whole shop
On the heels of several reports critical of the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement and detention policies, grassroots advocates for immigration reform took to the streets today to protest the continuation and expansion of ineffective Bush-era tactics. Their protests echo the findings of credible reports and the recommendations of law enforcement officials, all of whom are calling on DHS to make significant changes in policy and strategy.
In New York today, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was met by protesters from the New York Immigration Coalition and allied organizations who demanded an investigation of flagrant abuses by immigration agents in residential raids carried out under the Bush Administration. This call is based on a recently released public study of the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s home raid operations by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University.
The report found that immigration agents engaged in widespread constitutional violations over the course of several years. Some of the agents’ most egregious violations include entering and searching homes without legal authority, and seizing people without any basis other than their racial or ethnic appearance or limited English proficiency. In response to the Cardozo report, whose findings were endorsed by leading law enforcement officials, DHS said only the following in an e-mail to the New York Times: "The men and women of I.C.E. are sworn to uphold the laws of our nation. We do so professionally, humanely and with an acute awareness with the impact enforcement has on the individuals we encounter. While I.C.E. prioritizes our efforts by targeting fugitives who have demonstrated a threat to national security or public safety, we have a clear mandate to pursue all immigration fugitives.”
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, workers and advocates will be marching today to the downtown federal building to ask Secretary Napolitano to stop the expansion of the 287(g) program that allows local law enforcement to become de facto immigration agents, halt the new I-9 audits recently announced by DHS, and suspend the expansion of the error-prone E-Verify program. With respect to the 287g program, the highly-regarded Police Foundation has called for fundamental reforms, arguing that "local law enforcement executives say civil immigration enforcement by local police undermines their core public safety mission, diverts scarce resources, increases their exposure to liability and litigation, and exacerbates fear in our communities.” The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) also recently raised serious questions about the 287(g) program, and called for Congress and the White House to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and soon.
Yesterday, the National Immigration Law Center and allied organizations released a scathing report on DHS’ current management of immigration jails. According to today’s New York Times, the Obama Administration is now refusing to make standards regarding immigration detention conditions legally enforceable. In the story, Nina Bernstein writes: “The decision, contained in a six-page letter received by the plaintiffs this week, disappointed and angered immigration advocacy organizations around the country. They pointed to a stream of newly available documents that underscore the government’s failure to enforce minimum standards it set in 2000, including those concerning detainees’ access to basic health care, telephones and lawyers, even as the number of people detained has soared to more than 400,000 a year.”
Tomorrow, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will introduce two bills that begin to correct some of these excesses crafted during the Bush years and continued under Secretary Napolitano.
“People on the ground are becoming increasingly frustrated with DHS, and with good reason,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “Candidate Obama promised a new approach to immigration policy and highly energized Latino and immigrant voters, who turned out for him in record numbers. But recent developments suggest a gap between the President’s promises of significant change and DHS’s continuation of ineffective and counterproductive Bush-era policies.”
Sharry added, “For example, DHS recently announced the expansion of 287(g) program that encourages local police involvement in immigration enforcement, and while new regulations promise change, the fact is that Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona – the Bull Connor of our generation – still operates under the 287(g) umbrella as he conducts controversial sweeps of Latino neighborhoods. When ICE agents are accused in a carefully documented study of flouting basic constitutional protections by kicking down doors, running up arrest totals and terrorizing Latino families and communities in the bargain, the DHS response is a press release stating that ‘our agents uphold the law.’ And when DHS is presented with a well-researched report on systemic problems in the nation’s monstrous detention system, the agency’s response is to refuse to set rules that are legally enforceable. Taken together, these decisions threaten to offend many voters who turned out last November in hopes of achieving significant changes in our nation’s dysfunctional immigration system.”
“Secretary Napolitano has made some important corrections to Bush-era policies in the areas of workplace raids and enforcement priorities, and deserves credit for doing so. But she needs to pay attention to the growing chorus of voices – from advocates to researchers to law enforcement professionals – that are calling for reform of current enforcement strategies and swift action on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Sharry. “Not doing so could carry a heavy political cost for the Administration.”
29 July, 2009
Australia decouples education and citizenship
AUSTRALIA'S skilled migration policy is driven by national economic needs, not the educational choices of overseas students, Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Evans warned last week. In a speech in New Delhi that signalled immigration would be decoupled from education, and immigration, Senator Evans stressed that there was "no automatic link" between study in Australia and access to permanent residency.
"The Australian government will adjust the program to meet our national needs and not be driven by the education choices of overseas students," he said. In a possible response to mounting anger among overseas students whose hopes for permanent residency may be denied, Senator Evans said: "The skills and qualifications we seek in migrants will vary over time."
Although most of Senator Evans's speech emphasised the depth of the strategic partnership between Australia and India, he had a sharp warning for unscrupulous education agents. "Those who seek to market access to a permanent visa in Australia rather than a quality education do a grave disservice to potential students," he said.
Senator Evans's comments followed a report in The Australian last week that quoted researcher Bob Birrell as saying the attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney may have been only the beginning of the social conflict to be played out as thousands of foreign students stay on with full work rights and compete for jobs and housing. Dr Birrell told the HES that Senator Evans's speech in India was significant as it revealed a longstanding departmental concern to detach the migration selection system from the output of the overseas student industry in Australia.
Migration Institute of Australia chief executive Maurene Horder said that since the new critical skills list had come in, many applications based on the previous occupational demand list would languish in the immigration processing pipeline for many years.
The developments coincide with a recommendation from a conservative US think tank that skilled migration into the US should be restored to pre-September 11 levels to reverse the country's technological skills crisis. The US depends on science, technology, engineering and maths to maintain its position as the world superpower, according to a Heritage Foundation report, Improving US Competitiveness. But the US suffers a shortfall of 75,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers every year, even after importing 65,000 foreign workers and graduating 60,000 US engineers annually, it says.
In a development with possible ramifications for Australian efforts to lift the quality of overseas postgraduate recruits, the report calls for the cap on H-1B visas to be lifted from the present 65,000 to its pre-September 11 level of 195,000 visas a year.
As Australia cracks down on the permanent residency-driven training market, the influential think tank says the technology skills crisis is undermining US competitiveness. As a result of shortages, many American companies are being forced either to expand outside the US or not expand at all, the report says.
Australia/India immigration rackets in education
Indian students ripped off by Indian crooks, assisted by Australian bureaucratic indifference and incompetence
A young Indian reporter has been attacked after going undercover to reveal migration and education scams for tonight's Four Corners program. The woman was subjected to threats during the making of the program and was attacked over the weekend. Police have been notified.
The reporter went to two different migration agents posing as someone wanting to pass an English Language Test without having the skills, and said she was willing to buy a fake work certificate. She was able to do both if she paid between $3,000 and $5,000.
It is not suggested the migration agents nor the colleges identified in the Four Corners program are behind either the threats or the attack.
Some Indian students, principally in Melbourne and Sydney, have been subjected to violent attacks which have tainted Australia's reputation as an education provider.
But tonight's Four Corners program will reveal more details on how Indian students are being exploited by dodgy colleges and unscrupulous migration and education agents. The allegations on tonight's program expose a number of cases where students have lost tens of thousands of dollars.
Prabmeet Singh is one of about 70,000 Indian students who come to Australia to study each year. His family spent more than $40,000 on a course at the Sydney flying school, Aerospace Aviation. His mother, Pushpinder Kaur, says the family is now broke and her son still has no pilot's licence. "It is a fraud. We were shown so many rosy pictures about the school and it is not what it is really, it was just a scam," she said. "I think the Government should be more alert in these type of matters because it is the career of the children which is at stake."
Other Indian students have told Four Corners the aviation college failed to deliver its promised 200 hours of flying time over 52 weeks. Aerospace Aviation's spokeswoman Sue Davis has defended the training and has questioned the level of commitment and dedication among the particular students.
Aspiring chef Kumar Khatri came from Nepal to enrol at the Sydney cooking school Austech, but after six months he had not seen the inside of a kitchen. "I don't believe that there is a kitchen because I haven't seen the college kitchen," he told Four Corners. Mr Khatri decided to quit and received a letter from professional debt collectors telling him to pay $5,000. "I just went directly to the college and he told me that if you do not pay, we will just process that, we'll take it to the immigration. Your visa will be cancelled," he said.
Mr Khatri sought advice from Biwek Thapa, an education and migration agent who was dealing with six similar complaints. "I think it was a complete exploitation of international students because of the ignorance: they're new in the country; they're scared their visa could be cancelled; enrolment could be cancelled. They would get into all sorts of problems," he said.
Tonight's Four Corners program also reveals unscrupulous practices by migration and education agents. Karl Konrad, an education and migration agent based in Sydney, says he has been aware of a black market in dodgy documents for years. "I had many students come to my offices and say, 'oh I can buy letters for $3,000 at particular restaurants'," he said. "They didn't name the restaurants, but I was getting many of these type of stories. [So] we sent that information to the Immigration Department and they in turn thanked us for the information and said they would pass it on to Trades Recognition Australia. "Nothing ever became of that."
Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard was unavailable for interview and so too was Immigration Minister Chris Evans.
Note: The Indian reporter mentioned above has subsequently claimed that her attacker was Indian, presumably one of the Indian crooks who had become suspicious of her activities
28 July, 2009
Fancy a British passport? Just move to Scotland: Home Office's 'absurd' new plan to tackle immigration
Immigrants who want a British passport will have a better chance if they agree to move to Scotland under ‘absurd’ new Home Office plans.
Concerns about a huge expected increase in the population over the next 20 years have forced the Government to propose a points-based system for those seeking citizenship. The population of 61million is expected to hit 70million by 2029 and ministers want to make it harder for migrants on work permits to stay permanently.
But yesterday, the Scottish Secretary revealed that if immigrants were willing to live in under-populated parts of Britain, they would find it easier to pass the test. Jim Murphy said: ‘Having lived and worked in Scotland is proposed as one way to earn points.’
The move, contained in a draft consultation to be released in the next few weeks, means prospective British citizens already settled in Britain may flock north of the border to ensure they have enough points to be successful. But it is unknown what measures will be taken to police the system and prevent abuses.
Critics point out it will be extremely difficult to check that an applicant is living and working in Scotland and whether they will stay there. Also, once a passport application is approved, the Government has no control over the person’s movements.
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: ‘This is completely absurd. Is the Government proposing to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall to prevent people from crossing the border? ‘It is a completely inappropriate idea for solving problems in Scotland or the rest of the UK.’
Campaigners said it could damage a sound Home Office policy that is designed to make it tougher for migrants to settle in Britain. At present, there is a firm link between a migrant obtaining a visa to work here, and going on to receive a British passport. Under these rules, the number of British passports given to migrants is set to hit a record of almost 220,000 this year. During the first three months of 2009, 54,615 citizenship applications were rubber-stamped by the Home Office – up 57 per cent on the same period a year earlier, and the equivalent of nearly one every two minutes. At current rates, the number of immigrants receiving passports – and with them the right to claim full benefits – will obliterate the previous record of 164,540 approvals, set in 2007. Last year, the number of passports granted was 129,310, and when Labour came to power in 1997, just 37,010 people were given citizenship.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the campaign group Migrationwatch UK, said: ‘It is an excellent scheme to split economic migration from the right to settle, but it makes no sense to treat Scotland differently. ‘A condition requiring residency in Scotland is completely unenforceable. ‘England receives over 90 per cent of immigration, and faces 95 per cent of the extra 10million population now projected for the next 20 years. We cannot allow the tail to wag the dog on a matter that is so important to the future of our society.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The points system has already proved to be a powerful tool for controlling migration, which is why we are now looking at applying its principles to the path to citizenship. ‘The measures require migrants to earn citizenship. ‘This is the first step towards breaking the automatic link between temporary residence and permanent settlement. ‘But, we want to look at raising the bar even more.’
Illegal-Immigrant Population in USA Declines
New Report Finds Numbers Down Significantly Since 2007
An upcoming analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of monthly data collected by the Census Bureau will show that fewer illegal immigrants are coming and more are returning home. The findings also show that the legal immigrant population has not declined. As a result, the overall foreign born population has held relatively steady. The report examines the extent to which stepped-up enforcement and the downturn in the economy account for this trend.
The report, entitled, “A Shifting Tide: Recent Trends in the Illegal Immigrant Population,” is embargoed until Wednesday, July 29, at midnight. Advance copies are available to the media. The study will be available online at www.CIS.org.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. For more information, contact Steven Camarota at (202) 466-8185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
27 July, 2009
Official kangaroo courts in Britain
The kangaroo is native to Australia but Britain is hard to beat for kangaroo courts. The divorce courts have recently had their veil of secrecy partly lifted after huge newspaper campaigns about their injustices but the immigration courts would do Soviet Russia proud. I suppose it is to be expected. Britain has now been run by the Left for 12 years. Combine malice, chronic bungling and indifference to justice and you are in deep trouble if the authorities notice you for any reason -- just like the old USSR
Today the latest session of Britain's secret trials begins at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London. The appellants coming up before the SIAC over the next week are seven of the Pakistani students arrested before Easter under suspicion of terrorist activity. There was blanket media coverage at the time, helped by the intervention of the Prime Minister, who felt the need to declare: "We are dealing with a very big terrorist plot."
Two weeks later all 12 students originally arrested were released without charge to far less fanfare. It was then announced that 10 were to be deported on national security grounds. One returned to Pakistan while two others were released last week, pending visa issues being investigated. The remaining seven, however, now face Britain's secret system of justice overseen by the SIAC and operating under the aegis of immigration law.
The SIAC deals with appeals against decisions made by the Home Office to deport or exclude individuals from Britain on national security grounds. The process has all the appearance of a court, but operates more like a star chamber.
Secret evidence plays a big role in the process, with the appellants not told what they are accused of to justify their deportation. Neither are their lawyers allowed to know this information. Instead special advocates are appointed, who are allowed to see the evidence against them. A damning indictment of the process comes from Dinah Rose QC, who acted as a special advocate. "I heard the appellant ask the judge the question: 'Why are you sending me to prison?' To which the judge replied: 'I cannot tell you that.' I could not believe that I was witnessing such an event in a British court. I could not believe that nobody protested or made a fuss. They simply took him to jail, without any explanation at all," said Rose.
This system of justice overseen by the SIAC has come to prominence since 9/11, when the Government turned to immigration law as a means of holding foreign nationals without trial, pending deportation. Following 9/11, the Government rushed through the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act, which allowed foreign nationals to be detained without trial indefinitely. In 2004, the law lords ruled that it was unlawful under the Human Rights Act to detain people without trial. It was as a result of this ruling that control orders were devised.
These effectively amounted to being detained under house arrest. There were short periods of time when the individual could go outside into a prescribed area. They were also required to wear a tag and ring up the tagging company a number of times a day.
One of those originally detained under this process in December 2001 was an Algerian man known only as "G". He was imprisoned, then released on house arrest-style bail conditions then re-arrested after the London bombings, and served with a deportation notice. While in prison he then tried to kill himself using wire. Today, "G" continues to live with his wife and two young children under house arrest conditions on deportation bail. "No one here has ever told me what I am accused of. I have no rights here it seems. In Britain animals have rights. I have less rights than an animal," he said.
It is onto this conveyor belt of injustice that the seven Pakistani students enter today. The one way out of this nightmare is to agree to leave the country. This, though, is not an option for most who fled their home countries like Algeria as refugees in fear of their lives. Were they to return, as some have, they would be likely to face torture, prison or death.
The Pakistani students case is somewhat different to that of the others being detained in that they did not flee their home country. However, it is not an appetising prospect to return to Pakistan under the cloud of terrorist suspicion. To their credit the students remain committed to resuming their studies in the UK.
There have been some encouraging signs of progress in the effort to roll back the operation of this secretive system of injustice. Last month, the law lords ruled that control orders breached the Human Rights Act in that the reliance on secret evidence denied the appellants a fair trial. Meanwhile, some 90 MPs have signed an early day motion calling for an end to the use of secret evidence.
In the case of the students, the government may just be about to score a PR own goal. It created such a public fuss around the initial arrests, only to then declare no charges were being brought. As a result there is sure to be more interest about the plight of the students as they enter the SIAC process. It can only be hoped that, come the end of this week, a little more light has been shed on this secret system of justice. It must also be hoped that all those students who want to can resume the studies that were so brutally interrupted back in April.
4 held in killing of U.S. border agent
Mexican federal police say they have detained four men suspected of involvement in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Robert Rosas. Elias Alvarez Hernandez, the coordinator of federal police in Baja California state, says the men were purportedly part of an immigrant-smuggling ring. Twenty-one immigrants were found with them when the men were detained near Tecate on Saturday. Mr. Hernandez says the suspects are two brothers and two taxi drivers who are thought to have worked for them. Police seized four guns during the detentions.
Mr. Hernandez told a news conference that one of the suspects told police another man detained Friday with a 9 mm pistol in his possession was the one who shot Mr. Rosas.
Mr. Rosas, 30, was killed Thursday night while responding alone to a suspected border incursion near Campo, a town in rugged, arid terrain in southeastern San Diego County. He was shot in the head and body and was dead when backup agents arrived, said Keith Slotter, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Diego bureau. Federal officials have expressed concerns that the drug cartel battles plaguing Mexico could spill into the United States with the targeting of U.S. law enforcement officials. Mr. Slotter said investigators aren't ruling out the possibility that Mr. Rosas was slain by drug smugglers or even human smugglers.
Investigators said blood evidence at the scene indicated at least one suspect and possibly more had serious injuries, perhaps by gunfire. Investigators don't yet know how many shots were fired, whether Mr. Rosas fired any shots himself and how many guns were used. "It's all possible. I can't definitively say X number of people fired or Agent Rosas got off shots or didn't. I mean, it's too early in the investigation to say that with any certainty," Mr. Slotter said.
Authorities said at least one other agent in the field heard gunshots after Mr. Rosas left to respond to the call and couldn't reach Mr. Rosas on his radio afterward.
Mr. Rosas was the first Border Patrol agent to die in a shooting in more than a decade, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page Inc., which tracks fallen officers using information provided by law enforcement agencies. Another agent, Luis Aguilar, was intentionally run over by a fleeing man driving a drug-laden Hummer in January 2008.
Mr. Rosas, a three-year Border Patrol veteran, had a 2-year-old son and an 11-month-old daughter, said Richard Barlow, acting chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. "My thoughts and condolences are with Agent Rosas' family and his fellow agents at this difficult time," said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement. "His death is a vivid reminder that we are engaged in a serious effort to secure our border and that thousands of Border Patrol agents and other DHS employees risk their lives every single day to protect and defend our nation."
Mr. Barlow said he could not confirm reports that Mr. Rosas called for backup and then went ahead before anyone arrived. But he said it isn't unusual for agents to work alone along the 60 miles of border in the San Diego sector.
26 July, 2009
More British immigration stupidity
Britain has nearly half a million Muslims and blacks staying on in the country depite having had their "asylum" claims rejected as false yet the bureaucrats are harassing a perfectly decent couple who have done their best to comply with the rules but have been the victims of bureaucratic sloth and bungling. If she actually is deported it will be a total disgrace perpetrated by a government that claims to "care" but which really cares about nothing other than its own power
A rule meant to protect vulnerable young women from being forced into unwanted marriages is threatening to tear a 19-year-old Canadian away from the new husband she loves. Rochelle Roberts, originally from Revelstoke, B.C., has been told she is about to be deported from the United Kingdom and will not be allowed back in to live with her Welsh husband Adam Wallis, 28, until she is 21 years old.
The newlyweds have become collateral damage in the wake of changes to British immigration law intended to deter British nationals and their families from bringing young, unwilling brides from abroad and forcing them into often-abusive marriages. "It's not right," Roberts told the BBC. "There shouldn't be an age limit on when I should and should not be able to get married and be in love, because it just doesn't feel right."
The couple met in Canada two years ago and corresponded online until March last year, when Roberts travelled to visit Wallis at his home near Aberystwyth in Wales, the BBC reported yesterday. She entered the country on a six-month visa with plans to leave again a month later, but she fell in love and decided to get married and stay right where she was.
A month before her visitor visa was set to expire, Roberts and Wallis applied to the British Home Office for permission to marry, which – after delays caused when authorities lost their passport photos – came through about a week before her visa ran out. The couple did not actually get married until two weeks later, which meant Roberts had technically overstayed her official welcome.
A spokesperson from the British Home Office gave her illegal status at the time of their wedding as the official reason why Roberts is going to be deported: "(Her) age was not the reason her application was refused." But that is not the whole story.
Just four days after the pair married last November, the immigration rules changed and increased the required age for a spousal visa from 18 to 21. That means she could not have returned to Canada to apply for a spousal visa and move straight back to Wales. She would have to wait until 2011, which is how long she is now asked to wait before going back if she is deported.
An official at the UK Border Agency sent a letter to Wallis' MP, Mark Williams, whom the couple had turned to for help, describing the looming separation as an "inconvenience," the television report said. "It's more than just an inconvenience," Roberts told the BBC. "He's ripping my marriage apart. He is taking the only thing I have and throwing it away and there is nothing I can do about it."
The couple believe their case is made all the more bizarre by the fact that in any other country in the European Union they would be treated as a married couple and Roberts would be allowed to work. "It's insane," Adam Wallis told the BBC. "I could go to Ireland and she could work from the moment she arrived in Ireland ... anywhere in Europe."
The British government passed the Forced Marriages Act in 2007 as a human-rights measure to give family and civil courts some power to protect thousands of young women from mainly Asian backgrounds – the majority from Pakistan and Bangladesh – being forced to marry against their will. "It is a very real social problem here and is fully linked to perceptions within some communities of issues of shame and honour," lawyer and part-time judge Khatun Sapnara, who helped draft the legislation, said from London yesterday. "It is quite widespread. I mean there are cases related to families from Europe, Africa, the Middle East as well as Southeast Asia, although the majority of cases affect women from Pakistan and Bangladesh."
Changing the minimum age came later and Sapnara said she did not agree with it. "I always thought that it might actually prevent people who were legitimately married without any issue of force and that it would interfere with their right to marry someone of their choosing and to live a life together." She said the Home Office commissioned independent research that showed changing the age limit would do little to prevent forced marriages, but officials decided to ignore its findings. "Overall, we believe there are various benefits (that) outweigh the drawbacks," the Home Office spokesperson said.
Williams said he was horrified by their story. "(It is) government policy that starts out with good intentions but a blanket approach that nets in the most innocent of people," the MP told the BBC. Another British parliamentarian said the government might be willing to reconsider the law. "This is clearly a case which needs to be looked at by a minister," Keith Vaz, who chairs the Commons home affairs select committee, told the Guardian newspaper.
The Home Office would not reveal the timeline for deportation, but Roberts fears it could happen any time. "I'm living on edge because I don't know if they're going to turn up at six o'clock in the morning and grab me and chuck me out of the country," she told the BBC. "We don't know what our life holds, really, it's in flux almost," said Wallis, who recently started a new job as an electrical technician. "We can't make plans."
Top Democrats Intend New Health Plan to Cover Illegal Aliens
Oh, sure, they say it isn't true. But every indication says it is. Consider this report on CBS News' website:Asked by CBS News' Katie Couric in an exclusive interview whether illegal immigrants should be covered under a new health care plan, President Obama responded simply, "no."Fantastic, I thought, the President recognizes that his health plan already is so costly (according to CBO estimates) that he is losing Members of his own Party and he realizes that there is no way that he can add on the cost of providing full health care to 11-19 million illegal aliens. But immediately, the President thought of an exception:The one exception that I think has to be discussed is how are we treating childrenUh, oh. That would be a few million exceptions, although he tried to make it sound like it would be limited to vaccinations and communicable disease control. But he had much worse to tell Couric:First of all, I'd like to create a situation where we're dealing with illegal immigration, so that we don't have illegal immigrants. And we've got legal residents or citizens who are eligible for the plan. And I want a comprehensive immigration plan that creates a pathway to achieve that.Hmmmm, so the reason the President can say that NO he wouldn't cover illegal aliens with his health plan is because he plans to change their name from "illegal aliens" to "U.S. citizens" and cover them!
I know that Orwellian doublespeak is so common we almost don't pay attention anymore, but please allow me to state plainly what the President said so obliquely:
The Obama Administration's hope is that nearly all current illegal aliens will be covered by the emerging new national health plan because they will be re-labeled as legal residents as soon as the amnesty is passed.
In case it isn't clear, let me also state that the health costs of the 11-19 million illegal aliens to the U.S. taxpayer will be just as high whether they are called illegal aliens or legal residents. I hope the CBO cost counters are paying attention.
NO MEANS YES ON BENEFITS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS
The leaders of the U.S. House are playing the same game. They allow language to be put into the health bill (as in many other benefits legislation) that says illegal aliens are not eligible.
But when an amendment is offered to require verification of legal residence before receiving the benefit, Speaker Pelosi's team demands Party-line votes to kill it.
Friends, don't let a single politician fool you by talking about supporting language that bars illegal aliens from something. Those words mean nothing unless there is a verification system. And thus far, illegal aliens will not have to prove they are legal residents to get the new federal health coverage.
25 July, 2009
Sotomayor on Immigration
By Charles Breiterman
Executive Summary: Judge Sonia Sotomayor interpreted a court rule in favor of a criminal alien so he could get his deportation case re-opened and given a third full hearing. Previously he had gone before an immigration law judge, and then before the Bureau of Immigration Appeals. This time the immigrant will get a hearing before a federal court of appeals, a prestigious court right below the Supreme Court of the United States. The problem is that Judge Sotomayor’s interpretation of the rule places an added burden on already overworked court clerks and therefore makes it more difficult for the federal court system in her jurisdiction to function. It seems to me that Sotomayor issued a poorly reasoned decision, and that usually happens when the judge is forcing the case to come out the way s/he wants it.
And what about all the citizen litigants who were waiting to have their cases heard while Sotomayor was reopening this case and then giving it a full hearing? What about the citizens who need to be protected in case this person commits another crime while he is in the country fighting his deportation? What about the fact that it had already taken at least 2 years to deport this criminal alien after his release from jail? When there are so many millions of people in the world who would like to emigrate to the United States, we should rapidly deport the ones who have already messed up their chance. But with this decision, it seems that Judge Sotomayor gums up workings of the system so that it is even harder to deport people who have committed a violent crime.
I am not doing this as an endorsement or non-endorsement statement of Sotomayor. It is an analysis of one of her opinions.
Full analysis HERE
Birthright citizenship CAN be eliminated
Maternity tourism is just the beginning of the silliness of birthright citizenship that goes to the babies of foreign students, temporary foreign workers, international travelers--and the millions who break the law to criminally enter this country.
All told, federal law (not the Constitution) gives citizenship to an estimated minimum 400,000 babies each year who don’t have even one parent who is a U.S. citizen or permanent legal immigrant. This is a huge impediment to efforts to stabilize U.S. population to allow for environmental sustainability. And it is a great incentive for more illegal immigration.
Each of these babies becomes an anchor who retards deportation of unlawfully present parents--and who eventually will be an anchor for entire families and villages as chain migration leads to the immigration of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Birthright citizenship is an antiquated practice that has been abandoned by nearly all wealthy nations and emerging nations (recently India and Indonesia) and by the majority of poor nations.
The Supreme Court has ruled only that the Constitution requires babies of legal immigrants be U.S. citizens. It is time to join the modern world, pass H.R. 1868 (Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009), and limit citizenship to babies who have at least one parent who is a citizen or legal immigrant.
24 July, 2009
1 in 4 New Hires Vetted by E-Verify
New Data show 274% Growth since 2007
E-Verify is now being used to determine work authorization for 1 in 4 new hires nationwide according to numbers released to the Center for Immigration Studies by the Department of Homeland Security on July 4, 2009. This increase has occurred even though the E-Verify program remains voluntary at the federal level, with only 12 states requiring its use in some manner by employers. The report containing these numbers is at http://cis.org/Testimony/E-Verify-ChallengesAndOpportunities.
In 2007, when E-Verify took its current form, it was used to screen 1 in 19 new hires nationwide. The new figures represent a 274 percent increase, if usage remains steady for the remainder of this year. The number of queries so far in 2009 is about 6 million, nearly what they were for all of 2008 and twice that for 2007. If the current rate of use continues, E-Verify will be queried nearly 12.3 million times this year.
E-Verify is being used at 511,228 worksites, up from the 400,000 reported by the Department of Homeland Security in January 2009. A total of 134,702 employers have signed up to use the program. The industry sectors most using E-Verify are in the “professional, scientific and technical arena” with 72,946 employers signed up, more than twice as many as any other industry sector. Down at 20th in ranking are construction firms, at 7,959 employers using the system.
E-Verify enables cheap, efficient, and accurate compliance with the federal ban on hiring illegal aliens. More than 96.1 percent of all queries are automatically verified as employment-authorized in seconds, as discussed in Janice Kephart’s September 2008 report, “If It's Fixed, Don't Break It: Moving Forward with E-Verify” (http://cis.org/Everify). The number of non-confirmations projected for 2009 is 488,000, about 4 percent of the total number of queries. But far from representing a cause for concern, this is yet more evidence that E-Verify is doing its job, considering that 4-5 percent of the nation’s workforce is comprised of illegal aliens.
The one weak point that remains is a small problem with false positives. Continuing to make available digital photos from IDs issued to non-citizens is important to reducing identity theft, as is adding in passport photos and driver’s license photos as soon as possible. DHS will need to work hard to keep ahead of fraud – like it does with any program reliant on identity verification.
This report was prepared as testimony for a July 23, 2009, hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Contact: Janice Kephart, email@example.com, (202) 466-8185
Four out of five Britons want immigration capped, poll shows
Eight out of ten voters want a cap on immigration and say Alan Johnson is 'out of touch' with the public mood. The findings are revealed in two separate opinion polls which will set alarm bells ringing for the Home Secretary. Mr Johnson recently insisted he does not 'lie awake at night' worrying about the UK population soon reaching 70million.
But his stance is even at odds with voters in his own rock solid Labour constituency of Hull West and Hessle, where 80 per cent of people said both that he was out of step with their views, and that immigration was putting too much strain on public services. The polls were carried out by the pressure group Migrationwatch and by the Home Office itself.
The Ipsos Mori research for Mr Johnson's department found 81 per cent of Britons favour a cap on immigration - a policy which Mr Johnson explicitly rejected only a few days ago. The Migrationwatch poll, conducted by ORB, found 81 per cent of the public are worried about the prospect of the population reaching 70million in 2028, as predicted by Whitehall statisticians. It is currently 61million. Seventy- eight per cent say Alan Johnson is out of touch with people like them.
And 76 per cent want to see net immigration - the number of migrants entering the country minus the number leaving - cut from its present level of 237,000 a year to 50,000 or less. Of that 76 per cent, 32 per cent want to see a policy of 'one in, one out' while 22 per cent want to see no immigration at all.
Broken down by party affiliation, 90 per cent of Conservative voters are worried about a population of 70 million. For Labour voters it was 70 per cent and for the Liberal Democrats 76 per cent.
In Mr Johnson's own constituency, 83 per cent of voters want to see net immigration reduced to 50,000 a year or less, and 78 per cent oppose his general attitude to immigration and population. Some 73 per cent are concerned that Britain is losing its identity and culture.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: 'The new Home Secretary and the Prime Minister are hopelessly out of touch with the mood of the nation on this issue. 'This is not just about a "cap" on immigration. It is about the future of our country. 'Failure to cut immigration back to the level of the early Nineties will result in our population going to 70, then 80million and beyond as immigration is the main driver of population growth. 'In many parts of Britain the public are seething with resentment at the total failure of the political class to take seriously their deep concerns about the impact of immigration on the future of our country.'
The Home Office's own research, released separately to the Migrationwatch poll, found that 64 per cent of adults believe 'laws on immigration should be much tougher', while another 9 per cent said immigration should be halted completely. Only 7 per cent favoured more relaxed immigration policies. While the economy has taken over as the biggest single concern facing adults in the UK - up from 4 to 54 per cent in the past 18 months - immigration remains a major issue.
In the Home Office study, 69 per cent described immigration as either a 'big problem' or a 'very big problem', listing the burden on public service and pressure on jobs as their main concerns.
The Home Secretary caused astonishment last week when he told MPs he was relaxed about Britain's population rising from its current level of 61million to 70million in the next few years, claiming he 'did not lie awake' worrying about the prospect. He rejected setting an upper limit on the UK population, claiming any figure would be 'arbitrary' and would harm the economy. And he accused those who argue that mass immigration has left more native Britons unemployed of using the same rhetoric of 'hate and division' as fascist leader Oswald Mosley.
A Home Office spokesman said of the Migrationwatch poll: 'This survey tells us nothing - it is based on leading questions, and the Home Secretary's comments about Britain's population have been taken out of context. 'The Home Secretary made it very clear that he did not favour a cap on immigration because it is a crude measure which could harm the economy and is not as effective as the points-based system the Government introduced in 2008.'
23 July, 2009
Another grateful asylum seeker at work
A rapist who posed as a policeman to get into his 89-year-old victim's home was snared because she copied a scene from CSI and scratched his face for DNA. Bouncer Mauro Lopes, 31, who weighs 20 stone, raped the frail seven-stone widow twice after tricking his way into her home in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
In the midst of her horrific ordeal she had the presence of mind to remember an episode of the cult U.S. forensics drama - and clawed his face knowing police would be able to retrieve his DNA from under her fingernails. It allowed detectives to catch Lopes just two days after the attack on March 14 because he was already on the national database after a drink-driving offence in 2005.
Lopes, who won asylum after coming to the UK from Angola on a false passport seven years ago, was jailed for nine years at Leeds Crown Court yesterday. Prosecuting, Felicity Davis said the attack - after Lopes put a large pillow over the woman's face - was so violent that she had to be taken to hospital with heavy bleeding.
But the widow of 20 years managed to tell police: 'I have been watching CSI so I scratched his face so you could get DNA from my fingernails.' Unable now to live alone, she is in a care home but still has trouble sleeping. She cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Anne Dixon, defending, told the court that Lopes was remorseful and, in his own words, 'had fallen out of his personality with drink'. He carried out the attack following a visit to a lapdancing club after discovering his girlfriend was cheating on him.
Judge Peter Collier QC said his offences were 'vile and extreme' and added: 'He is a 31-year-old man with all his faculties and his desires. He got drunk and did something unspeakable.' Lopes had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. It is thought he will be deported at the end of his sentence.
Failed asylum seekers will get free British health care
They should not even be still in Britain
NHS treatment will be available for tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers to ensure their human rights are honoured, it was announced yesterday. At present, they are denied free treatment if an asylum bid has been turned down but they have not left the country. But a Government U-turn means failed applicants who are destitute or cannot return home 'through no fault of their own', will be entitled to free care.
The decision increases the numbers potentially able to use the NHS by tens of thousands. But the campaign group MigrationWatch believes it could open the floodgates to 'up to a million' illegal immigrants. Last night doctors undermined the strategy by saying it was not their job to act as immigration officers - raising the possibility that GPs would refuse to ask failed asylum seekers tough questions about their status.
There are understood to be around 450,000 failed asylum seekers who have not left the country, although only 10 or 20,000 are directly affected by the new rules.
Yesterday Health Minister Ann Keen presented the measures which include the new clause as an attempt to end health tourism, where residents from poorer countries travel to Britain for treatment, as well as maintaining the Government's commitment to human rights. In a written statement to the Commons, she said: 'Persons seeking refuge or asylum are already exempted from charges for the duration of their application, including the full appeal process. 'The Government has not been persuaded that this full exemption should be extended to all whose application has failed but have not yet left the country.
'It has however recognised the case for those whose claim has been refused but who are being supported by the UK Border Agency because they would otherwise-be destitute, have children-and/or because it is impossible-to return home through no fault of their own. 'It is therefore proposed that an exemption from charges is extended to this group.'
Health tourism is understood to cost the NHS more than £200million a year. Most countries have social insurance systems where patients are expected to prove they can pay before being treated. But our NHS is free at the point of need.
Mrs Keen said ministers wanted to see rules which would mean foreigners with significant debts to the NHS being banned from entering Britain. She is also 'investigating the longer-term feasibility' of introducing a requirement that everyone entering the country would have to have health insurance.
Mrs Keen said: 'These changes will support a clearer and fairer system of access to free NHS services that will maintain the confidence of the public and prevent inappropriate access, while maintaining our commitment to human rights.'
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said the rules gave the green light for up to one million illegal immigrants to get free NHS care. This is possible because GPs can put patients on their books without checking if they are entitled to free care. Sir Andrew said: 'This is yet another capitulation to the immigration lobby. No wonder they are queueing up in Calais.'
The British Medical Association said all failed asylum seekers should be treated free - and that it was not their job to decide who is eligible for free care and who is not. Head of ethics Dr Vivienne Nathanson said: 'There are many who have had an asylum claim refused, cannot return home and need urgent treatment. This announcement, while positive, applies to only one group and does not go far enough.'
22 July, 2009
1. Immigration Raids at Smithfield How an ICE Enforcement Action Boosted Union Organizing and the Employment of American Workers By Jerry Kammer CIS Backgrounder, July 13, 2009
Excerpt: In January 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided the Smithfield pork plant in Tar Heel, N.C. Seven months later, ICE agents made more arrests at workers’ homes in surrounding areas. Other illegal workers, fearing they might be detained, left the plant on their own.
If they are concerned about working-class Americans, partisans on either side of the immigration debate can find something to support their positions in the events at Tar Heel.
2. Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails By Janice Kephart and Bryan Griffith CIS Video, July 15, 2009
Excerpt: Wildlife populations are increasingly threatened by illegal immigration and the alien smugglers who are cutting paths through federally protected lands. While environmental groups put out study after study detailing potential negative effects of a border fence on the environment, the story of the negative effects of not stopping illegal immigration across the Mexican border is a story that has remained untold, until now.
3. A Story of Kidnapping in Mexico By Jerry Kammer CIS Blog, July 16, 2009
Excerpt: 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.
4. Top Visa Lottery Countries for 2010 By Jessica Vaughan CIS Blog, July 16, 2009
Excerpt: The visa lottery serves no purpose other than to increase immigration for immigration’s sake. It offers green cards to people who offer no particular skills and who lack close family ties here. Fraud is rampant. It creates demand in countries where there was no demand before. It has been exploited by organized crime groups – several years ago, a crime syndicate in Eastern Europe hacked into a university ID card system and manufactured electronic entry forms, complete with photos, unbeknown to the individual students. Then it hijacked the winner notification letters at the post office, contacted the winners, and provided them with spouses to accompany them to the United States, where the lucky winners were coerced into working for the syndicate here. It’s not hard to see why this program has had a target on its back for some time, and few will mourn its passing if Congress ever gets around to ending it.
5. Sotomayor to Make Immigration Policy from the Bench? By Jon Feere CIS Blog, July 15, 2009
Excerpt: 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.
6. REAL ID v. PASS ID Powerpoint Presentation By Janice Kephart CIS Blog, July 14, 2009
Excerpt: 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.
7. The Shame of Migrant Kidnapping in Mexico By Jerry Kammer CIS Blog, July 14, 2009
Excerpt: 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.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cis.org
Cheating Saudi princess granted asylum
This is one immigration decision with which I heartily agree. There are SOME genuinely threatened refugees
A SAUDI princess who fell pregnant during an affair with a British man has been granted asylum in the UK after she claimed she could face the death penalty if she went home. A British court granted refugee status to the young woman, who is married to a member of the Saudi royal family, after she told the judge her adultery made her liable to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia, The Independent newspaper reports.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office in London refused to confirm the report, saying it did not comment on individual cases.
According to the newspaper, the princess - who was granted anonymity by the court - is one of a small number of citizens of Saudi Arabia who claim asylum in Britain but whose cases are not openly acknowledged by either government. Recognition by the British Government would be viewed as criticism of human rights in Saudi Arabia, which would embarrass both sides, it said.
The princess reportedly met her English boyfriend, who is not a Muslim, during a visit to London. She became pregnant the following year and returned to Britain to have the baby in secret.
Since then her family has broken off contact with her, and she persuaded a court that if she returned home then both she and her child would be subject to capital punishment under Sharia law, namely flogging and stoning to death.
21 July, 2009
Same-sex couples push for immigration parity
Society has always privileged married couples in various ways in order to assist with the bringing up of children. Many homosexuals try to claim the same privileges even though they do not usually contribute to the upbringing of children
More than 100 lawmakers in the House and about 20 in the Senate have signed on to bills that would add the United States to the 19 countries that recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes. Gay rights groups are encouraged that President Obama has signaled he would like to include such couples as Rickard and Bogliolo in the bills.
“In many ways, the stars are aligning to move this forward as part of a comprehensive bill,’’ said Steve Ralls, communications director for the advocacy group Immigration Equality. “That’s an opportunity we didn’t have years ago.’’
The provisions concerning same-sex couples are part of legislation that would increase the number of visas provided to family members of people already in the United States legally.
The longstanding fight over the country’s estimated 36,000 same-sex couples of two nationalities is a small part of the debate over changing immigration laws. But including same-sex couples could make it harder to pass legislation on immigration. A key ally in past immigration fights, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said it would not support a measure that has a same-sex provision.
Other groups say that it is often difficult to verify the validity of same-sex relationships if one of the partners comes from a country that does not recognize or document same-sex unions
No Citizenship? No Problema! It's Obama-Care!
On Friday, Democrats moved one step closer to giving free health insurance to the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens when they successfully defeated a Republican-backed amendment, offered by Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized health care under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and President Barack Obama. The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines, and followed this action by passing the 1,018-page bill early Friday morning by a 23-to-18 margin, with three Democrats voting against the plan.
The Democratic plan will embrace Obama’s vision of bringing free government medical care to more than 45 million uninsured people in America – a significant portion of whom are illegal aliens.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, costs under the Obama plan being proposed by the House will saddle citizens with $1.04 trillion in new federal outlays over the next decade. Congressional Democrats and Obama have argued that their health plan is necessary to contain rising health care costs. But, last Thursday, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Senate Budget Committee and warned lawmakers that the proposed “legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs."
A key factor increasing costs is that Democratic plan provides for blanket coverage to as much as 15 percent of the U.S. population not currently insured, including illegals.
Democrats had insisted throughout the health-care reform debate that illegals would be ineligible for the so-called public option plan that is to be subsidized by taxpayers. "We're not going to cover undocumented aliens, undocumented workers," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters in May. "That's too politically explosive."
Republicans, however, point out that the Democrats, by refusing to accept the Heller amendment, would deny health agencies from conducting simple database checks to verify citizenship. Many states give illegals driver licenses, which will be sufficient to get free health care under the plan. Critics also contend that millions of illegals who already have counterfeit Social Security cards or other fraudulent documents. There is no enforcement mechanism in the legislation, experts say, to prevent illegals who use fake IDs to obtain jobs from also obtaining taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. GOP representatives introduced the amendment to provide a way to weed out non-citizens from the program.
A description of the amendment on Heller's Web site state it would "better screen applicants for subsidized health care to ensure they are actually citizens or otherwise entitled to it." The Web post added, "The underlying bill is insufficient for the purpose of preventing illegal aliens from accessing the bill’s proposed benefits, as it does not provide mechanisms allowing those administering the program to ensure illegal aliens cannot access taxpayer-funded subsidies and benefits."
The Heller amendment would have required that individuals applying for the public health care option would be subject to two systems used to verify immigration status already in use by the government: The Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS) and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program. The two systems cross-reference Social Security numbers and employment information to establish whether an individual is a U.S. citizen.
Critics: Free Health Care Means More Illegals
A recent Rasmussen Reports poll found that an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans oppose covering illegals in any public health care bill. Anti-immigration activists say the availability of low-cost benefits, including health insurance and in-state tuition, will only lure more immigrants to come to the United States.
Political analyst Dick Morris, in his recently released best-selling book “Catastrophe”, warns that giving illegal free health care will lead to a flood of new illegals who can take advantage of such a benefit not offered in their home countries.
William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, agrees with that sentiment, writing, "Each state and federal elected official must know that illegal aliens should not be given licenses, in-state tuition, mortgages, bank accounts, welfare, or any other benefit short of emergency medical care and law enforcement accommodations before they are deported."
But a small fraction of illegals end up deported, as many make widespread use of fake IDs to easily gain access to government benefits programs. "Experts suggest that approximately 75 percent of working-age illegal aliens use fraudulent Social Security cards to obtain employment," wrote Ronald W. Mortensen in a recent Center for Immigration Studies research paper. Mortensen says one of the big misconceptions about illegals is that they are undocumented.
James R. Edwards Jr., co-author of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform, recently wrote on National Review Online that "it's hard to envision how health reform can avoid tripping the immigration booby trap." Edwards says none of the legislation under consideration actually requires any state, federal, or local agency to check the immigration status of those who apply for the program. The assumption is that companies have vetted their employees to ensure they are eligibility for legal employment – a difficult task for employers given the active market in fraudulent documents. Thus Edwards maintains "some of the money distributed … inevitably would go to illegal aliens."
The estimates of illegal aliens in the United States without health insurance vary. The most commonly cited statistic, attributed to the Center for Immigration Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, holds that 15 percent to 22 percent of the nation's 46 million uninsured are illegal aliens. That would be between 6.9 million and 10.1 million people. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama claimed the nation United States has 12 million or more undocumented aliens.
John Sheils of the Lewin Group, a health care consulting firm owned by UnitedHealth Group, recently told National Public Radio that about 6.1 million illegals – about half of all illegals in the United States – lack documentation and therefore would not be legally eligible for benefits under the current health care reforms. Sheils says the other half of the nation's illegals – 5 million to 6 million – use false documents to obtain on-the-books employment. Many of them are already insured under their employers' plans, he added. "A lot of those people are getting employer health benefits as part of their compensation," Sheils told NPR.
Certainly, some contend that undocumented workers who are gainfully employed and receiving benefits such as health insurance are contributing to society. But the fact remains that, once equipped with a fake ID, a person in the United States illegally can obtain both a job and the benefits that go with it.
Estimates of the cost of providing illegals with medical care vary. Most uninsured illegals who need medical attention obtain it from hospital emergency rooms. And several states are already straining under the huge burden of paying for the health costs of illegal aliens. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in 2004 California's estimated cost of unreimbursed medical care was $1.4 billion. Texas estimated its cost at $850 million annually, and Arizona at $400 million.
Non-border states shoulder heavy burdens as well. Virginia's annual cost of providing health care for undocumented workers is approximately $100 million per year, FAIR reports, while Florida's health care cost is about $300 million annually.
One of the ironies of the proposed legislation is that it would fine American citizens who opt not to purchase insurance coverage, but would exempt illegals from such fines. This is presumably due to the fact that they are not supposed to participate in the program anyway.
Even if no illegals were likely to benefit from health care reform, Democrats have made it clear that amnesty is the next item on their ambitious legislative agenda. "I've got to do health care, I've got to do energy, and then I'm looking very closely at doing immigration," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declared in June.
Reid explained the urgent need for amnesty in terms very similar to those that Democrats have used to press for health care reform. "We have an immigration system that's broken and needs repair," Reid said.
Immigration expert Edwards, for one, says health-care reform may itself need serious medical attention before it is healthy enough pass through Congress. "The American people may soon realize how much health reform will benefit immigrants and cost the native-born," he writes. "When that happens, the volatile politics of immigration could derail universal health care."
20 July, 2009
Large numbers of people from Mexico and the Czech Republic have been coming to Canada and claiming asylum. Most such claims are eventually rejected so Canada is trying to "cut them off at the pass", to use the language of Hollywood Westerns. A requirement that people arriving from those countries have a Visa has just been put in place
New visa requirements have taken the travel industry by surprise. Representatives of the hotel, restaurant and tourism industry from Quebec and Ontario told a news conference on Parliament Hill the lack of advance warning of the new visa requirement would have a domino effect that would imperil the prepaid holidays of thousands of tourists.
The requirements are being introduced to stem the tide of refugee claimants from Mexico and the Czech Republic. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Tuesday giving advance notice would have defeated the purpose of imposing a restriction because it would have led to a rush of asylum seekers to beat the deadline.
Some have been taken aback by the swiftness with which the requirements have been imposed. The announcement was made Monday, and by midnight Wednesday a visa will be required when Mexicans arrive in Canada. "I don't argue about the visa," Patrick said. "I'm not against that. I'm against the way they did it."
Such a change could throw a serious wrench into travel plans for Mexicans coming to this province at the height of tourist season, with some left scrambling for visas. Travel Alberta hopes the new requirements won't disrupt travel from Mexico, a primary market for tourism in Alberta. "This has been a surprise for us and certainly our guests from Mexico," said Don Boynton, the executive director of corporate communication with Travel Alberta. "We'll have to adapt to this new reality in an ever-changing marketplace of travel and tourism. Hopefully, we will not be disrupted."
In 2007, Alberta had about 13,000 overnight visits by Mexicans, Boynton said. They spent roughly$10 million. Last year, Mexicana Airlines started direct flights from Mexico to Calgary and Edmonton.
One Calgary travel agent said new requirements could really hit the families of Mexicans living in Canada. Jorge Romberg, the owner of Magic Tours, said spouses, children and other family members who want to visit loved ones in Alberta may not qualify for visas. He said he doesn't know what the requirements will be, but said people from other Latin American countries have to prove a certain level of solvency and finances. "Not everybody has the means to be approved for a visa," Romberg said.
Kenney said the vast majority of Mexico's refugee claimants are economic migrants from the middle class, and they must not be allowed to jump Canada's immigration queue. Mexicans are the No. 1 asylum seeker to Canada, tripling to 9,400 from four years ago. But 90 per cent of those claims are rejected.
The Czech Republic is second with 3,000 claims, up from five in 2006 prior to the lifting of a Canadian visa requirement in late 2007. "In some of the flights coming from Prague, the majority of passengers are making asylum claims," said Kenney.
Alberta has seen an upsurge in Mexicans who apply as refugees in this province (very few people from the Czech Republic applied as refugees in Western Canada).
Last year, from January to September, Alberta had 191 refugee referrals from Mexico, according to statistics from the Immigration and Refugee Board. That's the highest number from any country and a substantial increase from 27 in 2005.
Fariborz Birjandian, executive director of Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, said new visa requirements will help weed out people who won't qualify as refugees. Birjandian added his agency has been under pressure in the last number of years trying to handle the number of refugees coming to Calgary. But Birjandian warns that when one door is closed, those seeking asylum find other ways, such as smuggling, to get into Canada.
British radio presenter 'spoken to' by BBC for praising immigration critic
We read:"Radio 2 presenter Sarah Kennedy has been chastised by the BBC for praising right-wing politician Enoch Powell during her show. During her early-morning show on Wednesday, Kennedy, 59, described Powell as 'the best prime minister this country never had'. Enoch Powell was famously sacked from the shadow cabinet by Ted Heath in 1968 after his 'Rivers of Blood' speech about the dangers of mass immigration.Given the troubles with Muslims and the high crime-rate among blacks, there are many Britons today who believe that Powell has been proved right in giving the warnings he did. "Enoch was right", they say 40 years later -- though only in private conversations.
A spokesman for the BBC said that the corporation had received 25 complaints by Friday and that the presenter had been 'spoken to' about the remark. She said: 'It was inappropriate for Sarah to offer an off-the-cuff political opinion and we have spoken to her and made that clear.'
In his infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech to Conservatives in Birmingham's Midland Hotel in 1968, Enoch Powell spoke out the threats caused by the mass immigration of people from Britain's former colonies.. He also heavily criticised the planned anti-discrimination laws which would make it illegal to refuse service on grounds of race.
It caused deep divisions in public opinion with Powell accused of inflaming racial hatred by many, but applauded by others for saying the unsayable. He was quickly sacked from Edward Heath's shadow cabinet but he also received 120,000 letters of support.
Powell never in fact mentioned "rivers of blood". He was a distinguished classical scholar and alluded to something written by the Roman poet Virgil: "As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”. He certainly foresaw deaths but not on quite the scale his critics have alleged.
The whole speech is here. It was a rather leisurely and academic speech, certainly not rabble rousing, but it referred to realities that were already widely recognized and reading it today does tend to show Powell as remarkably prescient. The article above describes Powell as "Right-wing" but he in fact got a lot of support from unionists, including strikes in support of him. That is why the political class to this day demonizes him only in a cautious way. The lady above was simply "spoken to", for instance. Having wharf labourers going on strike in support of one of the most distinguished Professors of Classical Greek must be one of the more amazing events in social history!
Powell was a brilliant scholar and a devout Christian and foresaw that his speech would be controversial but he felt that someone had to say in public what many were saying in private so he is an exemplar to those who believe in free speech.
19 July, 2009
Secure Identity Documents: Administration's Next Step in Dismantling Immigration Enforcement
Today's testimony by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in support of S. 1261, Providing Additional Security in States' Identification Act of 2009 (PASS ID), is the latest calculated step by the Obama administration in its relentless campaign to dismantle the immigration enforcement capability of the country, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
PASS ID would replace and reverse many of the important protections of the 2005 REAL ID Act and undermine the nation's ability to prevent another terrorist attack. REAL ID implemented the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The Commission cited failure to ensure that secure driver's licenses and IDs were only issued to persons who could prove their identity presented a dangerous vulnerability to our homeland security.
A comprehensive analysis by FAIR of PASS ID exposes at least 11 critical areas in which the bill would substantially weaken both enforcement of U.S. immigration laws and endanger homeland security. PASS ID:
Abolishes uniform standards for issuing secure identity documents.
By narrowing definitions, eliminates many sites that would require secure ID for access.
Allows passengers to board commercial aircraft without secure IDs.
Would allow multiple IDs to be issued to the same individual using aliases.
Would allow certain illegal aliens to obtain a secure ID.
Allows DHS to certify IDs issued to illegal aliens, such as the Matricula Consular card, as a secure IDs.
Eliminates requirements that states validate breeder documents.
Would allow states to issue secure IDs to people who fail to "present necessary documents."
Could lead to disclosure of private information.
Would make it difficult to distinguish a secure ID from a non-secure one.
Would provide financial incentives for states to issue secure IDs to illegal aliens.
For a detailed analysis of each of these loopholes see here
"When it comes to our nation's security, PASS ID would turn the clock back to September 10, 2001," warned Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "The main beneficiaries of this legislation would be terrorists, people seeking to evade our immigration laws, and state bureaucrats who continue to resist implementing a 21st century system for establishing people's true identities."
While REAL ID could be fully implemented by May 2011, PASS ID would restart the clock and delay even this weak effort at document reform by years, if not decades. Moreover, PASS ID would not reduce costs to the states, which has been a major complaint by governors and state legislatures.
"Today we saw the Secretary of Homeland Security working to undermine two of her department's most critical missions: protecting the security of the nation and enforcing laws against illegal immigration," said Stein. "The Obama administration has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to sacrifice the interests of the American people as it dismantles our immigration enforcement capability. With its support of a bill that scraps real progress in securing vital identity documents, this administration has shown that they are even willing to risk America's homeland security in pursuit of their political goals."
The above is a press release from Federation for American Immigration Reform, 25 Massachusetts Avenue - Suite 330 Washington DC, 20001, Office 202-328-7004 www.fairus.org. For further comment contact Ira Mehlman 206-420-7733. Founded in 1979, FAIR is the oldest and largest immigration reform group in America. FAIR fights for immigration policies that enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs and wages and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
Australian immigration levels pushing out young jobseekers
The Rudd government's alarm about retiring Baby Boomers causing economic growth to fall is unfounded and its policy response -- to bring in tens of thousands of overseas workers a year -- is wrong because of the rapid rise in over-55s staying at work. According to a new report, a sustained increase in the labour force participation rate among men and women aged over 55 since the mid-1990s, continuing even as jobs are shed during the global economic downturn, should put a large question mark over the immigration program.
If immigration continues at current levels, the group most likely to suffer is young Australian jobseekers trying to enter the workforce, it concludes.
The report -- to be published next week by Monash University's Centre for Population and Urban Research in its People and Place quarterly -- concludes that, even if the net overseas immigration intake were halved from its current 180,000 a year between now and 2018, the labour force would grow by nearly a million workers, about two-thirds of whom would be over 55. "The Immigration Minister's fear that, without continued, unprecedented high levels of overseas migration, the Australian labour force will soon contract is unfounded," the report concludes. "In the present economic environment of employment decline, sustained high levels of overseas migration are not necessary to ensure adequate labour force growth and such levels are compromising the employment prospects of younger job-seekers."
The report's author, CPUR social researcher Ernest Healy, told The Australian the Rudd government "appears to have been more alarmist than it needed to be in terms of population ageing and labour supply. "The assumption by the government has been that all these Baby Boomers are going to retire and there will be this crisis of labour growth, but they simply don't seem to be retiring in the numbers the government has been expecting."
Dr Healy said that, although the study did not examine the reasons why older workers were staying at work, he suspected easy access to finance over the past two decades might have increased household debt. And since the falls in superannuation balances because of the global financial crisis, the over 55s needed to work longer to have enough funds for retirement.
Employers, it seems, are generally happy to have them. "The participation rate among older workers has stayed up even after the crunch," Dr Healy said. "They are hanging on to jobs across the occupational spectrum, including the skilled areas emphasised in migration programs."
The report -- Population Ageing and the Employment Surge among Older Australian Workers -- shows that, even after the economic contraction started last year, employment growth had continued for older workers, while for those aged 15-24 unemployment deteriorated markedly. Almost all the growth for older men had been in full-time jobs, while for women, more of it was part-time.
"Nevertheless, the growth in the proportion of older employed women in full-time work is significant, having increased by eight and six points for women aged 55-59 and 60-64 respectively," the report says. "This surge in the employment rate for persons age 55 and over is bad news from the point of view of the immediate prospects of young Australian jobseekers. At a time when the total number of jobs is shrinking, they face competition from both older persons and from the current record high migration intake."
18 July, 2009
The Environmental Impact of Illegal Entry
Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border
Wildlife populations are increasingly threatened by illegal immigration and the alien smugglers who are cutting paths through federally protected lands. While environmental groups put out study after study detailing potential negative effects of a border fence on the environment, the story of the negative effects of not stopping illegal immigration across the Mexican border is a story that has remained untold, until now.
The Center for Immigration Studies has produced a web video using exclusive hidden camera footage. Additionally, the video includes maps used by the federal government to track illegal activity. “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails,” raises questions about environmentalists’ focus on stopping a border fence, when endangered species and vegetation have already been proven to suffer significantly where no fence exists. Abandoned vehicles, drug drops, illegal groups trekking and camping, along with the predictable human waste and immense litter left behind, have destroyed fragile Arizona ecosystems.
The video is online here and is also below
“Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border,” written and narrated by Janice Kephart, takes the story to a region threatened by increased illegal immigration, the Huachuca Mountains and Coronado National Forest in the southeast quadrant of Arizona. The mountainous terrain of these borderlands are seeing increasing activity right now, with drug dealers and alien smugglers – referred to as “coyotes” – and their clients using these trails to avoid the Border Patrol, which has limited access to these areas. Hidden cameras capture illegal activity as far as 10 miles north of the Mexican border, yet also capture large species such as bears, mountain lions, deer, wild pigs, and turkeys, which are experiencing the illegal activity first hand.
On a larger scale, President Obama’s immigration and environmental platforms for rule of law on our borders and a greener America remain unreconciled when it comes to the effect of the huge numbers of illegal immigrants being caught on hidden cameras trekking through public lands the federal government is responsible for controlling. These alien crossings are not legal, and they make clear that our borders are far from secure. In fact, the numbers of illegals on these trails is rising. In June 2009, 575 illegal aliens were picked up on just 14 of the hidden cameras featured in this video along 12 trials. Hundreds of these trails exist, and new ones are being cut illegally every day. And while these animals call these mountains home now, how long will these beautiful lands remain unspoiled if the border is not secured? And who is protecting this nation from those illegally trekking through them?
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: email@example.com www.cis.org
Blame the Employers
Like Bush, Obama targets business on immigration. The article below is from the WSJ, which sees immigration from an economic perspective only, so, rather than reducing Hispanic immigration, they want to see it legalized in some way. Their first preference would seem to be for open borders but a guestworker program would presumably be their next choice. Their point that employers should not be blamed for a situation that the government has created is however hard to argue with. The governent should put its own house in order rather than attacking employers
As a candidate, Barack Obama made a point of criticizing the Bush Administration's showy raids on even law-abiding employers to round up illegal workers. But now his Administration seems to be heading down a similar blame-the-employer path with its decision last week to expand a program that requires businesses to verify the legal status of workers against a flawed government database.
The hiring program, known as E-Verify, checks employee names and Social Security numbers against databases maintained by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. Businesses currently use E-Verify on a voluntary basis, but the Obama Administration wants to make it mandatory for federal contractors. To that end, the Senate voted last week to add an E-Verify requirement to a Department of Homeland Security spending bill.
Proponents see this as a tool for rooting out illegal immigrant workers. But employers have objected, citing independent evaluations that showed E-Verify to be slow and inaccurate. Responding to these criticisms, the government has improved the program. Error rates are down, and 96% of queries are confirmed within 24 hours. That said, last year Intel reported finding errors in 12% of responses to its queries. Other independent analyses have found that database error rates are 30 times higher for foreign-born workers than for natives, and nearly 100 times higher for naturalized citizens.
A bigger problem with E-Verify is that it doesn't catch identify fraud. An illegal alien using legitimate documents that don't belong to him can go undetected. So in addition to mistakenly rejecting people who are authorized to work, the system also confirms workers it shouldn't. Several government raids on businesses in recent years have resulted in the arrests of thousands of illegal workers whom E-Verify had approved.
Employers argue, logically, that it's unfair to punish them for unwittingly hiring unauthorized workers since they lack the tools to reliably determine a person's legal status. To address this problem, some lawmakers are now calling for biometric identification cards that would permit the government to check the status of every worker, including Americans. The Administration says it's open to the idea.
New York Democrat Charles Schumer, who's leading immigration-overhaul efforts in the Senate, told an audience last month that biometric ID cards are "the only way" to stop illegal border crossings. "I'm sure the civil libertarians will object to some kind of biometric card -- although . . . there'll be all kinds of protections -- but we're going to have to do it," said Mr. Schumer. "The American people will never accept immigration reform unless they truly believe their government is committed to ending future illegal immigration."
But if national ID cards are the silver bullet, why does Europe have so many illegal immigrants despite ID systems that have been in place for decades? No document is fraud proof, and unscrupulous employers seeking to hire illegals won't bother to check on status in any case. E-Verify and national ID cards, even working as intended, can't prevent underground employment, but such policies are guaranteed to swell the ranks of those being paid off-the-books.
The broader issue is that the Obama Administration, like its predecessor, has accepted the premise that the key to curbing illegal immigration is a crackdown on employers. That premise is false. Our illegal workforce results from a government policy that severely limits foreign access to U.S. labor markets.
Illegal immigration to the U.S. has been falling primarily because the economic downturn has reduced demand for labor. Last year net migration from Mexico fell by half. But as our economy inevitably revives, so will domestic demand for foreign workers. If the Obama Administration and Congress want to prevent another spike in the undocumented population, they might use the current lull to lift the immigration quotas that drive illegal border crossings. What U.S. employers need is legal access to willing workers, not more red tape in the form of a federal worker-verification system.
17 July, 2009
Australians are exceptionally successful as immigrants
Probably because life is so good in Australia that only the exceptionally talented have the motive to live elsewhere -- usually in more populous countries such as the UK and the USA -- thus giving their talents greater exposure and use
AUSTRALIAN expatriates are among the richest in the world, with one in five earning more than $US250,000 a year. But almost a third are planning to return home, blaming global economic turmoil for limiting their career prospects.
Research by HSBC Bank Australia, based on a survey of 3100 expats working in 50 countries, found Australians working overseas are living the good life, whereas foreign expats working in Australia have the lowest salaries of all the countries surveyed. Almost half, or 46 per cent, of Australian expats have an extra $US4000 or so in disposable income each month and have hired help such as nannies or cleaners.
However, foreign expats in Australia are the poorest of those surveyed, with 63 per cent earning less than $US100,000 a year.
Graham Heunis, the head of personal finance services at HSBC Australia, said expats in Russia, Asia and the Middle East were the highest paid, with those in Belgium and Australia the poorest.
Despite their lucrative salaries many Australians working overseas are considering moving home because of the global financial crisis. "Expats living in Australia are reporting the lowest salaries, but are nevertheless keen to stay put, while a third of the Australians living overseas are considering a return home," said Mr Heunis.
Feds: Domestic violence victims may get asylum
Do I hear the sound of some new floodgates being opened?
The Department of Homeland Security has opened the door to the possibility that immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence could qualify for asylum. The move, a change from the Bush administration, came to light when the government asked that the case of a Mexican woman who claims she was severely beaten by her common-law husband be sent back to an immigration court for further review.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler said Wednesday the agency "continues to view domestic violence as a possible basis for asylum in the United States."
The woman's bid for asylum was turned down by an immigration judge in San Francisco a few years ago, and she appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Arlington, Va. The department urged that the case get further review, saying that in some cases, but not all, foreign domestic violence victims could be granted asylum.
Chandler said asylum claims based on domestic violence claims are "highly complex, and we are interested in developing regulations that will address these cases."
Karen Musalo, the woman's lawyer, made the confidential department filing available Wednesday to highlight what she said is a "very new, very significant" policy change between the Bush administration and the Obama administration.
Musalo's client, who is not identified in the court document, arrived in the United States from Mexico in 2004 with her two children. She claimed the father of the children abused her in Mexico and applied for asylum in America.
16 July, 2009
Cut population by a third, say crowded Britons
One in four Britons would like to see the population reduced by up to a third to ease overcrowding. A survey has revealed deep anxiety about pressure on the environment and the impact of migrants on public services and social cohesion. Nearly seven out of ten adults believe the best way to curb population growth is to cut immigration, the poll showed.
The findings, gathered in a YouGov survey for the environmental pressure group Optimum Population Trust [a Greenie outfit], suggest there is widespread unhappiness over official projections that the population will rise to 70million in the next 20 years. The number of British citizens has grown by around two million in the past decade. The exact figure is unknown because of the difficulties in precisely measuring immigration. This has brought the population to around 61million.
Immigration minister Phil Woolas has promised that the Government will not allow numbers to reach 70million, a pledge that has provoked mockery from political opponents.
Yesterday’s poll showed that the greatest support for cutting population levels was found in regions where immigration has been the highest. In London, where one in three of the population was born abroad, 54 per cent think there should be fewer people. In the East of England, 49 per cent support a lower population and 48 per cent support it in the South.
The survey, which questioned 2,000 people, found that 24 per cent want the population to be between 40million and 50million, and 51 per cent would like numbers brought below 60million.
In Scotland, where recent levels of immigration have been minimal, only 22 per cent want the population reduced.
According to the poll, three quarters thought over-population was responsible for transport congestion and two thirds blamed it for lack of affordable housing or environmental degradation. A total of 53 per cent thought that too many people meant a lower quality of life.
Reducing immigration was the most popular method of lowering numbers, and was supported by 69 per cent. Many of those questioned believed that people should take the environment into account when deciding family size. Some 34 per cent said couples should think about having no more than two children. Eight per cent favoured having only one child and 7 per cent said couples should consider having no children. A total of 49 per cent supported two children or fewer. A three-child maximum was favoured by 13 per cent, but 14 per cent said couples should have as many children as they liked.
Roger Martin, of the Optimum Population Trust, said: ‘The poll clearly demonstrates widespread concern about the environmental damage caused by population growth and widespread support for measures to limit it. ‘The unequivocal nature of these findings makes the silence on population policy on the part of politicians and environmental groups even more astonishing. ‘The political parties and the green movement need to realise that the public can sustain a mature debate on population.’
Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch UK think-tank, said neither Labour nor the Conservatives would prevent the population increasing to 70million by 2029 with their present policies. ‘The main parties talk tough on immigration, but they are trying to con the British public,’ he added. ‘According to Government figures, we can expect almost another ten million people in England in 20 years’ time of which seven million will be due to immigration – equivalent to seven cities the size of Birmingham.’
People smugglers luring passengers to Australia with cheap trips
PEOPLE smugglers are luring more passengers by offering cut-price deals because of the economic crisis, an academic says. Dr Khalid Koser, from the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, has been looking at the financial crisis's impact on asylum seekers and migration, and says it has contributed to the recent spike in unauthorised boat arrivals to Australia.
Smugglers in countries such as Indonesia were offering "discounts and cut prices to move larger numbers of people and generate a profit", Dr Koser said. "They are reducing the prices of trips to generate more of a market and get money back because they, like everybody else, are feeling the squeeze of the financial crisis."
Rising unemployment in South-East Asia had increased the number of desperate people willing to risk fleeing to Australia. Authorities have intercepted 16 boats carrying asylum seekers in Australian waters this year, one of which exploded, killing five people.
The Opposition blames the Government's "soft" border protection policies. It says the Christmas Island detention centre is almost at capacity, with more than 1000 asylum seekers.
"Policies play a role but it's important to note that the spike in boat arrivals has coincided with the financial crisis," Dr Koser said. He also warned Australia risked stepping out of a "global market for skills" if it cut skilled migration levels. The Federal Government shed 25,000 places this year to help protect local jobs.
15 July, 2009
U.S. Immigration Raids and Union Organizing: A Case Study of the Smithfield Plant
In January 2007, the Smithfield Plant in Tar Heel, N.C., was raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This raid drastically changed the demographics of the plant, shifting from a mostly illegal Hispanic workforce to a legal African American workforce. The plant’s workers were able to unionize in the aftermath, something the previous workforce had failed to do twice prior to the raid.
Jerry Kammer, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, has examined the circumstances surrounding the raid and the plant’s unionization. In “Immigration Raids at Smithfield: How an ICE Enforcement Action Boosted Union Organizing and the Employment of American Workers,” Kammer gives an overview of events before the unionization and insights into the varied reasons workers were able to solidify backing for the union. The report is online here.
The sequence of events includes:
The Smithfield Plant, represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), failed to unionize in both 1994 and 1997. An administrative law judge found that the company committed “egregious and pervasive violations of labor law” during the 1997 effort when it used the employees’ illegal status to threaten them.
After the initial attempts at unionizing, Smithfield and the UFCW engaged in a bitter dispute. The union launched a public relations campaign and picketed Smithfield customers. Smithfield, in return, filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against the union.
The ICE raid, which took place in January 2007, both purged the plant of illegal workers and forced the management to set procedures to check immigration status of future hires.
The raid opened the door for an American and legal immigrant workforce. After the raid, the Hispanic workforce dropped by approximately 1,000 workers and was replaced by mostly African American workers. Less than two years later, in December 2008, the new workforce voted for unionization.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Contact: Jerry Kammer, (202) 466-8185, firstname.lastname@example.org
Britain is a soft touch for people smuggling, say traffickers
People-traffickers view Britain as a “soft touch” for smuggling illegal immigrants, with big profits and a low risk of being caught, according to Home Office research published yesterday. Traffickers also allege that officials in the Identity and Passport Service are willing to take bribes to help illegal immigrants to enter the country.
The research said that a number of factors encouraged illegal immigration, including the benefits system, a healthy illegal economy, the universality of the English language and the advocacy of illegal migration by some minority ethnic communities.
Other factors included the ready availability of work in the construction industry, high demand for prostitution, a comparatively relaxed immigration policy, the way that migrants and asylum seekers can use the Human Rights Act to remain in Britain, the ease of getting a passport via marriage to a British citizen and the absence of identity cards.
“The picture presented by the perpetrators was of a market that conferred healthy profits with a low risk of detection,” the report said. “The UK is perceived as an attractive destination for a number of reasons and illicit entry across UK borders is perceived to be relatively easy.”
Victims of trafficking are often women brought to work as sex slaves. Many pay thousands of pounds to get into Britain with the promise of work, only to find themselves trapped and their passports taken away.
The research on organised immigration crime involved interviews with 45 prisoners convicted of people smuggling or trafficking crimes in 2005. Migrants paid from £500 to £5,000 to be smuggled from France, £10,000 to gain entry from India, up to £12,000 from Turkey and £25,000 to £50,000 from China.
The Chinese figures included £10,000 for a false passport and £15,000 for the journey. An intermediary could be paid £4,000 for arranging a seat on a boat across the Channel.
14 July, 2009
Australia's Leftist Federal government unconcerned about flood of illegals
As the latest boatload of unlawful entrants was being dealt with by authorities last night, it emerged the Government was warned as early as last October to prepare for a flood of boat people.
On Saturday night Australia's Border Protection Command intercepted a boatload of 73 asylum seekers believed to be from Sri Lanka, many "family groups" including women and children. The boat arrived about 11am yesterday at Christmas Island where the group will undergo security, ID and health checks to establish their identity and reasons for travel.
At the same time it emerged Immigration Minister Chris Evans was briefed by his department on an expected "surge in unauthorised boat arrivals" on October 27. But it took seven months to fund new measures - and the boats still keep coming. The advice followed the Rudd Government's move to soften border protection policies. At that stage, Asian people smugglers had only just started to resume operations, sending two boats south with 31 passengers. Since then, another 23 vessels have been intercepted carrying more than 1000 asylum seekers.
Senator Evans continued to receive advice on the anticipated surge in subsequent briefings, The Daily Telegraph has learned through Freedom of Information laws. Yet Prime Minister Kevin Rudd scoffed at suggestions of a surge in unauthorised arrivals in an answer to Parliament in December. "In 2008 there have been four boats with 48 passengers. In 2007 there were five boats with 148 passengers. If this year we have had a surge, that was a deluge," he said.
The new $654 million plan includes more money for surveillance and engaging with our neighbours. [but no change in the laws that encourage them to come]
1. On a Roll
Excerpt: 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.
2. One Step Forward, Three Steps Back
Excerpt: The administration has announced that it's abandoning an important immigration initative that would have identified large numbers of illegal immigrants in the workforce. To camouflage this capitulation, the same press release reiterates a promise to finally implement a different, much smaller initative.
3. At CFR, No Clarity on Family Unification
Excerpt: As the Council on Foreign Relations rolled out its recommendations for immigration policy reform on Wednesday, a panel discussion covered ground that is familiar to advocates of the comprehensive reform proposals.
The CFR task force wants to combine calls for tough enforcement against illegal immigration with sweeping legalization of those who are already here. The panelists, who sat on the task force, said there was strong agreement that a demonstrated commitment to enforcement was essential to the effort to win support for “earned legalization.”
4. Saddam's BFFs Coming to a Town Near You
Excerpt: Besides the specific problem of welcoming to our shores people who danced in the streets at the destruction of the Twin Towers, there's the more general issue of resettling as refugees people who have somewhere else to go. There are 21 members of the Arab League, other than Iraq, that could take these Palestinians, and if they don't want to (and they don't) then we should apply pressure to our 'friends' in the Arab world to make them do so. Resettlement in America, regardless of the total numbers (and I obviously prefer lower numbers), should be reserved only for those who can't stay where they are and will never have anywhere else to go. Many, perhaps most, of those resettled here as refugees don't fit that description, these Palestinians being simply the latest example.
5. Obama Supports Secure Borders
Excerpt: As the last sentence indicates, the president’s words were aimed at Russia. But this is powerful language that must be reiterated if and when the president begins pushing illegal alien amnesty. Obama cannot back peddle from this statement without losing credibility on both an international and national scale.
Time will tell if Obama’s a man of his words.
6. Another Bad Sign for the Amnesty Crowd
Excerpt: From Politico: 'Labor declares war on Chamber', as in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This story doesn't touch on immigration, but the two big union federations already gave business the finger in agreeing to oppose any guest-worker plan as part of an amnesty bill. And amnesty just isn't making it through Congress unless business and labor are swapping spit in the shower.
7. Bad Poetry Makes for Bad Policy
Excerpt: Roberto Suro, a former WaPo reporter turned professor at USC, is no restrictionist but he is a contrarian on immigration. His 1998 book Strangers Among Us is anathema to the open-borders crowd, with its assertion that stopping illegal immigration is necessary to improve the lives of low-skilled immigrants already here and its confidence that enforcement is actually feasible.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: email@example.com www.cis.org
13 July, 2009
Mexico plugs the flow for some illegals
Because of its lawlessness
The Mexican government announced Friday that it is preparing a plan to protect Central American emigrants who cross Mexico en route to the United States from the violence documented in a report released this week by the independent National Human Rights Commission. The head of the INM migration agency, Cecilia Romero, said that the government is working on a “response with solutions” to the report presented by the rights panel, which denounced the kidnappings and harassment to which emigrants are subjected.
The commission reported this week that more than 1,600 migrants are kidnapped monthly in Mexico and submitted to beatings, rape and extortion, crimes that are never punished.
Romero told a press conference that the government “absolutely shares” the rights commission’s concern about the matter, and for that reason is preparing “a concrete response, with conclusions and proposals.” [But rest assured: It will never get beyond talk]
Moved by the desire to begin a new life in the United States, every year more than 140,000 people cross into southern Mexico. On their journey, many fall into the hands of people-trafficking gangs that demand ransoms from their families of between $1,500 and $5,000.
Criminal organizations that kidnap emigrants move some $50 million annually, the Human Rights Commission says. Victims are usually kidnapped in groups along certain stretches of the railroad lines in southern Mexico, where migrants commonly hop on northbound freight trains.
Illegal immigration to South Africa not such a bright idea now
There was a lot of it during white rule and most of them got jobs, but times have changed. The dysfunctional state of Africa elsewhere is however still the same -- even President Obama says so
Beneath the granite shadow of South Africa’s Quadu Mountains, the prayers for the dead infant are spoken in Shona, the language of rural Zimbabwe. It is early morning. Across the De Doorns township, an hour's drive east of the commercial heart of Cape Town, migrant labourers emerge from twisted tin shacks, forced awake by the sound of mourning drifting across the main highway north to Johannesburg.
By the roadside cemetery a dozen women sing and shiver in the midwinter chill beneath a circling flock of starlings: “We will meet again in Heaven, through the blood of Jesus, we will meet.” At their stamping feet, on a mound of rocky earth, sits the tiny coffin of thin cream-coloured plywood. Inside lies the body of one-year-old Melissa Mauketo, emaciated and withered, a victim of malnutrition in a country that has become a false beacon of hope for Africa’s dispossessed.
The corner of the burial ground we are standing in betrays a wider tragedy. Around us are crude immigrant graves adorned with simple white crosses. On each crucifix, the knife-carved names of other infants, the diseased and malnourished children of immigrants from Lesotho, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. All of Africa in the ground beneath us. The girl’s middle name was Nyaradzo. It means “comfort”, the dead child’s mother, Patience, tells me through her sobs. “We are a long way from home here, but Zimbabwe is still worse.”
As we leave the cemetery, Braam Hanekom, the founder of Passop, a campaigning charity that helps South Africa’s refugees, says that up to 1,000 illegal migrants are coming to the Western Cape every day, looking for work and a new start. “By the time the World Cup is upon us that figure will have increased dramatically,” he says. “This situation here is unacceptable. A child’s death from malnutrition on the outskirts of Cape Town is astonishing and, with more immigrants coming in, it can only get worse.”
He adds: “Imagine the 2010 games as an enormous magnet for Africa’s uneducated and impoverished and then imagine how bad life will become for these immigrants who come here to these townships and camps with the hope of finding work but find only exploitation and xenophobia. The situation is much broader than the government recognises. “What’s not being acknowledged is the fact that this isn’t a ‘male migrant’ issue. They are still summoning their families as soon as they arrive here, wives and children, when they can barely feed themselves, and these people are dying. The World Cup will be a tragedy for many African families.”
For all its poverty and historic divisions, South Africa remains, despite last summer’s xenophobic attacks, which left 70 foreign workers dead in a wave of antiimmigrant violence, a beacon of hope for the dispossessed and persecuted, with a constitution that in theory guarantees equality and a functioning economy that rewards entrepre-neurial effort.
With President Robert Mugabe’s continued destruction of Zimbabwe’s economy, hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, many of them well educated, still stream across the Limpopo river into South Africa, straining its resources. Figures vary, but as many as 3m Zimbabweans may have made the cross-border journey under cover of darkness, one of the largest exoduses Africa has seen.
More recently they have been joined by immigrants from Somalia, Nigeria, Angola and Mozambique. Government sources now claim that there are at least 6m foreign nationals working illegally in South Africa, representing 14% of the population.
Melissa Mauketo’s story shows many immigrants are facing even deeper hardship. For South Africa’s illegal workers, underpayment, long working hours, poor living conditions and starvation are accepted parts of daily life. Most suffer in silence for fear of losing their jobs or being deported. Philani Zamuchiya, of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, a research centre at the University of the Western Cape, claims that already appalling conditions on farms are becoming worse for migrants, who will accept almost any job out of desperation. He said that although minimum salaries should be £110 a month, most farmers were paying their workers a mere £20, which, “with their families, isn’t enough to feed themselves”.
Problems worsen during the five-month off season for work in the vineyards. Farm workers struggle to meet bare necessities, and infant mortality in the immigrant camps soars. “There is no food here, just like Zimbabwe,” says Anita Makauto, Melissa’s aunt. “Over there is a rubbish dump where Zimba-bwean and Congolese immigrants queue up every Friday to eat, waiting for the trucks to arrive to feed their families. “I have been there for scraps, as have all of my family. I see women eat straight from the ground, rotten cabbage and potatoes, scraping fruit out of tins with their hands. The council has told us we must take the rotten food away from the dump and eat it out of sight of the police.” ....
12 July, 2009
After 4 Senate Victories, How Do We Protect Them From Backroom Death?
Below is an informative post from "Numbers USA", which is an activist organization, See the original for steps that you can take if you wish to help with their campaigns
What a week! And, yes, the results were just as wonderful and just as scary as you might hope and fear. Most of you are shocked by the Senate's passage of 4 strong immigration enforcement amendments that would open up hundreds of thousands of jobs to unemployed Americans over the next year alone. Maybe even millions of jobs! The Sessions E-Verify amendment. The DeMint fence amendment. The Vitter no-match amendment. The Grassley E-Verify amendment.
Rightfully, many of you are skeptical. You are asking us: Did the Senate Democratic Leadership -- that has opposed everything that favors unemployed Americans over illegal aliens -- suddenly "allow" us to win as a kind of trap? What's the trick?
First, you really do need to take a minute to celebrate (just a little). Your pressure has caused the Democratic leadership to retreat a bit.The fact that congressional leaders believe that they have to concede some victories to us shows that your efforts are having some effect.
But, based on our information from inside Congress, we should expect that Senate Majority Leader Reid, House Speaker Pelosi and Pres. Obama have every intention of killing these amendments in a backroom maneuver when the joint Conference Committee negotiates the final bill to be sent to the President
Friends, we spend most of our time trying to get good legislation just looked at somewhere.
We are in a totally different -- and better -- position at this moment. What we have now is amazingly good legislation already passed by the U.S. Senate -- by easy margins! The good stuff is on the table. It's on its way to law. It is ours to lose right now. We haven't been in a better position than this in a very long time. Instead of fighting for our lives to stop something really bad, we have something very good to protect and preserve.
Our Action Buffet team already has several important faxes for you to send from your corkboard to protect the 4 Amendments. But we will come back to you Monday with another task, and perhaps a number of others during the week. One of our Capitol Hill Team told me late last night that there is no reason to save energy for any other time -- NOW is the time to mobilize everything we have.
As you fight, remember that you aren't fighting just for yourself or your family but for 15 million Americans and their families who currently are desperately searching for a job but can't find one. If you win in keeping these enforcement amendments in the DHS bill, hundreds of thousands of jobless families will once again have income, benefits and the hope of not having their houses foreclosed. Is that enough incentive? We are highly unlikely to get a better chance to make a huge humanitarian difference the rest of the year.
YOU HAVE TO STOP A REPEAT OF THE FEBRUARY BETRAYAL BY R-O-P-E
In February, I told you about the R-O-P-E killing of really tough enforcement measures that had been passed by the House as part of the Stimulus Bill. R-O-P-E is my short-hand for where all federal power is currently concentrated: Reid-Obama-Pelosi-Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel).
Although U.S. citizens elect 535 Members of Congress to represent them, the four members of the R-O-P-E team currently have almost dictatorial power when House and Senate bills go into a Conference Committee negotiating session. Many of you find it hard to believe but that is what has been happening. And this is what will happen with the Homeland Security spending bill just passed by the Senate and the one earlier passed by the House. If the Conference process this time is like for the Stimulus Bill and most others this year, this is what will happen next week:
1. R-O-P-E and their staffers will meet in secret and decide which things to keep and which to throw out of the two bills.
2. Democratic Senators and Representatives on the Conference Committee will be told by their leaders that they have to accept the decisions and vote for the R-O-P-E package with out alteration.
3. The R-O-P-E package then will be brought back to both Senate and House where Members won't want to vote against the overall spending bill just because they oppose the removal of the workplace protections for workers against illegal aliens. Unemployed Americans will lose again.
But like the Ghost of Christmas Future told Scrooge, this is not the future that has to happen. Please open all of our Action Alerts and come back to this website daily for suggestions of ways that you can persuade R-O-P-E and the Democratic Conferees to leave the 4 Enforcement Amendments in the bill.
ROLL CALL VOTES GOT TOO SCARY -- REID PROTECTED HIS DEMOCRATIC SENATORS BY ALLOWING FINAL AMENDMENTS TO PASS EASILY BY VOICE VOTE WITH LIKELY PROMISE TO RIP THEM OUT LATER
The first two votes on Wednesday (Sessions and DeMint amendments) were by roll call. For the first time this year, our side won -- handily with the help of 12 Democrats and an Independent.
Viewers of C-SPAN Immediately saw Vitter's and Grassley's enforcement amendments come up, and it looked like they would enjoy the same roll call victories. But Reid stopped the process for lunch. When the Senators returned, the Vitter and Grassley amendments were nowhere to be seen for the rest of the day and much of Thursday. The momentum in our direction had been temporarily interrupted.
The roll call votes were very threatening to Reid's Democratic Caucus. They were forcing Senators either (a) to anger the majority of their constituents by taking the side of illegal aliens and outlaw businesses, or (b) to anger the special-interest open-borders groups by siding with unemployed Americans against illegal employment.
Most of the rest of the year, Reid solved that dilemma by using parliamentary powers to just keep any of our amendments from ever coming up for a vote. But NumbersUSA's members and many others have pounded Reid mercilessly this year for such high-handed, undemocratic efforts. For some reason, Reid decided he would allow the Vitter and Grassley enforcement amendments to come up even though they were sure to pass.
But insisting on a voice vote with no position recorded for any Senator would protect the Members of his Caucus. Passing on voice vote was not a sign that the amendments didn't have substantial opposition among the Senators. In fact, it was just the opposite. But the open-borders Senators realized they couldn't beat them and they didn't want to be held accountable for opposing them. Passing on voice vote did indicate that nearly everybody in the Senate recognized that most Americans would not understand how somebody representing the U.S. national community could vote against those amendments.
Often in these kind of circumstances, the Majority Leader assures opponents of a measure that allowing it to pass will not matter because it will be ripped out of a bill in the Conference Committee.
That is why we are at such a dangerous point. All can be lost easily over the next few days. But so much can also be won if we pull away the curtains that hide the shameful pandering to special interests and shine the light of day on all the proceedings.
WHAT THE AMENDMENTS WOULD GIVE US
The 4 Enforcement Amendments we are trying to save would do far more than give unemployed Americans a much better shot at jobs than they have had.
They would also reverse what will otherwise be an even worse shot at jobs because of decisions being made this monthy by Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano. She is systematically gutting the moderate level of enforcement at the end of the Bush Administration and providing a de facto amnesty to most illegal aliens.
If the 4 Amendments are not kept in the bill, the result of Napolitano's new orders will be that far more returning veterans and other Americans will be unemployed as far more illegal aliens get to keep and obtain U.S. jobs.
More Britons are emigrating to Australia
More Britons are emigrating, and they don't have to be young and carefree to join the exodus. Consider the choices of Britons joining the 2.26 million jobless queue, with rain outside and peeling paint within. If they are of a generation that enjoyed the sun-kissed, carefree bliss of the backpacker trail, this increasingly is the moment to swap recession-hit Britain for balmy and relatively buoyant Australia. British unemployment has reached 7.2 per cent, a 12-year high, and thousands of people are preparing to follow the masses of Australians going home to an economy which has largely avoided recession.
There is nothing new about British immigration, of course. Tens of thousands arrived under the postwar £10 Poms scheme, encouraged by a labour-hungry Australia willing to subsidise their passage and determined to preserve Australian whiteness. But money frequently is no longer the guiding principle for today's crop of often comfortable departees from the old dart. Quality of life is the new holy grail; many can fall back on sizeable cash reserves accumulated during boom times.
Not everyone is invited to the party though. In a world where sophisticated immigration policies have been tailored to the needs of individual labour markets, the door is open only to a "migrant elite" with specified skills. Unlike earlier generations, large numbers have no intention of returning to Britain.
Typical are members of the Mercer family from the Wirral, north-western England, who are set to move to Australia this year. "My expectation is that Australia is a land of opportunities where hard work will be recognised in a way that I think is taken for granted here," says Tony Mercer, 31, whose property business went bust in the economic storm last year.
An aircraft engineer by trade, his skills did not meet the qualifying criteria because he had not used them for years. Instead, the Mercers secured the points needed to move to Australia because his hairdresser wife Jane's skills are in demand. With Samuel, 7, and Jessica, 4, the Mercers have chosen Adelaide. Aside from air fares, a family of four is likely to pay about $10,000 in the visa application process, a system the Mercers describe as "a minefield".
Unsurprisingly, inquiries have shot up at the Emigration Group, a British company employing former Australian immigration staff who help with visa applications. "More people are having serious concerns about the future of this country," says an Emigration Group director, Paul Arthur. Increasingly his customers are young, middle-class professionals citing high taxes, poor weather and poor services as reasons for emigrating. The vast majority are homeowners, although the stagnant property market has meant some are biding their time before they raise the capital needed.
Another option for those wanting to emigrate is to study overseas. One British company, Study Options, has taken on extra staff to place Britons in Australian and New Zealand universities. Co-founder Stefan Watts reports a surge in business from professionals wanting to ride out the recession by taking time to study. Mr Watts sees more clients who are older, in their late 20s or 30s, and time poor. Many look forward to returning to a country they once backpacked around and are unfazed at getting little or no support to pay fees such as the typical $17,000 for undergraduate degree courses.
Will Morrin, a 38-year-old from Glasgow who was made redundant last year from his job as a broker, is about to embark on a three-year radiography degree at Newcastle in NSW, even though he was accepted for a similar degree in Britain with no fees to pay. "I have savings and had been doing a bit of thinking so I sold the car and the house. Weighing it up, what's important is the quality of life," he says. "Weather is the No.1 draw and getting away from the rat race. Things in the UK will only get worse once interest rates kick in." Once qualified in a sought-after profession, he may stay for four years to qualify for Australian citizenship or move to Canada, another economic lifeboat of choice for many...
Traditionally Britons emigrated in good years and stayed put in uncertain economic times. The sign from this recession, however, is a bucking of those traditions. Immigration peaked in 2007 and began to decline early last year, but picked up again in the second half of 2008, according to the Office for National Statistics. More than 165,000 British nationals had emigrated in the first seven months of last year.
This year's yet-to-be published Brits Abroad report by the Institute for Public Policy Research will show most British migrants are highly skilled, although the net loss of such workers seems to be decreasing. Work, lifestyle and adventure are listed as the three main reasons for leaving. The big surprise, however, is in the flexibility afforded by technologies that promote and facilitate remote working. More people are having their cake and eating it, emigrating while retaining jobs back in Britain.
11 July, 2009
New Curbs Set on Arrests of Illegal Immigrants
Revamped 287g Program Will Target Only Serious Crimes, not Minor Infractions; Sheriff Arpaio Refuses to Ease Up
The Department of Homeland Security said Friday it was revising a program that authorized local police to enforce federal immigration law -- a controversial aspect of U.S. border policy. Opponents said the program, known as 287g, was intended to identify criminal aliens but instead has led to racial profiling; it allowed local police to identify and arrest illegal immigrants for such minor infractions as a broken tail light. Program supporters said it has been an effective tool for combating illegal immigration.
The new guidelines sharply reduce the ability of local law enforcement to arrest and screen suspected illegal immigrants. They are intended to prevent sheriff and police departments from arresting people "for minor offenses as a guise to initiate removal proceedings," according to Homeland Security. The program will instead focus on more serious criminals. "In a world of limited resources, our view is that we need to focus first and foremost on people committing crimes in our community who should not be here," said John Morton, Assistant Secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mr. Morton said his agency would sign new contracts with local law enforcement that would bolster federal oversight.
In the past two years, more than 120,000 suspected illegal immigrants were identified through the program, and most ended up in deportation proceedings. By comparison, ICE removed 356,739 illegal immigrants from the U.S. during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2008 -- a 23.5% increase over the 2007 total.
The most active local enforcer has been Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County. He said Friday he would continue pursuing illegal immigrants, arguing that state laws allow neighborhood crime sweeps and worksite raids. "If I'm told not to enforce immigration law except if the alien is a violent criminal, my answer to that is we are still going to do the same thing, 287g or not," said Mr. Arpaio. His deputies have identified in jail or picked up on the streets more than 30,000 illegal immigrants in the Phoenix area. "We have been very successful," said the five-term sheriff. The Department of Justice is investigating whether Mr. Arpaio's deputies have used skin color as a pretense to stop Latinos suspected of being illegal immigrants.
Mr. Obama's policy change is expected to bolster his standing with Latinos and some Democratic legislators. The administration is seeking to set the stage for a sweeping overhaul of immigration legislation that could put millions of illegal workers on the path to U.S. citizenship.
President George W. Bush pursued a similar goal. After the efforts failed in Congress, his administration stepped up enforcement with raids and the expansion of such programs as 287g. The provision was created by Congress in 1996 and designed to train local police to help federal immigration authorities locate criminal aliens. It took six years for the first state, Florida, to sign on to the program. The Bush administration promoted the program among sheriffs and police chiefs, turning it into a symbol of his crackdown on illegal immigration.
Since January 2006, more than 1,000 state and local law-enforcement officials have been certified. Many jurisdictions used those officers in jails, where they could sort through many inmates in a single shift. Southern states account for more than 40 of the 66 existing participants. There are 42 applications pending, most of them in the South. Both Virginia and North Carolina, where the Latino immigrant population has grown, each have eight 287g agreements, more than other states.
"I think the program is working great," said Wake County, N.C., Sheriff Donnie Harrison. "If the highway patrol brings someone to our jail, and they say they are foreign born, then they are flagged for 287g. They have committed a violation of some sort to be brought to our jail...from broken tail lights to murder and rape."
Raleigh, N.C., resident Maria Hernandez was booked into a Wake County jail after failing to show up for her 6-year-old son's truancy hearing, according to her account and that of her attorney, Marty Rosenbluth. Ms. Hernandez, a cleaning lady who came to the U.S. illegally nine years ago, is now in deportation court. "I don't understand why they come after people like me," she said.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ordered a comprehensive review of 287g shortly after taking her post earlier this year. Members of Congress and the Government Accountability Office had raised concerns the program was being used "to process individuals for minor crimes, such as speeding, contrary to the objective of the program."
The shift on 287g follows other recent modifications to immigration policy by the Obama administration, reflecting an effort to shift the burden of immigration enforcement to employers, while making it difficult for illegal immigrants to get hired. In the past two weeks, Ms. Napolitano said federal contractors would be required to check the identity of new hires against a federal database. DHS also will audit hundreds of companies to verify whether their employees are eligible to work.
Leftists who don't know much about immigration
Some nut seems to think that Israel desperately wants to hang on to all its charming Palestinans
We were puzzled when a reader sent us an article from the Christian Science Monitor bearing the following headline "Risking Israel's Ire, US Takes 1,350 Palestinian Refugees." The subheadline explained:The US is generally reluctant to resettle Palestinians, but these are refugees from Iraq who have been targeted since the invasion. The article goes on to explain that the Palestinians in Iraq, who were "treated well under [Saddam] Hussein," have been "targeted by Iraqi Shiites," and it says that "some critics" in America oppose allowing pro-Saddam Arabs to immigrate--although the only such critic quoted is anti-immigration activist Mark Krikorian.What got our attention, though, was the bit in the headline about "Israel's Ire." What reason could Israel possibly have to object to this humanitarian gesture? As it turns out, the article offers no evidence whatever of the imputed Israeli irefulness. Author Patrik Jonsson has no quotes from Israeli officials, and the only passage that even remotely touches on an Israeli position is this:The US reluctance to accept Palestinians is because it "doesn't want the refugee program to become an issue in its relationship with Israel," says a diplomat in the region, who requested anonymity because he is not cleared to talk to the press. But these Palestinians, he says, will be processed as refugees from Iraq.Note what the anonymous diplomat does not say. He does not say that the decision to admit Palestinians from Iraq is likely to arouse ire, or any other reaction, from Israel. In fact, he distinguishes "these Palestinians" from those residing in the disputed territories for the purpose of his statement about refugee policy and U.S.-Israel relations.
Moreover, he doesn't say that the Israelis would object to America's admitting Palestinians from the territories as refugees. Maybe they would, but it's hard to see why. The presence of a large population of Palestinian "refugees"--whom Arab countries (except Jordan) refuse to resettle--is a problem for Israel.
Thus, as Seth Lipsky has argued, Palestinian immigration to the U.S. would be very much in the Jewish state's interest. If the U.S. "doesn't want the refugee program to become an issue in its relationship with Israel," maybe it is because it doesn't want to be pressed into admitting more Palestinians.
In any case, the notion that America is "risking Israel's ire" by admitting Palestinians from Iraq seems to be a figment of the imagination of whoever wrote the Monitor's headline.
10 July, 2009
Obama Administration Reluctantly Adopts Rule Requiring Federal Contractors to Use E-Verify
Late yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would move forward on a Bush-era regulation requiring all federal contractors to use E-Verify. This announcement is welcome news, but it also represents a last minute attempt by the Obama administration to fend off a proposal to impose more stringent standards that the Senate was considering on the same day, says the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
After repeated delays, DHS finally agreed to implement a Bush-era regulation to ensure that all federal contractors, who are paid with taxpayer dollars, hire only workers who are legally authorized to work in the United States. The DHS announcement came the same day the Senate adopted an amendment that would statutorily impose the same mandate. The Senate approved an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill offered by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) that not only requires all federal contractors to use E-Verify, but also permanently reauthorizes the vital program. E-Verify is the program that allows employers to quickly verify that new employees are legally able to work in theU.S.
The administration's reluctant acceptance of a fait accompli on E-Verify was underscored by its simultaneous decision to abandon the "No-Match" rule, which would have protected American workers. The No-Match rule requires employers who are notified by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that workers' Social Security numbers do not match data in SSA's database to take action to correct those discrepancies in order to ensure their workforce is legal. By rescinding the No-Match rule, the administration is making it easier for employers to retain illegal workers. Rescinding the No-Match rule will help illegal aliens keep the jobs they currently hold, despite the fact their employment violates U.S. law, instead of freeing those jobs for legal American workers.
"We commend Senator Sessions for his leadership and his determination to protect the interests of American workers. Today's events demonstrate that this administration will only enforce laws against illegal aliens in the workplace when faced with public opposition and forceful congressional leadership," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
"Unfortunately, while implementing protections for American workers in the public sector, the administration has simultaneously removed job protections for private sector workers by rescinding the No-Match rule. An administration truly committed to holding employers accountable would do more to protect the jobs and wages of American workers," Stein said.
In light of today's DHS announcement and Senate action, FAIR is calling upon both the administration and Congress to act immediately to reauthorize E-Verify. Unless the program is reauthorized it will expire on September 30. "Having accepted that E-Verify is a vital program that protects American jobs and discourages illegal immigration, it is time for the president and congressional leaders to ensure that the program remains in place for the long-term and expanded to include all employers in the U.S.," Stein concluded.
The above is a press release from Federation for American Immigration Reform, 25 Massachusetts Avenue - Suite 330 Washington DC, 20001, Office 202-328-7004 www.fairus.org. For further comment contact Ira Mehlman 206-420-7733. Founded in 1979, FAIR is the oldest and largest immigration reform group in America. FAIR fights for immigration policies that enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs and wages and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
UK: BNP Leader says “sink immigrants’ boats”
The EU should sink boats carrying illegal immigrants to prevent them entering Europe, British National Party leader Nick Griffin has told the BBC. The MEP for the North-West of England said the EU had to get "very tough" with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Pressed on what should happen to those on board, he said: "Throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya". Libya has long been a staging post for migrants from Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa wanting to reach Europe.
Nearly 37,000 immigrants landed on Italian shores last year, an increase of about 75% on the year before. But with the prospect of a new immigration and asylum policy being voted on this autumn by MEPs, Mr Griffin is advocating measures to destroy boats used by illegal immigrants to reach the EU's southern coastline.
In an interview with this week's edition of BBC Parliament's The Record Europe, he said: "If there's measures to set up some kind of force or to help, say the Italians, set up a force which actually blocks the Mediterranean then we'd support that. Europe has sooner or later to close its borders or its simply going to be swamped by the Third World
"But the only measure, sooner or later, which is going to stop immigration and stop large numbers of sub-Saharan Africans dying on the way to get over here is to get very tough with those coming over. "Frankly, they need to sink several of those boats. "Anyone coming up with measures like that we'll support but anything which is there as a 'oh, we need to do something about it' but in the end doing something about it means bringing them into Europe' we will oppose."
The interviewer, BBC Correspondent Shirin Wheeler, said: "I don't think the EU is in the business of murdering people at sea." Mr Griffin replied: "I didn't say anyone should be murdered at sea - I say boats should be sunk, they can throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya. "But Europe has sooner or later to close its borders or its simply going to be swamped by the Third World."
In May, the Italian government gave Libya three patrol boats as part of a deal aimed at combating the flow of illegal migrants making the crossing to Italy. Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, a member of the anti-immigration Lega Nord party, hailed the first 200 migrants picked up by the boats and returned to Libya as an "historic" moment.
But human rights groups have raised concerns about Italy sending migrants back to Libya without first screening them for asylum claims or to discover whether they are sick, injured, unaccompanied children or victims of human trafficking. Libya has no functioning asylum system and is not a party to the 1951 UN convention relating to the status of refugees.
Separately Mr Griffin, who will next week formally take up his seat in Brussels, has admitted that the BNP has failed to convince other like-minded parties to form an alliance in the new European Parliament. Talks with France's Front National, Lega Nord, and other groups fell apart, with Lega Nord now joining the new Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, led by Britain's UK Independence Party.
Mr Griffin told The Parliament.com: "We needed at least 25 members from seven different member states to form a group. There is no doubt that we would have been able to wield a lot more influence if we could have formed a group. "No one was prepared to commit themselves knowing that we had not got Lega Nord on board. "Even so, we will continue to work together with these other groups and share ideas. We will have less access to things like speaking time and committee votes but it's too bad."
The BNP advocates British withdrawal from the European Union and an end to all immigration to the UK and last month won its first two seats in the European Parliament. Mr Griffin and the party's other recently-elected MEP Andrew Brons will sit in the "non-attached" section of the Parliament, which means they will be entitled to less administrative and financial support.
You can watch the full interview with Nick Griffin on The Record Europe on BBC Parliament, BBC World and the BBC News Channel
8 July, 2009
1. Siren Songs and the New York Times
Excerpt: Though “indulging in the illusions of hope . . . against a painful truth” is “natural to man,” in one of the greatest speeches in our history Patrick Henry warns us that its consequence can be to degrade our reason so profoundly we become indistinguishable from animals. How much more dangerous is this predilection when practiced by what many still regard as the nation’s newspaper of record?
2. ICE Adopts Catch and Release for 287(g)
Excerpt: According to news accounts, earlier this month ICE issued a directive to one of the most productive 287(g) jurisdictions to cease holding many of the illegal aliens arrested by the sheriff’s officers, and instead release them back into the community. Just like in the commercial, where the mean guy in the suit takes away the kid’s cool truck and gives him a lousy picture to play with instead, Sheriff Daron Hall knows the difference. Now, only a fraction of the thousands of illegal aliens they arrest in Davidson County, Tenn. will actually be removed. The rest will be released on their own recognizance (“O.R.,” or “down the road,” as the expression goes) and told to appear in immigration court at a future date. ICE knows from experience that fewer than 15 percent of illegal aliens released O.R. will show up for these hearings. Maybe Janet Napolitano will send Sheriff Hall and the residents of Davidson County a picture of the criminal alien being deported instead.
3. The Speaker of the House, Navajos, and Who We Are
Excerpt: I am one of the progressives whose position on immigration policy stems from concerns about our country's social structure, social cohesion and population growth. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is an immigration enthusiast not troubled by such concerns.
4. What's the Rush?
Excerpt: Yesterday's twice-delayed White House pep rally for amnesty offered no surprises, other than the exclusion of Steve King, who's just, you know, the ranking Republican on the House immigration subcommittee. In fact, despite the meeting's billing as broadly inclusive, only three of the 30 members of Congress there were opposed to amnesty: Sen. Jeff Sessions and Reps. Lamar Smith and Heath Shuler.
5. Impatience Mixed with Hope in the Spanish-Language Press
Excerpt: The leader of a national Latino political organization wasn't happy with the results of Thursday's immigration policy meeting at the White House between the president and congressional leaders.
'They have to move from statements and meetings to doing something concrete,' Arturo Vargas, director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials told the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion, which is published in Los Angeles.
6. The New Sheriff in Town
Excerpt: Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, is point man for President Obama on immigration, riding herd on the Big Push for 'comprehensive immigration reform.' According to members of Congress committed to this unpopular policy, the campaign will be launched sometime in the fall. There was a bipartisan meeting today to discuss what's possible in the current Congress, but it includes Rep. Anthony Weiner so it's hard to take that one too seriously, and there was another the day before for amnesty advocates. But don't place too much faith in the time frame. Given this president's vast policy agenda, with other priorities easily eclipsing this one, talking about beginning this debate in the fall is likely just another sop to the 'immigration reform' crowd with little sincerity behind it. And this one's easy for the President: all he has to do is sit back and let them cherish and mouth their delusions.
7. Schumer's Marketing Lesson for 'Comprehensive Reform'
Excerpt: A powerful Senate advocate of 'comprehensive immigration reform' legislation Wednesday offered some marketing advice to those who want to help him get the bill passed: Call illegal immigration by its name.
'When we use phrases like 'undocumented workers,' we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly opposed,' said Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Judiciary immigration subcommittee. 'If you don’t think it’s illegal you’re not going to say it. I think it is illegal and wrong and we have to change it.'
8. The Rule of Cynicism
Excerpt: Today’s New York Times has a story about a tragedy at a day care center in the northern border state of Sonora that has shaken the entire country. The Times reports that in the weeks since a fire killed 47 children in Hermosillo, “evidence has piled up suggesting a chain of negligence that may have abetted the tragedy. The revelations have led to outrage and, in this culture of widespread corruption and legal impunity, resignation.”
9. Come, Let Us Reason Together - So Long as You Agree With Me
Excerpt: Artfully practiced, casuistry is discernible only by the naturally skeptical or perspicacious while remaining invisible to the gullible or incautious majority. When performed ineptly, however, the duplicity is plain to all. Bungled deception insults ordinary 'inquiring minds,' repels the more acute, and reveals the intellectual slovenliness that accompanies the bad ethics, making each that much more deplorable.
10. Touchback Redux?
Excerpt: The president this morning spoke at a Hispanic prayer breakfast and reiterated his support for amnesty, but again offered no timeline. One interesting twist is that he endorsed the bogus 'touchback' gimmick that was floated during the last round of the amnesty debate, wherein illegal aliens would go home to apply for amnesty, have lunch, then come back legally, thus 'rebooting' their status. As the L.A. Times writes
11. Illegal, but Not Undocumented: Identity Theft, Document Fraud, and Illegal Employment
Excerpt: This Backgrounder examines illegal immigration-related document fraud and identity theft that is committed primarily for the purpose of employment. It debunks three common misconceptions: illegal aliens are “undocumented;” the transgressions committed by illegal aliens to obtain jobs are minor; and illegal-alien document fraud and identity theft are victimless crimes. It discusses how some community leaders rationalize these crimes, contributing to a deterioration of the respect for laws in our nation, and presents a variety of remedies, including more widespread electronic verification of work status (E-Verify and the Social Security Number Verification Service) and immigrant outreach programs to explain the ramifications and risks of document fraud and identity theft.
12. A Whole New Meaning to 'Cheap Labor'
Excerpt: From a Washington Post story on foreign workers in Iraq:
Jasim al-Dulaimy, another tribal leader in Anbar who brought in Bangladeshis, said the workers had adapted well to desert life, adding that he had made them adopt the long, loose dishdashas traditionally worn in the province.
Dulaimy said he doesn't need to worry about the foreign workers joining the insurgency or acting as moles. And there is an additional benefit, he said. Because Awakening leaders have become targets of the insurgents, all his employees are vulnerable. But if any of his foreign workers are killed, he said, 'I don't care as much as I do if one of the Iraqis working for me gets killed,' explaining that relatives of slain Iraqi employees expect to receive hefty compensation.
This is why they used Irish immigrants to build the antebellum railroads instead of slaves — if the Irish got killed, it was no big deal, but slaves cost money.
13. The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration to the United States
Excerpt: This Backgrounder argues that a serious commitment to environmentalism entails ending America’s population growth by implementing a more restrictive immigration policy. The need to limit immigration necessar ily follows when we combine a clear statement of our main environmental goals — living sustainably and sharing the landscape generously with other species — with uncontro versial accounts of our current demographic trajectory and of the negative environmental effects of U.S. population growth, nationally and globally.
14. Should Judges Set Immigration Policy?
Excerpt: Mark Krikorian. I’m executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
All the debates over amnesty or an immigration bill presuppose a basic deal. And this was the case in the ’80s and this was the case in the recent debates a couple of years ago and also in the one that will be upcoming. And that basic deal is this: that illegal immigrants will get legal status in exchange for tougher enforcement measures.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cis.org
7 July, 2009
Italy gets serious about illegals
The Italian Senate has voted 157 - 124 in favor of the strongest laws against illegal immigration in Europe. While both Greece and France have also enacted tough regulations, the new Italian rules are even more stringent. The new laws, which were ok’d by Italy’s lower house last May, include:
* Those harboring illegal aliens in their homes face up to three years in prison.
* Immigrant parents must prove legal status to register a birth.
* Illegal immigrants must be deported to detention centers in Libya before they can apply for asylum.
* Illegal aliens will face huge fines and will spend six months in detention centers before repatriation.
* Outlaws using child panhandlers. [A preventive strike against Gypsies]
* Sanctions unarmed citizen patrols to aid local police.
* Illegal immigration is punishable by a fine of 5,000 - 10,000 euros (US $7,000 - $14,000).
The new law has been condemned by Leftists of all stripes, humanitarian groups and even the Vatican, who are whining “racism” about the new laws. The major focus is the provision allowing for citizen patrols to help officials in rounding up illegals.
The opposition coalition points to the Italian National Guard, a right-wing citizen patrol group characterized by its beige uniforms and black hats, claiming the group is modeled after Mussolini’s Black Shirts.
However, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, who is a member of the anti-immigration Northern League and helped steer the legislation through parliament, told reporters: "Italy has seen a 75% increase in immigration from the previous year. Many arrive on smaller, outlying islands off the Italian mainland and have broken the government infrastructure attempting to manage their arrival".
Letting the looters vote on who’s for lunch
By Vin Suprynowicz
A recent column on the euphemisms used by proponents of illegal-immigrant amnesty brought some irate buzzing from all seven members of the Young Anarchists’ League. As near as I can figure, I’m “not allowed” to call for the enforcement of current immigration laws — or possibly of any laws, even those few (including the immigration laws) enacted within the powers delegated to Congress under the Constitution — since any such enforcement of the law amounts to some kind of “collectivist police state fascism” against people who have “not initiated force or fraud.”
I’m not sure how you cut through a border fence without “initiating force,” or how you rent an apartment, register a car, and go to work every day using someone else’s social Security number without “initiating fraud.”
I’m further “not allowed” to cite the cost to taxpayers of illegal alien trespassers swarming our public schools and hospitals, lest I be accused of somehow “supporting” tax subsidies for schools and hospitals. (Literally: “Why exactly do you want to save socialist policies like government control over schools and hospitals?” It’s as though I warned people what might happen if they let their children swim in a crocodile-infested river, only to be asked “Why exactly do you want to save hideous practices like the eating of small children by crocodiles?”)
As it so happens, as a Libertarian (not an anarchist) I DO stand proudly and publicly against tax subsidies for schools and hospitals. People should pay their own way, and seek private charity if unable to do so. This would bring down costs for all of us, by giving us a one-on-one fee-for-service relationship with the doctor and the schoolmarm, cutting out the mobs of bureaucrats now processing all the paperwork, and allowing us to fire anyone not meeting our requirements.
But that’s not enough for my young anarchist friends. Instead, I am apparently obliged to pretend these current, swelling tax burdens DO NOT EXIST. Perhaps this is an easier position to maintain if Mommy and Daddy still pay all your taxes, while allowing you to live in the basement, pounding your keyboard.
I do remember hearing my friend Jackie Casey, former head of the college Libertarians at the University of Arizona, regaling me with tales of how she would join her mother to visit rental properties the family owned south of Tuscon. Virtually every night, the human waves pouring north through the area would invade these residence units, using the sinks and other available surfaces for bodily activities which most of us reserve for actual toilets. Jackie and her mom would don elbow-length rubber gloves and go to work with their ammonia and bleach, cleaning up the human feces deposited by our noble wave of “harmless guest workers” who I’m “not allowed” to call trespassers because they “never initiative force or fraud” against anyone, merely going “where landlords and employers want them.”
“How does giving amnesty to a couple million knowing law-breakers not encourage the next set of knowing law-breakers, inviting them in no uncertain terms to ‘Come on in and enjoy all the free stuff; after a few years you can get ‘amnestied’, too!”?” I asked in my June 14 column.
“You say ‘knowing law-breakers’ like it’s supposed to be a bad thing to knowingly break the law,” objected one of my irate young correspondents. “Coming from someone who so vocally praises the American Revolution, this seems odd.” Wow.
Tara Cleveland was a lovely Las Vegas beauty pageant runner-up, an all-A student who wanted to go to law school and who sang at an annual “Spring Fling” employee party here at the Review-Journal 15 years ago. A short time later she was involved in a minor traffic accident in nearby North Las Vegas in which her car was struck by another car driven by two illegal Mexicans — pardon me, two “honored guest workers from south of the arbitrary government-drawn line known as the ‘border,’ who were here only to seek honest work and better themselves.”
These two honored Latino guest workers immediately thought, “What would brave freedom fighters like George Washington and Nathan Hale have done, in these circumstances?” So, of course, they ran away.
Tara Cleveland may have acted unwisely, but she was doubtless filled with righteous outrage that this twosome showed no intention of standing responsible for the damage they had caused (a scenario repeated literally scores of times every day, throughout the Southwest, driving all our insurance rates sky high, if I’m “allowed” to mention that.) Tara pursued and confronted the pair. At that point, channeling the spirits of brave patriots like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, these two south-of-the-border freedom fighters shot Tara Cleveland in the face with a double-barrelled shotgun, which had the predictable effect of killing her. They then stole her car and ran away again, eventually reaching Mexico. (See here)
It sure puts me in mind of the courage, the principles, the self-sacrifice of the men who risked their lives and their personal fortunes to fight the American Revolution, doesn’t it you?
One of the pair, Joseph Villezcas, was turned over by Mexican authorities in 2006, after they determined he was not actually a Mexican national. He was returned to Nevada and convicted of second-degree murder. But the other, now-33-year-old Fernando Garcia Valenzuela, received sanctuary in Mexico.
Clearly a genius on the order of Ben Franklin, freedom-fighter Valenzuela was not about to stay home, though. He was arrested in California in 1998 and 1999, though authorities there did not link him to the outstanding Las Vegas warrant, possibly because he used fake ID and a fake date of birth — while somehow still not “initiating force or fraud,” you understand.
What an inspiration, that Fernando Garcia Valenzuela. They should put a flintlock in his hand and add his image to that statue of the Minuteman on Lexington green, don’t you think? Valenzuela, who does not seem to be God’s most brilliant criminal, was pulled over by police in Whiteville, Tenn again last month, arrested on three felony drug charges, and — guess what? — finally linked to the 15-year-old warrant for the murder of Tara Cleveland.
“I’m sure there are some individual illegal immigrants who are irresponsible,” responded one of the armchair anarchists who wrote to take me to task for my police-state leanings, last month. (They don’t use their real names; I will refrain from dubbing this one “Buzz Spacecat.”) But “So what?” Buzz continued. “I hear some native-born Americans are irresponsible, too.”
Where do these people live? By the time I get to the jump page of the “local criminal trial” section of my daily paper, these days, I practically have to color code the stories to keep straight which illegal alien committed which child murder.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (See here) reports “criminal,” criminal aliens now account for 29 percent of prisoners in federal Bureau of Prisons facilities. Even if there are now 30 million illegals in this country — sounds high to me, but who really knows? — that means they’re overrepresented in our prisons by a factor of three. And none of those inmates are in there for their initial crime of violating the immigration laws, you understand.
Since local police and school agencies adamantly refuse to make any effort to count illegals and their children — lest they be accused of “racism” -- such numbers are much harder to acquire for local jurisdictions. But since illegal alien trespassers are more likely to violate local laws (burglary, murder, etc), than federal laws other than immigration laws (which apparently “don’t count”), it seems safe to assume their representation in state and local prisons is even higher, particularly here in the Southwest.
Taxpayers now spend more than $1 billion per year maintaining “criminal,” criminal aliens in federal and state prisons, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice. And ask those charged with collecting hospital bills how many illegal aliens make good faith efforts to pay the huge bills for the emergency rooms they use in lieu of paying a hundred bucks for a routine doctor visit.
There IS a theory that this is a good thing: “Let socialism be overburdened and collapse. Then we will build a better, more Libertarian society on the ruins.” Interesting theory. It can be argued, for instance, that a society more respectful of the Rights of Man was built on the ruins of Rome, once Rome fell. It was. The only problem is — it took about a thousand years.
If there is no right to exclude looters from our midst; if we must allow free entry to anyone who wants to come to our community — and the smallest community is my house — and then allow them to decide how my stuff shall be redistributed “by majority vote,” then freedom of a family of three can last only until four “guest workers” break down our front door (“Buzz” can hardly say, “But that would be illegal,” since he’s already endorsed felony lawbreaking by millions of freeloading looters as some kind of noble evocation of the spirit of the patriots of 1776) and “vote” on how to divvy up the food in my refrigerator.
I would wish Buzz a happy life in the Looters’ Carnival he prescribes for all of us — if only I were not forced at gunpoint to share it with him.
6 July, 2009
Israel pays the price of prosperity too
'Discreet' immigration task force detains another 60 migrant workers. Here's guessing that a lot of them are Arabs who think that the "Zionists" are not so bad after all
The new illegal immigration task force rounded up 60 migrants yesterday and sent them to a detention center in Holon, where they will be interrogated and their residency status determined. "They are very discreet," said a migrant who saw the operation. "It looks like they want to avoid creating panic. The buses are parked on the side, and inspectors quietly approach people, check their documents and send them to the bus if necessary."
The new authority detained 300 migrants in its first raid last week. Protesters and human rights activists demonstrated Saturday, calling for an end to arresting migrants. "Rights groups are trying to stir up a fuss and use children in the demonstrations, even though the authority aims only to arrest illegal immigrants," said Sabine Haddad, the authority's spokeswoman. "Authority head Yaakov Ganot cooperated with the Israel National Council for the Child from the beginning, and told them what was going to happen. Strangely, everybody is behaving as though something surprising took place. "There's no doubt that people here illegally should adhere to the rule of law, and those with residency should be treated accordingly. But that does not justify declaring war on the rule of law and exploiting children to do so," she said.
Meanwhile, several human rights organizations are planning to petition the High Court of Justice. The groups, including Physicians for Human Rights, Kav La'oved - Workers' Hotline, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, will ask the court to block the arrest of migrants for being between Hadera and Gedera. The authorities have banished migrants from this area.
"The State Prosecution is currently debating whether to prohibit asylum seekers from residing in central Israel, while the Interior Ministry is enforcing the ban on asylum seekers being between Hadera and Gadera," the petition states. "This is unacceptable."
Rights organizations will also claim that asylum seekers and migrants need access to central Israel to obtain medical help, because they lack insurance and that is where all the free clinics are located.
The Immigration Ministry says more than 250,000 illegal foreign workers live in Israel. The new task force concentrates responsibilities that previously were divided among several government offices. It offers migrants legal protection (previously a Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry responsibility) and also has taken over the detainment and deportation of illegal immigrants from the police.
Migrants are going to Britain, come hell or high water
Gazing across the Channel in the direction of the white cliffs of Dover, Amir Gul stood on Calais beach and imagined himself on the other side - and living the dream that has brought him 3,500 miles from Afghanistan. "A hundred times in the past month I have tried to get into lorries," the 15-year-old said in fluent English. "The police or drivers always throw me off and sometimes they beat me. But I will not stop until I reach London, unless I am killed trying, even if it takes me a year."
In the sand dunes and scraps of waste ground around Calais, a ragged army of migrants desperate to breach British border controls is slowly growing in number, and they are as determined as ever. Nobody is sure how many live in the squatter camps or sleep rough in parks, but the United Nations estimates that there are now around 1,500 in the Calais area alone – a figure steadily approaching the 2,500 who were to be found at Sangatte refugee camp before it was closed in 2002.
Security has been tightened at the port and far fewer illegal migrants get through to Britain now, according to the UK's Border Control Agency. It told The Sunday Telegraph that effective control of Calais port and the routes across the Channel was a success story.
But the fact that it is harder to reach Britain merely means that the migrants - almost all of them men and boys - hang around in Calais for even longer, months instead of weeks, as they attempt to stow away on lorries or in cars. Meanwhile they live in conditions which are so appalling that last week the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees opened an office in the town, only the second in Europe for an agency which is more typically found in troublespots like Congo or Pakistan.
UN officials feel they must do something for the inhabitants of the stinking "jungles" where desperate men and boys fight each other with knives and suffer diseases like scabies and TB, as the filth, frustration and violence take their toll. The UNHCR works with hard-pressed charities that try to help the migrants and encourages them to apply for asylum in France. But only 120 enquiries have been made in the past month.
"France is no good. I want to get into London because I will get a house and money [He's right about that. The good old generous British taxpayer!], and I can work there," said an Afghan man who was killing time in a park until nightfall, when he was going to look for a lorry to hide in.
On the beach, French families in swimming trunks and bikinis were enjoying themselves in the sunshine apparently oblivious to the young Afghans and Iraqis washing their grimy clothes in the surf.
Mr Gul knows it could be months before he successfully stows away in a lorry - or even in the boot of an unwary motorist - and sneak across the Channel to his promised land, now so tantalisingly close. Until then he will have to sleep rough in a filthy camp, hidden in a thicket of thorn bushes behind the beach. He sleeps under a plastic tarpaulin donated by a charity, trying to ignore the stench from the surrounding bushes which are used as a lavatory.
Every day at noon he walks through the suburbs of Calais to a soup kitchen in a car park, where gangs of Africans, Iraqis and Afghans jostle and argue in the queue. Tribal and ethnic differences rankle, and knives are pulled when tempers fray. Caroline Nazanin, a nurse who has worked in the camps, said: "The frustration drives some of them crazy - they become violent and fight each other when arguments get out of control."
Yet despite all this, Mr Gul had no interest in seeking asylum in France. He was determined to stay in Calais for as long as it takes for him to stow away succesfully and get to Britain.
Marie-Ange Lascure, UNHCR's spokeswoman, said migrants were arriving in bigger numbers than a few years ago. "They want to go to England because the people smugglers tell them it is a beautiful place, where they can easily earn money to send home to their families," she said. Persuading them to instead claim asylum in France was a struggle, she admitted. Under an EU rule whereby an asylum claim must be made in the first safe port of entry, if the migrants have already been fingerprinted on arrival in Greece or Italy the French authorities can deport them back there.
So some migrants scar their fingertips by heating up a plate until it is hot, then pressing their fingers to it. For several weeks the fingers are too blistered for prints to be taken, providing temporary relief from the risk of deportation if they are arrested or checked.
Residents of Calais have become increasingly worried by the growing desperation of migrants, and last year elected a conservative-minded mayor, Natacha Bouchart, who blames the temptation of Britain's generous welfare state for attracting migrants to their town. "Calais is a hostage to the British," she complained earlier this year. Jean-Lou Hereng, 46, who owns a café near the biggest camp, known as the "jungle", said: "The problem is as bad as it has ever been. They are aggressive and dirty, and there are fights between them."
Other Frenchmen are more sympathetic. "It is difficult for us, and it is difficult for them," said Jonathan Corbeau, 22, a welder who lived almost opposite an encampment of Afghans. Nevertheless, he had put up a strong fence and bought a dog after his wife was molested by migrants a few weeks ago.
French police frequently raid the camps, and sometimes destroy them. Sixteen vanloads of CRS riot police arrived on Thursday as bulldozers levelled a derelict warehouse which 30 Sudanese from the war-torn province of Darfur had been using as a temporary home. "My money and clothes are now buried under there," one of them said, gesturing at a pile of tons of debris. He had simply moved with his friends a few yards to a take over a small park.
Many of the Afghans, who are now the majority of migrants at Calais, said they had fled the Taliban. Samim Siddique, 24, from Khost, rolled up his trouser leg to show a bayonet scar where he had been tortured by terrorists who wanted him to carry a bomb into the university where he was studying. "The Taliban don't like education, and there was no place where I would be safe from them in Afghanistan," he said. "We all want to go to England, we speak the language and we can work there. I want to study IT, and then set up a print business. "We hate being in this camp, it is the life of an animal here. We have to wait for months to get into a lorry, but every week a couple of boys don't come back in the morning - they have caught a lorry across the sea. "I will keep trying. One day I will get to England."
5 July, 2009
Immigration No Panacea for Canada's Demographic Woes
While immigration has been a key driver of Canadian population and workforce growth, it cannot, on its own, offset demographic trends that threaten our future living standards, according to a study released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In "Faster, Younger, Richer? The Fond Hope and Sobering Reality of Immigration's Impact on Canada's Demographic and Economic Future", authors William B.P. Robson and Robin Banerjee say current fertility and immigration rates, moderately rising life expectancy, and historical productivity increases can be expected to depress workforce growth, boost the ratio of Canadians 65 and over to those of working age (the old-age dependency ratio) and depress growth in incomes per person.
Despite some popular commentary, offsetting or even noticeably mitigating these trends through increased immigration alone would require unrealistic increases in total immigration levels.
The authors show that several other measures to mitigate the impact of a slower-growing and aging population on Canada's workforce and incomes hold at least as much promise as changes to immigration. Delaying the normal age of retirement could help both workforce growth and old-age dependency in the near term. Higher fertility would help achieve both goals in the next generation and beyond, and faster productivity growth would boost real incomes per person more than any conceivable immigration strategy.
For the study go here (PDF)
Canada trying to keep gypsies out
NOBODY wants Gypsies. Their usual addiction to petty crime makes them an unmitigated nuisance -- as Canada has now apparently recognized. Northern Ireland has recently chased all its gypsies out and they are a huge problem in England. There is also huge dissatisfaction with them in Italy. In general, their major talents seem to be for theft and telling tales of woe
Canada will reimpose visa requirements on citizens of the Czech Republic because of dramatically increased numbers of Roma asylum-seekers, Czech media are reporting after this week's visit to Prague by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The national daily Lidové Noviny (People's News) said Mr. Kenney told the Czech government that the restriction would be imposed next Tuesday on the eastern European country.
Alykhan Velshi, Mr. Kenney's spokesman, would not comment on the accounts or on what the minister discussed with his Czech counterparts. But he did say that speculative media reports could spark a run on the border.
In 1997, the Canadian government imposed visa controls on the Czech Republic after large numbers of Roma - who historically have faced discrimination in the country and say they face constant attacks from skinhead and neo-Nazi groups - arrived in Canada and claimed refugee status. The restriction remained in place for 10 years, during which time there were virtually no refugee applications. But since it was removed at the end of 2007, about 2,000 Roma have arrived - 1,000 of them in the first four months of 2009, making them the second-largest refugee applicant group after Mexicans.
Mr. Kenney has indicated he is concerned about the sharp increase in asylum claims. The Czech Republic, he said, is "hardly an island of persecution in Europe."
The Immigration and Refugee Board sent a fact-finding team to the Czech Republic in March to investigate the treatment of Roma. Its report, posted on the IRB's website, is inconclusive - it quotes state agencies saying the Roma are protected against discrimination and non-government organizations saying they are not.
Toronto immigration lawyer Max Berger, who is acting for about 400 Roma applicants, said that the IRB has made a decision in just under 100 cases and accepted 85 per cent, an extraordinarily high rate. The general acceptance rate is about 40 per cent. "So is Canada justified [in reimposing visa restrictions]? It's effectively shutting the door on genuine refugee claims," Mr. Berger said. He also said that the minister is undermining his own board by publicly declaring that the Czech Republic is not "an island of persecution" and implying that the refugee claims are not legitimate. "It's an entirely inappropriate thing for him to say," he said.
He said it would be more appropriate if pressure were applied on the Czech government to deal with persecution of the Roma. The concern about large numbers of applicants is "overstated panic," he said. "The IRB has had bigger numbers in the past. In the early '90s, there were 40,000 to 45,000 claimants annually, now there are 30,000."
4 July, 2009
The Malaysian system
Malaysia has a huge illegal immigration problem with much poorer Indonesia being just across the strait of Malacca from them. And Indonesians and Malays speak a mutually intelligible language and are racially related. It is as if all Mexicans spoke English and were of wholly European descent. As both countries are predominantly Muslim, however, some Western scruples are missing. Malaysia is more prosperous than Indonesia mainly because of its large Chinese minority. The Indonesians unwisely expelled most of their Chinese many years ago
Human rights watchdog Amnesty has urged Malaysia to abolish caning, saying that tens of thousands of migrants have received the "inhuman and degrading" punishment in recent years. Amnesty cited a statement in Malaysian parliament last week that said local authorities had caned at least 34,923 migrants between 2002 and 2008, 60 per cent of them from neighbouring Indonesia.
"Amnesty International urges the Malaysian government to rid the country of this cruel punishment," the London-based group said. "Whipping someone with a cane is cruel, inhuman and degrading, and international standards make clear that such treatment constitutes torture."
Apart from Indonesians, those caned were also from Bangladesh, India, Burma, Nepal, the Philippines and Thailand. Malaysia, Southeast Asia's third largest economy, has 2.2 million migrant workers in Malaysia, who are the mainstay of the plantation and manufacturing sectors.
The caning sentence was added to Malaysian immigration laws since 2002, amid concern over the ramifications of having a large migrant workforce. Under the laws, those staying in Malaysia illegally are subject to a mandatory whipping of up to six strokes of the cane, fines and up to five years in jail. Caning is also carried out for serious offences including rape and drug trafficking.
"The practice is humiliating, and causes such pain that people have reportedly fainted. Those caned often carry scars, psychological as well as physical, for years," Amnesty said.
British immigration facts and figures
BY FRASER NELSON
As promised, here’s the full story of those immigration statistics that I obtained from the ONS. In our new e-world, I can pass on all the results to you – and they’re worth discussing. The figures show the extent to which Brown’s “boom” was a mirage built not just on debt, but foreign labour. Most seriously, we can see a deep dysfunctionality in the UK labour market. Our system keeps millions on benefits (never less than 5 million have been on some kind of benefits since 1997) while meeting the needs of expanding the economy with a limitless supply of industrious immigrant labour. This means that the direct link between a growing economy and combating poverty is broken – and this is a serious development that demands attention.
The ONS results are here, in a pdf*. The key finding: there are fewer British-born workers in the first quarter of 2009 than Q1 of 1997. The trend of employers preferring immigrants, which we saw during the boom, has become more marked still during the bust.
But if we zoom in on the last eight years, the recession simply exacerbated what had been an existing downwards trend of UK-born workers in employment while number of foreign-born workers in employment has soared.
Without a doubt, immigration has been the largest change of the Labour years – the ratio of immigrant workers has almost doubled in the private sector and the economy overall as the below graph shows. This means the UK’s the overall mix of immigrants is up there with that of America – a change not taken deliberately, or with any debate, but something that happened by accident and which ministers are still struggling to understand.
I count myself as a supporter of immigration. But there is no doubt that mass immigration has given ministers the option of ignoring our own unemployed. If we didn’t have this unending tap of motivated workers then Britain would be forced to confront the fact that so many of its workers are being incentivised to do nothing by the welfare state. Here’s what the benefit tally, including ‘hidden unemployment’, has looked like in the last decade – using the DWP’s definition of out-of-work benefits.
At no point in the boom did the number on out-of-work benefits fall below five million souls. Almost half have been on welfare for five years or more – and are, therefore, statistically more likely to die than to work again. As I say, were it not for immigration, we’d be forced to confront this problem or our economy would not grow. When I was a business journalist in the late 1990s, I remember writing stories about how bus companies were recruiting in homeless shelters because they couldn’t find the staff. The people in those shelters were being offered structure to their lives, from an employer forced by economic conditions to deal with the greater risk they pose. It was a sign of economic growth addressing social problems – as it should be.
But mass immigration has broken this link. It meant Gordon Brown could actually afford to keep so many million on benefits, as tax receipts were being generated by comparative newcomers. It was a lot easier than trying to reform welfare. Scandalously, that’s what Brown did. To my mind, it is the most contemptible failure of his time as Chancellor. He had the money, the economic boom, to sort out the welfare dependency that afflicts so many communities in Britain. But he took the easy, short term route. To use that analogy the Prime Minister is so fond of deploying, he walked on by on the other side. Why get your hands (and poll ratings) dirty with welfare reform when you can rely on immigrants to keep the economy growing and tax receipts flowing? And who wants to end up with disabled people chaining themselves to the railings of parliament, as happened when Blair tried welfare reform? Brown took the easy option. And his short-termism has condemned millions to worklessness and poverty who might otherwise have escaped it.
This matters for Cameron, because he will inherit Brown’s dysfunctional labour market – one distinguished by its striking failure to provide that now-notorious Brown slogan “British jobs for British workers”. What if, when the recovery comes, the economy just sucks in more immigrants and the huge surge in dole numbers is never properly reversed?
That’s why immigration matters. You can’t understand the UK labour market, or the pernicious nature of the UK welfare state, without it.
The Brown economic model has spectacularly failed to provide British jobs for British workers – this is yet another one of his empty promises that a Tory government will have to fulfill. But unless the Tories work out how employment, welfare and immigration are interlinked they will be destined to repeat the same scandalous failure of the Brown years.
PS All immigration data is from the Labour Force Survey, a Eurostat-mandated study conducted by the ONS which defines immigrant in its most basic sense – ie, ‘foreign born’. No categoriation is perfect, and this of course captures some Brits like Boris Johnson who were born abroad. I also exclude pension-aged people from the study - it's working-age only. The trend of pensioners returning to work is a topic all by itself.
*If asked for a password it is FraserNels0n
SOURCE See the original for links, graphics etc.
3 July, 2009
Controlling Immigration needed if Greenhouse Emission controls are seriously intended
Congress Considers Caps on Energy Consumption, but Not on U.S. Population Growth
Last week the U.S. House of Representative approved a 1,500 page piece of legislation aimed at reducing America's output of carbon emissions, which supporters suggest contributes to global climate change. If implemented, the legislation would require a 17 percent reduction (from 2005 levels) in carbon emissions by 2020 and an 83 percent reduction by 2050.
These will be very difficult goals to meet under the best of circumstances. But, even as Congress and President Obama seek to put America on a strict energy diet, they are pursuing other policies that will make reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions virtually impossible, finds a new report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). This report again confirms that many elements of today's immigration policy run counter to most of America's most important long-range priorities.
Immigration, Energy and the Environment addresses America's stifled immigration policy debate: it finds that America's massive immigration-fueled population growth was the single largest contributing factor to the nation's increased energy consumption and carbon emissions over the past 35 years. Even without a massive amnesty for illegal aliens supported by President Obama and congressional leaders, immigration will be the driving factor as U.S. population approaches the half billion mark by mid-century.
"Most Americans support the idea of reducing our nation's dependence on fossil fuels, out of concern for the environment and national security," observed Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "As Immigration, Energy and the Environment finds, Americans have reduced their per capita energy consumption, but population growth caused by unchecked immigration has steadily increased our energy use and our carbon emissions. "It's like buying an SUV that gets half the gas mileage of your previous car while claiming its OK because you'll only drive half as far each day - these forces operate against one another to the detriment of Americans here today," Stein said.
"It is simply incongruous to believe that the nation can have an energy and environmental policy without also having a coherent population policy," Stein stated. "Controlling runaway U.S. population growth must begin with rational and enforceable immigration policies and dramatic, sustained reductions in overall immigration. But, while Congress and the president are asking Americans to alter the way they live and work, they are simultaneously pursuing immigration policies that would unleash even more massive population growth in the U.S."
Among the key findings of Immigration, Energy and the Environment:
Americans achieved more than a 9 percent reduction in per capita energy consumption between 1973 and 2007. During that same period, U.S. population increased nearly 70 percent and total energy consumption grew by 33 percent.
In order to meet the 2012 goals set forth in the Kyoto Treaty, per capita U.S. energy consumption would have to be reduced by 37 percent, even as U.S. population increases by 3.4 million people annually.
"U.S. population growth is the single greatest obstacle to achieving energy independence and reducing our greenhouse emissions," said Stein. "It is not the fault of immigrants for requiring energy resources. It is the fault of U.S. policymakers for failing to recognize and correct immigration policies that undermine our ability to achieve vital energy and environmental goals.
"The role of immigration generated population growth cannot be ignored as Congress and the Obama administration tackle these very difficult issues," concluded Stein.
The full report, Immigration, Energy and the Environment, is available at www.fairus.org.
The above is a press release from Federation for American Immigration Reform, 25 Massachusetts Avenue - Suite 330 Washington DC, 20001, Office 202-328-7004 www.fairus.org. For further comment contact Bob Dane 202-328-7004 or Ira Mehlman 206-420-7733. Founded in 1979, FAIR is the oldest and largest immigration reform group in America. FAIR fights for immigration policies that enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs and wages and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN ITALY
Crime law also sets up 'civilian patrols'. Italians are less sensitive to accusations of racism because Fascist Italy was one of the safest places in Europe for Jews during WWII. During the German occupation, Church institutions in particular were bulging with sheltered Jews -- but many ordinary Italians played their part too: A notable contrast with Poland and France
Italy cracked down on illegal immigration and crime with a new law Thursday. For the first time, illegal immigration becomes a crime and Italians are encouraged to report illegals. The controversial law, which passed by 157 votes to 124, also enables private citizens - but mainly former officers - to help the police in crime hotspots.
Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right government, which came to power on a strong law-and-order ticket stressing links between illegal immigration and crime, said it was ''proud'' of the law. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said it would discourage migrants from targeting Italy and make the country safer.
But the centre-left opposition claimed it made Italy ''less civilised'' and announced a campaign of civil disobedience to hinder its application. It also claimed the law could worsen prison overcrowding. A group of leftist intellectuals called for widescale protests against what it called a ''racist'' law.
The Catholic Church again thundered against the law, saying it ''criminalised'' immigrants and stressing that migration was one of ''the fundamental rights of mankind''. The Vatican criticised the law for ''focusing on crime and leaving integration completely out of the picture''.
The European Commission said it would see if the law complies with European Union law. Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot said it was important that another part of the law, automatic expulsions for people jailed for more than two years, should not be applied to EU citizens such as Romanians. The law covers a wide range of issues, including national registers for the homeless and disco bouncers, tougher jail conditions for mafiosi and making businesses report mafia extortion.
But its main focus is on illegal immigration. As well as the opposition and the Catholic Church, the law has also been criticised by human rights groups and immigrant associations. Maroni said these strictures were based on misinformation.
The law follows another controversial move, to return migrants rescued at sea to Libya, which critics say jeopardises asylum rights. Under the new immigration crackdown, people caught entering or living in Italy without a permit will not be arrested but they will given immediate expulsion orders and face fines ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 euros. The law also says that Italians - unless they are doctors or school heads who will be exempted - will be obliged to report illegal immigrants.
The bill triples the period of time that foreigners can be held in detention centres from two to six months in order to allow sufficient time to process their deportation, should they not be granted asylum. Other aspects of the law include tough fines for landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, no public services for babies born in Italy to parents without legal status and a longer waiting period for foreigners seeking citizenship through marriage.
The law also authorises 'citizen patrols'. The government has stressed that the patrols will only be tasked with reporting crime but the opposition claims the government is contracting out policing to private individuals. It also fears the patrols will turn into vigilante gangs.
2 July, 2009
Absentees defeat Arizona bill
With many members absent, the Arizona House early Wednesday defeated a bill to criminalize the presence of all illegal immigrants in the state and draw local police officers deeper into the fight against illegal immigration. The House voted 26-15 for the bill Wednesday morning, but the "yes" votes were five short of the 31 needed for passage by the 60-member chamber. The Senate approved the bill 16-11 earlier Wednesday morning. The bill would have made Arizona the only state to criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants through an expansion of its trespassing law.
The proposal also would have prohibited cities and counties from limiting police officers in enforcing federal immigration law and require officers to try to determine people's immigration status when questions arise about their presence in the country. Nineteen representatives missed the vote, which took place near the end of an overnight session as some lawmakers left the Capitol because of the approaching end to their 2009 session.
Though absenteeism likely was a factor in the bill's defeat, Pearce said he wasn't surprised that the measure failed in the House. "Some people support law breakers over law keepers," he said. "How many more officers are we going to have killed?" He said he would keep trying to get the bill to become law and might gather signatures to take it to the ballot.
Although immigration has long been considered the sole responsibility of the federal government, advocates for tougher border enforcement have said for several years that local authorities could help lessen border woes in Arizona, the busiest illegal entry point into the United States.
The practical effect of such a new law wasn't clear. Immigrant rights advocates predicted it would lead to racial profiling that would target Latinos who are U.S. citizens. Supporters say local officers enforcing an expanded trespassing law would provide a second layer of enforcement to catch immigrants who slip past federal agents and point out that officers would still need probable cause to believe that people violated the law before they could arrest them.
Many police bosses in Arizona have resisted past efforts to have local officers confront border woes, saying it would detract from investigations of crime in their communities and jeopardize the trust they have built in immigrant communities.
The Legislature's defeat of the measure was the third time since 2006 that lawmakers have considered a trespassing expansion aimed at illegal immigrants. In 2006, then-Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed two bills with similar trespassing provisions. The Democratic governor had said she opposed automatically turning all immigrants who sneaked into the state into criminals. Illegal immigrants account for an estimated 500,000 people in Arizona's 6.5 million population...
Currently, most of Arizona's immigration enforcement is done by federal authorities at the border and in the state's interior. A few police agencies enforce a state immigrant smuggling law and have officers with special training in federal immigration law.
Justice Department: U.S. Border 'Underprotected,' 'Easily Breached'
Judging from recent reports by the National Drug Intelligence Center, you could come to the conclusion that Mexican drug cartels can do something the U.S. government cannot: control border crossings. The cartels maintain "gatekeepers" -- their own sort of Border Patrol. "Gatekeepers regulate the drug flow from Mexico across the U.S.-Mexico border into the United States by controlling drug smugglers' access to areas along the border," says identical language in NDIC reports on southern Arizona and West Texas. "Gatekeepers collect 'taxes' from smugglers on all illicit shipments that are moved through these areas, including drugs and illegal aliens. The taxes are generally paid to the DTO that controls the area; the DTO then launders the tax proceeds."
By contrast, these and other reports published this year by the NDIC -- a division of the U.S. Justice Department -- describe a U.S. government that often exerts little control over who crosses the border and with what. California's border, says NDIC, is "easily breached." "The vast border area presents innumerable remote crossing points that traffickers exploit to smuggle illicit drugs, primarily marijuana into the country from Mexico," says NDIC's March report on California's border region. "These areas are easily breached by traffickers on foot, in private vehicles or in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as they smuggle drugs between POEs (Ports of Entry), particularly in the mountainous areas in eastern San Diego County and the desert and sand dune areas in Imperial County."
Between official ports of entry, says NDIC, Arizona's border has "few physical barriers" and is "underprotected." "Large amounts of illicit drugs are smuggled into the area from Mexico, and bulk cash is transported from the area into Mexico," says NDIC's report on southern Arizona. "These trafficking activities are facilitated by several factors unique to the region, including ... a remote, largely underprotected border area between Arizona's points of entry."
Most of this "underprotected border" is not fenced. "By the end of January 2009," says the NDIC report, "108 miles of the 262-mile shared border between Arizona and Mexico will have some type of fencing. However, few physical barriers exist in border areas between POEs, particularly in the West Desert area of the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Tucson Sector, to impede drug traffickers, chiefly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico."
Some fences that have been built are pathetically inadequate. "Traffickers use vehicle platforms or car carriers retrofitted with ramps that can extend over the border fence to allow vehicles to cross into the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) region," says the report. "The ramps are set up in less than a minute, providing agents with a very small window of time in which to interdict these types of smuggling attempts."
Arizona's border is also vulnerable to exploitation by potential terrorists. "Alien smuggling organizations reportedly also smuggle aliens from countries other than Mexico, including special-interest countries," says the NDIC report. "Special-interest countries are those designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism." New Mexico's border is hampered by "minimal law enforcement coverage."
"More than half the length of this border is desolate public land that contains innumerable footpaths, roads and trails," says NDIC's April report on New Mexico. "These factors and minimal law enforcement coverage make the area an ideal smuggling corridor for drugs and other illicit goods and services -- primarily alien smuggling into the United States and weapons and bulk cash smuggling into Mexico."
The West Texas border also suffers from scarce law enforcement and potential exploitation by terrorists. "Moreover, the region's location along the U.S.-Mexico border poses national security and law enforcement issues for the region, such as alien smuggling, weapons transportation, and terrorist entry into the United States through and between ports of entry," says NDIC's West Texas report, published in March. "As with other areas between POEs along the U.S.-Mexico border in West Texas," the report says of Big Bend National Park, "limited law enforcement presence and rugged terrain make the park conducive to smuggling activities."
Between ports of entry in South Texas, NDIC says, the border is "easily breached" and guarded by few "physical barriers." "Few physical barriers exist between POEs to impede drug traffickers, particularly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico," says a report published in February. "Along many areas of the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas, the Rio Grande River can be easily breached by smugglers on foot or in vehicles, enabling Mexican DTOs to smuggle multikilogram quantities of illicit drugs, primarily marijuana and cocaine, into the United States."
Our president and congressional leaders now seek to control Earth's climate by capping carbon emissions in the United States -- even as they fail to perform their constitutional duty by capping the flow of contraband crossing our border from Mexico
1 July, 2009
What About Legal Immigration Reform?
H-1B visas allow foreigners, who have an undergraduate degree or higher, to work in the United States. Currently only 65,000 visas can be issued each year, a number which is far too low. Yet, when President Obama talks about “comprehensive immigration reform,” the discussion is anything but comprehensive.
President Obama has raised the specter of adding another hot button issue into the national debate. At the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast the President said that he is “…committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform…” but he was silent on the matter of legal immigration reform.
Then, last Thursday, the President met with members of Congress to discuss immigration issues. The political attention is rightly focused on illegal immigration, but if the administration ignores problems that exist within the legal immigration system, can its reform package really be considered comprehensive?
Skilled foreign workers, with high levels of education, contribute greatly to America’s economy. Currently only 65,000 visas are issued down from 195,000 in 2001. While this year’s applications have slowed somewhat as a result of the current recession, the limit is expected to be reached shortly. A 2007 Congressional Research Service report showed that the 65,000 visa cap was met the first day it opened in 2005 and the 2006 cap was hit before FY06 began.
The 2008 cap was met during the first two days of availability. A Heritage study demonstrated that these workers are highly paid, and pay a significant amount in taxes. Raising the cap to 195,000 would increase payroll tax and income tax revenues by $2 billion per year. Given recent levels of federal spending and the current state of the economy, increased tax revenue (and more importantly, increased economic growth) would be good for the United States.
Too often, H-1B visa holders are caricatured as “taking American jobs” when the opposite is often true. The value of an H-1B worker is that they contribute a unique skill set, and can often create jobs by creating value and allowing for businesses to expand. For instance, hiring an H-1B worker who writes software code may cause an American company to hire more Americans because it has an entirely new product to offer. Indeed, many of America’s most innovative technology companies already rely heavily on high skilled immigrant workers. Increasing the H-1B cap will help these companies remain competitive in the world marketplace.
During the Presidential campaign WIRED magazine gave Obama a ‘C’ on the issue of H-1B visas. At this time, though, the Administration has been silent on the H-1B issue. While she was Governor, Janet Napolitano was one of 13 governors to sign a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to increase the cap. Now, as DHS Secretary, she has the ability to act on this issue. The Obama Administration should live up to its promise and enact truly comprehensive immigration reform.
At last, the truth about "asylum seekers" going straight to the head of the line for British welfare-housing
The Government's announcement yesterday that they are handing councils new powers to give local people priority on the waiting list for social housing is a clear admission that they have been misleading us over the huge impact of immigration on housing. For years, they have been in total denial, refusing even to discuss how immigration has affected the supply of housing. Now, at last, they have acknowledged that this is an issue which must be tackled. Supply of social housing has fallen far behind the demand for it because waiting lists have grown by over 60 per cent in just six years.
One major reason for this is the number of asylum seekers who have been granted asylum - or other forms of protection which entitle them to remain in Britain - and offered social housing. Politicians frequently assure us that asylum seekers do not get social housing. This is true up to a point, as they are given private rented accommodation at public expense while their cases are decided. But as soon as they are granted permission to stay, they can go on the housing lists. Astonishingly, over the past ten years the Government has granted more asylum seekers permission to stay in Britain than they have actually built social housing for. So, inevitably, the waiting lists have got ever longer.
This is not to suggest that we should not provide housing to genuine refugees. But surely the Government should have provided for the extra housing demand that their own policies have generated.
So who on these bulging lists actually gets a council house? Currently, it is decided on the basis of 'need' which, in turn, is heavily influenced by family size. And once granted residence, a migrant or an asylum seeker can bring over his entire family and thereby move up the priority list.
Of course local working people have seen this happening for years in their own communities. They know perfectly well that the Government have not been telling the whole truth - but few were prepared to listen.
But a major study called 'The New East End', published in 2006, revealed the true extent of the problem. The researchers from the Young Foundation looked at what had happened in Bethnal Green in London's East End over the past generation. They found that the Whitehall concept of 'need' had, in practice, favoured Bangladeshi workers who were beginning to bring over their families.
Young British workers with smaller families were pushed out to Essex, away from their roots and away from their parents, who stayed put in their council houses in East London. The outcome was that family and social bonding between Bangladeshi families was strengthened - while the traditional working-class family structure of the British workers, especially the role of grandmothers, was severely weakened. The researchers found that the white working class were seething with resentment.
The Government rushed to assure their supporters that there was no truth in any of this, insisting that it was all down to scare tactics. Taking advantage of local resentment, the BNP started making inroads. In contrast to the major parties, they were willing to speak frankly about the issue - even if their solutions were distasteful. But when, in May 2007, the local MP, Margaret Hodge, remarked publicly on the advances the BNP was making in the local elections and suggested something should be done about it, she was jumped on by the Left of her party and told to shut up.
A report was subsequently commissioned by the then Commission for Racial Equality which conveniently concluded that there was no evidence that newly arrived migrants were being allocated housing in preference to UK-born people. But that was to dodge the real issue. The rules for allocating social housing might have been administered scrupulously. But it was the system itself that was unfair. Little or no credit was given for the length of time people had been waiting for housing, nor for the strength of their ties to the locality.
As a result, white working class people were indeed being leapfrogged by new arrivals with large families. That is the background to yesterday's announcement. Only now have the Government been forced into long-overdue action because their own supporters are deserting them in droves. But it is not just social housing that has been coming under such pressure because of immigration. All housing has been affected - yet the Government refuse to acknowledge this, let alone discuss it.
All over the country, despite deep opposition, planning authorities have been told how many more houses they must build. They have no idea how much of this is caused by immigration - and nor do the local residents. But Migrationwatch dug out the figure from the last line of the last table of a technical paper produced by the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister - and, astonishingly, it is nearly 40 per cent of all new homes.
This figure comes from the government predictions of new households which are issued every two years. The latest set shows that 252,000 households will be formed every year until 2031. They also show that without immigration, there would be only 153,000 households. In other words 99,000 households, or 39 per cent, will be caused, not by existing immigrants, but by future immigrants and their families.
Put another way, that is a requirement for a new home every five minutes for new immigrants over the next 23 years. This is an astronomical number. No wonder the Government avoid any discussion of it. As we face the most serious financial crisis for two generations and as the Government find themselves virtually broke, one has to ask, who is going to pay for all this? That is another subject the Government do not wish to discuss.