Immigration Report

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything about immigration, and I feel bad about that, given its importance to America’s economy.  I suppose I’ve been comforted by what I’ve seen going on at the state level, especially in Arizona and Alabama, but including many, many other less publicized actions that are steadily making life miserable for illegals. 

The issue is once again front and center, beginning with Republican candidates’ attempts to reassure their base that they are, in fact, tough on illegal immigration when everyone knows otherwise, based on their previous statements and track records.  I had hoped to begin posting about the Republican candidates, believing that although there’s no hope for any change in trade policy with a change in administrations, at least we’ll get someone who’s tougher on immigration.  But now I see that there’s no hope for that either.  We’ll merely trade a bleeding heart advocate of illegal immigrants for someone who talks tough on illegal immigration while boosting legal immigration channels like H1-B to satisfy their corporate benefactors.  Completely lost in the Republican debates over immigration is the root cause of the concern among voters:  immigrants taking scarce jobs from Americans.  Does anyone believe that anything is different if those immigrants are documented instead of undocumented?  Where is the broader discussion about the folly of expanding our labor force at a time when the demand for labor is growing ever more out of balance with the supply?

Then, in the last couple of days, comes the announcement from the Supreme Court that they’ll take up the Arizona immigration law.  Oh, boy.  Don’t hold your breath on this one.  My concern is not so much the Court as it is our outdated constitution, written at a time when no one could imagine the day when we’d have our own “huddled masses,” and written in terms rendered moot by 200 years of social and technological change.

But, what’s prompted me to write this post are the last two issues of the “Immigration Report,” published by FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform), an organization dedicated to restoring some common sense to immigration policy, primarily focused on efforts to eradicate illegal immigration.  These last two issues have left me shaking my head.  I want to share with you some of the headlines.

From the October issue comes the following:

  • “Treasury Department Says Illegal Aliens Collect Billions in Tax Credits.”  The article reports on data taken from tax returns that have been filed using ITINs (Individual Tax Identification Numbers) instead of social security numbers.  The vast majority of such returns are filed by illegal aliens.  Why do they file them?  Because “… 72% of tax returns filed by ITIN users claimed the ACTC (Additional Child Tax Credits)” and, if they owe no taxes, like virtually all illegal alien households, then they get $1,000 per child paid to them.  It’s one more way in which they’re robbing American citizens.  And our government is a willing accomplice.  Unbelievable.
  • A bill that would make E-Verify mandatory was passed by the House Judiciary Committee.  All 22 Republicans voted in favor.  All 13 Democrats voted against it.  (Two abstained.)
  • The California “Dream” Act was approved by the legislature, and governor Jerry Brown was expected to sign it into law.  The act makes illegal aliens eligible for taxpayer-subsidized grants, fee waivers and other financial assistance to attend public colleges and universities in California.
  • New Mexico is one of only two states (the other being Utah) which continues to give drivers’ licenses to illegals.  New Mexico’s governor is trying to change that.  But the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund sued, and a District Court Judge has issued a temporary restraining order that allows New Mexico to continue issuing drivers’ licenses to illegals.
  • President Obama’s jobs plan ignores the fact that 7 million jobs are held by illegal aliens.  Clearly, the most effective jobs plan would be to round them up and deport them. 
  • President Obama’s uncle was taken into custody by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for being in the U.S. illegally.  He had crashed his car and had a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit.  He has been sought by ICE since 1992 when he failed to comply with a deportation order.  He’s now free on bail.

From the November issue comes this:

  • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano faced questions from both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees about the Obama adminstration’s plan to allow illegals to remain in the country through the exercise of “prosecutorial discretion,” which amounts to ignoring them, effectively granting them amnesty.
  • A federal appeals court upheld nearly all of Alabama’s immigration law.  Only two provisions were blocked:  making it a state misdemeanor for aliens to fail to carry their registration documents and the requirement for schools to collect immigration status information.
  • A recent report by the Mexican think tank BBVA Bancomer Research estimates that some 100,000 illegal aliens and dependent family members left Arizona within a year of passage of the law there, and that some 23,000 returned to Mexico during the first three months.
  • Washington D.C. “.. has adopted one of the most far-reaching illegal alien sanctuary policies in the country.”  The D.C. mayor signed an executive order that bars all city public safety agencies from inquiring about immigration status  or from cooperating with ICE unless a criminal investigation is involved.
  • In California, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a measure barring the use of county funds to hold individuals wanted by federal authorities for immigration violations.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor reports that $7  million in federal stimulus money intended to put unemployed Oregonians back to work was instead used by contractors to pay 254 foreign workers.  The federal contractors claimed they couldn’t find American workers to fill forestry jobs. 
  • The Rhode Island Board of Governors made an “end around” the state legislature to grant in-state tuition subsidies to illegal aliens.  The governor praised the move. 

There’s some good news here, but plenty of other news that’s enough to make you sick.  Maybe that’s why I’ve laid off the topic for a while.  It’s been good for my blood pressure.

Seriously, though, stay involved and raise hell with your elected officials.  And challenge them as to why we continue high rates of legal immigration while unemployment is so high.  Beyond that, consider joining either FAIR and/or NumbersUSA to boost their lobbying efforts against our idiotic immigration policies.

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2 Responses to Immigration Report

  1. ClydeB says:

    I can’t believe how many people, as a way to support continued massive immigration, are moaning about the problems with insufficient availability of qualified workers. Either the 25 or more millions of un and under employed Americans are as dumb as rocks or someone is working a sham.
    Any number of shuttered factories were once populated with skilled, motivated and highly qualified employees. Where did they go?

    • Pete Murphy says:

      In the past, those skilled manufacturing employees started out in some sort of training or apprenticeship program. When employers today say that they can’t find qualified employees, I think the issues are, first of all, that they’re not willing to invest anything in training them. And, secondly, the wages they’re offering are too low. When someone says, “I can’t find qualified workers,” the unsaid remainder of the sentence is “at the wages I’d like to pay.” I also suspect that, in many cases, it’s simply a lie to justify their application for low wage H1-B immigrant workers.

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