Immigration Report

December 14, 2011

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  My concern is not so much the Court as it is our outdated constitution, written at a time when no one could imagine the day when we’d have our own “huddled masses,” and written in terms rendered moot by 200 years of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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Immigration Hearing for Obama’s Aunt

January 28, 2009

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iVVj5SjAgqpjIbqdmcOB74FtqRIAD95V4ICO1

The linked article chronicles a series of events surrounding the potential deportation of Obama’s aunt, Zeituni Onyango, his father’s half-sister.  It’s a confusing story, so I’ll try to simplify it here:

  1. Obama’s aunt arrived in the country from Kenya some years ago and then sought asylum status, which would have allowed her to stay.
  2. Approximately four years ago, an immigration judge denied her application for asylum and ordered her deported.  She never left. 
  3. On October 31st, the Department of Homeland Security issued a directive that agents obtain permission from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) field office directors or deputy directors before arresting fugitives.  While not mentioning Obama’s aunt by name, its intent was to avoid negative publicity that would be associated with her arrest, if that were to happen.
  4. On November 26th, the Bush administration lifted the directive, potentially clearing the way for her arrest.
  5. On December 17th, an immigration judge stayed her deportation and ordered a new hearing, to be held in April. 

The question now is whether Obama will somehow intervene on his aunt’s behalf.  Or has he already signaled that he has no intention of doing so?  Perhaps Obama, in consultation with Bush, agreed with lifting the directive following the election.  It will be very interesting to see how events unfold – a good test of Obama’s integrity, his respect for the law and his attitudes toward immigration.  Stay tuned.


Immigration Bust at SoCal Bakery, Triple Homicide in Denver

September 11, 2008

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/09/10/state/n162326D77.DTL&type=health

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20080910-1059-wst-immigration-throughthecracks.html

The first link above will take you to a story of an ICE raid on a bakery in Palm Springs in which 51 illegals were apprehended (nearly all of which had fake identities) along with the supervisor who hired them.  (The former supervisor is still being sought.)  Another great example of ICE turning up the heat!

The second link will take you to an opposite story, where three Americans are now dead at the hands of an illegal alien, one well-known to local police in nine different jurisdictions, not one of which ever bothered to report him to ICE.  This disgraceful performance by local police is all too typical.  They see illegal immigration as a federal problem, and don’t want to “waste” local tax dollars by doing the feds’ work.  But incidents like these may begin to change their opinions.


Monday’s Record Immigration Raid in Laurel, MS

August 28, 2008
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2635579820080827?sp=true

I’m still trying to get caught up on things since returning home from the lake on Monday night.  Apparently, since my wife were on the road all day Monday, news of this record immigration raid escaped my attention until I saw a follow-up article on Tuesday.  It seems that ICE agents raided Howard Industries in Laurel, MS on Monday, rounding up 595 illegal aliens, a record haul for a workplace enforcement raid in the U.S.!  Howard Industries manufactures electrical equipment, like transformers. 

A big “thank you” and congratulations go out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement!  These raids are having some real impact.  Studies have shown a decline in the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S.  Fewer are arriving and more are leaving.  ICE, new rules requiring employers to check applicants and the bad economy are making it more difficult and unprofitable to be an illegal in the U.S.  Keep up the pressure, ICE!!

In the past, supporters of illegal immigrants have tried to justify their support by claiming that we need these workers to do the jobs that Americans don’t want.  I suppose now they’ll claim that Americans don’t want to do these high-paying manufacturing jobs building transformers any more!  It just highlights what a crock that whole argument is. 

Also, I find it interesting that this raid flew under the news radar so quickly.  In the past, such a raid has been followed for days by articles written by bleeding hearts wringing their hands over the fates of the affected families.  The following is the only such article I’ve seen:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1836596,00.html?xid=feed-rss-netzero

The significance of this is that the bleeding heart stories have worn thin.  No one cares any more.  Everyone is just happy to see these criminals being apprehended and deported.  The “get tough” approach is being more widely accepted.  I think this is very good news!

Although the above article takes the bleeding heart approach, it does report on some interesting details of the raid that didn’t show up in the initial report.  Here’s my favorite:

One worker caught in Monday’s sweep at the plant said fellow workers applauded as immigrants were taken into custody. Federal officials said a tip from a union member prompted them to start investigating several years ago.

And the article closes with this:

Gov. Haley Barbour recently signed a law requiring Mississippi employers to use a U.S. Homeland Security system to check new workers’ immigration status.

Under the law, a company found guilty of employing illegal immigrants could lose public contracts for three years and the right to do business in Mississippi for a year.

The law also makes it a felony for an illegal immigrant to accept a job in Mississippi. A message was left with the district attorney’s office after hours seeking comment on whether he would use the law to bring state charges against Howard Industries or the workers.

Someone needs to make an example of one of these crooked, anti-American corporations sometime, somewhere.  Once that happens, it’ll quickly become very tough for an illegal to find a job anywhere and we’ll finally be rid of this menace. 

 

 


Another Round-Up of Illegals!

July 24, 2008

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2348853520080724

ICE agents have just conducted another roundup of illegals, this time targeting an Ohio chain of Mexican restaurants.  Eight restaurants yielded up 58 illegals.  In other words, these restaurants were staffed almost entirely with illegals!  The yield was small but the message to American employers is getting louder – we’re coming after you! 

I hope they shut down this chain.  If not, the people of Ohio should boycott this chain until it’s driven from the American landscape. 

A big thank you goes out to ICE!  Keep up the good work!


Dramatic Increase in Immigration Enforcement

June 1, 2008

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/nation/5811908.html

I’m certainly no fan of the Bush administration, but it’s time to give some credit where it’s due.  Amazingly, the administration actually seems to be serious about cracking down on illegal immigration.   Erecting many more miles of fence, adding to the ranks of the border patrol and conducting raids across the country – it’s all evidence of an intensified effort to control the border.  Much more could be done of course, but this is all a great start. 

The Bush administration is vowing to carry out its unprecedented crackdown on undocumented immigrants for the remainder of the year — without regard to any political fallout during the presidential campaign.

In a sign of its resolve, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, have detained 1,755 people in raids conducted in May alone.

Nearly 3,700 illegal immigrants have been arrested in dozens of business sweeps since October, immigration officials told the Houston Chronicle, far ahead of the previous year’s pace.

It puzzles me that this administration, who pandered to Latino voters and seemed to wink and nod at illegal immigration, now seems quite serious about putting a stop to it.  Is it possible that, now that the corporate lobbyists pulling Bush’s strings have given up any hope of immigration “reform” during his administration, he feels unencumbered and free to do what he really wants?  Is Bush, the citizen, now calling the shots on immigration instead of Bush, the corporate puppet?  Is it possible that illegal immigration actually ticks him off just as much as any of us?

Or, giving free rein to my cynical side, is there something else going on here?  Is this a show to tamp down the fire of anti-illegal sentiment, setting the stage for another push for “reform” (that is, amnesty and “guest workers” ) in the next administration? 

Whatever the reason, let’s celebrate the fact that some progress is being made in deporting illegals and, perhaps more importantly, deterring more of them from coming.  But let’s not let down our guard.  Now it’s time to begin pressuring your representatives to ratchet back legal immigration as well.  With all of the challenges this nation faces in attaining energy independence, reducing carbon emissions and removing all of the population growth-driven pressures from our economy, the time has come to stop exacerbating our problems by importing more and more people.  Our U.S. population is projected to expand by 100-150 million additional people by 2050, almost all due to our extreme rate of immigration.  Let’s not let that happen.  Write your congressmen and senators and encourage them to enact reductions in every category of legal immigration. 


Immigration Raid on Iowa Meatpacking Plant

May 13, 2008

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2008-05-12-meatpacker-raids_N.htm

I see similar reports every day.  We need much, much more of this.  With illegal immigrants entering the country at a rate of about 2,000 per day, we’ll never catch them all at this rate.  However, if employers start getting the message that employing cheap, illegal labor will catch up with them, then the biggest driving force for illegal immigration will slowly evaporate. 

We don’t need immigration reform.  We already have all the laws we need.  We just need much more enforcement like this.  Beyond that, what we need is an understanding that even legal immigration is hurting Americans by maintaining labor in a constant state of over-supply. 

The packing plant has attracted workers from Mexico, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

This illustrates that illegal immigration isn’t just a southern border problem.  ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is far too lax about enforcing visas.  Those who over-stay should quickly be hunted down and apprehended. 

Nathaniel Popper, a journalist who has written about Agriprocessors for The Jewish Daily Forward, based in New York, said the raid could disrupt the supply of kosher meat.

“This could have a big impact on the supply of kosher meat in America,” Popper said in an interview. “Over the next several days, that’s going to be the big question for people in the Jewish community who keep kosher.”

Leave it to USAToday to come up with some ridiculous counter-point.  As if this meat-packing plant would rather shut down than simply hire American workers.  If they can’t make a pofit while employing Americans, then they deserve to be shut down.  There are plenty of others (meat-packers) ready to take up the slack. 

Those arrested were being held at a fairgrounds in Waterloo, Iowa, and in local jails. A total of 16 local, state and federal agencies, led by ICE, joined the investigation that began last October. They include the U.S. Marshals Service, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

It’s heartening to see this kind of inter-agency cooperation.  We don’t need immigration reform.  We need more of the above.

According to an affidavit, “approximately 76% of the 968 employees of Agriprocessors were using false or fraudulent Social Security numbers in connection with their employment.”

So much for the argument that illegal immigrants are just good, honest, hard-working folk who are no threat to Americans.

Pour it on, ICE!  Keep these raids coming!