Monday, October 31, 2011

Britain to speed up deportation of foreigners involved in gang crime

Theresa May will seek to reinforce her hardline views on law and order this week by unveiling new anti-terror-style plans to speed up the deportation of foreign thugs involved in gangland crime.

The Home Secretary will announce proposals for immigration services and police to work together to remove those operating in British gangs as quickly as possible. She will say that a pioneering scheme in London, which boasts a ‘100 per cent’ success rate in deporting ‘highest-harm’ foreign offenders, will be rolled out across England and Wales.

The scheme is being billed as the first operation of its type in the UK outside of anti-terror operations. Under the plans, police will combine with UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff to make sure foreign gang members convicted of serious crimes in Britain – including murder and rape – are deported.

Home Office sources said: ‘We need to ensure the two forces work more closely so that when someone is caught and convicted they are removed from the country.’

The initiative is based on Operation Bite, a trial project in London between the UKBA and the Metropolitan Police. Under the operation, the most dangerous individuals involved in crimes such as murder, kidnap, shootings, stabbings, and drugs supply were ‘fast-tracked’ to the UKBA by the police.

Cases included an 18-year-old convicted of intent to supply crack cocaine, and later arrested for serious offences including attempted murder. He was detained for 14 months under immigration powers and later deported for a minimum of ten years.

Home Office sources claimed that as well as speeding up deportation of gang members, it also helped identify some who had no right to be in the UK in the first place. Operation Bite has removed nine ‘highest-harm’ offenders, officials said.

The news comes after it was disclosed more than 150 people arrested for their role in the summer’s riots were foreigners, and that 13 per cent of all those detained were gang members.


Other immigrant groups generally less concerned than Latinos about Alabama immigration law

Alabama's tough new law targeting illegal immigrants has provoked concern among Hispanics — even causing some to leave the state — but members of other immigrant groups appear to be less worried.

Mai Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee who arrived more than 20 years ago in Bayou La Batre, the heart of Alabama's Gulf Coast seafood industry, said there was some initial fear, especially among those who speak limited English.

"I was a little worried when I first heard about it because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to explain to a police officer that I'm here legally," Nguyen said through a translator. But now she says she's more concerned about the shrimp harvest.

Nguyen is part of the robust community of Southeast Asians who settled here after the Vietnam War. Since they are naturalized American citizens or legal permanent residents, Alabama's new law targeting illegal immigration shouldn't affect them.

Some parts of the law have been blocked by courts, but a section that allows police to check a person's immigration status during traffic stops still stands. Some immigrants, even those in the country legally, worry that this could lead to improper detentions or racial profiling — concerns that police and supporters of the law dismiss.

People in Bayou La Batre's Southeast Asian community, especially the older generations, have been encouraged to apply for wallet-size passport cards that they can easily keep with them. That helped alleviate fears about the law, said Grace Scire, regional director for the Vietnamese-American advocacy group Boat People SOS.

Since Alabama's law was enacted, many Hispanics — the state's fastest growing immigrant group over the last decade — have reportedly left the state. Even among legal residents, many said they were leaving either because they feared the law would lead to racial profiling or because they have family members who are here illegally.

"Hispanic immigrants definitely feel like this is a law targeting Hispanics," said Elizabeth Brezovich with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice. But she added that some other immigrant groups are worried.

"It's making a lot of people start to think — even if they're here legally — about what they need to do to get their papers in order, to make sure they're OK if they get stopped by police," she said.

"The legislative hearings and record bear out that the people who introduced and passed the law were motivated to get Hispanics to self deport," said Olivia Turner with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. "But I think its effects may be broader."

Turner said she's heard from members of the south Asian community, many of whom are Muslim, that this law is yet another tool that will be used to harass them in the aftermath of 9/11. Some Haitian immigrants fear it will lead to racial profiling, she said.

Nguyen arrived in Bayou La Batre in 1990 after spending a year in nearby Mobile. She can see some parallels between her own experience and that of the Hispanics.

When she first arrived with her family, seeking a better life, some American workers resented the foreigners filling jobs — even humble jobs like shucking oysters. One of the main stated purposes for Alabama's new law is to make sure illegal immigrants don't take jobs from Americans.

As refugees, including many who fled persecution after Communist regimes seized power, the Southeast Asians have legal residency status and many are naturalized American citizens. They've lived in Bayou La Batre for more than three decades and are entrenched in the local economy.

Nguyen sympathizes with the Hispanic immigrants somewhat, but she said the law might have a good effect if illegal immigrants leave the state. They are often willing to work for lower wages and in worse conditions, meaning employers tend to prefer them over those who are here legally, she said. And with boats staying docked amid a slow economy, lots of people need jobs.

Food market owner Tom Khanthavongsa and his wife, Duang, immigrated to the U.S. from Laos in 1980. Khanthavongsa, 55, said he hasn't given much thought to the new law.

"We're not worried, we have all our papers and everything," he said, adding that a bigger concern is the struggles of the local Southeast Asian community who are his primary clients.

Across Mobile Bay, along the Gulf Coast, which attracts hordes of tourists to its white sand beaches in the summer, many low-skilled jobs are filled by workers from other countries.

Employers in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, where beachfront hotels, souvenir shops and waterfront restaurants cater to tourists, said they lost some Hispanic workers — who they say were here legally — when the law took effect.

But many jobs are filled by young people from Eastern Europe or Jamaica who come on temporary work visas to wait tables or clean hotel rooms during the summer high season. The law took effect as the season was ending, so it's too early to tell whether it will dampen their willingness to come to Alabama.

Eugeniu Gorbatia works as a bartender in a harbor-side restaurant. The 28-year-old from Moldova, who was granted political asylum, has lived in the U.S. for five years and speaks with a thick accent. He said he's not worried about the new law.

"I was pulled over during the summer, but the police didn't ask me about my immigrant status," he said. "But if they did I wouldn't worry. I have my papers."

His employer, Matt Shipp, said his workers on temporary seasonal visas weren't concerned about the new law, but he lost a handful of Hispanic workers, all of whom he believes are in the country legally. Some moved to Florida where the laws are less strict.

In the Montgomery area, the small Korean population is only concerned that the broad discretion granted to police officers may be misused, said Alabama State University professor Sun Gi Chun.

"Most people (in the community) are working here legally, so we don't have any fear about the law," he said. "We are a little concerned about people who might abuse their authority, but we haven't felt any abuse so far."

Mohamed Elhady, president of the Huntsville Islamic Center, which has members from many places, including India, Pakistan, Turkey and the Middle East, said he hasn't heard much concern about the new law.

"Our community is different," he said. "It is made up professionals — doctors, teachers, engineers — who are all here legally, so the law doesn't affect us. We are not concerned."


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Arizona Employer Pleads Guilty to Hiring Illegal Immigrants

A contractor in southern Arizona pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, the first case in that state in which federal authorities filed criminal charges instead of imposing a fine.

Ivan Hardt, president of Sun Dry Wall & Stucco Inc., based in the city of Sierra Vista, pleaded guilty Friday to the misdemeanor charge and could face up to six months in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 26.

Local media said Hardt also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to harbor illegal immigrants, although his attorney said that charge will be dropped if he agrees to pay a $450,000 fine.

The lawyer said his client plans to pay the full amount, according to the reports.

In March 2007, immigration agents raided the company’s facilities and discovered that some of the employees were using forged immigration documents.

The federal government said the case was the fruit of a new federal policy toward violators of immigration laws. Whereas companies used to face only fines for hiring illegal immigrants, they now run the risk of criminal charges.

Jose A. Gutierrez Tapia, the foreman in charge of stucco crews for the company, pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring at least 10 undocumented immigrants and was sentenced to two months in prison and three years of supervised release.


How Germany became a country of immigrants

Turkish labor helped drive West Germany's post-war boom
Turks first came to West Germany in large numbers after a worker recruitment agreement was signed on October 30, 1961. At the time, neither the 'guest workers' nor the German authorities expected them to stay long term.

After a recruitment agreement between West Germany and Turkey was signed on October 30, 1961, Turks began coming to Germany in large numbers as guest workers.

They did not come with the intention of settling in Germany, and at the time, the West German government did not see any need for a specific policy for these temporary "guests." Although information centers were set up for them and there were Turkish-language broadcasts on German television, there was no actual policy directed specifically towards guest workers.

Recruitment halted

The decisions that had the biggest impact on the development of Germany's Turkish population came in the 1970s, as Chancellor Willy Brandt became concerned about the societal challenges facing the country. "We need to consider very carefully at what point our society's absorptive capacity has been reached," Brandt said in a government policy statement in 1972.

This statement was seen as a sign of a major change in government policy, which in turn led to a turning point for the guest workers living in West Germany. About 10 months later, in 1973, the government decided to put an end to the recruitment of Turkish guest workers.

Brandt worried about West Germany's capacity to absorb immigrants
According to Rita Süssmuth, the former president of the German parliament, the Bundestag, this decision had serious consequences for the country. Süssmuth remembers how almost half of the guest workers quickly returned home, while the ones that stayed started bringing their families to West Germany.

At the start of the 1970s, the government made it easier for Turkish guest workers to obtain residence permits and bring their families to join them. That's when Turks began to settle in West Germany.

Safter Cinar, the representative responsible for migration and integration issues at the German Federation of Trade Unions, believes the West German government at the time was not prepared for this wave of immigration. He criticizes West Germany for failing to do the long-term planning necessary before allowing entire families to move to the country.

"It meant that a lot of children turned up in kindergartens or schools speaking another language, practicing a different religion and coming from a different culture," he said.

A commissioner for foreigners

The first proposals for integrating guest workers and their families came from Heinz Kühn, the West German government's first commissioner for foreigners, who presented a report on the issue in 1979.

Cinar believes many of the recommendations contained in that report remain just as relevant today.

"For example, issues like reforming the education system, hiring appropriate personnel, and education in the native language were up for discussion," he said.

Kühn also recommended that the naturalization process be sped up and simplified, and suggested that dual citizenship should be allowed.

The government of the day, though, ignored the report. Instead, Cinar points out, it introduced measures that did just the opposite, like putting restrictions on moving families to West Germany, which came into force in 1981.

Paying foreigners to return home

In his first policy statement after becoming West German chancellor in 1982, Helmut Kohl indicated that his government would implement a more strict policy on foreigners.

"It must be made easier for the foreigners who wish to return home to do so," said Kohl. "But they also have to decide whether they want to return home or if they want to stay here and integrate."

One year later, his government passed a law that would provide financial assistance to Turkish residents of West Germany who wished to return home. However, many immigrants didn't take the government up on the offer.

Although by the mid-1990s 2 million people of Turkish origin lived in Germany, the question of whether this was a country of immigration was still a hot topic of discussion.

Klaus Bade, chairman of the Advisory Council of the Foundations for Integration and Migration, believes it took until the end of 1990s for the issue of integration to make it onto the political agenda.

Bade argues that the center-left coalition of Social Democrats and Greens was the first government to make a serious effort at shaping integration policy in the country. The current government, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, continued down this path, according to Bade.

But at the same time, more restrictions were placed on foreigners. Dual citizenship was no longer tolerated and those wanting to move to Germany were expected to learn the language. Bringing family members to the country and gaining German citizenship through naturalization was made more difficult.

Since then, though, dialogue with immigrants has taken on a more prominent role. Integration summits under Merkel are an example of such efforts. Migration and integration have become topics of sometimes heated debate.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Border Patrol quietly halts routine bus and train checks on US northern border

The U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped its controversial practice of routinely searching buses, trains and airports for illegal immigrants at transportation hubs along the northern border and in the nation’s interior, preventing agents from using what had long been an effective tool for tracking down people here illegally, The Associated Press has learned.

Current and former Border Patrol agents said field offices around the country began receiving the order last month — soon after the Obama administration announced that to ease an overburdened immigration system, it would allow many illegal immigrants to remain in the country while it focuses on deporting those who have committed crimes.

The routine bus, train and airport checks typically involved agents milling about and questioning people who appeared suspicious, and had long been criticized by immigrant rights groups. Critics said the tactic amounted to racial profiling and violated travelers’ civil liberties.

But agents said it was an effective way to catch unlawful immigrants, including smugglers and possible terrorists, who had evaded detection at the border, as well as people who had overstayed their visas. Often, those who evade initial detection head quickly for the nearest public transportation in hopes of reaching other parts of the country.

Halting the practice has baffled the agents, especially in some stations along the northern border — from Bellingham, Wash., to Houlton, Maine — where the so-called “transportation checks” have been the bulk of their everyday duties. The Border Patrol is authorized to check vehicles within 100 miles of the border.

The order has not been made public, but two agents described it to the AP on condition of anonymity because the government does not authorize them to speak to the media. The union that represents Border Patrol agents planned to issue a news release about the change Monday.

“Orders have been sent out from Border Patrol headquarters in Washington, D.C., to Border Patrol sectors nationwide that checks of transportation hubs and systems located away from the southwest border of the United States will only be conducted if there is intelligence indicating a threat,” the release says.

Those who have received the orders said agents may still go to train and bus stations and airports if they have specific “actionable intelligence” that there is an illegal immigrant there who recently entered the country. An agent in Washington state said it’s not clear how agents are supposed to glean such intelligence, and even if they did, under the new directive they still require clearance from Washington, D.C., headquarters before they can respond.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman, Bill Brooks, repeatedly insisted that any shift in enforcement tactics does not amount to a change in policy as local commanders still have authority to aggressively pursue illegal immigrants near the border and at transportation hubs.

“It’s up to the local commander to position his agents the way he wants to position them. What we’ve done is gone to a risk-based posture,” he said.


Sweden’s Immigration Debate

Ilmar Reepalu is the Mayor of Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city. He is a man on the move, trying to promote and develop Malmo’s position as a leader in green technology around the world. He can squeeze us in for an interview at 8:30 on a Sunday evening. Uncomplaining, he rides up to Malmo’s City Hall on his bicycle in the dark and rain to talk to us.

We are in Malmo, not to discuss sustainability and fair trade in the city, but rather its massive immigration, which some call a problem, others consider a gift.

One-third of Malmo’s population is foreign-born. Another 10 percent are of a different nationality. The biggest influx these days is from the Muslim world. Many of them are very traditional-- a small group is quite extreme.

Sweden has a population of 9 million — of those, 1.4 million are immigrants. Approximately 100,000 pour in each year. Ilmar Reepalu thinks that’s a good thing.

“Sweden needs lots of immigrants,” he says, “because otherwise we can’t keep up our welfare system. We, as most parts of Europe, have too few people. Within the coming 20 years, we will have a lack of labor force, so we need more people coming to Sweden. We don’t have enough kids from ourselves.”

Sweden has probably the most generous immigration, asylum and welfare policies in the world. Some natives have had it with this bottomless funding pit. For the first time last year, voters elected the far right anti-immigration Sweden Democrats—giving them a handful of seats in Parliament.

MP Kent Ekeroth disputes the argument that immigration keeps Sweden’s welfare system afloat. “What kind of immigrants do we take in? It’s people from Somalia who have done nothing but herd sheep their whole life and we expect them to benefit our society? It’s ridiculous.”

The Sweden Democrats advocate cutting back 90 percent on immigration, redirecting the money currently spent on housing and caring for refugees to programs to improve life in their home countries.

“If you bring one immigrant to Sweden, it’s expensive. It costs a lot of money. If you put that money to use in Africa or the Middle East or wherever, you can help hundreds more.” Ekeroth goes even further, “If you put this money over there to help them with food, with medicine, with education or whatever, you can help hundreds, maybe thousands, more. So what’s more humane? To help one person lead a life of luxury here in Sweden or to help 1000 to avoid starvation in Africa?”

The Sweden Democrats’ views have made them targets both of Sweden’s left, and of immigrants. Ekeroth travels with security.

The tensions that have come as a result of the swelling immigration have affected all sides. Riots have periodically broken out in a largely Muslim neighborhood of Malmo, called Rosengard, sparked by the perception of mistreatment of residents by the police or other authorities. Firefighters at the scenes of some of these riots have been attacked. As a result, they will often refuse to answer calls to put out fires there without police escort.

There has been an Islamophobic backlash. Scandinavia’s largest mosque happens to be in Malmo. It was set on fire in 2004. The culprit was never found. An imam was shot on the premises. The head of the Islamic Center at Malmo’s main mosque, a man named Bejzat Becirov, regularly receives hate mail, adorned with pigs and pictures of Usama Bin Laden.

Becirov, a moderate Muslim from the former Yugoslavia, and hence, a European, from a community where women did not typically wear the veil, thinks the culprits behind these attacks on his mosque may be neo-Nazis, but may also be extremist Muslims who don’t like Becirov’s message of integration.

He thinks immigrants to Sweden should try harder to blend in. “Since religion doesn’t say anything about how you should dress, maybe it’s a good idea to try to take a look at how everybody else is behaving, and try to present themselves and adapt to that,” he says. “And that would make it easier for them. Perhaps things start there."

Becirov acknowledges that it’s harder for non-Europeans to adapt to a liberal place like Sweden. “If you look at Muslims coming from the Middle East, I think it takes 15 to 20 years before they are integrated—a generation.”

Becirov believes the number of Malmo Muslims who subscribe to extremist ideology is small, but that their recruiting methods are aggressive. In his words, python-like.

Ekeroth worries about how those extreme elements exercise their authority. “There’s unofficial Shariah police going around Rosengard, checking how women dress, and there are unofficial Shariah courts in Malmo, being used,” he says.

Despite the controversy, Swedes we interviewed outside Malmo’s main station were supportive of their country’s immigration policies.

One young woman told Fox News, “I think we should take more. I know that not many people would agree with me.” A young man adds, “I think it’s good. It creates great diversity.” Another young woman, when asked about the face of Sweden changing dramatically due to massive immigration, said, “I think everything we call culture right now, it’s been so fluid throughout history. I don’t think it can be overruled like that. Everything that comes in, it just adds to the culture, it doesn’t take away.”

Sweden has taken in more Iraqi refugees than the United States has, the mayor of Malmo points out. That is something many Swedes are proud of. Mayor Reepalu believes that rather than cut back on immigration, Sweden should do more to help those coming to Sweden adapt to their new lives, especially the children.

“The challenge,” he says, “is to have teachers good enough to take this quite tough situation, where you have lots of children coming into the schools, coming directly from conflict zones in different parts of the world, carrying with them lots of trauma of course. “To take care of that—to help those people get a good start in their lives.”


Friday, October 28, 2011

UK grows by 500,000 every year: Annual population increase, fuelled by immigration, equals city the size of Leeds

Unending traffic jams and sardine trains? Brits ain't seen nothing yet!

Britain's population will soar by the equivalent of a city the size of Leeds every year for the next decade, according to official figures.

Revised statistics show numbers rising at a sustained pace not matched for 100 years. And the main factor behind the increase is immigration. The projections suggest that, in just over 30 years, Britain will overtake Germany as the most populous country in Europe.

All estimates produced two years ago have been revised heavily upwards in a report published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics. Over the next ten years, the population is expected to rise annually by 491,000. Leeds’s current total is 486,000.

Most will live in the already-crowded South of England.

It is predicted that the landmark total of 70million – a figure the immigration minister in the last Labour government said would never be allowed – will be reached in the middle of 2027. This is two years earlier than previous reckoning. Two thirds of the overall growth in numbers, says the ONS, will be brought about either directly or indirectly by migration.

In the long term, net migration – the number added to the population every year through arrivals from abroad – will continue to run at 200,000 a year, the ONS said. This level, some 20,000 a year more than was predicted two years ago, is more than double the net migration that David Cameron has promised will be achieved by Coalition curbs.

The revised estimates come at a time of deepening concern over the effects of fast- rising population on housing, transport, water, power and state services such as education, health and welfare benefits.

The past month has seen a row over planning rules sparked by Whitehall attempts to make room for the new homes needed to accommodate the expanding numbers, with conservation groups warning about the unrestrained construction of housing on green fields in the South of England.

Tory ministers also face pressure over plans to improve transport links through high-speed railways.

A Labour-backed think-tank has called for older people and empty nesters to be taxed out of family homes, making room for poor families living in overcrowded conditions.

And yesterday the Daily Mail revealed that British primary schools have the highest pupil-teacher ratio of any country in Europe.
Girls born in 2060 will have a life expectancy of 100 years, with boys at 98.6 years

Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch, said: ‘These figures confirm that the UK’s dramatic rise in population will continue unabated. The population is now set to hit 70million in 16 years, over two thirds of which is due to immigration. ‘As people return home this evening crammed into public transport and on congested roads, they could well ask where all of these people are going to fit.’

Experts also warned of the impact on pensions. By 2035, the figures showed, there will be 2.9 people of working age to support each pensioner, compared with 3.2 now.

The estimates, based on figures for 2010, say that the current United Kingdom population of 62.3million will rise to 67.2million by 2020 – 700,000 more than envisaged in projections based on 2008 figures.

Numbers will reach 70million in 2027 and 73.2million in 2035. In the same year, Britain will overtake France for numbers, and Germany, where low birthrates have resulted in a falling population, will be matched by 2043. The land area of Germany is 137,000 square miles – almost 50 per cent larger than the United Kingdom at 94,000 square miles.

Over the next 25 years, the ONS said, the population will rise at the rate of 438,000 a year – the equivalent of a city the size of Bristol every 12 months.

If the population continues to grow at the present rate, it will be almost 100 million a century from now. In Europe, only Luxembourg, Cyprus and Ireland are likely to see faster population growth.

Net migration is directly responsible for 47 per cent of the projected population growth, and natural increase – the greater numbers of births than deaths – accounts for the rest.

But the ONS said immigration had the effect of pushing up birthrates, so that net migration was responsible overall for two thirds of population growth.

The annual rate of increase for the next decade is expected to be 0.8 per cent a year – a speed of growth surpassed only in one year of the baby-boom era of the 1950s and 60s and not matched for a sustained period since the Edwardian years before the First World War.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘Immigration to the UK has been too high. That is why we have made sweeping changes to get a grip on immigration in this country, closing down routes subject to abuse and taking action against those with no right to be here.

‘Much has been done, but there is more to do to bring down net migration to the order of tens of thousands a year and ensure migration which benefits the UK.’


Criminals released, children incarcerated. Britain's immigrant removal system is Broken

What is wrong with this picture? Four thousand foreign criminals who should have been deported are at large on the streets of Britain, released from detention centres because there is apparently no prospect of them being deported within a reasonable time.

Meanwhile, up to three thousand asylum seekers and economic migrants, a shocking percentage of them children, remain locked up in limbo within the UK Border Agency’s thirteen Immigration Removal Centres.

It seems that nothing whatsoever has changed in Britain’s Kafkaesque system of detention since 2006 when the news that more than 1,000 foreign criminals, including three murderers and nine rapists, had been freed instead of deported, almost cost Charles Clarke his job.

The then Home Secretary called the matter regrettable; yet he did not seem regard it seriously enough to be a resigning matter. In the intervening years, that number has somehow quadrupled.

Thank goodness then, that Theresa May has taken a stand. She used her speech at the party conference to announce new moves to amend immigration rules to stop foreign criminals resisting deportation, notably by invoking the Human Rights Act, in particular, Article 8, on the right to a private and family life.

Frustratingly, Ms May’s commendable if over-due plans were overshadowed by the ensuing 'cat-gate' row with Ken Clarke over the Bolivian immigrant whose argument for leniency included his joint ownership of a pet feline.

It is to be hoped that Ms May will be successful in pushing through the secondary legislation needed to modify UK rules so that more offenders can be legitimately removed. The figure of 3,775 criminals released rather than deported, revealed in a new report by UKBA chief inspector John Vine is certainly shocking. Sadly, it is a statistic which highlights the fundamental and persistent failures which are now endemic in Britain’s broken immigration detention system.

The United Kingdom has the largest network of immigration removal centres in Europe, with more than 3,000 places in 13 official centres, the majority of which – nine – are run, on behalf of the UKBA, by private contractors, including Serco, G4S, Reliance Secure Task Management and Global Solutions Ltd.

Around 30,000 individuals, the majority of them, asylum seekers, pass through the system annually. Of these, around half will be processed within an eight week period. The other 50 per cent are often stuck in the limbo of a complex and labyrinthine system of asylum hearings, appeals and case resolution procedures which can go on for months and years, at significant cost to the tax payer.

The conditions in which inmates are kept at these centres varies significantly, with the centre at Dover described last year by inspector Dame Anne Owers, as 'more like a prison'. Frustrated inmates regularly stage protests against inhumane treatment including - they claim - torture and physical abuse, prolonged detention and appalling conditions.

Campsfield House, near Oxford, has been the scene of regular riots; Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire was burnt to the ground following a violent protest after an inmate was physically restrained by G4S staff. Detainees at both centres staged protracted hunger strikes only last year, declaring they were refusing food in a bid for their voices to be heard. Suicides are far from uncommon. A Moldovan man aged 35 killed himself at Campsfield House in August while two detainees were found dead at Colnbrook detention centre near Heathrow in July.

Unsurprisingly, it is difficult to obtain much information about Immigration Removal Centres or, indeed, about the workings of the system itself from the Home Office, which generally does not publish these facts and figures, most notably on the financial costs of immigration detention.

Latest numbers, reported to Parliament last year, indicated that the average overall cost per bed per day is £120, apparently taking into consideration exceptional costs, such as damage caused by fire and also by individuals suing for unlawful detention. Thus, if a centre such as Campsfield operates at 90 per cent capacity, it would cost an estimated £9 million per year to run. Given that there is a constant barrage of litigation from detainees seeking redress for illegal detention, or separation from their children, it would seem likely that the true costs of the system are much, much higher.

The issue of children in immigration removal centres remains a thorny one, particularly for the Liberal Democrat coalition partners who made the ending of child detention a key element of their family values policies. In December 2010, Nick Clegg confidently announced that the detention of children would end in May 2012. Yet between May and August 2011, 697 children, a third of whom were unaccompanied, were held at the UK’s south-east ports. What exactly Mr Clegg intends to do with the ones who arrive inconveniently after next May’s deadline is not yet clear.

That 4,000 miscreants, among them murderers, rapists and paedophiles, have been released from an immigration detention system too hide-bound by red tape and European legislation to hold them is shocking.

Theresa May needs to move swiftly, to ensure that Article 8 is no longer used to place the family rights of foreign criminals above the rights of the British public.

However, the Home Office also needs to take immediate steps to tackle the deep-seated problems of an unstable and increasingly dangerous detention system where lone children are incarcerated, detainees are reduced to rioting in protest at inhumane treatment and suicide can sometimes seem like an acceptable alternative or a welcome release.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

GOP Lawmakers Rip Obama’s Immigration Policies

Another day, another grilling for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, with House Republicans targeting the administration’s efforts to tackle illegal immigration.

In a rambunctious and wide-ranging oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Ms. Napolitano was raked over the coals by Republicans for the Obama administration’s decision to prioritize the deportation of criminal aliens; the security of the southwestern border; Homeland Security’s role in the “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation; and, just for a change of pace, the background of counter-extremism advisers to the department.

Ms. Napolitano echoed recent remarks, saying the administration’s stance on illegal immigration is pilloried by the left as too harsh and by the right as too lenient. “Both these views are incorrect,” she said, asking for a “facts-based” dialogue on immigration, which is quickly becoming a hot-button issue in the GOP presidential primary fight and, most likely, for next year’s general election.

Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the committee, fired a shot across her bow even before the hearing began, with an op-ed in Politico calling the administration’s deportation numbers a “trick,” thanks to doctored statistics.

“Fourteen million Americans are now looking for work. Meanwhile, 7 million illegal immigrants have jobs in the U.S. We could free up millions of those jobs for citizens and legal immigrants if we simply enforced our immigration laws,” he wrote.

What kind of jobs would those be? According to federal labor statistics, carpet mills, garment cutting and sewing, landcaping, car washes, and laundries are among the sectors most dominated by Hispanic workers (the numbers don’t break out documented versus undocumented workers). What kind of jobs wouldn’t they be? Professional careers such as management, law, architecture and the like: Among foreign-born workers, Hispanics have the lowest participation rates in professional sectors.

Ms. Napolitano reiterated the administration’s record-setting level of deportations, with a nearly two-fold increase in deportations of criminal aliens since 2008, and the need for the Department of Homeland Security to focus its limited deportation budget on the worst offenders.

Republicans including Reps. Louie Gohmert and Ted Poe of Texas, and Jason Chaffetz of Utah didn’t want to waste much of their alloted time allowing Ms. Napolitano to answer questions; Mr. Gohmert in particular said he wasn’t going to be “filibustered” by letting a cabinet secretary answer questions in an oversight hearing.

In the end, Republicans seem to have found a way to link public concern over illegal immigration and over jobs—two crucial issues that will likely play a key role in the 2012 elections.

Despite the onslaught, Ms. Napolitano appeared more exasperated than beleaguered. “Much of the ‘information’ about the border isn’t quite accurate,” she said, complete with air quotes.


Thousands of students failed the Australian visa test

FOREIGN students caught skipping class or flunking courses are being deported in record numbers, courtesy of a federal government crackdown on student visas.

The Immigration Department has already cancelled 15,066 foreign student visas in the past year, a 37 per cent spike from the previous year, The Daily Telegraph reported.

About 3624 students are facing deportation for flunking subjects or missing classes.

A further 2235 visas were cancelled on students who quit their original courses and were either working illegally - in some cases in brothels.

The crackdown, coming after the number of cancellations was steady for four years, has targeted lax students who had won visas to study at a vocational training level, such as cooking or hairdressing.

Indian students have been hit the hardest, while the biggest foreign contingent - Chinese - fare much better because they are less likely to be studying for a trade. Trade students are not only under the spotlight but a change in policy preferencing university students has now made entry to Australian courses harder.

University graduates will have the right to work here for two years after they graduate, leaving vocational training students to wait on a second tranche of changes, due next year, to find out where they stand.

Of the 332,709 international students in Australia in June, more than half were studying at university, while a third were on vocational training visas studying diploma courses.

One in every five international students is Chinese, while one in every six is Indian. Courses are also popular with South Korean, Brazilian and Malaysian students. The majority of international students study in NSW and Victoria.

To receive a visa they must be enrolled in a course and show they can pay tuition and living costs and meet health and English language tests.

Of the 15,066 cancellations by DIMIA in the past year, 3624 students lost their visas because they flunked some or all subjects or were no-shows to class. A further 2235 visas were cancelled for students who quit their courses and 212 were from students who finished their courses early.

The Immigration Department offers eight kinds of student visas - including vocational training, university, English language courses or school education visas.

Despite oversight by the department, some students end up as illegal immigrants after failing to return home.

The department's annual report said that 8309 student visa holders became "unlawful" in the past year because their student visa expired and they did not apply for a new one, such as a bridging visa.

In some cases, foreigners were not genuine students and use the work rights of a student visa as a back door to higher wages and working conditions in Australia.

Some women have come to Australia on student visas to work in illegal brothels.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bleak socialist Britain driving its own people away

If homesickness is the curse of life as an expat, then millions of Britons abroad are bearing up manfully. As Britain’s economy continues to stall and the country recovers from the summer riots, hundreds of thousands have decided to scrap plans to come home.

Of the 5.5million Brits living abroad, 69 per cent say they will stay away from Britain permanently – an increase of 13 per cent in the past year – as the UK is now ‘more expensive, less safe and offers a lower quality of life’.

More than two thirds of expats, 3.74million, say they are happier living abroad, with 825,000 having cancelled their plans to come back during the last 12 months, according to research.

Seventy four per cent of expats say their quality of life is better abroad, 64 per cent say they are wealthier and 52 per cent say their cost of living is lower, a study for Lloyds TSB International found.

And 51 per cent think their country of residence is a better place to raise children.

Furthermore, many believe that living abroad is beneficial for their children as it offers the experience of another culture while learning a language.

Tony Wilcox of Lloyds TSB said: ‘Expats have an enlightening view of the UK, having experienced life both home and away. ‘So it is worrying that life in Britain appears so bleak when viewed through their eyes.

I think their happiness with life overseas also reflects that large groups of people in the UK are gradually becoming more outward-looking with increased global travel, more international business and generally coming into contact with other cultures.

‘It has become easier and a more natural transition than it would have been 20, even ten, years ago.’

The top ten expat destinations are Australia, Spain, U.S., Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.


Failed asylum seeker dodges deportation for a decade... because he goes to the GYM

A failed asylum seeker who has dodged deportation from Britain for nearly a decade has been told he can stay – because he goes to the gym.

Amir Beheshti has been trying to get refugee status for seven years, but was repeatedly turned down by the courts, who ruled he would not suffer if he returned to his home country Iran.

But the 40-year-old has now told judges he has a private life that involves going for work-outs with his friends – which means his human rights would be violated if he was deported.

The controversial legal ruling by Scotland’s Court of Session means he will be allowed to continue living rent-free in his publicly funded flat and claiming a weekly allowance.

Earlier this month, a top Scottish judge issued a written decision in which he agreed the case should be referred back to Home Secretary Theresa May for fresh consideration.

This effectively means the threat of deportation has been removed and Beheshti is free to remain in Scotland indefinitely.

Lord Glennie’s judgment read: ‘He had integrated well within the Glasgow community, had a large network of friends, most of whom were Scottish, and socialised with those friends at the gymnasium, at five-a-side football, in coffee shops, at college, in the library and at their homes. ‘He went on to say that he made use of local facilities, such as the library and Glasgow leisure centres'.

Beheshti’s claim, it said, was ‘based on Article 8 ECHR and, in particular, on the fact that he had, so he claimed, established a private life in the UK.

Beheshti was smuggled into Dover on a lorry in 2005. In his asylum application he claimed his father’s pro-Jewish sympathies put him in danger in Iran – but it was rejected, as were two appeals.

Having travelled to Glasgow, where he lived with his sister for two years, he appealed to the Court of Session. But in June 2009, Lord Osborne ruled he had consistently failed to provide any ‘credible’ evidence that he would personally face any persecution or disadvantage in Iran.

The decision marked the end of Beheshti’s rights of appeal. Technically, he should then have been removed as an illegal immigrant, but no action to deport him was taken.
Beheshti who was smuggled into Dover (pictured) on a lorry can continue to live rent-free in his publicly funded flat and claim a weekly allowance

Beheshti who was smuggled into Dover (pictured) on a lorry can continue to live rent-free in his publicly funded flat and claim a weekly allowance

In February 2010, Beheshti wrote to UKBA, asking for ‘leave to remain’ based on Article 8 ECHR. When that was rejected, he launched another appeal to the Court of Session. This appeal was the one that led to him being allowed to stay.

Beheshti said recently that he ‘feels comfortable’ in Glasgow and does not have anybody left back in Iran.

Last night, his case - which has already cost the public purse tens of thousands of pounds - sparked outrage.

Emma Boon of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘If the occasional trip to the gym is enough to allow a failed asylum seeker to appeal his deportation, then taxpayers will wonder who can’t claim a right to stay. ‘He should have been deported when his case was initially rejected. It’s appalling that we are left picking up all of his bills when he should have been sent home years ago'.

A UK Border Agency (UKBA) spokesman said: ‘Too often, Article 8 [of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing the right to a private and family life] has been used to place the family rights of illegal migrants above the rights of the British public in seeing our immigration laws properly enforced, and that balance needs to be redressed.

‘The Government will change the immigration rules to reinforce the public interest in seeing those who have breached our immigration laws removed from this country.

‘We have been seeking to remove this individual, but we have been asked by the courts to look again at this case. ‘Where we do not believe someone has the right to stay in this country, we expect them to return home'.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recent posts at CIS below

See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.

1. Amnesty by Any Means (Memorandum)

2. Educating an Underclass (Memorandum)

3. Mark Krikorian Discusses Visas for Real Estate Investment on CNBC (Video)

4. Panel: Crime Challenges from Illegal Immigration (Video)

5. Another Local E-Verify Ordinance (Blog)

6. Sin of Omission (Blog)

7. What Cole Porter Didn't Know about International Marriages (Blog)

8. Three Latinos on the American Dream: a Brain Surgeon, a Migrant atop a Train, and a College President (Blog)

9. Good News: 15 B-1 Russian Engineers Aiming for Boeing, Stopped by CBP (Blog)

10. Obama: Deportation Numbers 'Actually a Little Deceptive'(Blog)

11. ICE Press Release: Portrait of a Triumph or a Confession? (Blog)

12. Little Pieces of Paper (Blog)

13. CIS Study in the GOP Debate (Blog)

14. Hollow Deportation Boast (Blog)

15. But How Much Legal Immigration? (Blog)

16. The Alternative to Immigration Detention: Fugitives (Blog)

17. Electrocute Illegal Border Crossers? Just Joking! (Blog)

18. There's an Odd Balance-of-Payments Situation that Benefits U.S. Citizens (Blog)

19. Utah Amnesty Law Provides Cover for DHS Amnesty Initiatives (Blog)

20. Department of Very Bad Immigration Ideas: Electrocute Illegal Border Crossers (Blog)

21. Washington Post Cites Population Growth, Then Takes a Pass (Blog)

Many UK rioters were immigrants: 1 in 7 jailed after summer of violence was a foreign national

Foreign looters from 44 countries have been locked up over the riots which scarred the country in August. Robbers, vandals and thugs from as far afield as Afghanistan, Cuba, Ethiopia and Samoa joined in as shops were plundered and businesses set ablaze, causing millions of pounds worth of damage.

The sheer number from different corners of the globe who took part in the mayhem is one of the strongest indicators yet that the riots had nothing to do with political protest or civil unrest, but was born of greed and opportunist criminality.

Last night campaigners said anyone convicted of a riot-related offence should be thrown out of the country at the earliest opportunity.

Prison statistics revealed that 14 per cent – about one in seven – of those jailed for burglary, robbery, theft, criminal damage and disorder during the riots were born abroad. But the true number could be even higher as at least four per cent of those remanded in custody refused to tell police their nationality.

Jamaicans represented the largest group of foreign inmates, followed by Somali and Polish offenders. The list also included those from Colombia, Iraq, Congo, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Hundreds of other foreign suspects are facing deportation as separate figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that police have referred 367 ‘suspected foreign nationals’ to the UK Border Agency.

That number is expected to grow as police are still hunting thousands of suspects, with experts predicting it could take up to two years to sift through all the CCTV evidence.

The Ministry of Justice has released a breakdown of the nationalities of those jailed for riot-related offences committed between August 6, when the trouble exploded in Tottenham, and August 9, when disorder had spread outside London to Manchester, Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

A snapshot of the prison population on September 9 reveals that there were 153 foreign nationals and prisoners of ‘unrecorded nationality’ – which in most cases refers to those from the European Union – representing 18 per cent of the 865 criminals imprisoned over the riots. That compares with 712 offenders from the United Kingdom.

One in four of those jailed for robbery were born abroad, as were one in ten convicted for violent disorder or other disorder offences such as possession of a knife or drugs.

Yesterday Sir Andrew Green of the MigrationWatch pressure group called on the Government to kick out foreign rioters and looters. He said: ‘It’s absolutely unacceptable that any foreign citizen should take part in a riot in Britain. ‘It’s important that the courts should recommend deportation in every case which would qualify.’

Immigration Minister Damian Green has said criminals born abroad should be thrown out of Britain. In the immediate aftermath of the riots, he said: ‘We strongly believe that foreign national lawbreakers should be removed from the UK at the earliest opportunity.’

Yesterday Mr Green repeated his commitment to deport offenders from overseas, saying: ‘Foreign nationals who were convicted of offences during the riots will be returned home wherever possible.’

But Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Tom Brake has said the Government would ‘need to exercise caution’, particularly in cases where foreigners have families established in the UK.

Criminals from outside Europe are automatically put forward for deportation if they are sentenced to 12 months in prison. The same applies to Europeans given a 12-month sentence for drugs, violent or sexual crimes, or 24 months for other crimes, and courts can recommend deportation in other instances.

However offenders can use the Human Rights Act to appeal against deportation on the grounds that they are entitled to a family life or to avoid the risk of torture.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘It is important to bear in mind that this is only a snapshot of the prison population on September 9. ‘It would be misleading to suggest that it provides a complete picture of those involved in the riots


Monday, October 24, 2011

Swiss Anti-Immigration Party (SVP) still the largest in the country

But loses some seats to two breakaway groups. Greens lose seats too

The Swiss People’s Party lost ground in parliamentary elections as voters boosted the share for smaller parties that campaigned for renewable energy and measures to support an economy hurt by a strong currency.

The People’s Party, or SVP in German, won 25.9 percent of the vote yesterday, down from 28.9 percent in 2007, according to Swiss television. The Green Liberal Party and the BDP, which split from the People’s Party three years ago, added votes.

Preliminary results show the Social Democrats are poised to get 18.1 percent of the vote, down from 19.5 percent in 2007, while the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats fell to 15.3 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively.

“This shows that not everything is possible for the Swiss People’s Party,” Andreas Ladner, a professor at the University of Lausanne’s Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration, IDHEAP, said by telephone from Zurich. “It’s not a complete defeat, but the expectations were very high and this could signal the end of the increasing popularity of the party.”

It’s the first time in two decades that the SVP, led by Toni Brunner, hasn’t boosted its popularity in federal elections. The party gained votes in recent years at the expense of the Liberals and the Christian Democrats by feeding concerns that the proportion of foreigners in Switzerland -- now at 22 percent -- is too high. The party also opposes European Union membership, military involvement abroad and higher government spending on social welfare.

‘Mass Immigration’

The Green Liberal Party was founded in 2004 and campaigned for renewable energy while also promoting entrepreneurship. The BDP campaigned mainly with Widmer-Schlumpf, who has been leading the country’s efforts to support companies that are hurt by a surging franc.

The SVP’s campaign of “Stop Mass Immigration” helped the party while the Social Democrats campaigned for a more equal distribution of wealth. The Christian Democrats support family- friendly plans while the Liberal Party aims to boost employment and improve trade.

While Switzerland’s adjusted jobless rate held at a 2 1/2- year low of 3 percent in September, Brunner’s strategy of blaming immigrants for domestic problems such as higher rents or rising crime has still resonated with voters.

SVP Vice President Christoph Blocher, a 71-year-old billionaire who is the party’s best-known politician, appeared set to return to the lower house of parliament.

All 246 seats were up for grabs in the Bern, Switzerland- based parliament, which is similar to the U.S. Congress, with one house representing the population and the other the 26 regions, or cantons.

New Minister

With 28 parties and one of the world’s most complicated election systems, the outcome is never clear-cut. The new parliament’s makeup helps determine who gets into the government, while there won’t be any coalitions formed between the different parties.

The Federal Council, the seven-member government, is elected by the parliament. With the resignation of Social Democrat Micheline Calmy-Rey, the foreign minister and current head of government, there will be at least one new minister named in December when the body is elected.

The Green Liberal Party grabbed 5.5 percent of the vote while the BDP got 5.4 percent, according to projections. Each party added nine seats in parliament and the SVP and the Greens each lost seven, Television Suisse Romande said on its website.

The growing popularity of the Green Liberals and the BDP “shows that the traditional parties have problems,” Ladner said. “The Liberals and the Christian Democrats are no longer attractive to the voters, and they’re voting for less extreme parties, those that haven’t been involved in everyday politics.”


Canada putting the brakes on to some degree

Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is trying to do two things to rationalize Canada's immigration system: Reduce the number of elderly relatives of immigrants admitted every year and give more points to immigrants who are able to speak either English or French.

Both moves hit at the biggest problem with our immigration policy: Over the past three decades, economic considerations have given way to touchy-feely ones.

At a House of Commons committee on Thursday, Kenney said familyclass immigration had to be scaled back. He did not mean the spouses or children of newcomers. Rather, he explained that the government's concern is with the parents and grandparents of immigrants.

Of about 254,000 immigrants admitted most years, roughly 38,000 are older parents or grandparents. Most of these older immigrants will never work or will work very little between the time they are admitted and the time of their death. That also means they will pay very few taxes to contribute toward the social services they will consume.

How is that fair to taxpayers who have lived and worked here all their lives, or who moved here decades ago and have contributed tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of tax dollars since?

As baby boomers retire, our pension and health-care systems are going to become over-burdened. Aging Canadians could face the kind of fiscal collapse hitting Greece. There, social benefits and civil-servant compensation have become so generous that the central government must borrow money to pay for them; its tax revenues have been insufficient. Yet it has lost the ability to borrow enough, in part because the cost of underwriting benefits is so high.

"Canada is the most generous country in the world with respect to immigration," Kenney told an often-heated Commons hearing. "But there have to be practical limits to our generosity. We have to calibrate those limits based on our country's economic needs, our fiscal capacity. There is no doubt that the people who are coming who are senior citizens, they have much, much lower labour-market participation and much higher levels of utilization of the public health system."

As Kenney pointed out, just under 20 per cent of newcomers to Canada are what he called "primary economic immigrants." Immigration Canada claims 55 per cent of immigrants to this country are economic-class immigrants, but in truth just 18 to 20 per cent are skilled workers. The other 37 per cent are the spouses and children of someone with a marketable skill.

Canadians should not begrudge newcomers bringing their husbands or wives and children with them. Trying to adjust to life in a new country and culture is hard enough without also having to cope with being without one's husband, wife and children. Besides, most skilled workers are able to fully support their nuclear families, both directly through their wages and indirectly through taxes.

However, most immigrants do not also earn enough to cover the social costs of admitting their parents, and older family-class immigrants themselves are unlikely to work enough after coming to Canada to cover their own social benefits. Admitting tens of thousands of older parents and grandparents amounts to a giant subsidy to new Canadians.

That is the "practical limit" of Canadian generosity Kenney is referring to - the delicate balance between "economic needs" and "fiscal capacity." By some estimates, it costs federal and provincial taxpayers up to $2 billion annually to fund the social services consumed by parents and grandparents of immigrants. For instance, nearly half of all health costs for most people are incurred in the final five years of their lives. Thus, if we admit a lot of older immigrants who work very little before reaching their most expensive years, this amounts to an enormous gift to people who made most of their economic and tax contributions elsewhere.

I'm in favour of plenty of immigration - even open immigration. I am not as concerned by the cultural arguments against immigration as I am by the economic ones. Yet high-volume immigration into a welfare state can easily become a fiscal suicide pact. So for as long as we insist on offering universal state health care, pensions and other social benefits, we have a right (even an obligation) to make economic considerations a part of our immigration calculations.

Earlier this month, Kenney also advocated tightening our immigration rules so that more immigrants were admitted faster if they have proficiency in either of our official languages. The immigration industry likes to portray such reforms as bigoted, but in fact they are economic, too - immigrants who speak either English or French integrate faster and better than those who speak neither. Typically, their incomes are up to Canadian averages within about a decade and (not surprisingly) they have less trouble feeling at home here sooner.

The Liberals attempted such a change in the late 1990s, but it was quickly shot down by immigration lawyers, immigration consultants, ethnic-group leaders and specialinterest advocates.

Thankfully, the Tories are not as beholden to such groups as the Liberals were, so perhaps these sensible reforms have a better chance of becoming federal policy now.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Which Way, New York?

Will Feds Tolerate Local Obstruction of Immigration Enforcement?

The New York City Council is poised to adopt an ordinance that is designed to severely limit the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal immigration enforcement agency, to identify and remove illegal aliens from the city correctional system. If adopted, the city will join a small list of large cities, including San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, and San Jose, that deliberately obstruct ICE’s operations.

A new Center report, “Which Way, New York? Will Feds Tolerate Local Interference or Assert Their Authority?” examines New York City’s policies and practices and the effect they have on public safety and federal enforcement efforts. It questions the federal government’s passive acceptance of these sanctuary policies and recommends actions that can be taken to discourage such developments.

Key findings:

Three-quarters of all foreign-born arrests in the entire state of New York occur in New York City (NYC). In 2008, the latest year for which data are available, local officers arrested 52,827 immigrants in NYC.

For at least 20 years, NYC has had official policies impeding the enforcement of federal immigration laws. City policies prevent ICE agents from receiving notification of arrested aliens before their release from police custody.

In September 2009, NYC’s Department of Correction adopted, and has since maintained, particularly obstructive policies and procedures for immigration officers and agents attempting to access criminal alien inmates housed in its detention facilities. Jail staff are required to follow procedures that actively encourage aliens to refuse to speak with ICE agents.

Since the implementation of these procedures, the number of aliens charged with immigration violations at the city’s main detention facility has been cut nearly in half.

Not withstanding its lack of cooperation, NYC has garnered millions of dollars each year in federal SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) funds since the inception of this program to reimburse jurisdictions for the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens criminals.

Despite all of the above facts, the federal government has never taken action to overcome the obstacles placed in its way by NYC – either through lawsuits, withholding of funding, or executive action – so that it can perform its job of immigration law enforcement in the most effective and efficient way possible.

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: Contact: Jessica Vaughan, (508)346-3380, The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Judge dismisses Arizona immigration suit

A federal judge dismissed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's lawsuit in which she said the Obama administration failed to enforce immigration laws or secure the border.

The suit from Brewer, who argued the federal government failed to protect Arizona from an "invasion" of illegal immigrants, was a counter-suit to a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's strict immigration law.

The Arizona Republic reported U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton said higher appeals courts had determined states cannot sue the federal government for failing to prevent illegal immigration.

Bolton said Brewer's contention that the federal government failed to protect Arizona from "invasion" by illegal immigrants is a political issue to be decided by lawmakers, not the courts.

Brewer released a statement calling Bolton's decision "frustrating but not entirely surprising." "It is but the latest chapter in a story that Arizonans know all too well," she said. "The federal government ignores its constitutional and statutory duty to secure the border. Federal courts avert their eyes. American citizens pay the price."

The counter-suit argued the U.S. government has failed to gain "operational control" of the border, isn't enforcing federal immigration law and has not adequately reimbursed the state for spending more than $760 million to incarcerate illegal immigrants.

The counter-suit also contended the federal government tried to prevent the state from protecting its citizens by filing a suit to challenge the state immigration law. In the counter-suit, Arizona requested the court require the federal government to complete construction of 700 miles of fence on the Mexican border, provide enough immigration officers in Arizona to respond to local law enforcement requirements and let the state enforce federal immigration laws.

The Arizona immigration law requires law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status during routine law enforcement operations if officers have reason to suspect people are in the United States illegally.

The Republic said the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide in the next few months whether it will hear the Justice Department case on the Arizona law.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Immigrant child beggars as young as FOUR making £100,000 a year each for gypsy gangs in Britain

Child beggars as young as four earn up to £100,000 each for gypsy gangs, a shocking investigation has revealed. The children work in teams on London's streets, wheedling money out of tourists in snow and rain.

Some of the children make £500 a day - and hand it all over to their Romany 'minders', the BBC's Panorama programme found.

Reporter John Sweeney called it 'a 21st-century version of Oliver Twist' - the Charles Dickens novel in which villain Fagin forces a group of young children to extract cash from rich Londoners for him.

The documentary, screened last night on BBC1, followed the children - all of them gypsies from Romania - over the course of a year. A girl of about four, who the programme-makers called 'Alice', used a phone box as a toilet and scavenged for food at McDonald's as she begged on the streets.

They found the child 'experienced in begging', as she tried to coax and wheedle money from them while dressed in a white headscarf.

The children all dressed in modest clothes and wore headscarves, despite not being Muslim - targeting mosques and areas popular with rich tourists from the Gulf States.

The BBC filmed a group of young Roma women controlling several children outside Regent's Park mosque, including a four-year-old boy.

They followed the group to a house in Ilford, Essex, where a BMW X5 four-wheel drive car sat on the drive.

The programme found that police generally just take the beggars' details and let them go. They fear the people on the streets are being exploited by other members of their community.

Last year, police launched Operation Golf in an effort to crack down on the con artists running the scam. Many of the criminals were traced back to Romania, where they own numerous luxury properties and cars.

Bernie Gravett, the former Metropolitan Police Supt who led the operation, said: 'This is modern-day slavery. How does a four-year-old child consent to be exploited? 'They won't know that it's criminal to beg on the streets of the UK. They are kids.'

The joint British-Romanian police operation arrested 26 alleged child traffickers from Tandarei in the south of Romania. The accused were imprisoned for months but denied any wrongdoing and have since been released.

The case continues as two judges in Romania have sent the case back to the prosecution and in the meantime, the accused cannot leave the country.

Mr Sweeney followed 'Alice' and her minder - her mother, Denisa Mazarache - to Fetesti in southern Romania. She admitted to having begged in London, but said she had been desperate and had stopped a year ago. However, the BBC said they had filmed her begging in London just two months earlier.

Police have disrupted the gangs in Britain by targeting them for benefit fraud. Nine people, eight of them Romanian Gypsies, went to prison earlier this year for a total of 10 years for not paying £800,000 worth of benefits. Romanians are not ordinarily entitled to UK state benefits, but police told Panorama that gangs produced forged documents.

Chief Inspector Colin Carswell, who was also part of Operation Golf, said one gang put the earning potential of a single child in London at close to £100,000 a year - from begging, stealing and being used for benefit fraud.

Mr Sweeney met one of the men arrested during Operation Golf in Tandarei, a town dotted with luxury villas. The man blamed Britain for the tricksters' actions. 'The blame is with the British state, which gives them a lot of money,' he said. 'They have lots of children, seven, eight or ten children, and if they have many children they build a villa.' 'Some collect £10,000, £12,000, £13,000 a month - they have three or four or five sets of benefits.'


Bogus Deportation Statistics Released by Obama, Say Lawmakers

President Barack Obama's Homeland Security Department officials released a report that claims Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported a record number of illegal immigrants in the last fiscal year, including an "unprecedented number of convicted illegals with criminal records."

However, a closer look at the figures reveals the report is bogus, according to the lawmaker in-charge of immigration oversight.

In the 2011 fiscal year which ended last month, ICE officials claim they deported more than 396,000 illegal immigrants nationwide -- the largest number in the agency's history, ICE officials said in a statement released yesterday. Of these, nearly 55 percent or more than 216,000 of the people deported were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors -- an 89 percent increase since FY 2008 when George W. Bush was president.

"Smart and effective immigration enforcement relies on setting priorities for removal and executing on those priorities," said ICE Director John Morton in a press statement.

However, there are some who claim the figures released by Morton -- who was the recipient of a unanimous "vote of no confidence" by his own staff, the men and women who serve as ICE agents -- are purposely misleading or out-and-out bogus.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued a biting statement upon reading the ICE statistics.

“The Obama administration continues to inflate its deportation numbers. The administration includes voluntary removals in its deportation statistics even though they impose no penalties on the offenders and make it easier for illegal immigrants to return to the U.S.," said Rep. Smith.

"In other words, the Obama administration is cooking the books to make it look like they are enforcing immigration laws, when in reality they are enacting amnesty through inaction," he stated.

Under the Obama administration, worksite enforcement has dropped 70%, making it easier for illegal immigrants to live and work in the U.S. And DHS recently established a working group with the specific purpose of overruling or preventing orders of removal for illegal immigrants.

Even President Obama admitted to Hispanic voters recently that his administration’s deportation numbers are ‘deceptive.’

“It’s disappointing that the Obama administration continues to put illegal immigrants before the American people. Fourteen million Americans are currently looking for work," Smith pointed out.

"Meanwhile, seven million illegal immigrants have jobs in the U.S. We could free up millions of jobs for citizens and legal immigrants if we simply enforced our immigration laws. The President’s policies just don’t add up. It’s time to elect a President that puts the American people first by enforcing our immigration laws,” Smith urged.

"All one needs to do is compare the press releases issued by ICE during the Obama years and the Bush years to see they are not focusing on enforcing the nation's immigration laws these days," a Border Patrol agent told this writer.

"During the Bush administration, the majority of press releases highlighted the capture of illegal aliens working at companies across the nation. They even nabbed illegal aliens working at high-security facilities run by the U.S. government. Today, the majority of the press releases are issued with regard to child pornography, counterfeit designer clothing and accessories, and even drug arrests," said the source, who demanded anonymity.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Brilliant new Leftist policy in Britain: Throw the elderly out of their homes to make room for migrants!

When I was there a third of a century ago, Brits seemed to love their OAPs (elderly) but with chronic neglect by the NHS -- and now this -- the change seems drastic. Britain seems to become a less civil society with every week that goes by -- JR

How sickening that politicians who allowed mass immigration and failed to build enough houses are bullying the British elderly into giving up their homes

Have you ever heard of the Intergenerational Foundation? I hadn’t until yesterday. And yet this obscure organisation was wheeled out on the Today programme on Radio 4 and given the prime slot reserved for the most important issue of the day.

The Intergenerational Foundation, which is described as a charity, believes older people should be encouraged to move into smaller homes as part of the solution to the ‘housing crisis’. It says that more than half of over-65s are in homes with two or more spare bedrooms, which could be pressed into greater use. In fact, it claims there are 25 million unused bedrooms in England.

How gloriously simple! Why has no one thought of it before? Don’t panic, though, if you are an elderly homeowner — at least, not yet. At any rate for the time being, the suggestion, given such sympathetic and extensive treatment by the BBC, is that the aged should be coaxed, not forced, into giving up their supposedly large houses.

Everyone knows that, very regrettably, young people are finding it difficult to enter the housing market. This is partly because first-time mortgages are difficult to obtain as a consequence of the credit crunch.

A more fundamental explanation is that fewer homes are being built than at any time since the Twenties. Only 105,000 were put up last year. Ordinary houses in London, the South-East and some other parts of the country are among the most expensive in the world.

There are simply not enough new homes. Meanwhile, there are more than 700,000 unoccupied houses in Britain that no one seems to be willing or able to do anything about.

One aggravating factor, which is scarcely ever mentioned in polite circles, is the high level of net immigration into this country. Last year, it amounted to 239,000. The population of the UK is expected to increase by nine million to 70 million by 2025, largely because of immigration.

These people will have to live somewhere. Think of it. In little more than a decade, our population will grow by the equivalent of 20 cities the size of Sheffield or Leeds, in large measure because the last government did not control the influx of immigrants.

Enter the Left-leaning Intergenerational Foundation with its sinister new proposals.

Instead of urging the Government to increase the supply of new homes or to do something about reducing the demand, it fixes on elderly homeowners and tries to make them feel guilty about occupying so much space. A nasty new concept is entering the lexicon: ‘bedroom blocking’.

Isn’t this outrageous? If you own your own home and are in your 60s, the chances are that you have not long ago paid off your mortgage — or perhaps you haven’t yet managed to do so. You have saved, and probably sometimes gone without, in order to buy your own house, which, now that it is finally yours, interfering busybodies urge you to leave. It’s hardly your fault if it has risen sharply in value.

The suggestion that you should up sticks is not merely terribly unfair. It is also a form of ageism. The Intergenerational Foundation appears to think the elderly can and should be pushed aside in favour of rising generations. They are not allowed to enjoy the fruits of a lifetime’s labour.

Of course, some people in their 50s and 60s choose to down size. Maybe they want to liberate some capital. Or perhaps, living on a smaller income, they want to reduce the outgoings of having a larger house.

But many others do not want to move out. They have grown attached to the place where they live. They may associate it with bringing up their children. The house has become for them so much more than four walls. It is a continuing celebration of a shared family life.

Here we come to the absolutely crucial point which the Intergenerational Foundation, in its bleak and utilitarian way, ignores, or simply does not understand. We live in an age of atomised families, where grown-up children increasingly work far from where their parents live.

And so the enduring family home remains the thread that can still bind together disparate parts of a family. The second or third bedroom may sometimes, or even often, be unoccupied, but their existence allows children and grandchildren to come and stay, and the family to retain its sense of identity and unity in an otherwise splintered world.

In other words, the family home with its one or two spare bedrooms — we are not usually talking about mansions here — is the bedrock of family life. Take it away, and the family, already under threat on so many other fronts, will struggle even harder to survive.

To which the Intergenerational Foundation might reply: what about young people who are not in a position to start a family because they are unable to buy a home of their own? Surely, the answer to that question should not involve undermining existing, hard-pressed families.

Successive governments have failed to meet demand for the reasons I have mentioned. There are too many people chasing too few affordable houses. Until or unless the Government brings demand and supply into some sort of equilibrium, young people will continue to find it hard to get on the housing ladder, the more so as long as the economy remains in the doldrums.

What alarms me is that the Intergenerational Foundation’s ideas should have been treated so respectfully by the BBC, as though they had been brought down wholesale from Mount Sinai, and no one was given the opportunity to say they are discriminatory and coercive. Nor was it mentioned that some of the ‘brains’ behind the Foundation are those of the Labour shadow minister Tessa Jowell. She, of course, was a leading light of the last Labour administration, which was mostly responsible for the pressure on housing.

I’m afraid that the response of Grant Shapps, the housing minister, was somewhat less robust than one might have hoped. He said: ‘We do not agree that people should be taxed or bullied out of their homes.’

He could have added that people who have worked a lifetime have a right to stay in their homes without being made to feel guilty. He should have said that in maintaining family homes the elderly are often upholding family life.

In fairness to Mr Shapps, he wants to double the number of homes being built in this country, though he has been criticised for wanting to relax planning laws. The truth is that we are going to need much more than the 200,000 new houses a year envisaged by Mr Shapps if the crisis is ever going to be solved.

Governments, not home-owners, are to blame — for permitting the population to balloon and for not encouraging, or allowing, enough houses to be built. How sickening that Ms Jowell and her Foundation should be trying to bully the elderly into giving up their homes.


Canadians have been brainwashed into thinking that immigration helps their country

Most independent (non-government) studies of the economic effects of immigration show little or no benefit to the existing population. And as Putnam has shown, ethnic diversity leads to a loss of civil engagement

Support for immigration in Canada is at an all-time high, suggests a new study that tracked attitudes about newcomers to the country over the last 40 years.

The study by the Institute for Research on Public Policy found that Canadians think favourably of immigration despite recessions, terrorism and a changing political landscape over the years.

The attitude is unique in western countries and stems from two strong Canadian beliefs.

"One is that people believe that immigration is a boon to the economy, partly because we select immigrants on the basis of skills and we don't have a border with Mexico so we don't have unskilled immigrants coming in without authorization. On the cultural side, we have this policy called multiculturalism that sort of became part of the Canadian identity and one of the points of pride distinguishing Canada from the U.S.," study author Jeffrey Reitz told the CBC's Louise Elliott.

The study looked at a cross-section of polls done by companies like Gallup, Environics and EKOS since the mid-1970s. Not only has support for immigration stayed high, but it's surged in the past six years, at a time when such support has dropped in the U.S.and Europe.

In 2004, EKOS found 63 per cent of Canadians supported current or higher levels of immigration and by 2010, after a sharp recession, that number jumped to 67 per cent.

The report also noted that Canadians in poorer parts of the country are the most likely to support immigration.

"We have the anomaly that the areas of Canada that have the most challenging economic circumstances, especially Atlantic Canada but also in the Prairies, they're the most positive places on immigration because of this belief that immigration helps the economy," said Reitz.

Other immigration experts agree and say Canadians support the federal government's policies that are bringing in skilled workers.

"The rules have been changed to bring in economically sufficient immigrants, people who create jobs and wealth for this country while maintaining our humanitarian balance," said Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver.

Some of Canada's immigration-related policies have been controversial but Reitz said they've helped the Conservatives build a reputation as being pro-immigrant, while at the same time appeasing their political base – Conservative voters are the least likely to support high immigration levels.

Reitz said they do, however, support Ottawa's attempts to integrate new Canadians into mainstream society.

"The message …from the Conservatives that multiculturalism is fine but we're going to emphasize integration of people into the mainstream. In a way that's clever because Canadians do want immigrants to integrate into the mainstream. I think it's one reason why Canadian multiculturalism seems to be popular here whereas it's been rejected in Europe because the government has always made it clear the goal of multiculturalism is to integrate people into the mainstream," he said.

Reitz said the government's social conservative values are endorsed by immigrants and that Conservatives have been able to win their support and that's contributed to Canadians' attitudes about immigration.

"The fact that the Conservatives have been successful in getting immigrant support is one of the features of our political landscape that helps us maintain this pro-immigration mindset," he said.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Amnesty by Any Means

Report Traces Evolution of Obama Administration Policy

Even as it boasts of 'record levels' of deportations, the Obama administration continues to seek de facto amnesty for illegal immigrants through executive action, thus ignoring congressional opposition. Parts of this strategy of administrative amnesty have been explored before, including in recent hearings before the House and Senate, but it has not been analyzed as a whole.

To that end, the Center for Immigration Studies has published an analysis of the four leaked Department of Homeland Security memos that shed light on the evolution of this strategy. In 'Amnesty by Any Means: Memos Trace Evolution of Obama Administration Policy,' the Center’s National Security Policy Director, Janice Kephart, closely analyzes the four memos and shows the following:
The objective of the administration is to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization,” a policy laid out in June 2010 by Department of Homeland Security headquarters staff.

Nearly a year later, the means to achieve this goal evolved into the June 2011 “prosecutorial discretion” memo, in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton effectively told field agents to not enforce the law.

The White House embraced this memo and made it presidential policy in August 2011, making President Obama clearly responsible for the policy of minimizing immigration law enforcement to achieve amnesty without congressional support or approval.

The promotion of E-Verify, the successful worker authorization program, by the White House and Department of Homeland Security is set out in these memos as a ploy to distract voters from a series of administrative measures aimed at achieving amnesty, while ensuring a perception that the administration favors immigration law enforcement.

The report is online hereFor more information, contact Janice Kephart at (202) 466-8185 or

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: The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Australia must toughen the deterrent for illegal boat arrivals

THE architect of the Pacific Solution, Philip Ruddock, said the steps taken by the Howard government after the Tampa crisis would not by themselves work a second time round, and additional deterrents would be required to stop the boats.

As figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees confirmed a 19 per cent drop in asylum seeker arrivals in the first six months of this year, the long-serving Liberal MP indicated that boatpeople arriving under a future Coalition government could expect much tougher treatment.

The former immigration minister endorsed the existing Coalition policy proposals, such as a return to temporary protection visas and the reopening of the Nauru processing centre, saying they were effective.

But, he said, more forceful measures, particularly in returning failed asylum-seekers to their home countries, may be required.

"It's going to require a lot more effort than any of the measures that are being spoken of at the moment," Mr Ruddock said. "You're going to have to use all of the measures that we used, then you'd be looking around to see what more you could do."

Mr Ruddock's comments align with views expressed by immigration officials that too much information was now public about how the Pacific Solution worked -- including that most refugees on Nauru ended up in Australia and that all bearers of TPVs ultimately ended up with permanent visas -- for the same measures to be as effective a second time round.

They also reflect a view in the opposition that any future Coalition government would probably face a hostile parliament opposed to new laws, requiring it to carry out its promise to stop the boats in a much narrower legal framework.

Mr Ruddock accused Labor of "trashing" co-operative relationships with key countries, such as Indonesia, which had been bruised by the Rudd government's handling of the 2009 Oceanic Viking stand-off.

"A number of measures necessary would be much easier for a Coalition government to pursue than this government," he said. "In my view, the big difference that is going to have to be pursued vigorously is the return of rejected asylum-seekers."

Since 2008 just 252 people -- or 2.1 per cent -- of the 11,994 asylum-seekers who have arrived have been returned to their home country.

The UNCHR said yesterday asylum arrivals in Australia for the first six months of this year were down 19 per cent, compared with last year, bucking an international average 17 per cent rise across industrialised countries. Despite the drop, both sides of politics expect boat arrivals will rise following the demise of offshore processing.

In August the High Court ruled the government's plan to deport 800 asylum-seekers to Malaysia in return for 4000 proven refugees did not comply with the Migration Act.

There is a general view that Nauru is more likely to meet the court's test, but that is arguable.

The court's ruling has been widely discussed in Coalition ranks, with most talk centring on whether reopening Nauru would pass the court's new test. Asking Nauru to change its laws and staffing the centre with Australian officers to ensure the court's stipulations are adhered to are among the options.

Yesterday, opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said a much tougher TPV regime was also essential, with the visas issued for between six months and three years.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deports record number of immigrants

216,698 had been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors. That's a huge amount of crime due to illegals. Think of the police time and manpower that used up

Nearly 400,000 people were deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year — the largest number in the agency’s history.

Deportations have been on the rise for the past decade, and the 396,906 illegal immigrants deported in fiscal year 2011 is the highest number yet, according to the annual numbers released today.

Under the Obama administration, Homeland Security has focused on removing criminals, those who have crossed the border or repeatedly violated immigration law.

In the most recent fiscal year, nearly 55 percent of those removed from the country — or 216,698 people — had been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors.

That is the highest percentage in nearly a decade and nearly double the number of criminals removed two years prior.

The crimes committed ranged from 1,119 people convicted of homicide to 35,927 people convicted of driving under the influence.

"These year-end totals indicate that we are making progress, with more convicted criminals, recent border crossers, egregious immigration law violators and immigration fugitives being removed from the country than ever before,” ICE Director John Morton wrote in a news release.

“Though we still have work to do, this progress is a testament to the hard work and dedication of thousands of ICE agents, officers and attorneys around the country.”

Critics say the numbers illustrate that the administration is intent on finding ways for illegal immigrants to stay in the country.

Others look at the numbers and wonder how they could be interpreted as leniency.

“For billions of dollars to be spent so that 45% of the people we're deporting are not convicted criminals is not a good use of our enforcement dollars,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, which supports a path for some of the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants to become citizens.


A crazy quilt of State immigration law spawned by the Federal refusal to act

In the past five years, there has been a virtual revolution in immigration lawmaking. And the result is not just chaos -- it's a lot of bad policy.

States from Arizona to Virginia have enacted laws cracking down on illegal immigration. Some go after the immigrants; some target the businesses that hire them. Some rely on local police to do the job; others require that employers use the federal E-Verify system to check the immigration status of employees. Many of these statutes have been challenged in court, and the decisions that have been handed down are all over the map.

The most controversial provisions of Arizona's 2010 immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, were put on hold by a federal judge before they could go into effect, and in April the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling.

But when Alabama's similar law, passed in June, came before a federal judge, she came to exactly the opposite conclusion, upholding sections almost identical to those blocked by the 9th Circuit. And on Friday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took yet a third view, blocking some provisions of the Alabama law but upholding others -- including the section that permits local police to ask about the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons.

An immigration reform advocate who went to sleep five years ago when Congress last tried and failed to pass immigration reform wouldn't recognize the landscape today. The notion that immigration policy is a federal responsibility -- once widely accepted by both parties -- has been shattered, probably forever.

Far from finding state immigration laws unconstitutional -- as many legal experts once insisted -- the Supreme Court's May ruling in the Whiting v. U.S. Chamber of Commerce case endorsed the principle that states can and should play a significant role in controlling illegal immigration. And policies once unthinkable to many are now commonplace. A full one-third of the states now require some or all employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check the immigration status of new hires. Four states have enacted measures modeled on Arizona's controversial policing law.

Of course, it's understandable that states are stepping in to grapple with immigration: The system is dysfunctional, and voters want something done. The problem is that most state lawmakers respond to this clamor by intensifying state enforcement.
But critical as enforcement is, enforcement alone won't solve the problem.

To do that, lawmakers need to combine enforcement with fixes to the legal immigration system -- providing enough visas for immigrants who contribute to the economy, create jobs and keep our cities vital while also protecting U.S. workers. And these kinds of fixes are much harder for states to make. So instead, most simply crack down harder on the broken system.

Consider what happened this year in Alabama, the state with the nation's toughest immigration law. The new measure touches nearly every aspect of life in Alabama: hiring, firing, policing, the criminal justice system, state contracts, schools and religion -- the aim being to make every aspect of life harsher and less hospitable for illegal immigrants.The two recent court decisions on the law are not the last word -- there will be many appeals. And in the meantime, chaos reigns across Alabama.

Local law enforcement officials are at a loss, unsure who they should asking for immigration papers or where to house those they arrest -- most jails in Alabama are already full. Immigrants are fleeing the state in droves -- illegal immigrants but also legal residents who have unauthorized relatives and are afraid to lead police to their doors. Five percent of Hispanic children have stopped attending school. Employers -- particularly farmers -- are complaining desperately about labor shortages. And fruit and vegetables are rotting in fields across the state.

Is there a silver lining? At first blush, it's hard to see one. But sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
Voters aren't blind. Most support tough immigration enforcement, but they can also see the crops rotting not just in Alabama but also in Georgia, Arizona and other states.

Employers and business groups once hesitant to get involved in the debate are coming out of the woodwork to complain about worker shortages. And in a few states, this has led to productive dialogue, even, occasionally, a breakthrough. In a handful of states, the two parties have put their heads together and considered options for solving the problem. In other places, lawmakers have listened to employers when they explained the damage harsh enforcement would do to the economy.

This ferment bore fruit in several states this year. In Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee and Texas, legislators stopped short of passing the most draconian measures on the table. And in Utah, politicians, business leaders, law enforcement and faith groups came together to enact legislation that went beyond enforcement only -- trying to create a system that works, at least in Utah.

The most important part of the Utah solution is a state guest-worker program. Exactly how it will function is controversial -- Utah's answer involves unauthorized workers already in the state and others waiting in Mexico for legal visas. But the underlying principle is only common sense: replacing illegal immigrants with a legal foreign work force that employers can turn to when they can't find enough willing and able American workers.

Justice Louis Brandeis called the states the "laboratories" of democracy. A lot of what's going on in those laboratories today is disastrous. Certainly, in Alabama, the results look more like a train wreck than science. But maybe even that offers some reason for hope. After all, even Congress can stand by only so long. At some point, surely, Washington will have to impose order on the chaos spreading in the states.