Saturday, December 31, 2011

£42million bill to remove failed asylum seekers: How British taxpayer funding for secretive flights has QUADRUPLED in past seven years

The Government has spent £42million on secretive flights to send failed asylum seekers back home, it was revealed today. British taxpayers are forking out a staggering £500,000 each month to fund expensive air travel arrangements for foreign nationals who have lost bids to stay in the country.

Entire aircraft are rented by UK Borders Agency staff to send up to 100 immigrants back home at a time to prevent passengers on scheduled services witnessing 'distressing' removals. The average cost of enforcing the removal of a failed asylum seeker was £11,000 in 2005, but this figure had risen to up to £17,000 by 2009. Including accommodation and support costs, some cases that year cost as much as £25,600.

Figures obtained under Freedom Of Information laws show the shadowy flights - which do not show on airport departure screens - have quadrupled in the last seven years.

In 2004, the data shows £1.73million was spent on sending back those who had failed in bids to stay in the UK. That soared to £10.4million in 2009/10 and £8.5million in the past year. Over the seven year period the total is estimated to be £42million.

Figures show a record number of foreign nationals, 42,552, were either forcibly removed or went home voluntarily last year. Those journeys were undertaken on either charter or scheduled flights, mostly from UK airports.

A total of 306,535 had been repatriated in the seven years up to September, the data shows.

According to government data the charter flight programme 'initially' operated to Kosovo and Albania only. Now the scheme focuses 'almost exclusively' on long-haul destinations and regular flights are carried out to Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Jamaica.

But foreign governments have turned back some flights because of 'paperwork' problems. In one case an entire plane-load of Iraqis were refused re-entry to capital Baghdad because they no longer had documents to prove their nationality.

Planes are provided by commercial airlines for removals to countries including war-torn Congo and Afghanistan as well as Nigeria and Sri Lanka. It is thought a number of individuals were removed to Sri Lanka just two weeks ago by a European holiday airline. A full list of airlines involved in the scheme is not publicly available.

However, a series of 'regular flights' take off from major airports including Heathrow and Gatwick and are jointly co-ordinated by EU border agency Frontex.

Home Office officials have insisted the increase in expenditure is due to the expansion of the original scheme's destination list.

The National Coalition Of Anti-Deportation campaigns today accused the government of 'hiding' the flights from the public. Spokesperson Lisa Matthews said: 'We are extremely concerned about the increase in the use of charter flights to remove individuals from the UK.

'Charter flights are shrouded in secrecy, and if the UKBA believes it operates a robust asylum system that is fit-for-purpose, there is no need to operate in this deceptive way.'

Ms Matthews also expressed concern that private hire security firms are using 'dangerous force' to restrain foreign nationals after Angolan refugee Jimmy Mubenga died on a flight before it took off from Heathrow Airport last year. She added: 'There is clear evidence of dangerous use of force being employed by the escort companies enforcing removals, leading to speculation that charter flights are being used to hide these activities from the public, particularly following the widespread outcry at the killing of Jimmy Mubenga.'

And she criticised the government after 713 'disruptive removals' led to aborted attempts to send foreign nationals home from January to August this year. Ms Matthews added: 'These removals are disruptive because UKBA are trying to send back so many individuals to persecution, mistreatment and torture in their home countries and the individuals are therefore extremely distressed and fearing for their lives.

'Without access to justice, and without an asylum system that gets decisions right first time, the UK will continue to waste huge sums of money, huge sums it simply cannot afford.'

The UK Border Agency defended the removals insisting it was appropriate that those with no right to be in the country should be sent home. An agency spokesperson said: 'It is right that those with no right to be here should go home and flights of this type still represents the most cost effective way of removing people.

'The increased expenditure on charter flights from the UK reflects the general rise in the cost of air travel since 2004 and a greater number of flights to countries outside Europe.'


UK Immigration and Ireland sign agreement for enhanced border controls

The UK and Irish governments have now signed an agreement to continue with the Common Travel Area, a passport-free zone that comprises Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. According to UK immigration authorities, the agreement will help reduce illegal immigration. Although the stricter controls may make it more difficult to gain entry into the area, once you are in you can travel freely between the participating countries.

The agreement updates border controls for initial entry to the Common Travel Area which has existed between the countries since Ireland left the UK. The new agreement will feature enhanced electronic border control systems, which are aimed at identifying incoming passengers who do not already have the right to enter the Common Travel Area before they arrive at an international border.

People travelling within the Common Travel Area do not generally need to carry a passport or national identity document for immigration purposes.

The agreement also stated both countries immigration departments commit to sharing important immigration related information, such as fingerprint biometrics, particularly from 'high risk' individuals, as part of the visa issuing process and to help crack down on illegal immigration.

"This agreement will help us quickly refuse those with poor immigration records, identify asylum shoppers and speed up the removal process in those cases where people have entered the Common Travel Area," said Immigration minister Damian Green.

"The benefits the Common Travel Area brings to travellers and the economies of our countries are well-established but it should not be exploited by those with no right to be here," he added.


Friday, December 30, 2011

U.S. sets up hotline for detained immigrants

Not hard to see where this is going. More congestion in the courts and hence greater incentive to detain even fewer illegals

U.S. immigration authorities are setting up a telephone hotline to ensure that detainees held by local police forces partnering in a controversial federal immigration enforcement program are adequately informed of their rights.

The initiative announced by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency on Thursday provides a toll-free number to field queries from detainees held by state or local law enforcement agencies "if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime."

The hotline will be staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services will be available in several languages, ICE said in a news release.

"ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office for immediate action," it added.

Scores of state and local police forces partner with the U.S. federal government under the so-called 287 g program. It empowers participating agencies to enforce immigration law, although its implementation has been controversial.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department said a hard-line Arizona sheriff and his deputies violated U.S. civil rights laws by engaging in racial profiling of Latinos and making unlawful arrests in their bid to crack down on illegal immigrants.

In a separate move, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ended the 287 g agreement with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office that allowed its deputies to screen jail inmates for their immigration status.

As part of the initiative announced Thursday, ICE said a form will also be issued to all detainees -- with available translations in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Vietnamese -- informing them that ICE will assume their custody within 48 hours.

"It also advises individuals that if ICE does not take them into custody within the 48 hours, they should contact the police agency or entity that is holding them to inquire about their release from state or local custody," it said.


Brussels rules let 11,000 migrants a year slip into the UK by the back door

Brussels rules are letting thousands of migrants into Britain ‘by the back door’. Nearly 11,000 moved here this year on the basis of having been given citizenship in another EU country.

The total, revealed in figures from the Office for National Statistics, is up more than a third on the 8,000 cases recorded in 2006. Many of the migrants would normally have been barred from taking up residence in Britain.

But under EU rules they are automatically entitled to come here once they have EU citizenship and start working – or claiming benefits. The data, compiled from passenger surveys, shows that 47,000 non-EU immigrants have found their way to the UK using this method over the past five years.

Priti Patel, the Tory MP who uncovered the information, said the loophole completely undermined Government efforts to curb the surge in immigration that took place under Labour. She urged ministers to raise the issue in Brussels and take action to wrest back control of Britain’s borders.

Miss Patel took up the issue herself after a BBC documentary in October highlighted the case of an Ecuadorean family who moved to London after gaining citizenship in Spain. The family of six were receiving £2,300 a month in housing benefit to rent a flat in Islington, as well as tax credits and child benefit.

Miss Patel said she was ‘astonished’ by the number of people entering the UK by this route. She added: ‘The Government has made a commitment to cut immigration from outside the EU into Britain. But those efforts are being completely undermined by this astonishing loophole which has already allowed 10,000 non-Europeans to sneak in through the backdoor each year.

‘The British public are living with the consequences of a decade of Labour’s open door policy on immigration which is why this Government must take on these EU laws that let non-Europeans come into Britain and access jobs and benefits. ‘It is in the British interest to reject these laws and on this issue, just say no to Europe.

‘This also raises the question of why these people are choosing to come here. They have entered the EU elsewhere and chosen to become citizens of other EU countries, yet they are still coming here. ‘Is it down to a benefits system which encourages people to come here and live off the state?’

The revelation raises fresh questions about the Coalition’s pledge to cut net immigration to under 100,000 a year. Last month official figures revealed that the figure had soared to a record 252,000 in 2010.

EU countries all have different requirements for migrants wanting to become a citizen, and there are fears that some could be a soft touch for those whose ultimate aim is to come to the UK.

EU rules mean that asylum seekers are meant to be dealt with in the country of their arrival. But in cases where a migrant or asylum seeker has been granted citizenship they are free to travel anywhere in the EU.

Critics claim that Britain’s generous benefits system acts as a magnet for migrants.

Ministers have introduced a range of measures designed to curb immigration, including a cap on the number of non-EU economic migrants coming here and a crackdown on bogus colleges providing a route into Britain for migrants posing as students.

But officials admit there is little they can do to curb immigration from the EU, because free movement of labour is a fundamental principle of the single market.

A landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice last week stripped Britain of its power to return asylum seekers to Greece. Under EU rules, British officials can return asylum seekers to the first European country they set foot in. But the ECJ last week said no one should be returned to a country if it did not uphold their ‘fundamental rights’. This would rule out Greece because its asylum system is in such a mess. Around 90 per cent of illegal migrants enter Europe through the country.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Latinos loyal to Obama despite anger over president's immigration record

Research shows Latino voters continue to favour Obama over GOP candidates in spite of policy of deporting illegal immigrants

The Pew Hispanic Centre, in its annual survey of Latino attitudes, found 59% disapproved of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP
More than two-thirds of Latinos in the US disapprove of the Obama administration's record of deporting illegal immigrants, according to a Pew report published on Wednesday.

In spite of this, Obama and the Democrats continue to enjoy the overwhelming support of Latinos ahead of next year's White House and Congressional elections.

The findings come as Obama, after months of low ratings among the general public, is ending the year with a bounce in approval polls.

The loyalty of the Latino vote could prove crucial for Obama's re-election chances. With support for Obama near monolithic among African Americans and low among white males, the Latinos may hold the balance.

Obama put at risk Latino loyalty by pursuing an aggressive policy of deportations, the number of which are much higher than under the Bush administration.

After a backlash from Latino communities, the Obama administration earlier this year said it had rowed back on deportations, though Latino advocacy groups have expressed scepticism over whether this is the case.

Deportations have averaged 400,000 a year since 2009, when Obama became president, about 30% higher than under the Bush administration in his second term and double that of Bush, who courted Latinos, in his first term.

The Pew Hispanic Centre, in its annual survey of Latino attitudes, found 59% disapproved of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations compared with 27% who approve.

Many Latinos remain unaware that deportations have risen under Obama. Among those that do, the disapproval rate jumps to 77%. Bush attempted to win over Latinos to the Republican party, as did the 2008 presidential candidate John McCain. Bush and McCain backed proposals to reform immigration policy that would have provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but had to back down in the face of widespread hostility from Republicans in Congress and grassroots GOP members.

The rhetoric from the present Republican field, which largely hostile towards illegal immigrants with the exception of Newt Gingrich and, to a lesser extent, Rick Perry, has consolidated traditional Latino support for the Democrats.

The survey found that among registered Latino voters Obama enjoys the support of 68%, against 23% for Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner in the White House race. The ratio is almost identical if Obama were to face Perry.

Against McCain, Obama won 67% of the Latino vote against 31% for McCain.

Among Latinos who disapprove of Obama's handling of the deportations, his support drops to 57% to 34% against Romney, and 61% to 31% against Perry.

That drop is a warning for Obama. The Republicans do not have to secure a majority of the Latinos to win; they just need to make a significant inroad into the Democratic majority in swing states.

One option discussed among Republicans to win over Latinos is to appoint Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida who is of Cuban descent, as a vice-presidential running mate. But 54% of those surveyed said they had never heard of Rubio, or were unable to rate him. Rubio, one of the rising stars of the Republican party, has said he would not accept the vice-presidential job, insisting he is too young and that he needs to spend more time in the Senate.

The survey, carried out between 9 November and 7 December across the US, questioned 1,220 Latinos, of whom 557 said they were registered voters.

Obama's job approval ratings have, in line with polls of the general population, dropped among Latinos, from 58% in 2010 to 49%, according to the survey.

The survey was taken too early to reflect a general rise in Obama's approval ratings in recent weeks. The rise could be a result of public unhappiness with the Republican field or, more likely, tentative signs of improvement in the economy, the exit from Iraq or Obama's successful stand-off with Republicans in Congress last week over the payroll tax.

A Gallup poll showed his approval rating up to 46%, his highest since July. He stood at 41% at the start of December.


Georgia Counties Enforce Immigration Law

Georgia cities and counties are preparing to comply with the state’s new immigration law, known as HB 87. That will mean proving, among other things, they aren’t issuing contracts to companies that employ illegal immigrants. Some of the law’s provisions go into effect this weekend.

The law will require firms bidding for public contracts to submit affidavits that their employees are authorized to work here.

Starting in January, many companies will begin using the federal E-Verify database to vet employees’ immigration status.

Todd Edwards is with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. He says his group’s members also have to handle that part of the law.

“Like many of the other laws passed at the General Assembly, that primarily falls on your cities and counties to enforce," he said in an interview. "That’s because the mechanism by which companies were to sign up for a business license or an alcohol license at the local level, we’re in charge of checking that they have indeed used E-Verify, and we have to report that as well.”

Beginning in 2012, Georgia cities and counties will have to verify that every company receiving a business license or permit isn’t employing illegal immigrants. The municipalities will produce a report at the end of each year that identifies new license recipients and provides proof that they comply with the law.

The requirements are part of Georgia’s new immigration law.

Edwards says municipalities have spent months preparing for the procedures. But he says the law is still raising some administrative concerns:

“With the large counties, the sheer amount of benefits, the licenses, the permits issued," he said. "And for the small counties that don’t have the professional staffs, to have this along with all the other requirements coming from the state added to their work.”

An immigration enforcement board will review citizen complaints about how local governments are enforcing the law.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An informed comment on illegal immigration into Australia

I'd just like to point out, having just written my Masters thesis on this very topic, that while the majority of Australia's asylum seekers arrive by plane, this majority is much slimmer than imagined. Last year the spread was something like 46% boat and 54% air and the last few years have all been like this - I can provide some sources on this if you like.

Of those who arrive by plane, only a small percentage are actually illegal, in that they have no permission to enter - and those that are are removed from the country via the next available flight to their point of origin. The majority of our ASYLUM SEEKERS who DO enter by plane do so on tourist or short term working holiday visas and then apply for asylum, which it is perfectly legal to do.

To emphasise, boat arrivals are placed in detention NOT because they are seeking asylum. Seeking asylum in Australia is perfectly legal, they are in detention because they arrive without permission (unlike plane arrivals who largely show up with a valid visa of some kind). While I don't defend the morality of mandatory detention, this is an important distinction.

Boat arrivals fill our detention centres because they are the largest group of people who enter Australia illegally and are then detained (not sent home immediately).


Recent posts at CIS below

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

1. Cheap Labor as Cultural Exchange: The $100 Million Work Travel Industry (A Four Part Backgrounder Series)

2. Connecting the Dots (Memorandum)

3. Harvard Affiliate, DoL Gang Up to Lower Wages for a High-Tech Worker (Blog)

4. Assimilation: Erasing Differences? (Blog)

5. In Arizona, Our Tax Dollars at Work Stopping Immigration Enforcement (Blog)

6. Other Nations Deal With Immigration/Marriage Complications – U.S. Does Not (Blog)

7. National Harmony (Blog)

8. When All Else Fails, Sell Paranoia (Blog)

9. Propaganda Against GOP Immigration Control (Blog)

10. More Gibberish from Newt (Blog)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

British taxpayer funding £100,000 a day for failed asylum seekers

The British taxpayer is spending more than £100,000 a day to house failed asylum seekers who have no right to be in the country

The Home Office spent almost £40 million last year supporting so-called “hard cases” – asylum seekers who have had their claims rejected but cannot leave for one reason or another. It is usually because of unsafe conditions in their home country, a medical condition or they have launched a judicial review on a legal point in their case.

But in the meantime the taxpayer must fund their accommodation and living allowances.

And the cost of the asylum system is growing after separate figures showed the number of asylum seekers who are still awaiting a decision and need accommodation increased in 2011.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “This is a measure of the lengths to which people will go to stay in Britain. “But in the end, if their cases fail they must leave or the credibility of the whole system is completely undermined.”

Under what is known as Section 4 support, asylum seekers who have had their claim for shelter rejected but cannot currently return home are given accommodation and living support. In the 12 months up to September 2011, a total of 4,430 people were awarded such support – the equivalent of 12 a day. Some of those will have since left the country but others may be here indefinitely if their particular circumstances do not change.

Over the period, the Home Office spent £38.2 million on Section 4 support or £104,658 a day.

To be eligible for such support, a failed asylum seeker must be destitute and satisfy one of the following requirements.

They taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK, cannot leave because of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason, cannot leave the UK because, in the Secretary of State's opinion, no viable route of return is currently available or have applied for a judicial review of their asylum application and been given permission to proceed with it.

As well as accommodation, recipients are given a payment card, worth £35.39 per person a week, which is used to buy food and essential toiletries. However, they cannot use the payment card to obtain cash from a cash point or car fuel.

It emerged in May that the public are paying more than £1 million a month to "bribe" illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers to go home.

Up to £74 million has been spent in the past five years on a voluntary return scheme for those who have no right to remain in the UK. The programme offers packages worth up to £2,000 of "in kind" support, such as help setting up home or a business, in return for them not fighting removal.

Destitute asylum seekers whose cases are still being considered and who are not detained are also given support. Some 2,406 applicants were given such support in the first nine months of 2011 suggesting the annual total will be higher than the 2,551 awarded it throughout the whole of 2010.


California Restaurant Owner Fined $400,000 for Hiring Illegals

Why come down so heavily on this guy? Did he vote Republican or something? They could have done the same to almost any eatery in CA

In a rare case of prosecutors going after a business for employing undocumented immigrants, a judge slapped the owner of a popular San Diego restaurant with a $400,000 fine for illegal hiring.

Michel Malecot, 59, was spared prison time and his fines and penalties were below the $650,000 sought by federal prosecutors.

Malecot, a naturalized U.S. citizen from France and a major donor to local charities, appeared to hire undocumented immigrants at The French Gourmet out of compassion rather than to take advantage of them, said U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan, who also ordered five years of probation.

The case has drawn attention from restaurant owners because criminal prosecutions of employers are fairly rare. Federal prosecutors face high burdens of proof to show that employers knowingly hired undocumented immigrants.

Rebecca Kanter, an assistant U.S. attorney, urged a higher fine against Malecot to deter other employers from illegal hiring. The restaurant employed 91 undocumented immigrants over several years.

"This is the type of cost that can be absorbed," she said of the nearly $400,000 fine. [Easy for her to say}

The prosecutor challenged the judge's assertion that Malecot acted out of compassion, saying he had a financial motive. Kanter said it would have been illogical for him to hire undocumented immigrants at the same wages and conditions of those legally allowed to work.

Eugene Iredale, Malecot's attorney, said the restaurant owner learned his employees were working illegally after he hired them and "couldn't pull the trigger to fire someone." "His work has truly been dedicated to helping others," Iredale said.

Malecot, who pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor that carried a maximum penalty of six months in custody, apologized to the judge and said he took steps to avoid illegal hiring. The French Gourmet signed up for a program to verify the immigration status of new hires on a federal database.

Malecot's family, friends and employees packed the courtroom. A boyhood admirer of John Wayne, Malecot came to the United States as a young adult and found success in the restaurant business, opening his bistro in San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood in 1979.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Judge rules against Arizona sheriff in immigrant stops

A federal judge on Friday barred high profile Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio from detaining people simply for being in the country illegally, in a ruling that faulted the local lawman for enforcing federal immigration law.

The 40-page written opinion by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow came on the same day he issued legal sanctions against Arpaio over destroyed documents.

The decisions come as a further blow for the controversial sheriff, who already has faced rebukes from the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

Both rulings by Snow stemmed from a 2007 civil lawsuit against Arpaio and his agency, which accuses his officers of racial profiling of Latinos in traffic stops the judge found were conducted as immigration sweeps.

The judge also said officers with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department (MCSO), which covers Phoenix and surrounding areas, circulated emails that "compared Mexicans to dogs" and portrayed them "as drunks."

"Local law enforcement agencies, such as MCSO, may not enforce civil federal immigration law," Snow said in his written opinion. He added that the sheriff's agency was "hereby enjoined" from detaining "any person based only on knowledge or reasonable belief, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States."

In his ruling, Snow also granted a request by plaintiffs to certify the lawsuit as a class action.

He defined the class action as encompassing all Latinos "stopped, detained, questioned or searched" by Arpaio's officers "while driving or sitting in a vehicle" on roads or parking areas in Maricopa County.


Snow also cited the admitted destruction of emails and patrol records by Arpaio's office related to the case. He noted the sheriff's agency never contested those documents were shredded rather than lost.

Further proceedings in the case are expected to be decided by Snow rather than a jury because the plaintiffs have not requested a jury trial.

Snow's sanctions against Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office were outlined in written opinions issued a day after the judge heard oral arguments on the matter.

Separately last week, the U.S. Justice Department issued a scathing report accusing Arpaio and his deputies of engaging in a "pervasive culture of discriminatory bias" and violating civil rights laws by singling out Latinos for unlawful detention and arrests.

The same day, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security barred Arpaio's deputies from screening jail inmates for their immigration status.

Arpaio was given until January 4 to agree to negotiations addressing the abuses cited by the Justice Department or face a request for a court order requiring compliance.

The Justice Department's report and the similar allegations raised in the lawsuit relate to Arpaio's controversial efforts to crack down on illegal immigration in Maricopa County.

Those efforts have earned him accolades in conservative political circles. Several candidates for the Republican presidential nomination sought his endorsement, which ultimately went to Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Arpaio has denied that his department engages in racial profiling and accused the Justice Department under President Barack Obama of undermining immigration enforcement.

The sheriff was a strong supporter of controversial new Arizona law SB 1070, requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they detain and suspect of being in the country illegally.

That law is under challenge by the Obama administration in a case the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide next year.


In family horror, some Canadians see culture clash

On a summer morning in 2009, in canal locks east of Toronto, police made a grisly discovery: In a submerged Nissan car were the bodies of three teenage sisters and a 52-year-old woman.

A joyride gone tragically wrong, claimed the father, Mohammad Shafia, 58, who reported the disappearance. An "honor killing," prosecutors allege. A murder trial is under way, heating up a national debate about how to better absorb immigrants into the Canadian cultural mainstream.

The prosecution accuses Afghan-born Shafia, his wife, and their 20-year-old son of killing the daughters because they dishonored the family by defying its disciplinarian rules on dress, dating, socializing and going online. The older victim was Shafia's first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad, who was living with him and his second wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, in Montreal. It was a polygamous relationship, the court has been told, and if revealed, could have resulted in their deportation.

The parents and son, Hamed, have pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder.

The family had left Afghanistan in 1992 and lived in Pakistan, Australia and Dubai before settling in Canada in 2007. Shafia, a wealthy businessman, married Yahya because his first wife could not have children. The second marriage produced seven children.

The months leading up to the deaths were not happy ones in the Shafia household, the court has heard. Zainab, the oldest at 19, was forbidden to attend school for a year because she had a young Pakistani-Canadian boyfriend, and she fled to a shelter, terrified of her father, the court was told.

The jury heard testimony that Zainab's sisters, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, were hounded and trailed by their brothers because the parents suspected them of dating boys; that Sahar repeatedly said her father would kill her if he found out she had a boyfriend; that she had bruises on her arms; that Mohammad, the first wife who was helping to raise the children, also was brutally treated.

Zainab ran away from home for a couple of weeks and her sisters contacted authorities, saying they wanted to be removed from the home because of violence and their father's strict parenting, the prosecution said.

Prosecutor Laurie Lacelle presented wire taps and cell phone records from the Shafia family in court. In one phone conversation, the father says his daughters "betrayed us immensely."

Fazil Javad, Shafia's brother-in-law, said Shafia tried to enlist him in a plan to drown Zainab.

"Even if they hoist me up to the gallows, nothing is more dear to me than my honor. There is nothing more valuable than our honor," Lacelle quoted Shafia as saying in an intercept transcript.

Taking the stand and speaking in his native Dari through an interpreter, Shafia portrayed himself as a loving father with his daughters' best interests at heart. He repeated his contention that the famil members were returning from a Niagara Falls holiday, were in two cars, and were overnighting at a motel when Zainab took one of the cars.

The daughters met an accidental but "rightful" death for their disobedience, he said.

"You believe there's no value in life without honor, don't you?" asked Lacelle in cross-examination. "My honor is important to me," Shafia replied. "But you can't regain your honor with murder, respected lady, you must know that. "I'm a strict Muslim, but I'm not a killer."

Other relatives — two of the children and a brother-in-law of Shafia — testified in support of the joyride scenario and portrayed the family as loving and caring.

The trial then adjourned for the holidays and will resume on Jan. 9.

Canada takes in 250,000 immigrants a year, more per capita than anywhere save Australia, and in recent years a number of so-called honor killings have prompted debate about absorbing immigrants into the mainstream and dealing with culture clashes between immigrant parents and their children. Even before the trial, Rona Ambrose, the women's affairs minister, had said the federal government was considering making such killings a separate category in the criminal code.

Her office has not replied to recent questions about whether the change is going through, and the debate continues about the larger issues the Shafia case has raised about assimilating immigrants.

More than 80 Canadian Muslim organizations, imams and community leaders have signed a call for action against "the reality of domestic violence within our own communities, compounded by abhorrent and yet persistent pre-Islamic practices rooted in the misguided notion of restoring family honor."

On the other hand, statistically, nonimmigrant Canadians have a higher rate of murdering spouses and children, in some instances, also over family dishonor. Jeffrey Reitz, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in immigration issues, warns against using the term honor killings and equating it with any specific culture.

"If you label it an honor killing, the tendency is to say, 'Oh, what a terrible culture that is,' and the problem (of domestic violence) stems across cultural groups," he said.

The United Nations reports 5,000 females a year are victims of honor killings around the world. In Canada, social worker Aruna Papp says she has counted 15 cases since 2002, while psychiatrist Amin Muhammad, commissioned to write a report for the government about honor killings in Canada, predicts there will be more as immigrant communities grow, bringing in some newcomers with militant cultural beliefs.

"Immigrants who come here can't bring their own mindsets with them. They can't practice their own cultural ideologies if they go against the grain," he said.

The government must do more, and offer services that are more visible and accessible, especially to non-English-speakers, he said.

Tarek Fatah, the Pakistani-born founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, is a fierce opponent of Islamic militancy. He says it is shocking that honor killings are happening in Canada, calling them "a slap in the face of our fundamental value of what it is to be a human being."

Papp, the social worker who wrote a report on honor killings for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a privately funded conservative think tank, worries that domestic violence rooted in family honor has spread to second-generation families. She argues for tougher background checks on would-be immigrants, as well as teaching immigrants Canadian rights and values.

Papp, who is of Indian descent, speaks from experience. "I came here when I was 21, with a third-grade education. I had children when I was young. I didn't know how to properly parent," she said. "I did and said things I didn't know at the time were wrong, things my parents did and said to me growing up that were acceptable within the Indian culture. It's a learning process. Parents, especially immigrant parents, need to be taught parenting skills and what's acceptable behavior here."


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Immigration should be conditional upon assimilation

At Christmas, we hear once again about refugees---this time the family of Joseph, Mary, and the soon-to-be born Baby Jesus. It is a touching story-and timelessly evocative of so many millions of people who have had to flee for their lives from persecution.

The 20th century has been a time of the largest dislocation of people in history. World Wars I and II uprooted millions, all seeking sanctuary in the West. However, there was no rush of refugees to the Middle East or to the Communist world; on the contrary, walls and laws were built to keep those people from leaving.

Today, for the first time since the Dark Ages, Europe is facing the same torrent of refugees that the United States and Israel took in after World War II: refugees who fled from monstrous abuse elsewhere. It is wonderful to be given such refuge, but with it comes responsibilities that some do not accept, with terrible consequences for the hosts.

President Obama recently quoted from the “Square Deal” speech by President Theodore Roosevelt. But there was another speech that we should know. During the refugee flood to America that peaked at the turn of the 20th century, President Roosevelt spoke on immigrant responsibilities. He said:
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

It is too bad that European countries did not have such guidance. In naive liberalism, Europe has admitted a flood of migrants without attempting to compel them to make the choice: assimilate to our 200-year-old modern civilization or go back to your homelands. Although the majority of Muslim refugees in Europe want to remain, they are being seduced by an international movement, Jihadi Islam, that insists that yielding to Western culture is an insult to Islam.

Catholic schools displaying crucifixes on the classroom walls are being sued by Muslims who feel “insulted,” and nursery schools are harangued for reading “The Three Little Pigs” to children.

Something is wrong with this. When publications that dare to be irreverent toward Islam (as they are to all establishments) are fire-bombed by irate Muslims, freedom of speech is under assault. Too many are now afraid to offend these Islamists. All Europeans (and Americans) should respond with indignation and arrests.

Many Americans are concerned over our flood of refugees from Mexico and Central America. All prior immigrants to this country: Germans, Irish, Jews, Italians, Chinese, and Japanese, were initially feared by those already here. However, they took Theodore Roosevelt's admonitions to heart. All, including the present ones from Mexico, want to become good Americans. Secular Muslims (such as Iranians who fled from the Ayatollah's nightmare theocracy) have also become good Americans. Decent Muslim families from Somalia who have gone to the FBI to report the pied pipers who are seducing their boys into becoming Jihadi terrorists, are good Americans-despite attacks from Islamists activists such as CAIR, calling them “turncoats.”

There should always be room at the inn for those who want to join us. The others should not be given this sanctuary. One does not let wolves come in to take over the house.


LAPD Turns a Blind Eye to Illegal Aliens without Driver’s Licenses

There was a time in California when the law affected the number of illegal aliens coming over the border. Today it is the number that affects the law.

Things in Los Angeles have reached the point that illegal aliens — people who by all rights ought not to be living here in the first place — are nonetheless able to exert sufficient influence on politicians that public policy is altered to suit their desires. Witness the debate taking place (if one can truly call it a debate; the conclusion is foregone) over the impounding of cars driven by unlicensed drivers.

California law authorizes police officers to impound cars found to be driven by unlicensed drivers. It further authorizes the storage of those cars for 30 days so as to discourage the unlicensed drivers from returning to the roads. Under direction from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is weighing a policy change for his department that would require officers, who having stopped an unlicensed driver, to allow him time to summon a licensed driver to the scene and release the car to him. This proposed change in policy was discussed at a Dec. 13 meeting of the Los Angeles police commission, the five-member civilian panel that oversees the LAPD. That meeting, which can be viewed here, was remarkable for its near-total obfuscation of the impetus behind the proposed change, which is to make Los Angeles more hospitable to illegal aliens.

There was a time in California and indeed the entire country when the law affected the number of illegal aliens coming over the border. How quaint that notion seems now, for today it is the number that affects the law. There are approximately 600,000 illegal aliens living in the city of Los Angeles, or about 15 percent of the total population. For the time being, California law does not allow non-citizens to obtain driver’s licenses, but many illegal aliens choose to risk the consequences and drive anyway. When they are stopped for a driving infraction and found to be unlicensed, they are cited and their cars are impounded in accordance with the Vehicle Code, which draws no distinctions between U.S. citizens who for whatever reason fail to obtain driver’s licenses and illegal aliens who are prohibited from doing so. Advocates for illegal aliens claim that enforcement of the laws requiring driver’s licenses and the consequent impoundment of cars place an undue burden on otherwise law-abiding people.

The illegal alien lobby has no better friend than Mayor Villaraigosa, who earlier this year put the camel’s nose into the tent on the issue of impounding cars driven by unlicensed drivers. At the mayor’s urging, the LAPD instituted a policy that allowed a sober but unlicensed driver discovered at a sobriety checkpoint to call for a licensed driver to take charge of his car and thereby avoid having it impounded. The proposed new policy would extend this procedure to all traffic stops.

“It’s a fairness issue,” Chief Beck told the Los Angeles Times. “There is a vast difference between someone driving without a license because they cannot legally be issued one and someone driving after having their license revoked.”

Indeed there is, and those differences are already recognized in California law, specifically in the punishments prescribed for each offense. But in seeking “fairness,” or his idea of it, the chief ignores the specific language of state law as it pertains to the seizure of cars from unlicensed drivers. Section 14607.4(f) of the California Vehicle Code reads as follows:

It is necessary and appropriate to take additional steps to prevent unlicensed drivers from driving, including the civil forfeiture of vehicles used by unlicensed drivers. The state has a critical interest in enforcing its traffic laws and in keeping unlicensed drivers from illegally driving. Seizing the vehicles used by unlicensed drivers serves a significant governmental and public interest, namely the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of Californians from the harm of unlicensed drivers, who are involved in a disproportionate number of traffic incidents, and the avoidance of the associated destruction and damage to lives and property.

It’s worth noting that in 2008 the city of Los Angeles was one of several cities and counties named as defendants in a federal civil lawsuit that challenged the current impound policy. The U.S. District Court granted summary judgment to the defendants, a decision affirmed by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a court not widely known for being a friend to law enforcement. In so ruling, the Court stated, “This limited application [of the impound authority in the California Vehicle Code] accords with the California legislature’s determination that such a temporary forfeiture is warranted to protect Californians from the harm caused by unlicensed drivers — a determination we have no basis to reject.”

And yet now the LAPD’s chief, based on his own — and the mayor’s of course — sense of “fairness,” rejects this same determination.

So how “fair” will this new policy be to those who come to suffer for it? Just as I sat down to write this column I came across this story of a traffic accident in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. A 60-year-old woman, Patricia Ellen Riedy of Wildwood, Mo., was struck and killed by a car driven by an unlicensed driver, 36-year-old Martha Cruz. The story makes no mention of Ms. Cruz’s immigration status, though one might draw an inference based on her surname. But whether a citizen or not, she had no right to be behind the wheel of the car that killed the unfortunate Ms. Riedy, whose survivors might offer instruction to Chief Beck on what is “fair.”

The people of the state of California, through their elected representatives, have decided that people who drive while unlicensed, whatever the reason, should have their cars impounded. It is not for the mayor of Los Angeles or his chief of police to decide otherwise.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

States Looking for New Ways to Combat Illegal Immigration in 2012

2011 is coming to an end and many state lawmakers have their eyes on curbing illegal immigration in 2012. With several states -- Arizona, Mississippi, Indiana, Utah, South Carolina and Alabama -- already paving the way, lawmakers in other states are looking for similar legislation to remove "magnets" drawing illegal aliens to their states.

While lawmakers in Arizona, Mississippi, Indiana, Utah, South Carolina and Alabama have successfully passed strong enforcement legislation against illegal immigration, they still face tough challenges from the federal government. The U.S Department of Justice has moved forward with lawsuits against four of those states, and Arizona's well-known bill, S.B. 1070, will be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court some time next spring.

The main focus of the DOJ lawsuits are laws that give local police authority to check the immigration status for individuals during traffic stops and other minor violations. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach told USA Today that legislators will look at ways to restrict illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits, as well as expand the use of tools such as E-Verify.

Kobach highlighted that Alabama was the first state to legitimately prevent illegal aliens from conducting business transactions, and invalidated all their contracts. This is in addition to the withholding of public benefits to illegal aliens, and preventing them from acquiring a job.

North Carolina, which is estimated to have over 325,000 illegal aliens living in the state, is expected to be the next state to mobilize tougher enforcement legislation. North Carolina state Rep. Harry Warren said he is looking at Alabama's laws as he puts together a package for his state's 2012 legislative session.

"The only thing you can do in your state is make it less attractive [for illegal immigrants] to come to, a little harder to live here legally," Warren said.


Now migrants flooding OUT of Europe in search of jobs as tens of thousands flee Portugal, Ireland and Greece

Tens of thousands of Portuguese, Greek and Irish people are abandoning their homelands as job prospects look increasingly dire. Migrants used to see the EU as a top destination for work and a better lifestyle, but now a stream of Europeans are leaving the continent, figures show.

In the past year, 2,500 Greeks have left for Australia alone and at least 10,000 Portuguese people have moved to Angola, according to the Guardian.

Ireland's official statistics office predicted that 50,000 people will have deserted their home country by the end of the year, with many heading to Australia and the U.S.

The trend could become even worse, with Britain potentially losing its pull for workers who have vital skills to contribute.

With migration trends reversing, unusual routes have apparently become popular, including Lisbon to Luanda, Dublin to Perth and Barcelona to Buenos Aires.

Portugal's foreign ministry reportedly said 97,616 of its people are now registered at the consulates in Benguele and Luanda - almost double the number who were there in 2005.

The Portuguese are also heading in their droves to former colonies such as Brazil and Mozambique, with Brazil seeing a 50 per cent rise in foreign residents in just a year. Goncalo Pires, a graphic designer who moved from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, told the Guardian: 'It's a pretty depressing environment there [in Portugal]. 'In Brazil, by contrast, there are lots of opportunities to find work, to find clients and projects.'

Joy Drosis, who left her homeland of Greece for Australia, said she felt she would have been doomed if she had stayed.

In Ireland, where 14.5 per cent of the population are jobless, emigration has climbed steadily since 2008, with 40,200 Irish passport-holders said to have left in the 12 months to April this year, up from 27,700 the previous year.

There are reports of similar trends in Spain and Italy, and fears young European sports stars are leaving their birth countries for places such as Australia.

Experts believe the exodus from Ireland will only increase, given the £1.4bn tax rises and austerity measures just announced.

Greece lost 9.4 per cent of its doctors in just one year, with most immigrants arriving from poorer countries and often lacking the skills to replace them in the economy.


Friday, December 23, 2011

U.S. to cut three quarters of National Guard troops on the border in "cost-cutting" measure

The number of National Guard troops on the border between the U.S. and Mexico will be cut by three quarters over the next year, the government has announced. From next month the force of 1,200 border guards will be reduced to fewer than 300, a Defense Department official said yesterday.

The measure will cost $60million - compared to $1.35billion for the deployments so far, an average of over $200million per year.

The remaining troops will shift their focus from patrolling the border on the ground, looking for illegal immigrants and smugglers, to aerial surveillance missions using military helicopters and airplanes equipped with high-tech radar and other gear. 'We are basically going from boots on the ground to boots in the air,' said David Aguilar, deputy commissioner for Customs and Border Protection.

Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said his agency is working on identifying the 'areas of greatest concern' along the border - including Arizona and southern Texas.

George W. Bush first ordered Guard troops to the southern border from 2006 to 2008, and his successor Barack Obama ordered another round of troops in August 2010. The second lot were supposed to be in place for about a year, but Mr Obama extended the deployment earlier this year, and the reduced force is now expected to stay until the end of 2012.

Republicans have objected to reducing the number of troops, arguing that the border isn't secure and reducing the number of people patrolling the area doesn't help security. 'If the Obama administration's goal is border security, their actions undermine their objective,' said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 'The administration's decision to draw down the National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border makes an already porous border worse.'

Mr Aguilar, who previously led the Border Patrol, said there is still work to be done at the border but that successes in securing the frontier have allowed the government to reduce the number of troops and change the nature of the mission.

In the last year Border Patrol agents made 327,577 arrests, the fewest since 1972. There are also more than 18,500 agents patrolling the border, the highest number in the agency's history.


Justice Department Goes after Sheriff Joe

Eric Holder’s U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division has released the findings of its three-year witch hunt of America’s most popular and effective sheriff, Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Among the findings were that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) used “racial profiling” in traffic stops, and that a Latino was “four to nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Maricopa County has a population of 3.8 million residents, which is over half of all Arizona residents. Of that number, 29.6 percent are persons of Hispanic or Latino origin. By virtue of numbers, Latinos have a one-in-three chance of being pulled over for a traffic violation, regardless of the “situation.”

Further, I’ve never seen a black illegal Mexican alien or one that looked like he was born in China.

Throughout the Justice Department’s report of findings, the words “illegal alien” could be substituted easily for “Latino” because this is what it is all about. Holder’s headhunters are trying to intimidate Sheriff Arpaio and other border state law enforcement officials to back off from enforcing federal immigration laws.

The truth is that by virtue of location, Arizona, and Maricopa County in particular, have been plagued by illegal Mexicans. Citizen complaints and aggressive law enforcement have led to the arrest and deportation of thousands of illegal aliens. This is something Holder’s Department of Justice aims to stop, especially in light of being within a year of a presidential election.

Holder and his army of attorneys have already sued Arizona and other states for passing legislation allowing police officers to challenge persons lawfully detained to prove they are in the country legally if they have reason to suspect they are not. Holder’s U.S. Attorneys refuse to prosecute illegal aliens even when they have been captured numerous times. “Catch and release” is the preferred method of dealing with those pesky illegals who always seem to find themselves in custody by local law enforcement because the Department of Homeland Security refuses to deploy the necessary assets to take care of the problem.

Did I mention President Obama is sending home half the National Guard troops deployed along the border to assist the Border Patrol?

I didn’t read anything in the findings by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez about ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, in which assault rifles were allowed to “walk” across the border to fuel Mexico’s violent drug cartels and ultimately cause the death of a Border Patrol Agent in Arizona. Maybe if the MCSO had stopped a vehicle traveling southbound toward Mexico containing numerous weapons, they would have seized the weapons and arrested the driver. Oh, wait! I forgot that’s racial profiling according to Mr. Perez.

I also didn’t read anything about the Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, murdered on his own property by illegal Mexican aliens on their way through a known smuggling corridor. He also forgot to mention that the day before the shooting, the victim’s brother, Phil Krentz, reported drug smuggling activity on the ranch to the Border Patrol.

Nor did I read anything about the Border Patrol having reason to remove the warning sign 80-miles deep into Arizona that reads, “Danger – Public Warning Travel Not Recommended,” because “smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area.”

Mr. Perez does not have a $1 million bounty on his head offered by Mexican drug cartels like Sheriff Arpaio does. The sheriff did not earn that distinction for being America’s friendliest sheriff, but its toughest.

The Justice Department needs to stop focusing its energy on law enforcement officials doing their best to protect their citizens, and focus instead on the root cause of Arizona’s dilemma – lack of enforcement of federal immigration laws.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

British government trying to cover up illegal immigrant status of killer

Not surprising in the light of their chronic failure to deport criminal illegals

A murder victim’s family who want to know if the man who shot their son is in Britain legally have been refused the information – to protect the killer’s privacy.

Wintworth and Lurline Deslandes are desperate to confirm suspicions that Saturday Hassan is a foreign national so they can ensure he is deported if he is released from jail.

But they have been told the killer – who shot their public schoolboy son Darren in the head after being thrown out of the family’s pub – must agree to details of his immigration status being handed over to their MP.

Officials said this ‘personal information’ needed to be ‘safeguarded’ and cited the Data Protection Act in their refusal to hand it over.

The UK Border Agency also insisted it needed ‘written authority’ from Hassan himself, who is serving life with a minimum term of 37 years, before any details could be released.

The Deslandes family are enraged by the response and their case has sparked a furious reaction at Westminster, with the couple’s MP branding the decision ‘ridiculous’.

Their son, a former Dulwich College schoolboy who attended Brunel University and worked for a housing association, was due to be married to Abigail Beresford earlier this year.

Last night Croydon North MP Malcolm Wicks said: ‘The logic of that answer is that I should write a nice letter saying, “Dear murderer, would you give me permission to find out if you are a foreign national, so I can make sure in the future you are deported”.’ The former Labour business minister added: ‘It’s ridiculous. The family of the murdered man had a suspicion for some reason he might have been a foreign national and it didn’t come out in court.

‘My experience as an MP is that if you find out some criminal is a foreign national, I do my best to pressure the Home Office to check the person out. That’s one reason an MP should be able to find out.’

Hassan, 31, was thrown out of the Deslandes family’s pub – the Newton Arms in Croydon, South London – on New Year’s Eve 2009 after threatening a customer. Minutes later he returned with a semi-automatic weapon, firing at Darren, 34, and his younger brother Junior, who had evicted him.

Darren was shot in the head and died instantly. Junior, 26, was hit three times in the head, neck and shoulder. He was left critically ill but survived.

Mr Deslandes – who bought the pub in 1999 after working as an insurance underwriter in the City of London for 25 years – was hit over the head with the butt of the gun.

Last year Hassan was found guilty of murder and attempted murder at the Old Bailey and jailed. Judge David Paget said: ‘What you did has taken the life of a thoroughly good and worthy young man with his life before him and has devastated the lives of the whole Deslandes family, of Darren Deslandes’s fiancĂ©e and I dare say of others near and dear to them.’

The family insist the question of Hassan’s immigration status never came up at the trial.

During the trial, Mr Wicks wrote to the Home Office asking for information on the killer’s immigration status after the family told him they believed Hassan was in the country illegally, having arrived here from Guyana in South America.

On December 2 last year the UK Border Agency wrote back. A letter signed by the then chief executive, Lin Homer, refused to divulge any details about Hassan’s past.

She wrote: ‘I hope that you will appreciate that in order to safeguard an individual’s personal information and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, we are limited in what information we can provide when a request is made by someone, such as your constituent, who is not the subject of the application. Except in a few exceptional circumstances, we must ensure we have the written authority of the individual concerned before the information is divulged to anyone else.’

It also said the reply was a ‘proportionate response to protecting the privacy of the individual’.

Last night Mrs Deslandes, 57, said: ‘I do not see why he should have any data protection. He has killed someone. We are the victims and no one is there to protect us. He should be removed from the country.’ Mr Deslandes, 60, who is terminally ill with lung cancer, added: ‘He shot both of my sons and he tried to kill me as well, but he ran out of bullets.’

Raising the case in the in the House of Commons on Monday during a debate about the deportation of foreign nationals, Mr Wicks branded the decision ‘total nonsense’.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said he ‘rather agreed’ and described the situation as ‘absurd’. But officials admitted he was constrained by the Data Protection Act. Last night a Home Office official said: ‘The minister is able to discuss more in some cases but the Data Protection Act is what it is and he can’t act above that.’

A UKBA spokesperson said yesterday: 'Our immigration rules clearly state that a foreign national receiving a prison sentence of more than 12 months will automatically be considered for deportation.'

Mr Wicks raised the issue during a Commons debate on foreign criminals after a leaked Home Office report revealed foreign nationals allowed to remain in the UK have committed horrendous crimes including murder, rape and kidnap.

Ministers have pledged to increase the number of foreign nationals sent home but are being thwarted by the Human Rights Act, especially Article 8 which gives individuals a right to a ‘private and family life’.


Greens blamed for failure to stop illegal immigration to Australia

IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Bowen has attacked the humanitarian credentials of the Australian Greens after his attempt to end the stalemate over offshore processing failed amid fresh brawling with the Coalition.

Mr Bowen, struggling for a policy response to an ongoing flood of asylum-seeker boats arriving off northern Australia, described the Greens yesterday as "naive and out of touch" after the party's leader, Bob Brown, insisted offshore processing was no deterrent to people-smuggling.

The minister's comments came as government sources confirmed that they expected hundreds of asylum-seekers to enter Australia by boat over the coming holiday period and warned of a repeat of last weekend's sinking of an overloaded boat off Indonesia, in which as many as 200 Middle Eastern asylum-seekers headed for Australia drowned.

The tragedy continued to dominate political discourse yesterday as Labor and the Coalition parties insisted onshore processing was acting as a beacon to people-smugglers but remained deadlocked about the location for an offshore regime.

With the government promoting Malaysia and the Coalition sticking by its policy of reopening a processing centre on the Pacific island of Nauru, Senator Brown described their positions as "an anomaly" and said they were out of step with public opinion.

Senator Brown said that the most humane approach was to process asylum-seekers in Australia.

His position provoked a strong response last night from Mr Bowen, who said the Greens' view that the answer was to accept more refugees was "naive and not in touch with the practical reality and experience".

"He (Senator Brown) needs to consider that there is nothing humanitarian about a policy which says to people: your best chance of a new life in Australia is to risk your life to get here," Mr Bowen told The Australian.

"All the evidence shows that if you have proper offshore processing in place then it does discourage boat arrivals."

Earlier, Senator Brown said: "I say that Australia should be processing onshore because that is an international legal obligation."

When asked to respond to claims his policy attracted people-smugglers, the Greens leader said: "I'm not here to answer to The Australian's policy or the policies of the big parties; I'm here to promote our policy because it's humanitarian."

Asked for a solution to the fact that asylum-seekers were dying on their way to Australia, Senator Brown said: "There is none. Whether you take offshore or onshore. We know that from the terrible history."

Senator Brown said he was "mindful of the fact that the worst tragedy of this run of asylum-seekers to Australia, at least in recent history, was the SIEV X, which came after John Howard's policies of diverting people to Nauru".

Earlier yesterday, Labor revealed Julia Gillard had approached the Opposition Leader last Wednesday -- before the latest disaster -- for new talks to seek common ground to reinstate offshore processing.

Warning of worsening weather conditions north of Australia, the Prime Minister wrote in a letter to Mr Abbott: "I believe that in circumstances such as this the Australian people expect us to work together to ensure that the national interest is upheld."

In a written response, Mr Abbott refused: "This is a problem that you have created and it is your responsibility to solve."

Mr Abbott argued that the Coalition wanted processing of asylum-seekers on Nauru, a reinstatement of temporary protection visas and a policy of turning back asylum boats where possible. It was "pointless", Mr Abbott wrote, for new talks unless the government had a genuine new policy proposal to put forward.

Two further approaches this week by Wayne Swan, including one in which the Acting Prime Minister cited the parties' "shared responsibility" to find a solution, were also rejected.

Mr Bowen appeared to offer a compromise by saying processing on Nauru was impractical "in the absence" of processing under Labor's plan to send 800 asylum-seekers to Malaysia in return for 4000 approved refugees, which was taken to mean he was open to processing in both places.

But Coalition sources insisted they were not confident that the minister could win support from Ms Gillard for the position.

Mr Bowen last night told the ABC's 7.30 he would not place parameters around any "good faith" discussions with the opposition should they agree to talks.

"Our policy position is clear," the minister said. "We believe that temporary protection visas led to an increase in the number of people coming to Australia by boat because it denied family reunion and that said to people your only chance of coming is by boat. Turning back the boats is dangerous. The navy says it risks lives. I'm not going to walk away from those positions.

"But by the same token, I'm not going to say to the opposition 'come in and . . . these areas have parameters around them which we can't talk about'."


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Alabama jobless rate falls amid immigration reform

Alabama’s unemployment rate fell at a record pace in November amid stepped-up efforts by President Barack Obama’s deputies to frustrate enforcement of the state’s popular new immigration reform.

The state’s unemployment rate fell 0.6 percent in November to 8.7 percent, according to new state reports, partly because the state’s employers opened up jobs to Americans after shedding illegal immigrants.

The unemployment rate is far below October’s rate of 9.3 percent and September’s rate of 9.8 percent.

“The continued drop is proof that people — American Citizens [and] legal migrants, have suffered at the hands of politicians who choose politics over economics,” said Chuck Ellis, a council member in Northern Alabama’s Marshall County.

“What’s really amazing is that in Marshall County, a county of 95,000 residents, 30,000 workforce eligible, there are over 600 people who now have jobs that they didn’t have 6 months ago,” he said.

In November the county’s unemployment rate dropped 0.7 percent, from 8.1 percent to 7.4 percent. “Is that a difference of great significance? Ask those families for an answer as they undertake the Christmas season,” Ellis said.

Department of Justice officials, including civil-regulation chief Tom Perez, have repeatedly visited the state to invite people to make claims of discrimination.

Perez is pushing ahead with a lawsuit intended to gut the reform, which was supported by members of both parties, and by both white and African-American legislators.

Perez’s efforts have been broadcast by many established media outlets, many of which have also highlighted the reform’s painful impact on illegal immigrants. Few outlets, however, have detailed the beneficial impact of the state’s falling unemployment rate.

Administration officials have cracked down on immigration enforcement by several states in partial exchange for promises by the Hispanic lobbies to spur turnout by Democratic-leaning Hispanic voters in 2012.

The lobbies had sought a federal amnesty, but rising public opposition has deterred Democrats from seriously promoting any amnesty since Obama’s 2008 election.

In compensation for their inaction, the federal government and allied Hispanic lobbies have already sued several other states, including New Mexico, South Carolina, Georgia and Arizona.

The Alabama reform copied federal immigration laws, making it more difficult for local entrepreneurs and businesses to hire or trade with illegal immigrants. Top state officials, including Gov. Robert Bentley, have said they’ll make some trims to the law in the new year to defeat the legal challenges by Obama’s deputies, business lobbies and immigration advocates.

In October, Alabama was ranked 37th-worst in the nation for unemployment. November’s numbers pushed the state up to 30th place, based on the October rankings.

In a complex economy, “it’s certainly plausible that immigration enforcement — and the subsequent drop in the number of illegals — enabled unemployed Americans to find work,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a D.C. -based advocacy group.

“Americans with the highest unemployment rates — young workers, less-educated workers, minority workers — are the ones facing the greatest job competition from illegal aliens, and thus would benefit the most from the departure of those illegal aliens,” he added.

The state’s new immigration reform gets much of the credit from local boosters, although stepped-up Christmas hiring likely played some role. However, Alabama reduced its unemployment much more than the adjacent states of Mississippi and Georgia.

In Georgia, the unemployment rate fell to 9.9 percent in November, down from 10.2 percent in October and 10.3 percent in September.

In Mississippi, the November numbers have not been released, but the state’s unemployment rate stayed steady at 10.6 percent in October and 10.6 percent in September.

In Alabama, the unemployment rate is lower in northern counties. For example, Madison County’s rate was 6.9 percent in November, down from a September level of 8.2 percent, according to the state’s Department of Industrial Relations.

The highest rate of unemployment are in the southern, majority-black districts of WIlcox, Perry, and Bullock. In November, their unemployment rates were 15.5 percent or greater.


Cheap Labor as Cultural Exchange: Full Series Now Available Online

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report, “Cheap Labor as Cultural Exchange: The $100 Million Work Travel Industry”, is based on five months of reporting by CIS senior research fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning former journalist Jerry Kammer.

Table of Contents

Part One: The Globalization of the Summer Job. The story of SWT’s role in international diplomacy and of the intense, sophisticated, and lucrative recruitment both of the students whose fees fuel the industry and the employers who provide the jobs.

Part Two: Young Americans 'Don't Know How the System Works'. The story of young Americans displaced by SWT, which uses international job fairs to line up summer workers months in advance. A second story tells of the culture clash at Hershey, where the legend of a benevolent chocolate baron met the harsh reality of SWT.

Part Three: SWT in Alaska: Fish Sliming as Cultural Exchange. The story of SWT in Alaska, where some 2,000 'cultural exchange' workers take jobs that used to be magnets for American college students, including 1969 Wellesley graduate Hillary Rodham, now overseeing SWT as Secretary of State.

Part Four: 'A Cavalier Attitude': The State Department's Legacy of SWT Failure. The story of the State Department’s long history of mismanagement of SWT, including its indifference to its effects on American workers. Included is an interview with Rick Ruth, the State Department’s new man in charge of SWT.

Epilogue: An open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. CIS calls on Secretary Clinton, whose department oversees the SWT program, to reform it so today’s young Americans can enjoy the same summer work experiences as she did many years ago.

The series tells the story of the State Department’s troubled Summer Work Travel (SWT) program and its rapid growth over the past 15 years into a $100 million international industry that has spread around the globe. SWT is emblematic of a larger problem with the nation’s immigration system, where new programs are created and allowed to expand significantly without giving careful consideration to their impact on the labor market or the larger American society.

2011 was particularly turbulent for SWT. When the State Department issued new regulations in the spring, it acknowledged that some sponsors were neglecting their duties and that the existing regulations “do not sufficiently protect national security interests, the Department’s reputation, and the health, safety and welfare of Summer Work Travel program participants.” In short, the program had been infected by many abuses, leaving some participants defrauded and allowing others to be recruited by organized crime or strip club owners.

In the summer of 2011, Stanley Colvin, the State Department official who long directed SWT and other exchange programs, was quietly replaced. Then the Hershey protest brought global notoriety to the program. In November, the State Department, which had long promoted expansion of the program around the world, announced a freeze on participants at the 2011 level of 103,000. Finally, in December Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered an “extensive and thorough review” of the program.

Kammer, a former investigative reporter, tells the story of the State Department’s inability to establish proper management of SWT despite years of criticism by the Government Accountability Office and State’s own Inspector General.

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: Bryan Griffith, 202-466-8185, 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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Arizona Border Data

(Tucson, Arizona) Data indicate the Arizona-Mexico border continues to be porous.
Tucson Sector Border Patrol apprehensions were down more than 40 percent in 2011, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection attributes to technology, improved infrastructure and more employees, CBP announced Friday.

Border Patrol agents working along the 262-miles of international border in Arizona, apprehended 123,285 illegal immigrants during the fiscal year, a reduction of 42 percent from 2010, the Border Patrol said.

Agents also seized 1,039,443 pounds of marijuana, or nearly 520 tons, in 2011 — a slight increase over 2010, the Border Patrol said.
Note that the data only represent captured illegals and seized drugs. Heaven knows how many illegals and contraband slipped through the border undetected.

In any event, expect open-border advocates and the mainstream media to cite the 40 percent decrease in illegal apprehensions as evidence that border controls are working and additional measures are not warranted.

Australian farmers get Pacific guest workers

And who is going to make sure that they go home at the end of their work? Polynesians are a high-crime group

FRUIT and vegetable growers will be able to employ seasonal workers from the Pacific region and East Timor from the middle of 2012. But they will have to show they can't find local workers at harvest time before accessing a $21.7 million program.

The program, announced by the Federal Government today follows a successful pilot scheme. The Government will also conduct a small-scale, three-year trial with the tourism industry. Cotton and cane growers as well as fishing operators will be included.

The Government says growers in the horticultural sector will be able to access a reliable, returning seasonal workforce from July 1.

The program would contribute to economic development in participating countries, such as East Timor, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson described the trial as a "win-win" outcome for Australian tourism operators and regional workers who would be able to improve their skills through education and training.

There are about 36,000 vacancies in the tourism industry, as the sector faces severe labour shortages brought about by a booming resources sector competing for workers.

Seasonal workers taking part in the permanent program will be employed in accordance with Australian work standards. Employers will contribute to travel costs.


Recent posts at CIS below

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

1. Cheap Labor as Cultural Exchange: The $100 Million Work Travel Industry (A Four Part Backgrounder Series)

2. Declining Summer Employment Among American Youths (Backgrounder)

3. 'Enforcement first': A tough but fair immigration system (Op-ed)

4. Bespoke Visas for the Irish, Aussies, and Disney (Blog)

5. Worrying About the Wrong Citizens (Blog)

6. Congress Acting Dumb (Blog)

7. Iran, Hezbollah Also Responsible for 9/11, Rules Federal Judge (Blog)

8. Utah Attorney General Unable to Effectively Defend Utah's Enforcement Law (Blog)

9. Wholesome-Sounding Employer Caught Discriminating Against U.S. Citizens (Blog)

10. Law Prof Predicts Supreme Court Will Uphold S.B. 1070 (Blog)

11. Wanted by USCIS: Business Experts to Infiltrate USCIS (Blog)

12. Beam Me Up Scotty, Our Work Here Is Done (Blog)

13. Nibbling Around the Immigration Edges in U.S. vs. Big Ideas in U.K. (Blog)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hundreds missing in illegal immigrant boat sinking off Indonesia

More deaths that can be laid at the feet of the "compassionate" Australian Labor Party -- for encouraging these boats to come

AN overloaded wooden vessel carrying about 250 migrants and suspected to be heading to Australia has sunk off Indonesia's main island of Java. So far only 33 people have been rescued, search and rescue officials said, with efforts to reach survivors hampered by bad weather and heavy seas.

"A boat carrying around 250 people has sunk south of Prigi beach in eastern Java and we have started a search and rescue effort," the national search and rescue team said in an sms message.

State-run news agency Antara quoted search team member Brian Gauthier as saying: "The boat sank Saturday evening. "It is somewhat difficult to go on with the search because extreme weather has caused reduced visibility," he said.

Thirty-three people have been rescued and are receiving assistance in the town of Prigi, about 30km from where the boat sank, Mr Gauthier said, adding that the rescue team believed some passengers were still alive and were likely suffering "severe dehydration". "They must be evacuated as soon as possible," he said. "They can't stay for long in the middle of the sea."

The boat is believed to be a traditional fishing vessel with a capacity of around 100. A survivor from Afghanistan, 24-year-old Esmat Adine, gave rescuers an estimate for how many passengers were on the boat. "He did not know exactly how many passengers there were, but he said that four buses with around 60 or more adult passengers each had turned up to the port where they set off," a translator for Adine said.

Adine said the boat had been heading towards Australia's Christmas island.

Because people were so tightly packed, they had nowhere to go, he said. "That made the boat even more unstable and eventually it sank," he said.

Adine said that he and others survived by clinging to parts of the broken vessel until they were picked up by local fishermen. He estimated that more than 40 children were on the ship. It was not immediately clear if any were rescued.

Watulimo sub-district police chief Muhammed Khoiril told today: "After interviewing the passengers, we've learnt that they originate from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. There also are some from Dubai."

Thousands of asylum seekers head through Southeast Asian countries on their way to Australia every year and many link up with people smugglers in Indonesia for the dangerous sea voyage.

Canberra has failed in its efforts to set up a regional processing centre in neighbouring countries in an attempt to reduce the flow of asylum seekers heading to Australia.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago nation of 240 million people, has more than 18,000 islands and thousands of kilometres of unpatrolled coastline, making it a key transit point for smuggling migrants.

The private television station Metro TV reported that 33 people had been found alive and that perhaps 215 others were still missing.

Last month a ship carrying about 70 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan capsized off the southern coast of Central Java; at least eight people died.


Gingrich says millions of illegal immigrants should leave

Newt Gingrich insisted Sunday that some illegal immigrants who have become full community members should be able to stay in the country, but he added that his policy would require 7 million or more to go back to their home nations before having a chance to return.

Appearing on the CBS program "Face the Nation," the front-running Republican presidential hopeful repeated his call for some kind of citizen review board to assess whether illegal immigrants would be eligible to get a residency permit and stay in America.

Gingrich, a former House Speaker, said the American people would not tolerate the forced removal of someone who has lived in their community for 25 years, has children and grandchildren, and belongs to a local church.

However, Gingrich said he expected about 1 million of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants to qualify under the review board process to remain in the country, adding that they would have to be sponsored by an American family.

The rest would have to leave, Gingrich said. "My guess is that 7 or 8 or 9 million would ultimately go home to get a guest or worker permit and return under the law," Gingrich said.

His immigration policy has come under attack from some rival candidates who call it a form of amnesty -- a virtual dirty word for the conservative tea party movement.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

British Judge rules new ban on immigrants who can't speak English IS legal

An Indian woman who argued that immigration rules preventing her husband from moving to the UK because he cannot speak English were a breach of the couple’s human rights has lost her case.

British citizen Rashida Chapti, 54, argued that her husband of 37 years, Vali Chapti, should be allowed to join her from India.

But immigration rules announced by Home Secretary Theresa May last year introduced new English language requirements for those moving to Britain to join a spouse.

Mrs Chapti, who has six children with her 57-year-old husband, argued in the High Court in Birmingham that the rule was a breach of the couple’s right to a private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Using legal aid to fight her case, she also argued that it was a breach of the right to marriage, and the right to be free from discrimination.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Beatson ruled that the English language requirement did not amount to a breach of the couple’s human rights and dismissed the case.

He said: ‘The new rule does not indirectly discriminate on the ground of nationality, ethnic origins or disability.’

Mrs Chapti, from Leicester, who speaks only halting English herself, vowed to appeal against the decision.

Through a translator, she said: ‘Naturally I feel very disappointed. It is Christmas and I will be alone without my husband. We will keep fighting for him to come here.’

She said it would be easier for Mr Chapti, a farmer from the Gujarati village of Valan, to learn English in Britain than India. He cannot read, write or speak the language. She has previously said that he was ‘too old’ to learn English even if he did get leave to stay in Britain.

Mrs Chapti, a machinist in a clothes factory, moved to the UK with her parents six years ago, using a British protected passport issued when they lived in Malawi, which was a UK colony. Mrs Chapti is believed to have been commuting between India and Leicester for several years.

After successfully applying for naturalisation as a British citizen, she attempted to ‘send for’ her husband and their youngest child. But under the new immigration rule, her husband was refused a spouse visa.

Previously, spouses and partners were required to demonstrate an ability to speak English two years after moving to Britain. Now they must speak a minimum level of English when they arrive.

Mrs Chapti and her husband were one of three couples who challenged the immigration law requiring people to be able to speak English before coming to Britain.

At an earlier court hearing, Mrs Chapti’s lawyer Manjit Gill QC said the rule was a breach of the couple’s human rights. He said: ‘The rule is particularly striking in that it prevents mere residence even though one of the parties is fully entitled to live in this country.’

He said it discriminated against people on the grounds of nationality and race.

Dominic Raab, a Tory MP spearheading a parliamentary campaign for human rights reform, said learning the language helped newcomers and encouraged ‘integration rather than segregation’. He said: ‘It’s extremely important that the requirements for newcomers to this country to learn English are upheld and maintained. ‘It is vital for those arriving in this country to be able to get on and for community cohesion.’

Mrs Chapti previously told the BBC: ‘It’s my right to be with my husband and I want to be with him. He is too old to learn English and he lives in a very remote place. ‘It is impossible for him to learn English.’


Sheriff Arpaio Fires Back at Obama Rights Charges

America's toughest sheriff is living up to his nickname in a battle against the United States Department of Justice over its report which accuses the Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department of a pattern of civil rights violations involving Latinos.

County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he intends to fight allegations in the 22-page Justice Department report which claim his department has violated the civil rights of Latinos in enforcing immigration laws in Arizona, reports World Net Daily.

"Obama has just put a welcome sign on the United States border with Mexico," told Arpaio to WND referring to the president who back in September, in an inteview with a group of Latino reporters, said the sheriff and his department should not be viewed as a model for other law enforcement departments in how to enforce federal immigration laws.

Obama further told the journalists that the United States 50 states with 50 different immigration laws.

The DOJ report concludes the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department under Arpaio's watch has engaged in the racial profiling of Latinos, made unlawful stops and detentions in violation of federal civil rights laws.

Led by its president Randy Parraz, the group Citizens for a Better Arizona is urging the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution calling for Arpaio to step down. That same group spearheaded to recall effort against now former Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce who was part of the state legislature which crafted SB 1070, the state's new immigration law which has been tied up in the courts.

It was just last month though, that the United States Supreme Court said that next year, it will review a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco which for the most part shut down SB1070.

Arpaio says while he is willing to engage in talks with federal officials over the report, he will not let them keep tabs on his office, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

The sheriff describes incidents of racial profiling and discrimination outlined in the report as being, "a couple of bumps," reports the Republic. "We had some isolated incidents and they make it look like it's systemic. We thought we had this thing resolved. We gave them more files. Then we wake up in the morning and they do a press conference," added Arpaio.

He said he will cooperate with the Justice Department but, "one thing I am not going to agree to is to be controlled by some federal monitor or something. I'm the elected sheriff here and I report to the 4 million voters here in the county."

In a letter to Maricopa County, Justice Department officials have given Arpaio until January 4th to decide whether to cooperate in reforming his department. The letter also gave Arpaio 60 days for an agreement on a reform plan.

Arpaio was riled by the deadlines, pointing out the DOJ took three years to look at his department, came out with a 22-page report and he believes is giving him a relatively short amount of time to respond.

The Justice Department says if Arpaio does not comply, it will seek a court order to force reform and could revoke hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding, according to the Republic.

On the same day the report came out, the county received a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton which said Morton had terminated the sheriff's participation in a federal immigration program. ICE is withdrawing immigration detainees from jails in Maricopa County, will not respond to sheriff's department traffic stops and other minor arrests which involve immigrants and has cut off the department's access to federal technology which is used to verify immigration status.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Mongomery said Friday those actions have, "an immediate and harmful effect on carrying out my duties." Montgomery says the moves would also be a threat to public safety. "Im asking the president to direct the Department of Homeland Security to reinstate this program now," added Montgomery.

ICE will continue to be informed of immigrant arrests but will make its own determination who it will detain and where, based on its own law enforcement priorities, the Republic reports.