Monday, January 31, 2011

America’s Deporter in Chief

Frustrated by the federal stalemate on illegal immigration, cities and states have spent the last few years crafting their own curbs on unlawful residency. The most publicized of these was in Arizona, which ordered police with “reasonable suspicion” to check people’s immigration status (and went further last week, introducing a bill that aims to deny citizenship to children born in the state whose parents are there without permission).

Lawmakers have worked aggressively as well in Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Idaho, among other states, punishing schools that educate undocumented immigrants, landlords who rent to them, and businesses that hire them.

What unites these measures, however, is more than a hardline approach to border control. It’s their ties to one man: Kris Kobach, a Kansas-raised former law professor who has emerged as the intellectual architect of the right’s fight against illegal immigration. The 44-year-old has authored, aided, or officially defended almost every controversial stance in the country, beginning with his work as chief immigration adviser in John Ashcroft’s Justice Department.

This year may be Kobach’s most influential yet. From a base in Kansas, where he is the newly seated secretary of state, Kobach will help Arizona defend his laws against all comers. Both the Justice Department and American Civil Liberties Union have sued the state, claiming that immigration is a federal matter.

He’ll also counsel a dozen or so states that are considering copycat laws and a coordinated assault on birthright citizenship. And he’ll litigate at least four ongoing immigration-related cases, including lawsuits against California (for extending in-state college-tuition rates to the undocumented) and San Francisco (for failing to notify immigration authorities before a thrice-arrested alien allegedly murdered three people).

It’s a “legal jihad,” according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which calls the path he’s blazing “a trail of tears.”

Kobach’s contagious ideas and all-American good looks have made him a fixture on Fox News. But he’s no wingnut. His path to public life is so pedigreed it makes John Kerry seem rough-hewn. Kobach earned top undergrad honors at Harvard; won a Marshall scholarship to Oxford, where he picked up a political-science doctorate; got a law degree from Yale, where he was an editor of The Yale Law Journal; and did missionary work in Africa. He even won two Masters national rowing titles in the men’s double scull.

In the heart of East Coast liberalism, Kobach’s conservatism actually deepened, say the people close to him, including his mother, high-school debate coach, friends, and colleagues—including Ashcroft, with whom Kobach hiked and bodysurfed.

The only son of a car dealer and homemaker —churchgoing Lutherans who also believed in law and order— Kobach is of French, German, and Nordic heritage, his ancestors passing through Ellis Island in the late 1800s (“It was legal,” promises his mother, Janice).

At Harvard, he led the Republican Club and gravitated toward conservative lion Samuel Huntington, who became an early mentor.

But it was 9/11, and his realization that several hijackers had been in the country illegally, that crystallized for him the importance of border security as a way to protect both lives and livelihoods. Kobach authored the much-decried fingerprint program for Muslims and Middle Easterners in the U.S. “American sovereignty is at stake,” he tells NEWSWEEK. “You can’t have open immigration and a welfare state.”


SD Legislature will debate immigration issues

The South Dakota Legislature will join the national debate on illegal immigration this year. Three bills seeking to crack down on illegal immigrants have been filed in the Legislature, all patterned after measures already proposed or passed in other states.

Rep. Manny Steele, R-Sioux Falls, the prime sponsor of two of the measures, said he wants to protect the public from crimes committed by some who are in the country illegally and make sure immigrants working in South Dakota are doing so legally.

"These people who are here legally are part of our society . I welcome them. They belong here," Steele said. "I'm glad they're here. They are helping our economy grow. As far as I'm concerned, they're needed."

Steele acknowledged that South Dakota does not have as big of a problem as many other states with illegal immigrants. South Dakota probably only has 2,000 or so illegal immigrants, he said.

However, Steele said two illegal immigrants were convicted of murder last year, and the state will pay $15,000 a year to keep them in prison. He said he believes his bills will treat people fairly and will not lead to racial profiling by law officers.

Opponents disagree, saying the proposed laws are not needed and will violate people's rights by encouraging racial profiling.

Sam Ellingson, program coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, said a proposal similar to an Arizona law will force law officers to give priority to immigration enforcement and give less attention to other public safety problems.

"Laws like these do not make us safer, and in fact have raised the crime rates in areas where similar bills have been passed," she said.

One of Steele's proposals, similar to an Arizona law being challenged in court, would direct law officers enforcing other laws to make reasonable attempts to ask about a suspect's immigration status if there is reason to believe that person is in the U.S. illegally. It also would make it illegal for anyone to transport or conceal an illegal alien or to encourage an illegal alien to come to South Dakota.

Steele's second bill is part of a national challenge to automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. It is intended to encourage Congress to propose an change to the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.

The third bill, sponsored by Sen. Craig Tieszen, R- Rapid City, would penalize anyone who knowingly employs, transports or conceals an illegal immigrant.

Steele said the bill requiring law officers to check immigration status during stops for enforcement of other laws has been modified somewhat from the Arizona law. He said he believes it will not lead to racial profiling or discrimination. Officers already check people's identification during traffic stops, and the bill would allow officers to let people go when it's not practical to detain them for a lengthy investigation, he said.

However, Ellingson of the ACLU said the organization will oppose Steele's proposal because it would lead to racial profiling, and that part of the Arizona law has been blocked by a federal judge. Some provisions also would be struck down because they are already covered in federal law, which takes precedence, she said.

Robert Doody, executive director of the ACLU in South Dakota, said the three bills send a message to businesses and workers that South Dakota does not welcome minority families or economic growth. The measures, if passed, would likely lead to costly lawsuits, he said.

Steele said state lawyers have estimated a lawsuit could cost $50,000 to $100,000, which he said is much less than the cost of keeping a lot of illegal immigrants in state prisons after they have been convicted of crimes.

The bill dealing with citizenship seeks to require that a child born in the U.S. is a citizen only if at least one parent is a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant. It would create a compact with other states to issue different birth certificates for those who are citizens and those who are not. Such compacts would have to be approved by Congress, but do not require the president's signature.

Supporters of the proposal contend that the wording of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. who is "subject to jurisdiction" of this country, does not apply to children of illegal immigrants because those families do not owe sole allegiance to the U.S.

Steele said some people enter the U.S. illegally to give birth to children so those babies will get citizenship. He said supporters of the compact hope eventually to persuade Congress to propose a constitutional change.

Ellingson said a compact between the states cannot change the rules on citizenship because state laws cannot change the U.S. Constitution.

"It's guaranteed in our legal history that we allow citizenship to those who are born in this country," she said.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now WA state steps into immigration issues

The state's grim financial shape is pushing lawmakers further into the immigration debate, forcing a state historically friendly to immigrants to consider cuts that will impact large segments of legal and illegal immigrants.

The proposed cuts are on top of introduced bills that call for stricter enforcement of immigration law, specifically bills that would force the state to ask for proof of legal residency when obtaining a driver's license.

"My whole point is that we ignore, ignore, ignore - now we have to make real decisions: Does the public think it's a priority to provide benefits for people who are undocumented?" said Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, the Senate GOP's budget chief. "I believe it's time for prioritizing what we can afford to do. We gotta have that debate."

From blueberry fields in Skagit County to the high-tech offices at Microsoft, immigrant labor, both legal and illegal, is a fuel in many of the state's industries. And no matter their legal status, immigrants contribute to the state's main source of revenue - the sales tax - whenever they buy something.

"In one year, Washington State has gone from a leader on immigration to a hostile environment for immigrants and their families," said an e-mail from OneAmerica, the state's largest immigrant advocacy group, to supporters, urging them to testify against the driver's licenses bills.

During this legislative session, lawmakers have been tasked with two crucial budgetary jobs: They need to close a cash deficit of more than half a billion dollars in the supplemental budget for this fiscal year that ends in June, and they need to write a budget that closes a projected $4.6 billion deficit in the 2011-2013 budget.

Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposed budget, which sets the pace for the session, cuts more than half a dozen programs that directly aid immigrants - from subsidized naturalization classes to transferring illegal immigrant inmates in state prisons to federal custody.

The two biggest proposals for the next two-year budget, though, are stripping medical coverage to an estimated 27,000 children whose legal status is unclear under the Children's Health Program for savings of $59 million, and eliminating the State Food Assistance Program, which provides food stamps for legal immigrants, for a savings of $45 million.

"In the last decade or two, Washington has wisely recognized that immigrants are tax paying, working neighbors to all of us," said Jon Gould, executive director of the Children's Alliance, an advocacy group. "I'm very worried right now that we are at risk of losing those important public structures that allow our immigrant neighbors to be contributing members of the state."

It's the third year in a row that a section of the Children's Health Program has been proposed for cuts, but it's the first time that children who may be illegally in the country have been singled out, Gould said.

The Department of Social and Health Services has sent thousands of letters to parents of children in the health program, warning them that the state may no longer cover health care for children who are not legally in the country. It then asks parents to send any immigration-related paper work by the beginning of February that may help their case.

The state food program was created by a bipartisan Legislature in 1997 after Congress, under welfare reform, imposed a five-year bar on legal immigrants from obtaining food stamps. In Washington, the state stepped in and subsidized the program.

Scott Whiteaker, a spokesman for Gregoire, said that the governor looked at state programs that are solely funded by the state in proposing her cuts and is imploring non-profit groups and private businesses to step in and help with whatever they can. "Times that we're in right now really demand cuts that nobody necessarily wants to do," he said.

Gregoire's proposals and the licenses bills have sent immigrant advocates to scramble to Olympia. But in a down economy, pitching for programs that serve non-Americans can be a tough sell.

"I think that our state and nationally there's an increasing resentment against immigrants, legally or not legally, to be honest with you . and I think it's growing," said Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, D-Seattle. "If we don't get immigration reform at the federal level, it's going to get worse."

But for Zarelli and others, the question they want asked about these programs for immigrants is if the state can afford them. Zarelli, the GOP's budget expert, said that the state spends about $270 million every two years on health care, welfare, childcare for farmworkers and illegal immigrant prisoner. Republicans are pushing for the state to re-enroll users of welfare programs to weed out people who don't qualify - that includes illegal immigrants and others.


Colorful shoes, handbag give away fake nuns in Philippines

Filpinas go all over the world in search of well-paid work but are often mistreated in Muslim countries. Their government does what little it can to protect them

Immigration authorities detained Saturday six Philippine women dressed as Catholic nuns who were attempting to get around a ban on working as maids in Lebanon. The suspects were arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila while about to board a flight bound for Kuala Lumpur with a connecting flight to Lebanon, immigration officer Rodolfo Magbuhos said.

Magbuhos admitted his men were at first reluctant to apprehend the women, not wishing to disrespect religious people. But they got suspicious when they saw one of the nuns wearing red shoes, carrying a colourful handbag and not wearing her habit properly.

The women admitted during interrogation that they were going to Lebanon to work as maids and they dressed as nuns to evade a government ban. The Philippines banned its workers from going to Lebanon since 2007 due to the unstable security condition and lack of legal protection.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bills Denying Birthright Citizenship to be Introduced in Arizona

This is, of course, mainly a way of getting the issue before SCOTUS -- where it has some chance of success. SCOTUS is as much political as judicial and there is a broadly conservative majority at the moment

Arizona is expected to set off another seismic immigration wave on Thursday, when both chambers of its legislature expect to hear the introduction of bills denying citizenship to U.S.-born babies of undocumented immigrants.

Republican State Sen. Ron Gould said he and Republican State Rep. John Kavanagh agreed on a day for each to introduce the legislation, but Gould said that timetables for consideration of the bills by the separate chambers will diverge at that point.

Arizona's legislation would define a U.S. citizen as someone who has been naturalized, or someone born in this country who has at least one parent who has no allegiance to a foreign country.

Gould is the Senate Judiciary Committee's chairman and he said he expects the committee will consider his bill in early February. Meanwhile, Kavanagh indicated that House action on his bill might wait for approval of a new state budget.

Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of Arizona’s well-known, controversial immigration measure, SB 1070 -- which, among other things, allows police to enforce immigration laws -- is a sponsor of the citizenship legislation.

Last fall, Pearce said that the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which addresses citizenship, was not meant to apply to the children of people who live in the United States illegally.
“This is a battle of epic proportions,” Pearce, Republican, said at a press conference in Arizona. "We’ve allowed the hijacking of the 14th Amendment.”

Arizona has become the leader in the movement by states to take immigration into their own hands as their frustration mounts over the federal government’s failure to revamp the nation’s broken immigration system.

Legislators in numerous states this year have introduced, or announced plans to introduce, measures modeled on Arizona’s SB 1070, which is facing court challenges. And so, anything Arizona does on immigration is being closely followed nationwide.

Last year, Pearce gave new momentum to the contentious – but not new -- issue of birthright citizenship when he said it was next in his quest to crack down on illegal immigration.

Earlier this month, a group of state legislators known as the State Legislators for Legal Immigration gathered in Washington D.C. to unveil model legislation that denies birthright citizenship to the babies of illegal immigrants. They said that lawmakers in as many as 14 states plan to introduce bills on the matter this year.

One of the proposals SLLI crafted would allow a state to issue two kinds of birth certificates – one to babies of people legally in the United States, and a different one to babies of illegal immigrants. The SLLI maintains that automatic citizenship for anyone born here – without regard to whether their parents are breaking the law by being here -- fuels illegal immigration.

The founder of the group, Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican, said: “We need to end the incentive that encourages illegals to cross our border.”

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a Hispanic organization that has won landmark civil rights, has vowed to sue any state that passes such a law. LatinoJustice, like others who oppose birthright citizenship measures, say it is unconstitutional and unlikely to hold up in court.

Cesar Perales, the president of LatinoJustice, said that though the 14th amendment originally was ratified after the Civil War to guarantee the children of former slaves U.S. citizenship and all its protections, courts subsequently have declared that the amendment applies to babies of Native Americans and to babies of Chinese guest workers.

“States don’t give people citizenship,” Perales said in an interview earlier this month, “it’s the federal government’s role. This is a political stunt, with invented arguments that are not based on law, and it smacks of racism.”

A Pew Hispanic Research analysis last year found that that nearly four out of five – or 79 percent -- of the 5.1 million children, ages 18 and younger, of unauthorized immigrants were born in this country.


Mississippi Passes Arizona-Style Immigration Law

Mississippi lawmakers have passed an immigration law similar to one passed in Arizona, giving local law enforcement the power to investigate the immigration status of anyone they suspect to be in the US illegally, the Hattiesburg American reported Friday.

People stopped by police who cannot show they are in the US legally could be jailed and eventually deported under the measure.

The measure passed in the Mississippi House late Thursday after a brief explanation and no debate. A similar measure was passed last week in the Mississippi Senate.

Arizona was sued by the US Department of Justice for passing its immigration law, claiming only the federal government has the right to enforce immigration policies and undertake deportation proceedings. Most of the law was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, but the state appealed that decision. It is now before the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals and it is not known when that court will issue a ruling.

In a separate measure, the Mississippi state legislature also approved fining businesses that hire illegal immigrants up to $25,000 a day. Any penalties collected would be turned over to municipalities to pay for efforts to enforce the newly-passed immigration policy.

According to a 2006 State Auditor’s report, there were approximately 49,000 illegal immigrants living in Mississippi at the time.


Friday, January 28, 2011

US steps up illegal workers crackdown

US immigration authorities have more than quadrupled the number of jobsite inspections for illegal workers in two years, a government report said Wednesday.

In fiscal year 2010, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated a "record" 2,746 worksite enforcement investigations, said the report submitted to Congress by the agency's deputy head Kumar Kibble. That's more than double the 503 inspections in 2008. Fines for 237 violations reached almost seven million dollars, compared to the 18 violations and 675,209 dollars in penalties in 2008.

Kibble told lawmakers ICE was focused on identifying "criminal illegal aliens who pose a threat to the public." The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees ICE, has "fundamentally reformed immigration enforcement," he said.

Republicans, who now dominate the House of Representatives, have criticized President Barack Obama's approach to immigration as weak.

Kibble noted DHS "has engaged in record enforcement, removing more aliens in both 2009 and 2010 than in any point in the history of our country, including more than 195,000 criminal aliens last year."

Advocacy groups representing migrants have meanwhile criticized what they call heavy-handed raids in Hispanic communities along the US-Mexico border.

"ICE is now taking custody of more aliens encountered at the border and is increasing the consequences for illegal entry and reentry," Kibble said.

"Aliens who illegally enter in Arizona, for instance, are no longer given the opportunity to return voluntarily and instead are given orders of removal and are repatriated through other states."
The southwestern state of Arizona has seen more illegal immigrants than anywhere else along the border, and has been the scene of bitter political standoffs on immigration issues between the tough approach of the state government and the federal government's softer stance.


Immigration scam unveiled in a California university

Federal prosecutors have labeled Pleasanton, California-based Tri-valley University a sham, alleging that the institution was merely a facade used by the authorities to run a racket that facilitated illegal student immigration status for foreign nationals and authorized them to remain in the United States.

Bay Area News Group publication Contra Costa Times has reported that the Tri-Valley University founded by Susan Su earned millions of dollars in tuition fees since its establishment, luring foreign students, a majority from India, by granting F-1 visas. The university had received approval in February 2009 to grant F1 visas for about 30 students.

For a student to acquire and maintain an F-1 visa, he must physically attend classes and show that he is making reasonable progress towards course completion. The University on the other hand catered mostly to online students and falsely registered their address as that of a single apartment in Sunnyvale. Upon investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities, it was found that four university students lived at that address between 2007 and 2009 but there have been none since. Between May 2009 and 2010, however, the number of active students who received F-1 visas from Tri-valley University went up from 11 to 939.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that a student visa-related fraud has been uncovered in the State. In March 2010, Eamonn Daniel Higgins from Santa Ana California was arrested on charges of operating a ring of illegal test-takers, who faked their identity and wrote various proficiency and college-placement exams on behalf of dozens of Middle Eastern nationals, helping them to obtain US student visas. Around the same time, a Florida language school was also exposed as having helped more than 80 foreign nationals, who were purportedly studying at the school but were found never to have attended class, in illegally obtaining student visas.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obama’s Empty Words on Immigration

By Alfonso Aguilar

President Obama knows it. It's quite simple. If his Republican opponent in 2012 gets at least 40 percent of the Latino vote his re-election is in jeopardy. Therefore, no one should be surprised that he used his State of the Union address to portray himself as the champion of immigration reform.

Let’s be clear: immigration is not the most important issue for Latino voters, but they will reject a candidate that is not willing to show leadership to try fixing our dysfunctional immigration system. Obama understands this well. As he stressed in his speech: “I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. And I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.“

The problem with the president’s rhetoric is that it doesn’t match his actions. For the past two years he has basically ignored the immigration issue, even though he had promised the Latino community that he would tackle this issue the first year of his administration. Just consider that in last year’s State of the Union he said the same thing he said now and he did nothing to seriously address the issue.

Why didn’t he advance an immigration bill when his party controlled the two Houses of Congress? He didn’t think twice before pressing Congress to pass the massive $780 billion dollar so-called “stimulus” bill that only expanded the size of government and substantially contributed to the deficit. Nor did he waver when lobbying for his unpopular health care bill.
The reality is that these were priorities for him. Immigration simply isn’t. Why should Latinos believe that it is a priority for him now?

Since being elected, the president has rarely talked about immigration and, when he has, it normally is to blame Republicans for supposedly being the party of “no.” What, we should ask, have they said no to? The White House has never presented them with a formal proposal nor have they ever been seriously consulted on the issue.

There was, of course, the White House's failed attempt to pass the Dream Act, but even this was not a serious effort. It was introduced at the last minute –during the lame duck session —and once again without consulting the Republican leadership or allowing them to present amendments. No wonder the majority of them – plus five Democrats – voted against letting the bill go to the floor for an up and down vote.

The false promises of the 2008 election as well as political ploys of these past years have not gone unnoticed by Latinos. They are realizing that Democrats are just pandering to them and they are understandably upset at them.

The administration is aware of this and, as they begin to look at 2012, they know they need to regain the trust of Latinos voters to win another four-year term. They haven’t forgotten that the President won in 2008 because he dominated the minority vote by a 3 to 1 margin. While McCain got 58 percent of the white vote, Obama got 68 percent of the Latino vote.

Their strategy to win over Latinos is not merely to begin talking about immigration again. The other part of it is to demonize Republicans and portray them as anti-immigrant and as the “enemies” of Latinos, to use the President's own words. To accomplish this they will follow their Dream Act playbook, which, as we have said, is to avoid constructively engaging Republicans on the issue and to do everything possible to antagonize them so they end up opposing any legislative attempt.

The only way, however, that Latinos will buy the Democrats’ demagoguery is if Republicans just cross their arms and decide not to do anything constructive on immigration. That’s why the GOP leadership in the House and Senate should call the Democrats’ bluff and pro-actively propose specific solutions to the immigration crisis that go beyond enforcement-only measures, like the creation of a sensible guest worker program.

If they do this, Obama’s effort to “divide” the country by minority groups to “conquer” them politically will collapse. And it will show that despite all his touting on immigration, he’s really not committed to meaningful action on this issue. Moreover, it will give Republicans the opportunity to demonstrate to Latinos that the majority of them are not narrow minded restrictionists, and giving them a real shot at winning enough Latino votes to win back the White House.


How the British Labour Party's 'tough' rules let in 2,100 migrants a day

Britain handed out 2,100 visas a day following the introduction of Labour’s ‘tough’ new border controls. Official figures reveal for the first time that 1,554,327 non-EU nationals were given permission to enter or stay in this country under the previous government’s points-based system. The beneficiaries included workers, their partners and children and hundreds of thousands of foreign students.

Incredibly, the numbers entering Britain continued to climb between 2008 and 2009 – despite the country being in the grip of a recession. A fall of fewer than 20,000 in the number of work permits being rubber-stamped for main applicants was dwarfed by a leap of 80,000 in student visas. The total number of visas handed out in 2009, including renewals for people who would otherwise have been forced to leave, was 778,617 – up from 775,710 a year earlier.

According to a report by the Migrationwatch think-tank, the early indications are that, so far, the Coalition Government has had only limited impact on the figures. Ministers have decided to keep the points-based system, which was introduced in 2008, but are making the criteria much tougher. But, in the year to September 2010, the latest period for which figures are available, the total number of visas issued was 752,855, down only slightly.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: ‘These figures give the lie to claims the points-based system (PBS) was already bringing immigration under control. ‘Such reduction as there has been is surely the consequence of the deepest recession for a generation, not the introduction of the PBS, which is deeply flawed. ‘This renders still more difficult the Government’s commitment to get net migration down to the “tens of thousands” as the public overwhelmingly wishes to see.’

The impact of the points system on foreign workers – which Labour introduced amid mounting public concern over immigration – is limited by the fact it can be applied only to non-EU nationals.

Coalition action has so far been limited to an interim cap on economic migrants. From April, this will be replaced by a permanent system which promises to reduce the number of non-EU workers entering Britain by a fifth. But ministers have been criticised for creating a ‘loophole’ which allows businesses to transfer unlimited staff from overseas if they stay for less than 12 months.

The Home Office said that, if evidence of abuse of this route emerged, it would change the rules next year, when they are reviewed.

Last week, official figures suggested foreign workers are finding themselves the main beneficiaries of the economic recovery.

They showed that only 100,000 of the 297,000 workers who began new posts between July and September 2010 were British-born. Of the rest, 90,000 were from Poland and other Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.

Ministers are also close to announcing plans to slash student visas. The most likely scenario is that non-EU nationals will be refused visas if they are seeking to study non-degree level courses. Exceptions will be made only for ‘trusted’ private colleges.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where’s the Border Fence?

On the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to scrap the so-called “virtual fence” project along the 2,000 mile United States-Mexico border. The official reasons cited included cost overruns and technology failures. The truth, of course, is a different story.

At the height of the last amnesty craze in 2006, Congress passed the Secure Fence Act (SFA). The measure required building 700 miles of double-layered fence to physically separate the United States from Mexico. The bill’s authors also intended to demonstrate that the federal government accepted the American people’s judgment that illegal immigrants could not be granted citizenship until the southwestern border was secured.

With the border fence supposedly under construction, the Senate gathered on June 28, 2007, to end debate on comprehensive immigration reform and vote its passage. Then, Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) addressed the chamber. In the final minutes before the Democratic majority moved for cloture, Dole reminded her colleagues that only two miles had been built.

For Dole, enough was enough. “And so my strong view is that it’s not just promises, it’s proof that people want. The American people want to see results, control of our borders. So we need to establish standards, metrics and show that they have been achieved,” said Dole at the time. With devastating accuracy, she confirmed what many suspected: Governing elites used the promise of a border fence to ease resistance towards amnesty for illegal immigrants. After Dole exposed the hypocrisy, comprehensive immigration reform died on the Senate floor.

The open borders crowd was defeated, but not deterred. In December 2007, the Bush Administration tapped Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) to attach an amendment to a DHS appropriations bill. The amendment’s language added a wrinkle to SFA by granting then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff complete discretion over the border fence. Since the Bush Administration favored granting citizenship status to illegal immigrants, but was dragging its feet on building the fence, many saw Hutchinson’s amendment as gutting SFA’s mandate to secure the border first.

Hutchison hit back at criticisms she gutted the border fence by pointing to a new requirement in her amendment. By the end of 2008 (i.e. within twelve months of the amendment’s passage) 370 of the 700 miles of the southwest border would be fenced. As of September 2008, fewer than 120 miles were completed. So much for mandates.

Then along came the Secure Border Initiative network (SBInet), a compromise between pro-amnesty governing elites and the defense industry to further weaken the fence project. Throughout the public debate over the border, the Bush Administration was quietly replacing its promise of a physical fence with a high-tech virtual one. When the $1 billion contract was awarded to Boeing in September 2006, the project was hailed as a way to harness technology for fulfilling public policy.

A little more than five years later, neither goal was reached. To date, only 53 miles of border have been “virtually” fenced. Problems ranging from weather disruptions to camera lenses that can’t distinguish between humans and shrubs pushed SBInet into boondoggle territory. Numerous investigations in and outside the government confirmed the project was a manmade disaster. Last week’s announcement to end the program officially concluded this taxpayer-financed fool’s errand.

The irony of all this is that many Americans support granting some path to legalization for illegal immigrants – if a border fence is built first. The logic is simple: secure the border to stop the flow of illegal immigration, and then deal with those who are already here. Had Congress and Presidents Bush and Obama taken the American people’s demand for a border fence seriously and followed any of the fence laws they enacted, today they might find a public ready to talk about more comprehensive reform.

As it is, Americans were swindled out of more than $1 billion in exchange for two more federal immigration laws that are not enforced. Is it any wonder that voter mistrust of the federal government is at an all-time high?


White children in Birmingham 'a minority' this year because of immigration

Children from white families are in the minority in both Birmingham and Leicester, according to researchers. More than half of those under 16 in the cities are now from black, Asian and other ethnic communities, they believe. White children make up 47 per cent of the population in both cities, the researchers estimate.

The figures, which are expected to be confirmed by this year’s census, mean that for the first time white children are a minority group, although they are the biggest single ethnic group.

A report on Birmingham suggests that the figures could be explained by a younger population, more white families moving out of the city and immigration. The report estimates that in 2006 53 per cent of children under 16 in Birmingham, Britain’s second biggest city, were from white families. It also forecast that the proportion of children aged under 16 who are from ethnic minorities will rise to about 64 per cent by 2026, while the proportion of children from white families will be 36 per cent.

In Leicester it is predicted that children from white families will make up 31.8 per cent of under 16s by 2026.

The predictions are contained in reports by the Cathie Marsh Institute at the University of Manchester. The Birmingham report was commissioned by Birmingham City Council while the Leicester estimates are from a student’s dissertation.

At the time of the last census in 2001, 70.4 per cent of Birmingham’s population of all age ranges was white and 29.6 per cent from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, dominated by those with Asian, Caribbean and African origins.

It is predicted that by 2024 no ethnic group will form a majority. At present the total population of the city is just over one million.

In Leicester, white British people made up 60.54 per cent of the population at the time of the 2001 census.
More than half of children in Birmingham will be from black and Asian communities, making white families a minority group, a report says

More than half of children in Birmingham will be from black and Asian communities, making white families a minority group, a report says

According to the University of Manchester predictions, Leicester will become Britain’s first city where no ethnic group forms a majority in about 2019. Leicester’s population at present is more than 300,000.

Professor Ludi Simpson, who led the research team, said: ‘In Leicester and Birmingham, the white group will remain the largest by far – though it will not account for a majority of the population as a whole.

‘These and most other cities are already diverse with many different ethnic minorities. ‘Indeed it is indisputable that whether the whole of Britain or its city districts are considered, there will be more cultures represented in more equal numbers than in the past.’

The findings for Birmingham chime with Department for Education figures released last January. They showed that 43 per cent of children at Birmingham’s primary and secondary schools were white. Out of 148,900 pupils attending council-run schools, 63,800 were white.

The 2011 census is being conducted in March, when 25million households across England and Wales will be required by law to answer a range of questions including who is registered as living at a property, their age, their education and their ethnicity. The results, the first official figures since 2001, will be announced later this year.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recent posts at CIS below

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

1. Keep SBInet (Op-ed)

2. Department of Error-Riddled Immigration Op-Eds (Blog)

3. The Price of L.A.'s Illegals – and Then Some (Blog)

4. Why Not a Hispanic-American Identity? (Blog)

5. Cancellation of SBI on FOX News (Blog)

6. A Sad Little Announcement: Some Nations Want the Crumbs of Our Economy (Blog)

7. The Value of a Hyphenated Identity (Blog)

8. Supreme Stop Sign (Blog)

9. The Hyphen as a Bridge to an American Identity (Blog)

Australian cities to more than double in size under current immigration levels

AUSTRALIA'S capital cities will more than double in size within 50 years under current immigration rates, dramatically affecting quality of life and cutting food production.

Research for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has found more than 430,000 hectares of land will have to be found for housing in both Sydney and Melbourne if net overall immigration remains above 260,000 a year. Even with zero migration, the capitals will grow in size by roughly 50 per cent, costing residents an extra $1000 a year due to added congestion within the next two decades.

Under current migration rates, each capital would become an estimated one and a half times bigger, with massive gridlock-induced costs.

Posted on the department's website before Christmas, the National Institute of Labour Studies research reveals the extent of the policy problems facing the Gillard government as it plans for a “sustainable Australia”.

“The magnitude of the impacts at all net overall migration levels suggests that unless substantial and timely actions are taken to address these impacts, some impacts have the potential to disrupt Australia's economy and society,” the paper warns.

Lead researcher Dr Jonathan Sobels, from Flinders University, said farms and public land would be consumed as bulging cities expanded. He said Sydney would lose about half of its productive land used for fresh fruit and vegetable production.

“Sydney and Melbourne will rise to something of the order of seven million people. We've got something in the order of half of that now,” he said. “Where are they all going to go? They're not going to all go into 50-storey apartment blocks. “Physically, the demand on land is going to be immense.”

Affluence is forecast to rise faster under higher immigration scenarios, driving up the use of space and resources. Per capita wealth would rise by about 2.3 times by mid-century with migration at the level of 260,000 a year. Without migration, per capita wealth would double over the same timeframe.

Consumption is forecast to rise with affluence, contributing to growing levels of waste, congestion and use of environmental resources.

Sydney would need an extra 2.5 landfills for every one required today under higher migration scenarios, with much of the extra waste resulting from demolition of old buildings.

The report suggests agricultural production would increase toward 2030, and then decline.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd was a supporter of a “Big Australia”, arguing for a population of 36 million-plus by 2050.

Julia Gillard modified the approach amid a growing suburban backlash, calling instead for a sustainable Australia.

Net overseas migration was running at almost 300,000 but is expected to fall when the latest figures become available in about six months, after changes to cut the number of overseas students staying in Australia following their studies.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Driver's license reform a priority in New Mexico

The men from Poland had settled near Chicago, but New Mexico offered what they coveted - driver's licenses without any proof of their immigration status.

Federal prosecutors in Albuquerque say the ringleader was a man named Jaroslaw Kowalczyk. They allege that, for $1,000 a person, he drove other Poles from Illinois to Albuquerque to exploit the New Mexico law that allows foreign nationals and even undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

New Mexico requires that applicants for driver's licenses live in the state and show a utility bill or lease as documentation. State police arrested Kowalczyk and two of his customers last summer after the address they listed turned out to be fake.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, a former state prosecutor, has made New Mexico's licensing system one of the early targets of her legislative agenda. She says people in America illegally obtain driver's licenses in New Mexico, then use them to move throughout the country. Martinez wants to repeal the 2003 law that made it possible for undocumented immigrants to receive licenses.

"This is a priority for the governor this session," said her spokesman, Scott Darnell. "There will be multiple bills that address this subject, and we will review them all. Ultimately, the governor will support the bill that best achieves her central goal of ensuring that driver's licenses are no longer issued to illegal immigrants."

Since the law went into effect, New Mexico has issued more than 82,000 licenses to foreign nationals. Because of the way the system is set up, the state has no breakdown of how many of them were in the United States illegally. In all, more than 1.6 million people have New Mexico driver's licenses.

Even with the small percentage of licenses going to people without proof of U.S. citizenship, Martinez sees dangers in an era of terrorism and drug cartel wars in Mexico. "If we're going to tell New Mexicans we're serious about securing the border, we must stop giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants," she said.

Legislators who voted to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses said the law would increase the number of drivers with auto insurance. They say it has succeeded because far more drivers carry coverage than before. A driver's license generally is necessary to buy insurance.

Richard Williams, police chief in Las Cruces, said the debate over licensing involves an important principle. "Our driver's licenses should be reserved for the people who live in New Mexico," Williams said in an interview. "If the state is a haven for people trying to get licenses illegally, it's easy to see the problems associated with that."

Under New Mexico's law, people without a Social Security number can apply for a driver's license. They must provide an alternative means of identification. These would include a personal taxpayer identification number, a valid passport from their country of citizenship, a Matricula Consular card from the Mexican Consulate or a foreign birth certificate with a notarized English translation.

In the case of the Poles from Chicago, federal prosecutors allege, they saw New Mexico as a place where they could circumvent immigration law. Illinois will not issue a driver's license without proof of immigration status. New Mexico does.


Tough border control in India

The idea that India is a land of opportunity compared to some of its neighbours is perhaps rather startling but that is the case.

The article below is from the Leftist "Guardian" so is rather preachy and probably exaggerated, but it covers some interesting ground nonetheless.

West Bengal and Bangladesh were once part of the same Indian State, yet the economic difference between them is now so great that Bangladeshis risk their lives to go to West Bengal. Bangladesh is Muslim. West Bengal is run by Hindus. Another example of what a disaster Islam is. Bangladeshis in Britain tend to be a problem population too

Do good fences make good neighbours? Not along the India-Bangladesh border. Here, India has almost finished building a 2,000km fence. Where once people on both sides were part of a greater Bengal, now India has put up a "keep out" sign to stop illegal immigration, smuggling and infiltration by anti-government militants.

This might seem unexceptional in a world increasingly hostile to migration. But to police the border, India's Border Security Force (BSF), has carried out a shoot-to-kill policy – even on unarmed local villagers. The toll has been huge. Over the past 10 years Indian security forces have killed almost 1,000 people, mostly Bangladeshis, turning the border area into a south Asian killing fields. No one has been prosecuted for any of these killings, in spite of evidence in many cases that makes it clear the killings were in cold blood against unarmed and defenceless local residents.

Shockingly, some Indian officials endorse shooting people who attempt to cross the border illegally, even if they are unarmed. Almost as shocking is the lack of interest in these killings by foreign governments who claim to be concerned with human rights. A single killing by US law enforcement along the Mexican border makes headlines. The killing of large numbers of villagers by Indian forces has been almost entirely ignored.

The violence is routine and arbitrary. Alauddin Biswas described to Human Rights Watch the killing of his 24-year-old nephew, who was suspected of cattle rustling, by Indian border guards in March 2010. "The BSF had shot him while he was lying on his back. They shot him in the forehead. If he was running away, he would have been shot in the back. They just killed him." The BSF claimed self-defence, but no weapons were recovered.

Nazrul Islam, a Bangladeshi, was luckier. "At around 3am we decided to cross the Indian border," he said. He was headed to India to smuggle cows back to Bangladesh. "As soon as the BSF saw us, they started firing without warning." Islam was shot in his arm, but survived.

The border has long been crossed routinely by local people for trade and commerce. It is also crossed by relatives and friends separated by a line arbitrarily drawn by the British during partition in 1947. As with the Mexican border in the United States, the border has become an emotive issue in Indian politics, as millions of Bangladeshis now live in India illegally. Many are exploited as cheap labour.

India has the right to impose border controls. But India does not have the right to use lethal force except where strictly necessary to protect life. Yet some Indian officials openly admit that unarmed civilians are being killed. The head of the BSF, Raman Srivastava, says that people should not feel sorry for the victims, claiming that since these individuals were illegally entering Indian territory, often at night, they were "not innocent" and therefore were a legitimate target.

Though India is a state with functional courts, he apparently believes the BSF can act as judge, jury and executioner. This approach also ignores the many victims, such as a 13-year-old named Abdur Rakib, who broke no law and was killed simply because he was near the fence. Sadly, Bangladeshi border officials have also suggested that such killings are acceptable if the victim was engaged in smuggling.

As the recent WikiLeaks report about endemic torture in Kashmir underscores, Indian soldiers and police routinely commit human rights violations without any consequences. Permission has to be granted by a senior Indian official for the police to even begin an investigation into a crime committed by a member of the security forces, such as the BSF. This rarely happens.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

UK can't deport asylum seekers back to Greece as they will be subjected to 'inhumane or degrading treatment'

Britain was stripped of the power to deport hundreds of asylum seekers yesterday in a far-reaching ruling by European human rights judges. The judgment condemned the treatment of refugees by Greece and effectively forbade countries from returning asylum seekers there as they are subjected to ‘inhumane or degrading treatment’.

It means that for the first time human rights rules stop Britain from sending deportees to a fellow European Union country.

Greece is visited by nearly two million British tourists each year – and also enjoys the power under EU law to demand extradition of British citizens it suspects of crime within its borders.

An immigration watchdog warned the ruling is likely to mean thousands of asylum seekers will make their way to Britain from Greece, or will say they have come from Greece, because authorities will have no power to return them.

The judgment, by the European Court of Human Rights, will also act as a fresh constraint on Britain’s right to remove individuals considered undesirable.

Under a 15-year-old ruling by the Strasbourg-based court, terrorists and other criminals cannot be sent back to their own countries if the courts consider torture may be used against them.

Britain’s Border Agency stopped deporting asylum seekers who came into Europe through Greece last September in anticipation of the ruling. There are currently 1,300 asylum seekers thought to have come to Britain through Greece who could, under EU rules, be sent back to Athens.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said yesterday: ‘We are disappointed with the judgment. ‘The United Kingdom does not, however, currently return asylum seekers to Greece, although we will continue to keep the situation under review.’

Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘This opens a gateway into Europe and Britain for asylum seekers. ‘Future asylum seekers will enter the EU through Greece safe in the knowledge we cannot send them back. ‘Their cases will have to be settled here at the expense of the British taxpayer.’


Immigration bill could hurt Head Start in Kentucky, officials say

Since all the evidence is that Head Start achieves nothing, that should not be a big problem

A bill that would make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to set foot in Kentucky could cost the state's Head Start programs millions of dollars, Head Start officials warned this week.

In a letter to House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, Head Start officials said that Senate Bill 6, which passed the Senate this month, could create problems for the federal pre-kindergarten program that serves 17,444 children in all 120 counties.

The bill has not been considered by the House, which will reconvene Feb. 1. House leaders, including Stumbo, have said it is doubtful that the Senate's immigration bill will pass the Democratic-controlled House. A recent legislative analysis says implementing the bill could cost the state as much as $40 million.

SB 6 would make it a crime for anyone to transport or assist an illegal immigrant and would create a state charge of trespassing if an illegal immigrant enters Kentucky.

Head Start officials cannot ask about immigration status, according to federal guidelines.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Migration wave means a third of London residents were born abroad

More than one in three people living in London were born outside Britain, an official analysis showed yesterday. Nearly half of them have arrived over the past decade in the wave of immigration that began under Tony Blair’s government.

Almost four in ten of all the foreign-born people in the country live in London, the Office for National Statistics said. They make up 34 per cent of the capital’s population. Around one in six of the population of the capital have arrived in Britain since 2000.

But many regarded as essentially British are defined as immigrants by the study, including Cliff Richard and Joanna Lumley, who were both born in India to British parents.

In most parts of the country, those born abroad are more likely than the British-born to be working in jobs classed as ‘elementary’, the figures from the Labour Force Survey of around 180,000 individuals showed.

Fewer of the population of those born abroad claim state benefits or tax credits than native-born Britons. Most are Christian by religion, although in Yorkshire and the West Midlands just under a third are Muslim.

The analysis also found that around half the foreign-born population is married, compared with only around 40 per cent of native Britons.


Chipotle between a rock and a hard place

Faces Protesters After Firings Over ICE Audit

Chipotle Mexican Grill faced protesters at one of its downtown Minneapolis restaurants in response to having fired a number of employees after an audit by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Eight protesters were cited for trespassing after they chained themselves together Thursday, blocking the doorway to the restaurant, according to Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer.

The Denver-based burrito chain received a notice of inspection from ICE several months ago for its Minnesota restaurant employees, according to Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold.

After Chipotle supplied officials with documentation, ICE informed the company that it suspected many of the documents to be illegitimate, Mr. Arnold said. Chipotle asked those employees for new documents or to clarify any errors, and in early December let go those who could do neither.

Mr. Arnold wouldn't disclose how many of the 1,200 employees at its 50 Minnesota restaurants were let go or how many were suspected of having fraudulent documents. He said this is the first time Chipotle has received an immigration audit.

Chipotle, known for buying meat from ranchers who don't pen their pigs or use antibiotics in their chicken, operates by the mantra "food with integrity."

The protesters, who included local members of the Service Employees International Union, claim that Chipotle fired the workers without providing much explanation and that the workers faced delays in getting paid.

Mr. Arnold said those assertions are untrue and that "ours is a culture that is built on recognizing top-performing employees and developing them into future leaders, so this is a particularly troubling situation for us because of the impact this has on future generations of leaders and managers. We'd rather keep all these people but under the law we can't do that."

The review of its employees by immigration officials is still continuing, and Mr. Arnold couldn't say whether additional employees might be let go. Shawn Neudauer, spokesman for the ICE region that includes Minnesota, says it's the department's policy not to comment on specific cases.

Mr. Arnold said current immigration law puts companies in a tough spot—they must thoroughly review workers' documentation but they can't be discriminatory in their hiring practices. "We have to thread this very delicate needle," he said.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Feds announce new tactic in illegal hiring crackdown

Immigration officials announced Thursday that they are ramping up a crackdown on employers who hire illegal workers by creating an audit office tasked with strengthening the verification of business hiring records.

"What the center will allow us to do is ensure us to have the capacity to do a lot of large-scale audits," Immigration and Customs Enforcement head John T. Morton said Thursday during a teleconference.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are briefed before a Santa Ana raid in search of fugitives. Five subjects, court ordered to be deported, were arrested in early morning raids in Santa Ana, Anaheim and Garden Grove.

The new office will have specialists who will scrutinize I-9 employee data collected from employers chosen for audits, Morton said. The new office will add an additional 15 full-time auditors to a staff of 137, he said.

This move is the latest action taken by the Obama administration, which has promised to refocus immigration enforcement's aim on worksite enforcement.

At a Los Angeles news conference in August 2009, Morton told reporters the administration would move away from the Bush administration's large-scale work enforcement actions where thousands of people working in the country illegally were arrested and placed in deportation proceedings.

Immigration rights groups blasted the high-profile raids, saying that immigration officials only went after the people who were in the country illegally and prosecuted very few of the employers.

One of the most recent worksite enforcement actions in Orange County during the new administration targeted Terra Universal, a manufacturing plant in Fullerton that manufactures and ships high-tech laboratory equipment – mostly abroad.

ICE officials served a search warrant and detained 43 people who were suspected of being in the country illegally. Those detained were released within a few hours.

However, company officials complained that while the search warrant asked for employee records, they disrupted the company's operations, costing them thousands of dollars in business.

In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, ICE conducted audits of more than 2,740 companies, just short of twice as many as the previous year, according to a Wall Street Journal story. The agency gave out a record $7 million in civil fines to businesses that employed people who were not authorized to work in the country.

Morton also announced a partnership with Tyson Foods, which has joined a program that allows federal officials to audit a portion of their hiring records.

Tyson has faced human smuggling charges in the past, which ultimately resulted in acquittal, according to a Wall Street Journal story about the new federal audit office.


Britain is migrant magnet of Europe: Only Spain admits more non-EU immigrants

Britain accepts more non-European immigrants than any other EU country except Spain, it emerged yesterday. The latest annual figures showed immigration from Asia, Africa and the Americas running at 307,000, against 284,000 received by Italy and the 238,000 who went to Germany.

These comparisons are striking because Italy is the main destination for hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East who see it as the easiest route into Europe, and for decades Germany accepted more migrants than any other European country.

The only country that takes more non-EU immigrants than Britain now is Spain, the European country of choice for most Latin Americans. The figures, which cover 2008, show that Spain took 499,000 non-EU migrants.

The news comes as ministers prepare caps on migration from outside Europe, the only possible form of control because EU laws demand free movement between the 27 member states.

They have promised to reduce annual ‘net migration’ – calculated by subtracting the number of emigrants from the immigrant total – to below 100,000, a level last seen in the late Nineties. Tory MPs warned that the new figures show the need for the Coalition to act effectively.

Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, said: ‘We made a clear promise to cut net migration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands. ‘These figures show that the Government needs to pull its finger out and get on with it. ‘People are fed up with talk. They want to see significant reductions. People will hold ministers to account for this at the next election.’

Last week, a Whitehall survey showed four out of five people want to see immigration reduced and more than half the population want to see immigration cut ‘a lot’.

The figures from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics department, show only four member states accepted more than 100,000 immigrants from outside the EU in 2008. France used to admit high numbers of immigrants, but it took only 89,000 two years ago, fewer than a third of the number coming to Britain.

The country outside the EU from where the most people came to Britain in 2008 was India, at 47,000. In that year, 165,000 people arrived in the UK from Commonwealth countries and 142,000 from other non-EU nations.

The most recent statistics show 303,000 people came to Britain from outside the EU in 2009 – the latest year for which figures are available. Net migration then was 193,000, a figure which is likely to have risen to well over 200,000 because fewer people emigrate in a recession.

In April, the Government will introduce rules intended to cap visas for less skilled workers from outside Europe to 21,700 next year, a reduction of a fifth. A consultation on how to cut the number of student visas is under way.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘This shows why the Government is committed to reducing net migration to sustainable levels from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands within the lifetime of this Parliament.

‘We have already introduced a limit on non-EU economic migration and throughout 2011 we will be introducing further controls across the board to affect every immigration route. ‘We will exert steady downward pressure on immigration numbers, which is the sensible way to deal with the uncontrolled immigration system we inherited.’


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Foreigners take two out of three new British jobs as statistics reveal nearly 200,000 vacancies were filled by those born overseas

These figures will not be much of a surprise in Australia. As Australians sometimes say in their splendid slanguage: "A Pom wouldn't work in an iron lung". In other words, Britons are seen as characteristically work-shy

Just a third of all jobs created last year went to British-born workers, official figures indicate. They show that only 100,000 of the 297,000 workers who began new posts between July and September 2010 were native Britons. Of the rest, 90,000 were born in Poland and other Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004, and the remainder were born elsewhere in the world.

The summer figures from the Office for National Statistics are the latest available and are understood to be representative of the whole year.

The analysis, published in the ONS journal Economic and Labour Market Review, also showed that while a million jobs have become available in Britain over the past six years, there are now a third of a million fewer British-born people in work.

Since the beginning of 2004, the number of British-born people in jobs has gone down by 334,000, while nearly 1.3million foreign-born individuals have found work in the UK. Of these, 530,000 were from Eastern Europe and 770,000 from elsewhere in the world.

Sir Andrew Green, of the think-tank MigrationWatch, said: ‘These latest figures can only be described as spectacular. There are no fixed numbers of jobs in an economy but it is very hard to escape the conclusion that foreign-born workers are taking jobs that might be done by British workers.’


Asylum seeker who killed girl in hit and run 'should be deported', says immigration minister

The father of a girl left dying in the road after being mown down by a failed asylum seeker has been handed a major boost in his bid to have him deported. Aso Mohammed Ibrahim knocked down Amy Houston, 12, and fled the scene leaving her under the wheels of his car. He was arrested and served four months in prison but launched legal action to be allowed leave to remain in the UK.

Last year his fight against deportation was successful after he argued sending him home would breach his right to a 'private and family life' under the Human Rights Act as he had fathered two children here.

But Amy's father, Paul Houston, 41, has continued to campaign for Ibrahim to be deported claiming the Act had become nothing more than a charter for thieves, killers, terrorists and illegal immigrants. Now he has been handed fresh hope after his campaign was backed by immigration minister Damian Green. In a letter to Mr Houston, the immigration minister said: 'I agree that Mr Ibrahim should not be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom.

'Mr Ibrahim was convicted of committing an offence that led to the tragic death of Amy Houston and it is my personal view that he should be removed.'

His support comes as it was announced the case was set to go before the High Court in London. The Home Office has granted UK Borders Agency bosses permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to overturn the Upper Immigration Tribunal's decision to allow Ibrahim to stay in Britain.

Ibrahim, 33, arrived in Britain hidden in the back of a lorry in January 2001. His application for asylum was refused and a subsequent appeal in November 2002 failed, but he was never sent home.

Amy was killed in 2003 after she was hit by a Rover driven by Ibrahim who then fled the scene leaving the girl crying in pain under the wheels. The Iraqi Kurd was jailed for just four months after admitting driving while disqualified and failing to stop after an accident.

Since his release from prison he has racked up a string of criminal convictions, including more driving offences, harassment and cautions for burglary and theft.

But Ibrahim embarked on a relationship with Christina Richardson and they had two children, Harry, four, and Zara, three. He was able to escape deportation from the UK by using the Human Rights Act to successfully argue he had a right to a family life.

The UK Border Agency launched a last-ditch appeal against that decision in an attempt to have him kicked out. But at a hearing in Manchester in November immigration judges, Deborah Taylor and Clive Lane, rejected the appeal. Now senior judge in the High Court will now review case documents to determine whether an appeal can be heard.

Mr Houston said: 'I'm hopeful we will be given an appeal and we will finally be able to argue that Mr Ibrahim should have been deported years ago.'


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Britain's Borders 'made less secure by Labour' say frontline staff

Britain's border guards have delivered a damning verdict on Labour's supposedly 'tough' immigration system. In an official survey, nearly three quarters of staff working on the front line said the changes made the border less secure.

But migrants asked their views on the system - attacked for allowing arrivals to spiral out of control - were overwhelmingly in favour. More than 80 per cent of visa applicants said the system was fair, easy to understand and 'user-friendly'. Businesses and universities bringing migrants in to work or study in Britain were similarly in favour.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch UK think tank said: 'We have long had concerns about the effectiveness of the points based system in controlling the scale of immigration to Britain.' 'The fact that immigrants themselves are very happy with it, and immigration officers are not serves to underline the view that the system needs fundamental reassessment.'

The Australian-style points system, introduced by Gordon Brown, was intended to cut arrivals from outside the EU, with numbers of economic migrants expected to fall by as much as 12 per cent. But it was branded 'shambolic' after analysis showed that economic migration actually increased by 20 per cent, while the number of foreign students went up by more than 30 per cent.

Less than a year after it was brought in, ministers were forced to suspend applications from several countries, including Bangladesh and Nepal, because of fears student routes were being abused by economic migrants.

In just twelve months the number of visas issued in Bangladesh increased by 645 per cent. At the time, some border staff watching arrivals at UK ports and airports reported migrants arriving who could barely speak English, despite having met supposedly strict admission criteria.

The Home Office survey of nearly 2000 immigration staff was carried between April and May last year.

Around half of all UK Border Agency staff - including backroom workers tasked with processing applications - said the country's borders appeared less secure since the system was brought in. But that view was held by 71 per cent of Border Force staff who work on the front line.

The survey also suggested the system was rushed in, with just 14 per cent of Border Force staff saying they were properly prepared for its introduction.

The highest approval rates - approaching 90 per cent - were seen in Tier One of the points system, which issued visas to 'highly skilled' workers allowed to come to Britain even if they didn't have a secure job offer.

Figures emerged recently showing just one in four of those coming in through Tier One was able to secure a 'highly skilled' occupation. Nearly one in three were either unemployed or working as supermarket cashiers, security guards or call centre staff.

Of 6,796 migrants, 82 per cent of those in Tier One said they were satisfied with the system, 81 per cent of skilled migrants coming in through Tier 2, and 79 per cent of young and temporary workers admitted under Tier 5.

Businesses and universities bringing in migrants to work and study gave the scheme an 86 per cent approval rate.

Ministers have pledged to cut net migration - the difference between the numbers arriving and those leaving - from more than 200,000 last year to less than 100,000 by 2015.

In an unprecedented crackdown the number of economic migrants arriving from outside the EU will be permanently capped from later this year, and both student visa numbers and totals coming here to marry will be slashed.


Recent posts at CIS below

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

1. REAL ID Implementation: Less Expensive, Doable, and Helpful in Reducing Fraud (Backgrounder)

2. The Big Lie Never Dies: The Washington Post on Mass Deportation (Blog)

3. A Small Hyphen's Large Assimilation Results (Blog)

4. Hyphenation vs. Dual Citizenship (Blog)

5. Just How Does an Anchor Baby Anchor the Illegal Alien Parent? (Blog)

6. What's in a Name? Assimilation's Secret Weapon (Blog)

7. Morton Kondracke and the Immigration-Industrial Complex (Blog)

8. Plan B for the Pro-Migration Advocates (Blog)

9. Not Your Father's Latino Officials (Blog)

10. Would Advanced Immigrant Visas for 55,000 Haitians Help Haiti? (Blog)

11. Phoenix ICE Agents Raid Business! (Blog)

12. Decision Makers: Gallegly in House of Representatives, Sperling in White House (Blog)

13. Arlington-Based Outfit Urges India to Fight Against U.S. Interests in WTO (Blog)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amid federal inaction, Md. among states to take up immigration issue

Clad in black T-shirts that read, "I am Maryland. Youth can DREAM," a dozen undocumented students came to Annapolis last week to thank state Sen. Victor R. Ramirez. Even before he was sworn in, the Prince George's County Democrat had pledged to try to extend in-state tuition at Maryland's public colleges and universities to the children of illegal immigrants.

Elsewhere in the capital that day, Del. Patrick L. McDonough called for officers at state buildings to bar the entry of those students — and anyone, he said, who could not present proof of citizenship. The Baltimore County Republican outlined plans to introduce several bills to crack down on illegal immigrants in what he calls a "sanctuary state."

Similar clashes are unfolding in statehouses across the nation. As a decade of bipartisan efforts at comprehensive immigration reform in Washington comes to an end in a divided and polarized Congress, local lawmakers — including those in states, such as Maryland, far from some other country's border — are taking matters into their own hands.

All 46 states that held a regular legislative session last year addressed immigration in some form, enacting more than 200 laws and adopting 138 resolutions — a record number, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And there's no sign that interest will ebb this year, conference official Ann Morse said.

Legislatures "are reflecting the general public's frustration with the issue," Morse said. She said many of the laws, in fact, are passed merely as "a way to get the federal government to pay attention."

Advocates for undocumented immigrants warn that state attempts to assume the federal responsibility to defend the borders are fraught with pitfalls. A spokesman for the Washington-based National Immigration Forum points to last year's controversial Arizona law, which would require law enforcement agents to verify the immigration status of suspects they believe could be in the country illegally. The Obama administration says the law is unconstitutional; it is now tied up in court.

State legislative fixes "can have dire consequences," National Immigration Forum spokesman Martine Apodaca said.

Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. Jenkins, who leads the only law enforcement agency in Maryland with a formal policy of referring undocumented suspects to federal immigration authorities, said waiting for Congress "to do something" is "the easy way out."

Jenkins says the county policy has led to 800 deportation proceedings. "It's easy for any sheriff or chief of police or legislator to say, 'It's a federal problem,'" he said. "But what we've demonstrated here in Frederick County is that there is a clear role for the locals to play."

At least seven states, including Pennsylvania, are seriously considering legislation modeled on Arizona's law, according to the National Immigration Forum.

McDonough has put together an Arizona-style bill for the Maryland legislature to consider, but it is not expected to go anywhere in the Democrat-dominated General Assembly. "What's important to me is the rule of law, the citizenship we have and its value," McDonough said.

More likely to gain traction this year, according to House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, is a plan that would enable undocumented students schooled in Maryland to pay in-state tuition at the state's public colleges and universities. Ramirez, who was elected to the Senate in November, called the legislation "a matter of education policy, not immigration policy."

Federal law requires public schools to provide K-12 education to undocumented children. Given that the state has already invested in those children, Ramirez said, "it makes no sense to abandon them" if they go on to seek higher education.

Ramirez, who was born in El Salvador and moved to Maryland legally with his family as a child, authored similar legislation as a delegate. He will be joined in the effort by Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., a Montgomery County Democrat who also has long advocated for in-state tuition.

The legislature passed an in-state tuition bill in 2003, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican. Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat who has referred to illegal immigrants as "new Americans," said he would sign an in-state tuition bill.

Ten states now offer in-state tuition to undocumented students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Morse, the conference's program director, says a court finding upholding such a law in California will likely encourage other states to consider similar measures.

Kim Propeack, organizing director at the immigrant advocacy group Casa de Maryland, said rejection of the federal Dream Act last month "was felt deeply" in Maryland, with its large immigrant community, its proximity to the nation's capital and its Democrat-majority population. "There's a very emotional relationship between the failure of the Dream Act and the movement locally," she said.

The federal legislation, which was backed by President Barack Obama and most congressional Democrats, would have extended citizenship to some children of illegal immigrants if those children served in the military or pursued higher education. It was approved last month by the then-Democratic House, but fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate.

Miller, the state Senate president, has said he would support an in-state tuition bill, but predicts lawmakers will seek a compromise, such as extending the offer only at community colleges, and not four-year institutions.

A Southern Maryland Democrat, Miller anticipates that lawmakers will hear loudly from constituents on the issue. He does not believe that Marylanders support giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

Jenkins, the Frederick County sheriff, said citizens feel strongly about cracking down on illegal immigrants. He is surprised more sheriffs across the state haven't followed his county's example. "I talk to average citizens, and there's a real want out there for government leaders to stand up and do something about the problem," Jenkins said.

Until June 2009, Maryland was the only state east of the Rocky Mountains that didn't require applicants for driver's licenses to prove they were in the country lawfully. The practice ended only after a long and emotional legislative debate, punctuated with shouting and tears, that continued to the final moments of that year's session.


Thousands of Afghan "asylum seekers" face deportation from Australia

AUSTRALIA has the green light to deport thousands of Afghan asylum seekers after reaching a historic agreement with the Afghan government.

The Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Afghan Refugee Minister, Jamaher Anwary, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sydney yesterday. It enables the forced return of Afghans whose bids for asylum fail. The move is alarming security experts and refugee advocates.

Mr Bowen said it would deter Afghans considering travelling to Australia. "Never, all through the Howard years, never before today, has there been an involuntary return from Australia to Afghanistan," he said. "To dissuade people from risking their lives by joining people-smuggling ventures, it is important that Afghans found not to be owed protection by Australia are returned to Afghanistan."

About 2600 Afghans are in Australia's detention centres. Of those, 49 must win court appeals to avoid imminent deportation.

The opposition was sceptical about the agreement, saying it was only as good as the government's will to enforce it. "The minister is unable to say when anyone is going to be returned," said its immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison. "It's not clear to me the government has the resolve to implement this."

In three years, only three asylum seekers have been returned to Afghanistan - all last year after volunteering to go. In 2008 and 2009, 126 people were returned to their countries of origin.

The director of the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University, William Maley, warned that ethnic Hazaras, in particular, should not be deported without extreme caution. "The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unsettling," he said.

He cast doubt on the security expertise of Australian officials making refugee assessments. The decapitation of 11 Hazaras in Oruzgan province in June contradicted a cable from the Kabul embassy proclaiming a "golden age" for Hazaras, he said.

The Refugee Council of Australia was concerned by the lack of safeguards the memorandum provided for returned asylum seekers. "In Afghanistan, people are not so much under threat from actions by government but the actions of people who the government cannot, or chooses not to, control," said the chief executive, Paul Power.

The Australian government has promised money to help Afghanistan improve its passport system and accommodation for returned asylum seekers. The UN has agreed to ad hoc monitoring.


Monday, January 17, 2011

A good reply

The Arizona Suns basketball team is known for taking the field with "Los Suns" on their uniforms -- "Los" means "The" in Spanish. Their loyalty is apparently to Mexico rather than to the USA.

So it should be no surprise that they are sympathetic to illegal aliens in their midst in Arizona. And the AZ Sun's owner, Robert Sarver, said so last year -- criticizing Governor Brewer's support for Arizona's tough immigration control laws.

Jan Brewer replied:

"What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected.

Furthermore, what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?"


Va.: Prince William immigration policy could be extended statewide

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, has introduced legislation that would require police to check the immigration status of anyone arrested. The legislation would essentially extend Prince William's illegal immigration enforcement policy to all Virginia.

Lingamfelter's bill was lauded Friday by Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, a Republican who has hinted at running for U.S. Sen. Jim Webb's seat in 2012.

Prince William's policy, passed by its Board of County Supervisors amid controversy in 2007, mandates that police officers inquire into the immigration status of everyone who is arrested in the county.

"The strength of this policy is that it mandates the status check and establishes a bright line for Virginia law enforcement, avoiding racial-profiling accusations," said Stewart. "As lawmakers, we have to show our law enforcement officials that we have their backs."

He added: "I am very hopeful we will be able to advance the rule of law for all Virginians."


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Border Fence Project secretively buried by Homeland Security

Having spent a number of years in the media relations business, I’m familiar with the concept of releasing “bad news” on Friday. Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano used that approach to share news about her decision to cancel the Secure Border Initiative (a.k.a., “electronic fence”) that was supposed to help safeguard the nation’s southern border.

Late Friday night, I came across a article about the cancellation of the project which, so far, has cost taxpayers more than $1 billion. That article contained a reference to a written statement (below) that was attributed to “Big Sis” Napolitano:

“SBInet cannot meet its original objective of providing a single, integrated border-security technology solution.”

Hoping to read the official statement with my own eyes, I visited the DHS web site’s “Press Room.” There, however, I found nothing published. In fact, the most-recent entry was dated Jan. 8.

Next, I visited PRNewswire for Journalists where I have an account. Again, nothing.

Growing frustrated, I visited the Customs & Border Patrol’s “National News Releases” and “Speeches and Statements” pages. I found nothing there.

Though doubtful I would find anything, I returned to the DHS web site and entered the phrase, “Border Fence,” in the site’s search box. When the results appeared, I clicked on the link, DHS | Southwest Border Fence. A new “rabbit chase” began.

I scrolled about halfway down the page and clicked on another link, “More on border fence.“ Again, nothing, so I scrolled down again until I saw a link to the SBInet program. When I clicked on the link, a “404 – Page Not Found” error appeared before my eyes — a fitting description of a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.


Governor Perry: 'Number of cities' giving safe haven to illegal immigrants despite wishes of Texans

Republican Gov. Rick Perry offered no clues Wednesday on how Texas might abolish "sanctuary cities" that he says provide haven to illegal immigrants, after ordering the new GOP-dominated state legislature make the issue a top priority.

Perry didn't get into details on how Texas should correct a "number of cities" he said are in conflict with state and federal immigration laws. He said writing a bill on the second day of a new session was premature, and didn't give an answer when asked whether he wants local police officers to question people about their immigration status during traffic stops.

"I don't know yet," Perry said. "We'll write the legislation over the next 140 days."

Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for the governor, later sought to clarify that comment, saying Perry wants to stop cities from taking away the discretion officers have to enforce certain laws. Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, has long been assailed by conservatives as a place that protects illegal immigrants because the city's police officers generally don't ask about citizenship during patrols or investigations.

Perry, when pressed about Houston on Wednesday, said residents there realize the city has some "policies in place that are inappropriate." He didn't name other sanctuary cities in Texas when asked.

Houston has bristled at the "sanctuary city" label. Mayor Annise Parker, speaking to reporters in Houston after Perry's comments, said her city's policies for police are the same ones followed by state troopers. She said she wasn't aware of a sanctuary city anywhere in Texas. "We are going to continue doing what we do, and we believe common sense will prevail in Austin," Parker said.

Texas opened a new legislative session Tuesday with a historic GOP 101-49 supermajority in the House, meaning Republicans in that chamber can pass legislation with no Democratic support. Perry got thing started by designating sanctuary cities one of two emergency items for lawmakers. That puts the issue on the legislative fast track, whereas dozens of anti-illegal immigration bills in previous sessions withered quickly.

"There are cities in this state that have made decisions that they're going to be havens for those that are in conflict with federal immigration laws or state laws, and we're going to prohibit that," Perry said. "We'll have a good and open discussion about what we're going to prohibit."

Democrats say they've identified at least 40 bills targeting illegal immigration this session. The proposals include requiring local law enforcement to ask anyone without ID during a legal traffic stop whether they're in the country legally. Another would require school districts to identify students who are illegal immigrants.

Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, chairwoman of the Senate Democratic caucus, said Perry putting sanctuary cities on top of lawmakers' to-do list is another sign of the momentum behind illegal immigration proposals in Texas. "I figured that one out on election night," said Van De Putte, referring to sweeping GOP gains in November.

But Van De Putte said she is waiting to see how "sanctuary cities" are defined before commenting on the push to pass a bill. She is opposed to measures she believes would complicate the job of police officers if people in the community, including illegal immigrants, were reluctant to come forward with information about crimes.

Arizona passed the toughest state anti-immigration laws in the nation last year. It requires police officers, when enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. Perry has said he doesn't support Texas passing an identical measure but has lauded the state for taking the matter into its own hands.

In Houston, Parker said her problem with Arizona-style laws is that it gives too much discretion to officers on the street in determining who might be here legally and who isn't. Parker said 20 percent of her city's population wasn't born in America, and that she wasn't just referring to Hispanics born elsewhere. "Are we as Americans willing to carry and display, for any police officer who wants to stop us, something that proves that we were born here and have the right to be here?" she said.

Perry has not mentioned any specific bill since declaring sanctuary cities a priority. But one that seems to closely match his comments is Republican Rep. Debbie Riddle's bill that would deny state funding to local governments that do not enforce immigration laws.

Riddle, of suburban Houston, has long been one of the loudest anti-illegal immigration voices in the Capitol. She found Perry's prioritizing validating. "This is the United States of America. Not the United States of Luby's," said Riddle, referring to a popular cafeteria-style Texas restaurant chain. "We cannot just pick and choose the laws that we want to enforce. We cannot pick and choose the laws we want to respect."