Sunday, July 31, 2011

Breivik sows fear of wider white backlash against immigrants

While Breivik's bloody slaughter of teenagers at a summer camp was repugnant to all decent people, it is also true that a good proportion of decent people quietly share some of his political views. Support for right-wing politics is on the rise across Europe, fuelled by economic hard times and fear of Islam. A rise in the number of extremists on its fringe is expected as a result.

Breivik had intended his massacre to be a "wake-up call" to Europe about what he saw as the danger of a Muslim takeover. Instead, it has become a different kind of wake-up call, warning a Europe that had been preoccupied with the threat of Islamic terrorism that blond, Christian, home-grown threats can be just as deadly.

Many Norwegians say the only comfort over the massacre eight days ago is that Breivik must be crazy, a freak of nature, a psychopath; a product not of politics and culture but of a murderously disordered mind. "He could not possibly be sane and do what he has done," one person after another will tell you.

But those who study such things say this isn't so. The "lone wolf" terrorist is rarely mad or psychopathic, says Will Hartley, the editor of Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre in Washington.

"Terrorists tend to be better adjusted [psychologically] than the average. They often have a surfeit of qualities that would otherwise make them respectable, such as empathy and the ability to act altruistically. Their background is often surprising - with the 7/7 bombings in London, one of the terrorists was a social worker who worked with children."

A terrorism expert at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs, Helge Luras, says Breivik's internet manifesto suggests he pumped himself full of steroids to heighten his aggression, and listened to music through earphones so he would not be moved by the pleas of his victims.

"So he's not a psychopath or lacking in emotion or empathy. In the manifesto he talks about how it will be difficult to kill these people in this manner because he has empathy. Psychopaths don't struggle with that," he says.

Breivik's meticulous planning over nine years, and his attention to detail, suggest he is well and truly in touch with the real world, if markedly paranoid.

"Breivik was doing a mass murder as a form of fundamentalist PR," says Matthew Feldman, a lecturer in history at the University of Northampton in Britain and an expert on the extreme right.

He is convinced that Breivik killed to get publicity for his online manifesto and video, posted just hours before he set off a car bomb and hunted teenagers with a sub-machinegun.

"If he had posted them two weeks earlier, they would have sunk without trace. It was a publicity stunt. At the same time, the documents, video and killings were the first salvo in what he thought would be a European civil war."

Feldman sees the fundamentalist Breivik, calling on heroic figures from Christianity's distant past, as the western equivalent of the Muslim terrorist: believing that ideas are more important than human life, that violence will lead to revolutionary change, and that martyrs must offer their lives in defence of their besieged culture. "It's a kind of crusading 'Christianism' that is the mirror image of jihadi Islamism," he told the Herald.

According to his 1500-page manifesto - much of it cut and pasted from others - Breivik believes that European governments are letting Muslims take over Europe through mass immigration, which is diluting the culture. He claims to be part of an organisation called the "Knights Templar" dedicated to fighting for Europe. The original Knights Templar took part in the mediaeval Crusades to take the Holy Land back from Muslims.

His manifesto suggests he killed the young people of Norway's Labour Party at their summer camp on Utoya island because Labour deserved "the death penalty" for its multicultural policies and friendly approach to immigration, which were a "betrayal" of Europe.

Analysts concede that, even within the bizarre world of terrorism, Breivik is an unusual specimen. Most terrorists work in groups, partly because it is mutual reinforcement that leads to the gradual acceptance of radical ideas, and partly because competitive dynamics help push individuals into violence.

But, while police are investigating Breivik's claims of two more cells and international contact with bodies such as the English Defence League - denied by the league - it seems at this stage that he conceived and carried out his massacre alone.

Hartley says this suggests he is highly self-reliant and has a massive ego, full of the importance of his own ideas, like America's Unabomber. "He's not mentally ill but he may have delusional fantasies. He likes to picture himself in the uniform and cross of the Knights Templar; there is an element of role-play, of conveying himself as knight in a long line of European crusader heroes who fought for their religion."

He warns that solo operators such as Breivik are almost impossible to detect before they act. This is a big problem, because European police have been warning that exactly this kind of terrorist is becoming more likely.

The internet provides the would-be terrorist with anonymity, global reach on information and the ability to spread material quickly and widely. Feldman says there have been two recent right-wing lone-wolf cases in England, one involving a member of the white-supremacist Aryan Strike Force who made the deadly chemical ricin. "With the right amount of dedication, a credit card and a modem, you can make weapons of mass destruction from your home computer.''

Breivik claims he learnt to make a car bomb by spending 200 hours on the internet over two weeks.

In Europe, Islamism has been the major focus of terrorism fears since September 11, 2001. Europol's 2011 report on terrorism warned of a continuing "high and diverse" threat of Islamist terrorists, with 179 arrests in 2010 over plots to cause mass casualties. This was a 50 per cent increase on the year before. And it warned that more "lone actors with EU citizenship" were becoming involved in Islamist terrorism, with fewer plots controlled by leaders from outside the EU.

But the Europol report also warned that the threat of right-wing extremists was intensifying, and noted: "If the unrest in North Africa leads to a major influx of immigrants into Europe, right-wing terrorism might gain a new lease of life by articulating more widespread apprehension about immigration."

Immigration is a focus of every mainstream right-wing party in Europe, although most have worked hard to eradicate any clear sign of racism. Of course, the left argues that debating "immigration" is simply "dog-whistle politics": those being called recognise it as code for "race". But among extremists, Feldman says, there is no room for doubt: "The 20th century scapegoating of Muslims is something everyone on the far right can agree on."

Right-wing parties have become a more powerful presence in mainstream politics across a range of countries. In Russia, Hartley says: "They are conventional nationalists, against migration from the former Soviet socialist republics."

"The British National Party has actually secured seats on councils and things like that, and is much closer to giving the conventional parties a run for their money in elections."

Britain also has the English Defence League, cited by Breivik as an organisation with which he connected, which has chapters across many European countries and a Norwegian Facebook page with 13,000 members.

On the Continent, right-wing groups are gaining traction from Hungary to Italy but their rise is particularly apparent in northern European countries such as Norway that previously had liberal immigration policies.

The rapid arrival of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants, many of them Muslims, led to a significant backlash in Denmark, where the Danish People's Party has 25 out of 179 seats in parliament, and the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders's Party for Freedom won 15.5 per cent of the vote in the 2010 general election. Wilders once compared the Koran, the holy book of Islam, to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. In Sweden, a man was arrested in November last year in Malmo in connection with more than a dozen unsolved shootings of immigrants, including one fatality. The far-right Sweden Democrats entered parliament for the first time in September last year after winning 5.7 per cent of the vote.

The right is getting better at recruitment in the digital age. A spokesman for Europol, Gerald Hesztera, told the Herald that right-wing extremists were now more professional in their use of the internet, with stylish websites and clever use of social media.

"White Power" music groups hold concerts organised over the internet that attract hundreds of young people to listen to xenophobic songs with hate-filled lyrics, he says. "They have a general ideology of white supremacy and they are rock groups with a racist, sometimes fascist orientation. Right-wing skinheads go to these concerts all over Europe."

Forty-nine per cent of Norwegians questioned in a recent poll said they thought immigration had gone too far and too fast, Luras says. This is not a reaction to immigration but the way it has always been in Norway. "People said pretty much the same thing in a poll in '87," he says.

"This is not just something peculiar to Europe. This need for group cohesion and the issue of borders is so ingrained in humans. It ensured our survival in the very early phases. This is still with us and it creates problems in a phase of globalisation but we are genetically what we were 20,000 years ago.''

The right-wing Progress Party now holds about a quarter of seats in Norway's parliament and is seen to have increased its support because of its criticism of immigration, which has become more restricted as politicians began to take note of the public mood. This week, the party - which is not as far to the right as those in other nations - was at pains to distance itself from Breivik, who was a member when he was younger.

In typically Norwegian fashion - political debate here is strong but so is the tradition of consensus - leaders of all the main parties agreed to suspend partisan politics for several weeks, and this week met at the Progress Party's headquarters to discuss how best to manage the election coming up in September.

Breivik wanted to change the course of history. He thought he would light a fuse that would set fire to Europe.

Hartley says he has damaged the mainstream right wing because now some of its rhetoric is linked with his violence: "He reminds everyone of what they have been trying to bury, and now the right is being tarred as racist in the media because of his focus on Muslims."

But Breivik could turn out to be inspirational to some who, like him, feel the system is rigged against the right and prevents ordinary people from expressing views considered politically incorrect, Hartley says.

Luras warns the drivers for right-wing support - stagnating economies and pressure on borders - will continue and Europe should be "prepared and concerned" about its rise.

"It doesn't mean that it would lead to terrorism but my sense at the moment is that Mr Breivik is the beginning of what may be a cult figure for some. He has described in detail how the movement should arise to be inspired by himself, and some will be inspired."

Luras says the level of hero-worship will depend on whether Breivik cracks in prison: "If he can keep up the appearance that he is superhuman, able to stand completely on his own, still believing in himself even though he is in a cell, then the cult will definitely be created. "I will be very surprised in 10 years if, looking back, not a single terrorist act has occurred connected to Mr Breivik."


Por La Raza, Nada

While virtually all President Obama will talk about is the debt ceiling, he took a short break to give an address before the National Council of La Raza on Monday. Calling the audience his “Hermanos y hermanas,” he trumpeted his support of the DREAM Act amnesty, stated his opposition to Arizona’s SB 1070 and all state level immigration laws, and touted his Hispanic appointments—citing Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Raul Yzaguirre, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Obama did not mention one other Hispanic appointment, former La Raza vice president Cecilia Munoz who serves as his Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and his public liaison to Hispanics. In appointing Munoz, Obama violated his own pledge not to allow former lobbyists positions where they control money they formerly controlled, and gave Munoz a special waiver.

While our nation is going broke, the National Council of La Raza is doing just fine. Since Obama and Munoz took up the white house, they have seen their funding skyrocket, nearly tripling from 4.5 to 11 million dollars in 2010. Judicial Watch also found out that the La Raza affiliate, Chicanos por la Causa received over 18 million dollars of tax dollars. That group was the primary plaintiff against Arizona’s law against illegal employers.

And it is not as if La Raza is lacking funds. Between their various sister organizations, they have over 200 million dollars in assets, much of it paid for by corporate America, and Chicanos por la Causa have nearly 100 million dollars.

Although some of La Raza’s government funding was earmarked by congress, virtually all of it was doled out by the Obama administration. Sixty percent of La Raza's take came from the Department of Labor—run by Hilda Solis. They lobbied hard for her appointment and honored her with an award. She paid them back—with millions of our tax dollars.

Even if we were running trillion dollar surpluses, there is no reason why La Raza should get a dime of taxpayer dollars. Here are just a few reasons why.

“La Raza” means “The Race,” specifically the Latino race. Could you imagine if the government were giving millions of dollars to a group called “The National Council of the White Race”?

La Raza counts the pro-reconquista Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán) as an affiliate and helps fund the organization. MeCHA’s slogan is "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada," meaning “For the Race everything, outside the Race nothing.”

La Raza opposes free speech and has tried to get Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, and other opponents of illegal immigration kicked off the air. Their president Janet Murguia said “when free speech transforms into hate speech, we've got to draw that line.” La Raza has said calling illegal aliens “criminals” is “hate speech.”

La Raza has lobbied for every single amnesty, against immigration enforcement, for Obamacare, and against English as an official language

Barack Obama managed to address the issue of the debt briefly during his talk to La Raza. He stated, “Every day, NCLR and your affiliates hear from families figuring out how to stretch every dollar a little bit further, what sacrifices they’ve got to make, how they're going to budget only what’s truly important. So they should expect the same thing from Washington.”

While 11 million dollars is a tiny fraction of our trillion dollar a year deficit, funding this pro-amnesty propaganda outfit is not “truly important.”

Republicans in the House have passed legislation to defund left wing groups such as Planned Parenthood and ACORN. The National Council of La Raza should be be next. To slightly alter their MeCHA pals' slogan, when it comes to our tax dollars: “Por La Raza, Nada!”


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Last of Arizona immigration protesters on trial

The president of a national religious organization and five others went on trial Friday in Phoenix a year after they were arrested while protesting Arizona's tough immigration law and a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Boston-based Unitarian Universalist Association, is charged with a misdemeanor count of failure to obey an order. Morales lives in Arvada, Colo. and Salem, Mass., and was elected as the first Latino president of the association in 2009.

Also on trial in the same courtroom is Salvador Reza, the leader of an immigrant-rights group based in Phoenix and a longtime opponent of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his immigration crackdowns.

Other defendants include a UCLA graduate student in art, a security guard at a local music venue and an official at the Arizona branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

The group is the last of the so-called human-chain trials. On July 29, 2010, dozens of protesters took to Phoenix streets on the day SB1070 was set to take effect. A judge put the most contentious parts of the law on hold, and the fight likely is headed to the Supreme Court.

Arpaio organized an immigration sweep on the same day. He has conducted nearly 20 such sweeps, sending deputies and volunteer posse members to often heavily Latino areas of Phoenix to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders.

Critics say the deputies pull people over for minor traffic infractions because of the color of their skin, so they can ask them for their proof of citizenship. Arpaio has denied allegations of racial profiling, saying people are stopped if deputies have probable cause that a crime was committed, and only later do deputies find that many of the people arrested are illegal immigrants.

As the law took effect and Arpaio planned a sweep, people from across the country rallied in cities from Los Angeles to New York as hundreds of others swarmed downtown Phoenix.

The protesters in Phoenix massed outside one of Arpaio's jails, beating on a metal door and forcing sheriff's deputies to call for backup. Officers in riot gear opened the doors, waded out into the crowd and hauled off those who didn't move, including Morales.

"It was an act of religious witness against an outrageous violation of human and civil rights," Morales told The Associated Press before his trial began on Friday outside Maricopa County Justice Court. "It was a moral imperative to speak out."

He pointed out that the protest was "completely peaceful" and doesn't fear the consequences. "I'm a very privileged person," Morales said. "I have a whole religious organization behind me. I'm not going to get deported or separated from my family. The worst I will face is some inconvenience."

Sean Larkin, a Phoenix attorney who has represented many of the protesters arrested for free because he is against SB1070, said that none of his clients has faced serious consequences because they were charged with misdemeanors. Many of them even had their cases thrown out entirely, he said.

Morales and the other defendants likely won't face more than a fine. The trial could last through Monday.

Whatever the legal result, Morales said he's glad he was able to speak out against Arpaio. "The wrong person is on trial today," he said. "It's about time Joe Arpaio was arrested, indicted and prosecuted."

The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating Arpaio's office since March 2009 for allegations of discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and for having an English-only policy in his jails that discriminates against people with limited English skills. Arpaio has said the investigation is focused on his immigration sweeps.

In a separate investigation, a grand jury in Phoenix is examining allegations that Arpaio's office abused its powers, including trying to intimidate county workers by having deputies show up at their homes at nights and weekends.

Arpaio told The Associated Press on Friday that his deputies do their job in a professional manner and that he stands by them.

"And we're going to keep doing it," he said. "We have a lot of people living in this county and I don't see any uproar about me and my officers enforcing the illegal immigration law, except a small group of people. "I'm not going to back down," he added.

Although last year's protest delayed one of Arpaio's immigration sweeps by only a day, protesters viewed it as a small victory, said Reza, the immigrant-rights leader also on trial Friday. "We decided to lose our liberty temporarily because the human-rights abuses in Arizona are so outrageous, something had to be done to stop it for one day and send a message," he said.


Self-harming behaviour conveys the message that illegal immigration to Australia is no easy ride

THE chairman of Suicide Prevention Australia, Michael Dudley, has warned the mandatory detention of asylum seekers is "bad policy", saying the dark side of Australia's national character was driving the refugee debate.

The Immigration Department has asked Mr Dudley to look for solutions to the increasing rate of suicide and self-harm in immigration detention centres.

The federal government yesterday highlighted Mr Dudley's involvement as it responded to the Commonwealth Ombudsman's announcement of an inquiry into the "upsurge" of self harm in the detention network. There were 1100 incidents last year, and 54 incidents in the first week of July alone.

But Mr Dudley says he doesn't want to be seen to be supporting the detention policy, even though he would look for ways to stem the "very serious and dinky-di" incidents of young men attempting to kill themselves.

He said it typically occurred at night, when there is little supervision and dim lighting, as men sought a way out of their predicament.

Staff were demoralised and had minimal training, he said. "Length of detention is a constant thing that comes up."

Two suicide attempts yesterday in Darwin highlighted the urgency of the Ombudsman's inquiry, refugee advocates said.

A Sri Lankan man who has been in detention 18 months waiting for security clearance tried to hang himself at the Northam immigration detention centre in Darwin and had to be hospitalised, refugee advocates said. The second incident at Northam involved an Afghan man.

The department confirmed there had been two incidents and said both men had received pyschological assessments.

Australian Lawyers Alliance's Greg Barns says there would be an outcry if there were similar levels of self-harm in prison, and just because asylum seekers are not Australian citizens doesn't diminish the government's legal responsibility.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said: "I'm well aware of mental health issues in detention centres which is why the federal government has actually stepped up the supports that are available."

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the government was concerned by the instances of self-harm, and had reduced the number of people in detention by more than 2000 since April, to just over 4100.

The Immigration Department said it was working with a mental health advisory group to "examine self-harm and suicide trends across the network".

The department spokeswoman said some asylum seekers arrived with pre-existing mental health conditions, and mental healthcare including nurses and psychologists were provided.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young dismissed suggestions there were adequate mental health services in place. "There's clearly not. Normal people don't go around on a daily basis attempting to hang themselves," she said. She said she was concerned that the private operator of the immigration detention network, Serco, is able to hide reporting of self-harm incidents under the guise of "commercial-in-confidence" because it is a contractor to the government.

She will seek to have the full data revealed during the joint parliamentary inquiry into the detention network.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Norway terror attack exposes deeper anger over immigration

The admitted attacker behind last week's bombing and shooting spree derided immigration and multiculturalism. Experts say his beliefs are surprisingly common in Norway. They would be less surprised if they stopped turning a blind eye to Muslim behavior

Last week's Oslo terrorist attacks are raising delicate questions of immigration and integration here after the admitted attacker cited anti-Muslim views as motivating the assaults.

A country of less than 5 million people, Norway has seen its once homogeneous population change in recent years with new arrivals from Africa and the Middle East. This transformation, in part, drove Anders Behring Breivik, charged with Friday's car bombing and shooting spree that killed at least 76 people in the span of a few hours.

Now, even as this country still grieves for its victims, many say how Norway responds to the attacks could define immigration policy in the future.

While Mr. Breivik's views, revealed in his 1,500-page tirade against Muslims and multiculturalism, are extreme and his attack reviled by Norwegians of all political leanings, Breivik fed on an undercurrent of prejudice and hatred that exists in some areas of Norwegian society, where being Norwegian is still very much determined by one’s fair skin and light hair.

“We have to find out what kind of country Norway is. That’s where the struggle is going to be in the coming years,” says Thomas Eriksen, a professor of anthropology at the University of Oslo. “And we are going to have to deal with that.”

He says many immigrants still face an uphill battle in terms of integration and acceptance from their fellow Norwegians. “They can acquire our civilization but never our culture,” he says, offering up a common opinion. “In other words, they won’t be ‘us’ they’ll always be the ‘other’.”

Indeed, experts on immigration and integration point to a growing skepticism across Norway that now surrounds most Muslim immigrants. Though Breivik’s thinking is condemned, many of his views aren’t new.

“Some of his ideas are more commonplace than we’d like them to be,” says Rune Berglund Steen, communication manager for the Norwegian Center Against Racism. "This skepticism of Muslims has become a fairly central topic in Norwegian politics.”

Norway’s second-largest political party in parliament, the Progress Party, has been accused of backing xenophobic positions and Breivik was on the party’s member registry until 2006. The party quickly denounced the attacks and Breivik’s beliefs.

Mr. Steen says most Norwegians have a positive view toward immigrants. For example, he said a recent poll found that about 8 out of 10 Norwegians found it favorable if a child attends a school with mixed ethnicities.

But for Breivik and his ilk, Muslim newcomers here represent a "takeover."

“The problem can only be solved if we completely remove those who follow Islam. In order to do this all Muslims must ‘submit’ and convert to Christianity,” he wrote in his manifesto. “If they refuse to do this voluntarily prior to Jan. 1, 2020, they will be removed from European soil and deported back to the Islamic world.”

Most Norwegians, however, reject Breivik’s anti-Islamic views, preferring to see themselves as a tolerant, peaceful people and Breivik as a backwards extremist. “It’s the fact that he attacked our multiculturalism,” says Alexander Roine, waiting outside the courthouse where Breivik appeared Monday.

Mr. Roine, an Oslo native whose father came from Tunisia, says Norway is rightly famous for its peaceful, tolerant attitude but conceded older generations are still adjusting to the country’s brisk demographic shift.

“We would think a guy with these views would be like 50 or 60 years old,” he says of Breivik. “This guy was born in a Norway that was already multicultural. He attacked everything this country stands for to the last detail.”

Norway has experienced a steady rise in immigration, like many European countries, with the number of its immigrants doubling since 1995.

Most came for the robust economy, political stability and generous welfare state, settling in dense pockets [Otherwise known as "ghettoes"] in Norway’s largest cities. It’s estimated that 11 percent of Norwegians are immigrants or the children of immigrants and about 2 percent of the population practices Islam.


Georgia Enlists Citizens to Battle Illegal Aliens

The state’s controversial new immigration enforcement law cedes the power to punish wayward officials to a citizens panel

Georgia is about to embark on a bold experiment in privatization. Starting next year, officials in the state—mayors, county commissioners, and even business license clerks—could face $5,000 fines from a panel of citizen volunteers empowered by the state to investigate complaints about lax enforcement of immigration laws. The body will also have the authority to strip funding from local governments.

The first-of-its-kind Immigration Enforcement Review Board is part of Georgia’s new immigration statute, one of the toughest in the country. The law, which took effect on July 1, has already provoked a federal lawsuit and a court injunction—and led to a shortage of fruit and vegetable pickers during the harvest season. There were 425,000 illegal immigrants in Georgia in 2009, making up 4.3 percent of the state’s population, according to the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center.

Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican, says the board’s seven unpaid members will be named in the next few months and he expects the panel to begin its work in January. The law doesn’t offer any guidelines on who may be eligible to sit on the board.

D.A. King, a Georgia activist who helped shape the new law, is pleased with the results. “It is a significant step in that we have expanded Georgia law to intentionally make life very, very difficult and insecure for people who hire illegal immigrants, the illegals themselves, and the anti-enforcement politicians.”

Charles Kuck, a lawyer who is part of a team challenging the law, says the review panel will increase paperwork and waste money without any effect on illegal immigration. “It’s like a mini-McCarthy panel,” he says, referring to the Wisconsin Senator’s investigations of supposed Communists in the 1950s.

More than 10,000 protesters marched on the state capital on the day the law took effect. Just days before that, a federal court in Atlanta blocked some key provisions of the statute. One would allow police in the state to check the immigration status of people detained for even minor infractions such as disorderly conduct or running a red light. The court acted in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and several others groups.

The ACLU case did not challenge the legality of the Immigration Review Board. A Georgia law from 2006 already requires state officials to use national immigration databases to determine the legal status of non-citizens applying for state and municipal jobs, business licenses, or other types of benefits. The panel will be responsible for complaints submitted by registered voters in the state and determining whether public officials are complying with that law.

Many of them probably aren’t. In the past year just five jurisdictions in the state have reported receiving a business license application from someone whose legal status was unverifiable. Nan Riegle, the part-time city clerk and sole government official of Parrott, Ga., a 156-person hamlet three hours south of Atlanta, reported “an Indian guy” who wanted to renew a license for a convenience store. Riegle tried to look him up in the national database but “couldn’t get the system to work,” she recalls. “It is horrible. These little towns, we have so many mandates coming out of Atlanta, our workload has doubled.”

Riegle calls the enforcement board a “crappy” idea but says she’ll do her best to comply, if only to avoid the consequences. “I can’t afford to get my little town fined.”

The bottom line: Georgia has raised the immigration debate to a new level by empowering citizens to police enforcement of the state’s tough new law.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Requiring immigrants to Britain to speak English 'breaches human rights,' claims couple as they launch legal bid to overturn ruling

A new immigration rule requiring people to be able to speak English to move to the UK to be with their spouse is a breach of human rights, a court heard today.

A couple have launched a judicial review at the High Court to challenge the rule, which they claim contravenes their rights to a family life, their right to marry and constitutes discrimination.

British citizen Rashida Chapti, 54, and husband Vali Chapti, 57, are applying for him to join her in the UK. The couple have been married for 37 years and have six children together. Mr Chapti is an Indian national and does not speak, read or write English. Mrs Chapti has reportedly been travelling between India and Leicester for around 15 years but has now applied for her husband to come and live in the UK with her.

But under new immigration rules announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June 2010, he cannot do so due to a new English language requirement for migrants applying to come or stay in the UK as a spouse.

The rule, which came into force in November last year, is thought to be part of the Government's pledge to reduce net migration. But the Chaptis, along with two other couples, have launched proceedings to contest it.

At the High Court sitting in Birmingham, Manjit Gill QC, representing the couple, told the court the requirement was a breach of their human rights. He said it contravenes several Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights - Article 8, the right to family life, Article 12, the right to marry, and Article 14, to be free of discrimination. Mr Gill said: 'The rule is particularly striking in that it prevents mere residence even though one of the parties is fully entitled to live in this country.'

He said the rule discriminated against people on the grounds of nationality and 'race discrimination'.

He went on: 'There may be reasons, where the Secretary of State is concerned, that for those who are already here, before he allows them to gain a benefit such as indefinite leave to remain, or citizenship, that he is entitled to ask that they show some understanding of the language and some knowledge of life in the UK so that at that stage integration is assisted.

'It may be that the Secretary of State is able to show at that point that such a requirement is proportionate interference with the rights in question.'

But he said the measure prevented people who are British citizens and settled in the country from living with their partners, adding: 'That vice is compounded by the fact that the measure does this on grounds which are blatantly, admittedly, racially discriminatory.'


Walking the street, the hate preacher banned by Britain . . . and now he's using human rights law to stay

Strolling in the sunshine, seemingly without a care in the world, this is the Islamic extremist who has made a mockery of Britain’s border controls. In an extraordinary immigration farce, Sheikh Raed Salah is free to walk the streets after he was released on bail.

Four weeks ago, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel was able to enter the country unchallenged, despite a banning order. Now Salah, who has been accused in Parliament of ‘virulent anti-Semitism’, is using the Human Rights Act to demand his right to stay, and preach, in the UK. He has a return plane ticket but while his legal challenge is being resolved he can stay in the country.

Salah is claiming efforts to remove him are in breach of Article 10 of the Human Rights Act, the right to free speech.

The Home Office is intent on deporting him on the grounds that his presence is ‘not conducive to the public good’. But lawyers for Salah claim kicking him out is a breach of his right to freedom of expression. In effect he is arguing it would be wrong to revoke his visa and to remove him from the country because it prevents him from preaching.

He has already cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds in court and prison costs and the bill is set to rise further during a lengthy court battle.

Salah, who was invited to Britain by Left-wing Labour MPs, was in the country for three days before he was arrested, during which time he addressed two large meetings of supporters.

On June 25 he arrived at Heathrow from Tel Aviv. Only days earlier Home Secretary Theresa May had issued an order banning him from entering the country. But the papers were never served on him by UK Border Agency officials, and when he landed at Heathrow was able to walk through unhindered on a six-month visitor visa.

He then addressed supporters in central London and Leicester before he was finally arrested. He was held at an immigration removal centre, refused to fly home on his return ticket and has rejected offers of flights home. He is now staying at a five-bedroom detached house in a leafy suburb in North London while his case is processed.

Last night Douglas Murray, associate director of think-tank the Henry Jackson Society, said the case showed Britons were being ‘taken for mugs’ by extremists. ‘It is yet another demonstration that Britain has become the retirement place of choice and destination for any crazed extremist who wants to be here,’ he said.

Salah, 52, who was banned on the grounds of ‘unacceptable behaviour’, is credited with a string of extremist statements, although he denies he is anti-Semitic or an extremist. He is said to have claimed the 9/11 plot was carried out by Israelis and Jews were warned not to go to the World Trade Centre in advance of the murderous attack.

He was released from prison in 2005 after serving two years for fundraising for the Palestinian terror group Hamas and for having contact with an Iranian spy.

He arrived in Britain only days after Mrs May launched a new strategy aimed at restricting the opportunities for extremists to spread hate-fuelled speech in the UK. She was said to be ‘incandescent’ at the blunder by immigration officials and has ordered a full investigation into what went wrong.

Ten days ago the High Court approved bail on a surety of £30,000 on condition that he report to police every day, refrain from preaching, live at a specific address and obey a curfew. The judge, Mr Justice Stadlen, said Salah had a ‘good arguable case’ for judicial review. The case will go to the Court of Appeal today where the Home Office will argue for bail to be revoked.

Ministers are still determined to kick him out, a Home Office spokesman said, adding: ‘We were very disappointed with the court’s decision to grant bail and have appealed. We are still seeking to deport Salah.’


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Obama’s Immigration Dance Partner

Talking to The Race (La Raza) about highly qualified immigrants is typical Obama evasion. Such immigrants are the ones LEAST likely to come from The Race

In his speech Monday to the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), President Obama mentioned the enormous number of “high-tech startups in America—companies like Google and Intel...founded by immigrants.” Many immigrant entrepreneurs in the high-tech industry began with employer sponsored green cards, H-1B work visas, or in American universities. The President says he wants them to stay.

He also said that needed a “dance partner, and the floor is empty.” Yet there is much his administration can do already.

First, he should look to Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Rep. Flake’s bill, the Stopping Trained in America Ph.D.s from Leaving the Economy (STAPLE) Act (H.R. 399), would remove the quotas on H-1B visas and employer-sponsored green cards for foreign Ph.D. graduates from American universities in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

H-1B visas are temporary employer-sponsored visas for highly skilled workers in specialty occupations. They run for three years and can be renewed once, for a second three-year term. Currently, only 20,000 spots are set aside for foreigners graduating from American universities. The STAPLE Act expands the quota by exempting a large number of petitioners from it.

In stark contrast with other immigration reform bills, the STAPLE Act has numerous co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle, and is brief—at only three pages—and easily understandable by laymen. It is a vital reform that will match growing American industries with the skilled workers they require to grow. Last year, 60 percent of computer science Ph.D. graduates from U.S. universities were foreign-born. Allowing more of them to stay and start businesses will help spur job creation.

However, highly skilled industries are not the only area where job creation is needed. The NCLR audience seemed upset by the President’s praise for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, not because they oppose it, but because Obama has been so tepid in his support. The DREAM Act would allow some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to gain conditional legal status. That would then be extended to permanent legal residency if they complete at least two years of college or join the military within six years.

The problem was that the DREAM Act directs federal education aid to these students. It failed last December for that very reason. Poll after poll show that American apprehension about immigration mostly concerns taxes to support immigrants, and rightly so.

For a solution, the President should look to California. On the same day as Obama’s speech, Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law California’s own version of the DREAM Act. It allows undocumented students who went to high school in California for three or more years to pay in-state tuition for public universities and to have access to non-state scholarship and financial aid. DREAM Act supporters in Congress should adopt this last provision.

The President talked about cutting “red tape that keeps entrepreneurs from turning new ideas into thriving businesses.” If he is serious about this, he should abandon his administraiton’s endorsement of E-Verify, an electronic employment eligibility verification system, which has proven a massive regulatory burden.

According to a major 2009 audit by research service Westat, 4.1 percent of the E-Verify system’s initial responses to queries were inaccurate, negatively affecting legal workers too. E-Verify even approved 54 percent of unauthorized workers. Worse, E-Verify pushes unauthorized immigrants even deeper into the black market, according to a study by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Immigration advocates have other reasons to be upset. The Obama administration has also begun electronic audits of I-9 records, deployed military units and predator drones to the Mexican border, and set deportation records, topping out at 387,242 last year – 176,144 more deportations than in the third year of Bush’s Presidency. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is on track to exceed that record this year.

We are a nation of laws but those laws should be wise. That is far from the case with America’s immigration laws—they burden the economy, create a black market in labor, and deprive America of talent by forcing highly skilled U.S.-educated immigrants to go back to their home countries after graduation.

President Obama’s stated support for immigration reform suggests that he realizes this, but he has not done nearly enough to address the problem. There is much he could do, both with and without a “dance partner”—work for passage of the STAPLE Act and a revised DREAM Act and abandon E-Verify and invasive I-9 audits. It’s a shame he didn’t mention them in his speech.


Australia's deal with Malaysia too cushy to be a deterrent to boat people (illegal arrivals)

THE next 800 asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia will be fingerprinted before being flown to Malaysia, where the federal government will pay for a month in a hotel plus a living allowance, under the controversial Malaysian refugee swap agreement signed yesterday.

New transit centres in Kuala Lumpur, where asylum seekers will be processed within 45 days, are expected to be ready in weeks for the first arrivals. Malaysia will have the right to reject any asylum seekers if they are on terrorism lists or have serious criminal convictions. Australia will also screen the 4000 refugees it accepts from Malaysia in return as part of the deal.

Yesterday the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, said asylum seekers would have the right to work in Malaysia, a breakthrough in a country where 95,000 refugees cannot work legally.

Yet he rejected suggestions that the special treatment asylum seekers would receive would encourage refugees to take boats to Australia. "Critics may say asylum seekers transferred from Australia to Malaysia are getting too good a deal," he said. "On the other side, people may say the arrangements aren't strong enough. We've struck a good balance that ensures appropriate protections."

After facing heavy public criticism of his country's treatment of refugees, Malaysia's Home Affairs Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said Malaysia would be judged by the results of the scheme, and was committed to treating refugees with dignity. "The UNHCR will be there to monitor and safeguard the standards that we have set," he said.

Malaysian police officials and representatives of the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees were present at the signing, while a small group of activists and opposition politicians protested outside the hotel.

The UNHCR said in a statement it was not a signatory to the deal and would prefer to see boat arrivals to Australia processed in Australia, but both governments had consulted the organisation. Mr Bowen said there would be no blanket exemption for unaccompanied children but the UNHCR's feedback had shaped the document and the agency would be involved in processing both groups of asylum seekers - unlike the Howard government's so-called Pacific solution.

The deal commits Australia to funding schooling for children, and health costs. But these will be the basic facilities used by refugees in Malaysia.

The Greens condemned the deal.

The opposition spokesman on immigration, Scott Morrison, said the swap sought to counteract the "pull" factors of Labor's previous border protection policy, as a result of which 230 boats had arrived since Labor formed government.

The government also announced a reversal of its position on the 567 asylum seekers who had arrived by boat since the in-principle agreement was announced 11 weeks ago, saying they would now be processed in Australia.

Originally the government said they would be held pending removal to another country, either Malaysia or Papua New Guinea. The government is working to seal a deal with PNG.

To ensure asylum seekers knew of the deal, Ms Gillard said the government would embark on an information campaign in Indonesia and other departure points to raise awareness of the folly of boarding a boat. "Do not do that in the false hope that you will be able to have your claim processed in Australia," she said.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Background to the anti-immigration terrorist attack in Norway

Daniel Greenfield prefaces his remarks below with a "psycho-analysis" of Anders Behring Breivik -- but he has more confidence in his judgment than I do. I am a much published psychologist specializing in the study of political psychology -- including neo-Nazism -- and so far I see nothing very unusual in Breivik. The things that people point to -- his use of "sim" computer games, for instance -- would also be true of many millions of young men who do not become terrorists -- JR

It was Breivik who pulled the trigger, but it was the Norwegian authorities who created and then ignored the social problem of Islamic immigration, that enabled him to exploit it in a burst of horrifying violence.

The Oslo killings are a tragic reminder that conflicts rarely remain one sided. And it is foolish to expect them to. Violence begets violence and extremism creates extremists. Terrorism gives birth to more of the same.

Oslo has become symbolic of pacifist idealism, which is why the bloodshed is so stunning, but also inevitable. Any ideal pursued to a far enough extreme gives birth to its opposite number. Violence attracts idealism and idealism attracts violence. Both pacifism and violence represent unbalanced extremes. And extremes often have a way of coming together in an explosive collision of opposites.

The search for blame in all the usual places is inevitable, but counterproductive. The Oslo killings are another item on the ledger of the high cost of Islam. The explosive rage on both sides fueled by a social instability created by aggressive immigration with no thought to its impact on the country as a whole. It was Brevik who spent nine years planning and carrying out the attacks, but it was the political authorities who had created a scenario that made it possible.

There are of course shootings carried out all the time with no larger political justification, and it is possible that Brevik would have acted regardless of any of the events of the past nine years. But it is far more likely that by giving him an antagonist to fight, the authorities brought those violent events into being.

Violence driven by social instability must be at least partly laid at the feet of those who caused the social instability. And that is not a handful of American critics of Islam, but the Norwegian authorities whose social and immigration policies created an explosive situation that had already exploded into violence before.

We cannot regard Brevik as an isolated phenomenon or as the creature of a handful of foreign pundits. He was a Norwegian whose views and attitudes echoed those of many of his countrymen. His violent response to social problems created by the authorities and aimed at the authorities should be deplored. But at the same time we must learn the lessons of not the act itself, but of the social instability that gave rise to it. It is the best chance of avoiding a repetition of it by those who would, like Brevik, exploit social instability as a means of promoting a violent solution.

Muslim violence, whether it is planes being flown into skyscrapers or women being raped with religious sanction, are likely to inspire answering acts of violence. Such acts should be condemned, yet so should the apathy toward the social instability created by Muslim immigration that gives rise to them.

When a woman is raped on the steps of the Norwegian parliament, it should be every bit as shocking as Brevik’s massacres, not because their damage is equal, but because they are both wake up calls to a major social problem that cannot be swept under the rug.

Muslim immigration and its attendant violence gave Brevik his casus belli to take action against the authorities. It may inspire future Breviks as well. It is easy to blame the pattern of ideas that Brevik cited in his manifesto, but the manifesto and the ideas are the children of an existing social problem. A problem so severe that a woman can be raped on the steps of the Norwegian parliament with no one moving to intervene.

The European media will use the Oslo killings to argue against the regional trend of examining Muslim immigration. But they have it exactly backward. A social problem cannot be solved by refusing to examine it or by silencing all discussion of it. Social problems breed and worsen in silence. As do all things in the dark. Brevik’s shootings should rather be a wake up call to seriously examine the impact of Muslim immigration on Oslo in particular, and Norway in general.

Brevik was not a Muslim, yet he was motivated by Islam, as surely as the most devout Jihadist. Islam defined his actions, as surely as it does theirs. The only difference is that they were acting for Islam, while he was acting against it. But the problem of both Brevik and the Jihadist emerges from a common source. Islam.

Violence rarely remains one sided. In Norway, Brevik has added a second side to a triangle, whose third side is politically correct apathy and nervous pacifism. That second side is as bloody as the first, and no more removable without addressing the first side and the third.

Whether it is the Madrid bombings or the Oslo rampage—all these horrors are a reminder that Europe’s current policies have failed. That integration has not worked and multiculturalism has given rise to hostile cultures living side by side. Brevik’s actions and growing tension on the far right remind us that apathy and mouthing multicultural slogans can no longer substitute for a serious examination of the problem.

This latest horror warns us that violence will be exploited by the violent, and that the European equation is now in danger of having a third variable. We have had the Jihadists and the apathetic authorities, now there are the Breviks. Dangerous men looking for a cause and a reason to fight. And the social instability and violence created by Islamic immigration gives them a reason.

Anti-government violence in Norway and Sweden, countries which have repressed free speech the hardest, is no coincidence

Talk of suppressing extremism will not prevent the Breviks, it will only encourage them by giving them a more definite enemy to fight. Anti-government violence in Norway and Sweden, countries which have repressed free speech the hardest, is no coincidence. Authoritarianism only feeds anti-government tendencies. It is impossible for Europe to rid itself of the Breviks, without also ridding itself of the social problems that make them possible.

The best way to stop the Breviks of the future, is to steal their thunder. To seriously examine the high cost of Islamic immigration, the failures of integration, the violence taking place under the shadow of multiculturalism—and to honestly and seriously address these things.

Brevik would not have acted if he did not believe that the authorities would play into his hands. If the Norwegian government really wishes to defeat the ideas he championed, it must pull their claws, by addressing them as social problems, rather than by denying them and repressing their critics. Europe’s history of domestic radicalism should provide ample reasons to show why such an approach is unwise and counterproductive.

As long as a social problem remains neglected and a source of social instability proliferates, then the violent tendencies of dangerous loners will be channeled into its path. That is how World War I began. It may be how World War III will begin. The duty of responsible authorities is to address the social problem, not with slogans, but with concrete and realistic measures. If a social problem is a swamp, then it must be drained. Oslo’s social problem is Islamic immigration. The fever swamp of violence cannot be drained, until the immigration that feeds it is drained as well.


Illegal Alien Cop Killer’s Extensive Criminal History

A Judicial Watch investigation has discovered that the drunk illegal immigrant who recently killed a Houston police officer had six arrest warrants, multiple encounters with law enforcement and had been caught driving without a license four times.

He also had been cited by police on eight occasions, was ticketed twice in 2009 and had two convictions for unlawful entry into the U.S., according to public records obtained by JW from the Houston Municipal Court. Incredibly, the illegal alien (Johoan Rodriguez) remained free and in late May struck and killed Houston Police Officer Kevin Will.

It marks the fourth time in the last few years that a Houston officer dies at the hands of a previously deported illegal immigrant protected by the city’s sanctuary policy, which, among other things, forbids police from inquiring about immigration status. In 2009 an illegal alien from Mexico (Roberto Pedroza Carrillo), who had been ticketed by Houston Police at least four times, killed an undercover police officer during a sting operation.

Also that year, an illegal immigrant drug lord shot another Houston officer in the face while attempting to serve a narcotics warrant at a house. That El Salvador native had been arrested five times for possession or delivery of drugs, thrice after an immigration judge granted him voluntary departure. In 2006 Houston Officer Rodney Johnson was murdered during a routine traffic stop by a Mexican illegal alien (Juan Quintero) who had been deported for molesting a child and arrested for driving intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and failing to stop after an automobile accident. Quintero shot Officer Johnson four times in the back of the head with a 9 millimeter handgun hidden in the waistband of his pants.

Judicial Watch represents Johnson’s wife, Houston Police Sergeant Joslyn M. Johnson, in a lawsuit against the City of Houston, the Houston Police Department and its chief challenging the illegal alien sanctuary policies that ultimately led to her husband’s murder. A few months before Johnson’s death JW had launched a probe and requested public records related to Houston’s sanctuary policy and a taxpayer-funded day laborer center.

Despite the murder of four cops in the last few years and countless other crimes attributed to illegal immigrants the city continues offering undocumented aliens sanctuary. Like the other cases before it, Officer Will’s tragic death could have been prevented considering the illegal immigrant who killed him had an extensive criminal history and should have been jailed and deported.

Rodriguez first got caught entering the U.S. through Brownsville Texas on December 29, 2005, though his criminal record dates back to 2001, according to court documents obtained in the course of JW’s probe. He was fined and deported and got caught the next day entering the U.S. in McAllen Texas. That led to his second fine and removal, the records reveal.

Despite two deportations, Rodriguez obtained a Texas driver’s license in 2007 even though he was in the country illegally and had numerous encounters with the law. Beginning in 2001 Rodriguez was cited for offenses including driving without a license or insurance, speeding, operating an unregistered vehicle, running a stop sign and not wearing a seat belt. When he killed Officer Will, Rodriguez had six outstanding bench warrants for failing to appear in court for his various offenses.

Although his criminal history is not violent, it’s extensive and he should have long ago been incarcerated and removed from the country. The same can be said for the other illegal immigrants who have killed cops in Houston in the last four years.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Analysis: Norway massacre exposes incendiary immigration issue

It looks like Anders Behring Breivik may have achieved his goal. We see below a recognition that failure to hold full and fair discussions of immigration issues has been a mistake and some view that more openness might have prevented the massacre

For many years, the USA, Australia, Britain and some other countries were perfecly at ease with imigration but when some groups started arriving that caused problems for the existing population, the public rightly expected their governments to do something about it. But governments instead tried to suppress debate about the issues concerned. One result of that policy is Anders Behring Breivik -- and his clear and very loud message that the Leftist elite have got it wrong

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik said he killed 93 people to spark a "revolution" against the multiculturalism he believed was sapping Europe's heritage, and experts say a frank debate about immigration may be the best way to prevent similar explosions of violence.

In some Nordic countries, and elsewhere in Europe, political parties have fed on rising public concern over immigration as economic conditions worsen and a drip-feed of Islamist attacks stokes fear and suspicion of new arrivals.

But experts argue overly aggressive political rhetoric and scare tactics have inflamed passions rather than address the many complex, underlying problems.

Conflicting messages and political squeamishness in tackling immigration and multiculturalism have frustrated the public and given space for hardline ideologues, they say.

"If the twin attacks in Norway fail to trigger an honest discussion of the issue, exposing often scare-mongering arguments used by the extreme right, this may marginalize the radical groups and worsen the situation, which in turn could bring more similar attacks in the future," said Lilit Gevorgyan, Europe analyst at the IHS Global Insight think-tank.

"This is not just an issue in Norway. Across Scandinavia and also in Western and Eastern Europe, you have a lot of people who are very frustrated by the lack of open debate," she added.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy have all declared in recent months that multiculturalism has failed, in speeches that were otherwise careful to highlight the contribution of immigrants.

But critics say such statements at best do little to offer solutions to tackle the economic and societal pressures that stem from increasing immigration and globalization, and do even less to harness the benefits of a multi-ethnic society.

At worst, they say such comments risk victimizing often vulnerable immigrant communities and souring race relations.

"What has clearly emerged from recent speeches and ensuing public national debates on multiculturalism is a sense of confusion, malaise and often contradictory messages," said Sara Silvestri, lecturer in religion and international politics at London's City University, in an article dated June 8.

"So we look for easy answers presented as simple choices e.g., moderate vs. radical Islam, multiculturalism vs. assimilation ... Yet such simplistic naming and categorizing further divides people and provokes animosities," she added.


A number of Scandinavian political parties have tackled immigration head on, but the inflammatory tone used by some politicians may have fueled Breivik's anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic hatred.

Many far-right European groups have shifted away from overtly racist rhetoric and have instead focused their argument on stressing what they see as the incompatibility of Islam and European values.

In a 1,500-page violent manifesto published by Breivik, the 32-year-old expressed his admiration for Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, and the tome included reported anti-Islamic comments Wilders made to the Dutch parliament. However, Wilders at the weekend denounced Breivik's actions.

Anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic parties have gained traction in Nordic and Scandinavian countries in recent years, tapping public anxiety over the relatively recent phenomenon of mass migration, particularly of Muslims, to their region.

The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats were last year elected to the Swedish parliament for the first time, despite the party having roots in neo-Nazi movements of the 1980s and 1990s. The party has criticized Muslims and Islam as being un-Swedish.

Swedish anti-fascism magazine Expo, where the late best-selling novelist Steig Larsson was highly active, says while there may be no direct link between violence and comments by politicians, the rhetoric creates a fertile environment for ethnically motivated attacks.

"It is very aggressive ideology that the Swedish Democrats are pushing toward Muslims ... it has become a more and more accepted way to speak about Muslims this way," said Expo reporter Johannes Jakobsson.

"Of course if you are in the Swedish parliament and point fingers at Muslims and say these people are dangerous, of course this is going to influence people to become more hostile toward them," he added.


Harald Stanghelle, political editor of Norway's Aftenposten conservative newspaper, said it was unfair to accuse Norway's anti-immigrant Progress Party of inflaming the passions of individuals such as Breivik, who was once a member.

Stanghelle says Breivik left the party because it did not go far enough in representing his views, highlighting a dilemma for those who say parties that drive away those with fringe views on immigration risk creating militant underground groups.

"It's totally wrong to hold the Progress Party responsible for extremists like this. A few smaller, anti-immigration groups, anti-multicultural groups, have broken from the party because they believe it is too polite, too mainstream," Stanghelle said.

Stanghelle was careful to paint Breivik as a lone extremist with little link to the wider discourse on immigration in Norway. After years on the fringes, Breivik's views are now likely to echo loudest at his first court hearing on Monday.

Breivik has described his bombing of an Oslo government building and his shooting spree at a youth camp run by Norway's Labor Party as "atrocious" but "necessary" in his crusade against liberal immigration policies and the spread of Islam.

"He now wants to meet in court for the first time, and wants an open court meeting, and why? Most criminals fight for a closed court meeting, but he sees himself as a crusader," Stanghelle said.


Parts of Alabama immigration law likely to stand up in court

Federal judges have temporarily blocked most criminal provisions in states that recently passed laws like Alabama's targeting illegal immigrants, but have allowed state regulations on employing undocumented workers, an analysis of the litigation shows.

The coalition of advocacy and legal groups, unions and individuals that filed suit this month against Alabama's comprehensive immigration law will seek a temporary injunction from U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn on Aug. 24.

Six states -- Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama and South Carolina -- passed or amended laws since 2010 aimed at people in the country illegally. Alabama's law is considered the nation's toughest.

Lawsuits are pending in five of those states. Temporary injunctions have been granted on all or part of the new laws in Arizona, Utah, Indiana and Georgia.

A suit is planned in South Carolina, national advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have said.

Federal judges have issued temporary injunctions against laws in Arizona and Utah that -- like Alabama's new statute -- require immigrants to carry registration papers.

Judges also have temporarily blocked laws in Arizona, Utah, Indiana and Georgia that -- like Alabama's -- allow police to detain suspected illegal aliens to check their immigration status.

But the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a state law similar to Alabama's requiring employers to use the federal E-Verify system to confirm the legal status of new hires or risk losing their business license.

While injunction rulings in other states address some laws similar to Alabama's, several elements of the new Alabama law have not been tested in court, said William G. Ross, a professor at the Cumberland School of Law.

They include:

Requirements that schools check students' and parents' immigration status.

A prohibition on renting to illegal immigrants.

A ban on courts enforcing contracts with known illegal aliens.

Criminal sanctions for people in the country illegally who make any financial transaction with a government, like paying taxes.

Seeking a temporary injunction is one of the first steps in a constitutional challenge to a law.

Plaintiffs must show they are likely to win the case and that harm would result if the law were to go into effect. They also must show a delay would benefit the public and not hurt the litigants.

"That does not mean the law is unconstitutional," Ross said. "It just stops things so there is no irreparable harm to people that could not be remedied."

State vs. fed power

Opponents say the new state laws are preempted by federal authority because the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government broad power to regulate immigration.

When a state law conflicts with a federal law or hinders its enforcement, the federal law prevails, they argue.

But a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling has given hope to proponents of state laws targeting illegal aliens. A court majority ruled that Arizona could use its state power to license businesses by passing laws banning companies from hiring illegal workers.

State legislators in Alabama and other states have been trying to craft new laws targeting illegal immigrants that fit within the state's inherent power to protect the safety, health and morals of its people, said Ross, who wrote about Arizona's immigrant laws in the May 2010 edition of the legal journal, Jurist.

Alabama's new law requires employers to use the federal E-Verify system after April 2012, and creates licensing penalties for hiring illegal workers. It is likely to be upheld, Ross said.

But the new state requirement for schools to check students' and parents' immigration status could be vulnerable if it is proven to discourage children from attending school, he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that undocumented children have the same right to a free public education as citizens.

"If a law discourages people from exercising a constitutional right, the Supreme Court has said many times the law is constitutionally suspect," he said. "I'm not saying that it's necessarily unconstitutional. But it is something that is likely to be stayed."

New state crimes

Another boundary limiting state immigrant laws, recent court rulings have indicated, is when states set criminal and civil penalties.

Federal judges have temporarily suspended enforcement of new state laws that either criminalize behavior that is not criminal under federal law, or laws that also could punish people living in the country legally.

Federal judges have temporarily blocked all criminal penalties in Georgia's and Utah's new laws, and some of the criminal penalties in Arizona's legislation.

But federal judges have differed on new laws in Arizona, Utah and Georgia regarding harboring or transporting illegal immigrants, or encouraging anyone improperly in the country to move or live in that state. Alabama has a similar law.

Separate judges in Utah and Georgia issued temporary injunctions, but a third judge allowed the Arizona version to go into law after ruling the plaintiffs were not likely to prove the state laws were preempted by federal law.

Final rulings by the trial-level federal judges on the constitutionality of the new state immigrant laws could take months or longer.

Ultimately, as the cases wind through federal appeals, they are likely to be bundled for a potential landmark ruling, Ross said.

"An issue that involves such intense political controversy, such difficult legal questions and such diversity of opinion is a very likely candidate for ultimate adjudication by the U.S. Supreme Court."


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Norway massacre part of an anti-immigration backlash

Muslims seem to gain a lot by murdering people. One should not be surprised that others may see that and consider the same strategy. The Left is of course most pro-Muslim and it was young Leftists who were targeted

Despite a proud reputation for peace and tolerance, Norway is a country which has suffered increased tensions over race and immigration in recent years. In the home of the Nobel Peace Prize, the far right has attracted increasing support both at the ballot box and on the streets.

Behind the growth in extremism lie concerns about a rising numbers of immigrants, in a struggling economy. In parliament, the anti-immigration Progress Party is now the second largest group, winning one in five votes at the last election.

Commentators have likened the party - Fremskrittspartiet in Norwegian -to the French National Front and the Dutch Pim Fortuyn List, though its leadership says it is much more liberal.

And earlier this year a report by the Norwegian Police Security Service noted an “increase in the activity of far-right extremist circles” and predicted this would continue. It also warned that “a higher degree of activism in groups hostile to Islam may lead to an increased use of violence”, although it concluded that Islamist extremists were the greater threat.

Kari Helene Partapuoli, director of the non-governmental Norwegian Centre against Racism, said yesterday that fringe groups had hardened their rhetoric about Islam and immigration, which has turned Oslo into Europe’s fastest growing city.

The percentage of immigrants in the population has grown from 2 per cent in 1970 to 11 per cent. The nation’s 163,000 Muslims make up 3.4 per cent of the population, and analysts say that Islam has been a particular flashpoint.

The Progress Party, created in 1973, campaigned against immigration, saying it placed too great a burden on Norway’s generous welfare state. In recent years it has shifted to a broader attack, saying that immigrants are failing to integrate and creating tension in a small and culturally cohesive country.

However it denies holding neo-Nazi views. The charge is particularly explosive in a country which fought a bitter resistance campaign against German occupiers during World War II, and whose war-time prime minister, the Nazi sympathiser Vidkun Quisling, is a byword for collaboration.

Since Siv Jensen became leader in 2006 the Progress Party has made efforts to tone down its extremist image. Whereas mainstream party once shunned the fringe group, the centre-right Conservatives have recently considered co-operating. Ms Jensen said it was “absolutely terrible” to learn that Anders Behring Breivik had been a Progress activist, but insisted “this is not the time for analysis” about it.

Jens Stoltenberg, Norway’s Labour prime minister, attempted to quell panic over the scale of the far right’s activities, and to appeal to the country’s tradition of democracy and tolerance. “This is dramatic, it’s frightening, but we must not allow ourselves to be scared,” Mr Stoltenberg said. “We stand for an open society, and open democracy in Norway, and violence like this can’t scare us.”

He said the country did not have a notable problem with far-right wing extremism, and that police were now looking into these groups following the attacks.

While tensions have simmered, flashpoints have been rare. One of the most public came last year, when a photograph of a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad printed on the front page of Norwegian tabloid Dagbladet sparked mass protests including wildcat strikes by taxi drivers, many of whom are Muslim.

The country’s tradition of tolerance reflects a population which is broadly Christian, but distinctly unevangelical about it. While most are baptised as members of the Protestant Church of Norway, very few people attend services. Latest figures suggest just 2 per cent of Norwegians attend church weekly, the lowest percentage in Europe.

Across the Nordic countries, a rise in the far right has produced a backlash. In the mid 1990s Stieg Larsson, the late crime writer, founded an anti-racist publication in Sweden following a rise in violence carried out by neo-Nazis.

While the Swedish movement had gained momentum, and was tightly controlled, groups in Norway a the time were disorganised and largely incoherent, he said.


Immigration restrictions are the one policy that can save the Labour Party – but they're so mesmerised by diversity they cannot see it

Away from the main stage and today’s headline act, Maurice Glasman’s comments about immigration seemed to have done great damage to “Blue Labour”.

On Monday the Labour peer and academic told the Daily Telegraph that “Britain is not an outpost of the UN. We have to put the people in this country first”, and when asked by the Telegraph’s Mary Riddell whether he would support a temporary ban on immigration, replied: “Yes. I would add that we should be more generous and friendly in receiving those [few] who are needed. To be more generous, we have to draw the line.”

As far as any Labour people have commented on this, there has been universal condemnation. Anthony Painter called it “toxic”, writing in the Guardian:
In Blue Labour’s economic cosmology, immigration is the root of economic misery. Our economic advantage is not based on having world-class universities attractive to some of the best global minds. London and our other successful cities don’t need to attract the very best global talent. We don’t need to be in the EU to remain a location for global economic partnerships and inward investment. Our public services don’t need any highly qualified staff who aren’t British. And the economic drive of many migrants with an enormous range of skills can’t serve any purpose in an ageing society. There are a set number of jobs to go around, of course.

In the New Statesman Dan Hodges reports that:
Blue Labour, the informal Labour policy group established by Ed Miliband advisor Maurice Glasman, is to be effectively disbanded.

Labour MP Jon Cruddas and Middlesex University academic Jonathan Rutherford have both informed Lord Glasman they no longer wish to be associated with the project following an interview given by the controversial peer in which he expressed a belief that immigration to the UK should be completely halted.

A third influential supporter, Dr Marc Stears, is said by friends to be “deeply distressed” by Glasman’s comments, and is also considering his future engagement with Blue Labour.

Lord Glasman has since apologised for overstepping the mark in an email to Hodges, but it’s curious that, even if they were not prepared to go as far as him, not a single Labour figure as yet can be found to even criticise their party’s attachment to mass immigration. Yet, as I (and many others) have pointed out, mass immigration harms Labour’s traditional supporters the most.

Note that Glasman is not hostile to elite migration, an altogether different thing; when Painter talks about “world-class universities” and “highly-qualified staff”, does he not realise that Britain exports more graduates than it imports, with an overall loss of roughly 200,000 people? That over 50 per cent of migrants from some countries are economically inactive? Look around any London area outside that rich blue area left of the City and you can see quite clearly that most immigrants are not members of this imagined world brains trust. The economic arguments for mass immigration are very thin.

Neither, as Painter claims, are immigration restrictions toxic. In the US attitudes towards foreigners have improved and deteriorated with immigration levels, showing upwardly positive views throughout the long pause from 1924 and 1965. In the UK race relations improved throughout the 1980s and 1990s as immigration restrictions took effect; they worsened under New Labour. Of course positive internal measures also have an impact, especially a society-wide effort to make racism unacceptable, but numbers make a crucial difference. Those two efforts – restricting immigration and delegitimising racism – are not contradictory.

Yet at some point in the 1980s the Labour Party became convinced that any opposition to increased diversity was itself a racist idea. Diversity became its new Clause 4 – a social good in itself. Yet most, or at the very least a very large minority, of Labour voters are unconvinced, and have seen the downsides of mass immigration in their neighbourhoods – both economically and socially.

For those Labour supporters unfettered globalism, where people can be shipped around as easily as computer parts, seems more like a Marxist parody of capitalist cruelty than the ideology of “progressives”. But because their traditional champions have embraced wholly the millennial idea of universalism and unrestricted altruism, they find themselves like pond-dwelling fish drowning in a large and cruel sea.

Jon Cruddas once said he was a “true” conservative in that he wished to conserve communities thrown apart by housing costs and shrinking social housing sector. That is a reasonable and decent aspiration, of course, but it’s not compatible with the sort of diverse society we are becoming. Neither does that sort of society have much place for the sort of egalitarian, liberal policies which the Labour party believes in.

A glimpse of the future of British politics can be seen in a Guardian piece today, “Stop patronising poor Americans”, in which a US Democrat laments that poor people vote Republican against their economic interests. It’s an old refrain, heard often. Yet the article does not mention a crucial factor: poor whites vote Republican because in the most racially-mixed areas of the US people vote along fairly strongly-marked racial lines. In Mississippi, the most African-American state, over 80 per cent of whites vote Republican – and most aren’t rich by any means.

Labour people hate discussing this issue – it’s just so distasteful, and besides which it won’t happen here because England, is, you know, progressive and we have the BBC rather than Fox News. And yet this pattern has occured everywhere. How many working-class Ulster Protestants vote for the SDLP rather than for the less redistributionist Unionist parties? How many poor Lebanese Christians vote for Hezbollah? Who knows, maybe the grandchildren of Yorkshire miners will all vote Tory. Diverse societies are not fertile ground for progressive politics – so why is Labour horrified by the one policy, immigration restrictions, that gives the European Left any sort of a future?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Immigration fines cost 14 New England companies

Fourteen New England companies were fined a combined $285,000 during the past fiscal year for failing to document that their workers were in the country legally, federal authorities announced yesterday.

The fines followed audits by the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of federal I-9 forms, paperwork that must be filled out by employees when they are hired to show they have legal authorization to work.

Eight of the cited companies were in Massachusetts, including Commercial Cleaning Service in Allston, which was fined $100,000, and masonry contractor D’Agostino Associates Inc. in Newton, fined $22,792.

The immigration agency said it also fined Andover Healthcare Inc. of Salisbury, All In One Insulation Inc. of West Boylston, Polcari Enterprises Inc. of Saugus, Seatrade International of New Bedford, Harvest Co-op Markets of Cambridge, and Collt Manufacturing Inc. of Millis. The amounts of those fines were not released.

Some of the companies were found to have “suspect documents,’’ said Bruce M. Foucart, head of investigations for ICE in New England. “That means more than likely they had an illegal workforce,’’ Foucart said by phone yesterday. “By not having the proper paperwork, workers had to be let go.’’

Fine amounts were calculated based on the seriousness of violations, whether companies were cooperative, and whether there were multiple offenses, he said.

While none of the 14 companies appealed, some negotiated lesser fines; others agreed to pay the initial amount ordered.

A voice mail left yesterday afternoon at the Allston cleaning company was not returned.

The owner of D’Agostino Associates, Romeo D’Agostino, said his company was fined for not properly filling out paperwork. “I didn’t dot my I’s and cross my T’s,’’ he said by phone. “. . . I don’t hire’’ illegal immigrants.

In 2006, the Globe reported that the company “had 19 instances of workers with bogus or questionable Social Security numbers on public school projects in Littleton and North Easton.’’

Blueberry grower Jasper Wyman & Son of Milbridge, Maine, was fined $118,000. In November, the Globe reported that the firm had been cited “for violations that range from paperwork errors to the possibility that more than 200 of its 1,200 person workforce over two years were in the country illegally.’’

Edward R. Flanagan, president and chief executive of Wyman, told the Globe then that he never knew the workers lacked proper documentation. He said he had started using a federal verification system that lets companies check the legal status of workers.

Foucart said yesterday that the blueberry grower also cooperated with ICE officials in fall 2008 during the arrests of eight potentially illegal employees. They were arrested on administrative, not criminal, charges and went through court deportation proceedings, he said.

Nationally, ICE says nearly 4,000 businesses have been fined nearly $7 million combined on such violations.


Even Leftist Spain is biting the immigration bullet

Spain Restricts Romanians Job-Market Access to Ease Pressure on unemployment

The Spanish government will temporarily restrict Romanian immigration to those who can show a job contract as the country seeks to ease pressure on its labor market, which has the highest jobless rate in Europe.

“The job market has completely changed since 2008, so the government decided to adopt a mechanism that enables it to require that Romanians coming to Spain to work apply for authorization,” Development Minister Jose Blanco told journalists in Madrid today. Approval will only be given to those who have a contract, he said.

Spain’s Socialist minority government is battling with a 21 percent unemployment rate that threatens the country’s fragile recovery and its ability to rein in the euro area’s third- largest deficit. Exports drove growth in the first half as the most drastic austerity measures in the last three decades weighed on demand.

“The measure is a negative sign for the free-labor movement in Europe,” said Raffaella Tenconi, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research in London. “It will reduce competition in a country where the rigidity of the job market is already a structural weakness.” About 800,000 Romanians work in Spain, representing 14 percent of the country’s foreign workforce, Tenconi said.

The right to restrict immigration from the most recent European Union members was designed to enable other EU countries to adjust during a transition period, not to change the rules depending on internal growth while targeting a specific country, according to Tenconi.

The restriction is temporary and may be suspended, depending on how employment evolves in Spain, Blanco said.

Spain can enforce the rule until 2014, after which Romanians will be able to move as freely as other EU citizens.

Blanco said the new rules won’t affect Romanians who are already working in Spain but didn’t specify what would happen to those whose contracts had ended.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Crazy deal by the Australian government

Sending away 800 Afghan Muslim boat people and accepting 4,000 Burmese Buddhists instead is hard to explain. Though it may be a reflection of what Australians think of Muslims, I guess. And in the main, the Burmese are genuine refugees, which the Afghans are not

THE Federal Government's refugee swap agreement with Malaysia is a "bad deal" that will not stop asylum seekers, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says. His comments come after reports that The Government could sign its refugee swap deal with Malaysia early next week.

Under a deal announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in May, Malaysia will take up to 800 asylum seekers arriving by boat, in return for Australia accepting 4000 processed [Burmese] refugees.

"It's a bad deal. I don't think it's going to stop the boats," Mr Abbott told the Nine Network. "It's now two-and-a-half months since the so-called Malaysia deal was announced and I think in that time we have had 10 boats and more than 500 people arrive."

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is reportedly set to clinch the deal in Malaysia on Monday, Fairfax reported today, but the minister's office would not confirm this with the newspapers.

The head of the Malaysian police and the chairman of Malaysia's Human Rights Commission are expected to attend the signing ceremony, the report said.


New crackdown on illegal workers already in Australia

Illegal workers are a bigger problem for Australia's immigration system than boat people, an official report says, prompting the Federal Government to introduce tougher penalties for bosses caught using them.

The independent review, by barrister Stephen Howells , says a "significant number" of tourists, backpackers, business people and foreign students come to Australia and work illegally.

Mr Howells estimated that at least 50,000 people, and potentially more than 100,000 people, were working illegally in Australia.

His report found that organised rackets were behind some of the groups of illegal workers, who were vulnerable to sexual exploitation, unsafe work practices, underpayment, taxation and welfare fraud and associated crime.

He said there was a strong perception among illegal workers that the only punishment would be deportation at taxpayers' expense.

Mr Howells said immigration officials had identified at least 100 breaches since 2007, when the Howard government softened penalties for employers caught flouting the system. Of these, 10 had been thoroughly investigated but there had been only one successful prosecution. Mr Howells said the number of asylum seekers coming by boat was relatively small but a much larger group travelled here legally.

The crackdown on illegal workers follows Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announcing earlier this week that Perth would be declared a country town so it will be easier for businesses to bring in foreigners on working visas to meet skills shortages. He announced yesterday companies would face a fine of up to $10,000 per worker if caught using illegal labour.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

How Does Deportation Work?

New Report Sifts Through Complicated Proceedings

Immigration policy is often discussed in sweeping, over-simplified terms. Beyond the op-ed commentary is the complicated reality of how an illegal alien travels from point A, their first contact with law enforcement, to point B, their country of origin. Discretion, logistics, and copious paperwork by law enforcement and judicial officials separate the two points.

A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies, “Deportation Basics: How Immigration Enforcement Works (or Doesn’t) in Real Life,” discusses the ground-level process of what is now called 'removal proceedings' and the issues that surround it. The report is available at

Among the findings:
A large percentage of aliens flee from removal proceedings – perhaps as many as 59 percent of all those released to await hearings. On a cost basis from the alien’s perspective, this makes sense. If you are in proceedings and have little chance of relief, why not treat the bond money (if it’s even required) as the cost of having been caught, and then flee, hoping to stay under the radar for as long as possible, perhaps until the next amnesty?

Though fashionable in the Obama administration, the exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” is problematic for ICE field officers. If the alien that they decline to remove goes on to commit a heinous act, they could be subject to lawsuits from victims and will be held accountable by their own agency (even if agency leadership encourages them to use the tool).

Even in today’s technology-driven world, charging an alien with immigration violations is a paperwork-intensive, cumbersome process that requires agents to fill out nearly 20 different forms each time.

ICE officers are supposed to consider two key factors in determining whether to detain or release an alien in proceedings – if the alien is a flight risk and if he is a risk to the community. The latter factor obviously is given serious consideration, but it is equally obvious from the large number of absconders that officers don’t give the same weight to the likelihood of flight, especially considering the scarcity of funded detention space.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for several types of due process for aliens, depending on their circumstances of arrival and stay. The law does not require that all removals be ordered by an immigration judge.

The option of Voluntary Return, where the alien requests to be returned home in lieu of formal removal proceedings, is not really “voluntary,” but is beneficial to the alien because it carries fewer consequences if the alien returns illegally. It also has become subject to overuse or misuse in recent years as a tool to increase the volume of removals, at the expense of more formal methods of removal that have more deterrent value.

Immigration law provides for seven ways to remove an alien, which are explained in the report. Four of these options are relatively efficient, but used less frequently. If ICE chose to expand their use, the workload of the immigration court could be reduced and the immigration enforcement system would be less dysfunctional.

The total number of apprehensions of illegal aliens by immigration enforcement agencies is less than half of what it was five years ago. For instance, the drop in apprehensions by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is often explained by improvements in border security; however, this rationale is suspect, as has been pointed out by the Rand Corp. in a study of border metrics. But ICE apprehensions also have dropped steeply, although there has been only a modest drop in the size of the illegal population inside the United States.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: Contact: Jessica Vaughan,, (202) 466-8185. The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Fewer students to win skilled migrant visas to Australia

FAR fewer overseas students will be able to parlay Australian qualifications into skilled migrant visas under tough new rules, Monash University researcher Bob Birrell says.

They may account for just 4000 visas a year, compared with 19,352 visas for this group in 2006-07 and 17,552 in 2007-08, boom times for the business model in which education was sold as a pathway to migration.

Dr Birrell said the unpublished Department of Immigration and Citizenship estimate of 4000 was "an unmistakable signal that the industry needs to set its marketing around selling an education that is valuable back in the country of origin".

A series of reforms, including a new skilled migration points test from July 1, have weakened the policy link between education and migration.

Announcing changes last year, then immigration minister Chris Evans famously said under the old rules cooks and hairdressers would qualify but not a Harvard environmental scientist.

The new regime favours offshore rather than onshore applications and advanced rather than basic skills. The benefit of having a relative in Australia has all but gone. "The changes will favour overseas applicants from English-speaking countries who can meet the much tougher English language requirements of the new points test," Dr Birrell and colleagues say in a report from the Monash Centre for Population and Urban Research.

The report gives new insight into the "stockpiling" of thousands of overseas students by DIAC. These include many students with cookery and hairdressing qualifications who would win visas under the old rules but whose cases have been put off and who are now on bridging visas.

In December last year, there were 29,211 former vocational education students on bridging visas, as well as another 26,309 former higher education students. About 16,000 of these former students had applied for skilled migration visas. In 2009-10, there were 28,126 applications for the graduate skilled bridging visa that is held by many former overseas students caught mid-stream by policy reforms.

The Birrell report predicts some of Mr Bowen's hypothetical Harvard scientists will have to wait as his department works through this backlog of students with lower skill levels. "Unpublished statistics show tens of thousands of former overseas students will benefit from the transitional arrangements in place," the report says. "Applications for permanent residence from these students will crowd out better qualified applicants for several years."

But a DIAC spokesman said applicants "who demonstrate the skills most needed by the Australian economy" always would be processed first.