Friday, June 29, 2012
British Migration staff 'played solitaire rather than hunt for foreigners taking part in sham marriages'
Immigration officials played solitaire on their computers instead of hunting for foreigners taking part in sham marriages, a tribunal heard yesterday. In the end one investigator refused to ‘turn a blind eye’ and was sacked, it was alleged.
Neville Sprague said it had become clear that there was a major criminal conspiracy in which foreign nationals applied for ‘spouse’ visas that enabled them to stay in Britain and enjoy benefits and free services.
It had ‘far reaching consequences’ for the immigration situation, but when he tried to encourage his bosses to act they showed little interest.
Mr Sprague, 59, a former chief immigration officer, told the employment tribunal: ‘I was singled out because of my reluctance to ignore serious organised criminal activities in relation to bogus sham marriages. ‘I wanted action taken, but the department wanted to brush the scandal under the carpet and wanted me out of the way.
‘Some members of the unit found it difficult to do any real motivated work. Some were quite happy to sit on their computers playing solitaire and similar games rather than working.’
Mr Sprague joined the Home Office in 2001 after 25 years as a uniformed officer and detective with the Metropolitan Police. He earned £26,000 a year working for the Border Control Crime Team, now known as National Tactical Operations.
Things began to go wrong after Jill Smith, the head of the BCCT, twice promoted investigator Tony Buswell in a short time. Neither job was advertised and Janet Griffiths, a Border Agency inspector, told the hearing she had never known such a quick double promotion in more than 20 years in the service.
Mr Sprague told the tribunal in Croydon, South London, that Mr Buswell’s accelerated promotion ‘annoyed’ most of the staff and that they disliked his ‘cocky attitude’.
Things deteriorated further after his unit was asked to investigate a few cases of sham marriages by foreigners. ‘It was obvious there was serious organised criminal activity occurring,’ he said. ‘I had great difficulty in getting Buswell and Smith to show any interest. They begrudgingly allowed us to investigate some cases already known about, but they did not want new cases investigated.’
Another inquiry unit based with them in Croydon could have investigated but showed ‘little interest’, he said. ‘It was easier to turn a blind eye.’
Mr Sprague was sacked in April 2009 after complaints about his role in the arrest of a man and his wife involved in an alleged bogus marriage scam. They included claims that he was ‘untidy, smelly and unkempt’, which he denies.
Mr Sprague, from South Croydon, is claiming unfair dismissal.The tribunal continues.
Legal Illegal Immigration
Victor Davis Hanson
President Obama recently issued an edict exempting an estimated 800,000 to 1 million illegal aliens from the consequences of federal immigration law. Ostensibly that blanket amnesty applies to those who arrived before the age of 16 and are younger than 30; who are in, or graduated from, high school or have served in the military; and who have not been convicted of a felony or multiple misdemeanors. And while most Americans sympathize with helping those who were brought into the United States as toddlers, raised as de facto Americans and followed the rules, the policy of exempting hundreds of thousands en masse in the long run may create far more problems than it solves.
First was the cynical timing. In 2009 and 2010, Democrats had a supermajority in the Senate and a majority in the House and could easily have enacted such a law over all opposition. So why was the edict handed down in a tough campaign year?
Then there is a problem of constitutionality, an especially serious issue for former constitutional law lecturer Barack Obama, who ran on the premise that he would restore respect for the separation of powers. But as seen in the reversal of the order of the Chrysler creditors, the attempt to shut down a non-union Boeing plant in South Carolina, the decision not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and the recent use of executive privilege not to hand over Fast and Furious documents, this administration sometimes just bypasses a now-difficult Congress to rule by fiat.
The move contradicts Obama's earlier claim that a de facto amnesty "would not conform with my appropriate role as president." He later reiterated that "some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own," but "that's not how our system works."
In theory, the federal government currently treats illegal aliens on a case-by-case basis, as it allots limited resources to determine who most urgently should be deported and who need not be. The president has added some vague qualifiers to his blanket proclamation concerning schooling and criminal activity. But given that in a state like California, Hispanic males are dropping out of high school at a rate of nearly 40 percent, will the new policy result in summary deportations? That is, once we have chosen those who will not be deported, do we then go after thousands who dropped out, went on state assistance or have been convicted of crimes? And how do we authenticate age and length of residency?
Not long ago, the president, in explaining his personal desire for some sort of amnesty, lamented to Hispanic leaders that they needed to "punish our enemies" at the polls. But is illegal immigration always the single most important issue for Hispanics? Some polls show the Latino community divided almost evenly over open borders. That is understandable, given that the presence of 11 million to 15 million illegal aliens masks the national profile of Latino success. In terms of the rates of assimilation, integration, intermarriage and economic ascendency, Latino Americans who legally immigrated to the United States are mirroring past experiences of successful southern European immigrants.
In Southwestern states, American citizens of Hispanic ancestry share in the increased costs associated with spiraling incarceration rates, plummeting test scores and overtaxed social services, which at least in part reflect the difficult efforts to accommodate those who arrived illegally from the poorest regions of Latin America. A cynic might argue that employers and identity-politics elites jointly welcomed in illegal aliens, the former wanting cheaper labor, the latter wanting more constituents. But driving down wages in hard times and increasing government costs is not always beneficial for small businesses and entry-level American workers -- increasing numbers of them Hispanics.
Finally, is it wise to tie our immigration policy so intimately to race and ethnicity, rather than individual merit and circumstances? Presently we equate massive influxes with Latin America and particularly Mexico. But we forget that Asians now comprise the largest group of new immigrants. Almost all come legally, and many arrive with capital, college educations and specialized skills. Following the president's election-year example, are we to expect the Asian community, in the fashion of Latino lobbyists, to demand even more visas for kindred groups? Should we now waive the immigration rules for economic refugees from the collapsing European Union?
The president's decision is politically tainted, constitutionally suspect, cynically timed and poorly thought out. But it did result in one unintended consequence: We are reminded once again that there are millions of foreign nationals dying to reach the United States -- and to stay at any cost after they get here.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:41 AM
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Why does the U.S. government halt skilled immigration?
Halting skilled immigration while tolerating millions of Hispanics who can barely speak English makes no sense at all
Just two months after the government started accepting applications, next year's highly skilled worker visas hit the numerical cap. No firm will be now able to apply to sponsor highly skilled foreign workers. Foreign high skilled workers neither "take" American jobs nor do they lower American wages. The low numerical cap, along with other regulations and visa fees, need to go, if the American economy is to grow.
The H-1B visa is a three year, employer-sponsored work visa, renewable one time, for highly skilled foreign workers. Only 85, 000 such visas are issued annually to private firms.
Most H-1B workers specialize in fields demanded by the technology sector, a major source of innovation in the American economy. In May 2012, the unemployment rate for engineers was 5 percent, well below the national average of about 8 percent. There is an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent in computer or mathematical occupations and a 1.9 percent unemployment rate for science workers. H-1B and highly skilled workers fill those niche professions.
Foreign highly skilled workers do not "take" American jobs because the economy doesn't have a set number of jobs. Highly skilled foreign workers create many of the firms that make America a center of technological innovation. Highly skilled foreign born workers and immigrants were instrumental in the founding of Intel, Sanmina-SCI, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Yahoo and Google, firms which have produced billions of dollars in value and employ thousands of Americans in skilled positions.
Foreign skilled workers do not lower American wages. Immigrants in general do not directly compete with Americans, but instead complement them by bringing in different skills and ability. Highly skilled foreign workers have skills that few Americans possess and are greatly demanded by American firms.
Wages aren't affected much by H-1Bs because firms hire them as they expand, so the H-1B cap is a limit on expansion rather than a protection of American wages. If the goal of the H-1B was to lower wages, American firms would apply for more of them as a cost saving measure when profits are low and the economy is sour. But H-1B applications pour in when business and the economy are improving. H-1B application patterns show that their goal is not to lower wages.
More than half of all startups in Silicon Valley were started by immigrants, many of them Indians and Chinese who have been living here for over a decade. The government cannot tell who will be a successful entrepreneur, but the evidence is clear that immigrants — especially the highly skilled — are prone to creating businesses. Many H-1B workers apply for green cards while working here, eventually becoming Americans.
The benefits of highly skilled immigration don't end with the immigrant though. Their children have a remarkable propensity to succeed.
The 2012 winner of the National Spelling Bee was Snigdha Nandipati from San Diego, California. She became the fifth consecutive American of Indian descent to win the contest and the 10th in the last 14 years. Her parents emigrated from India, a major source of skilled foreign immigrants and workers.
Her father, Kirshnarao Nandipati, used his skill as a software engineer to help train his daughter because, as he said after her win, "My English is so weak that I cannot train her. I had to look into finding information of how to prepare her. I am a software engineer. I wrote a program for her that pulls information from the dictionary."
Spelling bees aren't the only academic competitions where the children of highly skilled immigrants excel. According to Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy, 28 of the 40 finalists of the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search Competition, known as the "Junior Nobel Prize," have at least one immigrant parent. Twenty-four of those parents originally came to the U.S. with H1-B visas.
H-1Bs are not perfect and there are several ways to improve them, including removing or expanding the cap as well as the time limit, slashing fees, and eliminating the need for employer sponsorship.
Cutting ourselves off from foreign highly skilled workers makes all of us poorer. America's strengths of relative free markets, contract, and property rights attract immigrants and skilled foreign workers because they can produce more here and make higher wages than in their home countries. For all of our sakes, we should let them come unhindered.
Hundreds have broken out of Australia's immigration detention centres
ELECTRIC fences, razor wire and security guards are no barrier to breakouts from Australia's Immigration detention centres. Hundreds of visa over-stayers and asylum seekers have scaled fences, fled on day release programs or simply vanished after being released into the community on bridging visas.
For the first time, the Sunday Herald Sun can reveal 524 people have escaped Immigration detention in the past decade. Nearly one-third - 154 - remain on the run from authorities.
The Department of Immigration also revealed that 11 asylum seekers released into the community on bridging visas since November have absconded in breach of reporting requirements.
But this is only a fraction of the 4052 people approved for community detention since the program was expanded two years ago.
Refugee Action Collective spokesman Ian Rintoul said the escapees were desperate and often sustained injuries while doing a runner.
"They have anti-climb fences with sheer cladding so they end up with cuts from the barbed wire and injuries if they have to jump from the fences. People do get electric shocks," he said.
"They are fearful of being deported. The detention centres are hellholes."
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said that, while escapes were "rare", the private company that ran immigration detention in Australia had incurred million-dollar fines in the past.
"Escapes from detention, and especially from community detention, are very rare," he said.
A spokesman added: "Nonetheless, we take any escape from detention extremely seriously."
The new figures confirm the vast majority of escapes were from traditional detention centres.
Of 98 in 2010-11, only one person was from community detention and had since been found.
Last month, Immigration official Kate Pope told Budget estimates that 13 clients had absconded from community detention since October 2010.
"Eleven are Vietnamese, of whom two claimed to be adults and were living in Victoria at the time ... nine claimed to be unaccompanied minors," she said.
"Of those, eight absconded from community detention in Victoria and one in Western Australia. Six of those Vietnamese have been relocated. Four claimed to the unaccompanied minors, all now identified as adults, two of whom are in custody pending court appearances."
In February, three Vietnamese asylum seekers fled over a northern immigration detention centre fence in Darwin at 4.06am.
Last year, authorities foiled a suspected mass breakout of almost 20 inmates at Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney.
The department said the one Malaysian and 16 Chinese nationals had overstayed their visas and were not asylum seekers.
Two years ago, 10 inmates climbed a fence at low-security Inverbrackie Detention Centre to pick fruit.
Since the Rudd-Gillard Government was elected in 2007, 18,949 asylum seekers have arrived on 329 boats - 12,397 on 189 boats since Julia Gillard became Prime Minister in 2010.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said alleged people smuggler Captain Emad recently being allowed to flee the country was a further sign the system was a mess under Labor.
"Increasing numbers of escapes are the result of a system under stress, created by the unprecedented failure of Labor on our borders," he said.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:52 AM
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A significant win for Arizona illegal immigrant law
The US Supreme Court upheld the most controversial element of the legislation, while overturning three other parts by declaring that immigration remains a federal, rather than state, responsibility.
In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the country's highest court by an 8-0 vote upheld the part of the law requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop for any reason.
But in a split verdict, the justices also ruled that the three other provisions that were challenged in court by the Obama administration went too far.
These three provisions required immigrants to carry immigration papers at all times, banned illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places, and allowed police arrest of immigrants without warrants if officers believed they committed crimes that would make them deportable.
The votes on those provisions were either 5-3 or 6-2, with the more conservative justices in dissent.
According to some analysts it appears the Supreme Court is leaving it to lower courts to decide whether the “show me your papers” law can actually be enforced without breaking civil rights laws.
Some doubt that is possible.
“[The laws] are not designed to pick up Canadians,” says Gary Segura, a Stanford political scientist and co-founder of the polling firm Latino Decisions.
In fact the “show me your papers” law, drafted by Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas, says explicitly that it embodies an "attrition through enforcement" doctrine - that is, it is designed to make life in Arizona so fearful and unpleasant for undocumented immigrants that they leave.
Five other states have similar legislation pending as they waited for the outcome of the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's law.
Both the state of Arizona and the Obama administration, which challenged the law in the Supreme Court, have claimed victory.
“Today's decision by the US Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for … all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens,” said Arizona's Republican mayor, Jan Brewer, in a statement.
President Barack Obama said: “What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it's part of the problem.”
But he said he was concerned with the remaining elements of the law.
“No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court's decision recognises.”
Professor Segura said President Obama's partial legal victory could turn out to be a complete political victory.
He said the President had demonstrated to Hispanic voters, who had been disappointed in him over his first term, that he is willing and able to act on their behalf.
In addition, because the most draconian element of the law still stands, it could motivate more to vote in November.
Polling by Latino Decisions shows that even third and fourth generation Latino voters remain scared of the so-called “check your papers” law.
The Hispanic vote could be significant to the election outcome in five states, including Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina and even staunchly Republican Arizona.
Though the law has proved popular among Arizona voters, many of the state's various police agencies oppose it, fearful not only of possible civil rights suits against them, but of the huge increase in their workload should they be required to check the immigration papers of everyone they come into contact with.
Next stop for Arizona immigration law: Back to the courts?
The basis for "reasonable suspicion" will be the issue but not having a native command of English should emerge as a reasonable criterion for that. Only suspicion is required, not certainty
The nation’s top justices on Monday struck down three sections of SB 1070 but unanimously upheld the most-discussed provision: Section 2(B) requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop, detain or arrest for other legitimate reasons “if there’s reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally.
But exactly how local police will go about enforcing that provision is raising more questions than answers. Enforcement had been put on hold pending the Supreme Court decision; lower courts must lift the injunction before it can take effect.
Even the Supreme Court justices hinted that they expect the provision to be legally challenged again.
“There is a basic uncertainty about what the law means and how it will be enforced. At this stage, without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume 2(B) will be construed in a way that creates a conflict with federal law,” the high court said.
The Supreme Court declared three parts of Arizona's immigration law unconstitutional, but unanimously upheld the most controversial part. Now the high court is expected to make a ruling on "Obamacare" on Thursday. NBC's Pete Williams reports and NBC's Chuck Todd and Professor Noah Feldman weigh in.
“This opinion does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”
The American Civil Liberties Union says it is exploring legal challenges to keep “show me your papers” from ever taking effect.
“The Supreme Court vacated the injunction against it but took pains to point out the potential constitutional problems that are inherent in Section 2(B) and drew a firm line in the sand that the state cannot cross,” said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. “We are going to be in court bringing new claims and evidence to stop 2(B) again.”
Among the possible claims are that the provision violates the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures and that it invites racial profiling, ACLU officials say.
Joe Rubio, lead organizer for the Arizona Interfaith Network, a coalition of religious groups that opposed SB 1070, said the provision “leaves a nebulous area” if it goes into effect.
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts talks to NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams and Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, Ariz., shown here, about the ripple effect of the Supreme Court's ruling.
“It’s going to be important that the state monitors very closely how police deal with immigrants during regular stops and make sure racial profiling does not occur,” Rubio said.
“I think we’re going to have a few months here where people are suspending judgment to see how it’s going to be implemented.”
Jim Gilchrist, founder and president of the Minuteman Project, an anti-illegal immigration group that recruits volunteers to patrol the U.S. border with Mexico, said the Supreme Court decision “left vague” the fate of enforcement of immigration laws by local police.
“Police will be able to ask (about immigration status); however, that’s all they can do,” he said.
“Nobody’s really getting serious about this. Everybody keeps kicking the ball around the court.”
The interpretation of Section 2(B) also could put law officers in a precarious bind. There are no written instructions on how long local police must wait for federal immigration officials to respond, for example, when they encounter someone they suspect is illegal. And immigration checks could open police up to accusations of racial profiling.
"Talk about 'no win' - if they find the person is not in authorized status, what do they do? Hold them for ICE which doesn't want them? Charge them with some state crime?" said Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney who has has testified before Congress on immigration, homeland security and military issues.
"If they make a mistake, they get sued. If they make too many mistakes, the rest of the statute gets enjoined as unconstitutional as enforced."
"We're going to get sued if we do. We're going to get sued if we don't. That's a terrible position to put law enforcement officers in," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, whose territory covers much of southern Arizona, told The Associated Press.
Tucson police Chief Roberto Villasenor told the AP he estimates the statute will result in 50,000 additional calls a year to federal immigration authorities in his city alone.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
UN migration chief calls on EU to force member states to be multicultural as he says Britain's quota 'not legal'
I am sure many Britons would have strong views on where Mr Sutherland should put his internationalist opinions
The EU should make sure that its member states are multicultural to ensure the prosperity of the union, the UN's special representative for migration has said. Peter Sutherland also suggested the UK government's immigration policy had no basis in international law.
He was being questioned by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee which is investigating global migration.
Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas.
He told the House of Lords committee migration was a 'crucial dynamic for economic growth' in some EU nations 'however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states'.
He said that an ageing or declining native population in countries like Germany or southern EU states was the 'key argument and, I hesitate to the use word because people have attacked it, for the development of multicultural states'.
'It's impossible to consider that the degree of homogeneity which is implied by the other argument can survive because states have to become more open states, in terms of the people who inhabit them. Just as the United Kingdom has demonstrated.'
In evidence to the Lords committee, he urged EU member states to work together more closely on migration policy.
He criticised the UK's attempt to cut net migration from its current level to 'tens of thousands' a year through visa restrictions.
British higher education chiefs want non-EU overseas students to be exempt from migration statistics and say visa restrictions brought in to help the government meet its target will damage Britain's economic competitiveness.
Mr Sutherland, who has attended meetings of The Bilderberg Group, a top level international networking organisation often criticised for its alleged secrecy, called on EU states to stop targeting 'highly skilled' migrants, arguing that 'at the most basic level individuals should have a freedom of choice' about whether to come and study or work in another country.
Recent posts at CIS below
See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.
1. Immigration order will hurt unemployed Americans (Op-ed)
2. What Next on Immigration? If Obama gets away with his amnesty-by-decree, other similar measures can be expected. (Op-ed)
3. Presidents Can't Rule by Decree (Op-ed)
4. Obama’s amnesty Dream: President’s measure is much more damaging than it appears (Op-ed)
5. Mark Krikorian Discusses Future of Immigration Policy on PBS (Video)
6. BREAKING: Supreme Court Rules on S.B. 1070 (Blog)
7. Economists, Lawyers Tussle at USCIS EB-5 Meeting (Blog)
8. 4.6 Million Waiting for Green Cards Displaced by Dreamers (Blog)
9. Terrorist Travel Remains a Priority for al Qaeda; Obama Policies Support Easy Entry, Embedding (Blog)
10. 'The Same Priority as Citizens'? (Blog)
11. Obama Administration's DREAM Decree – Compassion or Child Abuse? (Blog)
12. The Permanence of a 'Temporary' Amnesty (Blog)
13. USCIS Hotline Gives Conflicting Answers on a Dream Scheme Question (Blog)
14. America's Asian Population Is on the Rise (Blog)
15. How to Break the Immigration Impasse (1): Winner Take All (Blog)
16. Shouldn't We Drop Greece from the Visa Waiver Program? (Blog)
17. Some Senators Grow a Spine on DREAM Decree (Blog)
18. Beneath America's Immigration Stalemate: Conflicted Emotions (Blog)
19. H-1B Visas Flood U.S. Labor Markets with Bush-League Workers (Blog)
20. Meet Deepak Bhargava: Well-Connected, Well-Funded Immigration Activist (Blog)
21. Some Details of the Dream Scheme Revealed in DHS Teleconference (Blog)
22. America's Immigration Stalemate: Conflicted Policies (Blog)
23. Pennsylvania's Decision to Play Chicken with the Feds over Driver's Licenses Is a Bad Idea (Blog)
24. Immigrants Neither More nor Less Entrepreneurial than the Native-Born (Blog)
25. The Rule of Unintended Consequences: Executive Order May Put Illegal Alien Youths at Risk (Blog)
Monday, June 25, 2012
The real Ed Miliband
His speech about immigration to Britain has generally been reported as a backdown on the "open door" policy favoured by his Labour Party predecessors. It is however a different story if you look at the detail of what he said
In political, economic and demographic terms, we are living through remarkable times. The news, whether it be domestic or international, is almost uniformly bad. And yet amidst this maelstrom, the helmsmen of the emergent global economic and political order continue to chart a course that they set long ago, cognisant of the storms that their policies must surely engender, yet happy for us to suffer the ill-effects of their globalist tempest, utilising the naïveté of those who believe in the ideal of a global village, to aid in their construction of a global prison, from which none, they hope, will be permitted to escape.
Miliband’s speech, like his recent speech on Englishness, was essentially devoid of content. Its intent however, was just the same as its forerunner: to generate headlines conveying the impression that he cares about the ostensible topic under discussion.
Whilst sections of the media and some trades union spokesmen have dutifully complied with this charade, feigning outrage over his touching upon such topics as national identity and immigration, both speeches delivered the same message as found expression in the policy of the last Labour Government: immigration and globalisation are positive, and should be promoted as such. This can be demonstrated through reference to key elements of Miliband’s speech reproduced below:
Excerpt 1: “Britain must control its borders but it must always face outwards to the world. The Britain I believe in is a confident and optimistic country, not one which is insecure and inward looking. If people are looking for a politician who says immigration is just bad for Britain, that's not me. I believe immigration has benefits, economically, culturally and socially.”
Excerpt 2: “I am the son of immigrants and I am hugely proud of it. I will always talk about immigration in a way that is true to who I am, to my heritage, to my mum and dad.”
Excerpt 3: “Providing a refuge for those fleeing persecution. And a new approach to immigration based on building a different kind of economy. An economy that doesn't leave anyone behind. That continues to attract people from abroad who contribute their talents to our economy and society. That offers proper wages and good conditions. That's the kind of economy that will enable Britain to compete with the world.”
In summary the core message of Miliband’s speech was this: Labour made a gaffe in selling mass immigration from the EU accession states to the public and this backfired electorally, not because the party believes this to have been wrong, but because it handled its propaganda maladroitly. The Labour Party needs to repair its image with its traditional indigenous (although Labour’s upper echelons would never use such a term) working-class supporters, who have to a considerable degree deserted Labour; it would still like their votes.
By talking about “immigration” in a manner which suggests to the public that Miliband is recognising Labour’s mistakes and addressing their concerns, whilst in reality simply acknowledging that there had been public disquiet and then reiterating the message that Labour still advocates mass immigration and thinks that it is beneficial, Labour hopes that it can pull the wool over the public’s eyes and win back the support of ex-Labour voters without changing policy. Miliband wishes to change the presentation of policy, whilst retaining its essence: open borders and the deculturisation of the United Kingdom, especially England.
Another highly noteworthy aspect of Miliband’s speech was the target that he selected in his discussion of mass immigration: white Central and Eastern Europeans from the EU member states of the former Soviet bloc. Nowhere did he have a critical word to say with respect to the far larger, as well as more culturally and economically problematic influx, of immigrants from Asia (predominantly Pakistan and Bangladesh) and Africa (e.g. Somalia and Nigeria). It seems that he is perfectly at ease with this mass settlement.
Why? Although it is true that mass immigration from the EU accession states of the former Soviet bloc has lowered wages, increased unemployment and placed an increased strain on housing, education, health and utilities, there is not so great a cultural gulf between these immigrants and the host population as that between us and the incomers from Asia and Africa.
Although the press are keen to run stories about ‘East European’ or ‘Romanian’ criminal gangs, these are predominantly Roma, and thus should not be conflated with ethnic Romanians or other immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe.
So, why is it, taking into consideration the additional problems associated with significant elements of the immigrant populations from Africa and Asia, that Miliband chose not to focus upon them? Given Miliband’s glaring omission, it could give the impression that he has some issue with white European peoples that he does not have with non-Europeans.
Ed Miliband is the son of a Belgian-born Marxist theoretician of Jewish origins. Is that why he seems to have so little attachment to England and Englishness? He certainly stresses his family ties. Both Marxism and Jewishness would tend to lead him towards little respect for civilizations of Christian origins -- JR
That "Welcome to Australia" sign is costing lives
By Amanda Vanstone
SURELY after another known tragedy of lost lives because people smugglers are able to sell unsafe places on boats to get to Australia, the Gillard government will finally shut the door on people smuggling.
The government must now remove the so-called pull factors that encourage people to risk their lives. Labor must take down the "Come on down" sign that makes some of its supporters feel so good, but actually costs lives.
When I was minister for immigration in the Howard government, one of the Indonesian ministers visited Australia to discuss border protection, among other things. My job was to reinforce the reasoning for our then strong border protection policies. He had a very sombre approach, but when I said "Ada gula ada semut" - "where there is sugar ants will be" - he had a glint in his eye. It is just common sense.
Tough border protection is not about being anti refugees. This is a ruse run by do-gooders who, in contrast to their sweet self-image, like to peddle hatred by asserting that people who don't think as they do are racists or uncaring.
During my time as immigration minister, we increased our intake of refugees, through the United Nations refugee agency, by a massive 50 per cent, while maintaining strong border protection. And we stopped the boats. For the government to now offer to set up an independent inquiry to look at the effectiveness of these policies seems to me no more than an unnecessary stalling tactic.
The people that use people smugglers fall within a range of categories, some with better credentials to take a refugee place than others. What all the boat arrivals have in common is a desire for Australian permanent residence and, hopefully, citizenship. But the UN Convention does not give a right to choose the country in which one will be protected.
I think it is fair to say that those who have travelled through three or four other countries before coming to Australia are no longer fleeing persecution but are rather seeking the citizenship of their choice. Who wouldn't want the golden visa card that Australian permanent residence or citizenship brings? While that is on offer, we are tempting people to get on the boats.
The government needs to reintroduce both offshore processing and temporary protection visas, or a variation thereof. Something that says: "If it becomes safe for you, we will assist you to resettle home. In the meantime, phone home and tell them they are not coming."
The Malaysian solution was never going to be all the government hoped. A half-smart people-smuggling network would quickly send 800 people to Australia for no fee, just to fill the limited number Malaysia was prepared to take. They may even then pay for those 800 to get from Malaysia back to Indonesia. Then the boats with paying customers would start again. It might increase their cost of doing business, but it would not stop the trade. What will do that is taking the goodies off the table.
Last Monday on this page, former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser made a contribution to this debate, labelling the Coalition's policy both evil and inhumane. It's the use of these words that got him the headline and it is typical of the hate-style politics that some seek to practise. (We've seen a bit more of it over the past week in the "Let's get stuck into Gina" campaign.) Fraser might like to consider what humanity there is in continuing to attract people on to these boats when so many have lost their lives in horrific circumstances.
He says Australia does not have an asylum seeker problem because the percentage of people arriving unlawfully by boat is small compared to the number of people who cross our borders each year. It is an apple-and-orange comparison.
The fact that millions of people do lawfully enter and leave Australia each year has nothing to do with the fact that thousands are choosing to land on our shores with the aid of people smugglers, having passed through other safe countries so they can live in the land of the golden visa card.
Where we are the country of first asylum, as we were with the Indonesian West Papuans in 2006, of course there can be no question. They did not go through three or four other countries first in order to force our hand. We were their nearest port of call, and we gave protection. They were a completely different category to those on the boats that come through Indonesia.
Thankfully, in a free country such as Australia everyone is entitled to voice their opinion. Former prime ministers are no exception. But I don't recall hearing Fraser's former nemesis and now friend, Gough Whitlam, publicly attacking his own party in the way that Fraser has.
There are plenty of people keen to argue the case for leaving onshore processing in place, for community detention and for letting almost everyone stay. With a throwaway line of "send back the ones who are not refugees", they reveal how little they know of the difficulties in doing just that.
These people are engaging in conspicuous compassion - it is more a statement to the world about how they would like to be seen than it is about the object of their concern. It is nothing more than the politics of convenience.
There is nothing humane or compassionate about enticing people to risk a horrific death. For heaven's sake, take the sugar off the table.
Posted by jonjayray at 2:50 PM
Sunday, June 24, 2012
At last British Labour admits: Talking about immigration ISN'T racist as Miliband says his party was wrong to brand opponents as bigots
Voters who raise concerns about immigration are 'not bigots' and Labour got the issue 'wrong' for years, Ed Miliband will say today.
Unveiling plans for a major U-turn, the Labour leader will say the party became 'disconnected from the concerns of working people' during its 13 years in power.
In office, Labour often tried to silence criticism of its immigration policy by suggesting it was inspired by racism.
Today, Mr Miliband will admit this tactic was wrong, saying: 'Worrying about immigration, talking about immigration, thinking about immigration, does not make (people) bigots. Not in any way. They are anxious about the future.
'Labour, which is more rooted in people's lives than any other party, must listen to those anxieties and speak directly to them in return.'
His words are a thinly-veiled attack on Gordon Brown, who branded Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy a 'bigoted woman' for raising concerns about the impact of immigration during the 2010 election campaign.
Mr Miliband will also distance himself from Mr Brown's pledge to create 'British jobs for British workers'. The policy failed almost immediately when critics said he could not block workers coming here from the European Union.
Mr Miliband, who also attacks the Coalition's immigration cap, will say politicians 'need to be honest about what can be done'.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, last night welcomed the change of heart, but said it needed to be followed by a change of strategy.
Sarah Davies, 32, from Norwich, who lost her cleaning job four months ago, said: 'There are a lot of foreign workers and you are competing against them for even the most basic jobs.
'It means people like me are being left on the scrapheap. I don't want to be a burden on the taxpayer.'
He said: 'Mumbled apologies are not enough. Having caused the mass immigration of recent years, will Labour now pledge to cut back future immigration, and if so how?'
Mr Miliband will suggest that Labour under Tony Blair became 'dazzled by globalisation and too sanguine about its price'.
He suggests the impact of immigration has had a class divide, with the well-off benefiting from cheap labour, while others find their own jobs and incomes are undercut.
'Immigration made things easier for some, but it also makes things harder for others. If you wanted a conservatory built, you were probably better off. If you were working for a company building conservatories, you probably weren't.'
The Labour leader will also outline a string of changes to the party's approach to immigration.
He will acknowledge the party made 'a mistake' in not putting controls on the number of migrants who flocked here from Poland and other Eastern European countries after they joined the EU. Countries joining in future, such as Croatia and Turkey, should face curbs.
Firms with more than 25 per cent of foreign workers on their books should have to notify their local JobCentre, in order to provide an 'early warning system' about potential skills shortages in the economy.
Mr Miliband will also call for a crackdown on employment agencies that boast of exclusively employing foreign workers, saying a change in the law may be needed.
He will say: 'The idea that in core sectors of our economy, industries like construction or agriculture, you can get recruitment agencies who boast all their workers are Polish or denigrate the talents of people living locally is deeply wrong.'
Mr Miliband will also call for better enforcement of minimum wage laws. He will say it is wrong that just seven employers have been prosecuted for failing to pay the minimum wage when recent studies have suggested that up to 220,000 workers in the care sector alone are not being paid the legal minimum.
The Labour leader will warn that the Government's immigration cap will affect just three per cent of migrants. But he says Labour will 'examine the evidence' on whether the cap works before deciding whether to scrap it.
A Tory spokesman said Labour continued to lack 'credibility' on immigration.
Obama's immigration bombshell is naked lawlessness
By Charles Krauthammer
"With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations [of immigrants brought here illegally as children] through executive order, that's just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed." -- President Barack Obama, March 28, 2011
Those laws remain on the books. They have not changed. Yet Obama last week suspended these very deportations -- granting infinitely renewable "deferred action" with attendant work permits -- thereby rewriting the law. And doing precisely what he himself admits he is barred from doing.
Obama had tried to change the law. In late 2010, he asked Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which offered a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. Congress refused.
When pressed by Hispanic groups to simply implement the law by executive action, Obama said it would be illegal.
Now he's gone and done it anyway. The election approaches and his margin is slipping. He needs a big Hispanic vote. After all, who will call him on it? A supine press? Congressional Democrats?
With a single Homeland Security Department memo, the immigration laws no longer apply to 800,000 people. By what justification? Prosecutorial discretion, says Janet Napolitano.
This is utter nonsense. Prosecutorial discretion is the application on a case-by-case basis of considerations of extreme and extenuating circumstances. The Napolitano memo is nothing of the sort. This is a fundamental rewriting of the law.
Imagine: A Republican president submits to Congress a bill abolishing the capital gains tax. Congress rejects it. The president then orders the IRS to stop collecting capital gains taxes and declares anyone refusing to pay them will suffer no fine penalty whatsoever. (Analogy first suggested by law professor John Yoo.)
It would be a scandal. Why? Because unlike, for example, war powers, this is not an area of perpetual executive-legislative territorial contention. Nor is cap-gains, like the judicial status of unlawful enemy combatants, an area where the law is silent or ambiguous. Capital gains is straightforward tax law. Just as Obama's bombshell amnesty-by-fiat is a subversion of straightforward immigration law.
It is shameful that Congressional Democrats should be applauding such a brazen end-run. Of course it's smart politics. But, by Obama's own admission, it is naked lawlessness.
As for policy, I sympathize with the obvious humanitarian motives of the DREAM Act. But two important considerations are overlooked in concentrating exclusively on the DREAM Act poster child, the straight-A valedictorian who rescues kittens from trees.
First, offering potential illegal immigrants the prospect that, if they can successfully hide long enough, their children will one day freely enjoy the bounties of American life creates a huge incentive for yet more illegal immigration.
Second, the case for compassion and fairness is hardly as clear-cut as advertised. What about those who languish for years awaiting legal admission to America? Their scrupulousness about the law could easily cost their children the American future that illegal immigrants will have secured for theirs.
But whatever our honest and honorable disagreements about the policy, what holds us together is a shared allegiance to our constitutional order. That's the fundamental issue here. As Obama himself argued in rejecting the executive action he has now undertaken: "America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. I don't have a choice about that."
Except, apparently, when violating that solemn obligation serves his re-election needs.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:58 PM
Friday, June 22, 2012
Mitt Romney on Thursday offered what he called a strategy for “bipartisan and long-term immigration reform” in an address to a convention of Latino elected officials in Florida.
In the speech, which also touched on the economy, Mr. Romney dropped the confrontational tone he took on immigration during the Republican primary. Instead, he promised to work in a series of areas to help immigrants and their families while discouraging people from coming to the country illegally.
An interactive video feature examines how Mitt Romney has had to finesse his position on illegal immigration as he pivots towards the general election.
“Immigration reform is not just a moral imperative, but an economic necessity as well,” Mr. Romney said. “We can find common ground here, and we must. We owe it to ourselves as Americans to ensure that our country remains a land of opportunity – both for those who were born here and for those who share our values, respect our laws, and want to come to our shores.”
But Mr. Romney, who has refused to say whether he would overturn a policy announced last week by President Obama that would stop the deportation of some illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children, again sidestepped that question.
“Some people have asked if I will let stand the president’s executive action,” he said. “The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president’s temporary measure.”
Even as he started speaking, Mr. Romney’s campaign released an outline of his plan, which would include giving green cards to immigrants who earn advanced degrees at American universities; providing a path to legal status for illegal immigrants who serve in the military; and cutting red tape.
“As president, I will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service,” Mr. Romney said.
The nearly twenty-minute speech was met with tepid applause and moments of pointed silence. He seemed to hit his stride near the middle of his remarks, when he talked about balancing the budget, giving parents a choice of where to send their children to school, and providing a path to legal status for immigrants who have served in the military. At the end, about half the room stood up to applaud.
Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, said that the fact that Mr. Romney addressed the conference was a meaningful gesture. “It was a great speech, I was real impressed with it and I’m glad he came,” Mr. Bush said. “I think he was received respectfully and warmly.”
Democrats criticized Mr. Romney on immigration issues even before the speech was delivered. In a memo to reporters, Bill Burton, a founder of Priorities USA Action, a “super PAC” backing Mr. Obama, wrote that Mr. Romney was attempting to hide his real views on the issue from voters.
“Mitt Romney’s speech in Florida today will be an attempt to cover up the divisive rhetoric and draconian policies he has espoused for years on immigration,” Mr. Burton wrote. “Today’s slick speech will not change the fact that Romney has repeatedly used divisive language to propose an extreme immigration policy.”
The issue of immigration is shaping up as a critical one in the presidential election. Mr. Romney trails President Obama by wide margins among Hispanic voters, a gap which could provide the difference in important swing states like Colorado, Nevada, Florida and Virginia, where Latino populations are growing.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to speak to the same group on Friday. But for now, the pressure is on Mr. Romney to increase his appeal among Hispanic voters.
Advisers inside and outside Mr. Romney’s campaign have urged him to shape a positive message to Hispanics on immigration and dispel the harsh image he created during the primaries.
“Ultimately what we’re talking about here is the tone is what has hurt Republicans in the past, not the policies,’’ said Alberto Martinez, an adviser and spokesman for the campaign on Hispanic issues.
But that effort is likely to run headfirst into some of Mr. Romney’s conservative supporters. Many in the Republican base believe that any solution that lets illegal immigrants remain in the country is unacceptable. During the primary race Mr. Romney courted these voters with talk of “self-deportation” and his approval of Arizona’s harsh immigration law.
In two previous addresses to Hispanic groups, Mr. Romney ignored immigration. On Wednesday the Romney campaign abruptly cut short a telephone press conference when all the questions were about immigration – and the campaign wanted to talk about the economy.
“The reason that immigration is important is not because it’s the priority issue but because it’s the issue that can turn Hispanics off,’’ said Ana Navarro, a Florida-based adviser to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008. “If a candidate has the wrong tone and the wrong rhetoric on immigration, Hispanics won’t listen to any of his proposals on anything else.
Ahead of the Florida speech on Thursday, Mr. Romney’s campaign promised to forge “lasting solutions” to what he called the “nation’s broken immigration system.” He said he would work with both parties to pass immigration reform.
But the brief outline did not say how he would overcome the gridlock that has blocked comprehensive immigration reform in the Congress for more than a decade.
Fueled by immigration, Asians are fastest-growing U.S. group
Most arrive legally as highly skilled orofessionalsM.i>
Asian Americans are now the nation's fastest-growing racial group, overtaking Latinos in recent years as the largest stream of new immigrants arriving annually in the United States.
In an economy that increasingly depends on highly skilled workers, Asian Americans are also the country's best educated and highest-income racial or ethnic group, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
In fact, U.S. Asians, who trace their roots to dozens of countries in the Far East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, are arguably the most highly educated immigrant group in U.S. history, the study shows. And although there are significant differences among them by country of origin, on the whole they have found remarkable success in their new land.
"These aren't the poor, tired, huddled masses that Emma Lazarus described in that inscription on the Statue of Liberty," said Paul Taylor, the research center's executive vice president.
In fact, the Asian newcomers' achievements are likely to change the way many Americans think about immigrants, typically as strivers who work hard in the hope that their children and grandchildren will have easier lives and find greater success in this country, Taylor said.
For U.S. Asians, especially those who arrived in recent years, the first generation itself is doing well, outpacing Americans as a whole when it comes to education, household income and family wealth, according to the report released Tuesday.
Asian Americans also tend to be more satisfied than most Americans with their own lives, the survey found, and they hold more traditional views than the general public on the value of marriage, parenthood and hard work.
As a whole, Asian Americans are more likely than the general public to prefer a big government that provides more services. They also lean Democratic and a majority approves of President Barack Obama's job performance. Obama's approval rating among the general public is hovering around 44 percent.
Although the first large wave of Asian immigrants came to the U.S. in the early 19th century, the population grew slowly for more than a century, held down by severe restrictions and official prohibitions, some explicitly racist. Most Asian Americans now living in the U.S. arrived after 1965 legislation that allowed immigration from a wider range of countries.
Asian Americans now make up nearly 6 percent, or 18.2 million, of the U.S. population, the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show. Nearly three-quarters were born abroad, and about 8 million came to this country in the last 30 years.
Geographically, nearly half of all U.S. Asians live in the Western states. California, the traditional gateway for Asian immigrants, has by far the largest number, almost 6 million. Of the major Asian subgroups, in fact, only those from India are relatively evenly distributed throughout the country, with the largest share, 31 percent, living in the Northeast.
Asian immigration has grown rapidly in recent years, with nearly 3 million arriving since 2000. At the same time, Latino immigration, especially from Mexico, has slowed sharply, mainly because of the weakened U.S. economy and tougher border enforcement.
As a result, the number of newly arrived Asian immigrants has outpaced Latinos each year since 2009, according to Pew's analysis of census data. In 2010, for instance, 36 percent of new U.S. immigrants were Asian, compared with 31 percent who were Latino.
The most recent immigrants have arrived even as the economy has boomed in many Asian countries and the standard of living has risen. Taylor said the reason many Asians move to the U.S. include shifts in U.S. immigration policies, changes in their home countries and U.S. labor needs for science, engineering and math graduates.
The Pew study combines recent census and economic data with an extensive, nationally representative survey of 3,500 Asian Americans. The interviews, conducted from January to March, were done in English and seven Asian languages.
Chinese Americans are the largest Asian immigrant group, with more than 4 million who identified as Chinese, followed by Filipinos, Indians, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese.
U.S. Asians as a whole are more satisfied than most Americans with their lives overall (82 percent compared to 75 percent), with their personal finances (51 percent compared to 35 percent) and with the general direction of the country (43 percent compared to 21 percent).
More than half of adult Asian Americans say that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in life; 34 percent of all American adults agree. Asian Americans are more likely than American adults in general to be married (59 percent compared to 51 percent) and their newborns are less likely than U.S. infants as a whole to have an unmarried mother (16 percent compared to 41 percent).
Posted by jonjayray at 11:12 AM
Thursday, June 21, 2012
GOP doubts legality of Obama administration's immigration policy, mounts opposition
Republican lawmakers aren't just uneasy about the Obama administration's move to grant a reprieve to thousands of illegal immigrants who came here as children. Several say they're not even sure it's legal.
Though members of both parties have expressed an interest in crafting legislation to potentially let young illegal immigrants stay in the U.S., Republicans took exception to the Department of Homeland Security's announcement last Friday. Accusing the administration of making an end-run around Congress, GOP officials are increasingly questioning the president's legal authority for the move.
Twenty Republican senators fired off a letter to President Obama on Tuesday asking a string of questions about the legal basis for the policy change.
"Not only do we question your legal authority to act unilaterally in this regard, we are frustrated that you have intentionally bypassed Congress and the American people," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and the other senators wrote.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, followed up with a letter to Obama Wednesday, likewise asking for legal opinions backing up what he described as "amnesty."
Smith wrote that the move "represents a breach of faith with the American people and our Constitution, blatantly ignoring the rule of law and the separation of powers that are the foundations of our democracy."
Other lawmakers have taken their concerns beyond letter-writing.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told Fox News Radio that he plans to sue. "We have to settle this issue," King said. "And if we don't take a stand here on this issue, then the door's wide open for the president to do whatever he shall do with his presidential edicts."
Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., earlier in the week introduced a bill to bar the implementation of the policy. Fellow Republican Arizona Rep. David Schweikert introduced a similar measure.
Meanwhile, the president's announcement threw into question an effort by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to draft a similar measure -- only in Congress. Rubio told Fox News on Wednesday that the administration's decision, though, did not strike a balance.
"The biggest problem I have with it is that (Obama) ignores the Constitution and the Congress and shoves it down our throat," the senator said.
Rubio said the Executive Branch decision "sets the whole thing backwards," asserting that the administration has now inserted "election-year politics" into the debate.
The Obama administration unveiled the new policy on Friday. Under the change, the federal government would make certain illegal immigrants eligible for work permits, provided they're under the age of 30 and came to the U.S. before they were 16. They also must not have been convicted of a major crime and must have been continuously living in the U.S. for the past five years.
Obama, in remarks Friday, stressed that the change is meant to help illegal immigrants who came here as children -- many of whom do not even realize they are undocumented "until they apply for a job or a driver's license, or a college scholarship."
Obama stressed his continued support for the legislative proposal, the DREAM Act, which contains similar provisions but has not passed out of Congress. He cast the change by Homeland Security as a temporary solution.
"This is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix," he said. "This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people."
But Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and co-author of several state anti-illegal immigration laws, told Fox Business Network that the administration is "breaking federal law." He pointed to a section in federal law he says states "very clearly that the president's administration cannot grant this sort of amnesty or cannot refuse to place in deportation proceedings an alien in this situation, who's illegally in this country."
A small anti-immigrant success in France
Jean-Marie Le Pen’s granddaughter has become France’s youngest MP since 1791. Marion Marechal-Le Pen, a 22-year-old law student, was elected at the weekend. The new darling of the country’s National Front has announced herself as the ‘spokeswoman’ for France’s youth.
She will be sworn in as the MP for Carpentras, in the south-east Vaucluse area, at the end of the month. The seat is symbolic for her party, as it was there that it was implicated in the desecration of a Jewish cemetery.
Miss Marechal-Le Pen campaigned on an anti-immigrant, anti-Europe and anti-globalisation agenda. ‘If the elites listened, they would understand why French youth, to which I belong, is joining our ranks,’ she said.
Marion’s father, Samuel Marechal, once ran the National Front’s youth movement. Her mother Yann is Jean-Marie’s daughter.
Mr Le Pen, who turns 84 this week, was in Carpentras to toast his granddaughter’s victory. His daughter, who leads the party he founded, failed to win a parliamentary seat, losing by 118 votes to her Socialist opponent. She has demanded a recount.
The party’s only other successful candidate was lawyer Gilbert Collard, who took the southern Gard department.
'Politics can be as genetic as art or music,' Jean-Marie Le Pen said of his granddaughter this month. 'It's the proof of a good race. Those who accuse us of nepotism are imbeciles.'
Delivering a toned-down version of her party's hardline policies to a younger generation of voters, while saying she does not back all the National Front's ideas, Marechal-Le Pen says her success shows the party is becoming mainstream.
'If the elites listened, they would understand why French youth, to which I belong, is joining our ranks,' she said in a victory address, vowing to speak out in parliament for national sovereignty and for giving priority to French nationals.
She added: 'I am happy to the spokeswoman for this French youth that tomorrow will be spearhead new hope in the shape of the National Front. '6.4 million French voters have already joined us (in presidential elections) and it's just the beginning.'
The far-right's new face insists she is not her grandfather's puppet, but she was careful to place security and immigration - his two key themes - at the heart of her campaign.
Born on December 10, 1989, in the affluent suburb of Saint Cloud, west of Paris, where much of the Le Pen family lives in a mansion, Marechal-Le Pen joined the party aged just 17 and went on to try her luck in regional and municipal elections.
She has remained active in party politics through her postgraduate studies in public law, following the same academic route as her former paratrooper grandfather, who was a more stately 27 when he first entered parliament in 1956. Her grandfather, who founded the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party, turned 84 this week.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:37 AM
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Obama's Immigration Ploy
President Obama's latest political ploy -- granting new "rights" out of thin air, by Executive Order, to illegal immigrants who claim that they were brought into the country when they were children -- is all too typical of his short-run approach to the country's long-run problems.
Whatever the merits or demerits of the Obama immigration policy, his Executive Order is good only as long as he remains president, which may be only a matter of months after this year's election.
People cannot plan their lives on the basis of laws that can suddenly appear, and then suddenly disappear, in less than a year.
To come forward today and claim the protection of the Obama Executive Order is to declare publicly and officially that your parents entered the country illegally. How that may be viewed by some later administration is anybody's guess.
Employers likewise cannot rely on policies that may be here today and gone tomorrow, whether these are temporary tax rates designed to look good at election time or temporary immigration policies that can backfire later if employers get accused of hiring illegal immigrants.
Why hire someone, and invest time and money in training them, if you may be forced to fire them before a year has passed?
Kicking the can down the road is one of the favorite exercises in Washington. But neither in the economy nor in their personal lives can people make plans and commitments on the basis of government policies that suddenly appear and suddenly disappear.
Like so many other Obama ploys, his immigration ploy is not meant to help the country, but to help Obama. This is all about getting the Hispanic vote this November.
The principle involved -- keeping children from being hurt by actions over which they had no control -- is one already advanced by Senator Marco Rubio, who may well end up as Governor Romney's vice-presidential running mate. The Obama Executive Order, which suddenly popped up like a rabbit out of a magician's hat, steals some of Senator Rubio's thunder, so it is clever politics.
But clever politics is what has gotten this country into so much trouble, not only as regards immigration but also as regards the economy and the dangerous international situation.
When the new, and perhaps short-lived, immigration policy is looked at in terms of how it can be administered, it makes even less sense. While this policy is rationalized in terms of children, those who invoke it are likely to do so as adults.
How do you check someone's claim that he was brought into the country illegally when he was a child? If Obama gets reelected, it is very unlikely that illegal immigrants will really have to prove anything. The administration can simply choose not to enforce that provision, as so many other immigration laws are unenforced in the Obama administration.
If Obama does not get reelected, then it may not matter anyway, when his Executive Order can be gone after he is gone.
Ultimately, it does not matter what immigration policy this country has, if it cannot control its own borders. Whoever wants to come, and who has the chutzpah, will come. And the fact that they come across the Mexican border does not mean that they are all Mexicans. They can just as easily be terrorists from the Middle East.
Only after the border is controlled can any immigration policy matter be seriously considered, and options weighed through the normal Constitutional process of Congressional hearings, debate and legislation, rather than by Presidential short-cuts.
Not only is border control fundamental, what is also fundamental is the principle that immigration policy does not exist to accommodate foreigners but to protect Americans -- and the American culture that has made this the world's richest, freest and most powerful nation for more than a century.
No nation can absorb unlimited numbers of people from another culture without jeopardizing its own culture. In the 19th and early 20th century, America could absorb millions of immigrants who came here to become Americans. But the situation is entirely different today, when group separatism, resentment and polarization are being promoted by both the education system and politicians.
Secure Communities by the Number, Revisited
New study refutes denial of due process charges
As ICE nears completion of the nation-wide activation of the Secure Communities program, which facilitates the identification and removal of aliens who are arrested for other crimes through automated fingerprint matching, the record of arrests and removals continue to show the program is effective and beneficial to U.S. communities.
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies examines the nature of the immigration charges against aliens identified through Secure Communities and how these offenders were processed. In this final installment of a three-part series, Secure Communities By the Numbers, Revisited, authors W.D. Reasoner and Jessica Vaughan find that there are no indications of denial of due process or other inappropriate handling of removal cases, as program critics frequently allege. On the contrary, this analysis shows that the Secure Communities caseload consists mainly of jail and prison inmates, many of whom have histories of significant and repeated immigration violations – in keeping with the program goals.
These findings help explain why the vast majority of state and local law enforcement agencies have embraced Secure Communities enthusiastically, and willingly assist by honoring detainers so that ICE can take custody of criminal aliens. Support from the nation’s sheriffs and police departments has helped motivate ICE to implement the program over the objections of illegal alien advocacy groups.
The key findings:
* There were no indications of systematic denial of due process for aliens processed under Secure Communities. In the case data reviewed, the authors found no instance of an individual being deprived of due process or subjected to an inappropriately harsh form of due process.
* If anything, ICE officers lean towards more costly and inefficient methods of removing criminal aliens, instead of the quicker options that are available. More than half (56%) of the sample cases reviewed had immigration judge hearings and only one percent were processed using the most efficient tool of expedited removal (compared to 30% in the national DHS removal caseload).
* 26 percent of the cases reviewed involved aliens who had been removed at a prior date and returned here illegally (a felony offense under the U.S. criminal code). This suggests that significant gaps in border security still exist.
* 10 percent of these criminal aliens were granted voluntary return, a very lenient treatment that enables them to avoid harsh penalties if they return again illegally.
* Nearly half the total (48%) were multiple or repeat immigration violators, aside from their state or local crimes.
The data source for this analysis was a sample of more than 500 cases released by ICE in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the National Day Labor Organizing Network and the Cardozo Law School’s Immigration Clinic.
The CIS authors’ first two reports examine allegations of wrongful arrests of U.S. citizens and racial profiling. In Part One, Reasoner and Vaughan found no basis for the allegations that Secure Communities had wrongfully ensnared U.S. citizens. In Part Two, the authors found the ethnic profile of the aliens arrested through Secure Communities very closely matched the ethnic profile of criminal aliens incarcerated in the parts of the country where the program was operating, rebutting the accusations of racial profiling. In addition, Reasoner and Vaughan found significant methodological and interpretive errors in the analyses of the ICE critics. They also found significant data integrity problems that ICE must move to correct to facilitate more meaningful analyses of the program.
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: email@example.com. Contact: Jessica Vaughan, (508) 346-3380, firstname.lastname@example.org or Marguerite Telford, (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
Posted by jonjayray at 12:11 AM
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Backdoor Amnesty? White House Proposes CATCH and RELEASE for Some Illegal Immigrants
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency charged with guarding the U.S. borders, has written a secret draft policy that would let its agents catch and release low-priority illegal immigrants rather than bring them in for processing and prosecution.
The policy, which has not been signed off on, would be the latest move by the Obama administration to set new priorities for the nation's immigration services, and would bring CBP in line with other Homeland Security Department agencies that already use such "prosecutorial discretion."
The policy was detailed in an internal memo obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith and reviewed by The Washington Times, which confirmed the document.
According to the memo, the draft policy "provides circumstances when to pursue enforcement actions ... and includes detailed discussion of several factors CBP personnel should consider when exercising discretion."
Opponents say it amounts to another "backdoor amnesty" for illegal immigrants and could give the administration a tool to pressure Border Patrol agents not to pursue some people.
"Rather than allow Border Patrol agents to do their job, the Obama administration instead would like them to roll out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants," Mr. Smith said. "This ‘catch and release' policy undermines border security, our immigration system, and CBP's mission."
President Obama has called for a broad immigration bill that would legalize most illegal immigrants, but with action in Congress unlikely, his administration has taken steps to try to rewrite enforcement priorities and shift deportation efforts away from rank-and-file illegal immigrants and toward gang members and those with extensive criminal records.
Those favoring a crackdown say that amounts to a de facto amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, while immigrant rights groups say he is setting records for deportations and that too many illegal immigrants without extensive criminal histories are being caught.
As part of its efforts, the administration last summer announced that it would grant broad prosecutorial discretion for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), a Homeland Security agency that enforces immigration laws in the country's interior.
That policy, which lets the agency decline to prosecute or deport some illegal immigrants, has received mixed reviews. Crackdown supporters say it's too lenient, while the immigrant advocates say it's not applied fairly.
The new draft policy detailed in the memo would apply similar rules to CBP, and the chief effect could be to give Border Patrol agents discretion not to turn over illegal immigrants for prosecution.
Recent posts at CIS below
See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.
1. Plenty of Room for Fraud & Fuzz in Obama's Dream Scheme (Blog)
2. Obama's Administrative Dream Act Myths (Blog)
3. Phony Military Frosting on the Dream Scheme Cake (Blog)
4. What Is Deferred Action? (Blog)
5. Contrasts Between the IRCA Legalization and the Administration's Dream (Blog)
6. H-2B Exploiters Beat Obama Administration in Senate Committee Vote (Blog)
7. Meanwhile, at the Border . . . (Blog)
8. Who Will Pay to Process the Dream? (Blog)
9. Rubio’s Response to Obama's Amnesty (Blog)
10. The End Justifies the Means (Blog)
11. Lessons for U.S. Southern Border from Interview with Canadian Mountie (Blog)
12. DHS Wastes Money on Adult Toys (i.e., Drones), OIG Reports (Blog)
13. State Agencies Should Prepare for a War of Attrition on Enforcement Measures (Blog)
14. Let's Make a Deal: A College's Special Tuition Rates for Illegal Immigrant Students (Blog)
15. California Senate Advances Sanctuary Bill, Ignoring Lessons of Triple Murder Case (Blog)
16. Summertime, Brought to You by Eastern Europe (Blog)
17. On Whose Behalf Do Our Officials Labor? (Blog)
18. Ag Employers Cry Wolf on Immigration (Blog)
19. Voter ID – Sometimes Even Politicians Get It Right (Blog)
20. On Capitol Hill, a Strong Indictment of Administrative Amnesty Policies (Blog)
21. Beyond the Hoopla — Older Immigrants Are Economic Disasters (Blog)
22. Time for Another DREAM Act Story (Blog)
23. Irish Workers in the Big Apple: American Kids (Apparently) Need Not Apply (Blog)
24. DOJ Expands Gun Rights for Certain Nonimmigrant Aliens (Blog)
Posted by jonjayray at 12:46 PM
Monday, June 18, 2012
Israeli PM: African illegals to be deported in orderly, dignified manner
Ahead of first plane of South Sudanese migrants set to leave Israel, Netanyahu says: The government is today essentially starting the return of the illegal infiltrators to their lands of origin.
With heart-rending scenes of police rounding up frightened African migrants on the nightly news, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday an orderly deportation process that will "preserve the dignity" of those slated for expulsion.
"The first plane of illegal infiltrators will leave tonight for South Sudan," Netanyahu said. "Next week another plane will leave. The government is today essentially starting the return of the illegal infiltrators to their lands of origin."
Netanyahu said the government is dealing with the migrant problem through the completion of the border fence with Egypt within the next few months; an expedited process to deport infiltrators, in some cases to third countries: and taking away the motivation for others to come to Israel by implementing a number of steps.
These disincentive steps include ending the practice of directing infiltrators to Tel Aviv or other locations, and rather transferring them directly to detention centers where they can be held for up to two years. In addition, Netanyahu said the Knesset approved a law last week to level strict penalties on employers giving the migrants work.
"The infiltrators come here to work," Netanyahu said. "If there will not be work for them here they will have no reason to come."
Australia's 'how-to guide' for people smugglers
THE Immigration Department has been accused of running a "marketing department" for people smugglers after publishing an online guide to asylum-seeker processing and fact sheets detailing free legal assistance available to arrivals.
A new section of the department's website explains the journey irregular maritime arrivals take when their boat is intercepted in Australia.
The site also explains the appeals process for rejected claims and the visa process for successful applications.
"This website contains general information for you if you arrived in Australia by boat without a visa," the department tells visitors.
The government yesterday said it was best to be proactive and distribute the facts rather than let asylum seekers be fooled by people smugglers.
But opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison dubbed it a "how-to guide". "The only thing missing from this website is a hotline to the people smugglers that they can call and an introductory video from Captain Emad," he said. "You can effectively call this 'captainemad.com'."
Some of the information has been available on the department's website for months, but was compiled into an easy-to-use resource in recent days.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yesterday said the information was important to counter the false promises people smugglers peddled.
"Scott Morrison would rather asylum seekers get the myths from people smugglers; these are simply the facts," the spokesman said.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:13 AM
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Obama halts deportations of young illegals
Another end-run around Congress. A President with no respect for the Constitution he has sworn to uphold
US PRESIDENT Barack Obama has suspended the threat of deportation against hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants, delighting crucial Hispanic voters ahead of November's election.
"These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighbourhoods... they are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one... on paper," Obama said at the White House.
The scheme applies to people brought to the United States before the age of 16, who are currently under 30, are in school or have graduated from high school, or have served in the military and have not been convicted of a felony.
"Put yourself in their shoes, imagine you have done everything right your entire life... only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country you know nothing about," Obama said.
"This is not amnesty, this is not immunity... this is the right thing to do," said Obama, who, in an unusual scene, was heckled by a journalist from the conservative Daily Caller website during his remarks.
Although affected youths will be able to apply for work permits, they will not be granted permanent residence status or a path towards citizenship.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that only youths that had been living in the United States for five years and were no threat to national security would be eligible for the scheme.
Obama's decision will go some way to enshrining the goals of the DREAM Act, legislation backed by the White House that could lead to young illegal immigrants gaining permanent residency.
The bill, opposed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and conservatives on Capitol Hill, has repeatedly failed to pass Congress and become law.
Romney said that although the plight of young illegals was important, the action Obama took "makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution." "I'd like to see legislation that deals with this issue," he said, adding that he agreed with the approach of US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
Rubio, seen as a possible future Republican presidential candidate, has a difficult line to walk on immigration between a hawkish Republican party and a desire not to alienate Hispanic voters.
"By once again ignoring the constitution and going around Congress, this short-term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long-term one," Rubio said.
Romney's position on immigration reform, adopted to appeal to conservative Republican primary voters, could come back to haunt him among Hispanics in general election swing states like Colorado and Nevada.
Other Republicans accused Obama of overstepping his powers and of bypassing the collective will of elected politicians.
"Americans should be outraged that President Obama is planning to usurp the constitutional authority of the United States Congress and grant amnesty by edict to one million illegal aliens," Iowa Representative Steve King said. "There is no ambiguity in Congress about whether the DREAM Act's amnesty program should be the law of the land. "It has been rejected by Congress, and yet President Obama has decided that he will move forward with it anyway."
Officials said the move was not a permanent solution to the status of illegal immigrants but offered a two-year deferment of deportation proceedings, which could be extended by a further two years on expiry.
Despite sparking conservative anger, Obama's decision was however welcomed by immigration reform groups.
"The president has given us a reason to believe in him," said Cesar Vargas, managing partner at DRM Capitol Group, which fights for DREAM legislation around the United States. "We will ensure that people go out to vote to keep this executive order alive."
Officials said the measure could impact around 800,000 youthful illegal immigrants. The Pew Hispanic Centre said up to 1.4 million children and young adults could benefit.
There are 11.5 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, and efforts to deal with their status - and provide a path to citizenship - have foundered in recent years over sharp political divisions.
In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last month, Obama led Romney among registered Hispanic voters, 61 to 27 per cent.
Obama promised to work towards comprehensive immigration reform, a goal of the Hispanic community, when he ran for office but has made little progress. Now the president is pledging to tackle the issue if he wins a second term.
Illegals abuse law to overstay in Australia
FAILED asylum seekers, foreign students overstaying their visas and others facing deportation admit to rorting the immigration system to stay in Australia, according to an official report.
The Immigration Department study revealed unsuccessful visa applicants had a "dig in and resist" mentality, believing they had a "personal entitlement" to stay in Australia and could beat the system with persistence. It found some refugee advocates, migration agents and religious groups misled asylum seekers by raising expectations and false hopes about their chances of staying in Australia.
Based on interviews with people facing removal from Australia and immigration officers, the report revealed the department was besieged by those with a "stay-at-all-cost" mindset.
It found people used every means to extend their stay and many saw marrying an Australian as a viable way to remain permanently, with the aim of later bringing out family. "Most respondents displayed a 'dig in and resist to the end' mentality (and) they had a strong sense of personal entitlement to stay in Australia," the report said.
"They believed the system was there to be exploited and no decision was seen as final."
Among those surveyed were Afghan, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, UK and New Zealand nationals. Most had been in Australia between two and 10 years - some for decades.
The report said, while many claimed to fear persecution in their home countries, they strongly believed they had a right to stay based on their social and economic contribution to Australia.
"(There was also) a sense of shame around returning to the country of origin having nothing to show for their stay in Australia," it said.
The report said many surveyed asylum seekers were drug addicts and had mental health problems, and they had a general attitude that the department lacked credibility and was "just trying to get rid of people". The Management Of Enforced Removals In Australia: A Client Perspective report was done for the department by consultants Hall & Partners/Open Mind.
It recommended the department improve "messaging" so clients better understood the migration process and were given alternatives to remaining in Australia.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan police have arrested 53 people who were trying to leave the island illegally in a boat believed to be heading for Australia. The trawler was stopped by the navy off the island's southeastern coast on Tuesday and the men were handed over to police, who arrested a further 26 people on shore, including 21 Afghans and five Pakistanis suspected of using Sri Lanka as a transit point.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:30 AM
Friday, June 15, 2012
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests 44 "egregious" illegals
This is all fine and good but what is going to be done with them? If they are deported they will just pop right back over the border again. Only long prison sentences could reduce the danger they pose to the community
A sting operation by U.S. agents led to the arrests of 44 "egregious immigration law violators" in the Chicago area.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say all of the arrested had prior criminal convictions ranging from arson and battery to drugs and weapons possessions charges.
Of the 44 arrested, 23 were fugitives who had failed to leave the country when ordered to by immigration officials, and 11 had feloniously re-entered the country after being deported, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release.
"ERO is committed to making our communities safer by arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives," said Ricardo Wong, Chicago field office director for ICE ERO in Chicago, "By targeting our efforts on these egregious offenders, we are improving public safety while making the best use of our resources."
The five-day investigation and arrest operation took place in Chicago and the western suburbs, including West Chicago, Cicero, Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Downers Grove and Carpentersville, according to the release.
Australia: Bureaucratic obtuseness defeated for once
Immigration bureaucracies worldwide are mini-Kremlins
THE Immigration Minister has ordered his department to allow British policeman Peter Threlfall and his family into Australia.
Chris Bowen's intervention followed revelations in The Advertiser yesterday that the family had been denied visas because Mr Threlfall's 25-year-old step-daughter, Sarah, has autism.
Mr Threlfall last night likened the backflip to winning the lottery.
He said SA Police had told him his original job offer as a constable in Ceduna would be honoured, and he hoped to be in Australia by September. "This is unbelievable. I just can't get over it," Mr Threlfall said from London.
"I knew it was achievable, it was just getting the right person to overturn this bad decision, but it was so hard to get to that person. My wife is in tears - we are so happy."
The Threlfalls were originally denied visas because an Immigration Department medical officer deemed Sarah's condition would place a burden on health- care and community services in Australia.
This was despite the fact Sarah has two jobs and plans to study as a hairdresser in Australia. Disability advocates last night applauded Mr Bowen's intervention, but demanded the immediate scrapping of the "discriminatory" policy behind the original decision.
Intellectual Disability Association of SA chairman David Holst and Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young both called on the Government to bring immigration policies into line with a 2010 parliamentary report on the issue.
"This case, like similar ones in recent years show why there must be reforms to the health waiver requirement," Ms Hanson-Young said.
"The Greens call on the Government to fulfil the recommendations from the Enabling Australia 2010 parliamentary inquiry report, particularly raising the 'cost threshold' of the health requirement and those criteria affecting family migration."
Opposition immigration spokesman Mitch Fifield said there needed to be greater flexibility in cases such as that of the Threlfalls.
Mr Threlfall hoped his case would help ensure policy change after the Immigration Department deemed Sarah could be a $500,000 burden on Australian healthcare and social services, despite assurances she was employed, largely self-reliant and rarely sought medical assistance in London.
"You can't adopt a hypothetical situation without taking into account any positives," he said.
A spokesman for Mr Bowen said after learning about the case he had asked the department to "facilitate entry for the family".
Migration Institute of Australia state president Mark Glazbrook said cases such as this were too common.
"There is this general assumption that certain conditions will have a high cost and because of that the visa will be refused, even when you can get strong evidence to say there shouldn't be a high cost," he said.
The Threlfall family received a deluge of support from readers of AdelaideNOW and The Advertiser's Facebook page yesterday.
"That's disgusting! Let them in and stop the discrimination against disability," one reader commented.
Autism Advisory and Support Service president Grace Fava applauded the decision, saying people should not have to live with a label.
SA Police Assistant Commissioner Bryan Fahy said SAPOL would honour its original employment offer.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:43 AM