Friday, November 30, 2012

Jan Brewer Sued Over License Policy For Immigrants

Immigrant rights advocates filed a lawsuit Thursday that seeks to overturn Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's order denying driver's licenses for young immigrants who have gotten work permits and avoided deportation under a new Obama administration policy.

The lawsuit alleges the state has in effect classified young-adult immigrants as not having permission to be in the country and asks a federal judge to declare Brewer's policy unconstitutional because it's trumped by federal law and denies licenses without valid justification.

"Arizona's creation of its own immigration classification impermissibly intrudes on the federal government's exclusive authority to regulate immigration," the lawsuit said.

The Obama administration in June took administrative steps to shield as many as 800,000 immigrants from deportation. Applicants must have been brought to the United States before they turned 16, be younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have graduated from a high school or GED program or have served in the military. They also were allowed to apply for a two-year renewable work permit.

Brewer has defended her Aug. 15 order on driver's licenses as necessary for ensuring that state agencies adhere to the intent of state laws denying public benefits to undocumented immigrants.

The governor has clashed with the Obama administration in the past over illegal immigration, most notably in the challenge that the federal government filed in a bid to invalidate Arizona's 2010 immigration law. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law's most contentious section, but threw out other sections.

Lawyers for two civil rights groups that led a challenge to the 2010 state law also filed the lawsuit over Brewer's driver's license policy.

The latest case was filed on behalf of the five young-adult immigrants in Arizona who were brought to the United States from Mexico as children and were granted deferred deportation protections under the Obama administration's policy but were denied licenses or complained that Brewer's order has caused significant hardships.

Brewer's policy makes it difficult or impossible for such young immigrants to do essential things in their everyday life, such as going to school, going to the grocery store, and finding and holding down a job, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said Brewer's order means federal work permits for the program's participants won't be accepted as proof of their legal presence in the country for the purpose of getting a driver's license. Still, the lawsuit said, the state will accept such a work permit from immigrants who have won deferred deportation status as part of other federal immigration programs.

The five young immigrants aren't seeking money damages and instead are asking a judge to bar Arizona from denying driver's licenses to immigrants who were granted deferred deportation status by the federal government. It seeks class-action status that would let all other young immigrants in Arizona who were granted the deferred-deportation protection join the lawsuit.

About 11,000 people living in Arizona have applied for the deferred deportation protection under the Obama administration's policy.

The lawsuit was also filed on behalf of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, a group that advocates for federal legislation that would provide a path to legal status for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.


Scott Beason, sponsor of Alabama immigration law, disappointed by federal courts, by national GOP

Alabama Sen. Scott Beason said he was disappointed that Alabama today lost its appeal for a rehearing, meaning Alabama will not be allowed to check the immigration status of students.

"Unfortunately, the states seem to be left at the mercy of whatever the federal government is trying to do," said Beason, who sponsored Alabama's 72-page immigration law.

Today's ruling largely ends initial efforts to enforce what has been considered the nation's toughest anti-immigration act. Much of the law remains unenforceable, having been blocked by federal courts.

"The law of the land is not being followed," said Beason, R-Gardendale, who also appears to be nearing the end of what he called an "exciting ride" in the national spotlight.

"Where we go from here is an interesting question," said Beason of state immigration law. "I'm looking at every option we may have."

But since President Obama won re-election with the support of 70 percent of Latino voters, national GOP lawmakers have been backing away from tough immigration policies, such as the models in Alabama and Arizona.

"I don't think being soft on illegal immigration gains the GOP any votes," said Beason

He said at one point last year, as he was receiving calls from across the country, he found that many who had come to the country legally supported his efforts. He said that illegal immigration provides cheap labor that suppresses wages for Alabama citizens. And he said the issue still needs to be addressed.

But in the end, federal judges blocked most of his legislation. Illegal immigrants can not be stopped from entering into contracts. It's not illegal to rent to or give a ride to an undocumented immigrant. Schools do not need to inquire into immigration status of students.

Perhaps the most controversial section survived repeated challenges. Local and state police in Alabama and Arizona can inquire into immigration status during traffic stops. Also, businesses can be required to use a federal database to verify the immigration status of employees.

Beason said Congress needs to secure the border before tackling immigration reform. He said that may entail a fence or may mean better enforcement of existing laws. "It's like a plumbing problem," he said. "Until you fix the leak you don't do repairs on the house."

Despite legal setbacks and much national press, Beason said Alabama's experiment was not detrimental to the state's reputation. In encouraging immigrants to "self-deport," which was also the official policy of presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Alabama was repeatedly portrayed as cruel and intolerant, Beason acknowledged. But he said the arguments were based in partisan politics.

"I think that's just what some people who sit in ivory towers in some newspapers like to say," said Beason, pointing out that few national news outlets reported "whining stories" about Alabama failing to remove racist language from the state constitution this month. He said that was because Democratic groups here opposed the removal.

He said the immigration law did not interfere with Alabama's efforts to land foreign businesses, including Airbus. He contends the "bellyaching and moaning" over the Alabama law was a Democratic effort at the national level used to drive a wedge between wings of the Republican party.

Beason, who lost a bid to step up to Congress earlier this year, said he stands by efforts to make the state unwelcome to undocumented workers.

"Some people nationally care about making sure their team is in power" even if some of the policies are identical between the parties, said Beason. "You've got to stand for some sort of principles."


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Guest Workers Can Help End Illegal Immigration

The debate over immigration reform has focused on its long-term effects on America’s culture as well as its economy. But that obscures the fact that for many foreigners seeking to come to the United States, their goal is not to become Americans, but to alleviate economic problems in their home country. These workers have little interest in assimilating or voting. They simply want to work for a while, sometimes for just a few months, and return home.

Last August, the Republican Party adopted a plank in its national platform arguing for “a new guest worker program.” Critics have derided this permission to relocate temporarily without a guarantee of citizenship as either mere crumbs for the workers or corporate welfare for their employers. In fact, a workable guest worker program would expand the market’s ability to accommodate the natural flow of labor, which has been distorted by government policy for too long.

Temporary migration is a market phenomenon, not a government program. During a period when travel was vastly more expensive than it is today, surveys at the turn of the 20th century found that most Italian immigrants to the United States planned to return to Italy after accumulating capital working in America. While many never fulfilled these plans, 40 percent of the 2.1 million Italians who came to America during that time eventually returned home. More recently, from 1986 to 1990, most undocumented Mexican workers stayed for less than 2 years and more than 86 percent returned home within five years.

The Republican Party is right to extend its commitment to free trade to the realm of labor. Its platform document argues for guest workers based on “the utility of a legal and reliable source of foreign labor.” But that’s not the only benefit. An effective guest worker program would also reduce illegal immigration. Prior to 1965, Mexicans faced no quantitative legal limits on entry to the United States. Hundreds of thousands of Mexican laborers came as temporary “Bracero” workers during the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. During this period, the Mexican undocumented population was extremely low thanks to the existence of a legal and fairly accessible avenue for legal entry that also met American employers’ needs.

After Congress ended the Bracero program in 1964, illegal entries rose rapidly. The government drove immigrants underground, creating a black market in labor, but as noted earlier, most migrant workers continued to leave. What led to the rapid increase in the undocumented population in the U.S. was increased border security during the 1990s. There was no increase in illegal entries during the 1990s. Rather, there was a huge decrease in departures. By 1998, most immigrants were staying longer than 6.5 years, and only 40 percent returned at all within five years. Workers who would have returned stayed for fear of having to make the dangerous and expensive border crossing twice. In fact, illegal entries actually decreased during the 1990s even while the undocumented population in the U.S. rapidly increased.

Opponents of guest worker programs argue that they often lead to permanent settlement. During the Bracero migration, for example, Mexican naturalizations increased 2,000 to 61,000. Yet this is a very small number compared to the 450,000 or more legal workers that entered each year and, in any case, should be seen as a good thing. Doesn’t it make more sense to assimilate those immigrants who have already spent time in the U.S. and already contributed to American business than those who haven’t?

Opponents also argue that temporary immigration results in more illegal immigration since at least half of the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. originally entered under legal visas that have since expired. But this argument simply leads to the conclusion that temporary work visas should be renewable based on the condition that the immigrant has not needed public assistance and has worked throughout his or her stay.

Critics also claim that guest workers are exploited by businesses, but to the extent that the abuses are real, they are primarily a consequence of the workers not being free to change employers. This would require a simple regulatory change to allow workers to notify the government of a change of employer. Granting this liberty to the workers would also lessen the regulatory burden on employers who use temporary migrants.

Temporary work visas alone will not solve illegal immigration, nor do they provide the only type of immigration that America’s economy needs. But by providing American employers a legal avenue to hire the low skill workers they need, guest worker programs should be considered as part of any “comprehensive” approach to immigration reform.


90pc of Sudanese refugees in Australia want to go home

I support free tickets for them

A new study has found the majority of refugees from Sudan who arrived in Australia over the past decade want to return home.

Many of those surveyed experienced isolation and reported being discriminated against, particularly when it came to employment and housing.

Nyok Gor is one of around 23,000 Sudanese refugees who fled to Australia over the past decade.  He arrived in late 2003 as one of the "lost boys of Sudan".

He began studying at university, but found it difficult to get work and accommodation.  "While I was looking for accommodation, that was one of the areas that I felt discriminated," he said.

"As a student I was looking for share accommodation and somebody would be calling to organise some of the houses that I was interested to apply for, and when I turn up later would tell me sorry we don't have enough room.

"There were other cases where somebody would ask me over the phone what background do you come from and I would say an African background and they would say no sorry we don't have available room for you."

According to the study by international policy research agency, STATT, that was a common problem among the 350 people surveyed.

STATT researcher Robert Onus says most people found there were good support services provided by the Government, but their ability to get help differed between cities and regional areas.

"People in regional areas felt quite a bit of isolation, particularly because the people that were settled in regional areas didn't have access to some of the support networks that people in bigger cities would have with the larger communities," he said.

"The other thing is definitely with regards to employment.  "A lot of people have worked hard to get skills and develop their skills in Australia.  "They've done education in Australia but they can't seem to get jobs in areas that they feel that they're skilled at working in."

Mr Onus says many people felt potential employers discriminated against them based on their race.

"On the other hand I think it's the question of getting skills, job skills in the Australian market," he said.  "A lot of people don't have the resume that local people might have or people that have been in Australia for a longer time might have."

The study released today also found that since South Sudan gained independence, many people want to return home.  "About 90 per cent of people had signalled that they would be intending to return. That includes both temporarily and permanently," he said.

"When it comes to more permanent return, people had a range of opinions about how long they would go and for what reasons."

But Mr Onus says most people who wanted to return to South Sudan did not hold negative opinions of Australia.

"It was very much a question of going home to support the development of their new nation and there's really a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm in the community towards helping the South Sudanese nation develop and repatriating the skills that they've gained here," he said.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Australian attempt to get tough with "asylum seekers" falls over

Five year wait for right to work scrapped

NEW rules denying asylum seekers work rights for up to five years will be softened in response to a backlash from Labor MPs and one of the principal architects of the Gillard government's policy to stem the number of boat arrivals.

Paris Aristotle, a member of the government's expert panel on asylum seekers, has described the no-work-rights rules as inconsistent with the policy's controversial "no advantage" test, punitive and in breach of Australia's international treaty obligations.

Mr Aristotle welcomed a nuanced retreat by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, who signalled a willingness on Monday to put in place "some mechanism" for those found to be refugees, but having to wait several years for permanent protection, "to be able to support themselves".

Mr Bowen announced last Wednesday that, "consistent with "no advantage", those who could not be sent to Nauru or Manus Island would be released into the community with "no work rights and will receive only basic accommodation assistance and limited financial support [of $430 a fortnight]".

The move followed the recognition that too many asylum seekers have arrived since the new approach was announced on August 13 for them to be transferred to Nauru or Manus Island.

It was an attempt to put those who will now be released on bridging visas on the same footing as those on Nauru and Manus Island, but it prompted warnings that it would create an underclass of refugees who would be ill prepared to build new lives when finally granted protection visas.

It has also escalated unrest and anxiety among the 387 who have been sent to Nauru. They say they have been treated unfairly and warn that one Iranian is close to death after being on a hunger strike for 45 days.

After representations from Mr Aristotle and others, Mr Bowen asserted on Monday that the new rules were "not actually linked to the no-advantage principle as such", and were more about the surge in numbers from Sri Lanka and the belief that many were "economic migrants" and not refugees.

He also vowed to work with those in the refugee sector to determine "how we will deal" with those found to be refugees under the new system, where asylum seekers whose claims are upheld must wait for as long as they would have waited to be resettled if they had stayed in a transit country - a period Mr Bowen concedes could be five years.

In comments welcomed by Labor MP Melissa Parke, Mr Bowen said he wanted "over time" to work out how these people had "appropriate support and care, and where appropriate they have some mechanism in place to be able to support themselves".

Writing exclusively in The Age today, Mr Aristotle argues the correct response to concerns about economic migration from Sri Lanka is to "properly and quickly" establish if this is the case by processing applications. "Those that are refugees should be protected and those who are not can be returned," he writes.

"The announcements last week to disallow asylum seekers work rights and timely access to family reunion, even after they have been found to be a refugee, were not recommendations of the panel.

"The measures are highly problematic because they are a punitive form of deterrence in response to a specific and new phenomenon in people smuggling from Sri Lanka, which the government believes is for economic reasons as opposed to refugee protection."

Mr Aristotle expresses dismay at the opposition's proposal to slash the humanitarian quota to 13,750 places and reintroduce temporary protection visas, saying it makes little sense.

He laments that the debate on asylum-seeker issues continues to be on a "destructive and combative course".


 Recent posts at CIS  below

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


1. The Shape of a Future Immigration Deal?

2. Worksite Immigration Enforcement is Minimal — CRS Study Confirms

3. After the Election, More Flexibility for Sanctuaries

4. Even a Stopped Clock . . .

5. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True . . .

6. USCIS Sheds a Little Light on Denial Rates

7. Not Your Grandfather's Immigration Rules

8. "Comprehensive Immigration Reform": an Oxymoron in the Making

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Clear, Simple and Wrong Answers to the “Demographic Changes”

Since the day after the election Republicans have been analyzing, ruminating, whining and complaining about Mitt Romney’s performance and beseeching the Republican Party to now “reach out” to minorities, lest they not win another national election. Most of the suggestions offered not only wouldn’t work, they would likely lead to the destruction of the Republican Party.

It is, of course, part of the campaign process to study all voter groups, demographics and modern tribal affiliations, to attempt to identify areas of agreement with the candidate in the hopes of “reaching out” to gain their support. All successful candidates do this already. There is no need to admonish anyone on this point.

However, many in the news media and the Republican and Democrat Party have been pushing a concept that is born of faulty analysis and personal prejudice; the idea that the way to attract the Hispanic vote is to push an amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens currently in our country. This suggestion is plainly wrong and the result of political naivety, or sinister or outright stupidity.

H.L. Mencken once opined that, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

That statement applies 100% to the current discussion about how to attract Hispanic votes. Offering an amnesty, discussing an amnesty, supporting an amnesty, writing amnesty legislation and actually passing an amnesty for illegal aliens has all been done by Republicans in the past and not once did the Republican candidate for President get even close to 50% of the “Hispanic vote.”

Pew Hispanic Research reported on November 7th the Hispanic vote count for the last nine Presidential elections. The 1986 IRCA amnesty, the source of a lot of the “demographic changes” that we have seen for years but are only just hearing about now, didn’t help Republicans in even one subsequent election. John McCain failed to get one third of the Hispanic vote in 2008, and he actually wrote an amnesty bill with Ted Kennedy who was a big supporter of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, the other source of the “demographic changes.”

If the suggestions of these amnesty supporting dopes weren’t so pathetic they’d be laughable. I’ll summarize their plan:

    "The way for the Republican Party to gain support from low income Hispanic voters is to flood the country, and it would be a flood of Biblical proportions, with tens of millions more low income Hispanic workers who, once becoming citizens, would vote for…Republicans."

Any candidate who would believe this drivel is not smart enough to be in public office, even though it is a government job.

Latest example: The Orange Country California Republican Party is now “rethinking” its stance on immigration.

If true, then the Rinos (many are Democrats who re-registered when it was a Republican stronghold) who have been trying to take over that County’s Party since the early 1990s have finally succeeded. The statue of John Wayne at the local airport must be weeping.

Any candidate or organization that endorses this nonsense is corrupt and is more interested in the success of the Chamber of Commerce Clan, than the United States of America. Because, open borders and mass illegal immigration is allowed and encouraged by Democrats and Republicans alike because business needs a new generation of customers to take up the slack left by the Baby Boomer Consumers who are retiring out of their consuming careers at a rate of 10,000 a day.

Not that it makes one bit of difference to those who would sell us out, but, America is more than just an economy, and a great economy it is, or was. America is also the world power that has kept dictators in check for over half a century and freed more people from tyranny, poverty and disease than all the rest of the world’s nations added up throughout history.

American culture and ideals and power have created the world we live in.

In his book, The World America Made, Robert Kagan describes the “American World Order” which has existed since the end of WWII.

Regardless of the attitudes, feelings or beliefs of leftists, socialists, race hustlers and welfare recipients in the United States, it is America’s power that has created a world of relative peace and prosperity for the past 67 years.

Now, I will agree with the crybabies that the world isn’t perfect, far from it. But, it is the best world mankind has seen since Rome collapsed.

America’s power is a direct by-product of America’s wealth; its economy. That economy and power is threatened by the influx of low educated, low skilled people who are willing work in America at almost any wage as it really beats what they left behind. But, the damage from this influx is reflected, in part, in the “demographic changes” that seem to have only just been discovered by some of the political elite, but have, in fact, been the obvious result of our open border policies for years.

Reach out to every voting demographic, absolutely.  Only, don’t listen to those who offer simplistic suggestions, especially ones that have already been proven to be failures.

And, by all means, ignore the Democrats who are telling the Republicans how to “reach out” to anyone. That would go far beyond simple and wrong. It would be stupid.


Tony Blair peddles immigration myths

Big business support for his new pro-Europe campaign is nothing but naked self-interest, argues Jeff Randall.

Brilliant news for Eurosceptics: Tony Blair will this week wade into the debate over Britain’s membership of the European Union, claiming that our place at the “top table” has never been more important. At a speech in London, he will seek to rally business leaders behind his campaign for a “grand plan” to bolster the EU’s wobbling edifice.

For those hoping that the United Kingdom will cut its losses and wave goodbye to Brussels, it’s hard to think of an intervention more likely to help their cause. Mr Blair still has traction with some foreign bankers, daft enough to pay for his advice, but as far as domestic voters are concerned, he’s the political equivalent of the merchandise in Del Boy’s suitcase. The goods are not just damaged, they are damaged fakes.

For the purpose of brevity, let’s set aside judgment on the former prime minister’s illegal war in Iraq and focus on his clammy desire to dilute British sovereignty. Had Mr Blair got his way, sterling would have been scrapped and Britain rammed into the eurozone. Undeterred by the euro crisis, he is still urging ministers to keep open the option of joining, describing the possibility of our future participation as an “interesting choice”.

Then there is his record on EU immigration. It was Mr Blair who opened the door in 2004 to workers from accession states, insisting that the impact on our jobs market and social infrastructure would be minimal. Those who challenged this orthodoxy were condemned as racists and bigots.

As John Denham, Labour’s former business secretary, later admitted, we were told to expect 15,000 migrants a year from the new EU states, and “15,000 came to Southampton alone”. In the event, more than 700,000 East Europeans arrived in Britain and the vast majority have stayed.

The myth peddled by Blair’s acolytes – that high levels of immigration generated significant economic benefits for the existing UK population – was demolished in 2008 by a House of Lords select committee. It concluded: “We do not support the general claims that net immigration is indispensable to fill labour and skills shortages. Such claims are analytically weak and provide insufficient reason for promoting net immigration.” Reinforcing this point, the government’s Migration Advisory Committee recently confirmed that immigrants do “displace” some British workers – ie, take their jobs, most likely those at the bottom end of the pay ladder.

Embarrassed by indisputable evidence that Blair’s immigration wheeze (about 80 per cent of first-generation immigrants vote Labour) had “costs as well as benefits”, Ed Miliband now accepts that his party overlooked those who were being squeezed and was too quick to tell them to “like it or lump it”.

Overcoming Blair’s legacy is tougher than it seems, however, as we saw last week when a Labour council removed children from a home in Rotherham simply because the foster parents were members of Ukip. It is the mindset of Animal Farm: “All Immigration Good. All Opposition Bad”.

So what possesses Business for New Europe, the group hosting Blair this week, to align itself with such a discredited ambassador for the erosion of Britain’s independence? Is it anything more than a cynical assessment that all publicity is good publicity and that Blair guarantees headlines?

The answer is that big business has always been prepared to dress up grubby self-reward in the haute couture of national interest – and is at it again. At the CBI’s annual conference last week, its president, Sir Roger Carr, banged on about Europe being “the bedrock of our international trade” and about the need to extol “the virtues of future engagement”.

What he did not mention is that Britain’s annual net contribution to the European Union’s budget is more than £10 billion (equal to 25 per cent of our expenditure on defence). All to be in a club with which we have a monthly trading deficit of £4 billion-plus. With its sales to the UK worth £16 billion a month, why would the EU stop trading with us if we were to withdraw?

For Sir Roger and others like him, who run multinational corporations with brigades of advisers to handle Brussels directives, there are clear advantages to being part of a borderless EU, not least access to a pool of educated young people whose presence in Britain helps suppress local wage rates.

It’s a different story, however, for start-ups. The Federation of Small Business says: “Small businesses are often hampered by EU legislation. The flow of regulation on employment [and] environmental issues, as well as health and safety, can discourage businesses from expanding. It can even contribute to their closure.”

The CBI cannot have it both ways. It calls for the Government to help create a better skilled British workforce, yet there is no incentive for UK companies to invest in indigenous staff and train them properly if they have the alternative of hiring foreigners whose schooling has been funded by somebody else.

The impact of immigration on those living in Cotswolds manor houses is, clearly, not the same as it is on minimum-wage workers in Barking council flats. Tony Blair knows that, but could not care less.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Does sensible immigration reform require a 'path to citizenship'?

Guestworker program a better alternative

I've followed the illegal immigration dilemma for decades and would like to see a rational solution to the problem ("An opportune moment for deal on immigration," Nov. 17).

Today there are more than 12 million undocumented immigrants in America, and the number continues to grow. But whenever a rational person speaks out with a proposal other than "path to citizenship," they are branded a racist, bigot, xenophobe or worse.

Illegal immigration involves human trafficking, misery, poverty, abuse and sometimes death. Everyone who studies the problem understands the risks people take to get into this country and how vulnerable they are to "coyotes," the guides who demand exorbitant fees for smuggling people across the border. Afterward, undocumented residents must "live in the shadows" in order to eke out a living.

Francisco Dominguez, whom you described as a worker in Fells Point waiting for a construction job, failed to mention how many times he had to work in unsafe conditions or was stiffed by unscrupulous employers. He also never said he paid taxes or contributed to Social Security and Medicare. To me, this man has been horribly exploited, as have so many other undocumented workers.

Instead of a "path to citizenship," why not create a visa program whereby people could come here to work, be protected under the law, find employment in jobs that don't endanger life or limb, and only then, if they want, be offered the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen?

Republican Rep. Andy Harris is floating this proposal, which makes sense to me. But the idea has been shot down by Gustavo Torres and his supporters at CASA de Maryland.

Your article failed to mention the 1986 amnesty, which never solved the problem. America has an enormous appetite for workers who "live in the shadows" and work below minimum wage.

Once the undocumented people who are here now gain a legal foothold, more undocumented folk will step in to fill their places. It's a cycle that never seems to end.


Australia:  NT Govt in the dark on illegal arrivals

THE Territory Government has yet to be told how many asylum seekers to expect following a decision to hand out 8000 bridging visas.

Chief Minister Terry Mills said he had been "left in the dark" on the issue.

"What we do know is police, fire and ambulance services have already been under strain since the detention centre opened," he said.

The Federal Government is to allow asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia since Canberra announced a return to offshore processing to stay on temporary visas without the right to work.

The new visas will also cover future arrivals and will apply even if a person's refugee claim is successful.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said people could expect to be on the visas for up to five years

The Coalition yesterday said it would overturn the decision if elected next year...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

House to vote GOP immigration bill

Immigration legislation intended to both expand visas for foreign science and technology students and to simplify the residency process for immediate relatives of green card holders, will be voted next week in the House of Representatives.

The new version of the STEM Jobs Act — standing for science, technology, engineering and mathematics — was added a provision that allows the spouses and minor children of people with permanent residence to stay in the United States during the waiting period to obtain their own green cards.

Every year, the U.S. allocates about 80,000 of these family-based green cards. The problem is, there are some 322,000 husbands, wives and children in this category, having to wait more than two years to be reunited. The new initiative would allow sponsored applicants to enter the country one year after they submit their petition for their green cards, although they wouldn't be able to work until they are granted a resident status.

An earlier version of the STEM bill that required two-thirds majority was defeated in September. More than 80 percent of House Democrats voted against it, because it offset the increase in visas for high-tech graduates by eliminating another visa program that is available for less-educated aspirants.

This time, the bill will require only a majority vote, and it is almost certain to pass the Republican-led House. There are still some doubts it will generate enough Democratic support as it heads to the Democratic-controlled Senate.


Cutting off immigration reform

By Ruben Navarrette

After Latino voters helped re-elect President Obama — delivering the battleground states of Nevada and Colorado, and contributing to the victories in Florida and Virginia — a consensus quickly emerged among pundits and political observers that the quid pro quo would include comprehensive immigration reform.

But what does this even mean?

For nativists who fear the Latinizing of the United States, reforming the immigration system means building higher fences and rejecting anything that resembles "amnesty" for illegal immigrants.

For the business community and high-tech industry, it means owning up to the fact that there are jobs that Americans either won't do or can't do, and making it easier for companies to recruit high-skilled workers from abroad.

For those on the far left, it means an expedited pathway to U.S. citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants that would not inconvenience the recipients by making them meet any requirements.

Meanwhile, for the majority of Americans, it means a common-sense combination of three things: A temporary guest-worker program where people could come to the United States for a few years, then go home; stronger and smarter border security that keeps track of who is coming and going, and for what purpose; and a pathway to earned legalization for that portion of the undocumented population that has been here for many years.

When the media talk about the imminent arrival of comprehensive immigration reform, this is what is generally assumed: Supposedly, the tune-up to our immigration system that President George W. Bush first talked about at the White House with Mexican President Vicente Fox in September 2001 is a done deal. We're told: Democrats want it, and Republicans need it.

The assessment is half right.

The Republicans need it. But the Democrats don't really want it. They've never really wanted it. They only say they want it to trick Latinos and immigration reform advocates into voting for them again and again.

Which is why reform probably won't happen. We'll have a debate but no solution will emerge from it.

So why don't Democrats want comprehensive immigration reform? For the same five reasons that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid teamed up in 2006 and 2007 with the nativist wing of the Republican Party to kill bipartisan bills and, in 2010, helped scuttle the Dream Act — a mini-legalization program for college students and military.

* Democrats would rather not be known, in subsequent elections, as the "party of amnesty" and solidify their reputation for being dovish on border security. This would not help their chances with white and black voters who feel threatened and want stronger enforcement of immigration laws.

* They want to continue to have a club with which to bludgeon Republicans, and convince Latinos that the GOP is hostile to them and their concerns. This makes campaigning easier, and delivers them votes in crucial states that they haven't earned.

* They want to please organized labor, which opposes any stab at immigration reform that includes mention of guest workers. That is, any proposal that stands a chance of winning the Republican votes necessary for passage because Democrats are so splintered on the issue.

* They want to avoid a contentious debate that would surely divide the Democratic base by pitting Latinos and immigration reformers against labor unions, African-Americans who feel displaced in the racial pecking order, and those who want to restrict immigration to protect U.S. workers.

* They want to preserve the current system, which works great for Democrats. They don't do anything to fix the problem, so they don't get saddled with any of the negative pushback they might get if they took action and Republicans used it against them. The GOP gets the blame for being "obstructionist." Labor is happy. Latinos are duped. All is good.

Don't kid yourself. Regardless of the election returns and the turmoil now engulfing the Republican Party, Democrats in Congress have no appetite for comprehensive immigration reform.

Now that Latino voters have let out a roar, Democrats simply have to be craftier in fooling these voters into thinking they're doing their bidding while they continue to do what they want to do.

This is the inescapable paradigm of the immigration debate. Getting outraged at Republicans on Election Day didn't change it. If you want to change it, try saving some outrage for Democrats.


Friday, November 23, 2012

A shambles! The truth about Britain's leaky borders... Lack of checks let thousands of illegal immigrants stay in Britain

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers were allowed to stay in the UK without proper checks in yet another borders scandal, it emerged last night.  A Government inspector found that thousands of foreign nationals were granted an ‘amnesty’ without their files even being looked at.

Officials at the shambolic UK Border Agency (UKBA) also ignored evidence of deception and fraud by applicants whose cases dated back up to 17 years.

Some 124,000 cases were put in  cold storage without proper checks to see if the applicant could be found. It has since emerged 37,500 people involved could have been easily located and potentially booted out.

A further 10,000 cases classified as having ‘legal barriers to removal’ had, in fact, just never been opened.

Officials also repeatedly misled Parliament over what was happening, according to John Vine, the chief inspector of Borders and Immigration.

The grave charge has infuriated MPs and could trigger a new inquiry by the home affairs select committee. Its chairman, Keith Vaz, said last night: ‘This is a devastating report. The failure to properly check asylum cases means UKBA is in danger of overseeing an effective amnesty for many of them.

‘It appears that senior officials of the UKBA have misled the committee about facts and figures. To mislead a committee of the House is an extremely serious matter.

‘Those same officials.... have all received bonuses. On the basis of this report, they should hand them back immediately.’

One official who gave false information to the committee, Lin Homer, has since been promoted to chief executive at HM Revenue and Customs on £175,000 a year.

Mr Vine’s explosive report lays bare the incompetence and confusion which took hold in the Home Office when 450,000 historic claims were unearthed by former Home Secretary John Reid in 2006.

A deadline of April 2011 was set to clear the so-called legacy backlog, which involved 500,000 files.

The Mail has repeatedly highlighted how a huge number of the applications were being rubber-stamped. Mr Vine’s report puts a final figure on the number officially given asylum under this amnesty – an astonishing 172,000.

But he also reveals what happened to the tens of thousands of cases where UKBA officials insisted the applicants could not be found.

In November 2010, then agency chief executive Miss Homer told MPs that 100,000 cases were put in a controlled archive only after a ‘significant number of checks’. Miss Homer left the agency in January 2011.

In April that year, acting chief executive Jonathan Sedgwick told the home affairs committee that each controlled archive case had been checked ‘against 19 databases – Government, Home Office, private sector databases’.

But a sample of cases examined by Mr Vine found that just 4 per cent had been subject to external checks.

In the months leading up to April 2011, cases were put in the archive on the basis that no trace could be found of the asylum seeker. But, the report found, in many such cases that was simply because officials in the unit processing them – the Case Resolution Directorate – had not opened the post to find letters from lawyers.

In April 2011, the remaining cases were moved to the Case Assurance and Audit Unit, based in Liverpool, which quickly became ‘overwhelmed’. It took on 147,000 cases, with fewer that 100 staff.

Such was the chaos that 150 boxes of post were found unopened in the new unit. In the following months, vast numbers of cases were fast-tracked, with just 13 per cent of applicants refused the right to remain here. Some were allowed to stay despite ‘multiple examples of deception’ and even imprisonment for fraud.

Case workers routinely granted migrants the right to stay under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act because they had been here so long, and applicants’ statements were accepted at face value.

There was, the report said, ‘little evidence in a number of cases to demonstrate that they were being considered on their individual merits’.

In a desperate bid to clear the cases, managers allowed case workers to grant the right to stay without even opening the file. Some 3,750 cases were decided this way.

Of the controlled archive cases examined by the inspectors, on average they were not dealt with for more than seven years and one was not opened for 17 years.

Once external checks were finally carried out this year, 31,000 migrants whose cases had been archived were ‘found’. Even now, many individuals are not being chased down immediately because of ‘insufficient resources’.

Mr Vine said: ‘I found that updates given by the agency to Parliament in the summer of 2011, stating that the legacy of unresolved asylum cases was resolved, were inaccurate.’

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We have known for some time that UKBA is a troubled organisation with a poor record of delivery. Turning the agency around will take time, but we are making progress.’


Australia Defends Tough Media Detention Center Restrictions

SYDNEY — Australian immigration officials have defended restrictions that limit press access to detention centers.  While the media are barred from offshore processing camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, journalists are allowed into facilities on the mainland but are subject to strict rules and barred from formally interviewing detainees.

Eighteen months ago the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said that the country’s immigration centers were “less open and transparent than Guantanamo Bay.”

Since then, the Immigration Department has given reporters limited access to detention facilities under a Deed of Agreement on media access.

Journalists are permitted to speak with detainees but are not given permission to formally interview them or record their comments, nor are they allowed to publish images of inmates’ faces.

Immigration officials say the restrictions are in place to protect the privacy of asylum seekers, in much the same way that school children or hospital patients have their privacy protected from the press in Australia.

While reporters are allowed to visit mainland immigration facilities, they are barred from recently reopened camps in Papua New Guinea and on the tiny South Pacific island of Nauru, which houses asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.

Senior Australian immigration department spokesman, Sandi Logan, told a forum at the University of Technology Sydney that he hoped the press will eventually be allowed in.

“I have got to say that operationally there are much greater priorities for us in Nauru at the moment than a media access policy. But having said that, I think it is absolutely essential that journalists have access to that facility and likewise to the facility in Papua New Guinea, and that will be something that in time, in time, will be negotiated.  And when those two parties i.e. the government of Australia and the government of Nauru have agreed on the settings, the parameters for that media access then it would be my expectation that will occur," said Logan.

Australian journalists say that the Deed of Agreement that governs visits to detention centers is too restrictive, and prevents them from telling the true story of conditions behind the razor wire fences.

The head of the Australian Press Council, Julian Disney, says the public does have a right to know.

“People in those detention centers are there because of government policies," he said. "They are the policies adopted by the governments we have elected and they are having a very substantial impact on people, even if those people are not our citizens.  Therefore as citizens of Australia people are entitled to know what the impact of their government policies are.  But we think there are substantial ways in which these restrictions go too far.”

Since the restrictions were brought in a year ago, about 50 journalists, including reporters from Switzerland and Germany, have toured mainland immigration centers in Australia.

It is unclear when press access will be granted to Australia’s two offshore detention centers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, which reopened Wednesday, and another on the tiny South Pacific republic of Nauru, which reopened in September.

Both facilities were used by the former conservative government in Australia.  In the past critics derided the policy as cruel and ineffective, and they are taking aim once again. 

Amnesty International this week said conditions on Nauru were responsible for a ''terrible spiral'' of hunger strikes and suicide attempts.

Australia grants protection visas to about 13,000 refugees each year under a range of international agreements.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

New leader of French conservatives tougher on immigration

“The Republican Dilemma in French” is what some pundits have dubbed the recent fight for control of France’s UMP (conservative) party formerly led by Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy. Very much like the Republican Party in the U.S. after its defeat for the presidency, the UMP in the six months since Sarkozy was defeated has been undergoing a struggle for its soul between its business-oriented Establishment faction and that comprised of more grass-roots activists — the French equivalent of the tea party — who want a harder line on “red meat” issues such as immigration.

On Tuesday, it appeared as though the latter group had emerged triumphant. In the race to succeed Sarkozy as party president, Jean-Francois Cope—mayor of the working-class town of Meaux (near Paris) and a deputy (congressman)—campaigned as the candidate who would make the UMP the party of what he called “an uninhibited right.”

The rise to political leadership of someone who makes no secret being on the right in a party that has been historically “center right” could well be a harbinger of the path other conservative parties in Western democracies may take. It may also be the beginning of a bid for president of France by Cope himself, whose ambition is widely known.

Denouncing what he called “anti-white racism” in immigrant communities and calling for all-out opposition to Socialist President Francois Hollande’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage, the 48-year-old Cope apparently edged out the favorite of the “establishment,” former Prime Minister Francois Fillon. Although the 58-yar-old Fillon’s supporters claimed figures showing their man with the lead, the final count gave Cope a wafer-thin win—by 98 votes out of more than 175,000 cast by party members.

The results made headlines worldwide in part because polls had shown the urbane intellectual Fillon—who spoke of being more “a pedagogue than a demagogue”—a clear front-runner. Both candidates had close ties to Sarkozy, Fillon having been the former president’s prime minister throughout his tenure (2002-07) and Cope his government’s top spokesman for five years.

But Cope, as the BBC reported last week, “sits further to the right of the former president, particularly on immigration.” As secretary general (chairman) of the UMP since 2010, Cope (who is Jewish) began a debate on Islam in France and said that integration of Muslims in France had failed. He also raised eyebrows by tweeting a claim that a child had been robbed of his “pain au chocolat” pastry by “thugs” who were enforcing the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

More than a few observers said this approach was a not-so-subtle way of courting voters who had backed the anti-immigration National Front, whose leader Marine LePen drew a stunning 17 percent of the vote and third place in the race for president this year, which was eventually won by Hollande.

“Cope’s ghoulish French kissing the National Front is a crippled echo of Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy,” Craig Copetas, Paris-based correspondent-at-large for Quartz/The Atlantic Group and author of the acclaimed “Mona Lisa’s Pajamas,” told Human Events, referring to the 37th president’s courtship of Southern voters on the issue of opposing school busing.

But Cope also called for all-out opposition to the Socialist Hollande on the issues of same-sex marriage and the president’s plan to tax people with annual incomes of 1 million Euros or more at a rate of 75 percent. In his words, “we need la resistance against a president who is in the process of paralyzing all economic activity in the country.”

Cope has made no secret of his desire to run for president against Hollande in 2017. As far back as 1991, in fact, he told guests at his wedding: “You’re lucky you’re at the wedding of a future president.” The marriage ended in divorce, but it seems quite obvious that the groom still harbors the ambitions he spoke of at his wedding


Asylum-seeker flood sinks Australian Labor Party's offshore processing policy

THE Gillard government has admitted its Pacific Solution has been overwhelmed, declaring asylum-seekers arriving since the policy was announced will be allowed to live in the Australian community.

As Papua New Guinea's Manus Island processing centre received its first detainees today, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen conceded Nauru and Manus would not be able to accommodate all the asylum-seekers intercepted since the August 13 policy announcement.

He said the government's new “no-advantage” principle would therefore have to be applied to the overflow of unauthorised arrivals brought to Australia.

The principle requires asylum-seekers to wait for a refugee visa for as long as they would have if they had waited offshore to be settled through official channels.

“Accordingly, some of these people will be processed in the Australian community,” Mr Bowen said in Sydney.

“They will not, however, be issued with a permanent protection visa if found to be a refugee, until such time that they would have been resettled in Australia after being processed in our region,” Mr Bowen said.

“People arriving by boat are subject to this `no advantage' principle, whether that means being transferred offshore to have their claims processed, remaining in detention, or being placed in the community.”

Asylum-seekers settled in the community will be placed on bridging visas without work rights and would receive only basic accommodation assistance, Mr Bowen said.

Nauru and Manus Island will accommodate about 2100 asylum-seekers when at full capacity.

About 7000 asylum-seekers have arrived since the new Pacific Solution was announced.

Mr Bowen said all post-August 13 unauthorised arrivals would be processed according on the no-disadvantage principle, even if they were processed in Australia.

He said their status as offshore entrants would be unchanged, and “consideration can be given to transfer these people offshore at a future date”.

A charter flight arrived on Manus Island early today from Christmas Island with 19 asylum-seekers aboard.

The group of seven families from Sri Lanka and Iran, including 15 adults and four children, were accompanied by Australian Federal Police officers, Department of Immigration personnel, interpreters and medical staff.

Mr Bowen also announced the transfer of 100 Sri Lankan men back to Colombo today, the ninth and largest involuntary removal to date.

The transfers come amid growing unrest on Nauru, where 387 asylum-seekers are housed in conditions that have been condemned by Amnesty International.

The human rights body has also expressed concern about nine asylum-seekers who have been on a hunger strike, including one who has not eaten for 40 days.

Tony Abbott said he was “all in favour” of offshore processing but did not believe Labor's plan would stop the boats.

“This government just doesn't have its heart in it,” Mr Abbott said.

“And for this government to say, oh look at the (19) that have gone to Manus when you've got 2000-plus coming every month demonstrates that they just don't get it.”

The Opposition Leader said people who came to Australia could not expect “to be treated like they are staying in a four or five star hotel”.

“The people who have come illegally to this country need to know that they are breaking our laws and that they are, if I may say so, taking unfair advantage of our decency as a people,” Mr Abbott said.

“It is illegal to come to Australia without papers, without proper documentation, without adhering to the normal requirements that we expect of people coming to this country.”


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

300,000 Undocumented Immigrants Have Applied for Deportation        

In the three months since the Obama Administration implemented a program that gives a reprieve from deportation to certain undocumented immigrants, about 300,000 have applied, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

Some 50,000, or 17 percent, have been approved, the newspaper said, citing the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. Approval enables immigrants to obtain work permits.

“I am elated that so many applications are coming in and now that the fear of Romney winning is out of the way,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat, in a statement quoted by the newspaper. “I think a half-million applications by New Year's should be our goal.”

The program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, requires immigrants to be 31 or younger, and to have arrived in the United States before the age of 16, besides other criteria.

The program does not give the immigrants legal status, only a waiver from deportation for two years.

Most of the applicants were from Mexico, the newspaper said, not surprising given that most undocumented immigrants are from there. South Koreans comprised the largest non-Latino group, the newspaper said.

California led all states with the most applicants, with 81,500, followed by Texas, which had 47,700, the Monitor reported.

More than 1 million are believed to be eligible to apply for DACA.

Obama announced the DACA initiative in June, as criticism mounted about his failure to come through on his 2008 campaign promise to push comprehensive immigration reform.

In 2010, the House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act, a bill that would have given undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors a path to legalization. But the bill died in the Senate, where a vote in its favor fell short of the number needed to stop a Republican-led filibuster.

DACA helped boost Latino voter support for Obama, though polls consistently showed that the majority of Latinos preferred him over his GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney, who took a hard-line on illegal immigration.

Those who support giving undocumented immigrants brought as minors a path to legalization say that they should not be punished for the decisions and actions of others. Those who oppose DACA and the DREAM Act say they amount to amnesty that rewards law breakers.

Romney had vowed to veto any DREAM Act version if he became president, and said he would not continue DACA.


An innovation crisis?

I suppose it would be churlish to say it is just an area where there is room for improvement  -- but I am not a Californian

By Christopher Newfield, a Professor at UC Santa Barbara

In the recent presidential campaign, neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney said anything meaningful about how to fix the U.S. innovation system. Both ran as status quo candidates who acted as though there was nothing to fix. Virtually no one who follows the issue agrees with this, but for the moment the political system remains oblivious.

About ten years ago, I began to hear murmurs from high-tech industry people that American innovation wasn't working as advertized. Some of this was disappointment tied to the dot-com bust, but most of it consisted of people looking ahead in their particular technology-based industry and not seeing much. I had a number of off-guard conversations at wedding receptions or post-conference airport cabs in which someone would say, "we don't really have a next big thing in the pipeline anymore." I heard this from a pharma scientist in 2002, then from a corporate computer engineer, and something similar from IT executives at different firms over the ensuing months. Official reports started coming out, such as "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" (2005), which warned that the U.S. was losing its innovation lead. At the time, however, most people assumed, like Romney and Obama this year, that the innovation system just needed a few tweaks and bigger inputs --- more funding for research, more science and engineering (STEM) graduates.

Phase 2 arrived a few years ago, and the gathering storm became a heavy rain. We now have a steady patter of worried, critical books, sometimes written by the U.S. innovation system's biggest boosters. There was Fareed Zakaria's Newsweek cover story in November 2009, bluntly titled, "Can America Still Innovate?" This was followed by his book, The Post-American World (2011). New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman captured the same problem in his title, That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.

Many systematic academic studies have been moving in the same direction. In 2007, Richard Florida published The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent, whose implications for the U.S. innovation system is clear in the subtitle.

More recently, the economist Robert J. Gordon caused a stir with his NBER paper offering quantitative evidence that the rate of increase of multi-factor productivity was higher in 1928-1950 than in the vaunted Internet era. Scholars are now questioning the effectiveness of one after the other of our main innovation pillars. In a recent book by two principals at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell, note that over the past 30 years the U.S. has lost its position in one major industry after another -- consumer electronics, capital goods industries, machine tools, automobiles. The same then happened in the high-tech sector, when U.S. market share slid in industries from printed circuit boards and desktop and notebook PCs to liquid crystal displays (LCDs), advanced batteries, and compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Moreover, U.S. leadership in the industries that will define the future -- including high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, energy storage, and clean energy production -- is by no means assured (33).

Why do these declines keep happening? Every element of the country's past success is coming under scrutiny -- the patent process, the higher education system, and the condition of the physical and digital infrastructures, among many others. One perennial target is the bottleneck in U.S. access to the world's technical workforce. This is the subject of Vivek Wadhwa's new book, The Immigrant Exodus, in which he claims that U.S. innovation is gravely threatened by a greatly inadequate number of visas for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Building on statistical research by AnnaLee Saxenian, Wadhwa shows first, that Silicon Valley companies have had a high dependence on immigrant founders, and second, that the ranks of these founders are no longer growing as expected. From 1995 to 2005, he writes, "more than 25 percent of all the technology and engineering companies in the country had one or more immigrant founders. The proportion of technology and engineering companies in Silicon Valley with at least one immigrant founder was 52 percent." A large share of these entrepreneurs came from two countries, India and China (which together have 35 percent of the world's population). India has been a particularly large donor to the skilled California workforce: during the 1990s, "the population of Indian scientists and engineers (S&E) in Silicon Valley grew by 646 percent" (six times the growth rate of the S&E workforce overall). As a result, "within a decade the proportion of Indian-led startups had increased from 7 percent to 13.4 percent."

The problem, as Wadhwa defines it, is that this immigrant flow "has slowed and reversed to an Immigrant Exodus." The term is riveting -- "exodus" suggests a sudden mass outflow of biblical proportions. The book does not actually present evidence of this kind of a reversal. When Wadhwa conducts a 2012 followup to a previous nationwide survey, he finds that "the proportion of immigrant-founded companies had slid from 25.3 percent to 24.3 percent." Wadhwa's research thus indicates not an exodus but a stagnation of immigrant entrepreneurship. He believes that this stagnation indicates a peak and a possible turning point in the proportion of U.S start-ups that are lead by immigrants.

Although the title, Immigrant Exodus, overstates the problem, there is little doubt that the U.S. visa system is clogged. Wadhwa nicely describes the discouraging effects of the long waits and uncertain outcomes on thousands and thousands of highly educated immigrants. His solution consists of seven visa reforms. One is to break open the quota system by eliminating the 7-percent-per-country limit for employment-based and related visas (only 7 percent of visas each year can at present be granted to nationals from a given country). Another is to increase by "3 or 4 times the number of employment-based green cards issued per annum." He also advocates letting spouses of H-1B visa holders work, and proposes a new "start-up visa."

Wadhwa claims that his visa reforms would get the growth in the number of immigrant entrepreneurs back on its earlier, New Economy pathway. This would in turn, he says, give a jolt to the overall American economy: "these measures could conservatively add $100 billion to $150 billion in revenues to the U.S. economy and generate between 1 million and 1.5 million jobs." Since STEM employment is about 6 percent of U.S. employment, or roughly 8 million jobs, Wadhwa is suggesting that ending current visa restrictions could increase U.S. STEM employment by 20 percent in the coming years.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An "electronic" border fence is a mirage

Long before Google Street View existed, long before we started sending out alerts every time we breached the perimeter of Starbucks, the U.S. government embarked on an epic quest to establish a “virtual” fence along the Mexican border. The year was 1997. And while the U.S. Border Patrol’s surveillance technology then consisted primarily of sunglasses, border hawks and bureaucrats dreamed of a thin technological line of motion sensors, infrared cameras, and video-driven command centers producing the same sort of omniscience we now exert over 7-Eleven parking lots. To realize this bold but improbable vision, Congress approved funds for a pilot project called the Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System, or ISIS.

Thus began a long stretch of failure: cameras that wilted from the heat when thermometers hit a relatively temperate 70 degrees, ground sensors that could not tell a native cactus from an illegal intruder, inept project management, insinuations of fraud and corruption. Periodically, the quest would be canceled and then revived under a different brand name. ISIS begat America’s Shield Initiative, which begat the Secure Border Initiative Network, or SBINet. In January 2011, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano officially pulled the plug on this latest incarnation, thereby ushering in what arguably has been the project’s most successful two-year run. Zero functionality was added during this time, but at least spending came to a standstill too.

Now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is ready to give the virtual fence still another go. According to the trade publication Defense News, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), a division of DHS, has earmarked $91.8 million in its fiscal 2013 budget for the construction of what it calls “integrated fixed towers.” In April 2012, CBP issued a request for proposal to build a single tower near Nogales, Arizona, and more than 100 companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics, expressed interest in pursuing the project. CBP was scheduled to choose a vendor in the fall of 2012.

If the federal government and its various contractors have learned anything during the last 15 years, it’s that building a fence, especially a virtual one, over terrain that spans desolate mountains, wind-swept deserts, and meandering rivers, is no easy task. According to Robert Lee Maril, an East Carolina University sociologist who has written two books about the border, much of the equipment that was installed during the ISIS era is now “rotting in the West Texas wind.” SBINet fared similarly. While initial plans called for a series of 1,800 towers deployed across the entire length of the southern border, Boeing, the project’s primary contractor, built just 28 of them in a 53-mile section of Arizona, at a total cost of approximately $1 billion.

After these experiences, CBP is proceeding with the sort of plaintive foreboding more commonly seen in a gun-shy veteran than a major federal agency. “In all cases, CBP will seek strong confirmation that each offeror’s system is truly non-developmental,” its request for proposal advised. “Offerors must provide strong assurance that the proposed system is now ready, deployable and will not require additional engineering development if they hope to receive favorable consideration.” Translation: It doesn’t need all the latest bells and whistles. In fact, the agency will totally settle for a balding, nondescript, not particularly sexy surveillance system, just as long as it actually works.

The CBP (which was itself rebranded as part of DHS in 2003, uniting functions from two divisions of the Justice Department) wants to take things very slowly. If whatever vendor it chooses can deliver one tower whose associated cameras, radar, and sensors are capable of detecting a “single, walking, average-sized adult” within a range of 7.5 miles, and then transmitting this information in real time to a command post staffed by Border Patrol agents, then maybe, just maybe, it will think about building up to five more of them.

While CBP is terrified of another crushing disappointment, what is perhaps even scarier is the prospect of success. The agency’s failure to construct a viable surveillance system has had at least one tactical advantage: It has kept people from questioning the value of a functional virtual fence. Any attention the project has attracted has focused mainly on diagnosing its immediate shortcomings rather than assessing its long-term utility as a means of deterring illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and terrorists seeking entrĂ©e to the U.S.

Building dozens of towers that don’t really work as advertised has been somewhat costly, but how much would it cost if we had hundreds or even thousands of towers that do work as advertised? In the wake of 9/11, the Border Patrol has grown tremendously. In fiscal year 2000, it had 9,212 agents and an annual budget of $1 billion. Ten years later, the Border Patrol boasted 21,444 agents and a budget of $3.5 billion. A virtual fence, and the monitoring and maintenance it would require, will no doubt ensure a well-staffed, well-budgeted future for the CBP. But what impact would it have on the security of America?

“The main problem the Border Patrol faces isn’t just seeing drugs or illegal aliens coming through,” says Maril, the East Carolina University sociologist. “It’s getting to wherever that’s happening before the people are gone.” While a more functional system may cut down on calls prompted by suspicious agaves, it won’t help agents traverse harsh and often inaccessible terrain any faster. “You can’t just get in a squad car and be there in 10 minutes,” Maril notes.

In any case, there is no guarantee this iteration of a virtual fence will work any better than earlier ones. Tom Barry, a senior analyst at the Center for International Policy who focuses on border issues, notes that a retired Air Force major general testifying at a 2010 congressional hearing confessed that 12 out of 15 sensor activations are caused by wind. “They’re spending many millions of dollars responding to weather events,” Barry exclaims.

Yet the virtual fence continues to attract bipartisan support. The Obama administration has funded it for 2013. Mitt Romney’s official campaign website promises to “complete a high-tech fence to enhance border security.”

Such consensus derives at least partly from the virtual nature of the fence. In its earliest days, it was so ethereal, so magical, that its creators chose fantastical, almost child-like names to describe it (ISIS, America’s Shield.) Now, after 15 years of costly growing pains, its latest moniker is the more pedestrian Arizona Border Technology Plan.

But even with the more utilitarian name and the new emphasis on humble pragmatism, longtime border watchers like Maril and Barry suggest that the ultimate costs and benefits of a virtual fence remain largely undefined, a hazy, constantly shifting mirage of heightened security glimmering in the farthest reaches of the Arizona desert.


Recent posts at CIS  below

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


1. USCIS, a Judge, and the NY Times Put the Right Spin on a Ping Pong Case

2. Socio-Demographic Variables for U.S.-born Hispanics that May Matter Politically

3. Are the DREAMers a Special Case?

4. Thou Shalt Not Be Comprehensive

5. Putting a Hold on the Effort to Derail Federal Immigration Detainers: A Positive Decision by a U.S. District Court Judge

6. DHS Gives Some Criminals Permanent Protected Status

7. Here's a Switch — Preventing Immigration Fraud Before it Happens

8. Immigration Anomalies: Legals Who Would Rather Be Illegals

9. Carlos Gutierrez, Bush-Era Commerce Secretary, Rips the Republican Party

Monday, November 19, 2012

Protest in regional British city over immigration levels

A protest against "high-levels" of immigration in a Lincolnshire market town has taken place.  The Boston Protest Group said the "peaceful demonstration" was aimed at highlighting the pressure put on local services by migrant workers.

About 300 people gathered at the Herbert Ingram memorial for the demonstration, which organisers said was not aimed at individuals.

An estimated 9,000 foreign workers have settled in the town in recent years.

In the shadow of Boston Stump with the statue of the town's former MP Herbert Ingram as a backdrop, scores of people both young and old gathered for the protest.

They held banners ranging from "Free Us From The Shackles of Europe" to "Get Back Our Country".

Many told me they felt it was a chance for them to finally air their views in public after feeling they had been ignored too long by politicians.

There were impromptu speeches on a loudspeaker from some of the crowd, while organisers stressed their beef was not with migrants themselves but with the immigration policies of successive governments.

At one point there was even a good-natured conversation between a demonstrator and a Polish man who made the point he always worked hard himself but sympathised with the protesters and wished them well.

Protest organiser Dean Everitt said: "We had a good turnout of people, the right people, and we put our point across peacefully.

"I hope national government are going to know what we've done - we'll take it to Westminster until we get this issue sorted out."

He added: "We've proved a point - we're not right-wing thugs, we're not racists, we're just everyday people that are fed up and sick to the back teeth of migration.

"I work with Polish people and even they've said there are far too many here now."

But migrant worker Martins Zagers said some English people were not prepared to work in local factories because "it was a hard job".

"I work in a factory where there are only Polish, Latvian and Lithuanians," he said.

"From my side I am working hard and I will not take benefits - I am too proud to take benefits."

A protest march planned for last year was cancelled after the borough council agreed to set up a task force.

A report on population change was published as a result, but campaigners said it had not gone "far enough" and government still needed to listen.

The Home Office said it was working to cut net migration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament and its tough new rules were already taking effect.

Mr Everitt said further protests were being organised - with the next one likely to take place in Spalding.


50 more Sri Lankans turned away from Australia

A FURTHER 50 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers have been forcibly sent home as the government struggles to cope with record boat arrivals.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yesterday confirmed the largest involuntary transfer to Colombo to occur since Labor's tough new processing regime took effect on August 13.

"This latest group takes to 282 the number of Sri Lankans returned involuntarily," a statement from Mr Bowen read.

"The men were advised of their status and that they were subject to removal from Australia."

This year there has been a dramatic spike in the number of Sri Lankan arrivals, resulting in the continued returns to Colombo.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare last night confirmed two new boat arrivals, with a combined 195 asylum-seekers on board. A third boat, carrying 53 asylum-seekers was intercepted on Saturday.

The vessel brought to 247 the number of boats to arrive in Australian waters this year, carrying 15,504 passengers, according to Customs. Detention centres continue to be swamped by detainees.

Last night 2224 asylum-seekers were being housed on Christmas Island, well over the planned capacity of 1500.

The Australian understands tents are being used at the facility for recreational purposes, but no asylum-seekers are sleeping in the makeshift accommodation.

Mainland detention centres are also near or at capacity, with tents also being used for recreational purposes.

At the tented facility on Nauru, tensions are continuing to escalate with another asylum-seeker being admitted to hospital as part of a hunger strike. Last week an Iranian asylum-seeker by the name of Omid was transferred to Nauru hospital after more than a month of voluntary starvation.

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul said an Iraqi had been admitted to hospital yesterday after eight days of starvation and kidney failure.

A total of 387 asylum-seekers are being housed on Nauru, with the latest transfer occurring last Monday.

Labor says transfers to Papua New Guinea's Manus Island will occur "shortly".


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rubio Attempting to Forge an Immigration Policy That His Fellow Republicans Can Love

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is shaping immigration into an issue that Republicans can embrace without getting lambasted by the party base. He is doing it by moving away from discussing whether the current undocumented population should have a path to citizenship and talking instead about the future flow of immigrants into the United States. Both the message and the policy reflect a sensible, conservative viewpoint best expressed in business terms: It’s a question of supply and demand.

“If your economy is demanding 2 million people a year to fill 2 million new jobs at a certain level, but you’re only allowing 1 million people to come in, and of those only a third are employment-based, you have a supply and demand problem,” Rubio said on Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute.

The thorny question about whether to legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants is a distraction, he said. “If you don’t have a legal immigration system that matches those two things, we’re going to wind up in the exact same spot we’re in today within a decade.… The legalization of people here today is politically charged, but you either do it or you don’t and then you argue about how to do it.”

Rubio’s rhetoric on immigration will be very important in the coming months as lawmakers grapple with one of the toughest policy issues of the decade. His rock-star profile as a potential presidential candidate puts him close to the heartbeat of the Republican Party. He will not embrace any policy that the GOP faithful cannot eventually support. Yet he cares passionately about immigration and about expanding the GOP’s appeal to Latinos. Immigration is complicated, emotional. It contains a minefield of loud, unruly constituents. If Rubio can find a way through that minefield, it’s a safe bet his colleagues will follow.

Rubio’s evolution on the “dreamers”—undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children—illustrates his savvy in navigating immigration. On Thursday, he characterized them as “refugees,” saying they deserved a permanent solution as a matter of human rights. Last year, he floated a modified Dream Act that would legalize those young people but not give them citizenship.

That idea didn’t go over so well with Republican leaders. He was rescued by President Obama’s deferred-deportation program for the dreamers. Rubio then pivoted his message toward business interests and the future flow of immigrants.

Both Republicans and Democrats have difficulty with immigration, Rubio said on Thursday. Labor unions oppose large expansion of work visas, fearing the loss of jobs for U.S.workers. Democrats also insist that immigration policy must contain a family component. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has been the champion of immigration policy as a means to keep families together, an insistence that roiled Republicans in 2007 when the Senate last debated the issue.

In a speech on Wednesday, Menendez outlined a framework that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and ensure family unification. “We must keep families together. Spouses should not be separated from each other or from their children,” he said.

Rubio has no problem with that. “I am committed to continuing a family-based system of immigration. I think that’s important. I think that’s a marker for success. My parents came here in 1956,” he said. Rubio is thus embracing the broad vision articulated by people such as Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who said that the nation’s immigration policy should contain both family- and employment-based components.

Expect Rubio to repeat his own story repeat endlessly. The retelling will help Republicans who grew up in a whiter culture envision how they can be conservatives and also embrace a legal immigration system.

In Rubio's Latino-heavy Florida community, everyone came from somewhere else. He knows people who are undocumented. Some of them overstayed visas. Some of them were lured by fraudsters posing as immigration experts who shepherded them into the United States and then abandoned them. Some came for a job because their family was starving and now they are stuck. “I know people who are in this circumstance. I know people who love people who are in this circumstance,” he said.

Perhaps most important, Rubio wants Republicans to speak in a nicer way about immigration. Terms like “deportation” or “self-deportation” are not helpful to the party’s broader message of fiscal conservatism. “It’s really hard to get people to listen to you on economic growth, on tax rates, on health care if you want to deport their grandmother,” he said.

Rubio is not the only Republican urging his party to broaden its message. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told the Republican Governors Association that the GOP should stop “dividing voters.” Minority voters were clearly turned off by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s comments to donors that he didn’t need to appeal to 47 percent of the electorate and his recent statements that Obama won a second term because he promised “gifts” to different constituencies, including Latinos.


Mexico's own immigration debate

By Ruben Navarrette

If you think the debate over immigration from Mexico into the United States is complicated, just take a trip south of the border and look at it from that side.

Complicated isn't the half of it. The immigration debate is also dishonest and hypocritical and filled with people who would rather pursue their own interests than solve the problem. And it all revolves around a broken system that stays broken because important and powerful interests want it that way.

This is true in both countries. Mexico is just as reluctant as the United States to confront the larger issue of migration — both of its own people north to the United States and along its own southern border, where Central and South Americans want to get into a country that many natives are desperate to flee.

Nor does the Mexican elite want to swallow its pride and admit that the real engine behind the Mexican economy isn't people like them but Mexicans who don't even live in Mexico anymore — immigrant workers in the United States.

In Mexico City, politicians, journalists and intellectuals are eager to avoid the issue altogether. They point out that migration to the United States from Mexico has slowed to a trickle. With a U.S. economy that is sluggish and a Mexican one that is bouncing back, many would-be migrants find that going north isn't worth the trouble.

The part about the trickle is true enough. Take it from Princeton professor Douglas S. Massey, an expert on Mexico, whose research shows that net migration between the two countries has fallen to its lowest level since the 1950s. Or take it from the Pew Hispanic Center, which found that the illegal immigrant population in the United States is shrinking and that fewer illegal immigrants are arriving than in previous years.

But things change, and migration is unpredictable. When the U.S. economy improves, and if the Mexican one falters, the flow of illegal immigrants is likely to increase. Besides, for many young men in Mexico, going north is a rite of passage. Grandpa did it. Dad did it. And they want to do it.

Mexico is a permanent fixture of the immigration debate in the United States, whether Americans like it or not. It is no secret that this country is responsible for most of the migration into the United States — both legal and illegal. By some estimates, Mexicans account for as many as six out of 10 illegal immigrants in the United States.

Better make that, partly responsible. It's also well-known that Mexico has a co-conspirator: U.S. employers. These folks often prefer to hire Mexican laborers over American counterparts. And not because the foreigners work for lower wages but because they tend to have more of a work ethic and less sense of entitlement.

The way that many Americans see it, Mexico gave up the right to comment on how the United States treats immigrants when it failed to provide opportunities for its own people so they had to look elsewhere.

Not that the Mexican people, or their leaders, are likely to keep quiet. When the immigration debate starts up again in Congress, as is likely to happen in the next few months, we can expect Mexicans to put in their two cents.

With a full 5 percent of its population living north of the Rio Grande, and countless Mexican families feeling the strain that comes from having parents separated from their children, Mexico can't afford not to defend the expatriates. The catch? If it comes off as too aggressive, its advocacy could backfire — and hurt the very people it wants to help by hardening the views of Americans.

For much of the 20th century, when it came to migration, Mexico had a good thing. It got rid of millions of people that its economy didn't have room for, and then those people went on to send home remittances that today total more than $20 billion.

Now it's time for Mexico to develop a 21st-century approach. This includes acknowledging the enormous contribution that Mexicans living abroad make to the motherland, and working diligently to provide them better services through Mexican consulates across the United States.

But it also involves not lecturing a neighbor about how to treat people that you've expelled.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Reasons Amnesty Would Be Political Suicide For The Republican Party

John Hawkins

Of all the misguided, corrupt and deranged ideas floating around inside the D.C. bubble, perhaps the single worst one is giving illegal aliens amnesty as part of some sort of attempt to capture the Hispanic vote. If the GOP were to pursue a policy that primarily benefits corrupt business owners, the government of Mexico, and Democrats at the expense of our country and our own base, we'd truly deserve the "Stupid Party" moniker that has so often been hung around our neck. This policy wouldn't be a calculated risk or even a longshot; it would be a game of Russian Roulette with a bullet in every chamber.

1) We'd be bringing in a huge influx of Democratic voters. Roughly 70% of Hispanic Americans already vote for the Democrats and you have to expect that the Democrats would capture an even larger percentage of illegal aliens. Keep in mind that for the most part, illegals are poorly educated, have minimal English skills, come from socialistic countries and make a living here doing low end, poorly paid manual labor. The GOP would be lucky to capture 20% of that block of voters.

Now, let's do a little rough math. We don't know exactly how many illegal aliens are in the country, but 10 million seems like a nice conservative estimate. If the Democrats did actually capture 80% of those voters, it would lead to a net gain of 6 million potential new votes for the Democrats. Meanwhile, if only 407,000 votes had flipped from Obama to Romney in Florida (73,858), Ohio (103,481), Virginia (115,910) and Colorado (113,099), Mitt would have won and Chris Matthews would still be on a depression-related leave of absence. In other words, this is like coming up just short in a 100 yard dash and deciding to “fix” the problem by starting 25 yards farther back in the next race.

2) There would be a tremendous backlash from Republican voters. The GOP pushed for amnesty in George W. Bush's second term and it was hit with a political buzzsaw the size of the Hoover Dam. What makes anyone think it would be any different this time?

Personally, I'm willing to pledge my support to ANY viable primary challenger who takes on a Republican in Congress who votes for an amnesty bill. Put another way, even if it were Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul or Paul Ryan, if you're for amnesty and have someone who can conceivably beat you in a primary, I'm for your opponent. There's no other choice because this policy is like playing a game of chicken with an oncoming train; so stopping amnesty is priority one and if it can't be done, then we should at least send as many of the politicians responsible to the political graveyard as possible.

3) It would be terrible policy for the country. At a time when the unemployment rate is sky high and the country is running a trillion dollar deficit, how much sense does it make to bring in 10 million new citizens who'll be a huge net drain on the country? We're not talking about bringing in ten million engineers, scientists, computer programmers and entrepreneurs to expand the tax base.

To the contrary, we're talking about offering the gift of American citizenship to 10 million, largely uneducated manual laborers with minimal English skills, most of whom would draw tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars more in government benefits than they pay out over the course of their lifetimes. You MIGHT be able to make a case that we need a guest worker program to handle some of these low skill jobs, although even that would be difficult when so many Americans are out of work, but it's impossible to make any sort of coherent argument that 10 million brand spanking new poor Americans are going to do anything other than hurt the country at a time when we're already running a trillion dollar plus deficit every year.

4) Amnesty distracts us from the voter outreach we really need to be doing. As a party, the GOP does almost no Hispanic outreach. Just to give you an idea of how bad it is, in 2009 I found out that the Democrats had 20 senators scheduled to attend the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Legislative Conference while the Republicans had none. After raising holy hell about that on Right Wing News, senators like Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander suddenly agreed to be on the roster. Conservatives shouldn't need to publicly shame the Republican Party into showing up at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, while I don't think the Republican National Committee could have possibly made a better selection for its first national Director of Hispanic Outreach than my friend Bettina Inclan, why did we have to wait until the last election cycle for it to happen? It's not as if we just realized that we had a problem with Hispanic voters in 2011.

Although I'm constantly beating the drum to get more donors to help out the conservative new media, our #1 financial priority as a party should be minority outreach. We need our own National Council of La Raza and our own MEChA. We need more Hispanic blogs, more Hispanic talk radio and Hispanic conservatives who can take our message to places where it isn't getting a fair hearing today. We need Hispanic conservatives calling out the Democrats for their disgusting, patronizing and racist comments about Hispanics and we need to have their voices amplified by the big websites and talk radio hosts out there.

Now, will this take money, time and effort? Yes. Will everybody like this kind of change? No. Will it fix everything in one or two election cycles? No. But, is this exactly the kind of hard work we need to start doing year in and year out to level the playing field with Hispanic Americans? Yes, it is. The more time we spend focusing on a gimmicky, sure-to-fail Hail Mary like amnesty, the less time we'll spend making the changes that can bring Hispanic Americans home to where they belong, in the conservative movement.

5) Why does anyone think amnesty would allow the GOP to capture the current Hispanic vote? There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to assume that the GOP would be able to capture the Hispanic vote if we pass an amnesty. None. Zero. Zilch. If that's all it takes, well, keep in mind that Reagan signed on to a "one time" comprehensive illegal immigration plan while he was in office. So, if it's all about amnesty, why aren't Hispanics already voting Republican? By that same logic, why aren't all black Americans voting for the Republican Party today since, percentage wise, more Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act than Democrats?

Here's a hint: The Democrats are beating us with Hispanics by around 70/30, blacks 90/10, Jews 70/30, Muslims 80/20 and Asians 75/25. They're not doing that by signing on to major legislation; they're doing it with identity politics. Incidentally, nothing would change if we signed on to an amnesty because Republicans will never be able to hand out more free goodies than the Democrats. If we offer a legal status short of citizenship, the Democrats will offer citizenship and say we hate Hispanics because we won't do it. If we offer citizenship in 10 years, they'll offer it in five and say we're dragging our feet because we hate Hispanics. If we offered amnesty for every illegal tomorrow, Democrats would ask for a new amnesty every year for anyone who sneaks across the border and they'd say that we hate Hispanics if we disagree.

Then, over the long haul, the percentages for Hispanic voters wouldn't change much at all because as we've seen, the tactics the Democrats are using have been proven to work again and again. The Democrats understand that, so why don't we get it? If you're actually naive enough to believe that amnesty will bring Hispanics over to the GOP, then ask yourself a simple question: Do you really think the Democrats would strongly support a policy that’s going to cost them millions of votes?


Immigration to Germany up

 The number of Greeks relocating to Germany has shot up by nearly 80 per cent during the first half of the year, as workers from crisis-hit southern European states seek refuge in Europe’s biggest economy, data released yesterday showed.

The German statistics office said 501,000 foreigners had moved to the country between January and June 2012 — a rise of 15 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Germany’s economy has slowed in recent months, but economists expect the nation to avoid the kind of recessions currently gripping large parts of the 17-member euro zone.

The latest figures show a sharp rise in migrants from countries at the centre of the long-running debt crisis, with the numbers from Greece increasing by 78 per cent and by 53 per cent rise from both Portugal and Spain.

It follows a 20 per cent gain in total immigration for the whole of last year. The statistics office said the largest number of immigrants — 306,000 — arriving in Germany were from the European Union.

The nation’s net migration — the difference between arrivals and departures — leapt by 35 per cent to 182,000 in the first half of the year, the statistics office said.