Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two-Thirds Say Illegal Immigration Hurts CT

A new poll commissioned by the Federation for American Immigration Reform reveals that most Connecticut residents believe overall immigration to the U.S. should be reduced

Two-thirds, or 66 percent, of Connecticut residents that participated in a recent nationwide poll believe illegal immigration is hurting the Nutmeg State, according to a statement released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The poll, which was commissioned by FAIR and conducted by Pulse Opinion Research last month, also reveals that 67 percent of Connecticut voters oppose in-state tuition aid for illegal aliens looking to attend public universities. There is a bill currently being considered by the state that would allow children of undocumented immigrant aliens to qualify for in-state tuition.

State Sen. Toni Boucher, a Republican who represents Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton in the 26th Senate District, told Patch last year that passing the bill would take away spots from citizens and legal aliens.

The poll also revealed that:

68 percent believe the state should be involved in immigration enforcement

39 percent believe illegal immigrants take jobs from American citizens, while 35 percent believe they fill jobs American workers will not do.

51 percent support reducing overall immigration to the U.S.

"It is clear that elected officials in Connecticut and most of the state's congressional delegation in Washington are out of step with the views of the people who put them in office," Dan Stein, president of FAIR, said in the statement.

According to FAIR, there are 120,000 illegal aliens currently living in Connecticut with 85,680 of them in the workforce.


Recent posts at CIS below

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

1. The Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Visa: A Program that Is, and Deserves to Be, Failing (Backgrounder)

2. Jessica Vaughan Discusses Marriage Fraud on FOX News Boston (Video)

3. Pollsters, Immigration, and the Republican Primary (Blog)

4. DREAM Act Advocate Confronts Mitt Romney (Blog)

5. The Core of the Argument over Self-Deportation (Blog)

6. Gingrich: Legalize All Illegal Aliens (Blog)

7. Gingrich Adopts the Rhetoric of the Left Again, This Time on Immigration (Blog)

8. Is the GOP 'Anti-Immigrant?' No (Blog)

9. Public Safety Takes a Back Seat to Illegal Alien Advocacy (Blog)

10. President Obama's State of the Amnesty Remarks (Blog)

11. Case Histories: BIA Opens a Loophole in Immigration Enforcement (Blog)

12. 3 More Victims of Weak Immigration Enforcement (Blog)

13. Self-Imposed Latino Limitation? (Blog)

14. 'Border Wars': Good Reading for Those Looking to Widen Their Lens on the Borderlands (Blog)

15. Got Visas? (Blog)

16. President Obama Rolls Out Mickey Mouse Visa Policy (Blog)

17. Alabama Punished for not Playing Amnesty Game (Blog)

18. Uncle Omar, Visa Lottery Fees, and Other Tidbits (Blog)

19. Big Majority of Foreign PhDs Stay in the U.S. Many Years After Degree (Blog)

20. Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to America We Go (Blog)

21. Haitian Nonimmigrant Farmworkers? But Only if Growers Ask for Them (Blog)

22. Santorum Gets Better on Immigration (Blog)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mitt Romney on Immigration: Four New Takeaways and Gutierrez’ Reaction

Based on media coverage, it would be easy to conclude that “self-deportation” is the centerpiece of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s position on immigration. It turns out there is a lot more to it than that.

On Friday, Romney spoke about immigration to an audience of over 600 Hispanic leaders at the Hispanic Leadership Network, a center-right advocacy group, conference in Miami. The conference was co-chaired by former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Here are four takeaways from Governor Romney’s remarks followed by Secretary Gutierrez’ reaction.

Takeaway #1: Legal immigration is good, it’s important, it’s an advantage, and America needs it.

Takeaway #2: To protect legal immigration, stop illegal immigration.

* Build a better fence.

* Have enough personnel to protect the border.

* Put a card and verification system in place that works, allowing employers to know immediately whether or not a job applicant is authorized to work.

* Crack down aggressively on employers that hire people who are not authorized to work.

Takeaway #3: Implement constructive solutions for people waiting to immigrate legally and for people who immigrated illegally and live in the U.S.

* For the 4.5 million people waiting to immigrate legally, make legal immigration easier and more transparent.

* For the 11+ million people who immigrated illegally and live in the U.S., they’d need to get a temporary work permit, return to their home country to apply for residency (“self-deportation”), and get in line with those waiting to immigrate legally.

Takeaway #4: Substantially expand legal immigration, including implementation of a program that matches visas to employers’ needs in all sectors.

Governor Romney concluded his remarks by saying, “We are not anti-immigrant. We are not anti-immigration. We are the pro-immigration, pro-legality, pro-citizenship nation and party.”

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez is Vice Chairman of the Institutional Clients Group for Citigroup and is Honorary Co-Chair of Mitt Romney’s National Hispanic Steering Committee. Secretary Gutierrez served in the Bush Administration from 2005 to 2009 and was in office during the last major attempt to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Prior to serving in the Bush Administration, he was Chairman and CEO of the Kellogg Company. His cabinet-level experience in government and C-level experience in corporate America give him a unique perspective on immigration, both in terms of politics and in terms of business.

When asked about Governor Romney’s remarks on immigration, Secretary Gutierrez said, “What I heard the Governor say this morning made a lot of sense. He’s talking about a national immigration strategy to put all of the pieces together because he recognizes what I haven’t heard anyone else recognize, which is that immigration is a strategic advantage. If you do it [immigration reform] in a piecemeal way, every piece becomes a political football. It becomes a tactical game in which Hispanics are being used. The important thing that I heard the Governor say, and it just shows that he’s a strategic thinker, that he has been working in business, that he knows how to think about problems in a strategic way before going down to the tactics, is to have a national immigration policy."

President Obama made a campaign promise to take up comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in office. That didn’t happen, but what has happened since he took office is that a record 1.2 million illegal immigrants have been deported. When asked about President Obama’s record on immigration, Secretary Gutierrez commented, "I've talked to a lot of Hispanics who are very frustrated, they feel like they’ve been taken for a ride. They were promised everything. He had the presidency, he had both houses, and he had popularity. It’s a matter of how important it [comprehensive immigration reform] was to him and it wasn’t that important to him because there are no results."


U.K. plans to “cherry-pick” immigrants

The aim is to keep the numbers down, attract the very best

Wealthy immigrants and “world class” artists, musicians and intellectuals are to be given preference under plans designed to attract “the brightest and best” to Britain while keeping out those likely to be a burden on the state.

Immigration Minister Damian Green on Sunday said he would soon announce new rules as part of what he described as the “transformation of British immigration policy,” under which “fewer but better” migrants would be allowed to live here.

The move sparked accusations of “cherry picking,” with critics arguing that it would discriminate against people from poorer countries.

Under the proposed “selectivity” policy, the latest in a series of changes introduced by the Conservative-led coalition government since it came to power less than two years ago, those lacking the kind of skills that Britain needs to boost its economy and spouses of immigrants already settled in Britain would face tougher controls.

“What we need is a system that… goes out to seek those people who are either going to create jobs or wealth or add to the high-level artistic and cultural aspirations we have,” Mr. Green told The Sunday Times.

He said the new policy was aimed as much at bringing down the immigration levels as promised by the Conservatives in their election manifesto as at attracting only the very best.


“Getting the numbers down is the absolute key but what I am aiming at is fewer and better,” Mr. Green said.

Tougher controls will mean that foreign spouses of British citizens would have to prove that they would be able to support themselves and not end up relying on state benefits.

The family would be expected to show a household annual income of £26,000.

“The idea of coming here from day one and living on benefits: people will think that's unfair… The family will need to show it can support them,” said the Minister.

New rules would also make it more difficult for those on work visas to qualify for British residency.

“You have to show genuine serious usefulness to British society. What we are saying is: if you are a particularly exceptional person we will make it easy for you to come here in the first place and we will allow you to stay for a certain amount of time and in some categories we will make it easier for you to stay here,” Mr. Green said, arguing that the era of mass immigration was “over.”


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Migrant workers needed to do humble jobs in Australia?

I think a fairer solution would be compulsory assignment to jobs for long-term welfare claimants. Anybody can pick fruit or do cleaning

THEY clean toilets, drive taxis and wait tables - jobs that are so far "beneath" many Australians the federal government is considering importing thousands of migrant workers to fill critically short-staffed local industries.

A growing underclass is developing in Australia - a country once respected for its work ethic - where entire service professions are being left to foreigners, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Experts say high-paying mining jobs are luring young Australian workers from traditional fields such as retail and hospitality, while others would rather go on the dole than muck in and do certain jobs themselves.

"I hate to say it but there seems to be a sense of entitlement among younger Australians," Tourism Accommodation Australia boss Rodger Powell said.

"They believe jobs in the service industry are too menial or too low paid and they have been brought up to believe they are destined for something better instead of starting from the bottom and working their way up as generations did before them."

The hospitality and tourism industry is so short staffed the government is in discussions to import 36,000 cooks, waiters and bartenders to fill vacancies with another 56,000 needed by 2015, according to federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen. Under the plan, tourism and hospitality employers would be able to bring in workers on a two to three year visa similar to the 457 visa program widely used in the mining sector. "Employers would need to show they are doing their best to employ and train domestic workers and paying market rates," Mr Bowen said.

While hospitality is struggling to fill vacancies, some sectors are being shunned altogether. "It's rare to have an Australian work as a commercial cleaner," Australian Cleaning Contractor's Alliance director John Laws said. "It is is not an attractive position - cleaning has traditionally been done by people who have English as a second language."

A spokeswoman for the cleaning union United Voice said cleaners were among the worst-treated workers in the country, with one of the highest turnovers of staff at 40 per cent. She said competition for contracts was so fierce some companies were bidding at a loss and using illegal practices such as cash-in-hand payments.

A black market of illegal workers is said to extend across other businesses including restaurants and general labouring.

In the carwashing sector, the majority of workers are from overseas. Indian accounting student Sanjay Kumar, who works part time at the Baywash Carwash in Summer Hill, said the high cost of living in Australia meant he had to work hard to make ends meet. "It's expensive here and I need the money so I wash cars to help but I love doing my job. Everyone is nice," he said.

YOUNG and Districts Chamber of Commerce secretary Thomas O'Brien said most fruit pickers were overseas backpackers and, while some locals did it, others were too lazy and had a "welfare state" mentality.

Orchard owner Alan Copeland said growers relied on travellers such as Chung-Jen Wang, 29, of Taiwan, and Yoshimi Ohta, 26, of Japan, "to get the fruit off" or risk financial ruin.

"People say they're taking Australian jobs," he said. "They're not taking Australian jobs, they're doing jobs Australians won't do."

University of Shizuoka graduate Ms Ohta said she enjoyed fruit picking "more than I was expecting". "It's an experience and the money is OK," she said.

NSW Taxi Council boss Peter Ramshaw said, while the industry was always looking for drivers, its problem was more of a lack of taxi licences.

And, with Australia's generous welfare system, those who can't land a high-paying job are in some cases better off on the dole.

Analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals the average cab driver takes home $527 a week after tax -- just 40c more than the $526.60 a single parent gets looking for a job.

If the same parent gives up looking and goes on parenting payments they jump to $641.50 a week -- just $7.50 less than a cleaner gets scrubbing floors 38 hours a week but still more than car detailers ($569.80) and dishwashers ($631.54).

Tertiary students, the backbone of retail and hospitality, who are eligible for rent allowance can get up to $522.10 a week, almost as much as waiting tables ($569.80) full-time.

Transport and Tourism Forum chief executive John Lee said it was a global phenomenon, with migrants and working travellers the only people "willing to get their hands dirty".

"Getting Australians to do these jobs - cleaning toilets, portering, any hard work - is impossible," he said.


Refugee appeals involving false claims cost Australian taxpayers millions

DODGY claims involving fake religious beliefs, sham marriages and lies about sexuality are adding to a logjam of cases in immigration and refugee tribunals, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

Desperate foreign citizens who arrive by plane are launching a barrage of appeals after Immigration officials reject their claims and seek to send them home.

The Refugee Review Tribunal - which handles only plane arrivals - had a 31 per cent jump in appeals last year while the Migration Review Tribunal, which deals with student and partner visas, had a 24 per cent increase. More than 13,000 appeals to the two tribunals in the one year overwhelmed resources.

While much of the national attention has focused on boat arrivals, many thousands more arrive by plane and are fighting to stay. Thousands of extra appeals are being lodged by plane arrivals each year, leading to a cost blow-out for taxpayers and long delays for applicants.

Frustrated tribunal members are finding some claims are blatantly faked, including a Chinese asylum seeker who said he was Catholic but didn't know who the Pope was.

Other men lied about being gay or invented elaborate stories about being pursued by criminal gangs, ex-partners or corrupt officials in an attempt to gain asylum. One Nigerian man sought protection for being part of a militant group involved in armed robbery, kidnapping and other non-political crimes.

Visa overstayers, including students, are also faking it or taking advantage of appeal delays to buy time in Australia at the expense of a clogged system. The Refugee Review Tribunal, which handles only plane arrivals, had 2966 appeals lodged last year - a 31 per cent jump.

The separate Migration Review Tribunal, which handles student, spouse, business and bridging visas, had 10,315 appeals last year - up 24 per cent.

The Federal Government was forced to provide an extra $14 million to the two tribunals for the next four years at the last Budget as appeals skyrocketed.

It can be difficult for asylum seekers to prove persecution, but some claims unravelled under questioning from tribunal members.

Monash University associate researcher Adrienne Millbank said the asylum seeker appeals system was vulnerable to false claims. "You hear about people who are full of hope and integrity and go on these review panels or decision-making (bodies) and get totally cynical," Ms Millbank said. "The whole system is totally farcical. It relies on the credibility of the story ... If you were putting someone in prison on that sort of evidence everyone would be horrified."

Combined appeals to the two tribunals have tripled in the past five years, prompting principal member Denis O'Brien to warn of delays in settling cases this year. A Canberra crackdown on student visas is contributing to the surge.

Immigration lawyers blame incorrect Immigration Department decisions, citing the high rate of successful appeal cases. Last year 41 per cent of appeals to the Migration Review Tribunal and 24 per cent to the Refugee Review Tribunal were successful.

Former attorney-general Michael Lavarch is conducting an independent review of the tribunals as the backlog mounts.

An Immigration Department memo reportedly warned at the time of his appointment last month: "The increasing delays result in uncertainty for applicants and provide an incentive for others to misuse the review process to extend their stay in Australia."

The Refugee Review Tribunal is also set to take on thousands more cases in the coming months when it resumes responsibility for assessing appeals from boat arrivals, who now use a separate system.

Separate appeals can be lodged through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Magistrates Court, Federal Court, High Court and the boat arrivals system.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

MD: Hysterical Frederick county commissioner compares immigration proposals to Nazi Germany

Thus admitting that he is losing the argument and thus tarnishing the reputation of his county

One longtime Frederick County commissioner is comparing another commissioner’s decision to crack down on illegal immigrants to 1940s Nazi Germany and the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

Commissioner David P. Gray (R) made the comparison during a discussion at a Board of County Commissioners meeting Thursday about a package of legislation targeting illegal immigrants in the county.

“I find it chilling with all these proposals,” Gray said. “It conjures up images of when people sanctioned Jews in Germany. For God’s sake what kind of images are we trying to put forth for Frederick County. I think it’s absolutely terrible.”

Commissioners President Blaine R. Young (R) in November announced his intention to crack down on illegal immigrants after the 2009 murder of Jacinta “Patty” Ayala by her co-worker at a Burger King in Frederick — Jose Reyes Mejia-Varela, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.

In one of Young’s proposals, local businesses would be forced to use a federal database to check the immigration status of their employees. Another could prohibit apartment rental agencies from allowing illegal immigrants to live in their properties. Commissioners also are considering eliminating day labor sites in the county and creating an ordinance making English the official language of Frederick County.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to take to public hearing next month only the proposal to create an ordinance making English the official language. Gray was the lone vote against the public hearing, which has not been scheduled.

The proposed ordinance would replace a resolution already adopted by the county that declares English the official language. The resolution is more ceremonial and did not require a public hearing, County Attorney John Mathias said. The ordinance specifies that all actions by the county government be in English, he said, with some exceptions.

For example, a language other than English could be used to teach English, protect public health or collect money owed to the county. Since the ordinance only applies to county government actions, commissioners will have to determine how to enforce it, Mathias said.

Commissioners decided to get more information from Mathias on the ramifications of the other three proposals before taking them to public hearing. Frederick County Sheriff’ Chuck Jenkins (R) told commissioners Thursday his officers do not have the authority to punish businesses that do not track the legal status of their employees or apartment complexes that rent to illegal immigrants.The proposals are not specific enough because commissioners are not sure how they can enforce them.

Most of the apartment complexes in Frederick County are in the city of Frederick, where a law adopted by the County Commissioners would not apply.

“There are ought to be a specific proposal we can evaluate,” Commissioner C. Paul Smith (R) said, in reference to the proposal requiring business owners to use a federal database to check the immigration status. “I think the last thing we want is to go forward in a general area and not know what we are doing. I’m not dismissing the idea of doing it, but I don’t see what I would want to get behind.”

Commissioner Kirby Delauter (R) agreed. “I’d rather see some more information on it,” he said. “I’m not against it. I think its a good idea. I just don’t know how you’re going to measure it right now.”

Gray, however, criticized the proposal to prohibit apartment agencies from renting to illegals. “I think the whole idea is wrong,” he said. “This is chilling. This is not what this country is made of. How sick are we. This is just absolutely repugnant. I think this should be dismissed out of hand and forgotten.” [He's good at emoting]

Young responded by saying, “Why don’t you dismiss the constitution while you’re at it?” “You’re talking about how many people you can have in your home,” Gray countered. “Your home is your castle for God sakes.”

The county already has some illegal immigration enforcement in place.

Jenkins spearheaded the implementation of the 287g program, which allows deputies to check the immigration status of every person arrested in Frederick County. The policy began in April 2008, and the county is the only one in Maryland currently operating the program. More than 1,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested in the county through the program, Jenkins said.


Romney assures Florida’s Hispanic voters the GOP isn’t ‘anti-immigrant’ as primary day nears

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney urged conservatives to back off aggressive anti-immigration policies as the Republican presidential candidates vied for Hispanic votes Friday, entering the final, frenzied weekend before Florida’s primary.

“I’m very concerned about those who are already here illegally and how we deal with those 11 million or so,” Romney said. “My heart goes out to that group of people... We’re not going to go around and round people up in buses and ship them home.”

The compassionate approach, like Gingrich’s calls for politically practical reform, was aimed at improving the Republican Party’s tarnished reputation among Hispanics. Both men delivered speeches Friday to the same group of Hispanic leaders gathered in Miami but avoided — at least briefly — criticizing each other in what now looks like a two-man race for the nomination.

Any calls for temperance on immigration didn’t apply to personal attacks elsewhere. The former House speaker released a new television ad in Florida using former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to question Romney’s integrity. “If a man’s dishonest to get a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job,” Huckabee says in the ad.

The outburst overshadowed a detailed discussion about immigration, in which the rivals called for democracy in Cuba and across Latin America, touching a theme that caused clashes between the GOP front-runners at Thursday night’s debate in Jacksonville.

Immigration is a flashpoint issue in Florida for the GOP candidates, who are trying to strike a balance between sounding compassionate and firm about stemming the tide of illegal workers. The state has roughly 1.5 million Hispanic voters.

Gingrich pushed for a measured approach to revising the nation’s immigration laws, “because any bill you write that is comprehensive has too many enemies.” The former House speaker says he wants stricter border control, faster deportation proceedings and a guest-worker program for certain immigrants.

If elected, Gingrich said, he would bring to bear “the moral force of an American president who is serious about intending to free the people of Cuba, and willingness to intimidate those who are the oppressors and say to them, ‘You will be held accountable.’”


Friday, January 27, 2012

Two Church of England clergymen ‘conducted hundreds of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain’

This is another aspect of the way the CofE now preaches a Leftist gospel rather than the gospel of Christ. These bozos probably thought that what they were doing was right

Two Church of England vicars conducted 'hundreds' of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain, a court heard today.

The Reverend Elwon John, 44, and Reverend Brian Shipsides, 55, performed the sham wedding ceremonies at All Saints Church in Forest Gate, east London, jurors were told.

Once wed there were a 'strikingly high proportion' who then made applications to the Home Office for the right to remain in the country.

In some cases, EU nationals were even flown into Britain just so the marriages could take place before being flown straight out again, Inner London crown court heard.

According to the prosecution, 31-year-old 'fixer' Amdudalat Ladipo - herself an illegal immigrant - arranged the weddings between mainly Nigerian and EU nationals.

It was not until officers from the Metropolitan Police and UK Border Agency caught wind of the scam that the trio were finally rumbled on July 31, 2010.

All three are now charged with conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration. Shipsides has already pleaded guilty. Ladipo and John deny the charges.

David Walbank, prosecuting, said: 'This case involves a massive and systematic immigration fraud. 'At the centre of this fraud is one particular parish church in the east of London, All Saints Church in Forest Gate.

'The Crown’s case is that there took place in that church over a two-and-a-half year period a very large number indeed of sham marriages entered in to for the purpose of immigration.

'Most of the so-called couples participated in these marriage ceremonies were not actually couples at all. 'They were married in that church not because they wished to spend their lives together and wanted the blessing of the church; most of the persons married there for a very different reason. 'Their ultimate purpose was to obtain enhanced rights to enter and live in the United Kingdom.'

Mr Walbank told jurors the majority of the marriages which took place were between Nigerians and nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA), mainly from Portugal and the Netherlands. He added: 'The fraud, the Crown suggest, wasn’t confined to one or two, or even a couple of dozen of ceremonies. We are concerned in this case with hundreds of sham marriages. 'On some occasions EEA nationals were flown into the UK specially for marriages to take place and then flown back out again.'

The court heard Nigerian Ladipo may also have been involved in fixing sham marriages at other churches, although the jury were told she only faces charges in relation to weddings at All Saints.

When police attended the church in July 2010 after being told a number of sham weddings were due to take place there that day they found Ladipo there.

The court heard one of the officers approached her and asked her why she was there. She replied one of her friends was getting married. However, when asked for her friend’s name she is said to have become agitated and was later seen trying to get rid of a brown envelope under a bush in the church grounds.

When seized the enveloped was found to contain a number of ID documents which were not hers and sham paperwork relating to the marriages and she was arrested. Rev John, the curate at All Saints Church, and parish priest Rev Shipsides were arrested a few days later on August 3.

Mr Walbank told jurors: 'If the sham marriages hadn’t been stopped they would have continued at a rate of knots as there were many more booked at the church that would have taken place.'

Jurors heard Ladipo herself may have entered into a sham marriage with a Dutch national in February 2010. 'Her reason for going through with the marriage we suggest is entirely consistent with the motive of others at All Saints Church during the indictment period, to stay in the country,' said Mr Walbank.

Shipsides, of Forest Gate, east London, has already admitted conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration.

Ladipo, of Dagenham, and John, of Barking, both in east London, deny the same charge. Ladipo also denies possessing false identity documents. The trial, expected to take four weeks, continues.


And another one!

Rev Canon Dr Patrick John Magumba

A vicar who conducted 28 sham marriages to allow illegal immigrants to stay in the UK has been jailed for two and a half years. The Reverend Canon John Magumba, 58, married Nigerians to European Union residents to allow them “all the benefits from residence” in this country. The Ugandan-born vicar, a father of six, also pocketed over £8,000 paid in wedding fees for the ceremonies in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Magumba, who appeared at Bolton Crown Court wearing an open neck shirt and no dog collar, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Immigration Act and two charges of theft totalling £8,345. The vicar, who came to Britain from Uganda in 2004, was the team vicar for three churches in Rochdale.

The sham marriages were exposed when church officials noticed a massive explosion in the number of weddings following Magumba’s appointment.

An investigation by the UK Border agency found that there had been 28 sham weddings between Nigerians and EU nationals.

At one church there had been no weddings between 1996 and 2007 but then 21 between 2007 and 2010 - only one of which was genuine.

Magumba, of Deeplish, Rochdale married two women with the same name and same age within a week of each other. He claimed that the women were twins and that it was an African tradition to give twins the same name.

The vicar conducted marriages in secret and failed to read the banns for others or to check the addresses which had been given. He ignored a Church working party instruction to make sure that foreign nationals wanting to marry provide passports, utility bills and addresses “to ensure they were a genuine loving couple.”

The court heard an independent economic report showed that a single illegal immigrant cost the taxpayer £10,000 a year and one with a dependent child cost £23,000 a year.

Mr Hunter Gray, defending, said Magumba had been driven by a “genuine but misguided desire” to help others. “He is a man of genuinely held and deeply felt Christian beliefs and he has fallen spectacularly from grace. “He feels shame and embarrassment that he has let so many people down.”

Judge William Morris jailed him for two years for the immigration offence and six months for the thefts, to run consecutively. He told him: “You repeatedly breached immigration laws which are properly designed to prevent those with no entitlement to reside in the Uk from doing so. "These legal restrictions are essential to ensure taxpayers’ money is only applied to the needs of fellow citizens.”

Immigration Minister Damien Green said after the sentence: “This sentence sends a clear message to anyone breaking our immigration laws that Britain is not a soft touch. “We work closely with the Church to identify sham marriages and identify those who seek to abuse the institution of marriage.”


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nothing new in Obama's speech on immigration

Even Leftists saw that

Last night during his State of the Union speech, President Obama spoke, as he has before, about the need for comprehensive immigration reform. He also brought up, if not by name, the Dream Act, long-proposed legislation that would grant conditional legal status to undocumented young people who arrived in the U.S. before age 16 if they attend college or join the military.

“Send me a law that gives then the chance to earn their citizenship,” Obama said. “I will sign it right away.” But by and large, Obama’s statements regarding immigration didn’t draw much excitement. Here are a few snippets of reaction from media and elsewhere.

The immigration portion of the speech was nothing we haven’t heard before, wrote Elise Foley in the Huffington Post: "When President Obama’s immigration policy staffers gathered to help pen the State of the Union Address passage dedicated to their issue, they didn’t have much to work with. Comprehensive immigration reform never came close, and the Dream Act failed. What’s a speechwriter to do?" “I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration,” Obama said in his Tuesday evening speech.

Indeed, he “strongly believe[d] that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration” last year, according to his State of the Union speech.

A CNN opinion piece posted shortly before the speech last night, written by Lanae Erickson of the left-leaning policy think tank Third Way, predicted what might occur when immigration came up: "Count on it. President Obama will devote three sentences to immigration reform in the State of the Union. Two dozen lawmakers will jump to their feet and applaud. One-third of the audience will give an obligatory clap. The rest will sit silently, stifling a yawn. Five years ago, comprehensive immigration reform legislation seemed possible and deeply bipartisan. Now it seems as unlikely and distant as President Bush’s mission to Mars."

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein didn’t get specifically into immigration in his Wonkblog today, but had this to say: "Last night’s State of the Union will not take a place alongside Barack Obama’s 2008 speech on race. It won’t be mentioned in the same breath as his 2004 speech in Boston. It didn’t even have the intellectual scope and narrative sweep of his 2011 speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. Rather, it was a laundry list of policies, along the lines of the State of the Unions Bill Clinton delivered late in his presidency. Which makes perfect sense. Obama is staffed by much of the same team that wrote those State of the Unions."

And more along these lines, in different words, from Victor Landa at News Taco: "He can afford to play from his base because the opposition has left the filed open. So he reiterated many of the Democratic points and positions that he’s been hitting for three years (immigration, homeowner relief, student loans, etc…), and strike a note toward the center by saying what the American citizenry has been saying all along — Washington is broken.

How did some of those young immigrants who stand to benefit from the legislation Obama was talking about react? Not with much enthusiasm, either. Obama’s track record has included record deportations and tightened interior enforcement, which among other things has eroded his Latino support as the November election gets closer. An undocumented student activist group called Dream Team Los Angeles had this line in its statement today: "The President must not blame “election year politics” for four years of inaction and political unwillingness to stand with the immigrant community that helped elect him."

Angelica Salas, director of the advocacy group Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, reacted similarly in another statement: "Although conciliatory in words, the President’s immigration policy remains at a stand-still while the massive and ever-expanding deportation machine is well oiled and humming along. The reform he promised to see through during the first year of his first term is now given short shrift as he outlines his priorities during its last."

At the same time, the president did set himself aside from his Republican competitors, whose own tone on immigration has not been winning over disenchanted Obama supporters. Candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to veto the Dream Act and most recently talked about encouraging “self-deportation,” while his chief rival Newt Gingrich, initially more lenient and favoring a path to citizenship for some, has shifted positions during the campaign. Gingrich most recently said he’d favor a military version of the Dream Act, without a college component.


Gingrich mocks Romney’s ‘self-deportation’ plan for illegal immigrants

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday mocked as an “Obama-level fantasy” Mitt Romney’s plan to deal with illegal immigration by encouraging “self-deportation.”

Gingrich made the comment as he began a day of outreach to Florida’s Hispanic voters with an extensive interview on Spanish-language television and a speech at Florida International University in which he called for a more a forceful U.S. role in ending communist rule in Cuba, as well as an overhaul of U.S. economic policies toward all of Latin America.

In an interview with the Univision network, Gingrich said it was unrealistic for millions of illegal immigrants in the United States to voluntarily leave the country, as Romney, his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, suggested in a debate Monday ahead of Florida’s Jan. 31 primary. Gingrich, who upset the GOP race by decisively winning Saturday’s South Carolina primary, also used a question about the immigration issue to get in a few digs at the former Massachusetts governor over his wealth and tax returns.

“You have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic $20 million income for no work to have some fantasy this far from reality,” Gingrich told Univision interviewer Jorge Ramos. “For Romney to believe that somebody’s grandmother is going to be so cut off that she is going to self-deport, I mean this is an Obama-level fantasy.”

In a debate Monday, a moderator asked Romney how he would get illegal immigrants to go home without rounding up and deporting them, which he has said he does not want to do.

“Well, the answer is self-deportation,” he responded. He said this would happen when “people decide that they could do better by going home because they can’t find work here because they don’t have legal documentation to allow them to work here.”

After Gingrich ridiculed the idea Wednesday, Romney’s campaign highlighted previous comments by Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond, who said the vast majority of illegal immigrants would likely “self-deport” under Gringrich’s immigration plan, which Hammond said would allow only a small percentage of them to remain in the United States.

Romney himself on Wednesday accused Gingrich of pandering to Florida’s Latino voters by mocking Romney’s stance on immigration. “Unfortunately for him, these are things he’s already spoken out about and he’s spoken out about in favor,” Romney said, referring to an earlier comment from Gingrich’s spokesman that also suggested that immigrants might “self-deport.”

“Now, I recognized that that it’s very tempting to come into an audience like this and to pander to the audience and say what you hope people will want to hear,” Romney told Univision’s Ramos. “But frankly, I think that’s unbecoming of a presidential candidate.”

The two campaigns also sparred Wednesday over a Gingrich political ad that called Romney “anti-immigrant.” The ad, which aired on Spanish-language radio, was denounced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a tea party favorite who has remained neutral in the primary campaign.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A conservative alternative to the DREAM Act

As conservatives, we acknowledge, and in fact celebrate, that the United States is a nation of laws. However, we also acknowledge that the United States is, and always has been, a nation of compassion. In fact, I would argue that the Unites States is arguably the most compassionate nation in the history of the world. I would also argue that while we embrace compassion with an open heart, we do, and must always, embrace our compassion with open eyes as well.

Therefore, we do have compassion for the children of immigrants who were brought here, through no fault of their own, illegally. For those children that in all other aspects played by the rules, excelled academically and have stayed on the straight and narrow, we do feel that they are a special case, and are most worthy of our compassion. After all, we embrace the tenet of Compassionate Conservatism. We believe that conservatism is a good thing -- a valuable thing. In our country, it is also a good thing -- some would say a prerequisite thing, and certainly a moral thing -- to allow our compassion to go hand in hand with our conservatism.

The Democratic version of the DREAM Act has been floating around the halls of Congress for over a decade, and has enjoyed a measure of bipartisan support. However, it has never enjoyed enough support to pass. We think that is because, at the end of the day, it provides a back-door amnesty to the undocumented parents of the undocumented children. Our coalition does not support amnesty, and as long as the undocumented children could someday file a petition to legalize their undocumented parents, we are divided on the DREAM Act.

However, a conservative alternative would solve that problem. A conservative DREAM Act would not provide for any path to citizenship, or even legal permanent residency status. It would allow these children to stay in this country as non-immigrants or guest workers. This offers a very relevant distinction; it provides no mechanism for the children to petition anyone, including their parents, to come to or stay in the United States. Therefore, there would be no amnesty for the parents, and no future “chain migration.”

I would add one caveat: the undocumented children that would otherwise qualify for this alternative DREAM Act that choose to serve for 4 years in the military should be given an opportunity to become citizens. Right now, these undocumented children are ineligible to serve in the military. This alternative DREAM Act would allow these young men and women to serve our country, and if they do, they should be eligible to become American citizens.

However, this alternative DREAM Act would significantly tighten up some of the other aspects of the Democratic DREAM Act, such as criminal records. We want young men and women who respect the law to be able to qualify as candidates for this bill. It would also lower the age to qualify for this bill from the current 35 years old, thus dramatically reducing the potential pool of candidates.

This conservative alternative DREAM Act would serve our country well. It would solve two very pressing issues: what we should do with the high-achieving, undocumented children in this country, and what we should do about border security.

Finally, to those on the left that would argue that anything less than citizenship is a non-starter, I say that is simply not true. In fact, just a few months ago, I spoke in Tucson, Arizona to a large audience of primarily Hispanic Evangelicals at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Immigration Summit. At that event, I suggested the plan as described above. During the Q&A session at the end of the program, we took a vote, and only 10 out of approximately 900 attendees had a problem with this “non-citizenship” plan.


Romney Says He Favors 'Self-Deportation'

Mitt Romney said in that he favors what he calls "self-deportation" over policies that require the federal government to round up illegal immigrants and return them to their home countries.

"The answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here," Romney said.

Romney's answer came after he was pressed on how he could be in favor of illegal immigrants returning to their home countries and applying for citizenship while also saying that he does not want the federal government to round people up and deport them.

Romney said that if employers enforce high standards for legal documentation of their employees, potential illegal immigrants will not be able to find work. He says this will allow the federal government to avoid having to round up people because they will leave on their own.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Immigration authorities released man who then murdered three people in Florida

BuzzFeed asks whether Kesler Dufrene might not become Barack Obama’s Willie Horton. Nothing about Dufrene’s story reflects well on U.S. officials:
When burglar Kesler Dufrene became a twice-convicted felon in 2006, a Bradenton judge shipped him to prison for five years. And because of his convictions, an immigration judge ordered Dufrene deported to his native Haiti.

That never happened.

Instead, when Dufrene’s state prison term was up, Miami immigration authorities in October 2010 released him from custody. Two months later, North Miami police say, he slaughtered three people, including a 15-year-old girl …

DNA on a rifle found inside the house and cellphone tracking technology later linked Dufrene to the Jan. 2, 2011, slayings.

But North Miami detectives never got to interrogate him. Just 18 days after the murders, Dufrene shot and killed himself when he was cornered by Manatee County sheriff’s deputies in Bradenton after an unrelated break-in and shooting there. …

The failure to deport Dufrene infuriates the victims’ family members. “This guy shouldn’t have been in America,” said Audrey Hansack, 37, who moved back to her native Nicaragua after the murder of her daughter Ashley Chow. “I’m so upset with the whole situation. Because of immigration, my daughter is not alive.”

So, what was the deal? Why was Dufrene never deported? Because of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Obama administration issued a temporary moratorium on all deportations to the island nation. That decision had at least some validity: Haiti was in a state of emergency and the Haitian government had reduced capabilities to ensure the security of Haitian society as a whole.

The more troubling issue here is that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials couldn’t detain Dufrene until deportations to Haiti resumed. A pair of Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2005 specify that foreign nationals who cannot be deported may not be detained for more than six months. While those rulings make sense in the abstract, they make less sense when applied in a case like Dufrene’s. He was a twice-convicted felon whom ICE officials surely could not have been confident releasing. Surely some kind of an exception could have been invoked here, right? If not, this story is another bleak reminder that overregulation often leads to the underutilization of personal judgment and common sense.

At any rate, the chilling quote from Ms. Hansack serves as a powerful reminder that immigration policy and its enforcement or lack thereof has real and painful consequences.


Norway tells broke immigrants to go home

It sounds like Breivik may have had some influence after all. The Norwegian Leftists lost a lot of support in the last election and had to go into coalition with the Greens to stay in power. So they may be sounding tougher on immigration to recover lost ground

Labour Minister Hanne Bjurstrøm had a message over the weekend for hopeful immigrants from southern Europe who’ve been arriving in Norway in search of jobs: “Go home.” Bjurstrøm worries they won’t find jobs, and won’t be eligible for any help, either.

“If there’s no work for them, then there is no work,” Bjurstrøm told both newspaper Bergens Tidende and Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). She claimed she wasn’t being heartless, just practical.
“We are part of the free European labour market,” said Bjurstrøm, from the Labour Party herself. “That means folks can freely travel around and look for jobs. But if there are no jobs (for which they qualify), we as a state have no obligations towards the applicants, apart from making sure they don’t suffer from acute needs.”

Norwegian immigration and tax officials have been seeing a sharp rise in the number of people arriving in Norway from Spain, where unemployment is very high. The problem, they claim, is that many of the new arrivals speak very little English much less Norwegian. That makes it hard for them to find work, because they lack proficiency in languages other than Spanish.

“Then, in my opinion, it’s better for them to go back home where they at least may have friends and family, instead of being cold and broke here in Norway,” Bjurstrøm said.

She doesn’t think Norway will see a huge influx of immigrants from Spain, Greece or Italy. Last year, reported news bureau NTB, around 3,000 tax cards (needed to work legally in Norway) were issued to people from Spain, compared to 70,000 issued to immigrants from Poland and 80,000 to Swedes.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Illegal immigration: More at stake than you think

The writer below makes a reasonable case based on what he knows. What he doesn't know is that Australia is a major exporter of agricultural product WITHOUT illegals to do the work. How come? There are various answers to that -- with mechanization high on the list -- but if Australia can do it so can Americans. If the supply of illegals were cut off, lots of U.S. farmers would be hopping on a plane to Australia to learn how

And if food stamps were cut off during harvest season, that would have a salutary effect too. American blacks are the descendants of people used for agricultural labor so they obviously have the capacity for it

Ask most Americans about "illegal immigration" and they are likely to conjure an image of someone of Hispanic origin swimming across the Rio Grande or evading border patrolmen in the desert. The reality is that just who is "illegal," how they got here and their impact on our society is much more complex than the visual impression we get from television news.

The Department of Homeland Security estimates that between 27 and 57 percent of the country's 12 million to 14 million "illegals" are visa overstays — people who arrived legally with temporary, non-immigrant status and didn't leave the country when their visas expired. Government policies perpetuate the problem because those who overstay their visa, once they leave, can't ever come back legally due to their overstay violation.

The bumper sticker solution

I'm generally a law-and-order type, and I used to believe that if the first thing you do when you come to this country is break the law by entering it illegally, you ought to be rounded up and sent home.

But I've evolved. Illegal immigration is far too complicated an issue, with wide-ranging social, economic and emotional considerations; we shouldn't expect a solution to be found on a bumper sticker.

So far, the federal government has yet to get the solution right. This is due in part to splintered factions of labor unions, business and agricultural groups, and "human rights" activists with divergent interests. As a result of federal inaction, several states have attempted to solve the illegal immigration problem within their borders with quick-fixes that are long on rhetoric, short on solutions and with devastating economic impacts — particularly on the farm economy, which relies heavily on immigrant labor.

The Georgia model

Last year Georgia enacted a tough law to rid the state of illegal immigrants, including a provision for employers to use the federal E-Verify program to check workers' citizenship. It worked; and the result was Georgia farmers lost an estimated $150 million due to crops that sat in the field unpicked because the labor pool fled the state, according to the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal suggested farmers hire some of the state's residents who are on probation or parole for criminal offenses. The criminals said, "Too hard" — the crops rotted.

Unlike the harvesting of commodity crops such as corn and wheat that are highly mechanized, specialty crops such as strawberries and most fruits and vegetables are highly dependent on manual labor for planting, weeding and harvesting. If these crops don't have laborers to tend to them, the crops die. They weren't growing wheat in Georgia; they were growing onions, blueberries and other crops that require pickers. Crops like strawberries.

Why "average" Americans don't work in the fields

Gary Wishnatzki is a third-generation family farmer with an easy smile and an unassuming manner. His family's "Wish" Farms of Plant City is a 21{+s}{+t} century operation that matches manual labor with the best new technology to ensure the produce you buy from his farms is fresh and tasty. Wishnatzki's farms stretch over several Florida counties, and the company is the largest strawberry producer in the state.

To get its crops picked the farm relies almost entirely on Hispanic laborers, many of whom are immigrants. Wishnatzki says his farm never knowingly hires illegals. But the process of filing paperwork and getting confirmation from the government that the worker is documented is slow. He says that by the time his farm learns of an undocumented worker from the government, the season is usually over, and that worker has moved on.

Wish Farms' repeated efforts to hire domestic American workers to work the fields have all been failures. So I asked him: Why do you think average Americans don't work out?

"The average citizen who shows up on our farms to work in the fields lasts not a few days, but just a few hours. The average American doesn't want these jobs," Wishnatzki says.

Ted Campbell of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association said, "American social systems tend to provide substantial compensation — with continuously lengthening duration — to our domestic unemployed, which can sometimes diminish or delay motivation to seek a low-end job."

If you read between the lines, Campbell is saying a lot of people want a job, but they don't want to work. If it requires work, let's just ask Congress for an extension of unemployment benefits. Something for nothing — it's the new American way.

Unworkable "solutions"

With a domestic labor force that doesn't want to work in the fields, a large, mostly Hispanic immigrant community is ready, willing and able to get the job done. Yet calls persist for massive deportations, implementation of E-Verify and denial of public services to illegal immigrants. This has resulted in a serious labor shortage at farms across the country.

"[We are] still short labor in our fields. Our farms are barely keeping up with harvesting and maintenance right now. We are very worried about March, when the crop normally peaks," Wishnatzki says.

When you stop and think about it, deportation has to be about the dumbest idea conceived since the Transportation Security Administration; but that hasn't stopped some anti-immigrant groups for calling for it.

Never mind that it took the United States military nine months to find Saddam Hussein. One guy, thousands of troops, nine months times 12 million; it ain't gonna' happen.

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee says, "You can't deport 12 million people — it's logistically impossible, even after everyone gets their due process."

The stereotyped image of illegal immigrants suggests they're criminals who are a drain on services and don't pay taxes. Some of that may be true, but they're hardly the reason for the stock market bust, the mortgage crisis or our country being $15 trillion in debt. But it's easier to create a villain than to look in the mirror and realize what the real problem is.

When I spoke to the sheriff he dispelled the notion of illegal Hispanic immigrants as criminals who clog up the system. Sure, there are bad apples among them, but they're no different than any group.

According to Gee, if you want to target a group that's a threat to America it would be enclave groups of Russians and Eastern Europeans forming sophisticated gangs in Florida and elsewhere. "It's not the Mexicans you need to be concerned with," the sheriff says.

As for the claim that they don't pay any taxes, the fact is that most immigrants working on the farms pay into the payroll tax system — but with few receiving any return benefit. They also pay sales taxes, purchase goods and services, pay rent and contribute to the U.S. economy in other ways.

Words from the Gipper

Ronald Reagan once said, "Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal alien invasion, or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do? One thing is certain in this hungry world, no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters."


How was he allowed into the UK? 'Beast of Bulgaria' with a reputation for slicing off ears is held by police

A notorious Bulgarian gangster who was one of the world's most wanted criminals has been seized by police - after being tracked down to a gym in South London.

Shaven-headed Tihomir Georgiev, who was on Interpol's 'most wanted' list, was suspected of murder when he fled his native country for London. The 43-year-old, a boxer and former henchman to a Bulgarian mafia boss, reportedly has a fearsome reputation for slicing off the ears and fingers of his enemies.

But after fleeing the Britain, Georgiev was seized by officers from Scotland Yard's Extradition Unit yesterday at a boxing gym in Bermondsey, South London, according to The Sun.

The Bulgarian was still wearing shorts and fighters' bandages on his hands when police led him away under a European Arrest Warrant, according to the paper

Georgiev, suspected of murdering one of his own drug dealers for disobeying an order, was part of a gang of criminals seized in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2010.

But before the trial concluded, he skipped his £20,000 bail, fled to London, and lived on the streets for months until the owner of Rooney's Gym in Bermondsey took pity on him, allowing him to sleep and train at the facility.

Georgiev even took part in boxing events at the gym and his face was used on promotional posters for upcoming events.

The Bulgarian fugitive was able to flee to the UK as his home country joined the EU in 2007, meaning his background would not have been checked when he entered Britain.

A profile of Georgiev on the Interpol website listed him as being 1.78 metres tall, with greying hair and 'black' eyes. His place of birth is listed as Pleven, Bulgaria, and Interpol state he is wanted for 'life and health' offences.

A Met Police spokesperson confirmed a 43-year-old man is being held over a Bulgarian murder at a London police station.

Describing Georgiev, one source told a Bulgarian newspaper: 'The Boxer fought his competitors with brutal ferocity. 'He tried to expand his group's scope. If threats did not work, he would quickly resort to the knife and physical violence. 'Those who refused to work for the gang were brutally beaten.'


Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'll turn back every boat, says Australian conservative leader

A COALITION government will order the navy to turn around asylum-seeker boats and return them to Indonesia in an assertion of Australian border protection, Tony Abbott revealed. The Opposition Leader is determined to impose a new and tougher policy whereby Australia uses its navy to secure its borders.

If elected prime minister, Mr Abbott will tell Jakarta Australia will no longer passively accept the arrival of asylum-seeker boats from that country, The Australian reported last night.

A radical policy departure, this has far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for Australia-Indonesia relations.

In recent talks with his colleagues, Mr Abbott said: "This is a test of wills and Australia has lost. "What counts is what the Australian government does, not what it says. "It is time for Australia to adopt turning the boats as its core policy."

Mr Abbott said this would involve an increase in the number of naval vessels to force the boats back, including the capacity to remove asylum-seekers from deliberately sabotaged boats before repairing those vessels to enable the boatpeople to be returned to Indonesia.

The Coalition has also ruled out a political deal to revive Labour's Malaysia Solution and is planning a tougher regimen of temporary protection visas.

This includes a quota on the number of permanent visas issued to temporary protection visa holders to favour authorised asylum-seekers and to provide a disincentive to people making the journey by boat.


New Zealand convicted criminals slip into Australia to wage crime spree

KIWI criminals convicted of serious crimes including manslaughter and rape in their home country have slipped into Australia and waged a shocking crime spree here.

Border checks are so lax that New Zealand offenders who have served lengthy jail sentences are simply ticking a box claiming they have no criminal history. A computer alert system at the border failed to detect violent and repeat offenders who went on to commit further serious crimes in Australia.

One Kiwi roofer was jailed for 11 years in New Zealand but was waved into Australia and spent his first four months working at the Prime Minister's Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, when John Howard was in office.

Jonathan Rountree admitted he lied on his passenger arrival card and went on to amass a lengthy Australian record for drug dealing, trafficking and assault.

Another Kiwi entered Australia despite being jailed for nine years in New Zealand for manslaughter and rape after a violent sexual assault. The offender, who cannot be named, admitted he lied about his criminal history on his arrival card and was later the subject of five domestic violence orders.

The cases are detailed in Administrative Appeals Tribunal decisions and court cases from the past five years. But they are the tip of the iceberg because the tribunal only looks at cases where people appeal against their visa cancellations.

Kiwis can cross the Tasman on a Special Category Visa under an arrangement to allow freer travel between Australia and New Zealand. Anyone sentenced to a year or more in jail is not eligible for the visa. Immigration can also refuse entry to anyone who fails a character test due to their criminal history.

A global Movement Alert List computer database containing about 630,000 names is supposed to flag people who may be a risk because of serious criminal records. But of the 1.36 million New Zealanders who came to Australia last year, only 175 were turned back at the border for failing the character test. In the three years to December 2011, more than 220 Kiwis who had been allowed into Australia had their visas cancelled for failing the character test.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the government was working with New Zealand to improve sharing of criminal histories to prevent criminals moving between the countries at will. Mr Bowen used his special powers to remove four Kiwis last year after they had won appeals against deportation decisions.

Dylan Murphy Kasupene, a drug addict who served 18 months' jail in New Zealand for car theft, shoplifting, burglary and threatening behaviour with a weapon, was jailed in NSW for break and enter, larceny, stealing, shoplifting and public nuisance before being deported.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said screening safeguards were inadequate. "Australians are rightly appalled when people who come here on visas from any country and are granted that privilege abuse it," he said.

NSW jails last year housed 304 New Zealanders.

The issue of information sharing between the two countries was reignited after convicted New Zealand fraudster Joel Morehu-Barlow came to Australia and allegedly embezzled more than $16 million from Queensland Health.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Labour Party didn’t care who landed in Britain

Labour left our immigration system in a complete mess. Everyone could see that. Millions of people came through its open doors to the UK – sometimes in the backs of lorries, sometimes as students who never went home when their studies finished, sometimes as failed asylum seekers who were never asked to leave.

Hundreds of thousands more came from Eastern Europe when the European Union expanded. Other countries erected temporary barriers to immediate migration. Britain did not – and saw a wave of people come here to find work.

We knew all this when we took office, and we began work immediately, both to bring the numbers down and to tackle the organisational chaos. What came as a particular shock, though, was the way in which Labour had managed the interaction between our immigration and benefits systems. Quite simply, they had not linked the two at all. When parliamentary questions were asked about the number of overseas nationals who were claiming benefits, we couldn’t answer. The information simply wasn’t recorded. It was a scandalous omission.

The integrity of our benefits system is crucial to the reputation of our welfare state – to whether taxpayers feel that they are getting a fair deal. There’s a natural instinct that says that no one from other countries should receive benefits at all. But if someone works and pays taxes here, it’s not unreasonable that we should help out if they fall on hard times.

But we have to have a system that is fair and transparent, and which stops people receiving money that they should not be entitled to.

In the last few months we have been working together to tackle the problem. For the first time the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions are working together on this. We started with a programme of modification to our IT systems that means the nationality of all benefit claimants will be recorded when the new Universal Credit begins in 2013.

But waiting three years and doing nothing was not good enough. So we’ve done a complex research exercise to match information about people’s nationality when they entered the country with the list of people now on benefits. As a result we now know that there are 371,000 people who were foreign nationals when they entered Britain who are claiming benefits. The majority come from outside the EU.

We’ve also done a further piece of work with a sample group of 9,000 of those people to find out more about them. We’ve tracked down three quarters of them, and most have a right to what they are receiving. They are people who have settled here, either by becoming British nationals or being given indefinite leave to remain. Those people who are now British nationals are fully entitled to means-tested benefits. Those who come here for a limited period cannot claim benefits. But if we allow them to stay, the current rules say they can access our welfare state.

We’ve yet to track down the other quarter. There may be a good reason for the fact that we can’t identify the rest – there may be data errors in our different databases, like the spelling of a foreign surname. But equally, they may be an indication of a major failure in our benefits system left behind for us by the last government.

Either way, we will find out. We’ll be investigating the records of all of those people claiming benefits to make sure they are entitled to what they are receiving. We’ve already identified some with serious question marks over both their right to benefits and their immigration status. Investigators are calling to see them.

We’re also working on urgent plans to streamline the rules so that we can stop benefits immediately. Under the regulations we inherited, it takes nearly three months in a case like this. That has to stop.

All of this represents an almighty mess. It should never have been allowed to happen. And Labour should be embarrassed by what it left behind.

We’re determined to sort things out. First, by building an immigration system that is properly controlled and which people can have confidence in. And second, by building a new generation of data systems that will ensure that no one can come to Britain and claim benefits to which they are not entitled. It’s what British taxpayers deserve, and it’s not before time.


370,000 migrants on the dole in Britain

More than 370,000 migrants who were admitted to Britain to work, study or go on holiday are now claiming out-of-work benefits, according to official figures compiled for the first time.
370,000 migrants on the dole

The migrants, who can claim unemployment, housing and incapacity benefit, are costing taxpayers billions of pounds a year. In other countries, many would have had to return home after their visas expired or their employment ended.

The figures are likely to reopen the debate over the generosity of the welfare system amid growing concerns that the country has become a destination for “benefit tourists”.

In an article for today’s Daily Telegraph, Chris Grayling, the employment minister, and Damian Green, the immigration minister, say that the large number of migrants now claiming benefits has been increased by the “organisational chaos” of Britain’s immigration system. “It should never have been allowed to happen and Labour should be embarrassed by what it left behind,” they add.

“We’re determined to sort things out. Firstly by building an immigration system that is properly controlled and which people can have confidence in. And secondly by building a new generation of data systems that will ensure that no one can come to Britain and claim benefits to which they are not entitled.”

In the past, the nationality of benefit claimants has not been recorded. Ministers ordered a comparison of records held by the UK Border Agency, Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs.

The analysis found there were 371,000 foreign-born claimants for out-of-work benefits, out of a total 5.5 million recipients. Of these, 258,000 were from outside the European Economic Area.

Officials used data from applications for National Insurance cards, which require people to declare whether they are foreign nationals. Just over half have subsequently become British citizens.

People from outside the European Union can legally come to Britain to work, study or visit with a visa. If they stay for a certain period of time, marry or have children they can apply to remain permanently — after which they become eligible for state handouts. Asylum seekers can also be eligible for benefits.

European nationals actively looking for work can claim unemployment benefit. However, those from some eastern European nations can only claim after 12 months on a registration scheme.

In the majority of cases, ministers found that the migrants claiming benefits were eligible for the money. In a small sample group, details from a quarter of claimants could not be verified, while 2 per cent of them were suspected of making fraudulent claims.

Mr Grayling and Mr Green write: “We’ll be investigating the records of all

those people claiming benefits to make sure they are entitled to what they are receiving.

“We’ve already identified some with serious question marks over both their right to benefits and their immigration status. Investigators are calling to see them.”

It currently takes about three months to stop benefits in these cases and ministers are drawing up plans to allow the handouts to be stopped immediately.

The analysis found that the highest number of migrants on benefits originally came from Pakistan, Somalia and India. Bangladesh, Iraq and Iran also featured prominently. European countries among the top 20 for claimants include Poland, Ireland, France and Italy.

The figures will lead to a debate over whether people who had previously paid tax should be given priority for benefits.

Mr Grayling and Mr Green write: “The integrity of our benefits system is crucial to the reputation of our welfare state — to whether taxpayers feel that they are getting a fair deal.

“There’s a natural instinct that says that no one from other countries should receive benefits at all. But if someone works and pays taxes here, it’s not unreasonable that we should help out if they fall on hard times.”

They add that the system has to be fair and stop people receiving money to which there are not entitled.

The Department for Work and Pensions has not made any estimate as to the total cost of the benefits claimed by the immigrants. Nor does the research cover those receiving the state pension, child benefit or other handouts.

Jobseekers’ Allowance is currently paid at up to £67.50 a week. Incapacity benefit is worth up to £94.25 a week. Housing benefits are typically more generous although the Government is planning to introduce a “benefit cap” to prevent any household from claiming a total of more than £26,000 annually.

Mr Grayling also disclosed last year that the Government was poised to take legal action against the EU to stop more foreigners being able to claim benefits in this country under controversial “reciprocal arrangements”.

David Cameron has pledged to bring non-EU immigration “under control” and a target to reduce those moving to Britain into the “tens of thousands” annually is one of his main policies.

The Conservatives accuse Labour of having let immigration spiral out of control with hundreds of thousands of people, including many from eastern Europe, settling in this country.

Apart from their impact on the welfare system, ministers are also concerned about the number of jobs being taken by immigrants.

Other official figures show that up to 90 percent of new jobs created in Britain over the past decade have gone to foreign -born workers while levels of unemployment have risen.

The Government believes that improving the education and training of Britons, particularly young people, is the key to ensuring that they can compete for jobs.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Senior judge attacks UK border system after Lithuanian sex offender was able to enter the country

A senior judge has railed at the UK border system asking “do we let anyone in?” after a dangerous Lithuanian sex offender was able to enter the country and then rape a woman.

Lady Justice Hallett demanded to know if serious criminals were allowed to just “walk in to the country” after hearing the case of Victor Akulic.

Akulic raped a 40-year-old woman in 2010, just months after arriving, and then forced her to watch a recording of the horrific attack.

It emerged at his trial that he had committed a string of serious offences in Lithuania, including the rape of a seven-year-old girl, before arriving in the UK. However his previous offences did not show up when he entered Britain because of the poor information exchange between some EU countries.

Immigration officials here are reliant on individuals owning up to previous offences themselves or their home nation passing on details to the police.

But despite her concerns, Lady Justice Hallett reduced Akulic’s life sentence to an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

Hearing the appeal, the judge asked Akulic's barrister, Catherine Purnell, how he was allowed to enter the UK with such a serious conviction to his name. She said: "He comes into this country with a conviction for raping a child. Do we let in just anyone, even if they have such a serious conviction?"

When Ms Purnell said Akulic is a Lithuanian national and Lithuania is now part of the European Union, Lady Justice Hallett retorted: "I appreciate that, but do we have to take in anybody, even if they have a conviction for raping a child."

Ms Purnell replied: "I'm afraid I don't know about that; it may be that if the authorities had known about that then something may have been done earlier. "I do know it was very difficult for the prosecuting authorities to find out details of the offence."

Akulic was jailed for life, with a minimum of eight and a half years, at Maidstone Crown Court in February last year, after being convicted of rape, assault and intimidation of a woman.

Akulic, 44, of Alexander Road, Sheerness, raped a woman in August 2010 and subjected her to three vicious assaults – including one in which he knocked her to the ground and stamped on her head – before trying to intimidate her following his arrest.

The court heard he amassed a number of previous convictions in his native country before he came to the UK in early 2010. In 1992, in Lithuania, he was convicted of assault causing grievous bodily harm, for which he received a seven-year jail term, and in 1997 he was handed a five-year jail term for another offence – which was unrecorded. He was jailed for eight years in March 2001 for raping a seven-year-old girl and was released in February 2009.

Ms Purnell accepted Akulic was a "dangerous offender", but the Appeal Court replaced his life sentence with less draconian imprisonment for public protection and reduced his minimum term to seven years, after which it will be a Parole Board decision as to whether he can be released.

However, Ms Purnell said Akulic is in the process of applying for a transfer to a prison in Lithuania, and told the court: "Hopefully he will not be a burden on the taxpayer too much longer."


Judge attacks immigration 'merry-go-round' that allowed Pakistani man to make 16 applications to stay in Britain

A senior judge today condemned the immigration 'merry-go-round' that allowed an asylum seeker to stay in Britain for a decade.

The Pakistani national was allowed to make a staggering 16 appeals or new applications despite being rejected at every turn, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of at least £250,000.

Lord Justice Ward said the 'depressing story' was typical of asylum cases in which 'endless fresh claims' were allowed to 'clog up' the system. He said: 'This is another of those frustrating appeals which characterise - and, some may even think, disfigure - certain aspects of the work in the immigration field.

'Here we have one of those whirligig cases where an asylum seeker goes up and down on the merry-go-round leaving one wondering when the music will ever stop. 'It is a typical case where asylum was refused years ago but endless fresh claims clog the process of removal.'

The Court of Appeal judge rejected the man's latest appeal and insisted he should now be returned to Pakistan. He concluded: 'I would therefore dismiss this appeal. It is time the music stopped and the merry-go-round stops turning. 'His claim for judicial review is now dismissed. Enough of the whirligig. The Secretary of State is now entitled to take steps to remove him.'

The 38-year-old man, whose identity is hidden by the court, first arrived in Britain in August 1998, and claimed asylum one month later. His claim was rejected by the Home Secretary two years later after an official rejected documents he presented as evidence as 'false' and found they 'cast doubt on his credibility'.

The man claimed he was a member of a religious minority in Pakistan and faced persecution in his home country.

He appealed to a tribunal and lost and in November 2001 he was due to be deported - but this was stopped after he claimed it would breach his 'human rights'.

At this point, Lord Justice Ward said 'the merry-go-round had started'. The new application was refused in December 2001. The man appealed, and lost his case before an official adjudicator in 2004.

Recounting these events, LJ Ward commented: 'Notwithstanding that setback, the carousel continued to go round and round, because, nothing daunted, the appellant had submitted a fresh claim.' The new claim was rejected on October 1, 2004, but new claims were made two weeks later, and again in January, May and December of the following year. He was arrested in February 2006, but made another new claim, which was rejected by the Home Office in March 2006. But according to the judge, the 'whirligig kept turning.'

On March 13, 2006, the applicant made a new claim for judicial review of the decision to remove him, which the High Court approved in July 2008. Lord Justice Ward said: 'This was to all intents and purposes a new challenge, another ride on the roundabout. On my count, this was the 15th submission of a fresh claim.'

The claim for judicial review was dismissed, but the case then went before the Court of Appeal, leading to a hearing in July this year, and yesterday's written ruling.

Around £100million is spent annually on legal aid for asylum seekers, but this does not include the cost of courts and tribunal system hearing the cases or the cost to the government of fighting the cases and processing the paperwork.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has pledged to end abuses of the legal aid system by failed asylum seekers.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Judge-made law blocks deportation in Calif.

Rogelio Servin entered deportation proceedings in San Francisco earlier this month and came home a legal resident, thanks to a little-used wrinkle in immigration law.

Servin, 32, who lives in Sacramento, Calif., was a boy when he came here from Mexico with his family without documentation. After 20 years worrying about whether he might be deported, he rushed home after the decision to celebrate with his wife, Juana, daughters Diamond and Princess, and Romeo, his baby boy.

Servin's legal team of Daniel Karalash and Janell Clayton argued that Servin, who had a felony conviction stemming from a domestic dispute, had turned his life around and deserved to stay in the country to support his wife and children, all U.S. citizens.

They also made the case that Servin, as a boy, had been "inspected and admitted" at the border, a still-developing concept in immigration law that could help thousands of undocumented immigrants on their paths to citizenship if they weren't stopped at official border crossings when they entered the United States.

Servin's case stems from a 2010 ruling by the federal Board of Immigration Appeals, which found that a woman facing deportation, Graciela Quilantan, had in fact entered the country legally when she crossed the border without documentation in 2001.

Quilantan, the wife of a U.S. citizen, was in a car driven by a U.S. citizen. Because she wasn't trying to sneak across and hadn't been questioned by the immigration officer who waved them into Texas, the court found she had been "inspected and admitted" legally.

"It's hard to speculate how many immigrants this could help because it is judged on a case-by-case basis on how they entered, but there's a vast population that has driven over in a car and entered legally," she said.

Experts are still digesting the ruling and its ramifications.

"This has many of us immigration professors scratching our heads," said Raquel Aldana, a professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

The case doesn't apply to millions of undocumented immigrants who crossed rivers, mountains and deserts, evading U.S. immigration officials. But about half of all undocumented immigrants either walked or drove through official checkpoints and just weren't stopped and questioned, Aldana said. Some were prepared to make a case for entry; others took their chances that they would be waved through, a more common occurrence before the border inspection process tightened in 1996.

The ruling seems to apply to a narrow subset of undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. The idea is that they shouldn't be deported if immigration officials made a mistake letting them in in the first place, Aldana said.

The 2010 ruling "isn't a silver bullet for undocumented immigrants," said University of California-Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson. But under the right circumstances it could tip the balance for some of the thousands of immigrants stuck in deportation proceedings, he said. "We haven't seen a flood of these cases since the 2010 decision," he noted. "The facts of the Servin case are so extraordinary it couldn't happen very often."

There were two parts to the ruling allowing Servin to stay: He was judged to have come in legally because he was "inspected and admitted" and he was awarded his green card because he was his family's sole support.

Homeland Security officials declined to discuss the case or speculate on the impact of the Texas ruling.

But Clayton said she and Karalash have four other clients they think could benefit from the case law.

"It's hard to speculate how many immigrants this could help because it is judged on a case-by-case basis on how they entered, but there's a vast population that has driven over in a car and entered legally," she said.


GALLUP Poll: Majority of Americans Want fewer Foreigners, Immigrants Coming to America

According to a recent Gallup poll a majority of Americans (64%) want to see less foreigners migrate into this country. The poll taken from January 5-8, 2012 show that nearly two out of three Americans are dissatisfied with the level of immigration. Of 17 issues Gallup presented during the polling, the immigration issue came in third place.

According to Gallup, when posting a follow-up question only to those who say they are dissatisfied with the current level of immigration, asking whether the level of immigration should be increased, decreased, or remain the same. The net result is that 42% of all Americans are dissatisfied with the level of immigration and want it decreased—down from 50% four years ago.

Just 6% are dissatisfied and want the level of immigration increased, unchanged from 2008 but slightly higher than in previous years.

It is important to note that Gallup’s question does not distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. [Which is dumb!]


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Illegal Immigrants To Face 'Consequences' Before Deportation To Mexico

Pretty mild consequences but better than nothing I suppose. Imprisonment without food for a few days might be more effective. Add flogging and you would have something that really worked

The U.S. Border Patrol is moving to halt a revolving-door policy of sending migrants back to Mexico without any punishment.

The agency this month is overhauling its approach on migrants caught illegally crossing the 1,954-mile border that the United States shares with Mexico. Years of enormous growth at the federal agency in terms of staff and technology have helped drive down apprehensions of migrants to 40-year lows.

The Border Patrol now feels it has enough of a handle to begin imposing more serious consequences on almost everyone it catches from Texas to San Diego. The "Consequence Delivery System" divides border crossers into seven categories, ranging from first-time offenders to people with criminal records.

Punishments vary by region but there is a common thread: simply turning people around after taking their fingerprints is the choice of last resort. Some, including children and the medically ill, will still get a free pass by being turned around at the nearest border crossing, but they will be few and far between.

"What we want to be able to do is make that the exception and not necessarily the norm," Fisher told said.

Consequences can be severe for detained migrants and expensive to American taxpayers, including felony prosecution or being taken to an unfamiliar border city hundreds of miles away to be sent back to Mexico. One tool used during summers in Arizona involves flying migrants to Mexico City, where they get one-way bus tickets to their hometowns. Another releases them to Mexican authorities for prosecution south of the border. One puts them on buses to return to Mexico in another border city that may be hundreds of miles away.

The new tactics are part of the Border Patrol's new national strategy that is to be announced within weeks - and follow several changes along the border in recent years.

The number of agents since 2004 has more than doubled to 21,000.

The Border Patrol has blanketed one-third of the border with fences and other physical barriers, and spent heavily on cameras, sensors and other gizmos. Major advances in fingerprinting technology have vastly improved intelligence on border-crossers. In the 2011 fiscal year, border agents made 327,577 apprehensions on the Mexican border, down 80 percent from more than 1.6 million in 2000. It was the Border Patrol's slowest year since 1971.

It's a far cry from just a few years ago. Older agents remember being so overmatched that they powerlessly watched migrants cross illegally, minutes after catching them and dropping them off at the nearest border crossing. Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher, who joined the Border Patrol in 1987, recalls apprehending the same migrant 10 times in his eight-hour shift as a young agent.

In the past, migrants caught in Douglas, Ariz., were given a bologna sandwich and orange juice before being taken back to Mexico at the same location on the same afternoon, Fisher said. Now, they may spend the night at an immigration detention facility near Phoenix and eventually return to Mexico through Del Rio, Texas, more than 800 miles away.

Those migrants are effectively cut off from the smugglers who helped them cross the border, whose typical fees have skyrocketed to between $3,200 and $3,500 and are increasingly demanding payment upfront instead of after crossing, Fisher said. At minimum, they will have to wait longer to try again as they raise money to pay another smuggler.

"What used to be hours and days is now being translated into days and weeks," said Fisher.

The new strategy was first introduced a year ago in the office at Tucson, Ariz., the patrol's busiest corridor for illegal crossings, and is being expanded on a larger scale.

Field supervisors ranked consequences on a scale from 1 to 5 using 15 different yardsticks, including the length of time since the person was last caught and per-hour cost for processing.

The longstanding practice of turning migrants straight around without any punishment, known as "voluntary returns," ranked least expensive - and least effective.

Agents got color-coded, wallet-sized cards - also made into posters at Border Patrol stations - that tells them what to do with each category of offender. For first-time violators, prosecution is a good choice, with one-way flights to Mexico City also scoring high. For known smugglers, prosecution in Mexico is the top pick.

The Border Patrol has introduced many new tools in recent years without much consideration to whether a first-time violator merited different treatment than a repeat crosser.

"There really wasn't much thought other than, `Hey, the bus is outside, let's put the people we just finished processing on the bus and therefore wherever that bus is going, that's where they go,"' Fisher said.

Now, a first-time offender faces different treatment than one caught two or three times. A fourth-time violator faces other consequences.

The number of those who have been apprehended in the Tucson sector has plunged 80 percent since 2000, allowing the Border Patrol to spend more time and money on each of the roughly 260 migrants caught daily. George Allen, an assistant sector chief, said there are 188 seats on four daily buses to border cities in California and Texas. During summers, a daily flight to Mexico City has 146 seats.

Only about 10 percent of those apprehended now get "voluntary returns" in the Tucson sector, down from about 85 percent three years ago, said Rick Barlow, the sector chief. Most of those who are simply turned around are children, justified by the Border Patrol on humanitarian grounds.

Fisher acknowledged that the new strategy depends heavily on other agencies. Federal prosecutors must agree to take his cases. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement must have enough beds in its detention facilities.

In Southern California, the U.S. attorney's office doesn't participate in a widely used Border Patrol program that prosecutes even first-time offenders with misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in custody, opting instead to pursue only felonies for the most egregious cases, including serial border-crossers and criminals.

Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego, said limited resources, including lack of jail space, force her to make choices.

"It has not been the practice (in California) to target and prosecute economic migrants who have no criminal histories, who are coming in to the United States to work or to be with their families," Duffy said. "We do target the individuals who are smuggling those individuals."

Fisher would like to refer more cases for prosecution south of the border, but the Mexican government can only prosecute smugglers: smuggling migrants is a crime in Mexico but there is nothing wrong about crossing illegally to the United States. It also said its resources were stretched on some parts of the border.

Criticism of the Border Patrol's new tactics is guaranteed to persist as the new strategy goes into effect at other locations.

Some say immigration cases are overwhelming federal courts on the border at the expense of investigations into white-collar crime, public corruption and other serious threats. Others consider prison time for first-time offenders to be excessively harsh.

The Border Patrol also may be challenged when the U.S. economy recovers, creating jobs that may encourage more illegal crossings. Still, many believe heightened U.S. enforcement and an aging population in Mexico that is benefiting from a relatively stable economy will keep migrants away.

"We'll never see the numbers that we saw in the late 1990s and early 2000s," said Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Doris Meissner, who oversaw the Border Patrol as head of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in the 1990s, said the new approach makes sense "on the face of it" but that it will be expensive. She also said it is unclear so far if it will be more effective at discouraging migrants from trying again.

"I do think the Border Patrol is finally at a point where it has sufficient resources that it can actually try some of these things," said Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.

Tucson, the only sector to have tried the new approach for a full year, has already tweaked its color-coded chart of punishments two or three times. Fisher said initial signs are promising, with the number of repeat crossers falling at a faster rate than before and faster than on other parts of the border.

"I'm not going to claim it was a direct effect, but it was enough to say it has merit," he said.


Recent posts at CIS below

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

1. Case Study: One Shady Immigration Lawyer and K-1 Petitions (Blog)

2. European Allies Get It on Immigration, Why Not America? (Blog)

3. The Welcome Arrival of a New, Clear-Eyed Reporter (Blog)

4. U.S. Immigration Policy Often Rewards Failure (Blog)

5. Cutting Sign at ICE: Tracking Current Enforcement Priorities (Blog)

6. Those Private Sector Immigration Lawyers: Part II (Blog)

7. Low-Skill Immigration and the Decline in Social Mobility (Blog)

8. National ICE Council Freezes the Obama Blitz (Blog)

9. DHS Inspector-General Writes a Stunning Report on USCIS (Blog)

10. Those Private Sector Immigration Lawyers: Part I (Blog)

11. ICE Officers to DHS: 'No We Won't!' (Blog)