Friday, August 31, 2012
Massachusetts college sets up scholarship program for illegal immigrants
Hampshire College has created an endowment for students not eligible for loans or federal grants because they are undocumented immigrants.
The college has raised $350,000 from students, alumni, parents and donors, and the first undocumented student drawing on the endowment will arrive on campus next month, said Margaret Cerullo, a professor who organized the campaign.
"The issues touched a strong chord," she said. "Students and alums know how much their education cost and believe it should be accessible to everyone, not just those with family money. Parents recognized the unfairness of their children being able to have a first-rate education and other children not, due to economic circumstances or citizenship status."
Cerullo declined to discuss the student who will be receiving assistance from the endowment this fall, citing a continued threat to him or her from immigration authorities. The student will receive $25,000 in assistance each year for four years, to supplement merit-based awards that Hampshire provides, she said.
The college hopes to increase the endowment to $1 million, to enable it to make the same commitment to an incoming student every year, she said.
Hampshire's new endowment has sparked movements to create similar programs at Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges, as well as at Guilford College in North Carolina, Cerullo said.
"I felt it was unconscionable that Hampshire encourages social engagement and students are involved with these issues, such as working as paralegals and studying the immigration movement, but we couldn't have undocumented students," she said. "That seemed completely contradictory and unjust."
Many alumni responded to the appeal with donations that included the message that the drive had made them feel proud of Hampshire, Cerullo said. There were many small donations, several pledges of $5,000 a year for four years, and one contribution of $250,000, she said.
Cerullo teaches courses in social movements, political theory and feminism, and will teach one this year on the Occupy Wall Street protests. Last year, she co-taught a course called "People Out of Place" about leaving one's native country.
Border Agency decision threatens thousands of international students in Britain
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has revoked London Metropolitan University's power to teach or recruit international students, leaving nearly 3,000 students facing deportation unless they can find another place to study within 60 days.
The university's vice-chancellor, Malcolm Gillies, has warned that the decision to revoke its licence to take non-EU students would create a £30m loss – equal to nearly a fifth of the university's budget – and threatens the institution's future. Of the 30,000 students expected at the university in the new academic year, about 2,700 from outside the EU.
A statement posted on the university's website on Wednesday night said: "The implications of the revocation are hugely significant and far-reaching, and the university has already started to deal with these. It will be working very closely with the UKBA, Higher Education Funding Council for England [HEFCE], the NUS and its own students' union. Our absolute priority is to our students, both current and prospective, and the university will meet all its obligations to them."
The NUS has contacted David Cameron and the home secretary, Theresa May, to "express anger at the way that decisions have been made in recent weeks and to reiterate the potentially catastrophic effects on higher education as a £12.5bn a year export industry for the UK".
The university's "highly trusted status" for sponsoring international students was suspended last month over fears that "a small minority" of students did not have accurate documentation.
The revocation of this status means that any students not involved in the failures around monitoring their status will be allowed to remain in the UK and given 60 days to find a new sponsor, "regularise their stay" or leave the UK. Any longer stay may lead to deportation and refusal for any application to enter the country for 10 years. The Home Office guidance to universities states: "If a student has already been given a visa when we revoke your licence, we will cancel it if they have not travelled to the UK. If they then travel to the UK, we will refuse them entry."
A border agency spokesman said the decision had been made after the university "failed to address serious and systemic failings that were identified … six months ago." He added: "We have been working with them since then, but the latest audit revealed problems with 61% of files randomly sampled. Allowing London Metropolitan University to continue to sponsor and teach international students was not an option."
The universities minister, David Willetts, said a taskforce led by the HEFCE and Universities UK would help overseas students affected by the decision: "It is important that genuine students who are affected through no fault of their own are offered prompt advice and help, including, if necessary, with finding other institutions at which to finish their studies.
The taskforce, which will also include UKBA and the NUS, will work with London Metropolitan University "to support affected students and enable them to continue their studies in the UK".
In an email before the licence was revoked, Gillies appealed for help to Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, saying university leaders "absolutely accept" some processes on international student recruitment "will need further adapting".
In a letter to Home Office minister Damian Green, Vaz said: "While the committee is fully supportive of the government's efforts to clamp down on the abuse of student visas, and the need to follow rigorous processes, I share the vice-chancellor's concerns about the procedure in the case."
Liam Burns, NUS president, said: "It is disgusting that international students continue to be used as a political football by politicians who seem either incapable of understanding, or are simply uncaring about the impact of their decisions on individuals, universities and the UK economy.
"This decision will create panic and potential heartbreak for students not just at London Met but also all around the country. The needs of students must be at the heart of any process to find new places of study and NUS will be working with UUK and HEFCE to support affected students and ensure as far as possible that they can continue studying in the UK."
"Politicians need to realise that a continued attitude of suspicion towards international students could endanger the continuation of higher education as a successful export industry. This heavy-handed decision makes no sense for students, no sense for institutions and no sense for the country. This situation and the botched process by which the decision was arrived at could be avoided if international students were not included in statistics of permanent migrants."
Posted by jonjayray at 12:16 AM
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Administration Cooks the Books to Achieve Deportation Numbers
Widespread suspicions validated
The House Judiciary Committee has obtained internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents, which show that the Obama administration is cooking the books to achieve their so-called ‘record’ deportation numbers for illegal immigrants and that removals are actually significantly down – not up – from 2009.
Beginning in 2011, the Committee has learned that Obama administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security started to include numbers from the Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP) in its year-end removal numbers. The ATEP is a joint effort between ICE and Customs and Border Protection that transfers illegal immigrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border to another point along the Southwest border for removal. But it is illegitimate to count illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the Southwest border as ICE removals. There are no penalties or bars attached when illegal immigrants are sent back via ATEP and they can simply attempt re-entry.
When ATEP removals are subtracted from ICE’s deportation numbers, the 2011 removal total would drop from approximately 397,000 to roughly 360,000 and the 2012 removal total would drop from about 334,000 to around 263,000 (annualized this is estimated to be a drop from about 400,000 to 315,000). This means that ICE removals for this year will be about 14% below 2008 (369,000) and 19% below 2009 (389,000).
The internal documents also reveal a discrepancy between arrests and actual removals. Specifically, ICE has reported 221,656 arrests yet report 334,249 removals for 2012 so far – a discrepancy of nearly 112,000 removals. ATEP accounts for 72,030 removals within this discrepancy, but there are over 40,000 removals that remain unaccounted for.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the statement below criticizing the Administration for artificially inflating their deportation numbers.
Chairman Smith: “Internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee reveal that President Obama and other administration officials have falsified their record to achieve their so-called historic deportation numbers. Administration officials claim that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported a record number of illegal immigrants but the facts show that they have fabricated their deportation statistics by illegitimately adding over 100,000 removals to their deportation figures for the past two years.
“Since 2011, the Obama administration has included numbers from a Border Patrol program that returns illegal immigrants to Mexico right after they cross the Southwest border in their year-end deportation statistics. It is dishonest to count illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the border as ICE removals. And these ‘removals’ from the Border Patrol program do not subject the illegal immigrant to any penalties or bars for returning to the U.S. This means a single illegal immigrant can show up at the border and be removed numerous times in a single year – and counted each time as a removal. When the numbers from this Border Patrol program are removed from this year’s deportation data, it shows that removals are actually down nearly 20% from 2009. Another 40,000 removals are also included in the final deportation count but it is unclear where these removals came from.
“In a campaign season when Administration officials have made a habit of spinning their numbers to ignore their real record, it’s no surprise that they are doing the same to their immigration record. It seems like President Obama is trying to trick the American people into thinking he is enforcing our immigration laws. But no amount of spin can cover up the facts. It’s bad enough that the President has neglected to enforce our immigration laws but it’s even worse that his Administration would distort statistics to deceive the American people.”
Study Projects Hispanic Vote in Presidential Election
Increased Voter Participation Nationally; Less Than 4% of Electorate in Majority of Swing States
A new study from the Center for Immigration Studies projects the share of Hispanic voters nationally and in battleground states for the upcoming 2012 election. Using Census Bureau data from prior election years and data collected this year we project that Hispanics will be 8.9 percent of the electorate in 2012 — a 1.5 percentage point increase from 7.4 percent in 2008. The report also finds that Hispanics will comprise a somewhat smaller share of voters in battleground states than they do nationally. However, there is significant variation in Hispanic shares across battleground states.
The study can be found here
Steven Camarota, the Center’s Director of Research, notes, “While Hispanic voters are a small share of the electorate, in a close election they could decide the outcome. Of course, the same is true of many other voting blocs, such as veterans or senior citizens. It would a mistake to overemphasize race to the exclusion of other factors.”
National share of the vote:
We project that in November 2012 Hispanics will comprise 17.2 percent of the total U.S. population, 15 percent of adults, 11.2 percent of adult citizens, and 8.9 percent of actual voters.
In 2012, non-Hispanic whites are expected to be 73.4 percent of the national vote and non-Hispanic blacks are expected to be 12.2 percent.
To place the Hispanic share of the electorate into perspective, eight percentage points of the Hispanic vote nationally equals slightly less than one percentage point of the non-Hispanic white vote.
The 8.9 percent Hispanic share of voters compares to veterans (12 percent), those with family incomes above $100,000 (18 percent), seniors 65 and older (19 percent), married persons (60 percent), and those who live in owner-occupied housing (80 percent).
In terms of voter turnout, we project that 52.7 percent (± 0.6) of eligible Hispanics will vote in the upcoming election, an increase from 49.9 percent in 2008 and a continuation of the past decade’s long upward trend.
The projected Hispanic voter participation rate of 52.7 percent compares to 66.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 65.2 percent for non-Hispanic blacks in 2008.
Share in Battleground States:
In the seven states listed by The Cook Political Report in July as “toss-ups”, we project that Hispanics will average 8.0 percent of voters in 2012, compared to 8.9 percent nationally. The seven toss-up states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia.
In the four states listed by Cook as “leaning” toward one party or the other, the Hispanic vote will average 2.8 percent of the electorate in November. The four leaning states are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
In the seven states Cook identifies as “likely” for one party or the other, Hispanics will average 9.8 percent of the vote. Excluding New Mexico, they will average 4.4 percent of voters in the remaining six “likely” states. The likely states are Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico.
Taken together Hispanics will average 7.6 percent of the electorate across the “toss-up”, “leaning”, and “likely” states. If we combine the populations of these states and calculate the Hispanic share of the electorate, Hispanics are projected to be 6.6 percent of the vote.
The Hispanic share of voters varies significantly in the 18 battleground states. In 12 of the 18 states, Hispanics are projected to be less than 4 percent of the electorate (Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, and Maine). But in four of the states (New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona), Hispanics will be more than 16 percent of the vote.
Non-Hispanic whites are projected to be slightly overrepresented (79.4 percent) in battleground states relative to their share of the national electorate. Like Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks (9.4 percent) tend to be slightly underrepresented in battleground states.
To project the Hispanic share of the population and their share of the vote we use the May Current Population Survey (CPS) from prior election years and from 2012. The CPS is collected monthly by the Census Bureau and is one of the nation’s primary sources of demographic information. We compare the May CPS to the November CPS Voting and Registration Supplement from prior election years to project the growth of the Hispanic electorate. We used this same approach in August of 2010 to correctly project the Hispanic share of electorate voters in the 2010 mid-term election to within one-tenth of 1 percent.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact: Marguerite Telford, email@example.com, (202) 466-8185
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization
Posted by jonjayray at 12:33 AM
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
ICE says Obama is deporting immigrants faster than Bush. Republicans don’t think that’s enough
The GOP is toughening its stance on immigration in its 2012 party platform. But that’s partly in response to Obama’s own hawkish stance on immigration enforcement. In fact, both parties are now pushing different programs with the same goal: to increase enforcement of laws that target illegal immigration on the local level.
As of July, Obama deported 1.4 million illegal immigrants since the beginning of his administration — that’s 1.5 times more immigrants on average than Bush deported every month, according to official numbers from the Department of Homeland Security*. But that’s only part of Obama’s deportation strategy: The administration’s stated goal is to prioritize the deportation of criminal, dangerous illegal immigrants. And it’s promised to make a new program called Secure Communities mandatory by 2013, which would force local law enforcement to share fingerprints of those arrested with FBI and federal immigration officials.
The GOP platform, however, accuses the Obama administration of having “undermined the rule of law at every turn” and “failed to enforce the legal means for workers or employers who want to operate within the law,” according to a draft version that Politico obtained. The platform doubles down on Obama’s own promise to prioritize the deportation of immigrants with a criminal history. The GOP is calling to “expedite expulsion of criminal aliens” — and wants to expand the list of deportable offenses to include “gang membership,” though it’s unclear how that would be defined.
Moreover, Republicans want to revive a program called 287(g). Under this program, local communities can opt to have law enforcement officials trained by federal agents to arrest and detain suspects because of immigration status. The program peaked under Bush, but Obama has scaled it back with the intention of phasing it out altogether. The Obama administration revoked part of its 287(g) agreements with Arizona in June, citing the Justice Department’s lawsuit allegations of racial profiling and civil rights abuses by local law enforcement, including Maricopa County’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
There is also evidence that 287(g) hasn’t been meeting the Obama administration’s stated goal of targeting dangerous, criminal immigrants for deportation: According to a study from the independent Migration Policy Institute, half of those detained under 287(g) were people who had committed misdemeanors or traffic offenses. What’s more, MPI found that “state and local officials operate 287(g) programs according to priorities shaped largely by political pressures.” That’s another reason why the Obama administration wants to transition to Secure Communities, which would shift more enforcement authority to the federal government. “It takes those decisions out of the hands of local police officers,” says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center.
So both parties want local law enforcement to participate vigorously in immigration enforcement. The major difference is that Republicans want to give more power and discretion to local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, while Obama wants local authorities to use a federal biometric database to inform decisions about immigration enforcement.
Pro-immigration and civil liberties advocates aren’t thrilled with either option: They argue that Secure Communities is also prone to abuse. A October 2011 report from UC-Berkeley law school points out that a much higher number of those arrested through the program are placed in federal detention than usual, for instance. Others worry that Secure Communities program could still encourage racial profiling if local law enforcement knows that those arrested will be screened for their immigration status. “It sounds great on paper, but in practice, a lot of people are picked up and arrested who might not be otherwise,” says Giovagnoli.
To be sure, the GOP platform includes a host of other immigration measures that go well beyond what Obama and the Democrats support — prohibiting in-state tuition for college students who are undocumented, opposing amnesty of any kind, and reiterating the GOP’s 2008 platform proposal to force employers to check their workers’ immigration status through E-Verify.
But on local immigration enforcement, Obama and Republicans are effectively competing to see whose policies are tougher.
*Clarification: Bush deported 2 million immigrants over the course of two terms. That’s more than the 1.4 million that Obama has deported to date during his first term. But Obama is deporting them in higher numbers every month than Bush did—1.5 times more. Sorry for any earlier confusion.
The Obama administration has also used what a 2010 Post story deemed to be “unusual methods” to increase deportations, including the extension of a repatriation program that counted for 6,500 deportations to Mexico in 2010, although it denies that it was “cooking the books” to raise its numbers. The House Judiciary Committee also says it’s unearthed new evidence that the White House was inflating its deportation numbers. I’ve contacted the White House and outside experts to clarify, and I’ll likely write a separate post on the issue when I hear back.
Australia denies new asylum-seeker policy not working
Australia said Tuesday its new policy to deter asylum-seekers by shipping them to small Pacific islands would take time to work, after figures showed more than 1,000 boatpeople had arrived since it was adopted.
Canberra announced its intention to transfer asylum-seekers to tiny Nauru and Papua New Guinea on August 13 and since then 18 boats carrying 1,072 people have arrived, according to releases from Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen rejected the idea that the new approach designed to crack down on people-smugglers and deter refugees from making the dangerous boat journey was not working.
"It's not having an effect yet, but it does take time to work," Bowen told radio station 2SM.
"It will become more effective when we actually have planes going to Nauru and PNG."
Australia has said that people now arriving by boat without a visa run the risk of transfer to a regional processing country. The new policy applies to those who arrived after August 13.
But the camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, which will eventually have a total capacity of 2,100 people, are not yet up and running.
The temporary processing facility on Nauru being built by the Australian military is expected to hold some 500 people by the end of September.
Offshore processing is a sensitive issue in Australia, and is likely to be discussed by leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum, which gets under way this week.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard adopted the policy after months of bitter political debate and after several boats capsized while making the treacherous crossing to Australia and dozens of people died.
The government wants to shut down people-smugglers bringing asylum-seekers to Australia from transit hubs in places such as Indonesia amid an influx of arrivals originally from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
More than 8,800 asylum-seekers have arrived on 134 boats since the start of the year, surpassing the 2010 record of 134 boats carrying 6,555 people.
Government minister Brendan O'Connor said an increase in arrivals had been anticipated as people-smugglers "lied to those that they wanted to lure onto those vessels, in many cases unseaworthy vessels".
"That's happening now as they tell them to get in quick," he told Sky News.
O'Connor said he still believed there would be a "very significant decline in these irregular maritime arrivals" as a result of the new policy.
The policy signals a return to the policies of the previous conservative government, which sent asylum-seekers to Nauru and Manus but which center-left Labor rolled back soon after taking office in late 2007.
Posted by jonjayray at 9:35 AM
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Sununu urges comprehensive action on immigration
Republicans hope to use their convention to spotlight some of the party’s rising Latino stars -- Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Senate hopeful Ted Cruz of Texas all have prominent speaking roles.
But at Monday’s news briefing for Spanish-language press, the headliner was neither rising nor Latino, but John H. Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire and chief of staff in George H.W. Bush’s White House.
Despite his Palestinian and Lebanese ancestry, Sununu speaks fairly fluent Spanish by virtue of his mother’s birth in El Salvador and his childhood in Havana. At 73, he has actively campaigned for Mitt Romney. Monday, he showed off his bilingual ability in defending Romney’s record on immigration and attacking President Obama for having presided over a stagnant economy that, Sununu said, had hurt Latino families.
Asked in Spanish how a Romney administration might handle young people who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents, Sununu suggested that Romney might support a law to protect them – something that Romney himself has not said. Earlier this summer, before Obama announced his administration’s new policy, Rubio said he was trying to round up support among Republicans for a measure that would provide some type of legal status for the so-called Dream Act young people. Romney conspicuously did not endorse the idea.
Sununu appeared to take a step toward that. “We need to do something by law,” not just executive action, he said in Spanish. What one president does by executive action, a later president could undo, he noted.
“I think that if he becomes president, Mitt Romney understands that he needs to speak with people, with Sen. Rubio and other people that understand all the complexities of this situation. We need to make significant steps -- but step by step,” he said. “This problem cannot be solved in one strike.”
When the questioner -- a reporter from the Telemundo network -- noted that the Republican platform does not offer any protection to undocumented students and other young people, Sununu replied, again in Spanish, “But it doesn’t say they won’t give it to them.”
He then mentioned two other aspects of the Republican platform on immigration -- an expanded guest worker program and a larger number of visas for legal entry. Those two steps, along with the situation of the young people, are the “three most important things” to be fixed, he said.
Responding to a subsequent question in English about immigration policy, Sununu was slightly less explicit about the so-called Dream Act youngsters.
Romney has “made it clear that there’s a whole series of steps that have to be taken,” Sununu said. “One is the expanded guest worker program, one is the expanded program for visas. And “one is to deal with the young people who came here through no fault of their own,” he said.
“I actually believe that what you have to do is move with a series of steps that create confidence on both sides of what is a very difficult and emotional issue,” he continued. To do that will require a “comprehensive package addressing the problems,” he said.
“Those components coming together have a strong possibility of becoming law. But the most important thing to get a law is to have a president who knows how to lead.”
British government Minister raps politicians' silence on immigration
A minister has criticised the ‘failure of mainstream politics’ to discuss immigration as the Government launched a three-pronged crackdown on illegal migrants.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said for years it had been ‘almost impolite’ for politicians to raise concerns about unprecedented numbers flowing into the UK, a silence which he said had allowed extremist parties, such as the BNP, to harvest votes.
He spoke out as it emerged a university had become the first in the UK to be stripped of its right to educate foreign students.
A UK Border Agency audit found numerous failings at London Metropolitan University, including allowing students to take lessons without valid visas and failing to report that some who had been granted visas, then failed to enrol on or attend courses.
Meanwhile, Home Secretary Theresa May launched a drive to stop abuse of the UK’s marriage laws which have allowed migrants to stay here illegally.
Ministers will change the rules so ceremonies can be delayed for investigations. Last year a vicar was jailed for staging 300 fake weddings - including couples who did not speak the same language.
Mr Green said the silence around the UK’s doors being thrown open was filled by extremist parties such as the BNP, who then harvested votes from those who were concerned.
Nearly 3.5million immigrants arrived in the UK during Labour’s 13 years in power between 1997 and 2010, with the tide increasing when ten former Soviet Bloc countries joined the European Union in 2004.
Critics say public services, including schools, hospitals and transport, have struggled to cope with the influx, while some employers have been accused of using cheap, or illegal, foreign workers.
In a radio interview with LBC Radio, Mr Green said immigration had been like ‘turning on a tap’ under Labour.
He added: ‘On top of that, it was almost impolite to talk about immigration and the result of those two things happening at once was the rise of extremist politicians who scapegoated, really unpleasant parties like the BNP.
‘You saw that they rose at a time when politicians were afraid to talk about immigration so it’s very important that mainstream, moderate politicians of all parties actual deal with it as a problem.’
He compared immigration under Labour to ‘an oil tanker steaming hard in the wrong direction’ but insisted the Government was ‘getting to grips’ with the issue.
He spoke out as it emerged a controversial university had become the first in the country to be stripped of its right to educate foreign students.
London Metropolitan University’s licence will be revoked after the Home Office branded it a ‘threat to immigration control’.
Officials at the UK Border Agency identified so many failings at LMU, which has 2,600 students from outside the European Union, that it could not be trusted to ensure foreign students did not become illegal immigrants.
An audit found the university allowed students to take lessons without valid visas to stay in Britain, did not report that some granted visas failed to enrol on or attend courses, and did not test students to check they could speak English.
Malcolm Gillies, LMU’s vice-chancellor, said the university was ‘disappointed’ by the news.
He said in the past six weeks the university had ‘done everything it could to demonstrate that it... has worked to remedy past weaknesses’.
Mr Green said a national campaign to crackdown on foreigners who stayed in the UK after their student visas had expired had caught 2,000.
He said: ‘We find that a lot of those are people who came here on a student visa, maybe did study for a year or maybe didn’t study at all, but they then hang around after their visa is over and it’s clear that their main intention for coming here was to work. That kind of abuse enrages people.'
Mr Green said: ‘At the moment a registrar has the duty to marry someone if they can’t see any legal impediment then they have to marry them.
‘What we’re going to do is give the powers to say, “Actually I’m not going to marry you, because this doesn’t look like a proper marriage to me”.’
In the third prong of the crackdown, migrants who falsely claim benefits after coming to Britain to work, study or visit face being stripped of welfare payments, according to leaked documents.
Nearly 20,000 people who arrived from outside Europe will be the first to be targeted in the new crackdown which will begin next month.
They will receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) telling them to send back a photocopy of their passport or residence permit within 28 days, according to the Sunday Telegraph. If they cannot, they must email the UK Border Agency (UKBA) with a range of identifying information.
In total, 370,000 people who came to Britain as visitors, students or workers are now on work-related benefits.
Foreign-born claimants is understood to make up 6.5 per cent of the total 5.5 people on benefits in the UK.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:05 AM
Monday, August 27, 2012
Immigration lawsuit revives DREAM Act debate
Gaby Pacheco calls herself an aspiring U.S. citizen who is compiling the paperwork and trying to get the $465 needed to apply for a two-year reprieve from getting deported.
James D. Doebler says his superiors at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are threatening to suspend him for putting an arrested illegal immigrant into the hearing process that could lead to deportation.
The two are on opposite sides of a lawsuit filed this week by Doebler and nine other ICE agents that challenges a new Obama administration policy intended to remove the threat of deportation faced by young illegal immigrants who arrived in America as children and have good student or military records.
Doebler and his fellow complainants argue the new policy on immigration law enforcement exceeds the administration's authority and puts ICE agents in the position of facing disciplinary action for doing their jobs.
"They're in a position now that's just untenable," argued Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, an advocacy group for more restrictive immigration that is bankrolling the lawsuit.
The goal of the lawsuit is to force a court ruling on whether the new administration policy is legal, Beck told CNN on Friday. If so, then the ICE agents are protected; and if not, the case would halt what the former journalist called a harmful influx of illegal workers at a time when young Americans are struggling to find jobs.
"Obviously, we would not be pleased if they say this is a legal order," Beck said, adding: "We do believe strongly that the president doesn't have the right to do this."
Pacheco and others reject the premise of the lawsuit, calling it a politically motivated effort to undermine the "deferred action" directive by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that went into full effect last week.
"I think they're using this as a political plan to rally the voters in election season," said Pacheco, the political director of United We Dream, an advocacy group for young illegal immigrants like herself.
A statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the lawsuit lacked a sound legal basis, noting that "over 100 of the nation's top constitutional and immigration law scholars signed on to a letter" attesting to the constitutionality of the new administration policy.
Trumka's statement added that the suing agents "are working with some of the most anti-immigrant forces in the country; forces that have long sowed division and destruction."
The agents are represented by Kris Kobach, the Republican Kansas secretary of state who worked on Arizona's controversial immigration law and is an informal adviser to presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to NumbersUSA.
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Friday that the lawsuit lacked legal merit.
"I can't imagine any judge would even give them standing to file the case, much less decide it on the merits," Toobin said. "I am unaware of any law that allows federal employees to challenge the legality of the actions of their superiors."
Filed Thursday in federal court in Dallas, the lawsuit challenges the two-year deferred action policy of the Obama administration, as well the policy of "prosecutorial discretion," in which ICE agents are supposed to focus their attention on dangerous criminals who are illegal immigrants.
In a nutshell, the agents involved do not want to obey the new policies and do not want to face any disciplinary actions or lawsuits if they continue to arrest any type of immigrant who is in the United States illegally.
"We are federal law enforcement officers who are being ordered to break the law," said Chris Crane, one of the agents filing suit and the president of the ICE agents and officers union. "This directive puts ICE agents and officers in a horrible position."
According to the lawsuit, Doebler "arrested an alien who was unlawfully present in the United States and issued the alien an NTA (notice to appear), contrary to the general directions of his supervisors that he should decline to issue NTAs to certain illegal aliens."
"Plaintiff Doebler was issued a Notice of Proposed Suspension," the lawsuit says. "Plaintiff Doebler is facing a three-day suspension for arresting and processing the alien for a hearing rather than exercising the 'prosecutorial discretion' commanded by his supervisors. Plaintiff Doebler requested a written directive ordering him not to issue the NTA. His supervisors have refused to give him a written directive and would not sign any paperwork authorizing the use of 'prosecutorial discretion.' "
Now, the lawsuit says, Doebler "reasonably fears, based on his past experience, that if he follows the requirements of federal law, contrary to the 'Directive,' and arrests an alien or issues the alien an NTA, he will be disciplined again. He reasonably fears that a second disciplinary action will result in the loss of his job."
Matt Chandler, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, responded Thursday that the department "uses prosecutorial discretion to assist in focusing vigorously on the removal of individuals who are convicted criminals, repeat immigration law violators, and recent border-crossers."
In fiscal year 2011, ICE removed 216,000 criminal illegal immigrants, Chandler said, adding that it was the largest annual figure in history and an 89% increase over the administration of President George W. Bush.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals decision is a temporary measure until Congress takes action on reforming immigration policies, Chandler continued, adding that it "ensures that responsible young people, who are Americans in every way but on paper, have an opportunity to remain in the country and make their fullest contribution."
Pacheco, who came to America with her parents from Ecuador at the age of 8, described herself in similar terms. She graduated from Miami Dade College and now wants to get a master's degree, she said.
"We speak the language. We are part of the fabric of this nation," she said. "This is my home. They are telling me that I do not belong, that I am not American."
President Barack Obama made a similar point in announcing the policy change in June, calling the decision to halt deportations of people like Pacheco "the right thing to do."
Under the new policy, the Obama administration will give a two-year deferral from deportation to illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they are younger than 30, arrived in the country before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military.
Supporters stress the plan does not grant immunity or provide a shortcut to citizenship, but instead affords undocumented immigrant children a chance to be productive workers while removing the threat of deportation for two years.
Opponents say the policy amounts to granting backdoor amnesty to people who came to America illegally and tightening an already poor job market for young Americans. As many as 1.7 million youths may qualify for the program, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.
The deferred deportation policy includes some of the provisions of a Democratic proposal called the DREAM Act that failed to win enough Republican support to become law.
Obama made clear that the new policy was intended to be a temporary step until Congress passes a more comprehensive immigration law that addresses the situation of young illegal immigrants who have essentially grown up as Americans.
Beck called such an approach misguided.
"We're going to do something that's not allowed by law in order to get Congress to pass something which they have defeated repeatedly," he said. "It's just such an abuse of power."
His group raised $100,000 for the lawsuit Thursday, Beck said, adding that he expected the case to cost "a few hundred thousand dollars."
"If it goes to the Supreme Court, who knows?" he added.
100 "asylum-seekers" on hunger strike in Australia
This is excellent news and it is even being publicized in Pakistan! It will have a significant deterrent effect on others thinking to sail for Australia. Such demonstrations were a major component of stopping the illegals under the Howard government
Up to 100 asylum-seekers in detention in Australia were on hunger strike Sunday after being informed they would be transferred to a remote Pacific island under a tough new refugee policy.
An immigration department spokesman said “around 100” asylum-seekers being held at the Christmas Island detention centre had launched the strike on Saturday night after they were told they would be sent to Nauru.
They will be among the first group transferred to the tiny and remote Pacific island to await the processing of their refugee claims under a strict new policy Canberra hopes will deter a record flow of people-smuggling ships. “They were informed yesterday of the decision to transfer them to Nauru, and obviously it’s pretty difficult news to take,” the spokesman told AFP. “We’re managing that and trying to provide all the support and assistance we can, it’s obviously pretty difficult all round.” Under new legislation passed by parliament this month asylum-seekers who arrive by boat will be sent to either Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island for indefinite periods while their visas are assessed.
It represents an about-face by the Labor Party which abandoned the policy after winning power in 2007, after complaints people had languished for years on the islands before being resettled under the previous government. Authorities have not clarified how long people would have to wait on Nauru or Manus before being resettled and have admitted that the remote facilities are so run down they were not yet suitable for use.
Refugee activists said “around 67” detainees were believed to be on hunger strike in the Christmas Island facility and “scores” of police had also been sent to the remote immigration centre to head off any protests. “The hunger strikers say that their treatment is unfair — they were not aware of any changed policy by the Australian government,” said activist Ian Rintoul.
There were reportedly similar starvation protests occurring at facilities in the northern city of Darwin, where refugee advocates said a group that included unaccompanied minors was “shocked” to learn they would also be sent offshore. “The fact that unaccompanied minors may be sent to remote locations for unknown periods of time should be a source of shame for the minister for immigration and the Australian government,” said Darwin activist Peter Robson. “There is little wonder as a result that there are reports that there are large hunger strikes now occurring in Darwin.”
The immigration spokesman said food, water and medical assistance was available to all detainees and they were “obviously encouraged” to eat and drink. “These sorts of protests and activities don’t have any effect on the outcome of their case, and likewise it won’t alter government policy,” he said. afp
Posted by jonjayray at 10:57 AM
Sunday, August 26, 2012
GOP platform calls for more Arizona-style immigration laws
The Republican Party has officially endorsed its backing for Arizona-style state immigration laws, adding into its platform language that such laws should be "encouraged, not attacked" and calling for the federal government to drop its lawsuits against the laws.
That language and other provisions were widely approved by the party after being introduced by the co-author of the Arizona law, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R).
"I was pleased at how overwhelming the majorities were, it was a voice vote and I think there were maybe 80 percent supporting it," Kobach told The Hill shortly after the hard-line immigration language was added to the party's official platform. "The Republican Platform is now very strongly opposed to illegal immigration."
The official party position now reads that "State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked," and says the Department of Justice should immediately drop its lawsuits against controversial state immigration laws in Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah.
That language is likely to please immigration hard-liners — but it could further damage the party's standing with Hispanic voters, a key voting bloc in a number of swing states. Many Hispanics see Arizona-style laws as discriminatory.
"I think it's an expression of support for Arizona-style laws," Kobach said. "The platform also encourages states to create laws in this area."
Kobach's amendment, which is now official party policy, also includes calls to withhold federal funding for any universities that provide in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants as well as "sanctuary cities" that refuse to enforce state and federal laws on immigration, and calls for the government to complete construction of a fence along the Mexican border that Congress authorized in 2006.
Another amendment he backed that was included in the party platform strengthens the GOP's previous support of a national "E-Verify" system.
The broader party's inclusion of Kobach's amendments reverses a subcommittee's decision the day before to reject the language, and shows his power within the party.
"Of the amendments that Chris either made or spoke in favor of, each and every one was adopted," Indiana RNC Committeeman James Bopp, a constitutional scholar who chaired one of the party's platform subcommittees. "He had a significant impact on the formulation of the platform. People respect his views and listen to him carefully on these issues."
Kobach was an early supporter of Mitt Romney during the primary, citing his immigration positions, and at one point advised Romney on immigration policy, though Romney's campaign denied that he was an official policy adviser to the campaign.
Romney ran hard to the right on immigration during the primary, but has sought since then to temper his rhetoric when talking about the emotional issue.
But Kobach said he was happy with where the party stood on immigration, and said he was unconcerned with Romney's recent remarks on the subject.
"Other issues have just come to the fore and dominated his remarks more than immigration and that's fine — I don't think he's changed his stance," he said. "If we start with the premise that illegal means illegal we need to address that specific things can be done to make that become a reality."
California OKs bill shielding undocumented immigrants
California state legislators passed a bill Friday that seeks to protect undocumented immigrants charged with relatively minor crimes from being deported.
The bill, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, would prohibit local police from detaining anyone on an immigration hold if the person is not charged with or has not been convicted of a serious or violent crime.
The bill, which only needs the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown to become law, passed the Assembly on Friday after being amended in the state Senate to remove language that would have required police departments to develop plans to guard against racial profiling.
Advocates and critics alike said the legislation is the largest challenge to the use of immigration holds in local jails, including President Obama's Secure Communities program, because it would impact law enforcement throughout the most populous state, one with a significant immigrant population.
"What we're trying to do here is to protect the innocent," said Ammiano, the bill's chief sponsor. "The fact that you're undocumented doesn't make you a criminal."
It's unclear whether Brown will support the legislation. Brown spokesman Gil Duran said the governor would not comment on the matter.
The issue of whether local police should enforce federal immigration law has long been a contentious issue, most recently with the Secure Communities program. Once an individual is fingerprinted and booked in a local jail, their fingerprints are sent to the FBI. Under Secure Communities, the FBI sends those fingerprints to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration. If that person has previously come into contact with Homeland security, their data would match. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement then determines if the person is in the country illegally.
The enforcement agency then can request that the jail hold the person for up to 48 hours. But because it is merely a request, local jurisdictions have discretion, and the federal government has not forced the issue.
Santa Clara and San Francisco counties have policies that prohibit or restrict the use of so-called immigration holds. So does Cook County, Illinois; Taos, New Mexico; and Washington, D.C.
Opponents of the state bill said they were stunned.
"It removes the discretion of local law enforcement agencies in deciding what to do about noncitizens that end up in their custody," said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank that calls for tighter immigration laws. "It would force them to release people they believe are a threat to the public."
Critics and advocates paint wildly different portraits of the impact of the law.
Crime to rise, foes say
Opponents say that criminals often commit lesser crimes, but might be known to law enforcement as being a gang member.
The example they point to is that of Edwin Ramos, who had two juvenile felony convictions, but San Francisco officials did not turn him over to immigration authorities. Ramos later killed Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, in San Francisco.
"It is virtually guaranteed that there will be more crimes committed, more victims of dangerous criminals if this policy goes into effect," said Vaughan.
Backers distrust ICE
On the flip side, advocates point to Juana Reyes, 46, who was arrested and jailed in June for trespassing after she sold tamales in a Walmart parking lot in Sacramento. The mother of two had no criminal record and was facing deportation.
"You cannot trust (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) when they say 'give us these fingerprints, give us these people and we will decide who to release and who not to,' " said Angela Chan, staff attorney for the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. "Local law enforcement should not be engaged in immigration law enforcement."
Posted by jonjayray at 10:23 AM
Friday, August 24, 2012
Napolitano sued over new immigration policy
The author of the strict Arizona immigration law that was mostly shot down by the Supreme Court this summer has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 immigration officials against the Obama administration for its recently revamped deferred-deportation policy.
Kansas Secretary of State and immigration hardliner Kris Kobach filed the lawsuit on Thursday against Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton on behalf of 10 ICE officials, including the head of the immigration agency’s labor union, Chris Crane.
The suit was filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas and challenges a new policy announced by Napolitano earlier this year by arguing that it forces officers to break the law.
“We are federal law enforcement officers who are being ordered to break the law,” said Crane in a statement. “This directive puts ICE agents and officers in a horrible position.”
Napolitano issued a directive that allows her agency to exercise its prosecutorial discretion for certain illegal immigrants who are under 30 years of age and who wish to defer their deportation from the country for two-year periods in order to work.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have strongly opposed the administration’s move, applauded the lawsuit on Thursday.
“The Obama administration makes it impossible for ICE agents to do their jobs,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in a statement issued along with fellow Texas Republicans Reps. John Carter and Louie Gohmert.
“Instead of enforcing the law, the Obama administration requires ICE agents to release illegal immigrants,” Smith said.
Congressional Democrats have ferociously defended the administration’s move, calling it a key step towards fixing a broken immigration system that penalizes many young people who were brought into the United States illegally by their parents.
The announcement by Napolitano was made in June and bypasses Congress in the face of stalled efforts to pass a bill with similar provisions. For several years, Republicans have blocked the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, saying that it provides “amnesty” to illegal immigrants and could threaten to take away the jobs of U.S. citizens.
Under the administration’s new system, ICE and DHS officials are allowed to prioritize the deportation of people in the country illegally who have existing criminal records.
The young illegal people who are eligible to delay their deportation must have a clean criminal record, be enrolled or graduated from an education program and demonstrate a financial need to work, among other requirements.
Kobach’s lawsuit on Thursday was not the first threat of legal action against the administration over the recent deferred deportation changes.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has repeatedly said he plans on filing his own lawsuit against Napolitano arguing that the immigration directive is unconstitutional because it bypassed Congress’s authority.
On Thursday, King’s office told The Hill that he would be filing the lawsuit “in the coming weeks,” and pointed to comments he issued last week.
“I said that I would bring a lawsuit against the President and that process is underway,” said King. “With just a few puzzle pieces to get in the right place, I will soon file that lawsuit.”
Kobach came into the public eye recently for his role in crafting Arizona’s strict law that would have allowed the state to bring criminal charges against an immigrant who was stopped by authorities without his or her legal papers. It would have also have made it a state crime for illegal immigrant to try and work in the border state.
In June the Supreme Court struck down the most stringent of the Arizona law’s provisions, serving a blow to Kobach and his supporters. But the court ruled in favor of the state implementing a strict provision that requires law enforcement officials to verify the legal status of anyone they stop who they suspect of being in the country illegally.
Opponents of the provision say it is tantamount to racial profiling, but supporters say it will help cut down on illegal immigration. A federal judge in Arizona began hearing arguments this week from attorneys trying to block the provision’s implementation.
Australia Increases Refugee Quota in Broad Immigration Reform
Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday ordered an immediate increase in the number of refugees that her country accepts yearly, part of an immigration reform package aimed at encouraging migrants to use official channels for asylum rather than long and dangerous boat journeys.
The increase in the annual refugee intake — to 20,000 from 13,700, the biggest increase in 30 years — caps two weeks of bruising debate after the release of an expert report on immigration commissioned by the Australian government. The debate has led Ms. Gillard’s governing Labor Party to reverse its longstanding opposition to reopening remote offshore detention centers that were closed when the party came to power in 2007.
“This increase is targeted to those in most need: those vulnerable people offshore, not those getting on boats,” Ms. Gillard told reporters. “Message No. 1: If you get on a boat, you are at risk of being transferred to Nauru or P.N.G.,” she said, referring to a small Pacific island nation and to Papua New Guinea.
She continued, “Message No. 2: If you stay where you are, then there are more resettlement places available in Australia.”
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced that the camps would cost 150 million Australian dollars, or $157 million, through the 2012-13 fiscal year. Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea could begin accepting detainees within days, he said, depending on negotiations.
But Mr. Bowen told reporters that the Nauru center would house only 1,500 people when fully operational, while Manus would hold 600 refugees, raising questions about their efficacy as deterrents. A total of 8,439 asylum seekers have arrived by boat in Australia this year, according to local news reports.
Graham Thom, an expert on immigration at Amnesty International, said that while the increase was a positive step, given the complex factors driving people to seek asylum, it was far from clear that camps of the type outlined Thursday would actually deter desperate refugees.
“For people fleeing violence and persecution, how they move and where they move is a complex interplay of both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors,” Mr. Thom said. “With the situation in countries like Afghanistan likely to continue to force significant numbers to flee, whether or not they choose to continue to try and reach Australia, even with the reintroduction of offshore processing, remains to be seen.”
Thousands of people try to reach Australia each year on rickety, overcrowded vessels, leading to accidents at sea that have killed more than 600 people since late 2009. Around 90 asylum seekers are believed to have died in June when their boat capsized south of the Indonesian island of Java, reigniting a debate that has smoldered for more than a decade.
Australia has tried for years to formulate a policy that would deter would-be immigrants from trying to reach Christmas Island, a territory in the Indian Ocean that is Australia’s closest point to Indonesia. Ms. Gillard had proposed sending asylum seekers to Malaysia for processing, but the plan was rejected by Australia’s highest court and negotiations over a replacement plan broke down.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:24 AM
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Governor says he's pleased with what's left of the Alabama immigration law
Gov. Robert Bentley says he's pleased with how much of Alabama's immigration law got left intact by a federal appeals court, and he's uncertain whether the state will appeal the ruling.
Bentley commented Tuesday after assessing the ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
He said the appeals court left intact key provisions designed to keep illegal immigrants from getting jobs and state licenses.
The appeals court did block schools from checking the immigration status of new students. Bentley said he did not feel that part of the law was necessary to achieve Alabama's goals, but he didn't like losing on any issue on appeal.
New computer database launched to track down 150,000 illegal immigrants in Britain
The Brits will manage to bungle that too
An immigration computer database is being set up to track down the 150,000 people who are staying in Britain illegally, it was revealed yesterday.
Border chiefs are due to launch the project next month to deal with the huge backlog of foreign nationals who have overstayed their student or temporary work visas.
Letters will be sent to those in the 'migration refusal pool' warning that they will be deported and barred from entering the UK if they do not leave within 28 days.
Private companies currently tendering for the multi-million pound contract include G4S, the controversial security firm which failed to deliver enough staff for the Olympic Games.
Passenger records held in the e-borders database, which covers details of all flights outside Europe to and from Britain, will be checked and there will be careful monitoring of the 100 immigrants whose visas expire daily.
It comes after it was revealed last month that 40 per cent of immigrants who have been refused leave to stay in the country have not been sent the forms demanding they leave.
Tens of thousands of these lapsed visa cases date back more than five years and are a legacy of Labour's catastrophic mismanagement of Britain's immigration system.
Immigration minister Damian Green said he hoped the new scheme would allow Border Agency staff more time to carry out enforcement operations and reduce the backlog.
He said: 'We're concentrating much more on enforcement. From debrief interviews we've found that a third of people decide to overstay at the point their visa expires. 'If we can send these people letters warning of the consequences of illegally overstaying then I'm sure we can reduce the total number deciding to remain.'
The move follows a UKBA summer-long drive to remove visa 'overstayers' that has led to thousands being removed, with 2,000 of those being in London alone.
The majority of those targeted entered the country on student visas which have now expired. Mr Green said they mainly came from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Brazil and Nigeria and were now working illegally.
An operation in the capital yesterday resulted in three arrests. Two Pakistani nationals and an Iranian man were arrested in Walworth and Brixton, South London, for allegedly working illegally.
One 28-year-old Iranian was arrested by the same immigration officer at a Halal butchers three years ago. Another Pakistani man smirked as he was led away in handcuffs in what was his third arrest by UKBA staff.
The chief inspector of immigration, John Vine, criticised the UKBA for not having a strategy for reducing the pool of overstayers last month. The only guidance staff were given for dealing with cases in this 150,000-strong group was that the total size of the pool should not be allowed to increase.
Vine said his greatest concern during his inspection of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight immigration team was over the '150,000-plus cases nationally that are sitting in a migration refusal pool'.
The chief inspector concluded that UKBA staff reported it being impossible to know whether the 150,000 were still in Britain or had left voluntarily.
In total, the UKBA faces an enormous backlog of 276,000 immigration cases. The growing total includes asylum seekers, foreign criminals and illegal migrants and is equivalent to the population of Newcastle.
MPs sitting on the Commons Home Affairs Committee said the UK has become a 'Bermuda Triangle' for migrants, a country where it is 'easy to get in, but impossible to keep track of everyone, let alone get them out.'
In addition, around 21,000 new asylum cases have built up because officials were able to process only 63 per cent of last year's applications. There are also 3,900 foreign criminals living in the community and free to commit more crimes, including more than 800 who have been at large for five years or more.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:18 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The High Price of Obama’s Amnesty
$585 million dollars. That is the estimate of what Obama’s new amnesty will cost the American taxpayer. This back door plan, put into action by imperial edict without any input from Congress, is just another nail in the coffin of our economy. This past week thousands of children of illegal immigrants were granted the right to apply for “deferred action” in order to stay in this country and sign up for employment opportunities. Starting August 15th, illegal aliens up to the age of 30 who meet certain requirements can begin submitting their applications that will allow them to remain in the country for a period of two years, with indefinite renewals. They may also apply for work authorization, adding an estimated 2 million job-seekers to the workforce when we have record unemployment.
Take a look at Immigrationreform.com and read the ten things that you need to know about Obama’s amnesty and it will make your head spin.
Really? How does Congress allow this to happen? They just ignore this issue and sweep it under the rug hoping that the American people are on summer vacation and won’t notice that we have just opened wide the doors to 2 million illegal’s! Once again they let this President steam roll over them. It seems like they have forgotten that the Dream Act was defeated as recently as 2010.
What are the unintended consequences of this amnesty? Well, let’s see. Not only will it cost the American taxpayers an (estimated) $585 million dollars just to implement the program, but on top of that there are millions or perhaps billions more. Once they become permanent legal residents the floodgates open. Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, education, not to mention the earned income tax credit that would cost tens of billions annually. This will also encourage even more illegal immigration when others figure out how to work the system.
This also opens the door to rampant fraud. When an applicant goes online for the form there are no safeguards in place to prevent fraud even to satisfy this administration’s low standards of eligibility. In fact, the application explicitly states that “you do not need to submit original documents unless the USCIS requests them.” Under Obama’s guidance, do you think they will ever be requested?
What about the millions of immigrants who have gone about applying for citizenship the right way? How do they feel when they have been pushed to the back of the line because of this irresponsible act? And as for the Hispanic and Black Americans, do you think they are happy knowing that Obama’s job killing policies have hurt their communities? The unemployment rate for Hispanics is 3 percent higher than the national average hovering around 11 percent. In the Black community the unemployment rate for Black youth is a staggering 40.5% as of March 2012. This new policy will not only take jobs away from them, but also from the millions of other Americans hoping to find work in a diminished economy.
This is illegal in so many ways yet Congress chooses not to recognize it. Is it because they are afraid to touch the forbidden area of immigration? Do they think they will be accused of being racists? Well, I have news, they’ve already been accused of it so it’s time to get over it and stand up for what is right for this country and the American people.
We can’t afford this. We are faltering under a national debt that could reach as high as 40 trillion dollars within a decade and illegal immigration is a big part of that number. The money has to come from somewhere. Since Congress didn’t pass this legislation and did not appropriate funds for it, where will the money come from? Tax dollars alone will not pay for all of it, so the cost will be satisfied by illegally raiding other programs. Veterans hospitals or border control stations that monitor drug trafficking could be the victims. Who knows what else might be raided?
At least Governor Jan Brewer is stepping up to the plate. She signed an executive order to stop public benefits for these young illegal aliens. She gets it; she knows what the costs will be to her state.
We need to fix the immigration problem, not add to it. Everyone knows that Obama only did this to gain Hispanic support in the upcoming election. It is transparent pandering and everyone can see right through it. (Pardon the pun.) If he really wanted to do this, why did he wait until now? He had both houses of Congress and complete power at the beginning of his term yet he said that he couldn’t do it without Congressional authority. Funny how things change when desperation sets in and he needs every special interest group he can grab to be re-elected.
Unfortunately he loses in the long run because the majority of the American people see what the costs of this massive amnesty program are. They see their own families struggling while law breakers are reaping the benefits. Immigrants who have gone through the process the right way are fighting mad about this and rightly so. They see now that it would have been easier to stay illegal and reap the rewards.
I am not a racist. Neither are most Americans. We understand that people want a better life. All we are asking for the privilege of living in this great country is that you come here “legally”, abide by the rules, and start off your new life the right way. Don’t burden us with uncontrollable costs that bring down the standard of living in America. Become one of us, work hard and contribute to the greatness of this country. If it is done the right way, the legal way, American citizenship is valued much more.
Rick Perry Says Obama Deportation Policy Doesn't Change Texas Immigration Rules
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has become the latest state governor to lash out at the Obama administration over the implementation of a new policy that gives a two-year, renewable period of relief from deportation to some immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.
In a letter dated Aug. 16, Perry told state agencies that the Obama administration's new policy is "a slap in the face to the rule of law," and said Texas' immigration policies won't change.
Perry's letter comes after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said last week that the new policy does not change existing law prohibiting undocumented immigrants from applying for driver's licenses or accessing other state benefits in the state. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman made a similar announcement on Saturday.
In Texas, people who apply for a driver's license or other state ID must prove legal residency, according to the Austin-American Statesman. The only states that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses are New Mexico and Washington.
The letter was addressed and sent Monday to all agency heads individually, as well as to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Perry said he sought to "avoid any confusion on the impact of the Obama administration's actions."
The federal policy confers "absolutely no legal status whatsoever to any alien who qualifies," he wrote.
Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an added set of guidelines establishing deportation priorities by Obama, immigrants 30 or younger will be eligible for a two-year reprieve from deportation if they demonstrate they came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday, lived in the country for the past five years, and have not been convicted of certain crimes or pose a national security threat.
Last week, young people around the nation formed long lines to attend information sessions and briefings on the new program.
In his letter, Perry referred to media reports that "thousands of aliens in Texas are eligible to apply for relief from deportation under the guidelines." He criticized the Obama administration for attempting to "unilaterally undermine the law through a policy statement issued under the cover of so-called 'prosecutorial discretion.'"
He called the move "a slap in the face to the rule of law and our Constitutional framework of separated powers."
But Perry also wrote that the program "does not undermine or change our state laws" and that he expects state agencies to keep enforcing them.
Perry's spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said that even though the policy won't alter state law, Perry has been very clear in opposing it.
During his unsuccessful run for president, Perry strongly defended a Texas law that grants cheaper, in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants who attended a Texas high school for at least three years. He also was a vocal opponent of a fence stretching the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Frazier said Perry opposed the way the new policy was implemented: "They basically circumvented the whole process."
Abbott's spokeswoman, Lauren Bean, echoed Frazier, saying the Obama administration doesn't have the authority to ignore the law.
"As it does in all cases, the Attorney General's Office is prepared to defend Texas law -- and any state agencies that are challenged for following the law and complying with the governor's directive," Bean said in a statement Monday.
Perry's letter does not direct any action in response to the new program. Instead, Frazier said, the governor "wanted, on the record, to let agencies know what he expects of them."
Posted by jonjayray at 9:32 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Obama's immigration plan will be among the 'most fraud-ridden' in history
The top Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary committees warned this week that President Obama's plan to delay the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will end up being one of the most fraud-ridden programs in the history of U.S. immigration programs.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) were reacting to an Aug. 3 announcement from the Department of Homeland Security, which outlined how DHS will accept applications for deferred deportation action.
That announcement said illegal immigrants will be able to apply for deferred action and U.S. work authorization if they can show they are in or have been in school, or have any military service. DHS is setting up these guidelines in anticipation of implementing the policy starting Aug. 15.
But in a Monday letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Smith and Grassley said there do not appear to be any anti-fraud provisions in place.
"While potentially millions of illegal immigrants will be permitted to compete with American workers for jobs, there seems to be little if any mechanism in place for vetting fraudulent applications and documentation submitted by those who seek deferred action," they wrote. "This administration will undoubtedly preside over one of the most fraud-ridden immigration programs in our history.
"Illegal immigrants will be eager to purchase or create fake documents showing that they arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and meet the continued physical presence requirements," they added. "DHS will be sorely taxed by the burden of disproving the evidence presented in each application."
Their letter cited immigration fraud in a program that granted amnesty to Special Agricultural Workers, the so-called SAW program. They said this program led to significant fraud, as about two-thirds of those amnesty applications were fraudulent.
One problem, they said, is that those applications were held confidentially, which is what DHS plans to do in this case.
"Due to the confidentiality provisions, fraud in SAW applications could not be used to deny or revoke applications, to place aliens in removal proceedings, or to show that aliens committed fraud in the past when seeking other immigration benefits," they wrote.
They also rejected the administration's decision not to use fraud prevention techniques that they said are "too expensive" or take too much time to implement.
"This attitude blatantly demonstrates that the Department has little regard for preventing fraud, especially since the law allows the Department to impose fees for the benefit of deferred action," they wrote. "The illegal immigrants themselves, rather than the American taxpayer or legal immigrants, should bear any expense associated with the program."
It said the most basic check would be to demand school transcripts as proof applicants are in school, but that the administration has said it would not require this step. "This is the single most effective anti-fraud step the Department could take, but it appears that little effort will be taken to detect fraud on the other end," the letter said.
Aside from asking why that step will not be taken, the letter asks Napolitano what steps will be taken to prevent fraud, whether applicants will be required to verify affidavits and what penalties people might face for submitting fraudulent applications.
Recent posts at CIS below
See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.
1. Today Is A-Day: The president’s unconstitutional DREAM amnesty gets rolling (Op-ed)
2. Californians Need Not Apply — Grim Precedent Set for Grad Students (Blog)
3. DHS Belatedly Launches Mandatory Public Comment Period on DACA Process (Blog)
4. GOP Platform: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs — for Illegal Aliens? (Blog)
5. Sometimes a Government Agency LIKES to Be Sued (Blog)
6. ABA Expands Its Open-Borders Agenda, Embraces SPLC (Blog)
7. How to Break the Immigration Policy Impasse (11): Why Immigration Grand Bargains Fail — The Incentive Dimension of Amnesties (Blog)
8. Amnesty Kickoff Today (Blog)
9. DACA Eligibility Widens Again, Mayorkas Confirms (Blog)
10. DACA Watch: Maybe the Devil Creates Those Details (Blog)
11. While the Flood Gates Are Opening, a Small Spigot May Be Tightening (Blog)
12. Cleaning Up a Dirty Business (Blog)
Posted by jonjayray at 10:09 AM
Monday, August 20, 2012
All immigrants are not the same
We see below the usual Leftist failure to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. Legal immigrants are highly selected and are undoubtedly beneficial to America. Illegal immigrants are however mostly bottom of the barrell and get by only because of "free" services such as health and schooling.
Murdoch would have gone along with the nonsense for the sake of political expediency. It may be noted, however, that his Wall St. Journal is an open-borders outfit. Businesses like cheap labor
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, the independent mayor of New York City, is no one's idea of a hardline Republican conservative. Media titan Rupert Murdoch, whose empire includes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, is no one's idea of a squishy Republican moderate. And Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, a lifelong Democrat, is no one's idea of a Republican at all.
It isn't every day that three men with such disparate ideological profiles find common cause, let alone on a high-profile issue that has been roiling American politics for years. But there they were at Boston's Seaport Hotel one evening last week, jointly making a nonpartisan case that reforming the nation's dysfunctional immigration system is essential for economic revival. Without the growth fueled by immigrants -- especially foreign-born entrepreneurs -- the United States is unlikely to retain its preeminent position in the world. In Bloomberg's vivid phrase, America is "committing economic suicide" by making it too hard for ambitious foreigners to enter the US and unleash their drive and ingenuity.
Opening the Boston forum, Menino was effusive in his praise for Bloomberg , whose social liberalism, especially on gun control, complements his. "I am proud to call him my friend," Menino said.
But the mayor was at loss for something nice to say about Murdoch, the former owner of the conservative Boston Herald. The best he could manage was to thank him "for being here and sharing his views." He started to make a dig about "those headlines, Rupert" -- then apparently thought better of it, and merely observed wryly that the News Corp. chairman ensures "a diversity of opinion."
What was striking about the discussion that followed, however, was its unity of opinion, above all on the subject of immigrants and their economic impact.
Menino ran through some local numbers. There are 8,800 immigrant-owned small business in Boston, he said, producing nearly $3.7 billion in annual sales and employing more than 18,000 people. New Americans have swelled Boston's population to 625,000, its healthiest level since 1970 -- healthy because "more people mean more talent, more ideas, and more innovation." They also mean more revenue: Boston's immigrants spend $4 billion per year, generating $1.3 billion in state and federal taxes. For generations immigrants have rejuvenated Boston, said the mayor. "They make this old city new again and again."
He got no argument on that score from Murdoch, an Australian native who became a US citizen in 1985. "An immigrant is more likely to start a small business than a non-immigrant," said Murdoch, whose career exemplifies the phenomenon. "You go to Silicon Valley, and you realize it's misnamed: It's not the silicon" that makes it such a high-tech dynamo. "It's the immigrants." Ambitious foreigners "want to dream the American dream," and it's in America's national interest to help them do so.
There is an abundance of empirical evidence that immigration is a tremendous economic driver. A study by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of mayors and business leaders advocating for more rational immigration laws, is awash with eye-opening data on immigrant entrepreneurship. More than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, and immigrants are now more than twice as likely as US natives to start a business. Though the foreign-born account for less than 13 percent of the US population, they created 28 percent of all new American businesses in 2011.
Murdoch and Bloomberg, two of the partnership's co-chairmen, argue that if only more Americans understood what remarkable job-creators immigrants tend to be, fewer politicians would feel the need to play to anti-immigrant xenophobia. Fewer voters would believe the popular canard that foreigners enter America to live off welfare -- or the equally popular, if contradictory, canard that immigrants steal jobs that would otherwise go to Americans.
"People don't come here to put their feet up and collect welfare," Bloomberg said. They come here to work. If there are no jobs, they don't come." You'd never know it from the clamor over illegal immigration -- "Put a damn fence on the border … and start shooting," one GOP congressional candidate recently advised -- but illegal border crossings have sharply declined.
What hasn't declined is the hunger of strivers and dreamers the world over -- talented entrepreneurs eager to bring their gifts here and make a success of themselves. Those would-be immigrants are an extraordinary growth hormone we can't afford to spurn. A broken immigration system threatens America's future economic vitality. Fixing that system must become a priority -- for left, right, and center alike.
Britain needs to stop treating views on immigration as an IQ test – there are sensible ways to attract tourists from China
Theresa May has set herself up as a figure of scorn once again, by blocking plans to make it easier for the Chinese to get Visas to Britain over fears about organised crime. The Home Secretary is in conflict with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who wants to treble the number of Chinese tourists to Britain: only 147,000 came here last year, compared to 1.2 million visiting France.
Views on immigration are taken as a sort of de facto IQ test in some circles, or at least a test of emotional intelligence. That’s why Mrs May was scorned over the “cat” issue, even though her critics were happy to ignore the fact that violent criminals were allowed to roam the streets. And when the Government announced plans to restrict family-based immigration, largely from South Asia, they were warned that it would toxify the Tory brand, ruin their chances with minority voters, and damage Britain’s relations with other countries. As it turned out, the Government went ahead with the reforms, Labour supported them, knowing the state of public opinion, and everyone agreed it was quite a reasonable measure.
France can afford to be more relaxed about Chinese tourists, because France makes it easier to deport foreign criminals: the laws toughened up in 2010. In Britain, by contrast, deporting foreign criminals is still a palaver. Magistrates have to deal with serial offenders who are repeatedly allowed to remain in the country. (It’s also easier to work in Britain, both because there are more unskilled jobs suited towards the people-trafficking industry, and because there are fewer checks, there being no identity cards.)
It’s certainly in our interests to encourage Chinese tourists, and co-operation with China generally, although it’s likely that the Chinese will continue to flock to France in large numbers, partly because the Chinese have a great interest in France (they even built a replica Paris). But the Home Secretary’s first job is to protect the home front, and she must balance the interests of the tourism industry with her job of fighting crime (McMafia as the author Misha Glenny calls the new variety of organised crime).
In the immediate future, we could build our relationship with China by ensuring that Mandarin is taught in schools (I’m quite interested in the idea of setting up a bilingual free school in London, with an emphasis on Chinese culture). More broadly, with a more mobile global elite than in previous eras, it’s important for a country to attract the super-rich, which it can do not just through an attractive tax system but also through branding. National branding is more important than ever, which is why it’s a paradox that, while the Olympics were sold on a very modern idea of Britian, what draws people to our country is a certain old-fashioned Britishness described by Harry Mount (Steve Sailer calls this the Harry Potter Effect, and indeed JK Rowling has probably done more to promote “brand Britain” than anyone in history).
In the longer term, we’ll want to attract more Chinese visitors, and will be able to, as Chinese average incomes rise. That’s because the most beneficial type of immigration, from the receiving country’s point of view, is between states of relatively equal economic development. It follows from this that Britain should adopt very strict immigration policies towards the developing world (especially towards family migration, the least progressive form), but have fairly open borders with countries above a median average income of $12,000.
The real question is whether China would reciprocate. So far, none of the countries outside the European world have adopted Western-style immigration policies, nor have any Asian countries embraced the ideology behind “diversity”. So when China reaches the Lewis turning point, will it start importing millions of people from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Africa to do the jobs the Chinese wont do? I would bet my bottom yuan that the answer will be no.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:38 AM
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Interview with Mark Krikorian on America's immigration DREAM
In this interview with Joseph Cotto, Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, lays out some of the important issues and explains why the Libertarian movement has no part in a solution
Joseph F. Cotto: Illegal immigration is a political lightning rod. What would you say is the most effective manner of handling it?
Mark Krikorian: It's a "lightning rod" only because politicians are afraid of being called names. The public abhors illegal immigration and a firm stance against it is popular. But politicians taking such a stance also need to understand that strident, fringe-y rhetoric is going to turn off people, as it should. So a hawkish stand on immigration enforcement, but delivered in a tone that's not scary and is combined with a welcoming outreach to legal immigrants, is the way to go.
Cotto: Despite the federal government's numerous attempts to stimulate the economy, America remains caught within the Great Recession's clutches. Do you believe that our current immigration policy is partly to blame for this?
Krikorian: There are a lot of reasons for the economic doldrums we're in. Whatever our immigration policy, the business cycle won't go away. But at a time when more than 22 million Americans are unemployed or involuntarily underemployed, the idea that we are continuing to import 100,000 *legal* foreign workers each month is absurd. Curbing immigration wouldn't make the Great Recession go away, but it would soften the blow for large numbers of people, especially the less-skilled and young workers just entering the job market.
Cotto: What role does illegal immigration play in our national security?
Krikorian: Immigration control needs to be a central feature of a modern nation's approach to security. While we will always face the conventional kinds of military threats, the terrorist threat to our homeland (which can come not just from non-state groups like al Qaeda but also states like Iran or North Korea) is a danger we will have to face for the indefinite future. And terrorists can't attack our territory if they can't get here. This is not to say that we need only security-related immigration measures, such as better watch-lists or background checks.
A look at the records of the dozens of terrorists who have been active in the U.S. shows that even ordinary immigration enforcement would have stopped many of them. For instance, not one of the 19 9/11 hijackers should have been granted a visa on normal grounds — they all had profiles that almost screamed "future illegal alien," meaning that young, unattached men from the Third World, without money and without homes or other encumbrances at home, are very likely to just stay after their period of stay in the U.S. expires. In another example, three of the Ft. Dix plotters were illegal aliens who had been stopped by police dozens of times for traffic and other offences, and yet no one ever checked their immigration status.
Cotto: Many political forecasters are saying that the future of the American center-right belongs to libertarians, specifically those of the Ron Paul variety. Do you share this view? Regardless, from your perspective, would U.S. immigration policy fare well under strong libertarian influence?
Krikorian: The Center for Immigration Studies has no involvement in electoral politics, but personally, I think libertarianism is an infantile disorder, an "ideology" in the worst, anti-Burkean sense of the word. That is not to say that many Americans who call themselves "libertarians" share that disorder — I think the appeal of the label comes from the Republican Party's pathetic big-government record over the past couple of decades. Despite the many patriotic Americans who call themselves "libertarians" as a kind of protest, the ideology of libertarianISM is a post-American creed that rejects national borders and nationhood itself. Obviously, this has immigration consequences, namely that libertarianISM is inseparable from open borders.
Cotto: How did you came to be such a prominent voice in America's immigration debate? Tell us a bit about your life and career.
Krikorian: Though I was born here, as were my parents, I grew up in an immigrant-heavy Armenian-American environment and didn't speak English until I started kindergarten — it wasn't until high school that I realized there were old people who spoke without accents. I went to Georgetown as an undergraduate and got my master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, which is affiliated with Tufts.
I also spent two years in then-Soviet Armenia as a student. I think that combination of immigrant experience and international experience means I don't have anything to prove — and it's a sense of ethnic inadequacy, if there is such a term, that impels a number of prominent people to support amnesty and open borders — people like Jeb Bush, who feels inadequate that he doesn't have any recent immigrant background, or former senator and cabinet secretary Spencer Abraham, whose grandparents immigrated from Lebanon but who feels guilty that he has no meaningful connection to his immigrant heritage and so advocates for open borders as a way to make up for that.
As for how I became a prominent voice on immigration — I have no idea. I guess there wasn't much competition on the pro-control/lower-numbers side of the issue, so even someone like me, who has a face made for radio, was able to get attention!
Let us enforce our law on immigration now, Utah argues
State says U.S. Supreme Court ruling is on its side, but feds disagree
The Utah Attorney General’s Office urged a federal judge Friday to forgo a hearing on the state’s enforcement-only immigration law and, instead, simply put it into effect immediately.
The 15-page brief, written by Barry Lawrence, Philip Lott and Timothy Evans, argued the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s enforcement-only law, SB1070, gave Utah’s version plenty of room to exist without violating the U.S. Constitution.
"That decision," the brief said, "reflects that the state of Utah acted prudently when it rejected some of the Arizona provisions and reworked others."
Utah’s law, HB497, took hold for about 12 hours before a temporary restraining order was granted by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups in May 2011.
Waddoups had heard arguments on the case but said he didn’t want to rule on Utah’s law until the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision on Arizona’s.
On June 25, a majority of the high court tossed out several provisions of the Arizona law that weren’t a part of Utah’s HB497.
Those pieces included making it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek employment or fail to carry proper documents as proof of a right to be in the state. The court also forbid allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.
But the justices upheld SB1070’s requirement that police check legal status upon any lawful stop.
In their brief, Utah’s lawyers said the portion of HB497 that makes it different from SB1070 is where it instructs police that they "shall request verification of the citizenship or the immigration status of the person, except as allowed if the person is arrested for an alleged offense that is a class A misdemeanor or a felony."
"The focus of the Arizona law is for law enforcement officials to make an initial status determination," the attorneys wrote. "Whereas, in Utah, law enforcement is simply required to identify the individual and leave all status determinations up to the federal government."
U.S. Justice Department lawyers, in their brief, acknowledged the verification provision in HB497 "does not require immediate pre-emption."
But they also said they would challenge that part if the "scope of enforcement by the state, or its interpretation by state courts, interferes with the administration of federal immigration laws."
Instead, the federal attorneys leveled much of their firepower at Utah’s warrantless arrest provision and the language making it a felony to induce an illegal immigrant to Utah. They argued Utah’s law "suffers from the same flaws" identified by the Supreme Court in Arizona’s statute, including granting police "authority to effect warrantless arrest based on nothing more than possible removability."
And the lawyers said the warrantless arrest provision in HB497 is misdirected when it allows an arrest absent any request, instruction or approval from the federal government.
"Neither a federal order of removal nor an aggravated felony charge functions as a request from the federal government to have an alien arrested," the Justice Department wrote in its July brief.
The federal government joined the initial lawsuit against Utah by the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and the National Immigration Law Center — both of which were attempting to stop HB497 from taking effect.
Posted by jonjayray at 9:56 AM