Friday, May 24, 2013

Make Reason Part of the Immigration Debate

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An 850+ page bill to grant blanket amnesty and massively increase legal immigration is now being debated in the Senate. It would be the eighth amnesty enacted since 1986 and would flood the labor market with millions of workers at a time of record unemployment. It would also create enormous fiscal costs while ceding control of the immigration system to an administration that has refused to enforce the law.

The bill has the support of Democrat and Republican leaders, the media, and almost every single interest group. In just the last few years, $1.5 billion dollars has gone to lobbying on immigration. More than 98 percent was spent by an elite coalition that benefits politically and financially from open borders. In contrast, most Americans want existing immigration law enforced, but their position is barely represented in Washington.

The Center for Immigration Studies is the only think tank devoted exclusively to detailing the impact of immigration. Our research informs a debate that has been defined by emotion and distortion.

We provide a complete statistical profile of the immigrant population, including their social, economic, and fiscal impact. No one else provides such data and analysis, which is relied on by those in Congress seeking to regain control of the immigration system. We testify more than any other immigration group. A lobbyist recently told the Washington Post that our research is one of the few reasons that mass amnesty has not already been enacted.

Despite our unique and vital role, we operate on a relatively tiny budget and have actually had to cut staff over the last year. Open-border groups, like the National Council of La Raza, receive millions of dollars from the federal government. And the current Senate bill would appropriate up to $150 million more to such groups. In contrast, we depend on the generosity of private citizens who want to preserve the rule of law.

Please invest in our research so the facts will be represented in this critical debate that will determine the future of America.

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Gang of Eight Betrays Americans

The Gang of Eight immigration bill can be summed up as amnesty now, border closing never. The Department of Homeland Security is not required to build a fence (which was ordered by the Secure Fence Act signed by President George W. Bush). DHS is required only to submit a plan.

If the DHS Secretary decides she has not reached 90 percent of border security, a "trigger" kicks in: the creation of a Southern Border Security Commission empowered (horrors!) to make recommendations. After six months of pondering its mission, the Commission automatically self-liquidates, so there will never be border security.

The Gang of Eight bill will give legal residence to 11 million illegal aliens, which is the actual goal for which they undertook their journey and broke U.S. law. Their new U.S. legality will be concealed under the pompous bureaucratic title, Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status.

This amnesty will cost the U.S. taxpayers $6.3 trillion over the lifetimes of the amnestied persons, mostly outside the 10-year window used for CBO calculations. This horrendous sum, which includes all forms of public benefits less the taxes they pay, was copiously documented by the Heritage Foundation.

The Gang of Eight authorizes the issuance of 33 million lifetime work permits (for 11 million amnesties plus accelerated chain migration) over the next 10 years. This enormous influx of job seekers will flood our labor markets and communities, thus continuing the high unemployment of Americans, driving down the wages of those who do have jobs and eliminating their hope of ever rising to the middle class and achieving the American dream.

Every amnestied person will become eligible for Obamacare upon receiving a green card, and within five years will be able to cash in on our 79 means-tested welfare benefits. The timetable for these generous benefits will almost certainly be advanced because of Senator Chuck Schumer's demands, Obama's executive orders or lawsuits brought before judges who believe in a "living" Constitution.

The promises made about E-Verify have a loophole for existing employees and even for those who steal American identities to get a job. Members of the Gang of Eight even included special provisions (earmarks) to import cheap labor to work in their own state's industries.

The Gang of Eight's so-called requirement that those amnestied will have to pay back taxes is a sham. They will be asked to pay only any taxes already computed and assessed by the Internal Revenue Service and, since the many years the illegals worked off the books never came to the attention of the IRS, those years will not be counted.

There are so many loopholes and exemptions to the so-called requirement that amnestied aliens speak English that it's a total farce.

All 11 million amnestied immigrants are supposed to have a background check, but the mere recital of such a requirement sounds like a joke. Our FBI and CIA missed so many obvious clues that the Boston Marathon bomber Tamarlan was a potential terrorist that government background checks on 11 million persons should provoke an "are you kidding?" laugh.

IRS bureaucrats testified in the congressional hearing that the IRS was so overwhelmed by the copious paperwork involved in a few hundred Tea Party applications that the IRS had to perform "triage." So how can the IRS cope with 11 million applications for RPI status from people whose paperwork is mostly forged or stolen?

Any government program managed by the liberals always includes a "follow the money" segment. The Gang of Eight's claim to promote "immigrant integration" is a ruse to give taxpayers' money to leftwing and Islamist activist groups such as CASA, La Raza, MALDEF and CAIR.

The Gang of Eight bill defines these groups as "nonprofit organizations including those with legal advocacy experience working with immigrant countries." They are actually Alinsky-style community organizers that focus on recruiting and politicizing immigrants.

Current U.S. law provides for the yearly admission of more than one million persons, more than any nation in the world, and the Gang of Eight's bill will double that number. Because of our government's failure to enforce so many existing laws, such as using a biometric entry-and-exit system to track visitors, we should have a pause in legal immigration until current laws are obeyed.

One big fraud in the current admission of legal immigrants is illustrated by the entry of the Boston bomber's family as refugees. Remember, they were given welfare benefits worth $100,000.

The Gang of Eight bill will reduce Republicans and conservatives to a permanent minority status. For the last century, immigrants who came in big waves voted at least 2-to-1 Democratic, in recent years it was 3-to-1, and there is zero evidence that the amnestied persons believe in Republican principles such as limited government and balanced budgets.


23 May, 2013

VIDEO: Immigration Fraud Expert Featured in New Series?

Fraud rates were in the double digits in nearly every benefit program audited

A top immigration fraud expert tells of fraud and national security risks in our legal immigration system and what should be done about it, in a new video series from the Center for Immigration Studies.

Louis "Don" Crocetti, Jr., architect and former (retired) chief of the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), discusses the nature and volume of fraud detected, actions taken to combat it, and vulnerabilities that continue to exist, while simultaneously being responsive to qualified applicants.

Mr. Crocetti says in the introduction video, "The principal types that we're talking about that have the double digit rates that exceed 10 to 20 percent in some areas, perhaps even 30 to 40 percent in others, do track back to more of the employment-based and asylum applications and petitions. Marriage obviously has a double digit fraud rate - below 20 percent - but in my opinion, that is pretty significant."

Crocetti's observations and recommendations take on new importance as the Senate debates the Schumer-Rubio bill, S. 744, which would dramatically expand guest worker and legal immigration programs, as well as legalize an estimated 11 million illegal aliens. The union representing 12,000 USCIS employees who administer these programs announced its opposition to the bill on Monday, warning of fraud, among other things. The union's president said "USCIS adjudications officers are pressured to rubber stamp applications instead of conducting diligent case review and investigation."

Interview Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to FDNS
2. An Introduction to Immigration Fraud
3. Benefit Fraud Assessments
4. Marriage Fraud
5. A Modern Employment Visa Program
6. Immigration Fraud and National Security
7. Confidentiality Provisions and Privacy
8. Evaluating DACA
9. Affidavits of Support and Sponsers
10. The Value of Compliance Reviews
11. Overseas Verification Program
12. The Resolution of Fraud Cases
13.Benefit Fraud Assessments
14. FDNS Needs
15. Moving Towards a Cost Effective Immigration System

Among the points made by Crocetti:

Terrorists and criminals continue to exploit our immigration system, which shows the need for more thorough and recurring screening of applicants, as well as better information-sharing between agencies.

Fraud rates were in double digits among employment and marriage-based categories, and asylum applications, including the controversial H-1B program.

Unlike years past, technology is available to detect and deter fraud and identify threats to national security and public safety; we simply need to use it more effectively and on all applications. USCIS must collect biometrics to establish identity, conduct background checks, and verify information critical to determining eligibility.

Compliance audits, verification, and assessments have proven invaluable to identifying fraud. In one application type (green card replacement) USCIS was able to nearly eliminate fraud through collection of biometrics. In another category (religious workers), fraud was significantly reduced through site visits to verify information on the petition. These tools need to be used for all categories, but their implementation has been stalled.

USCIS adjudicators need to be provided more anti-fraud training and allowed additional time to pursue suspected fraud, as well as empowered to place those who are denied a benefit into removal proceedings if unlawfully present.

The video can be viewed  here.

Stockholm burns as rioters battle police after three days of violence in immigrant 'ghetto'

Sweden is reeling after a third night of rioting in largely run-down immigrant areas of the capital Stockholm.  In the last 48 hours violence has spread to at least ten suburbs with mobs of youths torching hundreds of cars and clashing with police.

It is Sweden's worst disorder in years and has shocked the country and provoked a debate on how Sweden is coping with youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants.

The disorder has intensified despite a call for calm from Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Last night, rioters attacked the police station in the Jakosberg area in the northwest of the city and set fire to 30 cars.

Groups of youths also smashed shop windows and burned down a 19th Century cultural centre.

Gangs of up to 60 set fire to a school and a nursery and hurled rocks at police and firefighters.

The unrest appears to have been sparked by the police killing of a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in the suburb of Husby on Sunday, which prompted accusations of police brutality.

It has provoked fierce debate in the country, which prides itself on a reputation for social justice, on the government's economic policies.

The violence has sparked debate in the country on the effect of the government's social policies

Critics say immigrant ghettos have been created where unemployment is high and there are few opportunities for residents.

The left-leaning tabloid Aftonbladet said the riots represented a 'gigantic failure' of government policies, which had underpinned the rise of ghettos in the suburbs.  'We have failed to give many of the people in the suburbs a hope for the future,' Anna-Margrethe Livh of the opposition Left Party wrote in the daily Svenska Dagbladet.

An anti-immigrant party, the Sweden Democrats, has risen to third in polls ahead of a general election due next year, reflecting unease about immigrants among many voters.

Eight people were arrested last night but police said they had no reports of injuries.

Kjell Lindgren, spokesman for Stockholm police, said today: 'We've had around 30 cars set on fire last night, fires that we connect to youth gangs and criminals.'

Prime Minister Reinfeldt told reporters yesterday: 'Everyone must pitch in restore calm - parents [and] adults.'

After decades of practising the 'Swedish model' of generous welfare benefits, the country has been reducing the role of the state since the 1990s, spurring the fastest growth in inequality of any advanced OECD economy.

While average living standards are still among the highest in Europe, governments have failed to substantially reduce long-term youth unemployment and poverty, which have affected immigrant communities worst.

Some 15 per cent of the population is foreign-born, the highest proportion in the Nordic region.

Unemployment among those born outside Sweden stands at 16 per cent, compared with just six per cent for native Swedes, according to OECD data.

Among 44 industrialised countries, Sweden ranked fourth in the absolute number of asylum seekers, and second relative to its population, according to U.N. figures.


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