Thursday, February 28, 2013

Immigration Detainees Released, allegedly due to "Budget Crunch"

Odd that Obama's got trillions for lots of other stuff

The Associated Press has learned that federal immigration authorities have released a number of detainees around the country to save money.

Gillian Christensen, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington D.C., said Monday that field offices have been directed to review their numbers of detained immigrants to ensure the jail populations stay within budgeted resources.

Christensen says an unspecified number of immigrants have been released and placed on more cost effective forms of supervision.

She says she did not have further details about those forms of supervision or how many people have been released.

Christensen says the agency will continue to pursue the cases in court and deport people when necessary.

Immigration activists say the agency most likely released detainees in California, Texas, Florida, and New Jersey.


Pro-Immigration Congressional Republicans Do Not Gain Latino Votes

Little Evidence Liberal Immigration Stance Attracts Hispanic Support

  A new study by University of Houston Professor George Hawley finds that supporting more liberal immigration policies does not appear to be a way for Republicans to increase their share of the Latino vote.

The Center for Immigration Studies report, Pro-Immigration Congressional Republicans Do Not Perform Better Among Latino Voters, also shows some evidence that pro-immigration Republican incumbents did worse among non-Hispanic whites, indicating that supporting amnesties is likely to cost Republicans votes among non-Hispanic white voters.

The complete report is online  here.  It is a non-technical version of a paper published in the current issue of the academic journal Social Science Quarterly.

“There is no empirical data that support today’s popular assertion that if Republicans would only embrace a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, the party would receive a greater share of the Hispanic vote in the next election”, said Mark Krikorian, Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies. “Republicans would do better to find another means of reaching out to Latino voters.”

The study is based on an analysis of public opinion data from 2006, a particularly good year to examine congressional behavior on immigration and the Latino vote because House Republicans passed a strong enforcement bill that year that prompted national protests. They also turned aside efforts to legalize illegal immigrants. Data show Latinos living in House districts represented by pro-immigration Republican incumbents were no more likely to support that incumbent than Latinos living in House districts represented by Republican incumbents with pro-enforcement records.

The study’s findings are consistent with historical voter activity, which shows no evidence that the GOP experienced an electoral benefit from the 1986 amnesty of illegal immigrants. After President Reagan signed the 1986 amnesty, the Republican Party actually lost Latino support in the 1988 presidential election. More recently, John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was perhaps the most vocal Republican supporter of amnesty and “comprehensive immigration reform” in the Senate, earned the votes of only 31 percent of Latinos in his 2008 bid for the presidency. Polling data reveal one reason for this; it shows that Latino voters generally do not rank immigration as their most important issue.

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: Contact: Marguerite Telford, 202-466-8185,

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.  The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Recent posts at CIS  below

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


1. TV: Steven Camarota Discusses Amnesty Plans on FOX News


2. What Back Taxes? Rep. Schumer’s Maneuvers During 1986 Amnesty Shed Light on Sen. Schumer’s Promises Today


3. There Must Be a Blue Moon Shining – DOJ Unit Actually Helps Citizens!

4. Univision Discussion Plots a Course for Comprehensive Reform Bill

5. Alaska's Begich Ties Immigration Vote to Access to Cheap Labor for Canneries

6. While Nobody Was Reporting, the Border Was Declared Secure

7. USDA Promoting Mexican Immigrant Welfare Use

8. Judge Tells DHS to Stop Shooting Itself in the Foot

9. Birth Certificate Standards: Drafted Eight Years Ago, Still Not Published

10. Jon Stewart Truth-Squads John McCain on Immigration Reform

Foreigners to lose legal aid in court battles over benefits as Cameron orders end to 'soft touch' Britain

Immigrants are to be banned from receiving legal aid to launch court battles against the government in order to claim benefits.

David Cameron last night vowed to stop Britain being seen as a 'soft touch' as he revealed the first details of a plan to curb the access foreigners have to public money.

The Prime Minister said ministers were scouring the tax and benefits system to close loopholes which make it too easy for newcomers to Britain to claim handouts.

'Our message is very clear. We want immigration that will benefit Britain,' he insisted.

Limiting legal aid in cases involving housing, benefits and other civil claims will save millions from Britain's £billion legal aid bill.

'I think the most important thing is to make sure that while you have free movement you are not a soft touch,' Mr Cameron said.

'That is why we are going through, in fine detail, our benefits system, our tax system, our health system, our housing system, every aspect of our welfare system.'

The Government is determined to use curbs on benefits to deter Romanians and Bulgarians from flocking to the UK in January when restrictions on their travel here are lifted.

Mr Cameron revealed he has ordered Tory ministers to ignore warnings from civil servants that getting tough on immigration was too difficult.

And he said he had been forced to rebuff calls during a trip to India last week to ease curbs on immigrants moving to Britain for low-skilled jobs.

Ministers are also looking at ways to limit the amount of child benefit and tax credits which can be claimed by new arrivals in the UK.

Currently child benefit is paid to 40,000 children who do not live in the UK, costing up to £36million-a-year.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has now been tasked with drawing up a 'residency test' to prevent new arrivals from immediately gaining automatic access to legal aid for cases in the civil courts.

The PM said: 'I think there is more we can do. One of the aspects that we are reaching fairly early conclusion on is that we can no longer grant legal aid to non-UK nationals or for civil cases, people who are facing housing cases or benefit cases.

'We need a proper residency test for those cases and we’re going to consult on introducing one,' he told the Daily Express.

'That is just one element of a huge range of measures to make sure that people who do come here are coming here because there is a particular job of work they want to do – rather than coming here because they want to use the health service or get a council house.'

A Government study to flesh out the new policy is set to be announced soon.

Mr Cameron said he had made to Tory ministers that they must over-rule officials if they try to derail attempts to take a more strident line on curbing immigration.

'Going through area after area, I’ve told the ministers: tear up your departmental brief, I’m not interested in what you were told to say when you came to this meeting; rip it up, think like a Conservative and make sure you’re really doing what is necessary to ask the difficult questions in your department.

'Make sure that we’re a fair country and a welcoming country but not a soft touch.'

He also promised to continue to reduce the overall net migration to Britain every year, which rose to 200,000 newcomers a year under Labour.

'We were not able to cope with that level of migration and pressure on public services,' he said.

'We've seen the level of net migration come down by a quarter over the last two-and-a-half years. I want to see further progress.'

Mr Cameron spent three days in India last week, where he urged more Indian students to come to Britain.

'I wanted to send a message that if you’ve got a place at a university, if you can speak the English language, there isn’t an arbitrary limit on who can come.

'Afterwards you can work, but only in a graduate job. In India I was pressed quite hard – why can’t we work in non-graduate jobs?

'I was very clear, including when sitting among those 500 girls in the Delhi college, I said we have unemployed people in Britain who need to be put into work.

'I’m not interested in people coming to study in university, then staying on for ages in unskilled jobs. That is not in our national interest.'

Earlier this month, Mr Cameron told the Commons that ministers were looking at a wide range measures to ensure Britain was not seen as a 'soft touch' by foreigners seeking to take advantage of its health or benefits systems.

The Prime Minister, who wants tougher rules to ensure visitors do not ‘take advantage’ of British generosity, said those from outside the EU should pay when they use our hospitals.

Officials should also do more to reclaim the costs of NHS treatment from EU countries whose nationals take ill here.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Borking Immigration Hawks

The pro-amnesty Right is borrowing its views and its tactics from the Left

By Mark Krikorian

Remember this?

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens  -- Ted Kennedy demonstrating the Leftist talent for distortion and defamation

The high-immigration Right has borrowed not only its immigration-policy views from Ted Kennedy, but now his political tactics as well. Grover Norquist, Linda Chavez, American Conservative Union president Al Cardenas — and Senator Marco Rubio — have launched a campaign to bork those on the right who disagree with President Obama’s immigration plans.

The immediate basis of the smear campaign is an article in Human Life Review claiming that the organizations working for less immigration — the advocacy groups Numbers USA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and my own think tank, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — represent a cabal of abortion-crazed leftists motivated not by concern for the well-being of America but by a hidden population-control agenda. (I don’t say “cabal” for effect — that’s actually the word used in a Politico op-ed by the president and policy director of the American Principles Project.)

Don’t take my word for it — read the Human Life Review piece. Ramesh Ponnuru is right that the review’s editors, like everyone else involved in this attempt to stifle debate, “should be embarrassed.” The article declares that “to CIS, seemingly every supposed problem in the world can be solved by decreasing the size of the human population.” CIS is said to be “openly terrified of increases in national population.”

This is hilarious stuff for anyone who’s read my postings at NRO. (More than a decade’s worth are listed here.) What’s more, the Census Bureau projects that future immigration (rather than the decisions Americans make about how many children to have) will add 100 million people to our population over the next half-century. It’s perfectly reasonable to point out that a government social-engineering program of this magnitude will have implications for our quality of life. But CIS has never taken, and will never take, any position on abortion or euthanasia — or on the flat tax or defense spending either, for that matter.

This effort closely parallels a campaign started by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2007 to marginalize mainstream immigration skeptics as Klansmen and skinheads. That effort is explored in some detail here, in a piece by Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Jerry Kammer, who is now with CIS.

Both the SPLC and the current smear campaign started with the publication of a report that served as the focal point for other groups. The SPLC published a report designating FAIR a “hate group” (as it did later with the Family Research Council), just as Human Life Review published the above-mentioned article, written by one Mario Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund (whose board includes Norquist, Chavez, Cardenas, the governor of Puerto Rico, former senator Mel Martinez, and others). Other organizations then pointed to the reports in follow-up op-eds, press releases, panel discussions, and closed-door meetings. The SPLC report was key to the National Council of La Raza’s “We Can Stop the Hate” campaign and to the establishment of America’s Voice as a “war room” for the open-borders Left. The Human Life Review article has served the same purpose at Norquist’s Wednesday Meeting and for presentations by Alfonso Aguilar of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

This latest effort is the conservative version of declaring CIS, Numbers USA, and FAIR “hate groups,” and the goal in both cases is the same: to silence dissent and thus avoid a debate that Norquist and the SPLC would lose.


British health service foots £1m bill for Polish expectant mothers living in England to return home to give birth

British taxpayers are forking out almost £1million a year for pregnant Polish women to go home and give birth in their native country, it emerged yesterday.

Under European Union rules, set up to provide emergency healthcare between member states, hundreds of Polish women are returning to their families to have their children, with the NHS picking up the bill.

Last year around 500 Poles living in the UK went back to their native land to give birth.

Given that the average cost to the NHS per birth is £1,631, Polish births alone cost the British taxpayer around £850,000 in 2012.

The situation has become more acute following the influx of immigrants into the UK from Eastern Europe over the past decade. Under EU regulations, anyone who comes to Britain to earn a living can fill in an S2 or E112 form, which entitles them to free treatment in any other member state or Switzerland.

The same applies to British women living in a European state.

Latest figures reveal that there were 1,132 cases last year where Britain paid for treatment in European Economic Area countries or Switzerland. Some 995 cases, or around 90 per cent, related to maternity care.

Of these, 519 were for treatment in Polish hospitals, with 174 cases in France and 90 in Germany. There were 74 cases in Slovakia, 49 in the Czech Republic and 21 in Hungary.

The figures are more than double that of 2010 when just 442 of the 1,498 cases related to maternity care.

Gerard Batten, UKIP spokesman on home affairs, said: ‘This is yet another example of how membership of the EU means the UK public purse is being plundered. People fleece us for whatever they can get. Unfortunately all these things are totally legal. We can only put a stop to it by leaving the EU.’

To obtain an E112 form, an NHS consultant must first agree that treatment abroad is right for the patient.  The patient must also gain approval from the local health authority and the Department of Health.

Patients are treated under the same care conditions as residents of the country they go to. In nations where state healthcare is not free, the patient may have to pay a percentage of the cost.

Tory MP Chris Skidmore said: ‘When this scheme was set up it was meant to cover for emergency treatment.

‘This particular EU area should be renegotiated when the Prime Minister sets out a repatriation of powers.’

A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘Under EU rules, anyone working and paying tax where they are living, including Britons living abroad, can request treatment in another EU country.

‘This is particularly common in maternity cases where some people prefer to be around family and friends.’


Monday, February 25, 2013

British government's tough immigration rules defied by top judge

The country's most senior immigration judge has openly defied the Home Secretary by insisting that Parliament’s attempt to get tough on human rights abuses by foreign criminals is outweighed by the European Court.

In a key ruling, the head of the immigration courts said measures introduced by Mrs May last summer to stop criminals claiming the “right to family life” were overridden by judges’ previous decisions on such cases at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Mr Justice Blake also said that “little weight” should be given to Mrs May’s immigration rules in cases involving criminals with children because they were overruled by international agreements and a previous law passed by the Labour government.

As reported by The Telegraph last week, Mrs May is due to introduce laws to strengthen existing measures over concerns that judges were not taking them seriously. The measures are supported by The Telegraph’s “End the Human Rights Farce” campaign.

The judge made his criticisms of Mrs May’s laws in a ruling which allowed a criminal with 30 convictions to stay in Britain, even though the Home Office had tried to deport him.

The case was written as a “reported determination”, meaning that other immigration judges will have to follow its example when deciding other similar appeals.

Olufisayo Ogundimu, a former drug dealer from south London, persuaded the court that he should not be removed to Nigeria, where he was born, because he had fathered a child here and has a baby on the way with another woman.

Mr Justice Blake said in his ruling on Ogundimu’s case that the immigration rules “did not affect the circumstance” when considering the right to family life, which is guaranteed by Article Eight of the Human Rights Act.

In such cases he said that the way to interpret Article Eight was not to consider Mrs May’s rules as most important, despite them being passed with cross-party support by Parliament.

Specifically regarding one of Mrs May’s rules which was designed to mean that having a child in Britain would not strengthen a criminal’s case against being deported, the judge said: “Little weight should be attached to this rule when consideration is being given to the assessment of proportionality under Article Eight.”

Instead, he said the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and part of an immigration Act passed by Labour in 2009 took precedence.

Dominic Raab, the Tory MP who has campaigned for tougher rules, said: “This chronic judicial legislation has undermined public protection and usurped the democratic will of Parliament.

“We now have around 200 Article Eight cases a year, so it is vital and urgent that Parliament amends the law to mandate deportation and brush aside these spurious challenges to the rule of law.”

Ogundimu, 28, arrived in the UK 22 years ago. Tracked down by The Telegraph at his girlfriend’s flat in Chislehurst, south-east London, he said that he was pleased at the decision made by the Immigration and Asylum Upper Tribunal.

“It’s totally wrong to send people back like that because their family lives are here,” he said. “If people are a danger to the public and doing serious offences then send them back, but with me, yeah, I’ve got a criminal record but did not do anything serious.”

He came to Britain aged six in 1991 with his family. Ogundimu first appeared in front of the juvenile courts aged 14 for obtaining property by deception.

He has 30 offences on his criminal record, including an eight-month prison term for possession of cannabis with intent to supply, in 2008.

In 2010, the Home Secretary decided that Ogundimu should be sent to Nigeria to protect the public. Ogundimu fathered a son with a British woman in 2004 and the court heard that he looks after the boy occasionally.

It also heard that Ogundimu is now in a relationship with the mother’s cousin, who is expecting his baby, which was conceived after deportation proceedings began.

The Home Office argued that Ogundimu was not in a “genuine and subsisting relationship” with his son or his girlfriend and that his removal would not breach Article Eight.

He was arrested for possession of cannabis in October 2012, for which he received a caution, but now claims he is trying to lead a blameless life.

Ogundimu moved back in with the mother of his child in June 2010 after being in prison. The judge said that he admitted doing so to convince immigration authorities that he had a genuine family life. He left her for his new girlfriend a year later.

After hearing evidence from Ogundimu’s current partner, the court decided that they were in a genuine relationship and the criminal was also playing a beneficial role in the upbringing of a nine-year-old step-daughter.

Mr Justice Blake’s ruling also indicated that the new rules on applying Article Eight should not be imposed retrospectively, even though Mrs May set out that they should.

The immigration rules say a criminal should not be deported if he or she has a British child and “there is no other family member who is able to care for the child in the UK”.

The judge undermined this by saying: “We doubt whether it is in any child’s best interests to lose the contact and support with a caring and devoted parent simply because someone else can be found to care for them.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government has made clear its intention to bring forward primary legislation to prevent foreign nationals remaining in the UK through abuse of the Human Rights Act.”


Revealed: British PM has broken his pre-election promise on foreign criminals as FEWER are deported

Fewer foreign criminals are being deported despite a pledge by David Cameron more than two years ago to ‘intervene personally’.

Since 2010 there has been a spectacular fall in the number sent home after committing serious offences here. In the year of the General Election, 5,342 were deported.

In 2011, in the Coalition’s second year of office, the figure was down 13 per cent to 4,649.

Figures from the first three quarters of 2012 show that 3,382 were deported. If the trend continued in the final quarter, it would mean the 2012 total is around 4,509 – again, down on the previous year, and 16 per cent down on the  election year figure.

Last year the number of  foreign prisoners in our jails went up. The number stood at 10,861 as of June 2012, up from 10,779 the year before.

It is the first time in at least four years that the number of foreign prisoners in our jails has increased.

One in eight inmates are now  foreign nationals – costing almost £500million a year to house.

In September 2010, Mr Cameron pledged he would ‘intervene personally’ to ensure convicted offenders are sent home to spend the rest of their sentences in their own country.
gipsy cheat free to stay.psd

In October last year the Daily Mail revealed that since the promise was made, just 62 prisoners had been returned to their home country to serve the rest of their sentences.

Now the latest figures show that ministers are also failing to deport foreigners after they have served their sentences here.

Labour’s justice spokesman Sadiq Khan, who obtained the figures, said: ‘David Cameron’s promises to send back thousands of foreign prisoners and to take a personal interest in this matter ring hollow.

‘Not only has he failed to send more prisoners home, but the number in our prisons has actually risen.

‘Over half a billion pounds a year is now spent on keeping foreign prisoners in our prisons, and because of Cameron’s failings, money that would be better spent elsewhere in our justice system to keep our communities safe is being wasted.’

Some 2,220 foreign offenders are in jail for violence against the person while 1,287 are sexual offenders.

There are 947 robbers, 517 burglars, 738 thieves and 434 fraudsters. Some 2,110 of the foreign prisoners are there for drug offences while 105 have committed motoring offences.It costs around £45,000 a year to keep an offender in prison.

The figures, released by justice minister Jeremy Wright, show that the second most common nationality of overseas prisoners is now Polish – overtaking the Irish. Jamaicans top the nationality table, with 900 last year, followed by Poland on 750, and Ireland, 737.

Over the past five years, there has been a trebling of the number of Romanian offenders in our jails, even before the EU restrictions on immigration from that country and Bulgaria are lifted at the end of the year.

Romanians are now the fifth most common nationality in our prisons.

David Green, from the think tank Civitas, said: ‘If you have more immigration, it is not surprising that a proportion of them will be offenders.’


Sunday, February 24, 2013

GOP Hispanic folly

Ann Coulter

Don't anyone tell Marco Rubio, John McCain or Jeff Flake that nearly 80 percent of Hindus voted for Obama, or who knows what they'll come up with.

I understand the interest of business lobbies in getting cheap, unskilled labor through amnesty, but why do Republican officeholders want to create up to 20 million more Democratic voters, especially if it involves flouting the law? Are the campaign donations from the soulless rich more important than actual voters?

Without citing any evidence, the Rubio Republicans simply assert that granting 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens amnesty will make Hispanics warm to the GOP. Yes, that's worked like a charm since Reagan signed an amnesty bill in 1986!

True, Romney lost the Hispanic vote, but so did John McCain, the original Rubio. (McCain lost Hispanics by 67 percent compared to 71 percent who voted against Romney.)

President George H.W. Bush created "diversity visas," massively increased legal immigration and eliminated the English requirement on the naturalization test. In the 1992 election, he won 25 percent of the Hispanic vote -- less than what Romney got.

Although Hispanic politicians, spokesmen and TV networks benefit from Rubio's mass legalization scheme, there's no evidence that Hispanic voters care very much about it.

Amnesty never shows up in polls as a top concern of Hispanics. It's a top concern of employers, not workers -- which isn't going to do much to help Republicans shed that "Party of the Rich" image. After Reagan signed an amnesty bill in 1986, unemployment among Hispanics skyrocketed when, suddenly, there was increased competition for low-skill jobs. That's precisely why businesses want amnesty, not because of their deep concern for the plight of the underclass.

How's this for an idea: Why don't Republicans remind Hispanic voters that the more low-skilled immigrants who are admitted, the lower their wages will be? That at least has the virtue of being untried.

Whatever it is that makes Hispanics love Obama, it's not amnesty. He double-crossed Hispanics on amnesty; in the words of Univision's Jorge Ramos, "You promised (amnesty), and a promise is a promise and with all due respect, you didn't keep that promise." Obama still won 71 percent of their vote.

Indeed, almost alone among demographic groups, the Hispanic vote increased for Obama from 2008 to 2012. Protestants, Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, men, whites, white women -- even single women -- all voted in larger percentages for Romney than they had for McCain.

Only Hispanics and Asians increased their vote for Obama. Coincidentally, these have been our two largest immigrant groups over the last several decades. (It's sort of touching that Democrats couldn't get Americans to vote for them, so they had to bring in new voters from other countries to start winning elections again. Immigrants really are doing the job Americans just won't do.)

The canard about Hispanics being "natural conservatives" comes from the same cliche machine that gave us the one about blacks being "natural conservatives." At least blacks really are social conservatives -- they just vote Democratic, anyway.

As Charles Murray has pointed out, Hispanics are less likely to go to church or be employed than non-Hispanics. They are less opposed to gay marriage than everyone else -- 44 percent compared to 50 percent. (By contrast, 55 percent of African-Americans oppose gay marriage, according to a 2012 Washington Post/ABC poll -- even more, according to how they vote.)

Nor, unfortunately, do Hispanic immigrants become more Republican the longer they've been here, as some Republicans claim without bothering to see if it's true.

To the contrary, they get more liberal. Cubans used to vote Republican nearly as reliably as Mormons. In 2012, 49 percent of Cubans voted for Obama.

Will amnesty win the Cubans back? I don't think so: They already get amnesty under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act. Same with Puerto Ricans, who are automatic American citizens.

Trying to appeal to Hispanics with amnesty would be like trying to win over baseball fans by shouting "Go Yankees!" at a Mets game. Except that would at least capture some baseball fans.

It's not clear that amnesty wins any Hispanics, apart from the ones who can't vote (because they're illegal) and their ethnic "spokesmen," whose power increases as the Hispanic population grows.

So why do Hispanics vote Democratic? Like most legal immigrants since Teddy Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act, Hispanic immigrants are poor. The poverty rate of second-generation Hispanics is lower than the first -- but the third generation's poverty rate is higher than the second.

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Hispanics have the highest illegitimate birthrate in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, for every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women, 80.6 had children out of wedlock, compared to 65.3 for unmarried black women and 29 for unmarried white women.

If Republicans think we can have mass amnesty for millions of government-dependent immigrants and become a more libertarian country, they're crazy.

This isn't because of a failure to "reach out." Republicans can't beat Democrats at the government assistance game. From single mothers to corporate subsidy-takers, they want your money and the Democrats promise to give it to them.

Instead of trying to compete with the ethnic lobbies, welfare schemes and racialized politics of the Democrats, perhaps Republicans should allow our immigration system to admit more immigrants who won't immediately go on government assistance, as 60 percent of new immigrants do now.

Putting 12 million to 20 million of them on a "path to citizenship" won't make them like Republicans; it will make Republicans lose.


Australian government reducing legal immigration

THOUSANDS of low-paid foreign workers will be stopped from coming into Australia and taking local jobs under a crackdown on visas.

Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor revealed to the Herald Sun that growth in the 457 visa program was "out of step" with skills shortages and said the Gillard Government had evidence "rogue employers" were abusing it to get cheap labour.

The number of 457 visas has soared from 70,000 to 100,000 in the past two years.

Mr O'Connor said while some industries and regions had genuine shortages that needed temporary foreign workers, laws and regulations needed to be beefed up to stop rorts and close loopholes.

He predicted this could stop "thousands" of foreign workers taking jobs from locals.

"Rogue employers are deliberately employing people from overseas without giving a local a chance," he said.

It is the second time in three days the Gillard Government has moved to stem pain on a hot political issue after it reversed a $107 million funding cut to Victorian hospitals.

The changes, to be announced today by Mr O'Connor, include:

EXTRA investigation powers for inspectors to get information from bosses they suspect of being dodgy.

A NEW test to prove jobs were for "genuine" skills shortages because some employers were creating positions that were really "unskilled and possibly not even a real job".

CLOSING loopholes that allow foreign workers to be paid less than an Australian citizen by increasing from $180,000 to $250,000 the threshold at which they must pay "market rates".

STOPPING employers creating their own market to manipulate pay rates.

RAISING requirements for foreign workers to speak English.

RESTRICTING foreign workers being on-hired to a different employer in regions where there are not skill shortages.

CHECKING that employers offer training for locals to fill skills shortages before they seek foreigners.

"The Government cares about Australians getting jobs first," Mr O'Connor said.

"It has become clear that the growth in the 457 program is out of step with genuine skills shortages and the Government has evidence that some employers are using 457 visas to employ foreign workers over locals."

It has found skilled Australian tradespeople earning $220,000 were under-cut by foreign workers willing to accept $180,000.

Pay levels have been especially manipulated in the IT industry in Melbourne.

Low-skilled jobs have been dressed up as high-skilled ones with one company winning permission to bring in administrators who were really unskilled security guards.

And a Melbourne "start-up" company that didn't make money was created just to secure a cheap foreign worker for other duties.

Mr O'Connor also said the Government would examine the 457 visas of four Filipino welders at the centre of protests at a Werribee water project amid claims the system has been abused because there is no shortage of those skills in the area.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said last year there was "room for expansion" of the 457 program and said claims the market was being flooded with foreign workers was "ridiculous".


Friday, February 22, 2013

More evidence immigration reform won’t fix GOP’s Latino problem

The Leftist writer below has probably got it right, for the moment anyway.  If all Democrat efforts for change get blocked, disillusion with them might set in.  At that point the GOP could present themselves as the only ones  who can get anything done

This afternoon, Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, told NPR that he wouldn’t support an immigration bill containing a path to citizenship:

“People have a pathway to citizenship right now: It’s to abide by the immigration laws, and if they have a family relationship, if they have a job skill that allows them to do that, they can obtain citizenship,” Goodlatte said. “But simply someone who broke the law, came here, [to] say, ‘I’ll give you citizenship now,’ that I don’t think is going to happen.”

Ignoring, for now, the fact that the administration’s proposal (to which Goodlatte is presumably referring to) does not just give unauthorized immigrants citizenship — at the earliest, they’d have to wait eight years — it’s worth noting that not even supporting immigration reform will be enough to fix the GOP’s Latino’s problem.

The new survey from the Pew Research Center shows that 63 percent of Hispanics now approve of Obama’s handling of immigration, a near reversal from November 2011, which 28 percent approved and 59 percent disapproved. While some of this is the product of Obama’s reelection — winning tends to boosts your standing with people — my guess is that a substantial amount of the change has to do with the current conversation over immigration reform, and more importantly, the fair odds for a comprehensive bill.

It seems unlikely, then, that a GOP embrace of comprehensive immigration reform will be enough. Given the huge Democratic lean of Latino voters and their general enthusiasm for Obama’s agenda, the most likely political outcome of a comprehensive bill is higher approval for Obama, and a stronger bond between Latinos and the Democratic Party. At most, Republicans might stem the bleeding with Hispanics.

Repairing the relationship is a much larger project. It will require far more than support for a more sensible immigration regime, because Latinos disagree with Republicans on a range of policy priorities, and even when it comes to basic conceptions of the proper role of government.


What Back Taxes?

Sen. Schumer Ensured Illegals Amnestied in 1986 Would Avoid Paying What They Owed

 As a member of the House of Representatives during the last big amnesty, Charles Schumer worked behind the scenes to ensure that illegal aliens being legalized through the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) would not be penalized for past failure to pay taxes.

Now a senator, Schumer, along with Marco Rubio and others, is a key figure in the Gang of Eight, a group that put forth an immigration plan pledging that illegal aliens benefitting from a new amnesty would be required to “earn” their amnesty by “settling their debt to society by paying a fine and back taxes”. Schumer's past machinations cast doubt on the sincerity of this pledge.

These are the conclusions of a new analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies, authored by former Rep. Virgil Goode. The report includes a copy of Schumer's January 1987 letter urging Treasury Secretary James Baker to exempt illegals applying for amnesty from having to disclose past non-payment of taxes.

The report can be found  here

Rep. Goode’s report provides a strong basis for skepticism that the tough-sounding requirements spelled out in the Schumer/Rubio amnesty proposal would ever be enforced. Only if enforcement comes before discussion of amnesty is there likely to be any compliance with either immigration laws or tax laws.

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: Contact: Marguerite Telford, 202-466-8185,  The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.  The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Arizona Senators Return to Fray on Immigration

 The political risks of supporting an immigration overhaul have long been apparent to Senator John McCain, as evidenced by his evolving position on the topic over the years. This week offered another sharp reminder of what getting out in front of the issue can mean when crowds at back-to-back town-hall-style meetings in Arizona turned hostile toward Mr. McCain’s plan to introduce legislation that could lead to legal residency for some who broke the law in entering the country.

“Everybody in this audience, you’re taking away from Social Security to give it to a dependent class of people,” shouted one man, who Mr. McCain eventually called “a jerk.”

The senator, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said he was undergoing “an Orwellian experience” as his constituents shouted that he needed to build the “dang fence” that he had once promised in a notable campaign ad. Attendees also suggested that guns were the only way to stop the influx of immigrants from coming across the border.

Like it or not, Mr. McCain is now back at the center of the immigration debate, sharing the spotlight with Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake, also a Republican, as the two men help fight to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Longtime followers of the immigration debate could be forgiven for having déjà vu.

After all, the sight of the two Arizonans taking the lead on the divisive issue feels a lot like 2007, when Mr. McCain and Mr. Flake, then a member of the House, were each co-sponsors of their own immigration proposal. Mr. McCain that year pressed his broad plan with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Mr. Flake joined with Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, to introduce a plan to tighten border security while giving illegal immigrants a chance for legal residency.

Then Mr. Flake and Mr. McCain did something of an Arizona shuffle, trading in their calls for a broad overhaul that could lead to legal residency to focus more on border security. During a 2008 Republican presidential primary debate, Mr. McCain disavowed his own 2006 immigration proposal, and Mr. Flake, facing a challenge from the right during his Senate bid last year, called his previous broad approach to immigration reform “a dead end” until the border was secure.

Now the two senators are back as Republican point men on the issue. Though their hope of overhauling the nation’s immigration system in 2007 died on the Senate floor, the two have returned to the negotiating table, with the goal of finishing what they started.

“If you’re from Arizona and you’re not involved in trying to fix the immigration problem, then it’s tough to say you’re representing your state,” said Mr. Flake in an interview. “You ought to be involved. I understand that some people don’t agree with the direction I want to go, but you’ve got to be involved.”

Mr. Flake and Mr. McCain are part of a bipartisan group of eight senators working to produce legislation by the end of March. The two other senators making up the group’s Republican half are Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida.

But the Arizona senators’ journey has involved fits and starts. Facing a primary challenge in 2010 from J. D. Hayworth, a conservative and former talk-radio host, Mr. McCain switched his focus from a comprehensive approach to border security, running an ad that ended with him walking along the state’s border and declaring, “Complete the dang fence.”

During Mr. Flake’s Senate race two years later, he similarly doubled down on border security.

“Those of us who have been pushing this for a decade, we ran into a brick wall, again and again,” Mr. Flake said, explaining his 2012 stance. “And I think all of us recognized the political reality, that unless we addressed the border situation, then we don’t have the political oomph to get it across the line.”


At last, most new jobs in Britain are filled by British workers thanks to stricter immigration policies

The majority of jobs created in Britain over the past year have been filled by workers who were born in this country, official figures revealed yesterday.

It represents a dramatic reversal on Labour’s 13 years in power when there was a haemorrhaging of jobs to foreign workers.

Office for National Statistics figures show that three in four jobs have gone to workers born outside Britain since 1997, even hitting more than 90 per cent at times.

Of the 3.1million increase in employment since 1997, some 2.3million jobs went to foreign-born workers and just 794,000 went to those born in the UK.

But the latest figures reveal that the situation has dramatically reversed, helped by the Government’s stricter immigration policies.

Over the past year, employment levels in Britain have increased by 584,000, with 380,000 (65 per cent) going to British-born workers.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper heralded the long-awaited change, which comes six years after then Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for ‘British jobs for British workers’.

He said: ‘These figures show that we are building a better immigration system that works in the national interest and is supporting growth.

‘The rise in numbers in employment has benefited British citizens first, but our system is still allowing skilled migrants to come to the UK where they are needed by British businesses.

‘This follows significant changes to the immigration rules – clamping down on bogus students who only came to the UK to work, often in low-skilled jobs, while remaining open to the brightest and the best.’

Overall, the ONS said the number of workers in Britain has reached its highest level since records began in 1971, with a record 29.7million people in work.

Despite the stream of dismal economic data, the number of workers soared by 584,000 last year, the biggest annual increase for nearly a quarter of a century.

This is equal to 1,600 new jobs being created every day, a robustness which puzzles experts at a time when economic output is falling.

Dr John Philpott, a director of The Jobs Economist, said: ‘The UK jobs market continues to astound.

‘We are in the middle of both a jobs boom and a pay slump as jobseekers struggle to gain or retain employment in a stagnant economy by pricing themselves into work.

'This is unlike anything seen in this country since the Second World War, with the economy using more and more people at falling rates of pay to produce a static level of output.

‘For the time being this looks like a decent trade-off if the alternative is even higher unemployment.’

And there is evidence that people are finally finding full-time jobs, rather than being forced to accept part-time work, typically poorly paid, in the absence of a better offer.

Between October and December, the ONS said an extra 197,000 people found full-time jobs, the largest increase since records began in 1992.

Tory MP David Ruffley, a member of the influential Treasury select committee, said: ‘These figures suggest that economic austerity really is biting.

‘Before you were either better off on benefits or you turned your back on part-time work.

'But UK-born workers now think that any job is better than being in no job.

‘Whether the threatened influx of Romanians and Bulgarians takes the same view remains to be seen.’


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

David Cameron: Immigration rhetoric hasn't damaged relationship with India

David Cameron claims Britain's debate over immigration hasn't damaged our relationship with India, saying Indian students recognise the need for a "controlled" policy.

David Cameron, who is in New Delhi on an official visit to India, said that the students he had talked to during his tour understood the need for the UK to clampdown on bogus colleges which has previously offered young Indians an easy route into Britain.

The Prime Minister claimed that the Coalition inherited 180 "bogus" colleges in the UK that were helping Indians gain visas only for them to turn up "in the economy doing unskilled jobs".

Bonafide Indian students recognised why the Coalition had to shut them down, according to Mr Cameron.

"They recognise we are making a very generous offer in saying their is no limit to the number of students from India who can come and study at British universities."

His comments follow his announcement yesterday of plans to amend the visa system to allow Indians coming to the UK on business to get a visa in just one day.

Britain already runs the largest visa operation in the world in India, processing over 400,000 visa applications a year and granting 9 out of 10 applicants a visa, Mr Cameron said in Mumbai yesterday.


Recent posts at CIS  below

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


1. Op-ed: Borking Immigration Hawks: The pro-amnesty Right is borrowing its views and its tactics from the Left

2. Op-ed: Immigration: Amnesty plan a bad idea

3. Op-ed: Prooftexting for Amnesty: Evangelical elites split with
the people in the pews over immigration policy

4. Op-ed: Legalizing illegal immigrants a bad idea

5. Op-ed: Just say no to amnesty redux

6. TV: Jessica Vaughan Discusses Amnesty on FOX News Boston

7. TV: Steven Camarota Debates Costs and Illegal Immigration on the O'Reilly Factor

8. Podcast: Jon Feere Debates Birth Tourism on the Huffington Post Live

Congressional Testimony

9. Jessica Vaughan's statement before the House Committee on the Judiciary

10. Jessica Vaughan's statement before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary


11. A Blueprint for Immigration Reform: Revisiting the Jordan Commission Report

12. Immigration and Obamacare: Proposed Medicaid Rules for Verifying Status

13. Americans Prefer Illegal Immigrants Head Home: Results of a National Survey

14. Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants and the Employment Picture for Less-Educated Americans


15. ICE Admits It Missed Yet Another Tunnel at Nogales

16. Can You Use Saul Alinsky's Radical Tactics and Also Be a Conservative?

17. Immigration Fraud Case Busted by SEC, Not DHS

18. McCain to Ramos: "You Don't Get It" on Border Security

19. "Hispanic" Activist Eva Longoria

20. Emotional Pleas Overshadow Rational Arguments at Senate Hearing

21. Speaking Out of Both Sides of Your Mouth

22. Washington Primer: How to Stage-Manage a Congressional Hearing

23. How Dante Would View Illegals and Income Tax Violators

24. The Old Spanish Empire Haunts Our Immigration Debates

25. Amnesty Is a Bad Idea

26. American Opportunity Centers

27. "I Pledge Allegiance..."

28. Nuances on the "Path to Citizenship" Emerge in Protracted House Hearing

29. A Dilemma for Many Diligent Democratic Members of the Congress

30. Evangelical Immigration Table: Are All Welcome?

31. Obama to DACA's: You Can Have Dessert Without Eating Your Spinach

32. A Feast of Immigration Quirks in the Current Issue of Interpreter Releases

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Immigration and the Pro-Life Movement

 Tom Tancredo
There has not even been an amnesty bill introduced yet in the US Senate, and key Republican members of the “Gang of Eight” are panicking. An old saying in politics is, if you’re losing an argument, change the subject. In the amnesty debate, if the facts don’t line up on your side, then slander the opponents with lies and challenge their motives and their pedigree. In the past, these types of attacks came from liberals accusing anyone opposed to illegal immigration as “racists.”

Now, according to a front page story in the Washington Post, Grover Norquist, the US Conference and Catholic Bishops, and the National Immigration Forum are leading the attacks. This group is engaged in a systematic effort to discredit the three largest immigration control organizations in DC, The Center for Immigration Studies, Federation for American Immigration Reform, and Numbers USA.

The Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform both do powerful research on immigration problems and are all well-regarded in conservative circles and their scholars and expert staff have testified before literally dozens of congressional hearings.

But the third targeted group, NumbersUSA, is the real nemesis of the open borders lobby because it marches up to the Hill and does battle in the trenches. It has been so effective in using its million plus members to lobby Congress that in both the 2006 and 2007 congressional debates, NumbersUSA played a pivotal role in defeating George Bush and John McCain’s hopes for amnesty. Thus, this month’s smear campaign against NumbersUSA should be seen as a preemptive strike aimed at taking out amnesty’s most effective opponent.

What is the main attack line against the Numbers USA and the other two organizations that oppose both illegal immigration and the huge potholes in our broken immigration system? Their crime is that they are “not part of the conservative movement because” FAIR, Numbers USA, and Center for Immigration Studies have board members who support legalized abortion and environmental conservation.

Yep. That’s the line. Well I have, over the course almost 15 years, worked with all of these groups and especially Numbers USA. Never has that collaboration focused on anything but border security and TRUE immigration reform.

During my years in Congress, I had a 100% rating from National Right to Life and a 99% rating from the American Conservative Union. I’ve been called a lot of things in my political career, but a pro-abortion liberal is not one of them. Nonetheless, I’ve considered myself privileged to work with CIS, FAIR, and Numbers USA.

Just as any Republican with half a brain should be skeptical when someone like Senator John McCain (as in McCain/Kennedy Amnesty Bill) lectures us on immigration issues, they should be just as suspicious when the likes of Grover Norquist, the Catholic Council of Bishops or La Raza put targets on the backs of Numbers USA, FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies and gets front page coverage in The Washington Post. I can assure you that none of the aforementioned band of brothers are out to protect conservatives


Immigrants must live in Britain for a year before claiming benefits, says welfare minister

The Work and Pensions Secretary said hard-working migrants who paid their taxes and contributed to the economy would be welcome.

But he said he wanted to ensure “our door is shut” to benefit tourists and was engaged in a “big battle” with Brussels to reform the rules on welfare payments to residents from elsewhere in the EU.

Last week the Prime Minister promised to overhaul the system for immigrants to ensure that Britain is not “a soft touch”. Ministers have been in talks over tightening the rules allowing migrants access to social housing, the NHS, benefits and elements of the justice system.

Some Conservative Cabinet members fear that the removal of restrictions for EU migrants from Romania and Bulgaria from 2014 will see many more arrive than expected, putting pressure on housing and public services.

Mr Duncan Smith predicted that ministers would be able to introduce “much tougher” regulations to stop immigrants taking advantage of the welfare system.

“We want people to be able to travel to work but we don’t want them to travel to get benefits,” he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show.

“It’s locking the door to peoples’ access to benefits simply because they want to come here.”

A high level meeting of officials and Cabinet ministers has already taken place to discuss closing “loopholes”, he said, and further talks are expected.

One key measure he hoped to strengthen will be the “habitual residency test”, which sets out the minimum amount of time for which migrants must live in Britain before they can become eligible for benefits.

The minister said the rules were already “reasonably tight” in Job Centres. However, he was “looking at” further reforms so that individuals will need to show they have a lease on a home “of nine-months to a year, rather than just a matter of months”.

Some benefits may be classified as “contributory”, he said, suggesting that individuals may be entitled to receive payments only if they had paid enough tax and national insurance first.

“These are areas we’re tightening up before this starts next year, and I believe we will be able to tighten this up,” Mr Duncan Smith said.

However, he faces a fight with the EU, which is attempting to prevent Britain applying the residency test to migrants from elsewhere in Europe.

“They’re trying to say we don’t have the right to have any kind of test, so that’s a big battle that I’m having with the Europeans,” Mr Duncan Smith said. Britain is being supported in arguing for new rules by the Dutch and Scandinavians, he added.

The minister said he also wanted to stop immigrants sending UK child benefit payments, which are more generous than the European average, to their families in their home countries.

From next year, 29 million Romanian and Bulgarian citizens will gain the right to move to the UK to work and live under rules allowing EU citizens freedom of movement.

Anti-immigration campaigners are calling on ministers to disclose how many Romanian and Bulgarian migrants they expect to arrive next year when the current restrictions on migration from the two countries are lifted.

Mr Duncan Smith said it was “pointless” attempting to predict the figures after Labour severely underestimated the numbers likely to arrive from eastern Europe after 2004. He said he had no knowledge of any official projections.

“If you look at where there Romanians are coming through at the moment it paints a picture, the majority have gone to Germany and Spain. We are ready, though, to make sure that they can’t come here and claim benefits.”


Monday, February 18, 2013

Republicans rip Obama immigration plan; Rubio calls it 'dead on arrival'

Congressional Republicans on Sunday criticized a White House plan on immigration reform that allows illegal immigrants to become legal, permanent residents within eight years -- saying Congress will never pass such a proposal and questioning President Obama’s intent.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said the plan is untenable and so outside of what the country wants that it suggests President Obama is not sincere about passing immigration reform.

“The president is torpedoing his own plan,” Paul told “Fox News Sunday.” “It shows me he is really not serious. … The bill won’t pass.”

The draft immigration bill being circulated by the White House also includes plans for a new visa for illegal immigrants living in the United States, as first reported by USA Today.

Obama's bill would create a "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country. The bill includes more security funding and requires business owners to adopt a system for verifying the immigration status of new hires within four years, the newspaper said.

On Saturday, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio called the White House proposal "half-baked and seriously flawed."

Rubio -- part of an eight-member, bipartisan Senate panel working on an immigration reform bill -- also said the purported proposal was disappointing to those “working on serious solutions” and repeats failures of past legislation.

He said the White House also erred in not seeking input from Republican lawmakers.

"If actually proposed, the president's bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come," Rubio said in a statement.

Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said Sunday the White House is working with members and staffers of the so-called “Gang of Eight” and that the White House hasn’t proposed anything so far to Capitol Hill on immigration.

McDonough declined to answer repeated questions on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about why the White House didn’t first consult Rubio, consider the key Republican on the issue.

“We are doing exactly what we said we would do, which is we will be prepared in the event that the bipartisan talks on the Hill … do not work out,” he told NBC.

USA Today also reported that the bill would require that immigrants pass a criminal background check, submit biometric information and pay fees to qualify for the new visa.

Immigrants who served more than a year in prison for a criminal conviction or were convicted of three or more crimes and were sentenced to a total of 90 days in jail would not be eligible. Crimes committed in other countries that would bar immigrants from legally entering the country would also be ineligible.

Those immigrants facing deportation would be eligible to apply for the visa, the newspaper reported. Immigrants would be eligible to apply for a green card within eight years, if they learn English and U.S. history and government, and they would later be eligible to become U.S. citizens.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan took back the praise he gave Obama for his State of the Union remarks on immigration.

“Putting these details out without a guest worker program, without addressing future flow, by giving advantage to those who cut in front of line for immigrants who came here legally, not dealing with border security adequately, that tells us that he's looking for a partisan advantage and not a bipartisan solution,” The Wisconsin Republican told ABC’s “This Week.”

Last month, the group of senators announced they had agreed on the general outline of an immigration plan.

Obama has said he would not submit his own legislation to Congress so long as law makers acted "in a timely manner." If they failed, he said, "I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away."

Paul also told Fox he will submit an amendment to the upcoming Senate bill calling for a General Accounting Office report stating U.S. borders are secure that must be periodically updated.

Clark Stevens, a White House spokesman, said Saturday that Obama still supports a bipartisan effort to craft a comprehensive immigration bill. "While the president has made clear he will move forward if Congress fails to act, progress continues to be made and the administration has not prepared a final bill to submit," he said in a statement.

Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, described the draft bill as a "very moderate" proposal. While the path to citizenship was welcomed by Noorani, he said not enough attention was being paid to future immigration.

"Commonsense immigration reform must include a functioning immigration system for the future," Noorani said in a statement. "Reform does not begin and end with citizenship and enforcement alone."


It's MY job to deport foreigners who commit serious crime - and I'll fight any judge who stands in my way, says Home Secretary

Unless there are very exceptional circumstances, foreigners who have committed serious crimes in this country, or who have attempted to cheat the immigration system, should be deported from Britain.

Parliament wants that to happen, the public wants that to happen, and I want that to happen. But, too often, it is not happening.

Time and time again we are treated to the spectacle of people who have been found guilty of rape or serious assault being given the right to stay in this country.

It is not in the national interest that this situation continues. What is going on? The short answer is that some of our judges appear to have got it into their heads that Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, the ‘right to family life’, is an absolute, unqualified right.

This means that if a foreign criminal can show that he has a family in this country, they take the view he has a right to remain here, regardless of the gravity of the offences.

That interpretation is wrong. The Convention is quite plain: the right to family life is not an absolute right, like the right not to be tortured. It is a qualified right, and it can be restricted when that is required, for example, to protect public safety, or for the prevention of crime.

I thought that possibly the problem for the judges was that our Parliament had not explicitly stated how the right to  family life could be restricted.

So in June last year I ensured that the House of Commons was able to debate my amendments to the immigration rules.  Those amendments stated that in the usual case, any foreign national who was convicted of a serious crime should be deported, regardless of whether or not the criminal had a family in the UK.

After a vigorous debate, the Commons adopted the changes unanimously. There was no division because there was no one in the Commons who opposed them.

I made it clear that I would introduce primary legislation should the Commons’ acceptance of my amendments not be sufficient to persuade judges to change the way they interpreted Article Eight. But I hoped that the outcome of the debate would be enough.

Unfortunately, some judges evidently do not regard a debate in Parliament on new immigration rules, followed by the unanimous adoption of those rules,  as evidence that Parliament actually wants to see those new rules implemented.

As a justification for ignoring the new rules, one immigration judge recently stated that ‘the procedure adopted in relation to the introduction of the new rules provided a weak form of Parliamentary scrutiny. Parliament has not altered the legal duty of the judge determining appeals to decide on proportionality for him or herself’.

Just think for a moment what this judge is claiming. He is asserting that he can ignore the unanimous adoption by the Commons of new immigration rules on the grounds that he thinks this is a ‘weak form of parliamentary scrutiny’.

I find it difficult to see how that can be squared with the central idea of our constitution, which is that Parliament makes the law, and judges interpret what that law is and make sure the executive complies with it.

For almost all of the long history of disputes between judges and Parliament, it has been  common ground that Parliament is the ultimate law-maker, and that it is not for the judges to be legislators.

It is essential to democracy that the elected representatives of the people make the laws that govern this country – and not the judges.

Yet some judges seem to believe that they can ignore Parliament’s wishes if they think that the procedures for parliamentary scrutiny have been ‘weak’. That appears actually to mean that they can ignore Parliament when they think it came to the wrong conclusion.

Most judges, especially in our higher courts, do not take this attitude. One High Court judge, for example, has explicitly recognised that the new rules are ‘unquestionably valid laws, democratically enacted under a procedure which is necessary for the efficient practical functioning of Parliament’. The majority of judges share his view.

But a minority think that it is their role to determine, for instance, whether or not foreigners who commit serious crimes shall be deported. They are able to frustrate Government policy and prevent the deportation of criminals.

It is now clear that only explicit parliamentary legislation will convince them that the law is what Parliament says it is, not what they think it should be.

I am therefore determined to introduce primary legislation that will specify that foreign nationals who commit serious crimes shall, except in extraordinary circumstances, be deported.

Once this primary legislation has been enacted, it is surely inconceivable that judges in this country will maintain that it is they, rather than Parliament, who are entitled to decide how to balance the foreigner’s right to family life against our nation’s right to protect itself.

It is depressing that the steps we have already taken should have been insufficient to produce that result. The inevitable delays inherent in passing primary legislation will mean that there will be many more foreign criminals who successfully avoid deportation on the basis that they have a family here.

There will also be more victims of violent crimes committed by foreigners in this country – foreigners who  should have been, and could have been, deported.

This is not a dispute about respect for human rights, which I certainly agree is an essential part of any decent legal system. It is about how to balance rights against each other: in particular, the individual’s right to family life, the right of the individual to be free from violent crime, and the right of society to protect itself against foreign criminals.

One of the most distressing results of judges taking it on themselves to determine how that balance should be struck, in defiance of Parliament’s wishes, has been the damage done to the notion of human rights: in the popular imagination, ‘human rights’ are wrongly, but perhaps understandably, becoming  synonymous with legal dodges that allow criminals to escape proper punishment and to continue to prey on the public.

I am a great admirer of most of the judges in Britain.

I absolutely accept that the power of Ministers should be reviewed and restrained by independent judges who are appointed, not elected, and who are not accountable to the electorate for their decisions.

But the law in this country is made by the elected representatives of the people in Parliament. And our democracy is subverted when judges decide to take on that role for themselves.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Registry proposed to check illegal immigration into Europe

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is pushing for an EU-wide immigration registry. In return, visa requirements for some countries could be lifted.

The most recent case came as a wake-up call to German security agencies: Even through he was registered with them as a radical Islamist and blacklisted from entering the country, Mohamad Arifi succeeded in doing just that.

Even though Arifi is under suspicion of calling on Islamists in Syria to take up arms, he was speaking freely in the mosques of Heidelberg and Berlin. Exactly how he was able to enter Germany is the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Arifi's case isn't an isolated one. Illegal immigration has risen by 18 percent over the past year, pushing the total to more than 21,000 people who entered Germany without permission. On top of that, there have been around 5,000 cases in which perfectly legal three-month-long residence permits have been silently - and unlawfully - extended by their holders. All of these incidences reflect a clear lack of immigration security.

The European Union has done away with border checks along its internal boundaries. With Germany located at its geographic center, it depends on functional immigration procedures in the countries that line the union's outer frontiers.

If German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has his way, surveillance of individuals travelling through Germany and the EU is to become tighter. For that, he has his eyes on two groups in particular: Citizens who, until now, mandatorily had to have a visa to enter Germany - such as from the US, African countries or Russia - and those who are already free to enter without a visa, both from within and outside of the EU.

Technically, there are already procedures in place for anyone who has to apply for a visa: German embassies and consulates are to strictly verify the purpose of a visit, find out how the applicant intends to finance travel and living expenses, and inquire about departure details.

Despite a number of bribery scandals in 2000 and 2004, these procedures appear to basically work. In 2012 alone, out of around 2 million visa applications, 138,000 were rejected by German authorities abroad - with security concerns cited as the top reason.

Especially Russia and Turkey are keen to have these strict regulations loosened or lifted altogether for their citizens - a request the German government says it's happy to comply with, but only under the condition that visas be replaced by another control system.

The planned immigration registry is to contain details of all travelers who are exempt from the visa application process and are therefore free to stay for up to 90 days. The idea is that, before their arrival, they register themselves online and clearly state their purpose for visiting the EU or Germany.

There are too many loopholes in current German visa regulations, according to expert policymakers in Berlin such as Michael Hartman of the Social Democrat party. Many Russians, he says, travel from St. Petersburg to Finland, and then continue their journey to Germany. "We know neither of their arrival, nor of their departure," Hartmann says.

As his party's representative in the parliament's Committee on Internal Affairs, he supports a common control system across the EU. "This chaos we have had until now has to stop," he said, adding that currently, no one has a complete overview of the situation.

Reinhard Grindel is the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) party representative within the internal affairs committee. An immigration registry, he said, has one distinct advantage: "If in the future someone doesn't leave after three months, that person specifically could then be searched for."

But Grindel added that he expects any such immigration registry to be up and working in two to three years, at the earliest.

Too much control, says opposition

Grindel's estimates are based at least in part on the upcoming national election this fall, as their outcome is proving hard to predict. And no matter what the result, plans for the immigration registry have already been criticized.

From the ranks of the Free Democratic Party, the CDU's current coalition partner, comes concern about data protection issues. The Greens and the Left party have also expressed concern over too much government control.

As interior politics expert for the Greens, Memet Kilic points to the already existing "Schengen Information System." It's a search system which, he says, is already partially dysfunctional. Kilic therefore remains critical regarding the interior minister's announcement of a more comprehensive approach "following the US example."

Frequent travelers, for example, would be given a "token" - a small technical device - supposed to ease their movements. "What if something like that gets lost or stolen?" asked Kilic, believing that the new system would bring new security loopholes.

Meanwhile, Hartman says that there are definitely no plans to use an immigration registry for generating any form of intelligence files. Grindel is keen to disperse worries that the system could incorporate biometric data, as is the case in the US - for the moment: "I don't think this is something we will wait for, as we know from experience with the Schengen Information System that we can't fulfill the necessary technical requirements for that."

Support from Brussels

Already in 2008, then-EU Interior Commissioner Franco Frattini pushed for a centralized European border control system. This would also use satellites and drones to survey the EU's southern and eastern perimeters. For a long time those plans had been shelved - but that could change.

By the end of February, the European Commission wants to issue recommendations on a legal framework for an EU-wide population register. Once this happens, ideas that are currently taking shape in Germany are likely to gain momentum, too.


Singapore rally demands immigration curbs

MORE than 2000 people attended Singapore's biggest protest in decades on Saturday to demand curbs on immigration amid growing public anger over an expected surge in the foreign population.

The peaceful three-hour rally at an officially designated protest zone was staged by a civic group after the government said foreigners could account for nearly half of the densely packed island's population in less than 20 years.

Organisers put the crowd, shielded by a sea of umbrellas from heavy downpours, at 4000. Police said they were not monitoring the size of the crowd and AFP reporters estimated the turnout at more than 2000 people, many of them clad in black.

"I think it's the largest protest in decades. It is also the first one where anger is directed squarely at the government," said Reuben Wong, an assistant professor of political science at the National University of Singapore.

"People are now more willing to air their grievances. They have been doing it on the internet for the past few years, but it is new for them to physically come down in such numbers."

Rally leaders, who used Facebook and other online platforms to draw support, openly attacked the People's Action Party (PAP), which has been in power for more than 50 years and still controls 80 of the 87 seats in parliament despite losing two by-elections in the past year.

"The large crowd here shows the PAP government that they are not afraid any more, they don't want to hide behind a moniker on Facebook to show their displeasure," said chief organiser Gilbert Goh, a former opposition candidate for parliament.

The crowd repeatedly chanted "We want change" at the height of the protest.

No arrests were made and only a handful of uniformed policemen were seen around the rally venue, a grassy park where protests are allowed without a police permit at a spot known as Speakers' Corner.

A government policy paper last month said the population could range between 6.5 and 6.9 million by 2030, with foreigners making up 45 per cent because Singaporeans are not producing enough babies to sustain economic growth and support a rapidly ageing population.

Citizens currently make up 62 per cent of the current population of 5.3 million.

"Save Singapore -- Say NO to 6.9 million," said a banner at the rally.

Protests are rare in Singapore, a wealthy island republic known for strict security and social controls, but Facebook, Twitter and other social media have set the tone for political debate in recent years.

Multi-racial Singapore has bitter memories of deadly riots in the 1960s.

Saturday's rally came less than two years after the May 2011 election when the ruling party suffered its worst ever performance, with immigration already a sensitive issue.

Foreigners have been blamed for stealing Singaporeans' jobs as well as straining housing, transport and medical services.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

British PM pledges to overhaul benefits system for immigrants

David Cameron has pledged to overhaul the benefits system for immigrants after disclosing that he believes the current system does not pass the “simple common sense test”.

The Prime Minister said he wants to limit immigrants' access to British public services to ensure that the UK is “not a soft touch”.

Mr Cameron has said that he wants to reform the system allowing immigrants access to housing, the health service, the justice system and benefits.

His comments came amid a growing debate about the numbers of new migrants preparing to come to the UK next year.

Twenty nine million Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014 under European “freedom of movement” rules.

The Prime Minister chaired a ministerial working group yesterday during which he questioned members of the Cabinet about ways to withhold some benefits from immigrants.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Cameron said the Government will look at “every single one of our systems” to ensure that so-called benefits tourists are not taking advantage.

“Britain has always been an open and welcoming economy but it isn't right if our systems are being abused and that is why I chaired yesterday a committee meeting in Whitehall,” Mr Cameron said. “We are going to look at every single one of our systems - housing, health and benefits - to make sure we are not a soft touch for those who want to come here.

“I think it is absolutely vital that we get this right. There are many parts of our current arrangements which simply don’t pass a simple common sense test in terms of access to housing, access to the health service, access to justice and other things which should be the right of all British citizens but they’re not the right of anyone who just chooses to come here.”

The Home Office has repeatedly refused to put any number on the anticipated arrivals from Bulgaria and Romania.

Ministers are concerned about releasing the research into the possible number of arrivals, which they believe will be compared with a prediction that only 13,000 would move to Britain from Poland and other eastern European countries after 2004.

More than one million eastern Europeans then arrived in one of the biggest waves of immigration seen in the UK.

A report from MigrationWatch, a think tank, claimed that 50,000 people a year would arrive until 2019.


Indians welcome in Britain

There is “no limit” on the number of Indian nationals who can come to Britain to study and work, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister will next week visit India to tell prospective students that Britain will be “incredibly welcoming” to them if they come to this country to study and work.

Even as he promises voters to cap immigration and deter the arrival of people from countries like Bulgaria and Romania, Mr Cameron will use his trip to try to persuade more Indians to come to Britain.

University leaders and business groups say the Coalition’s tough rhetoric on immigration is harming Britain’s international competitiveness, concerns that are privately shared by some ministers.

Official figures earlier this year showed that the number of Indians studying at British universities fell by a quarter last year, to 30,000.

In an interview with India’s Sunrise TV before his trip, Mr Cameron said he wanted to make sure that Indians are not put off coming to the UK.

“The fact is today, as we stand, and this is going to be the case going forward, there is no limit on the number of students who can come from India to study at British universities, no limit at all,” he said.

“All you need is a basic English qualification and a place at a British university. And what’s more, after you’ve left a British university, if you can get a graduate-level job there is no limit to the amount of people who can stay and work, or the time that they can stay at work.”

The Coalition has set an annual cap on the number of non-Europeans who can come to work in the UK, and the Conservatives have promised to reduced net immigration to “tens of thousands” by the end of the Parliament.

Although there are annual limits on various groups of workers who are allowed into the UK, a change in the cap made last year means that there is no ceiling on the number of foreign graduates of British universities who can work here.

According to the Home Office, only foreign graduates earning at least £20,000 are permitted to stay in the UK. Officials insisted Mr Cameron’s words did not mark a change in that policy.

Some ministers privately worry that the Coalition has failed to explain its policies properly, something the Home Office has angrily denied.

However, Mr Cameron admitted that ministers have not been clear about immigration, saying: “I think we haven’t perhaps communicated this properly.”

He added: “Now we need to take that message out to talented young people in India and say if you want to make that choice, Britain will be incredibly welcoming. Of course we have to control immigration in all its forms, as any country would, but actually Britain’s got an amazing offer to make to students.

The Higher Education Statistics Authority says there were 29,900 Indian students in the UK in 2011/12, down from 39,090 the previous year.

Mr Cameron said: “We have 40,000 Indian students in Britain, I’m really proud of that, but the offer we’ve got – no limit on the numbers, no limit on how you can work in graduate jobs afterwards – I think is a great offer to make.”

The Prime Minister’s message to prospective Indian arrivals in the UK contrasts with his rhetoric on other would-be immigrants, particularly those from eastern Europe. Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria will be able to work freely in the UK next year, and some Conservatives fear a large influx of new workers.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Minister's damning silence on migrants: He stonewalls four questions on how many Romanians and Bulgarians will come to Britain

Ministers threw a cloak of secrecy yesterday over how many Romanians and Bulgarians they expect to flood into the country.

To fury at Westminster, the Immigration Minister snubbed four MPs who asked him to reveal the figures – saying he did not want to scare people.

Mark Harper said it would not be ‘helpful’ to let the public know what to expect when border controls are lifted in less than 11 months. It is feared the wall of secrecy will leave town halls, schools and hospitals unable to prepare properly.

Tory MPs said it was ‘madness’ to throw open the UK’s borders without giving voters an idea of what to expect. The Government has carried out a study on how many of the 29million citizens of Romanian and Bulgaria might move to the UK when they get full EU rights in January.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles – who has seen the figures, and has warned of a potential shortage of housing – previously indicated they would be made available for public debate.

But, amid heated exchanges in the Commons yesterday, Mr Harper refused to share what the Government knows. He was asked repeatedly either to release the data or to explain what the Government was doing to deter a new wave of migration from Eastern Europe.

Mr Harper replied that he was chairing a Whitehall committee to look at how to stop migrants abusing the benefits system. Ideas include trying to make it harder for newcomers to access benefits or ask them to carry residence cards.

He told MPs: ‘Speculative projections about future inflows cannot be made with any degree of accuracy and are therefore not particularly helpful. That’s why the Government is focused on dealing with the abuse of free movement rights and also reducing the pull factors for migration. We want to make sure that when people look at the access to our benefits and our public services that no one thinks we are a soft touch in this country.’

An estimate by the MigrationWatch think-tank has suggested the number of arrivals will average 50,000 a year for the first five years – the equivalent of a city the size of Newcastle or Plymouth.

Tensions are rising among Tory MPs who want the Government to take firm action.

They fear David Cameron’s promise to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ will be fatally undermined if large numbers arrive from Romania and Bulgaria, two of the poorest countries in the EU.

Currently, they are subject to transitional controls which limit the number of work permits available to low-skilled workers to around 20,000 a year. But, from the start of 2014, these arrangements will be abandoned, giving workers free access to the UK jobs market.

Speaking at Home Office Questions, Tory Philip Hollobone said his constituents believed it was ‘madness to open our borders to 29million people’.

He called for ministers to force EU nationals who wanted to live in the UK for more than three months to apply for a residency card.

His colleague David Ruffley said action must be taken to curb ‘welfare tourism that can only add to British public spending’. Another Tory, James Clappison, asked Mr Harper specifically to comment on the MigrationWatch estimate of 50,000 a year. But Mr Harper repeatedly refused to provide any indication of numbers.

He said: ‘We want to make sure that we offer what we need to under the treaties, but no more.’

Ministers say they do not want to create ‘scare’ stories – which some MPs have taken to mean the figure is high. However, an alternative scenario is that the number produced by officials is low, and would make the Government a hostage to fortune. Labour has never recovered from saying a mere 13,000 people would come from Poland in 2004, only for hundreds of thousands of workers to arrive.

Last night there were new demands to publish the figures.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said: ‘There is surely a need for an intelligent estimate. The worst option, surely, is just to muddle on.’

Keith Vaz, Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, accused the Government of being ‘confused’ on the issue and urged ministers to commission research on how many immigrants were likely to arrive.


A Blueprint for U.S. Immigration Reform

Revisiting the Jordan Commission Report

In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to re-iterate his stance on immigration.  He would do well to examine the thoroughly-researched, well-documented findings of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (the Jordan Commission) that spent more than five years – and numerous hearings – dealing with “comprehensive immigration reform” before taking to the podium.

Named for the late Barbara Jordan, the Commission was comprised of four Democratic appointees and four Republican ones, and with three chairs who were, in turn, a member of the College of Cardinals; a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives; and a former member of the president’s cabinet. Its work was summed up in these words:

    "The credibility of immigration policy can be measured by a simple yardstick: people who should get in, do get in; people who should not get in are kept out; and people who are judged deportable are required to leave."

The new CIS report is online  here.

“The Jordan Commission put forth a plan intended to serve America’s national interests. We could learn today from their emphasis on facilitating assimilation, reducing job competition, and lowering fiscal costs,” comments report author David North, a CIS fellow and respected immigration policy researcher. “Their recommendations included emphasizing the nuclear family and eliminating chain migration categories, the cancelation of the visa lottery which randomly gives out 50,000 green cards a year and focusing instead on needed workers, strong border control, and a worker verification system.”

The Backgrounder describes the detailed recommendations of the Commission’s report, Becoming an American: Immigration and Immigrant Policy, which called for the nation to:

 *   Integrate the immigrants now in the U.S. more thoroughly;

*   Reduce the total number of legal immigrants to about 550,000 a year;

*   Rationalize the nonimmigrant visa program;

*   Enforce the immigration law vigorously with no further amnesties; and

*   Reorganize the management of the immigration processes within the government.

Mr. North contends three factors make the Commission’s report persuasive, even today. First, only one of the members represented an immigration interest group, and there were no unions or corporation representatives, no executives of either more-migration of less-migration organizations. Second, the Commission did not act quickly to suggest an answer to the country’s complex immigration needs; they took five years to study immigration matters and to discuss various approaches. Third, the Commission focused not only on who should be admitted and in what numbers, but also the role immigrants should play in society after admittance.

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: CONTACT: Marguerite Telford 202-466-8185,