Sunday, March 31, 2013
IRS knowingly sends Billions in Fraudulent Refunds to Illegal Immigrants
A WTHR-TV Indianapolis investigative report exposes a fraudulent scheme wherein the IRS is sending $4.2 billion per year to illegal immigrants as an "additional child tax credit" for children who don't even live in the U.S.
Further, the IRS and Congress have been ignoring the scheme for years. The Inspector General's office has repeatedly identified the problem in audit after audit. The IG, Russell George says, "The magnitude of the problem has grown exponentially," but the IRS is doing nothing to stop it.
"It's so easy it's ridiculous," the tax preparer whistleblower who exposed the fraud admits. Names are simply listed on the IRS form. "The more you put on there, the more you get back." No questions asked…the check's in the mail.
The whistleblower notified the IRS of dozens of returns that were "fraudulent, 100% fraudulent tax returns." But, no response was ever received from the IRS. Out of frustration he went to WTHR investigative reporter Bob Segall.
"If the opportunity is there, and they can give it to me, why not take advantage of it?" admits one of the undocumented perpetrators to Segall on camera.
Segall found that there are "2 million…undocumented workers right now who are getting tax refunds because of this loophole."
Meanwhile, American school kids hoping for the opportunity of a lifetime to see the inside of the White House find the doors are closed supposedly because we can no longer afford to let them in.
MPs want immigrant ban to save British jobs
Britain should be able to block immigration from other EU countries during the current period of high unemployment, according to a group of influential MPs.
In an article for The Telegraph, the joint chairmen of the cross party group on balanced migration, Frank Field, a former Labour minister, and Nicholas Soames, a former Conservative minister, say that David Cameron must do more to tackle “the elephant in the room” by restricting European immigration.
The MPs, two of the most influential politicians in the immigration debate, suggest that draconian action should now be considered “during periods of high unemployment” — such as now — to protect low-skilled British workers struggling to compete with foreigners for jobs.
One in five young British workers is currently unemployed, with about one million people aged 18 to 24 out of work.
The MPs say that Britain is still facing an influx of people at an “unsustainable level” despite Coalition action to reduce immigration.
They add that the expected wave of immigration from Bulgaria and Romania — which could lead to 50,000 people a year moving to this country from next year — means that the need to tackle the issue “could not be more stark.”
The proposals of the cross party group on balanced migration are regularly adopted by the Government. The group has praised government action to tackle immigration from Asia, Africa and elsewhere, but believes that the focus must now be on Europe.
“[An] area that needs to be considered is whether EU members should have powers, during periods of high unemployment, to restrict the free movement of labour, at present guaranteed in EU law,” the MPs say.
They add: “We will seek to support the tightening of immigration policies in the year ahead, not least to ensure that the public can have confidence in our immigration system.”
Several European countries have recently imposed some limited immigration controls on EU nationals — controls that are legally permitted by the EU in “exceptional circumstances”. In 2011, Spain won the right to reimpose immigration controls on Romanian migrant workers as unemployment soared in the country.
Last year, in an interview with this newspaper, Theresa May said that the Government was drawing up contingency plans to stem immigration if the economic collapse of a major EU country resulted in an exodus of citizens.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister made a speech on immigration that set out plans to reinforce rules restricting access to benefits, the NHS and social housing for European immigrants.
However, Mr Cameron disappointed many by ruling out more far-reaching restrictions, and the measures were criticised for having an apparently small potential impact.
Mr Field and Mr Soames say that the speech sent an important message that should now be built upon.
“Although Mr Cameron was criticised on the basis that very few migrants would be affected by his new proposals, this misses the point,” the MPs write. “His purpose, instead, was to ensure that future migrants (including EU nationals) are deterred from coming here to seek benefits and services. “His proposals on changing the entitlement rules for benefits, social housing and the NHS are a welcome first step. It is right in principle that access to services should be granted on the basis of contribution, and indeed the cross party group has been active in raising these three issues for some time, most recently calling for an entitlement card to access NHS services to replace the current system whereby anyone can access the NHS after being here for 24 hours.”
In today’s article, Mr Field and Mr Soames also confront suggestions that any further crackdown on immigration would undermine economic growth.
They write: “We yield to no one in our desire to ensure that immigration control does not impede the economic recovery on which so much else depends. We have been forthright in our view that businesses must be able to bring in the talent it needs, and are campaigning to make the process simpler and swifter.”
European immigration currently accounts for about a third of net migration — which is currently running at about 160,000 people a year.
Posted by jonjayray at 7:39 AM
Friday, March 29, 2013
Crackdown on 'education tourists' to target illegal immigrant children as Swedish PM slams Cameron's attempts to curb UK's soft touch image
Children of illegal immigrants would be banned from schools under plans drawn up for ministers to curb the impact of ‘education tourists’.
The idea was put forward by officials told to find ways to limit migrants’ access to benefits, housing, and the NHS but has been blocked by ministers.
But David Cameron’s pledge to end the global perception of Britain being a ‘soft touch’ have been slammed as ‘unfortunate’ by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Mr Cameron used a major speech on immigration this week to say the government would make it harder for new arrivals to Britain to claim out-of-work benefits, jump the queue for social housing or get free treatment on the NHS. But it has emerged officials have begun examining how to limit access to free education for children who are in the country illegally.
It is estimated that there could be 120,000 children in the UK without legal immigration status. One plan would require headteachers to check the immigration status of pupils before admitting them to lessons.
The idea has been put forward in a series of emails sent by officials advising the inter-ministerial group on migrants' access to benefits and public services, The Guardian reported.
The group includes schools minister David Laws and immigration minister Mark Harper.
A proposal to ban illegal immigrant children from schools was suggested, but there are warnings it could contravene the UN convention on the rights of the child. Mr Laws is said to consider the idea a ‘red line’.
One email sent by a civil servant on Monday said: ‘Barring children, whatever their migrant status, from compulsory education has pretty much been ruled out by ministers and at the moment is off the table for cross-government discussions.
‘The question now is whether, if not to enforce a ban, it would nevertheless be helpful to carry out migrant status checks as part of school admissions.’
Another email suggested ‘strategies could probably be employed to deal with “education tourists”, in much the same [way] as “health tourists” are managed’.
The plan was revealed by Labour MP John McDonnell who accused minister of being ‘diverted to policy stunts prepared for prime ministerial statements and speeches’ instead of focussing on practical ways to tackle immigration.
He told the Commons that ‘ministerial attention has recently been focused on discussions in the inter-ministerial group on barring migrant children from compulsory education’.
He said the Department for Education then intervened and the children’s rights adviser said: ‘If we were to withdraw the right of education from any children in the UK, regardless of their status, we would be hugely criticised for it by the UN.
‘With the periodic review report due to be submitted in January 2014, this would be very controversial.’
Home Secretary Theresa May played down the idea of banning children outright. She said: ‘We have been looking at public services across the board in relation to what we describe as the pull factors.
‘We have focused on housing, health and the benefits system. We do not propose not having the provision of education for individual children.’
But she rejected the claim that the government’s policy changes were about publicity stunts. ‘We have been sorting out a chaotic immigration system and immigration policy introduced by the previous Government that led to net migration in this country reaching hundreds of thousands a year.
‘We aim to bring it down to tens of thousands. We have already seen net migration cut by a third. That is not a publicity stunt; it is a real benefit and a policy that the people of this country want to see.’
The move to consider targeting illegal immigrant children was condemned by Lesley Gannon, head of policy at the National Association of Headteachers.
She said: ‘You can't hold children responsible for the behaviours of their parents, it's simply not fair.
‘All of our codes of practice around admissions, behaviour and exclusions have always emphasised that you deal with the child and not the parents in terms of their access to education and their treatment within the school. We wouldn't want to see anything jeopardise that.
‘It's also really worrying to start to drag schools into politics in this way. Yes, we are public servants, part of the state, but once you put that process in place, I'd suggest you're encouraging parents who are worried about their immigration status to avoid putting their children into school, to avoid detection. That puts the educational rights of that child at risk.’
Mr Cameron’s speech on Monday focussed on benefits and housing, but was criticised for lacking detail and targeting relatively small numbers of people.
He promised that new EU migrants will be stripped of jobless benefits after six months, but critics said existing rules meant this effectively already happened.
The PM said net migration needs to ‘come down radically’ after getting ‘badly out of control’ under Labour.
He also unveiled a crackdown on so-called health tourism, with hospitals ordered to start charging foreign visitors. Those from outside the EU will need health insurance before being granted a visa.
There will be a major shake-up of council housing rules designed to keep immigrant families off waiting lists for at least two years and possibly as many as five.
But the speech was criticised by the Swedish Prime Minister. Mr Reinfeldt said: ‘I think it's unfortunate. I believe in a Europe that should be open, where we have free movement, and where we instead ask ourselves how people who come here can get work more easily.’
Australia: Conservative coalition to fix asylum seeker problem
The opposition says it will use the full resources of the navy and customs fleets to stem the flood of asylum seeker boats. Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said Australia had a significant fleet of navy and customs vessels and a coalition government would be deploying those assets necessary to get the job done.
But he would not explain just how that would be done. "I am not about to give the people smugglers a heads-up about those sorts of operational matters," Mr Morrison told ABC radio on Thursday.
"What they can be assured of is they can expect an Abbott-led coalition government to put an end to this madness and we will deploy the assets that are necessary to get the job done and the resolve that is needed to get the job done."
The opposition says 600 asylum seeker boats have reached Australian waters under Labor since 2007, with a surge in recent weeks. More than 3300 asylum seekers have arrived by boat this year, more than double the arrivals in the same period in 2012.
Mr Morrison said the coalition had been very clear about its policy of turning back asylum seeker boats where it is safe to do so.
Indonesia opposes the controversial plan and Labor and the defence force say people smugglers and asylum seekers will respond by sabotaging vessels to ensure they can't be returned, endangering passengers and defence personnel.
Mr Morrison said he was confident the Australian Defence Force, and particularly the navy, were quite capable of carrying out the policies of the government of the day.
"Our officers and our naval personnel are trained in these areas and we know that they have the capacity to get the job done, just like they do over in the (Persian) Gulf where they intercepted about 1000 vessels and many of those vessels had armed weapons pointing at them when they did so," he said.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:18 PM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
120,000 Romanians and Bulgarians have already moved to Britain: Census shows in some parts of the country one in ten are Eastern European
Nearly 120,000 Romanians and Bulgarians have already moved to Britain despite not yet being allowed to work freely in this country, official figures showed yesterday.
The data from the 2011 census showed that migration to Britain – at a rate equivalent to 30,000 a year – began as soon as the two countries joined the EU.
The disclosure is fresh evidence that a major movement of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens is likely when restrictions are lifted at the end of the year.
The 119,101 Romanians and Bulgarians are among just under 1 million Eastern European citizens now living in Britain, almost all of whom arrived under open-border rules after their countries joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, the census showed.
It found that in some parts of the country almost one in 10 of the population are citizens of Eastern European countries.
In Boston, Lincolnshire – the town that sparked a fierce argument over the impact of immigration on BBC TV’s Question Time – 10.7 per cent of the population are Eastern European passport-holders.
The figures were released at a time of increased political tension over immigration, amid fears of a large-scale influx of Bulgarians and Romanians next year.
Earlier this week David Cameron tried to reassure voters with promises to make it harder for migrants from outside Europe to get NHS treatment and social housing, and for those from inside the EU to claim state benefits.
Detailed breakdowns published yesterday showed numbers of foreign citizens living in Britain, counted by those who gave their passport nationality on census forms, and of those who declared on the census form the country of their birth.
The real totals may be higher because some – in particular immigrants – have in the past proved reluctant to fill in census forms or provide the full details they demand.
Yesterday’s figures showed there were 73,208 Romanian passport holders in England and Wales on the day the census was taken – 27 March 2011.
No details of Bulgarian passport holders were made public, but the figures showed there were 45,893 who said they were born in Bulgaria.
The census was taken just over four years after the two countries joined the EU, under an agreement that while their citizens would be allowed to travel to and live in Britain, they would not be able to work here as employees.
Those rules have now been lifted and Romanians and Bulgarians get free access to the labour market from 1 January next year.
Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘These figures validate our projection that 50,000 people a year will come when citizens of the two countries get free access to the labour market in the New Year.’
The figure does not include 22,000 workers who come as seasonal fruit pickers under a summer work-permit scheme, and then return home.
Census figures gave an official figure of 988,123 Eastern European citizens present in the country in March 2011 – including 588,082 Poles, 104,676 Lithuanians, and 73,208 Romanians.
Around one and a half million people from the eight Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 are thought to have lived and worked in Britain at some stage.
The census showed the highest concentration of Eastern European citizens in any town in Britain was in Boston, with 10.7 per cent of the population.
The town was at the centre of controversy in January after Cambridge academic Mary Beard told BBC Question Time that local fears over immigration were a ‘myth’ and that ‘public services can cope’.
She was rebuked by businesswoman Rachel Bull, who said services were at ‘breaking point’.
Ann Coulter on Amnesty
The GOP can't afford it
If Republicans don’t focus on what is really causing problems, they’re going to fall for the canard that the problem with the Party is its conservative principles. Au contraire. Conservatism is about the only thing the Republican Party has going for it. In Gallup Polls over the last twenty years about twice as many Americans have called themselves “conservatives” as called themselves either “liberal” or “Republican.” No, conservatism is our winning feature.
Which brings me to the final point before I get to your questions and that is the scapegoating of a fake Republican establishment, which is allowing the real Republican establishment to plot and scheme undetected.
My example of this is: What public policy will harm average Americans,  drive up unemployment , change America permanently  in negative ways and on the other hand is supported by businessmen who will never vote for a Republican anyway ?
Amnesty for illegal aliens! And half of elected Republicans support it, as far as I can tell most conservative talk radio  and TV hosts support it. You want the Republican Establishment, that‘s the Republican Establishment.
There are many, many negative consequences to amnesty but I think the one that ought to concern this crowd is, if amnesty goes through America becomes California  and no Republican will ever win another national election. As it is, the state that gave us Richard Nixon  and Ronald Reagan  will never elect another Republican.
I can see why Democrats would want amnesty, but why on Earth are Marco Rubio and these endless Bushes  supporting it?
Even Shemp and Zeppo Bush  are supporting amnesty for illegals.
Republicans are grasping at these suicidal policies because they’re panicked; they’re demoralized after the last election.  Stop panicking, Republicans! Obama was an incumbent; he did worse than any other incumbent to win reelection in more than a hundred years. Liberals writing the obituary of the Republican Party right now remind me of nothing so much as new homeowners  at the heights of the housing bubble . People always announce their complete triumph a moment before their crushing defeat.
Our job, our job, Republicans, is to ensure Democrats have that crushing defeat.
Posted by jonjayray at 9:13 AM
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Incompetence and foot-dragging blamed as backlog of 320,000 migrant cases in Britain will take 24 years to clear
Border officials need 24 years to clear their backlog of 320,000 immigration cases, MPs warn today. Incompetence and foot-dragging is blamed for the sheer number of claims – the equivalent of the population of Iceland.
In a blistering report, the Commons home affairs committee also said the army of foreign criminals on the streets was growing, with the total now almost 4,000.
The audit into the work of the UK Border Agency, which was dubbed not fit for purpose six years ago, found 321,726 outstanding cases involving immigrants.
These include 28,500 current asylum cases, 4,000 immigration cases and 181,541 people placed in a so-called Migration Refusal Pool.
The pool comprises migrants who arrived legally but cannot now be found after their work or study visas expired. Officials say many of the migrants will have gone home – a view disputed by the MPs, who say the lack of proper border checks may mean ‘tens of thousands’ are still here.
They are highly critical of the slow pace at which officials are clearing the backlog. Between July and September last year, it was reduced by only 3,430 – or 1 per cent.
This is despite officials writing off 74,000 cases held in the separate ‘asylum controlled archive’ over that period. The controlled archive was created to hold what remains of Labour’s asylum backlog. It was intended to hold cases that had not been concluded, so they could be reopened if the person was traced.
UKBA officials had been tracking them down – but decided to abandon those they couldn’t find. Critics say it amounts to have an effective ‘amnesty’.
Keith Vaz, the Labour MP who chairs the home affairs committee, said hardly any progress was being made in clearing the backlog. He holds former UKBA chief executive Lin Homer – Britain’s most senior female mandarin – responsible for much of the debacle.
She is clinging to her job in charge of HM Revenue & Customs after MPs concluded she was guilty of a ‘catastrophic’ failure of leadership during her time at UKBA.
Mr Vaz said: ‘No sooner is one backlog closed, than four more are discovered.
‘At this rate it will take 24 years to clear the backlog which still stands at the size of the population of Iceland.’ Also within the backlog are 3,980 foreign criminals who cannot be deported and have been released on bail by the courts. This has increased by 26 in only three months, despite repeated government promises to kick the offenders out. Six years ago the asylum backlog scandal prompted then home secretary John Reid to brand the immigration system ‘not fit for purpose’.
The committee recommends senior UKBA staff are not paid bonuses until there is evidence the backlog is being ‘substantially’ reduced and new backlogs are not emerging.
Yvette Cooper, Labour’s home affairs spokesman, said: ‘This highly critical report shows that practical failings in the immigration system are getting worse.’
Immigration minister Mark Harper said: ‘We have always been clear the UK Border Agency was a troubled organisation with a poor record of delivery.
‘Turning it around will take time but I am determined to provide the public with an immigration system they can have confidence in.’
The Border Agency has awarded a £30million contract to outsourcing firm Capita to help track illegals. It began work in October.
Theresa May splits border agency to end 'secretive and defensive' culture
Britain's beleaguered immigration service is to be split in two and brought directly under ministers' control for the first time in five years, the Home Secretary announced today.
Theresa May said the UK Border Agency's performance was "still not good enough" and it would be split to end its "closed, secretive and defensive culture".
The unexpected move means immigration will be supervised by Home Office ministers rather than operating at arm's length under the control of a chief executive.
It comes seven years after John Reid, the then Labour home secretary, described the Home Office as "not fit for purpose" after an immigration scandal that led to the sacking of his predecessor.
"In keeping with the changes we made last year to Border Force, the Government is splitting up the UK Border Agency," Mrs May told the House of Commons.
"In its place will be an immigration and visa service and an immigration law enforcement organisation.
"UKBA was given agency status in order to keep its work at an arm’s length from ministers. That was wrong. It created a closed, secretive and defensive culture.
"So I can tell the House that the new entities will not have agency status and will sit in the Home Office, reporting to ministers."
The announcement will leave the Coalition government open to allegations that it failed to get to grips with the UKBA's failings more quickly, as it comes just a year after the last reorganisation of the agency, and only a day after a scathing attack by MPs on its former boss, Lin Homer.
The all-party Home Affairs Select Committee said in a strongly-worded report yesterday that Ms Homer was responsible for a "catastrophic leadership failure".
MPs warned that it would take the UKBA 24 years to clear an immigration and asylum case backlog.
Mrs May said she hoped the changes would make it easier to cut backlogs and increase the number of illegal immigrants who are deported.
Posted by jonjayray at 6:00 AM
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
New immigrants to Britain told: You must pay to see a GP - and will move to the back of the queue for council homes
Immigrants will be forced to pay to visit a GP and be banned from getting council houses for up to five years after they settle in Britain.
The moves, to be signalled by David Cameron this week, mark a new hardline stance on immigration aimed at reviving Tory fortunes.
The Prime Minister intends to introduce legislation on both issues in the next few months, despite the likelihood of strong opposition from Labour MPs.
The measures are to be rushed through to stop Bulgarians and Romanians being allowed free access to the UK next January.
A senior source said: ‘The PM wants the immigration system to back people who work hard and do the right thing. He is determined to bring an end to the situation where people can come to the UK and get benefits and public services without putting anything in.
‘He is opposed to the “something for nothing” culture of some people who come here from abroad and jump the housing queue of deserving local families who have lived in an area for years and paid taxes.
‘We want to remove any expectation that new migrants can expect the taxpayer to give them a home on arrival.’
Earlier this month, Nick Clegg chaired a Home Affairs Cabinet Committee to examine plans to deter EU migrants from coming to Britain by slashing benefits without breaching discrimination laws.
They examined options to restrict access to housing and welfare, and introducing an ‘entitlement card’ for all EU citizens.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also looking at proposals to restrict access to services by introducing a tighter ‘habitual residency test’.
At the same time, the Home Office has been examining ways to bar migrants from Romania and Bulgaria from using NHS hospitals if they come to Britain without a job.
People who have lived in the UK for the past year can get free treatment at hospitals, while those who are here for a shorter time are charged.
However, foreign patients can use GPs’ surgeries without charge.
The Government review has looked at whether the system applied by hospitals should be extended to GPs.
Doctors’ leaders have suggested that Ministers should introduce a system under which patients who cannot provide proof of residence have to pay for treatment.
However, the British Medical Association has advised its members not to make any checks on residency because ‘there is no obligation on them to do so’ – and it could leave them open to allegations of discrimination.
They have called on ‘other bodies’ within the health service to make judgments about someone’s eligibility for care to avoid putting doctors in a difficult position.
GP practices have been placed under a growing burden by the requirement to provide free emergency treatment and immediate necessary treatment for up to 14 days to any person within their practice area.
EU citizens from outside the UK have the same rights to free NHS treatment as British residents when they take up residence here, either as temporary migrant workers or as permanent residents.
At the same time, nearly one in ten council houses and ‘social housing’ go to foreign nationals, a 30 per cent rise in four years.
The new rules are intended to force town halls to introduce a ‘local residency test’ before letting families join the list for a council home.
They will have to wait a minimum of two and a maximum of five years to join the list, depending on the availability of houses.
Local authorities are currently free to impose such restrictions, but many choose not to.
Recent posts at CIS below
See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.
1. A Bleak Picture Employment among U.S. Citizens in States Represented by Gang of Eight
2. All the News that Fits Ideologically Skewed Coverage of Immigration at the New York Times
3. "Building an Immigration System Worthy of American Values" Testimony of Jan Ting before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
4. Napolitano’s Frequent Meetings with Amnesty Activists
5. Selective Truth-Telling in this Morning's Washington Post
6. Mormon Church Support for Immigration Reform — Naive or Mean-Spirited?
7. Adventures in Manipulative Polling
8. Gee, the White Horse is Bigger than the Black Horse
9. Vicente Fox Says Mexico Will Not Act to Stop Illegal Immigration
10. Does Immigration Contribute to Delayed Family Formation?
12. Powerful Response to a Harper's Article
13. The GOP Report: "Growth and Opportunity Plan", or Good Old Pandering?
14. Provisions for Sibling Immigrants in English-Speaking Nations
15. Sliver of a Silver Lining?
Posted by jonjayray at 11:39 AM
Monday, March 25, 2013
Mexicans are not the same as Ellis Is. Italians
People of Mexican descent in New York City are far more likely to be living in poor or near-poor households than other Latinos, blacks, whites or Asians, according to a study to be released on Thursday.
Nearly two-thirds of the city’s Mexican residents, including immigrants and the native-born, are living in low-income households, compared with 55 percent of all Latinos; 42 percent of blacks and Asians; and 25 percent of whites, said the report by the Community Service Society, a research and advocacy group in New York City that focuses on poverty.
The rates are even more pronounced for children: About 79 percent of all Mexicans under age 16 in New York City live in low-income households, with about 45 percent living below the poverty line — significantly higher percentages than any other major Latino group as well as the broader population.
While the Mexican immigrants enjoy exceptionally high rates of employment, their salaries are not sufficient to support young families, the study’s authors said.
“Immigrant Mexicans appear to be having great difficulty making ends meet as they start families here,” said the study, which sought to assess socio-economic trends among young people of Mexican origin in New York City. “Incomes that might support one individual on their own or in a shared household are not enough to support a family.”
“The result could be a cycle of poverty that will pass down from generation to generation,” the authors warned.
The study defined low-income households as those making below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, which is equivalent to about $38,000 for a family of three.
The study was commissioned by the Deutsche Bank Foundation following the publication of an article in The New York Times in 2011 about extraordinarily low educational achievement among Mexican immigrants in New York City. The foundation has also started an initiative intended to improve the educational and economic achievement of the Mexican population in New York City, with an emphasis on children and their families.
The study reaffirmed The Times’s statistical and anecdotal findings about low educational achievement among first-generation Mexican immigrants. Based largely on data from the American Community Survey, the report did not try to analyze the legal status of its focus populations.
The researchers identified what they called “a promising sign” for the city’s growing Mexican population: about 67 percent of all native-born Mexicans between 16 and 24 living in the city were enrolled in school, a higher percentage than Puerto Ricans (54 percent) as well as native-born Dominicans (64 percent), native-born blacks (60 percent) and native-born whites (64 percent), though lower than native-born Asians (78 percent).
Still, even this finding was cast in shadow by more bleak data: Mexican youth who have left school — native-born and foreign-born alike — have considerably lower levels of educational attainment than their peers, with more than half lacking a high school diploma.
“The fact that native-born Mexican young people are less likely than other Latinos (and other racial/ethnic groups) to attain high school diplomas and enroll in college is extremely troubling,” the report said.
The authors concluded their study by recommending policy initiatives that would provide more educational and social support for Mexican children, families and low-wage workers, including increasing access to job training and English-language programs and raising the minimum wage, something that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers are hoping to achieve.
Why we on the British Left made an epic mistake on immigration
By David Goodhart
Among Left-leaning ‘Hampstead’ liberals like me, there has long been what you might call a ‘discrimination assumption’ when it comes to the highly charged issue of immigration.
Our instinctive reaction has been that Britain is a relentlessly racist country bent on thwarting the lives of ethnic minorities, that the only decent policy is to throw open our doors to all and that those with doubts about how we run our multi-racial society are guilty of prejudice.
And that view — echoed in Whitehall, Westminster and town halls around the country — has been the prevailing ideology, setting the tone for the immigration debate.
But for some years, this has troubled me and, gradually, I have changed my mind.
Over 18 months of touring the country to talk to people about their lives for a new book, I have discovered minority Britons thriving more than many liberals suppose possible. But I also saw the mess of division and conflict we have got ourselves into in other places.
I am now convinced that public opinion is right and Britain has had too much immigration too quickly.
For 30 years, the Left has blinded itself with sentiment about diversity. But we got it wrong.
I still believe that large-scale immigration has made Britain livelier and more dynamic than it would otherwise have been. I believe, too, that this country is significantly less racist than it once was.
In many places immigration is working as the textbooks say it should with a degree of harmony, with minorities upwardly mobile and creating interesting new hybrid identities in mixed suburbs.
But it has also resulted in too many areas in which ethnic minorities lead almost segregated lives — notably in the northern ‘mill towns’ and other declining industrial regions, which in the Sixties and Seventies attracted one of the most clannish minorities of modern times, rural Kashmiri Pakistanis.
In Leicester and Bradford, almost half of the ethnic population live in what are technically ghettos (defined as areas where minorities form more than two-thirds of the population). Meanwhile, parts of white working-class Britain have been left feeling neither valued nor useful, believing that they have been displaced by newcomers not only in the job market but also in the national story itself.
Those in the race lobby have been slow to recognise that strong collective identities are legitimate for majorities as well as minorities, for white as well as for black people.
For a democratic state to have any meaning, it must ‘belong’ to existing citizens. They must have special rights over non-citizens. Immigration must be managed with their interests in mind. But it has not been.
The justification for such a large and unpopular change has to be that the economic benefits are significant and measurable. But they are not.
One of the liberal elite’s myths is that we are a ‘mongrel nation’ that has always experienced high inflows of outsiders. But this isn’t true. From 1066 until 1950, immigration was almost non-existent (excluding Ireland) — a quarter of a million at the most, mainly Huguenots and Jews.
Post-World War II immigration has been on a completely different scale from anything that went before. These days, more people arrive on our shores as immigrants in a single year than did so in the entire period from 1066 to 1950, excluding wartime.
Much of this happened by accident. When the 1948 Nationality Act was passed — giving all citizens of the Empire and Commonwealth the right to live and work in Britain — it was not expected that the ordinary people of poor former colonies would arrive in their hundreds of thousands.
Nor was it expected after 1997 that a combination of quite small decisions would lead to 1.5 million East Europeans arriving, about half to settle. But come they did, and a net immigration of around four million foreign-born citizens since 1997 has produced easily the most dramatic demographic revolution in British history.
Yet there was no general discussion in the New Labour Cabinet of the day about who Britain wanted to let in and in what numbers; no discussion about how the country could absorb them without pressure on public services.
By the time of the next census in 2021, the non-white minority population will have risen to around 20 per cent, a trebling in just 25 years.
By 2066, according to one demographer, white Britons will be in a minority.
This is already the case in some towns and cities, including London, Leicester, Slough and Luton, with Birmingham expected to follow in the near future.
If Britain had a clear and confident sense of its national culture and was good at integrating people, then perhaps this speed of change would be of little concern. But this is not the case.
We are deep into a huge social experiment. To give it a chance of working, we need to heed the ‘slow down’ signs that the electorate is waving. And all the more so given that the low economic growth era we are now in means people’s grievances cannot easily be bought off with rising wages and public spending.
The fact is that the whole post-war process of immigration has been badly managed or, rather, not managed at all.
It is often said that the importation of people from the Indian subcontinent to work in textile mills that were soon to close — ironically, partly thanks to competition from India and Pakistan itself — was a poor piece of social engineering.
But the whole point was that no one really engineered it. It just happened.
And then no one came forward to grasp the consequences or even acknowledge there might be a problem.
The fault lies with our leaders, not with the people who came for a better life. There has been a huge gap between our ruling elite’s views and those of ordinary people on the street. This was brought home to me when dining at an Oxford college and the eminent person next to me, a very senior civil servant, said: ‘When I was at the Treasury, I argued for the most open door possible to immigration [because] I saw it as my job to maximise global welfare not national welfare.’
I was even more surprised when the notion was endorsed by another guest, one of the most powerful television executives in the country. He, too, felt global welfare was paramount and that he had a greater obligation to someone in Burundi than to someone in Birmingham.
Such grand notions run counter to the way most people in this country think or arrange their priorities.
The British political class has never prepared existing citizens for something as game-changing as large-scale immigration, nor has it done a good job at explaining what the point of large-scale immigration was and whose interests it was meant to serve.
Crucially, they failed to control the inflow more overtly in the interests of existing citizens. On the contrary, the idea that immigration should be unambiguously in the interests of existing citizens was blurred from the start.
Then, whenever there were problems with immigrant communities, the tendency was for the host society to be blamed for not being sufficiently accommodating or for being racist, rather than considering the self-inflicted wounds of some minority cultures.
Thus, the absence of fathers in many African-Caribbean households was excused as a cultural trait that just had to be accepted rather than a dereliction of duty that needed addressing.
Yes, being a newcomer can be hard, even in a liberal society such as Britain’s that today offers undreamed of protections and rights compared with earlier eras. But what has been largely ignored is that mass immigration makes big demands on host communities, too, and a successful strategy must engage the attention, consent and sympathy of the host majority as well.
Democratic common sense demands that politics and law cannot concern themselves only with the problems of minorities. The majority must have a voice, too, in how we manage a multi-racial society.
Posted by jonjayray at 8:02 AM
Sunday, March 24, 2013
British Liberal leader swipes Tory ideas to talk tough on migration: Deputy PM will use speech to talk of a 'tolerant Britain'
An attempt by Nick Clegg to toughen his position on immigration ran into trouble last night as he was accused of stealing Conservative ideas and Vince Cable ridiculed the idea of cutting the number of incomers to the tens of thousands.
The Deputy Prime Minister will today use his first speech on immigration since the general election in 2010 to set out a vision of a ‘tolerant Britain, zero-tolerant of abuse’.
He will insist that if immigrant workers suddenly ‘downed tools, countless businesses and services would suffer’ and the NHS ‘would fall over’ - but insist borders were ‘grossly mismanaged’ under Labour.
Mr Clegg will say that cash penalties for unscrupulous employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants because they are cheaper are to be increased. Currently, the maximum fine is £10,000 per illegal worker.
He will also claim that he has ‘asked the Home Secretary’ to examine the idea of forcing incomers to put up a cash bond if they want to come to Britain.
They will be required to pay the money as part of a guarantee that they will not be a burden on the taxpayer and will leave the country when their visa expires.
The Daily Mail revealed in March that Home Secretary Theresa May was planning immigration bonds as the next stage of reform, having succeeded in cutting net migration to its lowest level for a decade.
The cash would only be repaid when people leave the country and demonstrate that they have not drawn on particular services, such as non-urgent NHS care or elements of the welfare state.
Mrs May plans to announce a pilot scheme targeted at ‘high risk’ individuals from ‘two or three nationalities’ starting later this year. They or family members already in the UK would be required to put up a sum running into thousands of pounds as security that they will abide by the rules.
Prime Minister David Cameron also floated the idea of immigration bonds and Theresa May plans to announce a pilot scheme targeted at 'high risk' individuals
The 1999 Immigration & Asylum Act allows the UK to require a financial security from temporary migrants, which can be forfeited if they fail to leave the UK after the expiry of their visa.
Prime Minister David Cameron also floated the idea of immigration bonds last year. One Tory source said Mr Clegg appeared to be ‘purloining Conservative ideas’ in an attempt to shift perceptions of his party’s position on a key issue.
In another blow, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable gave an interview pouring scorn on the Conservative aim of reducing net immigration from the hundreds to the tens of thousands.
‘It isn’t Government policy, it is Conservative policy. And it’s also not true because that policy purely relates to non-EU people. We have obviously no control over the European Union and that is actually where much of the movement comes,’ Mr Cable told The House magazine.
‘The reducing to under 100,000 is not Government policy and it would be unattainable without, if it was attainable enormous damage would be done, notably through overseas students, which is one of the biggest components.’
The Business Secretary said attempts to tighten the visa system had created the impression, particularly in India, that ‘Britain is closed’.
Mr Clegg praised the diversity of the country's population and says that Britain is made up of rich and varied backgrounds
‘We want overseas students, they are good for us, they are not bad for us. They bring in lots of money. We want to have lots of visitors from all over the world coming here without hassle, an easy flexible visa system and we have lots of highly specialised people in engineers, top managers who we need in our companies and they’ve got to be able to come and go freely otherwise we are not going to be able to compete internationally,’ Mr Cable added.
‘So I do have to keep banging the drum for that.’
Mr Clegg will insist today that the Lib Dems ‘will never seek to outflank our opponents’ on immigration ‘because we think that’s what people want to hear’.
‘That kind of low populism patronises the British people. And it is an insult to the many migrants who have contributed to our country,’ he will say.
‘British society has been shaped by migrant communities in ways more profound than any cliché about chicken tikka masala, or Notting Hill Carnival, or Polish builders can ever express. I’m the son of a Dutch mother - she, herself, raised in Indonesia; a half-Russian father; husband to a Spanish wife. Like millions of Brits, if you trace our blood lines back through the generations, you end up travelling around the globe.’ But he will savage Labour for leaving an immigration system in ‘disarray’.
‘I cannot stress enough just how chaotic it was. The first thing they did, after coming into office, was stop checking if people were leaving the country. They got rid of exit checks. They weren’t counting people in and they weren’t counting people out either,’ the Deputy Prime Minister will add.
‘Since we came into government, net migration has fallen by a third. We’ve capped immigration from outside Europe. And within the EU, we have kept the transitional limits on Romania and Bulgaria, until the point where every member state has to remove them.
‘One idea which appeals to me is a system of security bonds. And so I’ve asked the Home Office to do some work on it, with a view to running a pilot before the end of the year.
‘The basic premise is simple: in certain cases, when a visa applicant is coming from a high risk country, in addition to satisfying the normal criteria, UKBA would be able to request a deposit - a kind of cash guarantee. Once the visitor leaves Britain, the bond will be repaid.’
A Home Office source said: ‘We look forward to support for all our immigration policies and getting down to the tens of thousands.’
Australia: Afghans lead 37% rise in asylum seeker claims
Just what Australia needs: A whole swag of illiterate and aggressive Muslims
The number of people arriving in Australia to claim asylum jumped by more than a third last year, driven by an increase in arrivals from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Last year 15,800 people claimed asylum in Australia, up 37 per cent from 2011. Afghan nationals (3079) and Sri Lankans (2345) accounted for more than a third of asylum seekers to reach Australian shores.
The increase in the number of Sri Lankans travelling to Australia by boat attracted intense public and political interest last year.
The number of Sri Lankans - mainly young Tamil men, but also Sinhalese, Muslims and small numbers of women and children - to make an asylum claim in Australia jumped from 371 in 2011 to 2345 last year (a rise of 630 per cent, but from a low base), figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show.
The agency's numbers do not include those who arrived by boat after August 13 last year, when Australia restarted offshore processing and, according to the UNHCR, ''have not yet entered a refugee determination process, or been able to lodge a formal claim for protection''.
The number of Sri Lankans who arrived ''irregularly'' by boat on Australian shores increased by a far greater amount last year, from 211 to 6428.
Continued insecurity across Afghanistan and uncertainty over that country's future post-2014 saw the number of Afghan nationals applying for asylum jump 79 per cent to 3079.
And the number of Pakistani asylum seekers reached 1512 last year, up 84 per cent from 2011.
Australia's asylum seeker numbers, while politically sensitive, remain numerically small. Australia receives about 3 per cent of the total asylum claims made in industrialised countries around the world.
The UNHCR noted in its report: ''By comparison, asylum levels in Australia continue to remain below those recorded by many other industrialised and non-industrialised countries.''
Nearly half a million - 493,000 - asylum claims were lodged in industrialised countries last year, the second highest number on record after 2003.
Europe received 355,000 asylum seeker claims, while North America had 103,000. War, civil strife, political repression and sectarian violence continue to force movements of populations across borders.
In particular, conflict in Syria has prompted a new mass wave of refugees fleeing that country.
Afghanistan continues to provide the most asylum seekers of any country in the world, with 36,600 last year, followed by the Syrian Arab Republic, Serbia, China and Pakistan.
''Wars are driving more and more people to seek asylum,'' the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said. ''At a time of conflict, I urge countries to keep their borders open for people fleeing for their lives.''
And while the latest UNHCR figures deal with asylum claims to industrialised countries, more than 80 per cent of refugees live in developing countries.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has previously called for greater equity in assisting displaced people.
''The burden of helping the world's forcibly displaced people is starkly uneven,'' he said. ''Poor countries host vastly more displaced people than wealthier ones. While anti-refugee sentiment is heard loudest in industrialised countries, developing nations host 80 per cent of the world's refugees.''
Afghanistan alone has a diaspora of more than 2.7 million refugees across 71 countries, but more than 95 per cent are in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:15 AM
Friday, March 22, 2013
Employment Picture Bleak in States Represented by Gang of Eight
Unemployment for U.S. Citizens in these States among Highest in Country -- Yet Senators Push for More Immigration
Eight U.S. Senators from seven states – Rubio (R-FL), McCain (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Flake (R-AZ), Schumer (D-NY), Menendez (D-NJ), Bennet (D-CO), and Durbin (D-IL) – have proposed an immigration plan allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country and increasing legal immigration in the future. A number of the Gang of Eight (Gof8) senators have made clear that they feel that there is a labor shortage, especially of workers to fill low-skilled jobs. (See their comments below).
As part of the Gof8 efforts, labor and business leaders are negotiating a new program to bring in more immigrants to fill “lesser-skilled” jobs. However, as shown by the Center for Immigration Studies' new analysis, employment data does not support the idea that there is a shortage of low-skilled labor. In fact, unemployment and non-work are more pronounced for less-educated U.S. citizens in the states represented by the Gof8 than in the nation as a whole.
“It is ironic that legislators from states with some of the highest unemployment rates are focused on making it easier for illegal immigrants to find work and on bringing in more workers. They seem unaware of the extraordinarily high unemployment figures among less-educated U.S. citizens,” comments the report’s lead author Dr. Steve Camarota,the Center's Director of Research.
The complete study can be found here
Among the report’s findings:
* In the seven states represented by the Gang of Eight (Gof8), the unemployment rate for U.S. citizens with no more than a high school education averaged 12.6% in 2012. This is higher than the 10.2% average for less-educated citizens in the other 43 states.
* The broader measure of unemployment (referred to as U-6), which includes those who want to work but have not looked recently, shows unemployment averaged 21.7% for less-educated citizens in the Gof8 states for 2012. This is markedly higher than the 18.3% average in the other 43 states.
* In the Gof8 states, U-6 unemployment was among the highest for citizens with no more than a high school education in 2012:
24.4% in Arizona, 4th highest in the country
22.1% in South Carolina, 8th highest in the country
22.0% in Illinois, 9th highest in the country
21.9% in New Jersey, 11th highest in the country
20.6% in Florida, 15th highest in the country
20.5% in New York, 18th highest in the country
20.1% in Colorado, 19th highest in the country
* Looking at all less-educated citizens (ages 18 to 65) shows 41.8% did not have job in 2012 in the Gof8 states, compared to an average of 37.9% in the other 43 states. This includes the unemployed and those entirely out of the labor market.
* In 2012, there were 6.5 million less-educated citizens (age 18 to 65) not working in the Gof8 states. Nationally, a total of 27.7 million less-educated citizens were not working.
Comments by some of the Gang of Eight
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaking to a Rotary Club in South Carolina in February 2013 stated that he was “trying to save our nation from, I think, a shortage of labor...”
On his web site Senator John McCain (R-AZ) discusses the need for more immigrant workers in many parts of the economy and he makes clear that Americans “don’t generally want the low-paying, low-skilled jobs.” He goes on to argue that the nation needs more foreign workers because “Our native-born work force is getting older. It’s shrinking – remember, our birth rates are falling.”
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal Sen. McCain also discussed the need to allow in more workers, particularly “low-skilled workers” and “agricultural workers.”
Data. The data for this analysis comes from the monthly public-use files of the Current Population Surveys (CPS) for 2000, 2007, and 2012. Each year represent 12 months of data averaged together. Each month the CPS includes about 131,000 respondents, roughly half of whom are in the labor force. The tables presented here are reported by quarter. By averaging 12 months together and creating yearly estimates it is possible to create a statistically robust figure at the state level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the same approach. All CPS respondents are asked their citizenship. This report uses the responses to the citizenship in the public use data to report employment statistics for U.S. citizens (native-born and naturalized).
Defining Unemployment. The standard measure of unemployment, referred to as U-3, takes the number of people who report that they are not working and have looked for a job in the last four weeks and divides it by the number actually working plus those looking for work. The broader measure of unemployment, referred to as U-6, includes those who are involuntary part-time (i.e., would prefer a full-time job but can't find one), and others who indicate that they want and are available for jobs, and they have looked for work in the past 12 months. They are not part of U-3 unemployment because they have not looked for a job in the prior four weeks.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact: Marguerite Telford, 202-466-8185, email@example.com
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
Judge Partially Blocks Georgia Immigration Law; Kansas Hearing Gets Emotional
A federal judge in Georgia permanently blocked the state from enforcing a key part of its sweeping immigration law, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The part in question would have punished those who transport or harbor undocumented immigrants or encourage them to come to Georgia knowingly.
Offenders would have faced imprisonment for up to 12 months and up to $1,000 in fines on their first charge.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash advised the state’s law enforcement about the directive.
Immigrant rights groups hailed the decision – saying it was a partial victory.
“It really is a signal that laws like this really kind of belong to an approach to immigration that is increasingly behind us,” Omar Jadwat, the senior staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project told the AJC.
State Rep. Matt Ramsey, who authored the law, told the newspaper he was happy that most of the law remained unchanged.
“In light of all the legal challenges that have been mounted against HB 87,” Ramsey said, “we continue to be very pleased with the outcome overall.”
In another immigration case in the state of Kansas, a House committee hearing on a measure that seeks to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students was met by an emotional audience Wednesday.
The measure under consideration in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee would repeal the nearly 10-year-old statute that allows students who graduate from Kansas high schools and have lived in Kansas for at least three years to pay in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges, regardless of their residency status, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
Kim Voth, a Wichita school counselor, said that before coming to testify before the committee, she spoke with one of her students who used the in-state tuition law to get an education degree and has since become a U.S. citizen and a teacher.
"I asked her what I should say today," Voth said, beginning to cry. "She got very quiet, then said, `Please tell them that my college degree changed my life."'
Fred Logan, of the Kansas Board of Regents, said more than 500 of the 630 immigrants currently accessing in-state tuition attend community colleges. He said the 2004 law treats students without legal status fairly.
Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the repeal bill's chief proponent, argued that natives of foreign countries who follow the legal process of getting student visas to attend Kansas universities have to pay out-of-state tuition.
"I think that is an absurd reverse incentive," Kobach said. "If you follow the law, we're charging you three times more."
The biggest response from the crowded gallery came when Rep. Ponka-We Victors, D-Wichita, ended a series of questions to Kobach.
"I think it's funny, Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you," said Victors, the lone Native American in the Legislature.
People in the gallery then applauded, which is rare in such hearings. The committee did not take action on the bill.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:15 AM
Thursday, March 21, 2013
What Exactly Is Rand Paul's Position on Immigration Reform?
Behold the junior senator and Tea Party hero from Kentucky, best known for citing the U.S. Constitution, Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
On Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul threw his support behind legalizing the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., signaling his determination to expand his following beyond the tea party movement as he positions himself for a 2016 presidential campaign. Just two years ago, Paul was pushing to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.
Paul's first major speech on the topic came the same day the Iowa Republican Party announced he would headline their annual fundraiser -- a coveted stage for auditioning presidential candidates -- and one day after a Republican National Committee report embraced immigration reform as a way to boost the party's appeal with Hispanic voters. Paul's speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington was striking not for its policy details -- in fact, they were quite fuzzy -- but for the obvious charm offensive it represented toward the fastest growing part of the electorate.
"I think his goal is to appeal to a broader audience," said Sal Russo, a chief adviser to the Tea Party Express and a longtime Republican strategist. "Immigration is not a defining Tea Party issue like spending and debt, and there is a wide spectrum of viewpoints on it. I think it's a political winner."
Paul is not fluent in Spanish but he slipped into the language several times during his speech, drawing applause from the Hispanic audience for his above-average pronunciation. The senator from Bowling Green, Kentucky, also reminded the audience that he grew up alongside many Hispanics in Texas.
"Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans like myself become part of the solution," he said. "That is why I'm here today, to begin that conversation."
Though Paul disagrees with some key provisions of the immigration-reform plan backed by a bipartisan group in the Senate, the partial endorsement from a Tea Party conservative was enthusiastically praised by some of those senators as well as immigration advocates.
"He killed it," Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Reform, said of the speech. "The more people like Senator Paul are engaged in the debate, the more the conversation moves forward. He has credibility with Tea Party conservatives like no one else."
"The more people like Senator Paul are engaged in the debate, the more the conversation moves forward. He has credibility with Tea Party conservatives like no one else."
Paul's speech was also noteworthy for its departure from his libertarian father's legacy. Former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas took a hard-line stance against illegal immigration, demanding tighter border security; banning illegal immigrants from public schools, hospitals, and social services; and calling for an end to birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants. Last month, he called the bipartisan plan in the Senate a "bad deal." So by veering from that script, the younger Paul signaled his hope to be taken more seriously than his father, a twice-failed presidential candidate who was frequently marginalized as a fringe ideologue. (The younger Paul said Tuesday after the speech that he would rethink his opposition to birthright citizenship if immigration laws were overhauled.)
Paul's stock has been rising in recent days. He captured national attention and his colleague's praise with a 13-hour talking filibuster and won the straw poll at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference. But his lack of experience on the national stage was apparent Tuesday as his speech created widespread confusion over whether or not he backed allowing illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.
Though Paul did not use the words "pathway to citizenship" he didn't rule it out in his speech, either. He backed allowing undocumented workers to live and work in the U.S. permanently without requiring them to return to their home country, but he said, "We also must treat those who are here with understanding and compassion without also unduly rewarding them for coming illegally .... My plan will not grant amnesty or move anyone to the front of the line." Media outlets from the Associated Press to The Huffington Post initially reported that Paul did back a pathway to citizenship. Even Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and chairman of the Senate immigration subcommittee, was under that impression. "The consensus continues to grow in favor of immigration reform that contains a path to citizenship," he said in a written statement.
Paul's office objected to the early reports and arranged an afternoon conference call. Unfortunately, Paul didn't completely clarify his position during the call, complaining that the debate was trapped in murky and polarizing phrases and words like "pathway to citizenship" and "amnesty."
"Those who are here, if they want to work, let's find a place for them," Paul said. "If they want to become citizens, I'm open to debate as to what we do to move forward."
Paul sought to frame his speech in broad strokes and avoid the weeds of policy details, adding, "I'm a conservative Republican who says we need to move forward on the issue of immigration reform. That's a big step forward."
So does Paul back the bipartisan Senate outline and President Obama's proposal, which would allow illegal immigrants to eventually earn citizenship? Still unclear.
Ridiculous! British Coalition's blast after Labour figures put migrant wave of Romanians and Bulgarians at just 12,700
The number of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants expected when the UK opens its doors next January was put at just 12,700, according to long-hidden figures. The total, compiled under the Labour government, was immediately rejected as ‘ridiculous’ by senior Coalition figures.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the estimates, revealed yesterday after months of cover-up by ministers, were drawn up by Labour after comparing the two countries to Poland, which has sent around one million people to the UK.
The document predicts just 4,613 Bulgarians, out of a population of 7.5million, will come to Britain every year, along with 8,156 Romanians – a tiny fraction of its 21.4million inhabitants.
Addressing Westminster journalists, Mr Pickles said he had ‘no confidence’ in the figures and that was why ministers chose not to publicise them, though he said they were slipped out on a Whitehall website in 2011.
The total of 12,769 is very similar to the 13,000 Labour ministers claimed would come to the UK in 2004, when immigration restrictions were lifted on Poland and nine other Eastern European countries.
In the event, more than a million people have flocked to Britain from Poland alone over the last nine years.
Mr Pickles revealed that the research existed in a television interview in January, but immigration minister Mark Harper refused to release the study, saying it would not be ‘helpful’.
Yesterday Mr Pickles said: ‘These are calculations. I don’t have any confidence in them whatsoever.’
He added that he doesn’t know how many immigrants will come to the UK in January but hopes it will be lower than in 2004, when many other EU countries refused to lift restrictions at the same time as Britain.
He said: ‘Last time, we, Ireland and Sweden opened up our boundaries, when France and Germany and Spain didn’t open up their boundaries, so a disproportionately large number of Poles came to the UK.
‘This time everyone is opening up at the same time. If you combine Romania and Bulgaria they don’t even meet the level of the Polish population.’
He added: ‘Bulgarians and Romanians have a link with Spain and with France.’
The campaign group Migration Watch UK has estimated up to 75,000 Romanians and Bulgarians could enter the UK a year.
Commenting on the figures, chairman Sir Andrew Green said: ‘We regard the estimate as much too low and agree with Mr Pickles that it is not a sufficient basis for policy. ‘For a start it ignores the two million Romanians in Spain and Italy, many of whom are now unemployed and might move to Northern Europe.’
Mr Pickles added: ‘No matter how many fancy calculations you can make, I don’t know. The truth is nobody really knows.
‘All the government can do is be careful about pull factors that might range from the health service to housing and benefits to try to ensure there isn’t an extra attraction to come here.’
Ministers are making plans to require new immigrants to register to use public services or claim benefits. The Government is also considering sending home those who fail to find work.
Minister for local government Brandon Lewis denied there had been a cover-up. He said: ‘We have been open and transparent in publishing research.... ‘This analysis was produced by the last administration, and should be treated with extreme caution given how unreliable their statistics have been historically.’
Posted by jonjayray at 9:03 AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
All the News That Fits
Biased Coverage of Immigration at the New York Times
A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that the New York Times's coverage of one of the most pressing social issues, U.S. immigration policy, is flawed by ideological bias that frames illegal immigrants as a vulnerable class to be protected against critics whose motivation is rooted in racism.
The report claims, “Thus conceived as a clash of noble strivers versus snarling nativists, illegal immigration at the Times is not subjected to the rigorous analysis of costs and benefits that, under basic rules of journalism, should be applied to any major issue of public policy.”
The complete report, All the News That Fits: Ideologically Skewed Coverage of Immigration at the New York Times, shows how Times reporters confine their immigration coverage to a narrow, ideological frame. It can be found online here.
It notes, for example, that while the Times' Nina Bernstein has done admirable investigative work in exposing abuse of illegal immigrants, “she appears incapable of acknowledging the accumulating costs imposed on society by the influx of millions of poor, poorly educated, and unskilled immigrants, many of them in the country illegally.”
The paper's coverage of immigration is an example of the problem identified by Daniel Okrent, the first public editor at the New York Times. He wrote that when it comes to coverage of social issues, “if you think the Times plays it down the middle … you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed.”
The new report's author, former reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Jerry Kammer, likens the Times’s immigration coverage to notorious previous failures at the paper, including its work on the national savings and loan scandal in the 1980s, the defeat of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas in 1990, and fabricated rape accusations against Duke lacrosse players in 2006.
In all three of those instances, Kammer writes, the Times’s coverage was so constricted by a rigid ideological frame that reporters suspended the skepticism and independent judgment that are essential to solid journalism.
Finding the same flaws in the Times immigration coverage, Kammer concludes that its failure “affects not only public opinion but also the work of reporters around the country who might otherwise look more deeply into a story of great complexity and profound consequences.”
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact: Marguerite Telford, 202-466-8185, email@example.com. 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
Recent posts at CIS below
See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.
1. Sulzberger’s Voice: How Arthur Sulzburger Radicalized the New York Times Editorial Page on Immigration
2. Statement on Repealing the Maryland Highway Safety Act of 2013
3. More Birth-Tourism Births Than Indigenous Births in CNMI
4. We Should Remember the Bracero Program ... and Shudder
5. Natural Conservatives? Really?
Posted by jonjayray at 3:58 PM
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Opposition to amnesty for illegals blocked in most of the media
The MSM shut out of anti Amnesty opinion remains virtually total (excepting the comment threads). But the memo apparently did not reach the Daily Light of Waxahachie Texas which allowed a really superb exception Why immigration amnesty should and will fail by Jan Ting Thursday, March 14, 2013
The so-called comprehensive immigration reform proposed by a group of Senators and President Obama amounts to immediate amnesty for millions of immigration law violators, the lifting of limits on future immigration, with some window dressing designed to assuage skeptical voters.
We’ve seen this act before. The 1986 amnesty promised to fix the immigration problem by amnestying 3 million immigration law violators, strengthening the border, and penalizing employers for hiring illegal immigrants. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.
Ting grasps that Amnesty means accelerated immigration
The Pew Research Center estimates that the U.S. population will increase from 300 million to over 400 million by 2050, mainly because of immigration, and that’s if we do nothing. And expect 600 million by the end of the century, again if we do nothing.
Another amnesty will accelerate that rapid population growth. Where will another 100 or 300 million people obtain schooling and health care and energy to heat their homes? Where will they drive and park their cars? Anyone here concerned about the environment, waste disposal, open space preservation, clean air and water?
He understands Amnesty’s cost
The United States is experiencing a protracted period of unemployment still hovering around 8 percent. Prolonged unemployment is a tragedy of broken lives, broken families, foreclosed homes, and life without health insurance. Legal immigrants, including those amnestied, will be able to compete with unemployed Americans for jobs.
And a major motivation
If we’re willing to accept unlimited immigration in order to keep wages low and corporate profits high, we should just say so and stop paying billions of dollars annually for all the immigration enforcement window dressing.
And (I think) the other
I think the American people want to enforce a numerical limit on immigration, even if it means turning away people who look like our ancestors.
Behaviorally as well as visually!
Jan Ting is an interesting man. The son of Chinese immigrants and a law professor at Philadelphia’s Temple University, he was the Republican candidate for Senate in Delaware in 2006. According to his Wikipedia entry he was subsequently forced out of the party in 2008 for supporting Obama over McCain. He “…cited his concerns about John McCain's immigration policy and support for the Iraq War” the latter a very valid point in my personal opinion.
Although this is said to be a syndicated column, I can find no sign any other newspaper picked it up.
What a comment on the totalitarianism of the MSM on Amnesty that this well-argued piece by a highly credentialed observer could only be published in the newspaper of a Texan town with a population of barely 30,000.
Unlikely that immigration reform will save GOP among Latinos
In the November presidential election, the GOP got just a quarter of the Latino votes in the country. And the party is hoping softening its rhetoric and fighting hard for immigration reform could help it expand its tent.
But a Latino Decisions, a Latino public opinion firm, poll out Monday reveals that it is just a first step to get the Latino vote.
An estimated 63 percent of Latinos know someone who is an illegal immigrant making the issue of reform more than a policy decision; its a personal one.
According to the survey, 32 percent of Hispanic voters would be more likely to vote for a Republican candidate if the party showed it was engaged in passing immigration reform and "used party votes" to approve the bill, but nearly 50 percent said it would have absolutely no effect on their vote.
In another possible scenario, if the Republican-controlled House of Representatives blocked comprehensive immigration legislation, 47 percent of Latino voters said it would not have any impact on how they voted, while 39 percent said they would be less likely to cast a ballot for a GOP candidate.
The long and complicated battle to find common ground on the immigration reform issue has failed before. And while bipartisan groups of lawmakers in both the House and the Senate are working around the clock to finalize a bill, sticking points remain.
Whether or not the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the country should have to wait in line to get legal status and whether they should be put on a path to citizenship are among the top issues remaining.
The Latino Decisions poll showed 49 percent of Hispanic voters believe that Congress should require illegal immigrants to wait anywhere between one to five years, before they should be allowed to get on a path to citizenship.
Another issue fraught with peril is determining the number of guest workers allowed in the country.
Labor Unions and business owners disagree on the right number of foreign workers that should be allowed to flow into the country. Unions would prefer the number stays low in order to avoid an influx of workers and force wages down. Whereas groups like the Chamber of Commerce would like to see more guest workers, arguing that foreign workers are sometimes the only ones willing to do jobs Americans either won't do or are not qualified for.
"The solution may be a market-driven cap where more immigrants come into the country when the economy is good and when the economy is bad, the government allows fewer immigrants," says Brent Wilkes, the national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a centrist group that fights for comprehensive immigration reform.
But workers are not the only point that could blow up immigration reform.
As if immigration reform was not controversial enough, the issue of gay, binational couples is another area that could bring the negotiations to a screeching halt.
While straight, married couples can sponsor their spouse for green cards, the Defense of Marriage Act bans the federal government from recognizing gay marriages. Therefore, gay couples sometimes must choose to live elsewhere to stay together. The Senate's bipartisan group of lawmakers recognized gay marriage could put a wrench in their negotiations and failed to include provisions to protect gay couples in their framework. Meanwhile, the White House outlined it as of critical importance for them.
Posted by jonjayray at 9:53 AM
Monday, March 18, 2013
Must voters have to prove citizenship to register?
The Supreme Court will struggle this week with the validity of an Arizona law that tries to keep illegal immigrants from voting by demanding all state residents show documents proving their U.S. citizenship before registering to vote in national elections.
The high court will hear arguments Monday over the legality of Arizona's voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal "Motor Voter" voter registration law that doesn't require such documentation.
This case focuses on voter registration in Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating similar legislation, officials say.
The Obama administration is supporting challengers to the law.
If Arizona can add citizenship requirements, then "each state could impose all manner of its own supplemental requirements beyond the federal form," Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said in court papers.
A federal appeals court threw out the part of Arizona's Proposition 200 that added extra citizenship requirements for voter registration, but only after lower federal judges had approved it.
Arizona wants the justices to reinstate its requirement.
Kathy McKee, who led the push to get the proposition on the ballot, said voter fraud, including by illegal immigrants, continues to be a problem in Arizona.
Opponents of Arizona's law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly.
When the topic is illegal immigration, the focus is usually on Latinos. But more than 1 million of the nation's undocumented immigrants are Asian and Pacific Islanders, with an estimated 416,000 of them in California.
The older generation of undocumented Asians tends to stay silent. But Panaligan and other younger members of that group — who have benefited from the temporary protection President Obama extended last year to qualified young people under the Dream Act — think this may be a good time to seize on an opportunity.
They note that 73% of the Asian Americans who went to the polls in November cast votes for Obama, with immigration reform cited as a huge factor. They have seen Republican leaders reconsider the party's hard line on immigration. And they have seen national polls indicating majority support among U.S. citizens for a pathway to citizenship.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:25 PM
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Some contorted reasoning
The Los Angeles Times ran a Thursday editorial by Middlebury College Professor Bill McKibben arguing that allowing millions of illegal immigrants into America will reduce global warming.
“I feel it's urgent that we get real immigration reform, allowing millions to step out of the shadows and on to a broad path toward citizenship,” wrote McKibben. “It will help, not hurt, our environmental efforts, and potentially in deep and powerful ways.”
McKibben says that while the average American has a larger carbon footprint than a person living in the developing world, bringing more immigrants to America would likely reduce their tendency to have higher birthrates, thereby creating less carbon-producing people.
“It's true that the typical person from a developing nation would produce more carbon once she adopted an American lifestyle,” says McKibben, “but she also probably would have fewer children.”
McKibben, who previously wrote a book arguing for Americans to have smaller families, says that “global warming is arguably the greatest danger we face,” that “immigrants, by definition, are full of hope,” and they are thus less likely to “pull the [election] lever for climate deniers, for people who want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, for the politicians who take huge quantities of cash from the Koch brothers and other oil barons.”
Interestingly, among those who profit from deals with “oil barons,” McKibben failed to mention Al Gore. Gore recently sold Current TV for $500 million to Al Jazeera, which is owned by the government of Qatar, an oil-rich Persian Gulf state.
Australian Leftist PM accused of using rubbery figures in 457 visa fight
She wants to keep LEGAL immigrants out -- while hosting thousands of useless "asylum seekers"
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is being accused of using rubbery figures to justify her call for a crackdown on 457 visa rorts.
On Thursday Ms Gillard told an Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) conference that temporary overseas work was growing faster than employment.
She said temporary overseas worker numbers were up 20 per cent compared with the same time last year, whereas employment growth for the period was only 1 per cent.
"That in itself is evidence of a problem," she said.
"The number of people coming here to fill short-term gaps should not be growing 20 times faster than employment overall."
But demographer and government adviser Peter McDonald says the Prime Minister's statement does not bear scrutiny.
He says that is because the retirement of baby boomers means Australia starts each year 140,000 workers short.
457 visa numbers
2011-12 - 125,070
2009-10 - 67,980
2007-08 - 110,570
2003-04 - 39,500
"If the labour force grows by 1 per cent as the Prime Minister says, that's about 120,000 [people]," he said.
"So we take the 120,000 growth, 140,000 we have to make up, [making a] combined 260,000 new workers that we have to get into the labour force, and 457s make up about 40,000 of that.
"I think the way the Prime Minister expressed it about growth rates, not using numbers, was really statistically misleading."
Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor says Mr McDonald's comments are wrong and irrelevant.
"The Government is perfectly correct in saying the total 457 issues has vastly outstripped total employment growth, but the total figures really aren't the point of our reforms," he said.
"The Government doesn't think all 457s are rorts, the Government thinks there are problems with particular firms and particular occupations."
The ABC has confirmed that no-one in the bureaucracy is driving the Government's push against 457 visas.
On the contrary, the Immigration Department issued a statement in February saying falling demand since last June showed the program was responding well to economic needs.
But Ms Gillard sees it differently: "457s are a gap filler for our skills-poor economy at times and places of highest need. Yet that is simply not what is happening today and that is why we must fix it," she told the union summit.
Ms Gillard also said it was unacceptable that too many temporary overseas workers were filling health jobs and that local workers were missing out. She said tighter requirements on visa applicants and employers would address that.
"Most striking of all is the widespread use of temporary skilled labour in hospitals and health," she said.
But Mr McDonald says "nasty" comments like that undermine the system. "The Prime Minister talked about health workers, for example, in I think quite a nasty way," he said.
"The health workers that she's [talking about are] highly skilled health workers, many of them working in regional areas, the only doctor for miles, the only pharmacist for miles.
"And she's telling them that they've been given the priority whereas Australians have to clean the toilets or work cleaning the hospitals, etc. "I think that's pretty nasty stuff."
Posted by jonjayray at 9:52 AM
Friday, March 15, 2013
Obama administration acknowledges releasing more than 2,000 illegal immigrants for budget reasons
After weeks of denials, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday that it had, in fact, released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants from immigration jails due to budget concerns during three weeks in February. Four of the most serious offenders have been put back in detention.
The administration had insisted that only a "few hundred" immigrants were released for budgetary reasons, challenging as inaccurate a March 1 report by The Associated Press that the agency had released more than 2,000 immigrants in February and planned to release more than 3,000 others this month. Intense criticism led to a temporary shutdown of the plan.
The director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, told a congressional panel Thursday that the agency had actually released 2,228 people from immigration jails over the course of three weeks, starting February 9, for what he described as "solely budgetary reasons." They included 10 people considered the highest level of offender.
After the administration had challenged the AP's reporting, ICE said it didn't know how many people had been released for budget reasons but would review its records.
Morton, who testified with two other agency officials, told lawmakers that the decision to release the immigrants was not discussed in advance with political appointees, including those in the White House and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. He said the pending automatic cuts known as sequestration was "driving in the background."
"We were trying to live within the budget that Congress had provided us," Morton told lawmakers. "This was not a White House call. I take full responsibility."
The House appropriations subcommittee chairman, Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, pressed Morton about the agency's claims that immigrants were routinely released, and Morton acknowledged that the release of more than 2,000 immigrants was not routine.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had previously dismissed reports about thousands of immigrants being released. 'Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn't thousands,' she said.
"At the time this release started, the president of the United States was going around the country telling people what the pain was going to be from sequester," Carter said. "That's a fact. That was the atmosphere. It was Chicken Little, the sky is falling, almost."
Morton told Carter that more immigrants were released in Texas than in any other state but did not name other states where they were released.
Morton said that although the most serious offender category can include people convicted of aggravated felonies, many of those released were facing financial crimes. Those released include immigrants who had faced multiple drunken driving offenses, misdemeanor crimes and traffic offenses, Morton said.
The AP, citing internal budget documents, reported exclusively that the administration had released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants since at least Feb. 15 and planned to release 3,000 more in March due to looming budget cuts. Napolitano said days later that the AP's report was "not really accurate" and that the story had developed "its own mythology."
"Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn't thousands," Napolitano said March 4 at a Politico-sponsored event.
On March 5, the House Judiciary Committee publicly released an internal ICE document that it said described the agency's plans to release thousands of illegal immigrants before March 31. The document was among those reviewed independently by the AP for its story days earlier.
The immigrants who were released still eventually face deportation and are required to appear for upcoming court hearings. But they are no longer confined in immigration jails, where advocacy experts say they cost about $164 per day per person. Immigrants who are granted supervised release — with conditions that can include mandatory check-ins, home visits and GPS devices — cost the government from 30 cents to $14 a day, according to the National Immigration Forum, a group that advocates on behalf of immigrants.
Senate group considers large reduction in family visas as part of immigration deal
Key senators are developing plans that would make it harder for U.S. citizens to get visas for their family members while easing the path for more high-skilled foreign workers, according to aides and advocates familiar with negotiations over an emerging immigration deal.
The plans — which would run counter to policies that have been in place for generations — are part of ongoing talks between a bipartisan group of eight senators, whose bill is expected to serve as the template for a comprehensive immigration deal between Congress and the White House.
The senators agree that a limited number of people should be allowed into the country each year; the question is who those people should be. Currently, about two-thirds of legal immigrants are admitted for family reasons and 14 percent for employment, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The rest are humanitarian cases.
Republicans would prefer to admit greater numbers of high-skilled workers, who business leaders say are in short supply and who would provide an immediate economic benefit. Democrats generally favor giving priority to family members of citizens and legal residents already in the country, saying they provide support networks that help families thrive.
As it stands, spouses and minor children of citizens are given top priority, followed by unmarried children over 21 and, lastly, married adult children and siblings. The Senate proposal would eliminate the latter two categories altogether, which add up to about 90,000 visas per year. Those people could still apply for entry into the country but would need other qualifications, such as high-tech skills, to be approved for a green card.
Senators involved in the negotiations stress no final decision has been made. But Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a leader in the talks, said in an interview Thursday that “we’re going to change fundamentally the immigration system,” including tighter limits on family visas.
“Right now you get green cards to adult children, to grandparents,” Graham said. “What I want to do is reserve green cards based on the economic needs of the country, and we’ll do something for families. But the goal for me is to replace a chained migration immigration system with an economic-based immigration system.”
The group of senators, which includes four Democrats and four Republicans, has said it will release a comprehensive bill in early April. The Obama administration has expressed support for the group’s general principles.
The proposed changes to the family system have angered immigration advocates, who warn the move could threaten the chances of a broader reform agreement.
“Eliminating these categories would produce only a small reduction in visas while creating greater hardship for thousands of U.S. citizens and their loved ones,” two dozen members of the House Asian Pacific American caucus wrote in a letter to the eight senators last week. “We oppose any efforts to further limit the definition of family.”
The family visa program has been largely overshadowed by fierce public debate over a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants and an expanded guest worker program for foreigners. But potential changes to the family visa program, which has a waiting list of 4.3 million people, also will play a pivotal role in any agreement reached by Congress and the White House.
Posted by jonjayray at 8:56 AM