Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA): Chair of House Immigration Subcommittee

  • By Matt Hildreth of America's Voice

  • The worst thing about Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) might not be his extremist views towards immigrants and immigration policy. Don’t get me wrong, they’re bad—I mean really bad. But the absolute worst thing about Gallegly has to be his incredible influence in Washington.
    And when it comes to immigration policy, Gallegly takes full advantage of his position as the top Republican in charge of setting immigration policy to push his fringed agenda.
    As chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee, he used our nation’s economic crisis to push for the mass deportation of millions, an idea that would make his home state of California even more broke than it already is.
    And even though has more power over immigration polices than any other Republican in Congress, many people in his own district, let alone California, don’t even know who he is.

    Read more of this and other articles:

    E-Verify: a dagger in the heart of Agriculture

    By Mahwish Khan
    [Last weeks] Supreme Court ruling to uphold Arizona’s law requiring state businesses use the E-Verify system strikes a crushing blow to the Arizona agriculture industry.  If other states follow Arizona’s lead, or if Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) gets his wish and rams through a mandatory E-Verify law this summer, it will be the beginning of the end for American farms, domestic food sources, and related jobs held by Americans in production, processing, transportation, and marketing. In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform at the federal level, mandatory E-Verify will deport farms and jobs. This will hurt all Americans.

    According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:
    Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling is a dagger in the heart of Arizona agriculture.  If this type of law spreads nationwide, we will essentially deport the entire agriculture industry—including jobs held by Americans—and be forced to import more of our nation’s food supply.  Passing a mandatory E-Verify law without comprehensive immigration reform will kill American jobs and farms, burden small businesses, reduce tax revenue, and drive undocumented workers further underground. 

    80 Yrs in Jail: Employers of Illegals

    The crackdown against illegal immigration is moving in a different direction.  Local, state and federal authorities are changing the emphasis, increasingly going after employers while relaxing a bit the large scale factory-type of raids rounding up undocumented workers.

    Photo:  mouthnews.com

    According to the Seattle Times, " immigration authorities have greatly expanded the number of businesses facing scrutiny and cases where employers face severe sanctions.
    In a break with Bush-era policies, the number of criminal cases against illegal-immigrant workers has dropped sharply in two years."

    "Among those who have felt the impact of the tactics are two owners of Mexican restaurants in the Chuy's Mesquite Broiler chain, popular for their laid-back Margaritaville mood and broiled mahi tacos. On April 20, immigration agents descended on 14 Chuy's restaurants in Arizona and California, detaining kitchen workers and carrying away payroll books and other evidence.
    The only criminal defendants were the owners, Mark Evenson and his son Christopher, and an accountant, Diane Ingrid Strehlow. If convicted on all charges of tax fraud and harboring illegal workers, the Evensons each face more than 80 years in jail."

    Read more of this and other articles in the Seattle Times

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Secure Communities

    California Assembly Responds to Secure Communities Program With the TRUST Act

    "The hudled masses have toget in line and go through the legal process just like everyone else."
    Photo:  parcbench.com
    "Secure Communities" was touted as a way to help identify and deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes. But over the past year, the program has come under fire from those who say it has failed to track down or deport dangerous immigrants. Department of Homeland Securities' statistics indicate that many of those deported under the program had never been convicted of a crime or were guilty of only minor crimes.
    "Trust Act"
    On Thursday, the Assembly passed the TRUST Act by a 43-22 vote. The measure would require that only the fingerprints of convicted felons be run through federal databases. The bill, sponsored by Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), would essentially reset the rules for how California counties participate in Secure Communities.

    READ MORE about Secure Communities and other related articles:  Americas Voice Online 

    Undocumented Immigrants: a burden or benefit?

    Myth: Undocumented workers are a burden on the U.S. economy.

    Reality: Immigrants not only pay taxes, but they also contribute significantly to the economy.In a 2007 report, the White House Council of Economic Advisers concluded that..

    -. Immigration increases the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by roughly US  $37 billion each year.
    - Given that employment has been the main driver behind undocumented immigration to the U.S. in recent decades, it should come as no surprise that this group is particularly hard working and has a high employment rate (96%).

     According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic owned firms increased by nearly 44 percent between 2002 and 2007, growing from 1.6 million businesses to 2.3 million.

    Employment at Hispanic-owned firms also grew by 26 percent from 1.5 million to 1.9 million workers, a growth rate significantly higher than that of non-minority-owned firms.

    Hispanic-owned businesses generated US$  345.2 billion in sales in 2007, up 55.5 percent compared with 2002.

    Read more:

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Supreme Court on Immigration

    Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Law Penalizing Businesses For Hiring Illegal Immigrants

    Supreme Court Arizona Immigration Law
    BOB CHRISTIE and MARK SHERMAN   05/26/11 08:07 PM ET   AP

    PHOENIX — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an Arizona law that penalizes businesses for hiring workers in the country illegally, buoying the hopes of supporters of state crackdowns on illegal immigration.
    They predicted the ruling would lead to many other states passing laws that require employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check that workers aren't illegal immigrants. And some said the ruling bodes well for the prospects of a much broader and more controversial immigration law in Arizona, known as SB1070, to be found constitutional.
    The state is appealing a ruling blocking portions of that law from taking effect.
    But some legal experts said the ruling should not be read as a broad validation of such tactics. While they acknowledge that other states will now pass similar employer sanctions, they cautioned that the court did not make any sweeping endorsement of states' rights to enforce federal immigration laws.

    See more of this and other articles on :  The Huffington Post

    Immigrants In USA Blog: First Quarter 2011, Record 1538 State Bills Relating to Immigrants Introduced

    State legislatures continue to grapple with immigration issues at an unprecedented rate. In the first quarter of 2011, state legislators in the 50 states and Puerto Rico introduced 1,538 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees. This number surpasses the first quarter of 2010, when 1,180 bills were introduced.

    Click to read more of this and other articles:
    Immigrants In USA Blog: First Quarter 2011, Record 1538 State Bills Relating to Immigrants Introduced

    Who pays taxes?

    My The U.S. Social Security Administration has estimated that three quarters of undocumented   immigrants pay payroll taxes, and that they contribute US $6-7 billion in Social Security funds that they will be unable to claim (Porter 2005......, and an additional US$1.5 billion in Medicare taxes. This money, according to the 2008 annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees, will help reduce the SSA’s projected longterm
    deficit by 15%.

    See more of this comment:Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/25/2233839/sc-house-approves-immigration.html#comment#ixzz1NgkZWmr3

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Free Services for Undocumented Immigrants?

    Immigrants pay $ 80,000 more in taxes than they receive from the gov.

    Source:  Comments in the Miami Herald blog by commentor "Archie Bunker"

     Myth: Undocumented immigrants are getting government services for free.

    REALITY: They actually give more than they take. Over the past two decades, most studies that have tried to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that the tax revenue generated by immigrants —both legal and undocumented— exceeds the cost of the services they use. Thus, an Economic Report of the President published in 2005 estimated that immigrants paid on average US $80,000 per capita more in taxes than the cost of the government services they were expected to use over their lifetime.

    Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between US $120 billion and US $240 billion from undocumented immigrants. That represented 5.4% to 10.7% of the trust fund’s total assets of US$2.24 trillion that year.  The Social Security Administration estimates that two-thirds of unauthorized immigrant workers (about 5.6 million people) were paying into the system in 2007. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of US$12 billion in 2007 alone.

    Click to read more of this comment: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/25/2233839/sc-house-approves-immigration.html#comment#ixzz1NNYck1tc

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration


    The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration is a 1997 study on the demographic, economic, and fiscal consequences of immigration to the United States by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences The NRC report found that although immigrants, especially those from Latin America, were a net cost in terms of taxes paid versus social services received, overall immigration was a net economic gain due to an increase in pay for higher-skilled workers, lower prices for goods and services produced by immigrant labor, and more efficiency and lower wages for some owners of capital. The report also notes that although immigrant workers compete with domestic workers for some low skilled jobs, some immigrants specialize in activities that otherwise would not exist in an area, and thus are performing services that otherwise would not exist, and thus can be beneficial for all domestic residents.  The U.S. Census Bureau's  Survey of Business Owners: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 2002 indicated that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States grew to nearly 1.6 million in 2002. Those Hispanic-owned businesses generated about $222 billion in revenue.[3] The report notes that the burden of poor immigrants is not born equally among states, and is most heavy in California.[4]
    On the poor end of the spectrum, the "New Americans" report found that low-skill low wage immigration does not, on aggregate, lower the wages of most domestic workers.

    Click to see more of this article from Wikipedia

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Immigration Measures Fail

    States' immigration efforts fizzle

    Nearly every state in the union tried to tackle immigration on its own this year in the absence of any congressional movement on the matter, and more than half considered Arizona-style enforcement measures, up from just six in 2010.
    But an Associated Press review found that in legislature after legislature, nearly all the most punitive measures failed.
    What had passed as of Monday mostly reinforced current federal law, though a small number of states actually passed legislation that was helpful to illegal immigrants.
    Many measures were set aside so lawmakers could focus on pressing budget crises, but immigrants have also developed more sophisticated lobbying efforts, and business owners came out strongly against tougher sanctions. Some worried about losing sources of labor and gaining extra paperwork. Others feared tourism boycotts like the one organized against Arizona.
    Early in the year, high unemployment, a slew of newly Republican-dominated legislatures and nationwide frustration over the failure by the White House or Congress to address the problem suggested Arizona's law would be copied.
    That law makes it a state crime for an illegal immigrant to work, penalizes employers who hire them and encourages local authorities to turn over illegal immigrants to federal authorities, among other measures. An appellate court has blocked provisions that require immigrants carry visa documents and allow police broad leeway to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.
    Louisiana State Rep. Joe Harrison, a Republican, said federal inaction prompted his interest in state laws on immigration.
    "I'm just trying to give them a little Taser move in the right direction," he said.
    But Harrison's bill has yet to move out of committee, and most of the others failed, as did most of the proposals requiring businesses to use the federal government's electronic E-verify system to check the eligibility of new hires. Only a few states made any serious attempt to crack down on employers.
    So far, only Georgia and Utah have passed comprehensive bills. South Carolina and Alabama are still considering them. Utah's law includes a provision to allow illegal immigrants to work in the state, and the American Civil Liberties Union has already sued Utah over the law's enforcement provisions.
    Georgia was the shining example for those hoping to step up enforcement and the closest to Arizona. Its new law allows local officers to check the immigration status of a suspect who can't produce an accepted form of ID. It also includes a provision requiring employers with more than 10 employees to use E-Verify by July 2013, similar to a 2007 law Arizona. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill earlier this month and opponents say they plan to sue the state.
    Following the failure of the recent Dream Act in Washington - which would have provided a path to legalization for qualified illegal immigrant students and other young adults - several states adopted legislation this session that helps illegal immigrant students. Maryland approved in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants, Illinois is likely to set up a private scholarship fund for them, and Connecticut expanded in-state tuition for graduate school. An in-state tuition bill in Oregon passed the Senate but has yet to reach the House floor.
    Arizona lawmakers ordered school districts to report students' residency, but that was geared toward keeping children who live across the Mexican border from enrolling in Arizona schools.
    Only Indiana passed a law to prohibit in-state tuition for those in the country illegally, a largely symbolic move.
    Most legislation never gets out of committee, and compromise is always key.
    But experts on both sides credit businesses for much of the legislations' failure.
    "Business owners came out of the woodwork in a way they hadn't done before," said Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of mostly small-business owners who support immigration reform.
    Many Florida businesses said they feared the economic damage that would be caused if the state were hit by a tourism boycott like the one immigrant rights groups organized against Arizona.
    In Arizona, 60 top executives signed a letter to Arizona's Senate president, asking for a moratorium on immigration bills.
    Associated Press writers Josh Loftin in Salt Lake City, Kate Brumback in Atlanta, Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis, Molly Davis in Baton Rouge, La., and Roger Alford in Frankfort, Ky., contributed to this report.

     Click for more on this and other articles:  Source:  The Seattle Times

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Illegal immigration and drug cartels

    Source:  The Hill.com
    By Armstrong Williams - 09/17/10 09:39 AM ET

    Are the Mexican drug cartels more effective at stopping illegal immigration than our own Border Patrol? Immigrants seeking to illegally enter the U.S. from Central America are faced with a new and growing threat, cartels. The question is: What does this say about the cartels?

    In August, an Ecuadorian immigrant venturing to the U.S. was detained by the Zetas — a notorious Mexican drug cartel — with a group of 72 other immigrants containing both men and women. Due to their unwillingness to work for the cartel, all were shot dead while the one escaped.

    There are two ways this can be viewed: Either the cartels are growing bigger, so they need more people to smuggle drugs into the U.S. — and there is no better way than to use those who are successful at getting in — or the cartels are weakening and have no choice but to coerce illegal immigrants to do their bidding.

    I might have to go with the latter. When cartels are not generating high drug revenues from their core business, they tend to resort to other illegal activities, such as prostitution and people-smuggling.

    Click to see more of this article.  Source: The Hill's Pundit's Blog

    Add a COMMMENT

    Geo Group Locations

    Graphic source:  The Geo Group Inc

    What is the Geo Group?
    They are located at all the dots on this map.

    You are paying them close to 2 billion dollars a year to do something.

    For one point of view on what they do:  Click on the map.

    (Notice the dot in Cuba?  That's Guantanamo Bay, one of their locations.)

    Click to see more about Geo Group Inc.


    Some Americans have to cross the Border Fence to get back into America.

    According to Reform Immigration for America, The federal government has spent over $2 billion already building a border fence with Mexico that even Sen. John McCain called ineffective. And for what? Apparently, to keep Americans on the other side:
    Lately, though, there’s been a distinctly surreal flavour to Ms Taylor’s colourful display of patriotic identity. About 350 metres from her porch, an imposing metal fence looms into view. It is supposed to divide the US from Mexico, but by a cruel twist of fate, the 83-year-old grandmother’s family home has ended up on the “wrong” side. Four years ago, amid the seemingly endless hand-wringing over the flow of drugs and illegal migrants across their southern border, Washington politicians voted to erect a tall fence that would stretch thousands of miles from San Diego, on the Pacific coast, to Brownsville, on the Gulf of Mexico. The best-laid political schemes do not always work out as planned, though. When government engineers arrived in Ms Taylor’s neighbourhood, their plan hit a snag: the Mexican border follows the meandering Rio Grande in this area. And the river’s muddy banks are too soft and too prone to flooding to support a fence.
    As a result, this corner of south-eastern Texas had its barrier constructed on a levee that follows a straight line from half a mile to two miles north of the river, leaving Ms Taylor’s bungalow – along with the homes and land of dozens of her angry neighbours – marooned on the Mexican side.

    Click to see the rest of this story:  Reform Immigration For America

    Saturday, May 21, 2011


    Gov. Gary R. Herbert recently signed four immigration bills that bring sweeping changes to his state's laws. Here, Herbert speaks after his inauguration in January.
    Scott Sommerdorf/AP

    Gov. Gary R. Herbert recently signed four immigration bills that bring sweeping changes to his state's laws. Here, Herbert speaks after his inauguration in January.
    Ever since Arizona passed its tough immigration law penalizing undocumented workers, other states have been considering similar laws.
    But so far, no Arizona-type legislation has passed. Instead, one state has chosen a different approach that it hopes will become an alternative model for dealing with the illegal immigration problem.

    Utah Conservatives Learn From Arizona

    Last Wednesday, Utah's Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed a package of immigration bills. One is an enforcement law, milder than Arizona's, but still opposed by liberal immigration advocates. Another is a guest-worker bill, which is opposed by some conservatives as amnesty.

    Facing Reality, And Allowing Workers To Stay"

    State Rep. Bill Wright, who wrote part of the law, says he was just trying to deal with the reality that there are 11 million illegal immigrants in America, and they are never going to be deported.
    "I'm of the opinion that we really don't have the ability as a society to remove that large a portion of a segment from our society — either the cost, or just the damage it would do," Wright says.

    "A lot of these people are intertwined in our society. They have financial obligations: They have bank notes; they've bought houses; they contribute; they have jobs," he says.

    Operating from that premise, Wright's guest-worker permit law says that if you pay a fine, have no criminal record and are working, you can stay in Utah.

    A Rough Draft Of National Reform?

    Utah's new law has thrilled immigration reform advocates like Frank Sharry, founder of America's Voice.
    "The Utah legislation is a very rough draft of what we call comprehensive immigration reform at the national level," Sharry says.
    "It combines enforcement and a program to make those here legal," he says.
    Sharry says that in Utah, "what you have is, in a ruby-red state, some legislators and the governor; and the Mormon Church; and a conservative think tank; leading the way towards a more enlightened approach towards immigration."
    The think tank Sharry is referring to is the Utah Compact, a group convened with the governor's blessing to come up with an alternative to the Arizona approach. Aguilar says he hopes Utah's plan will have an impact on the stalled immigration debate in Washington.
    "We need a federal solution," he says. "We don't want to see a patchwork of state legislation on immigration. Hopefully, this will pressure the government, the federal government, to do something."
    Now along comes Utah, asking the federal government to do something very soon. As Bill Wright explains, Utah needs the Obama administration to give it a waiver so it can enact the guest worker law.
    "Up to this point, the federal government has proved that they're null and void of any ideas because of the political environment there," Wright says. "They have not been able to accomplish it. We want some action, we want something done. If we continue to do nothing, if we continue to do enforcement only, all we'll have is a continuing of what we've had the last 35 years. We've decided that's not good enough."

    Click for the full article:  A model for Washington?


    How many immigrants are LEGAL?

    According to wikipedia, Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior. As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries in the world combined.

    Click to see more of this and other articles.   Source:  Wikipedia

    What do you think?

    Immigration Costs

    Immigration Costs American Taxpayers $69 Billion in 1997

    Carrying Capacity . Org
    According to one study conducted by Dr. Donald Huddle, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Rice University in 1997, the net cost of immigration to American taxpayers :

    The nearly 26 million legal and illegal immigrants settling in the United States since 1970 cost taxpayers a net $69 billion in 1997 alone. This cost is a substantial increase over the net immigration costs of $65 billion in 1996, $51 billion ins 1994, $44 billion in 1993, and $43 billion in 1992.

    Over 62% of the net national cost of immigration in 1996,  was attributable to legal  immigrants.

     Illegal immigration generates about 38% of the total net cost.

    Click to see more of this article:     Cost of Immigration


    Do you think this study takes into account all of the factors?

    Another study disagrees with these results:   Lessons from the past

    How Assimilation Works

    —and how multiculturalism has wrecked it in California
    17 May 2011

    City Journal California

    California is a concentrated example of the time-honored idea that America is an immigrant nation. From its beginnings as a territory through the twentieth century, California comprised a riotous variety of ethnic groups, nationalities, and religions. The whole world, it seemed, was coming and contributing to the state’s ethnic tapestry: Mexicans, Irish, Australians, South Sea Islanders, Italians, Basques, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Armenians, Volga Germans, Filipinos, Hmong, Laotians, Punjabis, Vietnamese.

    And for a long time, immigration worked, because everyone was expected to assimilate, more or less, to the American paradigm.


    Click on the link above to read more of this story.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Tea Party Divided


    "Tea Party activists who are debating whether to embrace “family values” issues in a year when the economy could make or break the Democrats and sweep their candidates to power are also divided over another hot-button issue — immigration.
    One leading Tea Party group has decided to work closely with Roy Beck’s Numbers USA, a well-known “restrictionist” lobby that wants to see immigration, both legal and illegal, reduced.  Together these groups are opposing passage of the DREAM Act, the stand-alone legislation that immigration reform advocates have rallied around as the prospects for passing a broader immigration bill have faded.
    However, two other key Tea Party groups, including FreedomWorks, whose co-founder, former House majority leader Dick Armey, supports expanded immigration, say they’ll stay out of the fight over the DREAM Act.
    Ideologically, support for immigration is thoroughly consistent with the Tea Party’s enthusiastic endorsement of the unfettered free market.  In fact, for years, libertarian, pro-free enterprise groups like the CATO Institute have joined business groups and immigration advocates in calling for less government regulation of immigration — a position that critics call an “open borders” policy."

    See more of this and other articles in  The Daily Caller

    Lessons from the Last Immigration Reform

    We could learn much from looking back at the results.  Here is a quick summary of one study by
    Rob Paral & Associates

    Click to see complete report .

    "The data analyzed in this report indicate that unauthorized immigrants who gained legal status in the 1980s through the legalization provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) experienced clear improvement in their socioeconomic situation. Between 1990 and 2006, the educational attainment of IRCA immigrants increased substantially, their poverty rates fell dramatically, and their home ownership rates improved tremendously. Moreover, their real wages rose, many of them moved into managerial positions, and the vast majority did not depend upon public assistance.  .... 
     Reforming our immigration system is not an obstacle to getting our economy back on track—it is part of the solution. "

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Reform by Executive Order

    Time to Fight Back Against Political Bullies Blocking Immigration Reform

    By Juan Williams
    Published May 17, 2011

    Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) has it right on immigration reform. President Obama has it only half right.
    They agree it is time to flip the script on congressional opponents of legislation to modernize the nation’s failed immigration system. The current system amounts to a mindless set of laws that makes it next to impossible to get the world’s brightest and most talented people into the country, and punishes employers and hardworking people who fill the nation’s need for low-wage workers.
    But so far only Gutierrez has a plan for how to stand up and call the bluff of the political bullies blocking immigration reform.
    Gutierrez is urging Obama to sign an executive order halting the deportation of all illegal immigrants who are college age. With that one step the president can shift the political dynamics and force the loudmouths to stop their fear-mongering and get serious about reform.
    For years, right-wing extremists and bellicose talk show hosts have made it impossible to deal rationally with immigration. The central fact is that there are about 12 million illegal immigrants in the country who are not going anywhere. The U.S. government does not have the manpower, handcuffs or buses to send these illegals back to Mexico, Ireland and China.

    Click for more on this and other articles from Fox News . com

    ICE Raids on Elem Schools

    Another Side of the Broken Immigration System

    May 02, 2011 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

    At the end of March, and again in early April, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conducted enforcement actions at two Detroit elementary schools.  These actions unleashed a firestorm of public criticism, and resulted in a decision by ICE headquarters to investigate these and other incidents in Detroit.

    The ICE union, in a statement, denied allegations that the school was being raided and blamed ICE headquarters for indicating the agents may have been acting against ICE policy.

    ICE agents are, according to their union, feeling besieged. The publication Working In These Times reported on an e-mail interview with the ICE union president Chris Crane.  Mr. Crane noted that, in a survey of local ICE union leaders, the number one issue the leaders felt needed addressing was “redefine officers, agents and employees to the American public.”  A couple of excerpts from that interview:

    ICE employees are ridiculed and hated by all; from the public, to special interest groups, to other law enforcement agencies and the media, to politicians and our own president.

    Our employees are incredibly understaffed and absolutely overwhelmed with their workloads, but remain dedicated and work extremely hard for extremely long hours every day, but in the end practically everyone has some type of negative opinion about them.

    Here is the real problem: ICE agents are charged with enforcing broken immigration laws that Congress has, for the past 10 years, refused to fix. 

    Ordinarily, a law enforcement agent might expect public appreciation for arresting a criminal who might pose a threat to the public.  ICE agents do some of that, but they also arrest community members who  pose no danger and are loved and respected by a lot of people.  To the extent that ICE agents stray from the agency’s own rules and priorities, they are, in the public’s eye, not arresting people who are public safety threats, but people who are friends, co-workers, classmates and parents of classmates, employees, parishioners, neighbors.  These are people who, having lived in the U.S. for years and who have been contributing members of communities all across the U.S., should be given a way to gain legal status.  That’s Congress’ job, and it doesn’t look like Congress will be doing their job anytime soon.

    ICE Raids

    Click to see more of this and other articles from the National Immigration Forum

    Moral Questions

    Click on the above YouTube video for a look at some moral questions.

    US News.com

    Congress remains deadlocked over immigration. Many Republicans and border state legislators emphasize securing the U.S. border with Mexico as the critical first step toward reform. Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl in April 2010 called for 3,000 National Guard troops to help close the border and stem cross-border violence. A bill sponsored by Democratic Sens. Clair McCaskill and Chuck Schumer became law in August 2010, sending about 1,000 additional enforcement personnel to the border and providing increased funding for unmanned surveillance drones. Republicans have also called for an expansion of guest worker programs and for an end to birthright citizenship, which, under the 14th Amendment, means anyone born on U.S. soil is a citizen. Democrats, led by Sen. Harry Reid, argue for a “comprehensive” approach--which critics derisively characterize as “amnesty”--including not only border security but also a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the country.

    Click to see more of this article from US News.com

    As we debate the issues, what are the moral questions we need to ask?

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    My Immigration Plan

    More than any subject on Coyote Blog, my immigration posts have engendered more disapproving comments than anything else I have written.  I won’t repeat my position except to say that I don’t care if immigration is currently illegal, because my point is that it should be legal.  In short, my stance has been that our rights do not flow from the government but from our basic humanity, and therefore activities like association, employment decision-making, and property purchase should not be contingent on citizenship.  Its one of those arguments where I wish many on my side of the argument would shut up — If the best argument you can muster for immigration is ‘who will pick the lettuce’, you are not helping very much. 
    For the first 150 years of this country’s history, our country was basically wide-open to immigration.  Sure, there were those opposed (the riots in NYC in the 19th century come to mind) but the opposition was confined mainly to xenophobes and those whose job skills were so minimal that unskilled immigrants who could not speak English were perceived as a threat.   It was only the redistributionist socialism-lite of the New Deal and later the Great Society that began to make unfettered immigration unpopular with a majority of Americans, who rightly did not wish to see the world’s poor migrate to the US seeking an indolent life of living off of government handouts.
    But, as Congress debates a series of immigration plans that make not sense and don’t seem internally consistent, I will propose my own.  I hope that this plan will appeal to those who to date have opposed immigration because of the government handout problem.  I am sure it will continue to be unappealing to those who fear competition in the job market or who don’t like to be near people who don’t speak English very well; This is an elaboration of the plan from this post:
    1. Anyone may enter or reside in the US. The government may prevent entry of a very short list of terrorists and criminals at the border, but everyone else is welcome to come and stay as long as they want for whatever reason.  Anyone may buy property in the US, regardless or citizenship or residency.  Anyone in the US may trade with anyone in the world on the same terms they trade with their next door neighbor.
    2. The US government is obligated to protect the individual rights, particularly those in the Bill of Rights, of all people physically present in our borders, citizen or not.  Anyone, regardless of citizenship status, may buy property, own a business, or seek employment in the United States without any legal distinction vs. US "citizens"
    3. Certain government functions, including voting and holding office, may require formal "citizenship".  Citizenship should be easier to achieve, based mainly on some minimum residency period, and can be denied after this residency only for a few limited reasons (e.g. convicted of a felony).  The government may set no quotas or numerical limits on new citizenships.
    4. All people present in the US pay the same taxes in the same way.  A non-citizen or even a short term visitor pays sales taxes on purchases and income taxes on income earned while present in the US just like anyone else.  Immigrants will pay property taxes just like long-term residents, either directly or via their rent payments.
    5. Pure government handouts, like Welfare, food stamps, the EITC, farm subsidies, and public housing, will only be available to those with full US citizenship.  Vagrancy and squatting on public or private lands without permission will not be tolerated.
    6. Most government services and fee-based activities, including emergency services, public education, transportation, access to public recreation, etc. will be open to all people within the US borders, regardless of citizenship status, assuming relevant fees are paid.
    7. Social Security is a tough beast to classify – I would put it in the "Citizen" category as currently structured (but would gladly put it in the "available to everyone" category if SS could be restructured to better match contributions with benefits, as in a private account system).  But, as currently configured, I would propose that only citizens can accrue and receive SS benefits.  To equalize the system, the nearly 8% employee and 8% employer social security contributions will still be paid by non-citizens working in the US, but these funds can be distributed differently.  I would suggest the funds be split 50/50 between state and local governments to offset any disproportionate use of services by new immigrants.  The federal portion could go towards social security solvency, while the state and local portion to things like schools and medical programs.
    With this plan, we return to the America of our founding fathers, welcoming all immigrants who are willing to take the risk of coming here.  We would end the failed experiment of turning citizenship from a voting right into a comprehensive license that is required to work, own property, or even associate and be present within the US border.  Since immigrants today who are "illegal" pay no income or social security taxes into the system today (they do pay sales and, via rent, property tax), this plan would increase tax revenues while reducing some welfare state burdens.
    I think if you asked many prospective immigrants, they would agree to this deal – no handouts, just a fair chance to make a living and a life.  However, immigrant advocacy organizations are hugely unlikely to accept this plan, as most seem today to have been co-opted by various Marxist organizations who are opposed to anyone opting out of the welfare state (it is no coincidence that the recent immigration policy protests all occurred on May Day, the traditional Soviet-Marxist holiday).
    Finally, I would like to offer one thought to all those who worry about "absorbing" ten or fifteen million new immigrants.  First, I would argue that we have adopted many more immigrants than this successfully in this country’s history, including my grandparents and probably yours.  Second, I would observe that as recently as the last several decades, we managed to absorb 40 million new workers quite successfully, as I wrote here:
    Check this data out, from the BLS:
    • In 1968, the unemployment rate was 3.8%.  22.9 million women were employed in non-farm jobs, accounting for 34% of the work force.
    • In 2000, the unemployment rate was 4.0%.  62.7 million women were employed in the work force, accounting for 48% of the total
    • In these years, the number of women employed increased every single year.  Even in the recession years of 1981-1983 when employment of men dropped by 2.5 million, women gained 400,000 jobs

    See more of this article and others on the Coyote Blog

    Immigrants for Sale

    Are we buying and selling immigrants?  What do the Geo Group Incorporated and Corrections Corporation of America have to do with immigrants?  What happens to someone picked up for being in the US without the proper documents?

    View this YouTube video for more information.

    Immigration and the Economy

    Is it "The Economy Stupid",  as Bill Clinton often reminded himself ?

    View this YouTube video for one opinion.

    One point of view

    If you were to ask President Obama for one thing regarding immigration, what would you ask?

    President Obama: Immigration Reform

    In the above You Tube video, President Obama ask the country to pass immigration reform.

    Is he just looking for the latino vote, or does he want to make real changes?  Is this total politics, just partially political, or genuine concern based on moral principles?

    What would happen if it passed?  If it fails to pass?

    Do you support the Arizona style laws?
    Please comment.