OFIR Blog

Welcome to the new OFIR blog!

OFIR invites you to pop in regularly and find out what's new, what's pressing and needing action and what other concerned citizens are doing in the fight to stop illegal immigration.

News media get F on immigration reporting

How trustworthy are the major newspapers and news media in this country?  Judging from recent reports, not very.  Critical information about the amnesty bills before Congress was omitted by major media.  Here’s proof:

Media Fail: June 30th, 2018 provision goes unreported

By Jeremy Beck, NumbersUSA, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Excerpts:

54 Senators voted yesterday in support of an immigration proposal put forward by Senators Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Rounds (D-S.D.), and Angus King (I-Maine), the self-described "Common Sense Caucus". Did they know what they were voting for?

The proposal's language was still being tweaked on Wednesday but by Thursday morning, Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times had the scoop on some extraordinary details:

Not only would the bill enshrine Obama-era deportation rules, protecting most of the current 11 million illegal immigrants from fear of removal, but it extends those same protections to any illegal immigrants who can jump the border between now and June 30....

.... The key language is on the last page of the amendment which Mr. Schumer introduced last Wednesday.

The bill reads: "In carrying out immigration enforcement activities, the secretary shall prioritize available immigration enforcement resources to aliens who arrived in the United States after June 30, 2018."  …

The "Obama-era deportation rules" effectively exempted 87 percent of unauthorized aliens from immigration law by requiring enforcement agencies to only prioritize convicted felons, gang members national security threats and "recent" border crossers.

The "Common Sense Caucus" attempted to reinstate the Obama rules legislatively, but changed the "we-promise-to-get-serious-now" date from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018. Doing so would ensure that people who entered the country illegally after January 1, 2014 wouldn't be held accountable for the Obama administration's failure to keep its promise and (inexplicably) extend that assurance to people who successfully enter the country illegally at any point over the next four months. …

If American voters had asked Congress to devise a plan to cause another border surge, they could not have asked for much more than what the "Common Sense Caucus" came up with.

Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA, has read more immigration legislation than anyone on Capitol Hill and she told the Washington Times that she had never seen anything like the June 30th provision. …

… in the hours leading up to the Senate vote...

The New York Times did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Washington Post did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Associated Press did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Wall Street Journal did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

Reuters did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

McClatchy did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

USA Today did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Los Angeles Times did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

We've seen this kind of epic fail before. In 2013, the Senate voted on - and passed - the "Gang of Eight" bill that included what would have set off the largest immigration increase in United States history, yet in the months leading up to the votes, none of the above newspapers reported the size and historical nature of that provision. The focus back then - as it was this week - was on the legalization provision. The proposed increases in immigration were deeply unpopular with the public and one would imagine the June 30th provision would be as well. By keeping those details out of news reports, the media helped the sponsors of both proposals present their ideas in the best possible light without having to defend the deeply unpopular aspects. …

------------------

Read the entire article here.

'Dreamer' amnesty now but an end to chain migration in 15 years? No, thanks.

Why Cutting Chain Migration Must Be Part of an Immigration Deal

Immediate relief for ‘Dreamers’ but an end to chain migration in 15 years? No, thanks.

By Jessica Vaughan, Center for Immigration Studies, February 1, 2018

Excerpt:

...  Trump's proposal is to offer immediate legalization to 1.8 million Dreamers, some 700,000 of whom currently have work permits issued, unconstitutionally, under President Obama, and more than a million others who also arrived as children but did not qualify for DACA because of age or failure to complete high school, or some other reason.

To offset these numbers, the Trump plan would cut off sponsorship of adult relatives outside the nuclear family, including parents, and end the visa lottery. Those changes would reduce legal immigration by about 33 percent from today's levels.

Unfortunately, in an effort to mollify high-immigration fans from both parties in Congress, the chain-migration cuts under the Trump plan would not go into effect until the entire waiting list of family chain-migration applicants is cleared. This would take at least 10 years. Then it would take another five years or so before the future chain-migration cuts could offset the 1.8 million new green cards for the Dreamers.

So, if the proposal becomes law, the Dreamers will obtain relief from deportation immediately upon passage of the bill, but Americans will have to wait 15 years for relief from chain migration.

Even more concerning, a proposal now being hammered out by Senate Republicans reportedly would create a new form of residency visa for parents of naturalized citizens, including the parents of the Dreamers. In this scenario, there would be very little decrease in immigration to offset the amnesty, which could then cover about six million people.

No one thought that reaching a deal for the Dreamers would be easy, but it's not urgent, either. Now that a federal judge in California has ordered the government to resume renewing DACA work permits for the foreseeable future, there is no deadline on DACA. Given that Trump's initial offer of a deal has gone over like a lead balloon with Democrats, and that squishy Senate Republicans are likely to take his proposal and dilute it beyond recognition or value, Trump should step back from the table. Making a deal for the sake of a deal will be a bad deal for Americans. Take a break and let the Democrats (and GOP amnesty-pushers) ponder their choice: permanent status for the Dreamers, or preserving future chain migration? Americans won't tolerate both.

Is Oregon's Congressional Delegation a shameful representation of America's values?

Illegal Aliens at SOTU Reveal Amnesty, Not American Interests, is Priority for Many on One Side of the Aisle

by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Executive Director Bob Dane

(January 30, 2018, Washington, D.C.) — Dozens of illegal aliens will attend the State of the Union address, invited as distinguished guests by Democrat lawmakers.

“This annual stunt is deeply offensive to Americans who know that the rule of law is the bedrock of our democracy. The United States Capitol is the revered building where those laws are made by the world’s greatest deliberative body; it is not an unruly theatre for flouting lawlessness. By granting VIP access to dozens of illegal aliens who consciously and proudly violate our laws, the Democrat members of Congress who invited them have clearly revealed their contempt for the rule of law as well.

“Those members have also revealed their real agenda; massive amnesty, unlimited immigration and disregard for any reforms that serve the American public’s interest. The message that will be sent by tonight’s presence of so-called ‘Dreamers’ is crystal clear and one-sided: violating our immigration laws is an inconsequential act and the public just needs to get used to it. We’re here, we’re unapologetic, we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to sit and stand anywhere we want – including the United States Capitol – and we demand to be rewarded with citizenship.  

“These tactics only serve to alienate many Americans and set back the debate. Americans have long needed – and have been promised – secure borders, robust interior enforcement, and a reduction in legal immigration levels while moving to a modern, merit-based system. None of it has happened, and tonight’s antics are an infuriating reminder of that, while also confirming who is responsible for the immigration reform stalemate.

“’Dreamers’ should consider whether they are just being used as political props by some Democrats who continue to oppose any and all reasonable immigration proposals. ‘Dreamers’ are certainly not advancing their cause with these defiant tactics that offend many Americans who might otherwise be interested in an earnest bipartisan solution, but only if it offers them what they want too.”
 

The most effective tool of all: E-VERIFY

Why is E-Verify seldom mentioned in the immigration conversation?

Rosemary Jenks, of NumbersUSA, a lawyer and long-time activist for reduced immigration, gives the reasons here, plainly, for all to see.  Citizens and voters had better pay attention.

 

E-Verify Ignored in DACA Negotiations Because ‘Members of Congress Know It Will Work’

By Robert Kraychik, Breitbart.com, 23 Jan 2018

Members of Congress broadly oppose a legislative nationwide E-Verify mandate for employers because “they know it will work,” said NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks, explaining why E-Verify is not being pushed in congressional negotiations for an amnesty deal for recipients of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Jenks further noted that both parties are beholden to special interests supportive of “mass migration.”

Jenks offered her analysis during a Monday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with Breitbart News’s Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak. …

 “I think [E-Verify] is not being pushed precisely because members of Congress know it will work,” said Jenks. “I think that is exactly the reason it’s not being pushed. Democrats, for sure, don’t want mandatory E-Verify because they know it will discourage illegal immigration, which will discourage the push for the next amnesty. And, let’s face it, the establishment Republicans don’t want it because they know it will be effective and eliminate their cheap labor pools.”

Special interests, including “big business,” “organized religion,” and “ethnic advocacy groups,” subvert popular American will via their funding and political agitation, said Jenks, adding, “It’s about the donors and about the Democrat Party wanting mass immigration. Those are the two factors that rule every immigration debate. It’s always the big business donors, organized religion, the ethnic advocacy groups. All of the money is behind mass immigration, and then, there’s the American people on the other side. That’s the problem we have had. That’s why we haven’t controlled immigration in the last five decades.”

Legislating a national mandate for E-Verify use by employers is more important than construction of a southern border wall, argued Jenks. “In our view, mandatory E-Verify is more important than a wall. So that is the one place where we’re hoping that we can move the administration to saying E-Verify is a must-have.”

Approximately half of “the illegal population” is composed of foreigners who lawfully entered the homeland and overstay their visas, said Jenks. An E-Verify mandate on employers, she added, would “mostly shut down” the lure of employment for illegal aliens. …

Read the entire article here.  Read more about E-Verify here and here.

How some people get rich quickly

David North of the Center for Immigration Studies tells us how some people get rich quickly and legally.

It’s time to close the paths for schemers described in his article. 

-----------------

IF YOU WANT A LOT OF CASH, DON'T ROB A BANK, OPEN A VISA MILL!

By David North, January 17, 2018

[Excerpts]

If you want to secure a whole lot of money, and don't care how you get it, don't rob a bank, open a visa mill! As much as $53 million a year — all tax-free. You will get much more loot than in a bank heist, there will be no physical danger, and the government will either help your school or look the other way.

Visa mills are an immigration concern because they attract thousands of low-skilled aliens (the schools routinely have 100 percent admission rates). Most of the alien students, who secure, at best, fourth-rate educations, immediately obtain government-subsidized jobs, depriving un-subsidized resident workers of the same jobs.

Government subsidies for foreign students that are denied to American ones? Absolutely!

...

A visa mill is defined as a lesser educational institution that provides more in work permits for aliens than in education. This posting was inspired by reading the most recent income statements (Form 990) provided to the government by four highly prosperous but marginal schools that, if you will, major in Work Permits for Aliens. The four were among a larger group of 55 examined in the recent CIS Backgrounder "The Dregs of Higher Education Damage Our Immigration System".

...

These are obscure institutions and all levels of governments ignore them beyond the ultimate gifts of letting them have the power to issue the paper that leads to the F-1 visa and the power to grant to all their alumni and most of their students an easy path to subsidized American jobs.

The IRS could question their charity status; the State Department could stop issuing visas to many or all the students accepted at such places; and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, part of the Department of Homeland Security, could crack down on the abuses in these programs — but none of them lift a finger, nor do state governments — with one honorable exception.

The exception is the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), which recently closed one visa mill in Northern Virginia and a couple of years ago terminated another one in the same general area.

------------

View the entire article here.

Will newly-created jobs go to citizens or to non-citizens?

Congress is considering major spending for infrastructure maintenance that has been neglected for years in the U.S.   Also on the agenda are actions on immigration policy, aimed at creating jobs for citizens, in line with Pres. Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” position.

BUT, as Dan Cadman of the Center for Immigration Studies points out, it’s necessary to coordinate these two projects because otherwise, infrastructure spending could simply subsidize more illegal alien employment and not help job-seeking citizens at all.

How Upcoming Legislative Priorities Can Strengthen, or Sink, the 'Hire American' Agenda

By Dan Cadman, January 2, 2018

Excerpt:

To go back … to the infrastructure bill:

·       It should contain provisions that require every state or local government, and every pass-through contractor or subcontractor, to use E-Verify (although ideally, this would be covered as a nationwide requirement in any immigration bill enacted, as discussed above).

·       It should also specifically reserve technical jobs for citizens, resident aliens, and other aliens residing lawfully in the United States on a long-term basis, such as refugees and asylees.

·       The language should specifically prohibit the outsourcing of jobs.

·       The penalty for state and local governments unwilling to abide by these provisions should be exclusion from participation or receipt of grant monies, and failure to comply should result in clawbacks of funding provided.

·       And, finally, the penalty for contractors and subcontractors who do not comply or are found in violation should be debarment from participation in any federal or federally-funded projects, in addition to any civil fines or criminal penalties for hiring of unlawful workers.

...  Policy wonks, from the White House level on down, ought to be strategizing right now on the ways in which the infrastructure and immigration bills can — and should — complement one another, rather than being in conflict with one another. But are they?

Failure to do so means that the jobs won't go to the people they should, and a grand opportunity to put the president's Hire American agenda into practice will be lost.

-----------------------------------------------------

Read the entire article here.

Why would you vote yes?

Albany resident, Pete Ready, nailed it in his recent letter to the editor regarding Measure 101 and the upcoming vote.  Take a moment to read this before you fill out your ballot!
 

Please help overturn Oregon's Sanctuary Statute by signing the petition to place the issue on the Nov. 2018 ballot.  Go to www.StopOregonSanctuaries.org and simply Print, Sign and Mail.  It's that easy!

 

 

 

ICE officers face grave danger in their work

ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents are on the front lines of national security in guarding citizens from those immigrants, illegal and legal, who come here to kill, create chaos, and weaken this country, or commit other crimes.

A new bulletin from ICE, excerpted below, describes the human smuggling racket in unforgettable detail, giving photographs.  ICE officers deal with this challenge daily.

Although Pres. Trump promised to improve immigration enforcement drastically, the ICE agents’ union is justifiably disturbed by the slow pace and the continuing influence of hold-over employees and supervisors from the previous Administration who are dragging their feet, undermining enforcement, and making the job of ICE agents unacceptably, unnecessarily dangerous.   See the report by Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times, “ICE agents rebel, say Trump ‘betrayed’ them by retaining Obama’s people.”

Below is an excerpt from the ICE bulletin on human smuggling.  Unfortunately, we don’t learn much about these important issues in the general media.

Human Smuggling Equals Grave Danger, Big Money

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent this bulletin at 11/15/2017 01:54 PM EST

Moving human beings as cargo pays in the billions of dollars for transnational criminal smuggling organizations.

Human smuggling is the illegal importation of people into a country via the deliberate evasion of immigration laws. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) serves as the leading U.S. law enforcement agency responsible for the fight against human smuggling.

“They have no concern for humanity, none; it’s a money business,” said Jack Staton, acting special agent in charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations El Paso, Texas, “they look at people as merchandise, as a way to make money.”

Staton most often encounters individuals crossing from the Juárez, Mexico area, into Texas and New Mexico.

Individuals seeking covert entry into the United States know they need to pay an organization for transport. Smuggling organizations, often associated with other transnational criminal organizations and able to take advantage of people in desperate circumstances, provide that transportation at a significant cost.

Human smuggling on the southwest border of the U.S. is a daily occurrence.

“The Rio Grande Valley is the busiest area for human smuggling activity in the U.S. right now,” said Staton, “from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, there is activity every day.”

Human smuggling operates as a contract business; an understanding exists among transnational criminal organizations, smugglers and individuals seeking transport that trying to cross the border independently is not an option. Smugglers escort the illegal aliens through the desert, across the border, to stash houses and onto their final destinations within the interior of the U.S. A portion of the smuggling fees paid to the transnational criminal organizations helps fuel their other criminal enterprises.

Endless ways exist in which to smuggle human beings and most of them don’t take into account personal safety or comfort.

Smugglers move humans as part of cargo transports, in vehicles, in boats, in tractor-trailers, in box cars on trains and in automobiles and trucks that are transported on trains as cargo. Smugglers also utilize legitimate transportation options such as commercial buses and flights.

Illicit migrants traveling to the U.S. often pay additional fees for certain types of transportation methods; for example, an individual may pay extra money for transport in a tractor-trailer because the chance of making it across the border is greater than on foot. If the trip takes place in the summer, temperatures can easily rise above 100 degrees in the truck and the situation can quickly become dangerous.

Underestimating the potential danger of human smuggling can have a deadly outcome.

Read the rest of the article here.

Absolutely worth the read - and excellent overview of immigration to America

Immigration in the National Interest

October 2017 • Volume 46, Number 10 • Tom Cotton

Tom Cotton
U.S. Senator from Arkansas

Tom Cotton was elected to the U.S. Senate from Arkansas in 2014, following one term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the Senate Banking Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Senate Armed Services Committee. A graduate of Harvard College, he studied government at the Claremont Graduate School and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2002. In 2005, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, rose to 1st Lieutenant, and served deployments in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on September 18, 2017, in Washington, D.C., at Hillsdale College’s Eighth Annual Constitution Day Celebration.

Last year, for the first time in our nation’s history, the American people elected as president someone with no high government experience—not a senator, not a congressman, not a governor, not a cabinet secretary, not a general. They did this, I believe, because they’ve lost faith in both the competence and the intentions of our governing class—of both parties! Government now takes nearly half of every dollar we earn and bosses us around in every aspect of life, yet can’t deliver basic services well. Our working class—the “forgotten man,” to use the phrase favored by Ronald Reagan and FDR—has seen its wages stagnate, while the four richest counties in America are inside the Washington Beltway. The kids of the working class are those who chiefly fight our seemingly endless wars and police our streets, only to come in for criticism too often from the very elite who sleep under the blanket of security they provide.

Donald Trump understood these things, though I should add he didn’t cause them. His victory was more effect than cause of our present discontents. The multiplying failures and arrogance of our governing class are what created the conditions for his victory.

Immigration is probably the best example of this. President Trump deviated from Republican orthodoxy on several issues, but immigration was the defining issue in which he broke from the bipartisan conventional wisdom. For years, all Democrats and many Republicans have agreed on the outline of what’s commonly called “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is Washington code for amnesty, mass immigration, and open borders in perpetuity.

This approach was embodied most recently in the so-called Gang of Eight bill in 2013. It passed the Senate, but thankfully we killed it in the House, which I consider among my chief accomplishments in Congress so far. Two members of the Gang of Eight ran for my party’s nomination for president last year. Neither won a single statewide primary. Donald Trump denounced the bill, and he won the nomination.

Likewise, Hillary Clinton campaigned not just for mass immigration, but also on a policy of no deportations of anyone, ever, who is illegally present in our country. She also accused her opponent of racism and xenophobia. Yet Donald Trump beat her by winning states that no Republican had won since the 1980s.

Clearly, immigration was an issue of signal importance in the election. That’s because immigration is more than just another issue. It touches upon fundamental questions of citizenship, community, and identity. For too long, a bipartisan, cosmopolitan elite has dismissed the people’s legitimate concerns about these things and put its own interests above the national interest.

No one captured this sensibility better than President Obama, when he famously called himself “a citizen of the world.”  With that phrase, he revealed a deep misunderstanding of citizenship. After all, “citizen” and “city” share the same Greek root word: citizenship by definition means that you belong to a particular political community. Yet many of our elites share Mr. Obama’s sensibility. They believe that American citizenship—real, actual citizenship—is meaningless, ought not be foreclosed to anyone, and ought not be the basis for distinctions between citizens and foreigners. You might say they think American exceptionalism lies in not making exceptions when it comes to citizenship.

This globalist mindset is not only foreign to most Americans. It’s also foreign to the American political tradition.

Take the Declaration of Independence. Our cosmopolitan elites love to cite its stirring passages about the rights of mankind when they talk about immigration or refugees. They’re not wrong to do so. Unlike any other country, America is an idea—but it is not only an idea. America is a real, particular place with real borders and real, flesh-and-blood people. And the Declaration tells us it was so from the very beginning.

Prior to those stirring passages about “unalienable Rights” and “Nature’s God,” in the Declaration’s very first sentence in fact, the Founders say it has become “necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands” that tie them to another—one people, not all people, not citizens of the world, but actual people who make up actual colonies. The Founders frequently use the words we and us throughout the Declaration to describe that people.

Furthermore, on several occasions, the Declaration speaks of “these Colonies” or “these States.” The Founders were concerned about their own circumstances; they owed a duty to their own people who had sent them as representatives to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. They weren’t trying to free South America from Spanish or Portuguese dominion, much as they might have opposed that dominion.

Perhaps most notably, the Founders explain towards the end of the Declaration that they had appealed not only to King George for redress, but also to their fellow British citizens, yet those fellow citizens had been “deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.” Consanguinity!—blood ties! That’s pretty much the opposite of being a citizen of the world.

So while the Declaration is of course a universal document, it’s also a particular document about one nation and one people. Its signers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to each other, in English, right here in America—not in Esperanto to mankind in the abstract.

The Constitution affirms this concept of American citizenship. It includes only one reference to immigration, where it empowers Congress to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization.” It’s worth pondering a couple points here.

First, what’s that word uniform doing? The Constitution uses the word only three times, when requiring uniform rules for naturalization, bankruptcies, and taxation. These are things that could either knit our Union together or blow it apart—taxation by the central government, the system of credit upon which the free enterprise system depends, and the meaning of citizenship. On these, the Framers insisted upon a uniform, nationwide standard. Diverse habits and laws are suitable for many things in our continental republic, but not for all things. In particular, we can only have “one people” united by a common understanding of citizenship.

Second, the word naturalization implies a process by which foreigners can renounce their former allegiances and become citizens of the United States. They can cast off what accident and force have thrust upon them—race, class, ethnicity—and take on, by reflection and choice, a new title: American. That is a wonderful and beautiful thing, and one of which we are all justly proud. Few Americans love our land so much as the immigrants who’ve escaped the yoke of tyranny.

But our cosmopolitan elites take this to an extreme. They think because anyone can become an American, we’re morally obligated to treat everyone like an American. If you disagree, you’re considered hard-hearted, bigoted, intolerant, xenophobic. So the only policies that aren’t inherently un-American are those that effectively erase our borders and erase the distinction between citizen and foreigner: don’t erect barriers on the border; give sanctuary cities a pass; spare illegal immigrants from deportation; allow American businesses to import as much cheap labor as they want. Anything less, the elites say, is a betrayal of our ideals.

But that’s wrong. Just because you can become an American doesn’t mean you are an American. And it certainly doesn’t mean we must treat you as an American, especially if you don’t play by our rules. After all, in our unique brand of nationalism, which connects our people through our ideas, repudiating our law is kind of like renouncing your blood ties in the monarchical lands of old. And what law is more fundamental to a political community than who gets to become a citizen, under what conditions, and when?

While we wish our fellow man well, it’s only our fellow citizens to whom we have a duty and whose rights our government was created to protect. And among the highest obligations we owe to each other is to ensure that every working American can lead a dignified life. If you look across our history, I’d argue that’s always been the purpose of our immigration system: to create conditions in which normal, hard-working Americans can thrive.

Look no further than what James Madison said on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1790, when the very first Congress was debating our very first naturalization law. He said, “It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into a common lot with ours.”  “The worthy part,” not the entire world. Madison continued, “But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community.”

“To increase the wealth and strength of the community.” That’s quite a contrast to today’s elite consensus. Our immigration system shouldn’t exist to serve the interests of foreigners or wealthy Americans. No, it ought to benefit working Americans and serve the national interest—that’s the purpose of immigration and the theme of the story of American immigration.

When open-borders enthusiasts tell that story, it sounds more like a fairy tale. The way they tell it, America at first was a land that accepted all comers without conditions. But then, periodically, the forces of nativism and bigotry reared their ugly head and placed restrictions on who could immigrate. The forces of darkness triumphed, by this telling, with the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924. But they were defeated with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which again opened our shores and is still the law governing our immigration system today. Since 1965, everyone has lived happily ever after.

If I were to grade these storytellers, I would give them an F for history and an A for creative writing. The history of immigration in America is not one of ever-growing tides of huddled masses from the Pilgrims to today. On the contrary, throughout our history, American immigration has followed a surge-and-pause pattern. The first big wave was the Irish and German immigrants in the 1840s and 1850s. Then immigration tapered off during the Civil War. The second big wave was the central and southern European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That wave ended with the 1924 Act and the years of lower immigration that followed. And now we’re in the longest wave yet, the surge of immigration from Latin America and East and South Asia, which has followed from the 1965 Act.

In this actual history—not the fairy tale history—the 1924 Act is not an aberration, but an ebb in the regular ebb and flow of immigration to America. After decades of unskilled mass immigration, that law responded by controlling future immigration flows. One result of lower levels of immigration was that it allowed those earlier immigrants to assimilate, learn new skills, and move up the economic ladder, creating the conditions for mass affluence in the post-war era.

Now, there’s no denying that the story of American immigration has its uglier chapters: the Chinese Exclusion Act, the national-origins quota system imposed by the 1924 Act, the indifference to Jews in the 1930s. We ought to remember and learn from this history. One important lesson, though, is this: if the political class had heeded the concerns of working Americans during the second big wave, the 1924 Act would likely have passed earlier and been less restrictionist. The danger lies not in addressing the people’s legitimate, reasonable concerns about immigration, but in ignoring those concerns and slandering the people as bigots.

But then, we shouldn’t be surprised when politicians fail to understand fully the implications of their actions. Take the 1965 Act. That law ended the national-origins quota system, and at the time its importance was minimized. When President Johnson signed it into law, he said, “This bill . . . is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power.”

How wrong he was.

The economy we’re living in today is in no small part a result of the 1965 Act, which opened the door to mass immigration of unskilled and low-skilled workers, primarily through unlimited family chain migration. And that’s not an economy anyone should be satisfied with.

Today, we have about a million immigrants per year. That’s like adding the population of Montana every year—or the population of Arkansas every three years. But only one in 15—one in 15 of those millions of immigrants—comes here for employment-based reasons. The vast majority come here simply because they happen to be related to someone already here. That’s why, for example, we have more Somalia-born residents than Australia-born residents, even though Australia is nearly twice the size of Somalia and Australians are better prepared, as a general matter, to integrate and assimilate into the American way of life.

In sum, over 36 million immigrants, or 94 percent of the total, have come to America over the last 50 years for reasons having nothing to do with employment. And that’s to say nothing of the over 24 million illegal immigrants who have come here. Put them together and you have 60 million immigrants, legal and illegal, who did not come to this country because of a job offer or because of their skills. That’s like adding almost the entire population of the United Kingdom. And this is still leaving aside the millions of temporary guest workers who we import every year into our country.

Unlike many open-border zealots, I don’t believe the law of supply and demand is magically repealed for the labor markets. That means that our immigration system has been depressing wages for people who work with their hands and on their feet. Wages for Americans with high school diplomas are down two percent since the late 1970s. For Americans who didn’t finish high school, they’re down by a staggering 17 percent. Although immigration has a minimal effect overall on the wages of Americans, it has a severe negative effect on low-skilled workers, minorities, and even recent immigrants.

Is automation to blame in part? Sure. Globalized trade? Yes, of course. But there’s no denying that a steady supply of cheap, unskilled labor has hurt working-class wages as well. Among those three factors, immigration policy is the one that we can control most easily for the benefit of American workers. Yet we’ve done the opposite.

I know the response of open-border enthusiasts: they plead that we need a steady supply of cheap unskilled labor because there are “jobs that no American will do.” But that just isn’t so. There is no job Americans won’t do. In fact, there’s no industry in America in which the majority of workers are not natural-born Americans—not landscapers, not construction workers, not ski instructors, not lifeguards, not resort workers, not childcare workers—not a single job that over-educated elites associate with immigrants. The simple fact is, if the wage is decent and the employer obeys the law, Americans will do any job. And for tough, dangerous, and physically demanding jobs, maybe working folks do deserve a bit of a raise.

“No American will do that job.” Let me just pause for a moment and confess how much I detest that sentiment. In addition to being ignorant of the economic facts, it’s insulting, condescending, and demeaning to our countrymen. Millions of Americans make our hotel beds and build our houses and clean our offices; imagine how they feel when they hear some pampered elite say no American will do their job. And finally, I must say, that sentiment also carries more than a whiff of the very prejudice of which they accuse those concerned about the effects of mass immigration.

But the harmful impact on blue-collar workers isn’t the only problem with the current system. Because we give two-thirds of our green cards to relatives of people here, there are huge backlogs in the system. This forces highly talented immigrants to wait in line for years behind applicants whose only claim to naturalization is a random family connection to someone who happened to get here years ago. We therefore lose out on the very best talent coming into our country—the ultra-high-skilled immigrants who can come to America, stand on their own two feet, pay taxes, and through their entrepreneurial spirit and innovation create more and higher-paying jobs for our citizens.

To put it simply, we have an immigration system that is badly failing Madison’s test of increasing the wealth and strength of the community. It might work to the advantage of a favored few, but not for the common good, and especially not the good of working-class Americans.

This is why I’ve introduced legislation to fix our naturalization system. It’s called the RAISE Act: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy.

The RAISE Act will correct the flaws in the 1965 Act by reorienting our immigration system towards foreigners who have the most to contribute to our country. It would create a skills-based points system similar to Canada’s and Australia’s. Here’s how it would work. When people apply to immigrate, they’d be given an easy-to-calculate score, on a scale of 0 to 100, based on their education, age, job salary, investment ability, English-language skills, and any extraordinary achievements. Then, twice a year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would invite the top scorers to complete their applications, and it would invite enough high-scoring applicants to fill the current 140,000 annual employment-based green-card slots.

We’d still admit spouses and unmarried minor children of citizens and legal permanent residents. But we’d end the preferences for most extended and adult family members—no more unlimited chain migration. We’d also eliminate the so-called diversity visa lottery, which hands out green cards randomly without regard to skills or family connections, and which is plagued by fraud. We’d remove per-country caps on immigration, too, so that high-skilled applicants aren’t shut out of the process simply because of their country of origin. And finally, we’d cap the number of refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with the recent average for the Bush era and most of the Obama era—and still quite generous.

Add it all up and our annual immigrant pool would be younger, higher-skilled, and ready to contribute to our economy without using welfare, as more than half of immigrant households do today. No longer would we distribute green cards essentially based on random chance. Nor would we import millions of unskilled workers to take jobs from blue-collar Americans and undercut their wages. And over a ten-year period, our annual immigration levels would decrease by half, gradually returning to historical norms.

Given current events, this legislation is timelier than ever. Earlier this month, President Trump announced that he would wind down, over six months, the unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. President Obama abused his authority with DACA—which purported to give legal status to illegal immigrants who arrived here as children and who are now in their twenties and thirties—because, as we’ve seen, the Constitution reserves to Congress the power to make uniform laws of naturalization.

Because of President Obama’s unlawful action, about 700,000 people are now in a kind of legal limbo. President Trump did the right thing as a matter of law by ending DACA, though as a matter of policy he’d prefer its beneficiaries don’t face deportation. Democrats agree, as do a lot of Republicans. So the question isn’t so much about deportation, but rather if and what kind of compromise Congress can strike.

Here’s where the RAISE Act comes in. We can, if we choose, grant citizenship to those illegal immigrants who came here through no fault of their own as kids and who’ve otherwise been law-abiding, productive citizens. But if we do, it will have the effect of legalizing through chain migration their parents—the very people who created the problem by bringing the kids here illegally. Some like to say that children shouldn’t pay for the crimes of the parents, but surely parents can pay for the crimes of the parents. And that’s to say nothing of their siblings and spouses, and then all the second- and third-order chain migration those people create. So simply codifying DACA without ending chain migration would rapidly accelerate the wave of unskilled immigrant labor that’s been depressing the wages of working Americans.

An obvious compromise, then, is to pair any attempt to codify DACA with reform of the green card system to protect American workers. A stand-alone amnesty will not do. Nor will an amnesty with vague promises of “border security,” which never seem to materialize or get funded once the pressure is off Congress. But if we codify DACA along with the reforms in the RAISE Act, we will protect working Americans from the worst consequences of President Obama’s irresponsible decision.

President Trump has said that chain migration must be ended in any legislative compromise, and he’s highlighted the RAISE Act as a good starting point for those negotiations. I support that approach, and I’m committed to working with my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, on a deal that protects American workers and strengthens our community.

Immigration has emerged in recent years as a kind of acid test for our leaders—a test they’ve mostly failed. Our cosmopolitan elite—in both parties—has pursued a radical immigration policy that’s inconsistent with our history and our political tradition. They’ve celebrated the American idea, yet undermined the actual American people of the here and now. They’ve forgotten that the Declaration speaks of “one people” and the Constitution of “We the People.” At the same time, they’ve enriched themselves and improved their quality of life, while creating a new class of forgotten men.

There’s probably no issue that calls more for an “America first” approach than immigration. After all, the guidepost of our immigration policy should be putting Americans first—not foreigners and not a tiny elite. Our immigration policy should serve the “wealth and strength” of our people, as Madison said in that first Congress. It should not divide our nation, impoverish our workers, or promote hyphenated Americanism.

Citizenship is the most cherished thing our nation can bestow. Our governing class ought to treat it as something special. We ought to put the interests of our citizens first and welcome those foreigners best prepared to handle the duties of citizenship and contribute positively to our country. When we do, our fellow Americans will begin to trust us once again.

A million here, a million there - and the billions mount up fast for school costs

FAIR writer Kenric Ward dissects the figures from a new report on expenditures resulting from large numbers of immigrant children in the public schools.  Overly-generous immigration policies of recent administrations are costing state taxpayers in the U.S. nearly $60 BILLION this year alone in education expenses for immigrant children.

“Five states — Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee — each saw their English Learner populations more than double between 2000 and 2014.” 

See excerpts from the FAIR blog below.


Immigration Policies ​Weigh Heavily on U.S. Schools

by Kenric Ward, Federation for American Immigration Reform,  Nov. 7, 2017

America’s immigration policies are amplifying the perennial pleas for more public school funding.

Each year, an estimated 5 million refugees and immigrants – legal and illegal – are enrolled at K-12 campuses with a variety of special needs. More than 175,000 unaccompanied children settled in the U.S. since 2014, with some 18,000 arriving in just 10 counties last year.

A new report by the Migration Policy Institute runs down these pupils’ high-cost needs. Going far beyond the basics of learning English, the list includes mental-health care, legal representation, “socioemotional services,” even “housing rights.”

This naturally necessitates a growing phalanx of providers inside and outside the classroom. Surveying widely varying literacy rates among the new arrivals, “Beyond Teaching English” advises districts to check the “linguistic and cultural competence of staff.”

 How big is the challenge? FAIR estimates that public schools will spend $43,396,433,856 serving children of illegal aliens this year – a massive unfunded mandate. Folding in the costs of legal immigrant pupils, FAIR said the tab totaled $59.8 billion.

A recent sampling of 27 high schools found 9,000 refugee/immigrant students speaking 170-plus languages. “Foreign languages are a cause for celebration,” an MPI researcher said, echoing the mantra of Washington’s immigration enthusiasts.

Amid the celebration, however, the MPI study never addresses the actual costs of the party. Not a single dollar sign appears in the 36-page report

The failure to address the fiscal impact of immigration is shared by federal politicians and policymakers who craft immigration policy with little or no regard to the downstream financial consequences. Under U.S. Department of Education edicts for minimum language proficiency, high school graduation cycles are creeping up to five or even six years among immigrants, according to the MPI report.

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement issues modest School Impact Grants to 39 state and charitable agencies.

It’s mere chump change compared to the $59.8 billion spent educating immigrant children. a cost shouldered almost exclusively by state and local taxpayers.

Doubling down on the unsustainable situation, Sugarman’s Migration Policy Institute and like-minded groups are busy building a cottage industry to lobby for evermore immigration-induced entitlements, at whatever cost. Expect tax bills to rise accordingly.

Prince William Breaks a Taboo: Speaks Out Against Overpopulation

ImmigrationReform.com

Posted by

On November 2, England’s Prince William spoke in London and warned about the dire consequences of overpopulation worldwide, especially as it relates to wildlife protection and species preservation. The event was sponsored by the Tusk Trust. The Tusk Trust protects African wildlife.

“We are going to have to work much harder, and think much deeper, if we are to ensure that human beings and the other species of animal with which we share this planet can continue to co-exist,” he said. Prince William is courageously venturing into the oft-ignored issue of overpopulation.

We should take our cues from Prince William’s leadership.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the current U.S. population totals over 326 million. Shockingly, unless immigration is reduced, the nation’s population will climb to nearly 400 million by 2050. That’s a 22 percent increase in just 33 years! America does not have enough available resources to sustain a population this size without further damaging the environment from growing development related pressures. Though rarely discussed, the reality is that we must curb future immigration in order to save our country’s remaining wildlife for future generations.

Which is one reason why the RAISE Act, now pending in the Senate, makes such good sense.

Phasing down levels of legal immigration will help stabilize the U.S. population in time. The RAISE Act would reduce legal immigration by 50 percent. Immigration would become manageable because the RAISE Act ends chain migration and restores our nation’s ability to determine its demographic destiny. Prince William understands the need for population stabilization – why can’t our own congressional leadership?

http://immigrationreform.com/2017/11/03/prince-william-breaks-taboo-speaks-overpopulation/

There was no promise to DACA recipients

 
Democrats and allies rail against “breaking a promise” to DACA recipients who, they say, were led to believe they’d be shielded from deportation indefinitely, allowed to work and benefit from all public services.  Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle argues at length how “unfair” it is to “pull the rug out from under them.”
 
But Pres. Obama said repeatedly that he had no Constitutional authority to provide an amnesty, and he made plain that DACA was a temporary program – subject to change or termination by future Administrations.
 
Dreamers are portrayed in the media sympathetically, with glowing reports about the valedictorians and other achievers.  We’re not supposed to notice the criminals  among them.  However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said that just this year, 622 have had their deferred action status pulled due to criminal activity, a 30% surge over previous years.
 
Any illegal alien is eligible for DACA if when illegally entering the U.S., he/she was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, so the eligibility group consists mainly of adults, not children.
 
How can the date of entry be proven without expensive investigation?  So, applications were accepted without proper verification or interviews.  There likely is widespread fraud.
 
Most people don’t realize the consequences of mass amnesties.  Each immigrant can petition to bring in extended family members, and each one of those can then petition to bring in his or her family members in an endless chain.  While Oregon and other states are struggling to keep up with population growth’s effects, we should not be adding millions more people through overly generous immigration policies.
 
PolitiFact erred in claiming that amnesty for DACA recipients would not result in a huge wave of extended family immigrants, because that estimate was based on the number of persons currently enrolled in DACA.  However, the proposal is to amnesty all who are DACA-eligible, a much larger number, estimated to be 1.76 million.  Statistics show that each new immigrant in recent years has sponsored an average of 3.45 additional immigrants.  In the most recent five-year cohort of immigrants studied (1996-2000), each new Mexican immigrant sponsored 6.38 additional legal immigrants.
 
The parents of DACA “children” brought them here illegally; the entire family illegally here should be deported together, thus not “tearing families apart.”  
 
Public discussion of this amnesty has already triggered an increase in illegal border crossings. 
 
Illegal immigration enables employers to get cheap, exploitable labor, reducing job opportunities for citizens and depressing their wages, leading to greater need for financial assistance to poor families, homelessness and desperation among citizens.  Nearly one-in-four Americans of working-age does not have a job, according to government data.
 
The worst thing to do in the present situation is to pass yet another amnesty for illegal aliens.  Rolling amnesties over recent decades have undermined respect for immigration law and all law generally.  Americans’ historic respect for law is what enabled the U.S. to achieve the prosperity, cohesion, and stability that set us apart from many other countries.
 
The DACA “youths,” now many in their 30’s, should return to the countries where they are citizens and help those countries develop acceptable living conditions.

Pages