Congress

Pres. Trump's first 100 days make improvements to immigration enforcement and begin laying the groundwork for worker visa reforms

Tomorrow marks President Donald Trump's 100th day in office, and immigration has been a key component of his 100-day agenda. Thus far, Trump has solely relied on his executive powers to stem the tide of illegal border crossings and beef up interior enforcement. And while he's taken some good first steps in addressing legal immigration, he's yet to take strong action on protecting American workers from the steady flow of cheap foreign labor that drives down wages and increases job competition for workers.

THE HIGH POINTS

Past presidents and candidates have talked tough on immigration, but none have followed through on that tough talk. In fact, a clip from Bill Clinton's 1996 State of the Union Address is one of the most watched videos we've ever posted on our Facebook page (94 million views). But neither Clinton, George W. Bush, nor Barack Obama were ever committed to ending illegal immigration.

Candidate Trump used some of the toughest pro-enforcement language ever during his White House run, and we've already seen its impact. Border Apprehensions -- the measure used to determine overall illegal border crossings -- are at a 17-year low, and the administration has significantly stepped up interior enforcement efforts across the country.

In just his first week after being sworn in, Pres. Trump signed two Executive Orders aimed at securing the border and strengthening interior enforcement. Those Executive Orders called for:

  • Increases in Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents,
  • Increase in immigration judges,
  • Withholding visas from countries that refuse to repatriate deported aliens,
  • An end to catch-and-release,
  • The construction of more detention facilities for detained illegal aliens along the border,
  • Granting Border Patrol access to federal lands,
  • Ending Pres. Obama's Priority Enforcement Program (PEP),
  • Reinstating Secure Communities and encouraging increased participation from local police in immigration enforcement, and
  • Creation of an office for victims of illegal-alien crimes.

Trump needs money from Congress to accomplish a few of the above points, but his Administration has already moved forward on many of the points using existing funds.

LAYING THE GROUND WORK

Pres. Trump will need help from Congress on several more of his immigration priorities, but he's at least started the discussion on a few of them. Most notably, his FY2018 budget request to Congress asked for funding to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers. Congress will need to pass a mandatory E-Verify law to make that request a reality, but budget requests typically reveal the White House's policy priorities for the next fiscal year.

NumbersUSA believes requiring all employers to use E-Verify to end the jobs magnet is the single, strongest step that can be taken in ending illegal immigration and protecting American workers. But over the years, we have also advocated for full implementation of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 that requires double-layered, reinforced fencing along 700-miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump's campaign mantra was to 'build the wall', and while the details of 'the wall' remain a bit fuzzy, he's continued to push for some sort of barrier construction along the border.

The Administration is also off to a good start at ending sanctuary policies. Both Pres. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have called for withholding federal funds from jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts. This week, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that withholding all federal funds from a sanctuary jurisdiction was unconstitutional, but ruled that it may be okay for the administration to withhold federal grants that require local law enforcement to cooperate with federal law enforcement. That's exactly what the Trump Administration aims to do.

There hasn't been much action on legal immigration, but the Trump Administration did step up its efforts in recent weeks on the H-1B issue. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have put tech employers on notice that any misuse of H-1B visas will be investigated, and Trump signed an executive order last week, calling for a review of the H-1B application process. Current federal regulations require that H-1B applications be awarded through a lottery process, but Trump has called for a new process that would award visas to the most skilled or highest paid applicants.

Pres. Trump has done little, yet, to address permanent, legal immigration, but he did include a strong statement in his Joint Address to Congress in February that called for reforming the current legal immigration system to a merit-based system that serves the national interest. He's also met with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) to discuss their RAISE Act, which would end Chain Migration and the Visa Lottery and reduce overall immigration by up to 50%.

AREAS NEEDING ATTENTION

The Trump Administration has continued Obama's unconstitutional executive amnesty, DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Trump said he would end the program on Day 1 of his presidency, but one of his January Executive Orders, calling for a review of all of the Obama-era immigration orders, specifically excluded a review of DACA. While the renewals and decisions over what to do with the current DACA population may be more difficult, his Administration's refusal to stop issuing NEW work permits flies in the face of his clearly stated campaign promise on that issue.

Trump has also allowed the Optional Training Program (OPT) to continue. OPT allows foreign students who graduate from a U.S. college or university with a STEM degree to stay and work in the U.S. for up to two years. The program places recent American STEM students in direct competition with foreign students for jobs immediately after graduation. OPT was started by George W. Bush, expanded by Barack Obama, and has never been authorized by Congress. It would be easy for the Administration to eliminate the program.

Perhaps the most important immigration lesson of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration is that simply sending a strong message of enforcement is enough to begin to dramatically reduce illegal entries. That alone has been a tremendous success. Yes, there are some unfulfilled immigration-campaign promises and some areas that need more attention, but it's only been 100 days. There's clear evidence that immigration enforcement is improving, and there are hopeful signs that legal immigration reductions could be on the horizon.

 
 

 

Let's Start Debunking Immigration Myths

There are common sense, fact-based ways to fix immigration in U.S.

Taxpayers are subsidizing big business and a desire for cheap labor at a massive cost to society.

HOLDEN — Our media is inundated with political narrative, misinformation and myths on immigration. A few examples:

 Reducing immigration is “anti-immigrant” and “right-wing.”

 Only Trumpites oppose sanctuary cities.

Last October, the Obama Justice Department announced that cities would receive federal law enforcement grants only if they fully complied with federal immigration reporting laws. The current administration is continuing this policy. In addition, 80 percent of Americans oppose sanctuary policies, and even in hyper-blue California, a majority felt that cities should not be allowed to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities.

 Immigrants pay taxes.

The National Academy of Sciences was clear: Immigrants are currently a huge fiscal drain. In 2013, the fiscal deficit – taxes paid minus services used – was $279 billion. But why? They work hard. Their wages are low because most are unskilled. Bottom line: Taxpayers are subsidizing cheap labor for the employers.

• If illegal immigrants left, our produce would rot in the fields.

Alabama’s agricultural output rose in the three years after passage of its “draconian” immigration law. In addition, the H2A visa program, which allows farmers to employ foreign guest workers, has no caps. There’s no excuse for any illegal workers picking our produce.

• We need immigrants to “do the jobs Americans won’t do.”

Nobel economist Paul Krugman: “The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays – and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants.” When garlic famers couldn’t find enough workers, they recently increased wages by $2 an hour, and were flooded with applicants. Surprise! Americans picking produce!

• If we pay more, food prices will skyrocket.

Philip Martin, of the Commission on Agricultural Workers, reports that raising farmworkers’ wages by 40 percent would increase a family’s annual food budget by only $16. By hiring legal workers and paying a livable wage, we save taxpayers the cost of poverty programs, and government gets more taxes.

• We need high-skilled foreign science, technology, engineering and math workers.

The Wall Street Journal: “America’s dazzling tech boom has a downside: Not enough jobs.” And The New York Times: Corporations, claiming dire shortages, are displacing Americans with foreign workers. “STEM shortages”?

• We’re caught between “mass deportations” and “mass amnesty.”

We have other choices. Passing mandatory E-verify for all new hires would immediately end the jobs magnet. Over five years, we could phase in E-verify for all workers. A five-year transition period would allow employers now dependent on an illegal workforce to rethink their business plan, and it would allow illegal immigrants time to make other arrangements.

 Families could be divided!

It’s not our responsibility to provide amnesty and citizenship to people who’ve committed Social Security card fraud and identity theft and lied on federal documents in order to “make a better life.” If native-born Americans commit these crimes, they face jail time.

• What about “Dreamers,” brought here as children? They’re innocent.

Legalization without citizenship for a limited number of highly deserving Dreamers makes sense. But their plight shouldn’t become a Trojan horse for another mass amnesty.

• We need more young people!

Since immigrants sponsor their elderly parents, too, immigration has no discernible effect on generational demographics, according to the pro-restriction Center for Immigration Studies.

• President Barack Obama deported millions. Illegal immigration is simply unstoppable.

The Los Angeles Times: The Obama administration changed the definition of “deportation.” Citing that fact, Obama himself called his deportation statistics “a little deceptive.” Using the old definition, deportations declined by 40 percent under Obama.

How can we stop illegal immigration? It’s obvious: Go after the employers. Decisive enforcement. No more “catch and release.” Immigration policy will affect nearly every aspect of our society for generations. Let’s try applying a fact-based discussion to this complex problem.

Jonette Christian of Holden is a member of Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy. She can be contacted at jonettechristian@ rocketmail.com.

OFIR hosts Jessica Vaughn at Saturday's membership meeting

A packed house greeted CIS's Director of Policy Studies, Jessica Vaughn - OFIR's special guest speaker at the April 8th membership meeting.  Ms. Vaughn, an engaging speaker, covered alot of ground as she explained ICE holds, Oregon's Clackamas County lawsuit, President Trump's accomplishments to date and much, much more.  There was even time for folks to ask questions.

The newspaper notified us that protesters were planning to attend our event, but rainy, windy weather seemed to dampen their spirits.  Only a couple dozen protesters showed up and then left after about an hour.  They were advised to stop, after placing several derogatory flyers on cars parked in the hotel parking lot - which is private property.

Other special guests were ORP Chairman Bill Currier and State Representative Mike Nearman (an OFIR Board member).

 


 

OFIR to host CIS policy director on heels of hate group designation

Oregonians for Immigration Reform, an organization that calls for an end to illegal immigration, will host the Center for Immigration Studies policy director in its general membership meeting this Saturday.

Jessica Vaughan will discuss sanctuary policies that are being developed in the face of President Donald Trump's immigration orders, and the implications of those orders, which has included targeted deportations of undocumented immigrants in Oregon.

Vaughan's speaking engagement comes a little over a month after the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the Center for Immigration Studies as a hate group, specifically labeling it as anti-immigrant. The law center said the group was dubbed a hate group because it shares content by "white nationalists, Holocaust deniers and material from explicitly racist websites."

Cynthia Kendoll, president of OFIR, said the designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center "means nothing to me. I think that any time a group is being successful and is making good points and providing education, they’re designated as a hate group.

"I think SPLC has gone off the rails."

Kendoll, who met Vaughan while attending a tour of the United States-Mexico border as part of the El Paso National Sheriff's Border School, said the hate group designation proves CIS is doing useful work and should be considered a "badge of honor."

Some local civil rights organizations, however, said Vaughan's attendance merely adds fuel to the testy political climate in Oregon.

"It's particularly troubling because we see a rise in hate crimes here in Oregon with the hateful rhetoric that they and Trump have publicly stated," said Andrea Williams, executive director of immigrant rights organization Causa Oregon.

Kendoll said OFIR is commonly referred to as an anti-immigrant group as well, but said that moniker doesn't describe the organization's values and objectives.

Instead, Kendoll said, OFIR is concerned about the consequences of legal and illegal immigration. OFIR's focus has shifted from its initial focus of "unfettered, unchecked" immigration and its impact on issues like traffic, urban sprawl and water usage, and expanded its scope to include impacts on issues like crime, school overcrowding and use of entitlement programs.

She said OFIR is nonpartisan its goal to explore immigration's impacts, and it invites speakers of different backgrounds to speak at membership meetings.

"We're not policy setters. All we're doing is simply giving people the opportunity to learn about what's going on," Kendoll said.

One of OFIR's more high-profile guests, Kendoll said, was former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio was the keynote speaker at a rally on the Oregon State Capitol steps in 2015 and discussed immigration, gun laws and crime policy. He was accused of violating Latino civil rights in a racial-profiling lawsuit in 2013 for pulling over Latinos over suspicion of being undocumented. The Department of Justice subsequently filed a criminal contempt of court charge against Arpaio for continuing to detain suspected undocumented immigrants without probable cause.

Williams said OFIR's history of giving people like Arpaio and Vaughan a platform invites the community to spread negativity amongst its undocumented immigrant neighbors.

But Kendoll said Vaughan's visit is merely showcasing her decades-long work examining the impact of immigration in the United States.

If you go

Who: Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies

What: Oregonians for Immigration Reform's General Membership meeting

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Best Western Mill Creek Inn at 3125 Ryan Drive SE, Salem

The event is free. Guests will be asked to sign in upon arriving.

Guest Speaker Jessica Vaughn at OFIR meeting Saturday, April 8

Alert date: 
2017-04-01
Alert body: 
SAVE THE DATE for OFIR's next General Membership meeting - Saturday, April 8 from 2 - 4 pm..
 
We are very fortunate to have as our special guest speaker, Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.  She specializes in issues related to immigration law enforcement.
 
Ms. Vaughn recently testified before the House immigration subcommittee on the state of immigration law enforcement and actions needed to restore the integrity of our immigration laws. Lack of enforcement has imposed enormous costs on American communities, including compromised national security, public safety threats, lost job opportunities, stagnant wages, and higher tax bills due to an increased demand for social services.  Read her full statement here.
 
Some of her recent reports are: ICE Deportations Hit 10-Year Low, Tackling Sanctuaries, Immigration 'Law and Order' Starts at State Department. Jessica is a frequent guest on many news programs, so you might already be familiar with her work.
 
See her biography here.
 
The OFIR meeting will be held at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn in Salem, 3125 Ryan Dr SE, just west of I-5 Exit 253, across from Costco.  
Time: 2 p.m., Saturday, April 8, 2017.
 
Driving directions to Best Western Mill Creek Inn: 
 
From I-5, take exit 253, which is the intersection of I-5 and State roads 22 and Business 99E. Go West on 22 (Mission St.) a short distance to Hawthorne Ave. (Costco will be on your right), Turn R on Hawthorne Ave. to the first left, which is Ryan Drive. Turn left on Ryan Drive, by Denny’s Restaurant, and proceed to Mill Creek Inn just beyond.
 
Everyone is welcome, there is no admission charge and there is plenty of free parking!

Swedish cops agree with Trump on statements about Islamic unrest

The denizens of our nation’s news conglomerates would have Americans believe that Sweden is a multicultural paradise and that Muslim asylum-migrants have not been committing violent crimes. This characterization reeks of fallacy, according to Sweden’s own police officers.

While President Donald Trump may have been wrong about a specific incident that he mentioned during a rally, the underlying truth is that Sweden — along with other European countries — is far from being a paradise especially with the recent tsunami of Muslim refugees.  “Just a day after ‘fake news’ criticizes Trump’s comments on Sweden, a riot in so-called ‘Little Moghadishu’ – the Swedish borough of Rinkeby,” said news commentator Tyler Durden.

sweden-riots-story-topOne week after Swedish government raised its terror alert level to the highest ever in that Scandinavian country, law enforcement officers delivered their own alert by telling their superiors and political leaders that their weapons are not sufficient to prevent a terror attack or respond to an Islamist perpetrated mass-shooting or IED (improvised explosive device) incident.

“We are sent out without adequate weapons, only [carrying] 9mm semiautomatic sidearms. We are also told that there may not be enough protective vests and military-quality helmets. It feels like being sent out on a lion hunt with a pea-shooter and a jumpsuit made out of zebra meat,” wrote one police officer identified only as “Christian,” in an internal incident report.

“It feels like being sent out on a lion hunt with a pea-shooter and a jumpsuit made out of zebra meat,” he added.

In the wake of the devastating Paris attacks, police officers in Sweden are disturbed over they fact that they have neither the protective gear nor the weapons needed to fight if Islamic protesters launched a full-scale jihadi assault in Swedish neighborhoods.

One of Christian’s colleagues, “Niklas,” wrote that he was forced to patrol a location considered a risk area for terrorist attacks without a protective helmet, as those available were the wrong size for his head. “Without the right equipment and with inadequate training in tactics and shooting we still had to work as live targets without any kind of chance to defend ourselves or our [locations] against a potential attack,” he wrote.

According to American law enforcement veteran Sid Franes (NYPD-Ret.), police departments and agencies in countries such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and others had dismissed American cops as gunslingers and cowboys. “The Brits, for instance, found it amusing that their officers controlled their city streets without the need for firearms, while American cops carried sidearms or concealed weapons and had shotguns at the ready in their prowl cars,” said Franes.

“But now you have heavily armed police in Britain and France patrolling city streets with automatic rifles and other impact weapons,” Franes noted. “Unfortunately, police officers will lose their lives while politicians — safe and secure — decide what cops need to protect themselves and their communities.”

Sheriffs dismiss a major Democratic talking point on sanctuary cities

Several sheriffs across the country have spoken out against the idea that sanctuary city policies give illegal aliens more confidence to work with local law enforcement. Sanctuary city advocates claim that many illegal aliens will not report crimes, even if they are the victims, because they are afraid their illegal status will be discovered and they will be deported.

"I've not even seen anecdotal evidence," National Sheriffs' Association executive director, Jonathan Thompson, told the Washington Examiner. "The sad thing is that [this claim] suggests that people here are aware of criminal activity and are not reporting it. We have to give them specific dispensation so that they're reporting crimes?”

Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County, Md., who was called last April to testify in a House of Representatives hearing on the effectiveness of immigration policies, said, "I believe the illegal alien community is smart enough to know that there are protections in place that if they are victims, not to put them into removal custody…They can request a U-visa — basically gives them asylum from any deportation or removal."

Sam Page, a sheriff in Rockingham County, N.C., for almost 20 years, said, "Some people in government at those levels want to be able to pick and choose what laws they enforce. If there are laws on the books, then we enforce the laws. And the legislature and Congress, they enact legislation. If they don't like the laws, then they need to change the laws, but you don't pick and choose which laws you enforce."

You can read the full article at The Washington Examiner.

Sen. Tom Cotton unveils the most important immigration bill for protecting American workers

The BREAK THE CHAINS Campaign has begun.

This morning, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) announced that he will introduce legislation next week that would end ALL categories of Chain Migration -- and the Visa Lottery, too.

Chain Migration is the main reason that American workers have had to compete for wages and jobs with tens of millions of new immigrants who have been given lifetime work permits the last several decades.

40% IMMEDIATE REDUCTION IN ANNUAL IMMIGRATION

Sen. Cotton says his bill would reduce the number of lifetime work permits given to foreign citizens by around 40% the first year -- and by around 50% in the tenth year after passage.

Ending Chain Migration is the primary way the bill would achieve that goal.

For several decades, immigrants no longer have been limited to bringing in a spouse and minor children. Chain Migration categories allow each immigrant (once a citizen) to petition for adult brothers and sisters, for adult sons and daughters, and for parents. Each of them can in turn do the same along with bringing their own spouses who can start whole new chains in their own families, and so forth in a never-ending pattern.

Sen. Cotton would stop all of that Chain immigration which adds millions of workers each decade without any regard to their skills or how they would affect Americans competing in the same occupations.

By limiting family immigration to a spouse and minor children -- including overseas adoptions and marriages by U.S. citizens -- Sen. Cotton says the bill would . . .

" . . . restore historical levels of immigration in order to give working Americans a fair shot at wealth creation."

At around one million a year since 1990, overall annual legal immigration has been some THREE times higher than the historical average before then.

A RARE OPPORTUNITY

Sen. Cotton's bill will be the first since 1996 to challenge the Senate to eliminate future Chain Migration.

It was in 1996 that I started NumbersUSA with our Number One legislative goal being to end Chain Migration, as recommended by the bi-partisan federal commission chaired by the Civil Rights icon Barbara Jordan.

Sen. Cotton has boldly indicated today that he will assume the leadership to advance that vision of an immigration policy that first serves the interests of our national community's workers, especially its most vulnerable.

This year represents a rare opportunity. It is the first time in nearly a hundred years that there is a President in the White House who has declared his intention to reduce the overall numerical level of immigration.

THE PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED

Sen. Cotton is titling his bill the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act.

Its initials spell RAISE. It's the RAISE bill. Sen. Cotton wants to give hard-pressed American workers a raise by allowing labor markets to begin to tighten.

Sen. Cotton described the problem his bill is attempting to address:

  • For over a quarter century, the United States has accepted an average of 1 million immigrants annually--the equivalent of adding the entire state of Montana each year.
  • When only 1 out of every 15 immigrants arrives in the United States on a skills-based visa, the majority of the remaining immigrants are either low-skill or unskilled.
  • This generation-long influx of low-skilled labor has been a major factor in the downward pressure on the wages of working Americans, with the wages of recent immigrants hardest hit.
  • Wages for Americans with only high school diplomas have declined by 2 percent since the late 1970s, and for those who didn't finish high school, they have declined by nearly 20 percent. This collapse in wages threatens to create a near permanent underclass for whom the American Dream is always just out of reach.

THE 'RAISE' SOLUTION

Sen. Cotton describes the key elements of his bill like this:

Eliminate Outdated Diversity Visa Lottery: The Lottery is plagued with fraud, it advances no economic or humanitarian interest, and it does not even deliver the diversity of its namesake. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery.

Place Responsible Limit on Permanent Residency for Refugees: The RAISE Act would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with a 13-year average. (This is the same annual refugee cap in Pres. Trump's executive order. It is also the cap recommended in the 1980 Refugee Act, which is current law but which Presidents have routinely exceeded.)

Prioritize Immediate Family Households. The RAISE Act would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

Eliminated would be green card categories for foreign citizens who are:

  • Adult parents of U.S. citizens
  • Adult brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Married adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried adult sons and daughters of legal permanent residents

Create Temporary Visa for Parents in Need of Caretaking: For U.S. citizens who wish to bring elderly parents in need of care-taking to the United States, the RAISE Act creates a renewable temporary visa on the condition that the parents are not permitted to work, cannot access public benefits, and must be guaranteed support and health insurance by their sponsoring children.

Friends, the difference in this being a wonderful BILL and it being an incredibly helpful LAW is likely to be the degree to which the 8 million members of NumbersUSA's online grassroots army makes it clear to their Members of Congress and to Pres. Trump that this is a true priority.

New Actions
ROY BECK, NUMBERSUSA FOUNDER & PRESIDENT

 

Why Trump must end DACA

The Hill

By opinion contributor Dale Wilcox

Published January 29, 2017

The rule of law is all about deterrence. So when we fail to follow it, we squander its deterring effects. With President Obama’s DACA program apparently still up and running (handing out amnesty, work permits, etc.), it’s sincerely hoped this most basic of principles hasn’t fallen victim to the left’s emotional blackmail campaign.

Ending DACA and turning off the amnesty-magnet is now more important than ever.

Obama created DACA in reaction to Congress’s “gridlock” over the DREAM Act, an amnesty bill for illegal aliens under 30 rejected no less than 24 times since 2001.

DACA replicated the main elements and criteria of the insipidly titled act, from its sentimental focus on “children” to the requirement that applicants have a GED.

While the DREAM Act granted “legal status” or permanent legalization, DACA purports to offer “legal presence”, or “temporary” legalization. The distinction’s without a difference. Obama’s strategy with the program, to use a phrase from George W. Bush about Israel’s West Bank settlements, was to create “facts on the ground” and make it as difficult as possible to reverse course in future.

When you reward bad behavior, you get more of it. Following Obama’s DACA announcement, radio and print ads began appearing south of the border selling the services of cartel-controlled “coyotes” to teenaged would-be illegal aliens. In a matter of months, the thousand or so apprehensions of unaccompanied juveniles we’d previously been seeing every year surged into the tens of thousands.

A year later, the surge reached the hundreds of thousands (not including an equal jump in “family units”). Despite Obama’s efforts to divert the flood by creating a program to fly alien minors straight from their home countries, the level of illegal entries failed to taper off and it remains at record highs today.

Now, thanks to DACA, taxpayers spend hundreds of millions annually to reunite the (mostly) uneducated minors with their (mostly) illegal alien parents in the U.S. That’s money that should have gone to support schools, hospitals, and job-training for American youth.

Should the new administration signal that it too is unwilling to enforce our immigration laws fairly, equally, and without an ageist-bent, the flood over our borders will become a torrent.

Take Mexico’s poor economic prospects. Average wages in that country are a mere 10 percent of American levels, a gap that’s likely set to jump. Why? Mexico’s rapidly dwindling Cantarell oil field, traditionally the source of 30 percent of the country’s total government expenditures. Once classified as a ‘supergiant’ alongside Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar deposit, the Cantarell field, and the well-paid union jobs it supported, is credited with finally establishing a Mexican middle-class.

But with production declining from 2.5 million to 400,000 barrels per day over the last decade or so, Mexico’s biggest GDP-contributor is no longer oil exports, but US-based remittances.

Assuming the economic effects to Mexico of Trump’s promised NAFTA readjustments turn out to be banal (some critics say it’s actually been a net negative to Mexico’s poor), the drawdown of Mexican oil revenues will almost certainly push up its levels of illegal economic migration.

As for the main source countries for “unaccompanied alien minors” — El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — development economists have all but given up on understanding why they can’t even come close to the achievements of neighboring Nicaragua, Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama. Without shutting off the magnet of amnesty, their mass illegal entries will also stay at flood-levels. 

Instead of demanding that the federal government assist these countries with better tailored aid and grants conditioned on rooting out corruption, open-borders activists simply call for more amnesty and more illegal alien “rights.” Their lack of systematic analysis is stupefying.

While “protecting” illegal aliens from the consequences of breaking the law may make them feel good and virtuous, if they get their way on DACA the incentives for further law-breaking at our border will only increase. Economists call this the “moral hazard” problem.

Given the economic and social pressures here and across the border, we need to ensure against amnesty and the moral hazard it creates, now more than ever.

Dale Wilcox is executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative and predatory effects of unlawful immigration and ungoverned legal immigration.

Read the full article and comments.

President Trump moves to build border wall, block funding to ‘sanctuary cities’

WASHINGTON — President Trump moved aggressively to tighten the nation’s immigration policies Wednesday, signing executive actions to jumpstart construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall and block federal grants from immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities.”

“We’ve been talking about this right from the beginning,” Trump said during a brief signing ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security.

...Trump cast his actions as fulfillment of his campaign pledge to enact hard-line immigration measures, including construction of a wall paid for by Mexico.

While Trump has repeatedly said the border structure will be a wall, his spokesman Sean Spicer said more generally Wednesday the president was ordering construction of a “large physical barrier.”

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has insisted his country will not pay for a wall, is to meet with Trump at the White House next week.

The orders Trump signed Wednesday also increase the number of border patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to be hired. And the president ordered the end of what Republicans have labeled a catch-and-release system at the border...

Later in the week, Trump is expected to sign orders restricting the flow of refugees into the United States...

Trump campaigned on pledges to tighten U.S. immigration policies, including strengthening border security and stemming the flow of refugees. His call for a border wall was among his most popular proposals with supporters, who often broke out in chants of “build that wall” during rallies.

In response to terrorism concerns, Trump controversially called for halting entry to the U.S. from Muslim countries. He later turned to a focus on “extreme vetting” for those coming from countries with terrorism ties.

To build the wall, the president may rely on a 2006 law that authorized several hundred miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile frontier. That bill led to the construction of about 700 miles of various kinds of fencing designed to block both vehicles and pedestrians.

The Secure Fence Act was signed by then-President George W. Bush, and the majority of that fencing in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California was built before he left office. The last remnants were completed after President Obama took office in 2009.

The Trump administration also must adhere to a decades-old border treaty with Mexico...

Trump’s order to crack down on sanctuary cities — locales that don’t cooperate with immigration authorities — could cost individual jurisdictions millions of dollars....

It appeared as though the refugee restrictions were still being finalized. ...

There is also likely to be an exception for those fleeing religious persecution if their religion is a minority in their country. That exception could cover Christians fleeing Muslim-majority nations.

As president, Trump can use an executive order to halt refugee processing. Bush used that same power in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Refugee security vetting was reviewed and the process was restarted several months later.

———

Zoll reported from New York. AP writer Alicia Caldwell in Washington contributed to this report.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Congress