immigration

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.

Prince William Breaks a Taboo: Speaks Out Against Overpopulation

ImmigrationReform.com

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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/

Interesting guest of Tucker Carlson

 
Recently Tucker Carlson dove into a subject pretty much verboten in present-day political discussion – How Many Is Too Many? That’s the title of his guest’s book, by Philip Cafaro, a professor of philosophy at Colorado State University.
 
Cafaro’s book, subtitled The progressive argument for reducing immigration into the United States, was published in 2015, but thanks to Tucker and some emerging enlightenment elsewhere, it’s now beginning to be discussed more publicly.
 
The chapter headings in Cafaro’s book indicate the framework of his argument:  Good people, hard choices, and an inescapable question.- Immigration by the numbers.-The wages of mass immigration.-Winners and losers.-Growth, or what is an economy for?- Population matters.-Environmentalists’ retreat from demography.-Defusing America’s population bomb—or cooking the earth.
 
Discussion of these subjects is very welcome, because most newspapers and other media today as well as many education groups and even some trade unions perpetuate the idea that all immigration is wonderful, without limits, endlessly enriching life in the U.S.  And they try to enforce that thinking by shaming questioners as unspeakable bigots.
 
Cafaro asks:  “Why are immigration debates frequently so angry?  People on one side often seem to assume it is just because people on the other are stupid, or immoral.  I disagree.  Immigration is contentious because vital interests are at stake and no one set of policies can fully accommodate all of them.”
 
He details in his book “how current immigration levels—the highest in American history—undermine attempts to achieve progressive economic, environmental, and social goals.”
 
Anyone who’s ever looked at the Census Bureau’s Population Clock should understand that thesis.  As of July 10, 2017 the clock ticks like this:  One birth every 8 seconds; one death every 12 seconds; one international migrant (net) every 33 seconds, net gain of one person every 12 seconds.  Our population is now over 325 million, and only quite recently it was 300 million; the rate of growth is enormous, and at present there’s no end in sight.
 
The 300 million mark was reached on Oct. 17, 2006, not quite 11 years ago.  Will there be another 25 ½ million people in 11 years?  If you’re feeling the increasing pressure of population density now, what will the quality of life be in the U.S. then?
 
Cafaro proposes sensible steps to restore controls over immigration and our future.  The first step he suggests is a temporary moratorium on all non-emergency immigration.  Amen to that!
 
The Carlson-Cafaro interview can be seen in the second segment of this YouTube video.  Cafaro has written an article summarizing the content of his book which is posted online here.
 
Note:  NumbersUSA, formed in 1996, brings together “moderates, conservatives & liberals working for immigration numbers that serve America's finest goals.”  It now has over 8 million supporters.  For those who care about a livable environment, here’s a good organization to join.
 

IRLI Files Brief Defending Trump Sanctuary City Executive Order

(Washington, D.C.) - Yesterday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed an amicus curiae brief (attached here) in the case of City of Seattle v. Donald J. Trump in support of President Trump's January 25, 2017 Executive Order (EO) cracking down on sanctuary cities. The EO threatens to cut off federal funds to any sanctuary city that does not comply with a federal statute that bars states and localities from prohibiting their employees from sharing immigration status information with the federal government (8 U.S.C. section 1373). Seattle, a notorious sanctuary city, has sued to halt the EO's implementation, claiming it violates the Spending Clause of the Constitution.

Seattle is concerned because it municipal code forbids city officers and employees to "inquire into the immigration status of any person, or engage in activities designed to ascertain the immigration status of any person." In its brief filed today, IRLI argued that Seattle's law violates, and is preempted by, section 1373. Even apart from section 1373, IRLI argued that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with a wider federal program and works to thwart congressional objectives. IRLI concluded that because the city's lawsuit is premised on an unlawful and unconstitutional policy, it should be dismissed.

IRLI's Executive Director Dale Wilcox commented, "This is yet another lawsuit by a city desperate to evade President Trump's emphasis on enhancing public safety through enforcing our immigration laws. Information sharing is a crucial component of that enforcement, and Seattle knows that if cities refuse to cooperate, enforcement will flounder." Wilcox continued, "The court should make clear that sanctuary-city policies like Seattle's are illegal to begin with, even apart from President Trump's Executive Order, and that cities can't legitimately complain about being coerced to refrain from illegal policies."

For additional information, contact: Olivia de la Peña • 202-232-5590 • odelapena@irli.org

 

Ring the caution bell

 
While it’s great to read the reports of decreases in illegal immigration and more arrests of illegal aliens now here, there are also disturbing signs that Pres. Trump is yielding too much to those who exploit the immigration system for profit and to the politicians in Congress and elsewhere who serve those interests.
 
Dan Cadman, of the Center for Immigration Studies, is a retired INS / ICE official with thirty years of government experience. He served as a senior supervisor and manager at headquarters, as well as at field offices both domestically and abroad.  He is well-informed on details of immigration law enforcement and writes in understandable language on current immigration issues.  In his blog below posted on the CIS website, he points out some pitfalls in the path toward what voters hoped to achieve through Pres. Trump’s election.
 
 
By Dan Cadman, Center for Immigration Studies, May 18, 2017
 
Even as border crossings have plummeted and interior arrests have soared since inauguration of the president — due, no doubt, both to his tough campaign talk and his unshackling of federal immigration agents through executive orders — there are warning signs that we may be sliding back toward the Washington business-as-usual mentality of unacknowledged virtually open borders where legal immigration is concerned.
 
First there was the cave-in on budget negotiations in which provisions maintaining controversial accounting methods for the notorious H-2B program for unskilled workers got slipped into the short-term appropriations bill, along with a reprieve of the corrupt and useless EB-5 "investor" visa program.
 
Then there was the deeply disturbing incident involving the sister of Jared Kushner (son-in-law and advisor to the president) pimping his name and connection to the White House in presentations to EB-5 investors in China.
 
And then we find that Mr. Trump is alleged to have promised Big Agriculture that they have nothing to fear from his administration where immigration enforcement and unfettered access to high-volume temporary worker programs are concerned. 
 
Now there are the rumors that Trump may be favorably disposed toward the ENLIST Act, a bill that would give illegal aliens the right to enlist in return for green cards — a poor idea that has been floated before without success, and that has been panned as unnecessary by distinguished retired military service members. No wonder, given that present enlistment programs are working just fine at keeping the armed forces supplied with excellent candidates, and indeed turn away many American citizen applicants for inability to meet the high physical, mental, emotional, and educational standards the military is able to maintain. Why compromise those standards to open the doors to aliens whose very presence in the country is illegal, who may or may not speak competent English, and who cannot easily or inexpensively be adequately vetted (as we have seen again and again and again)?
 
As our Executive Director, Mark Krikorian, recently discussed, none of these things is necessarily a betrayal, per se, by Mr. Trump of his vocal base of immigration restrictionists, given his campaign remarks about big, beautiful doors inside the big, beautiful (unfunded) wall. But it's going to feel like one. 
 
How could they see it otherwise if the market is flooded with hundreds of thousands of cheap foreign laborers on the bottom and middle, and with fat-cat foreign "entrepreneurs" at the top, despite all of the president's campaign rhetoric and promises to open up new jobs for un- and under-employed Americans?
 
The short-term problem seems to be that he thought everything could be done by executive orders and, having discovered that isn't true and that he needs the help of recalcitrant congressional Republicans — including those of the "more is better" immigration school like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) — the president appears to be inclined to give these foxes the run of the henhouse where guestworker and other "legal" immigration programs are concerned, perhaps in the belief that they will then support him in his other endeavors.
 
The long-term problem, though, is that whether he wishes to acknowledge it or not, Donald Trump's base did indeed "hire" the president not just to eliminate illegal immigration, but to rein in an out-of-control legal immigration system that brings in 1.5 million aliens annually, thus depressing wages at the lower end of the economic ladder, and making jobs difficult to find in the middle of the ladder, particularly for new college graduates seeking employment in certain industries (such as information technology) that have relied heavily on in-sourcing of long-term guestworkers who underbid them to get those jobs. 
 
And then there are those millionaires and billionaires buying green cards in corrupt programs that in truth employ nobody in any meaningful, direct, or permanent way. They merely serve as a plentiful source of funds to real estate and business developers. Many of these investment projects have proved to be fraudulent, and many others didn't get built or finished. The program is riddled like the proverbial Swiss cheese with lawsuits, prosecutions, and civil enforcement actions.
 
You just can't square the circle between continuing unfettered access to massive guestworker and investment programs by greedy employers and shady project-selling middlemen on one hand and, on the other, giving the people who constitute Mr. Trump's base a fair shot at good jobs with decent pay.
 
Lose your base, Mr. President, and you will be a one-term president. There is no art of the deal in which you can maintain their trust and confidence while giving way to congressional Democrats and Republicans who are catering to those employers and middlemen, who don't believe in your agenda anyway, and who will in the end drop you like a hot potato at the first sign of trouble. The warning signs are already there, are they not?
 

Obama DOJ Reprimanded SPLC for Hateful Attacks on Immigration Control Groups

The radical leftist group that helped a gunman commit an act of terrorism against a conservative organization was officially reprimanded by the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) for its hateful attacks, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations that disagree with it on social issues on a catalogue of “hate groups.” The previously undisclosed DOJ rebuke is a vindication for groups targeted by the SPLC’s witch hunts and is especially impactful because the Obama administration was tight with the SPLC and even hired the controversial nonprofit to conduct diversity training for the government. Judicial Watch uncovered documents relating to the SPLC’s diversity training at the DOJ back in 2013.

Also in 2013, Judicial Watch reported that a Virginia man who planned a mass shooting based on the SPLC’s “hate map” of conservatives got a 25-year prison sentence. Prosecutors called it an act of terrorism and recommended a 45-year sentence. The terrorist, Floyd Lee Corkins, stormed into the headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC) and carried out the politically-motivated shooting based on an SPLC target list. The FRC is a Christian organization that promotes the traditional family unit and the Judeo- Christian value system. Corkins pleaded guilty and admitted that he learned about the FRC from the SPLC, which describes itself as a civil rights group but labels conservatives who disagree with it on social issues as hateful.

In 2015, the SPLC issued a hit list of U.S. women against sharia law, the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism. This included a starter kit for Islamists to attack American women who refuse to comply with Sharia law and a detailed list of female bloggers, activist and television personalities who reject Sharia law, which is rooted in the Quran. Among those targeted were colleagues and friends of Judicial Watch who fear for their safety simply for practicing their rights under the U.S. Constitution. That SPLC hate list is titled Women Against Islam/The Dirty Dozen and includes illustrations and detailed information on all the women, who are branded “the core of the anti-Muslim radical right.” The SPLC hate brochure further targets them by claiming that they’re “a dozen of the most hardline anti-Muslim women activists in America.”

Another favorite SPLC target is any group or individual that speaks openly against illegal immigration. The DOJ reprimand, issued last year but kept quiet at the agency’s request, involves the SPLC’s atrocious behavior during immigration court proceedings. Two groups that oppose illegal immigration, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), were the target of personal, baseless and below-the-belt attacks from SPLC attorneys during official immigration court proceedings. The SPLC filed a motion attacking and defaming the two respected nonprofits by describing them as “white supremacist”, “eugenicist”, “anti-Semitic”, and “anti-Catholic.” In its reprimand the DOJ says it is troubled by the conduct of SPLC lawyer Christopher Strawn and that his conduct “overstepped the bounds of zealous advocacy and was unprofessional.” Furthermore, SPLC made “uncivil comments that disparaged FAIR and its staff,” the rebuke states, adding that the language constitutes frivolous behavior and doesn’t aid in the administration of justice.

The Obama administration kept the reprimand confidential and asked FAIR and IRLI to keep it under wraps. In the meantime, SPLC continues to publicly trash the groups and escalate attacks against them by putting them on the official hate list. The executive director and general counsel of IRLI, Dale Wilcox, says his nonprofit and FAIR will keep fighting for immigration policies that put America first. “The SPLC’s latest tactic in its never-ending witch-hunt and the federal government’s resulting reprimand should send the following message to the mainstream media,” Wilcox said: “Stop using the SPLC as a legitimate hate-watch source in your news coverage. That a cabal of biased list-keepers can play such an important role in distorting the immigration debate in this country is testament to the utter failure of much of the mainstream media which frequently publishes their inflammatory commentary and refuses to question their baseless methods or financial motivations.”

Some thoughts for Earth Day, 2017

 

Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, is supposed to inspire appreciation for our natural environment and action to preserve it in a healthful condition, recognizing that all life depends on air, water and soil.
 
Too many environmental organizations have lost their way and morphed into political groups that will not face the topmost threat to the environment – overpopulation, caused in the U.S. by excessive immigration.   See Ann Coulter’s analysis of what happened to the Sierra Club here.
 
Also, Joe Guzzardi, a long-time writer on immigration and the environment, presents this concise summary of the problem, with his recommendations for remedy. The article below was published in the Greeneville Sun, Greeneville TN.
 
 
 
Apr 20, 2017
 
As a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, each Earth Day and on many other days during the year I address the key words that my organization strives for — population stabilization.
 
Environmentalists have written volumes about the importance of achieving sustainable population. On Earth Day, politicians pay token attention to how overpopulation contributes to the environment’s fragile condition. Yet the only change since the first 1970 Earth Day is that more people have been added. Today, global population is 7.5 billion, more than three times what many consider a sustainable total, and U.S. population is 325 million, more than twice what some scientists agree is the optimum number of humans.
 
In the U.S., population growth is less an individual family choice than the direct result of conscious congressional decisions to expand immigration that date back to 1965. During the Senate hearing about the effect the 1965 Immigration Act might have on population, New York Senator Robert Kennedy, responding to North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin’s questions, acknowledged that the legislation would eventually double U.S. population, and that mass immigration to America couldn’t and wouldn’t solve global overpopulation. Senators Ervin and Kennedy were right in their analysis, but wrong in their votes to pass the legislation. Both sides of the aisle overwhelmingly voted for the 1965 Immigration Act.
 
The Pew Research Center, in its retrospective on the 1965 Immigration Act, found that since its passage and through 2015, new immigrants, their children and grandchildren added 72 million people to the U.S., which accounted for 55 percent of the nation’s population growth.
 
The modern immigration wave vastly exceeds previous migration flows: between 1840 and 1889, 14.3 million immigrants came to the U.S., and between 1890 and 1919, an additional 18.2 million arrived.
 
Assuming continued decline in native fertility rates and a modest decline in net immigration, the Census Bureau calculates that in 2051 the U.S. population will hit 400 million.
 
But the Census Bureau is a government entity, politically motivated to calculate conservatively. Other independent studies, namely Pew and Decision Demographics, estimate that by mid-decade U.S. population will increase to more than 435 million. The same researchers concluded that if immigration were cut in half, population would grow only 70 million; if eliminated, only 31 million.
 
More than half a century has passed since the 1965 Immigration Act was enacted. Millions more live in our overcrowded nation. The question that Congress must answer is how many immigrants should be admitted annually to guarantee the best quality of life for future generations. Arguments to reduce immigration should not be confused as anti-immigrant, but rather pro-environment. Congress has numerous options that could establish sensible immigration that would help immigrants and native-born alike.
 
They include:
 
- A sharp reduction in employment-based visas for all but the truly exceptional. Visa holders’ U.S.-born children are automatically granted citizenship which helps permanently anchor their parents in the U.S. Students, tourists and family visitors must return home when their temporary visas expire. Congress passed an entry-exit plan 30 years ago that hasn’t yet been implemented.
 
- Pass mandatory E-Verify, which would ensure that only citizens and legal immigrants are employed. E-Verify eliminates the jobs magnet that lures illegal immigrants.
 
- End the visa lottery, and promote refugee resettlement near their home nations.
 
- Pass Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s RAISE Act that would cut legal immigration from more than 1 million annually to 500,000. Less immigration creates tighter labor markets and puts upward pressure on long-stagnant wages.
 
The U.S. has no population policy, and therefore no understanding of the limits to growth.
 
Congress must act to reject the political correctness, which has made the mere mention of population stabilization taboo, and act quickly to create an improved quality of life for all.
 

Legislation could prevent some deportations of legal immigrants

SALEM — State lawmakers are considering a change to sentencing law that could help prevent the mandatory federal deportation of legal immigrants convicted of gross misdemeanors.

The proposal is in an amendment to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s bill:[HB 2355] to discourage racial profiling.

The change would reduce the maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanor from 365 days to 364 days. A 365-day sentence is one of several triggers for mandatory federal deportation of green card holders, refugees and other legal noncitizens. Other triggers are violent crimes and felonies, said Stephen Manning, a Portland immigration attorney.

The change would have no effect on illegal immigrants.

“This is an equity issue,” said state House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland. “People should not be torn from their families and their communities because of an arbitrary difference between state and federal sentencing law for low-level, nonviolent misdemeanors.”

If adopted, the law would make Oregon uniform with Washington state and California, which already made the change in the last several years.

It would serve to strengthen the three states’ governors’ efforts to create “a zone of inclusivity” along the West Coast, Manning said.

Gov. Kate Brown has been defiant in the face of President Donald Trump’s executive orders limiting immigration and banning refugees, which also have been halted by the courts.

In February, Brown issued her own executive order barring the use of state resources to enforce federal immigration policy. Rosenblum subsequently sought to join Washington’s lawsuit against the Trump administration’s immigration orders.

“Gov. Brown supports the amendment and looks forward to signing the racial profiling bill into law to better protect all Oregonians,” said Bryan Hockaday, the governor’s press secretary.

Kotek requested the sentencing change to be added to an amendment to a bill that requires police to collect data on race when they pull over drivers or pedestrians. The bill is meant to discourage racial profiling by law enforcement.

Kotek made the request after receiving feedback from community groups, law enforcement, immigration attorneys and others working on the racial profiling bill, said Lindsey O’Brien, a spokeswoman in the Speaker’s Office.

Felonies, certain violent crimes and 365-day or greater sentences for gross misdemeanors can trigger mandatory deportation under federal law. Class A misdemeanors in Oregon can range from falsifying information and writing a bad check to fourth-degree assault.

“Shifting to 364 days means our fellow Oregonians are not subject to that very drastic penalty,” Manning said.

As an immigration attorney, Manning said he sees legal immigrants deported for misdemeanor crimes all of the time.

“I couldn’t even count for you how many times,” he said. “It’s extremely painful and sad … and is a form of stigmatization against noncitizens.”

The House Judiciary Committee adopted the amendment and approved the overarching bill in March. No one addressed the significance of the sentencing change at that time.

Reps. Sal Esquivel of Medford, and Mike Nearman of Independence said they oppose the change because they see it as an attempt to circumvent federal law.

“To me that is a way to dodge the federal law,” said Esquivel, who is the son of a legal Mexican immigrant. “You’re on probation when you come here on a green card.”

The two Republican lawmakers co-sponsored legislation this session to outlaw sanctuary city designations and to make English the state’s official language.

Several Oregon cities, including Portland, have declared themselves sanctuary cities for immigrants, and the Trump administration has threatened to pull federal grants and other funding from those jurisdictions.

The bill is now before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means but won’t have another hearing until May, said Rep. Duane Stark, R-Grants Pass, chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Safety.

The Capital Bureau is a collaboration between EO Media Group and Pamplin Media Group.
 

Agenda for restoring immigration law enforcement

The U.S. House of Representatives has just held hearings on immigration issues, at which an expert from the Center for Immigration Studies testified, giving specific recommendations for steps needed to bring back meaningful enforcement of the immigration laws in the best interests of citizens.  This CIS news release lists the most important tasks needing attention now. 
 
CIS analyst testifies on need for congressional action 
 
WASHINGTON (March 29, 2017) – A Center for Immigration Studies analyst 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.
 
Jessica Vaughan, the Center's director of policy studies, emphasized that immigration enforcement had reached a state of collapse under the Obama administration:
 
• Interior deportations dropped by 70 percent since 2011;
• the administration's catch-and-release program resulted in about 40 percent of those caught by the Border Patrol trying to cross into the country being allowed to enter;
• deportations of criminal aliens declined by 60 percent since 2011;
• about 950,000 illegal aliens completed their due process and have final orders of removal, but remain in the country;
• more than 86,000 convicted criminal aliens were released over a three-year period, many of whom have gone on to commit further crimes;
• a lack of strong vetting for visas resulted in more than 500,000 foreign visitors overstaying in just one year alone (2015).
 
 
The last half of Vaughan's testimony addressed many of the steps the Trump administration has taken to restore enforcement:
 
• Ended the catch-and-release policies at the border;
• Discarded the strict prioritization scheme that exempted most illegal aliens from deportation;
• Taking steps to rebuild partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, including expanding the successful 287(g) program;
• Planning to again use accelerated forms of due process, so as not to drag out the deportation process
• Reviving task forces focused on smuggling, gangs, and other transnational crime.
 
She concluded by noting that some things can be done only by Congress, which has the lead role in determining immigration policy. Vaughan encouraged Congress to enact a phased-in universal E-Verify requirement to help turn off the job magnet that motivates many to come here illegally. She also recommended passage of the Davis-Oliver Act to strengthen enforcement by shoring up some weak spots in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
 
She urged Congress to address the problem of sanctuaries in several ways, including updating the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program so that the reimbursement is provided only for costs associated with honoring ICE detainers, not for jailing illegal aliens for local crimes.
 
Her list of necessary legislation also included changes that allow state and local governments to discourage illegal settlement and give ICE better tools to address gangs, smuggling, and fraud problems. She concluded by insisting that Congress must reduce opportunities for executive abuse of authority on work permits, parole, deferred action, and other gimmicks that have been used by presidents in the past to make an end run around the laws crafted by Congress. 
 

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

 

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