legal 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.

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

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

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

See excerpts from the FAIR blog below.


Immigration Policies ​Weigh Heavily on U.S. Schools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20 Million Immigrants Admitted Over 35 Years Through Chain Migration

 
Twenty million of the total 33 million legal immigrants admitted to the United States between 1981 and 2016 were admitted through the chain migration categories, according to analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies. According to CIS, a legal immigrant admitted to the United States over the 35 years sponsored an average of 3.45 family members for green cards.
 
Current immigration law allows for new immigrants with green cards to sponsor their spouses and minor children. Then, once they become naturalized citizens, they can also sponsor their parents, adult siblings, and unmarried adult children for green cards, which creates endless chains of family-based immigration. There are no numerical limits to spouses, minor children, and parents that can be sponsored by U.S. citizens, while other categories are capped at approximately 250,000 per year.
 
The Immigration Act of 1990 dramatically increased the chain migration categories causing annual legal immigration numbers to skyrocket from a traditional average of 250,000 per year to more than 1 million per year since the 1990s. The last bipartisan U.S. commission on immigration reform, chaired by the late Barbara Jordan, recommended ending chain migration. Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue's RAISE Act and Rep. Lamar Smith's Immigration in the National Interest Act would end chain migration by restricting permanent, family-based immigration to spouses and minor children and creating a renewable visa for parents.
 
In a Tweet earlier this month, Pres. Trump called for ending chain migration shortly after terminating the unconstitutional DACA executive amnesty for young illegal aliens. Granting a permanent amnesty to the approximately 700,000 DACA recipients would multiply the size of the amnesty because of chain migration.
 
[Some key findings of the report]:
 
• Over the last 35 years, chain migration has greatly exceeded new immigration. Out of 33 million immigrants admitted to the United States from 1981 to 2016, about 20 million were chain migration immigrants (61 percent).
 
• Judging from preliminary administrative data, approximately 1,125,000 legal immigrants were approved for admission in 2016, which is about 7 percent higher than 2015, and one of the highest numbers in the last decade.
 
• The largest categories of chain migration are spouses and parents of naturalized U.S. citizens because admissions in these categories are unlimited by law. 
 
• According to the most complete contemporary academic studies on chain migration, in recent years each new immigrant sponsored an average of 3.45 additional immigrants. …
 
• Of the top immigrant-sending countries, Mexico has the highest rate of chain migration. In the most recent five-year cohort of immigrants studied (1996-2000), each new Mexican immigrant sponsored 6.38 additional legal immigrants.
 
• Enacting an amnesty for roughly 700,000 DACA beneficiaries is likely to add double that number in additional immigrants because of chain migration, as the amnesty beneficiaries sponsor their parents and other family members. 
 
Read the entire report at CIS.
 

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.”

Polls Show Popular Support for Trump Order on Refugees

Two polls -- both conducted since last weekend's news coverage of protests against Pres. Trump's Jan. 27 executive order -- show that significantly more Americans support the President's order to pause the refugee program for four months than oppose it.

A Rasmussen Poll, conducted from Jan. 31-Feb. 1 found that 52% of likely voters support the action compared to 43% who oppose.

Meanwhile, a daily tracking poll by Reuters/Ipsos, conducted from Jan.31-Feb. 2, found that 48% support compared to 42% who oppose.

Both polls are consistent with public opinion measured before Pres. Trump signed the order. A Rasmussen poll taken after the executive order was leaked to the press, but before Pres. Trump signed it, found that the majority of Americans support a pause. A poll conducted by Quinnipiac in early-January also found that more Americans support a pause in immigration from terror hot spots than those who oppose.

These are the only polls taken after the weekend that have been made public.

Rasmussen's question added more context, helping to explain why it found majority support for the order. The question noted that the pause is only for four months and the purpose is to implement a better system for vetting refugees.

"The federal government has banned refugees from all countries from entering the United States for the next four months until there is a better system in place to keep out individuals who are terrorist threats. Do you favor or oppose such a ban?"

The Reuters/Ipsos poll asked about both the pause on refugees and the pause on visas from seven countries identified as hot spots for terror. But the question posed the visa pause as a religious test -- mentioning Muslims -- rather than describing the actual reason the seven countries were chosen. The poll still found more support than opposition, but not as much as the Rasmussen poll.

"Do you agree or disagree with the Executive Order that President Trump signed blocking refugees and banning people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S.?"

The Reuters poll is a daily tracking poll using a five-day rolling average. In each of its three releases, the number of Americans who support the order outnumber those who oppose.

CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA


 

Will the U.S. take Australia's Unwanted Asylum Seekers

WASHINGTON (February 3, 2017) – A report from the Center for Immigration Studies covers the asylum seeker resettlement deal the Obama administration entered into with Australia, which is currently on hold. President Trump is considering honoring the agreement, which would bring to the U.S. 1,250 detainees – mostly men (1,161 men, 49 women and 44 children) from Iran. But he questions the security risk of offering permanent resettlement to the population who refuse to return to their country of origin or to accept an offer of asylum from Cambodia.
 
The asylum seekers reside at Australia's offshore detention centers on the small island nation of Nauru and on Manus Island, part of Papua New Guinea. The Australian government spent at least $3.6 billion on offshore processing at these detention centers between 2013 and 2016, but is now closing the facilities and hopes to transfer the costs and security risks of resettling these individuals to the U.S.
 
Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center and author of the report said, “Convincing the U.S. to take Australia's unwanted asylum seekers would be a great achievement for Australia, but one of America's worst deals.”
 
Although negotiations between the two governments were ongoing for months, President Obama did not announce the agreement until just a few days after the U.S. presidential election. Australia is unwilling to take the detainees as the nation follows a policy of mandatory and indefinite detention of unlawful non-citizens, including asylum seekers.
 
View the entire report at: http://cis.org/rush/australias-unwanted-asylum-seekers-mostly-iranians-be-resettled-us
 
The detainees were offered the opportunity to return home or to resettle in Cambodia. To encourage resettlement to Cambodia, Australia offered cash incentives of $15,000 per person and promises of family reunification with the same cash amount given to these family members. Five refugees accepted the offer.
 
Rush writes, “The refugee resettlement program is not about 'picking and choosing' one's resettlement country. Resettlement, by definition, is to be implemented when no other viable option is available. Cambodia (or other countries) might not be ideal for asylum seekers trying to reach Australia and family members already settled there. But America is no consolation prize either.”

Fix Immigration. It’s What Voters Want.

An excellent opinion piece by Republican Senator from Arkansas - Tom Cotton

New York Times

Donald J. Trump smashed many orthodoxies on his way to victory, but immigration was the defining issue separating him from his primary opponents and Hillary Clinton. President-elect Trump now has a clear mandate not only to stop illegal immigration, but also to finally cut the generation-long influx of low-skilled immigrants that undermines American workers.

Yet many powerful industries benefit from such immigration. They’re arguing that immigration controls are creating a low-skilled labor shortage.

“We’re pretty much begging for workers,” Tom Nassif, the chief executive of Western Growers, a trade organization that represents farmers, said on CNN. A fast-food chain founder warned, “Our industry can’t survive without Mexican workers.”

These same industries contend that stricter immigration enforcement will further shrink the pool of workers and raise their wages. They argue that closing our borders to inexpensive foreign labor will force employers to add benefits and improve workplace conditions to attract and keep workers already here.

I have an answer to these charges: Exactly.

Higher wages, better benefits and more security for American workers are features, not bugs, of sound immigration reform...

Photo

 

A day laborer from Honduras waiting for work in Kansas City. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

It’s been a quarter-century since Congress substantially reformed the immigration system. In that time, the population of people who are in this country illegally has nearly tripled...

Some people contend that low-skilled immigration doesn’t depress wages. In his final State of the Union address, President Obama argued that immigrants aren’t the “principal reason wages haven’t gone up; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns.” Yet those decisions are possible only in the context of a labor surplus caused by low-skilled immigration. In a tight labor market, bosses cannot set low wages and still attract workers.

After all, the law of supply and demand is not magically suspended in the labor market. As immigrant labor has flooded the country, working-class wages have collapsed...

No doubt automation and globalization have also affected wages, but mass immigration accelerates these trends with surplus labor, which of course decreases wages. Little wonder, then, that these Americans voted for the candidate who promised higher wages and less immigration...

America has always offered a basic deal: If you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules, you can make a better life for yourself and your kids. But without good wages, this deal seems impossible...

Yet, as if Mr. Trump’s campaign never happened, companies in labor-intensive industries want to sustain or even increase current immigration flows....

Our country, like any country, needs borders and must decide who and how many can cross those borders...

This policy would resemble the immigration systems of Canada and Australia, countries with similar advanced economies. While our system gives priority to reuniting extended families and low-skilled labor, their systems prize nuclear-family reunification and attributes like language skills, education and work experience. A similar system here would allow in immigrants like doctors to work in rural areas while not pushing down working-class wages.

In some quarters, proposals like these invoke cries of “nativism” and “xenophobia.” But recent immigrants are the very Americans who have to compete with new immigrants for jobs. Far from being anti-immigrant, this proposal would give recent arrivals a better shot at higher wages, stable work and assimilation.

We have an immigration policy today that few Americans support or voted for. It’s allowed legal and illegal immigration at levels divorced from what our economy needs. That has undermined the earning power of those Americans least able to afford it.

But in this election, Americans finally demanded an end to this unthinking immigration system. President-elect Trump and Congress should take that mandate and act on it promptly in the new year.

Read the New York Times full article and comments here.

 

Hidden Ipsos Poll: Public Strongly Backs Donald Trump’s Plan To ‘Pause’ Legal Immigration

Hidden Ipsos Poll: Public Strongly Backs Donald Trump’s Plan To ‘Pause’ Legal Immigration

immigration
AP/DAMIAN DOVARGANES

A just-released poll shows that Donald Trump’s campaign-trail immigration and labor policies have overwhelming public support, and strong opposition from just one-sixth of voters. 

The Ipsos poll shows that only about one-in-six Americans strongly oppose Trump’s policies towards immigrant labor, repatriations, sanctuary cities, Islamic migrants, employer oversight and his ground-breaking proposal to reduce legal immigration.

Trump’s labor and immigration policies are “strongly” backed by .... an average support of almost 60 percent, versus strong opposition of just 15 percent. Roughly 10 percent did not answer the questions.

Ipsos is a highly rated polling firm, but conducted the poll in September and hid the pro-Trump answers until Nov. 16, a week after the election....

Trump’s promise to start “immediately deporting” illegals who have committed crimes gets 75 percent strong and somewhat support, and only 7 percent strong opposition. That’s 10-to-one support.

Sixty-two percent support and 13 percent strongly oppose, “detaining or immediately deporting all people who enter the U.S. illegally.”

Sixty-seven percent of respondents support, and only 9 percent strongly oppose, the implementation of current laws that levy fines on employers who hired illegals instead of Americans...

The poll shows that Trump’s revised plans to minimize the danger of immigrant Islamic terrorism is backed by 59 percent, and strongly opposed by 12 percent. That result echoes the public’s strong opposition to Islamic doctrines.

The most significant result in the poll, however, is the strong support for reductions in legal immigration, which amounted in 2015 to roughly one new immigrant for every two Americans entering the workforce, or one immigrant for every two American births... 57 percent, back reductions in legal immigration, while 13 percent did not take a position.

On the campaign trail, Trump called for a two-year pause in legal immigration....

Any significant reduction in immigration would raise Americans’ salaries and wages, cut welfare spending, reduce housing costs and drop unemployment, according to recent studies by a Wall Street advisory group that backed Hillary Clinton, and by the National Academies of Sciences.

More importantly, a major reduction in immigration would force Democrats to give up their 20-year strategy of gaining political dominance by importing government-dependent poor workers and voters...

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 1.54.35 PM

 Many polls show that most Americans do like immigrants, and they want to be seen liking immigration — but they also want a reduction in the annual immigration of 1 million people, which cuts salaries for the 4 million Americans who enter the job market each year. ...

This same outspoken response is also visible in a pre-election poll of the midwesterners who gave Trump his election-winning state victories, and of Latinos, who mostly prioritize the economy over additional immigration of their ethnic group. On Nov 8, “actual election results from counties with large Latino populations suggests that Trump probably did no worse than [Gov Mitt] Romney among Latinos, and probably did better,” said Harry Enten, a data analyst at Fivethirtyeight.com.

These disparate views of Americans are highlighted in the IPSOS poll by unusually strong opposition to Trump’s campaign-trail promise to extend the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Overall, 42 percent strongly or somewhat supported building a wall, while 32 percent strongly opposed a wall, said the poll.

But this response from the 1,005 adult respondents is likely influenced by party solidarity because it was conducted Sept. 1 to Sept. 2, 2016, during the political campaign where Trump’s main theme was construction of a border wall...

Similarly, 23 percent of the poll’s respondents strongly opposed cancellation of the Obama’s 2012 quasi-amnesty for younger illegals, who are called ‘Dreamers” by Democratic advocates. When asked if they support or oppose “Ending the executive orders that protect people who were brought to the US illegally when they were children,” 23 percent said they were strongly opposed, and 23 percent said they “strongly” support the proposal. Overall, 43 percent of Americans support an end to the amnesty, while 45 percent somewhat or strongly oppose ending the amnesty.

But when the same question is asked without any reference to “children,” support for repatriations spikes and opposition crashes. Sixty-two percent support — and only 13 percent strongly oppose — “detaining or immediately deporting all people who enter the U.S. illegally.” That’s four-to-one support for enforcing immigration laws. 

The public’s conflicting answers may also be caused by the poll’s lack of information about the scale and economic impact of current immigration.

Adam Crapser deported: Man was adopted from South Korea at age 3

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A man who was adopted from South Korea almost four decades ago by Americans has been deported to his native country, his attorney and a government official said Thursday.

Adam Crapser's supporters say he doesn't know the language or the culture of South Korea.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ordered Crapser deported because of criminal convictions, including assault and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

His Seattle attorney, Lori Walls, told The Associated Press in an email Thursday: "Adam got deported last night. I just heard from him."...

Crapser was brought to the United States when he was 3, but no one ever sought U.S. citizenship for him. He and his older sister were adopted by Americans, who later abandoned them. The siblings then were separated and sent to live in foster and group homes.

When Crapser was 12, he moved in with an abusive family. ...  Crapser himself later got into trouble with the law, which made him liable for deportation. He had come under the scrutiny of federal immigration authorities only after he applied for a Green Card.

Richeson said Crapser was arrested by ICE on Feb. 8 after serving a 60-day sentence for menacing...

The New York Times reported recently that his birth mother in South Korea, who had put her son up for adoption because she couldn't afford to keep him, was learning English so they could communicate when they were reunited.

Adopted at 3 by Oregon couple, South Korean man to be deported

SALEM — A South Korean man flown to the United States 37 years ago and adopted by an American couple at age 3 has been ordered deported ...

“It is heartbreaking news,” said Dae Joong (D.J.) Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, who had been in contact with Adam Crapser. Crapser remains confined in an immigration detention center...

Crapser’s plight mirrors those of thousands of others who were brought to the United States but whose adoptive parents didn’t secure green cards or citizenship for them. ...

Yoon said arrangements are being made for Crapser to get documents to enable him to fly to South Korea.

Seven years after Crapser and his older sister were adopted, their parents abandoned them. The foster care system separated Crapser, 10 at the time, from his sister.

The boy was housed at several foster and group homes.....he was physically abused, Crapser has said....

Federal immigration officials say they became aware of Crapser after he applied to renew his green card two years ago: his criminal convictions, ranging from burglary to assault, made him potentially deportable under immigration law. ..

“He will be deported as soon as Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes the necessary arrangements,” Walls said. “Adam, his family, and advocates are heartbroken at the outcome.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - legal immigration