refugee

Biden Immigration Outline

President Biden has proposed amnesty for more than 11 million illegal aliens, a massive expansion of legal immigration, and the dismantling of enforcement if yet to be released legislation is anything like an outline provided by the new Administration hours before Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

To be clear, NumbersUSA has yet to see legislative text of the Biden proposal. But if the coming legislation is anything like the outline released by the new Administration earlier today, this is not a serious attempt to reform our nation's immigration laws, and instead is a wish-list for the open borders lobby.

Here are some of the highlights of the plan: . . .

Biden to reverse Trump Travel Ban, Halt Wall, Strengthen DACA in Slew of Immigration Orders

President Biden on Wednesday will issue a slew of executive orders related to immigration, reversing some of the most controversial of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies -- a sign of Biden’s early focus on immigration in his first days in office.

Biden will sign an order putting an end to what he describes as "the Muslim ban" -- which refers to the travel bans placed on predominantly Muslim and African countries due to national security concerns. . .

Immigration Pause Executive Order

On April 22, President Trump signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending some forms of immigration into the United States as part of the administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“In order to protect our great American workers, I’ve just signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States,” the president said during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House. “This will ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens.". .

 

Border Patrol Chief Debunks Alexadria Occasio-Cortez' Lies

Trump Closes U.S. Mexico Border to Combat Covid-19

A better way to help refugees

Governor Brown recently signed a letter to President Trump’s administration saying in effect that Oregon will welcome refugees assigned here in any numbers.

It’s apparent that the issue of refugee resettlement needs to be more fully discussed.

What is true compassion for the millions of citizens of other countries who risk their lives to get into the U.S. and Europe claiming to be refugees?

There are millions of refugees around the world today.  We cannot take them all, and we are not really helping when we bring certain ones to admit into the U.S. or into Oregon.  This only makes it possible for some in the U.S. to feel virtuous, and for the agencies here that process the refugees to enrich themselves.

These nonprofit agencies are overwhelmingly financed by the federal government, making tax-paying citizens bear the ultimate, huge cost.  The agencies have become self-perpetuating bureaucracies with a vested interest in serving large numbers of clients.

Furthermore, it has been documented that a high percentage of applications by persons seeking refugee status are fraudulent.

We should not encourage refugees and faux-refugees to come here by issuing blanket welcome statements.  For the same amount spent on assistance to refugees in the U.S., we could be helping millions of others who’ve been left behind. The U.S. already works with other countries and the United Nations to maintain safe centers for refugees in places near their home countries, with the aim of making it possible for most of them to return to their home countries eventually. 

In a BBC Radio 4 documentary series, A New Life in Europe, a Syrian man, head of a family attempting to enter Europe, speaks bitterly of Germany’s accepting some refugee claimants while he and his family were back in the Middle East after failing twice to reach their European destination and be accepted:  "If they would close the door, people would try to help themselves here. ... We would change our plan, we wouldn't have to keep trying and waiting for another boat. We would look for a better life somewhere else. They are throwing a piece of bread tied to a string and they just keep pulling it away from you."

In other words, don’t tempt us unless you intend to let all come in who wish to.

Help for true refugees is needed worldwide. Rather than extending help piecemeal, to random fractions of the total, let’s help all of them in the most effective way possible.   That means cooperation with other countries and the United Nations.

What you're not supposed to know

Fortunately, some people and institutions dig around, find, and publish, solid information to measure the full scope of the crisis at U.S. borders now, where thousands of people are pouring in from all over the world, with no end in sight. 

Statistics are hard going to read and think about, but they do exist.  The Center for Immigration Studies deals with them routinely.  Here’s one of their reports, with information you’re not likely to see in the general media, nor hear from your Congressperson: 

Revealing Numbers from DOJ and DHS; Quantifying the scope of the border disaster, and its effects, by Andrew R. Arthur, July 21, 2019.

In his article, Arthur describes how figures in official releases “quantify the scope of the disaster that has been unfolding over the last few months on the border, the reasons for that disaster, and its effects on our immigration system.” He highlights the most important figures, for example:  "Recent initiatives to track family unit [FMU] cases revealed that close to 82 percent of completed cases have resulted in an in absentia order of removal." This means that 82% of the refugee or asylum claims among this group of migrants are bogus.

He quotes from a DHS report:  “The many cases that lack merit occupy a large portion of limited docket time and absorb scarce government resources, exacerbating the immigration-court backlog and diverting attention from other meritorious cases. Indeed, despite DOJ deploying the largest number of immigration judges in history and completing historic numbers of cases, a significant backlog remains. There are more than 900,000 pending cases in immigration courts, at least 436,000 of which include an asylum application [Emphasis added].”

Arthur concludes:

The situation at the Southwest border is bad and getting worse, as the figures in the IFR demonstrate. It is not only an issue for our overburdened immigration courts, and DHS employees and resources, but it also imposes a tragic toll on the migrants themselves, who are subject to abuse and exploitation on the way to the United States (as I noted in my last post).

Notwithstanding these facts, Congress has failed to act to plug the loopholes that are being exploited by smugglers and migrants alike. Instead, it simply holds hearings purporting to examine how the administration has acted "inhumanely" with respect to the flood of migrants with which it must contend, or its members send out sanctimonious tweets exploiting the human tragedy that is occurring on its watch and largely because of its inaction. As a former staffer, I can assure you that legislating is hard. The figures in the IFR demonstrate, however, that it is necessary, now more than ever.   [END]

And what do we hear from Oregon’s Congressional delegation?  Mostly wailing about the poor migrants and no concern for the effects of massive immigration on U.S. citizens.  Check out Oregon delegates’ voting records, tracked by NumbersUSA at: https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/tools/grades/list/0/CONGRESS/or/A/Grade/Active.  For the current Congress, 6 of the 7 get F-. Senator Merkley and all 5 Representatives are up for reelection in 2020, Senator Wyden in 2022.

The nightmare on the border is real

To get a shocking, unvarnished picture of what’s happening on the U.S.-Mexican border now, look at this account by John Wahala, of the Center for Immigration Studies, who for several years has been leading annual group tours to the border to see activity there first-hand.

 He describes findings of this year’s tour in vivid detail. It’s a long article, worth reading in full.

 Here are some excerpts:

Most of the families that are being released into the United States are simply not eligible for asylum. What is worse is that some of the "family units" are not families at all. A top Border Patrol agent told us they apprehend men traveling with children who have either been kidnapped or bribed along the way.

… the only reason the Tucson Sector has yet to experience the volume of asylum seekers that are arriving at other areas of the border is because the local drug cartel on the Mexican side has started turning them away. Sources on both sides of the border told us that the cartel is redirecting the migrants who are heading north to Nogales and Agua Prieta because they do not want the attention on the area. …

…  But what everyone did acknowledge is that no institution in Mexico can effectively challenge the cartels. Drug money drives the local economy, creating wealth and corruption that has spilled over into neighboring Douglas, Arizona, where U.S. customs agents and others have been reportedly bribed over the years.  …

… Approximately 40 percent of drug seizures nationwide are conducted in this [Tucson] sector and, according to a top Border Patrol official, there was enough fentanyl seized in the past year to kill the entire population of the United States, twice. Since marijuana became legal in parts of the United States, authorities have increasingly been dealing with hard narcotics. …

… February saw the highest apprehension rate ever for the Tucson Sector. We were told that smugglers pay close attention to the enforcement techniques and adjust accordingly. For example, most of the crossings used to occur at night until the National Geographic "Border Wars" television show revealed how effective night vision was in spotting incursions. Smugglers realized that crossing during the day neutralized this technology, giving them a better chance to evade the apprehension. Now most of the crossings occur during the day. …

… Today, agents encounter a high volume of illegal crossers and also "rip crews," which are armed groups of bandits who rob the migrants as they make their way north. Most of the bandits are American citizens but some are foreign nationals who come across the border to commit various crimes before returning to Mexico. All of this activity poses a danger to the agents and other law enforcement officials, whom we were told are more likely to get assaulted while making an apprehension the closer they are to Mexico because migrants know they can escape prosecution if they can just make it back across the border. Smugglers and other criminals often go right through the southbound port of entry with drugs and other contraband, easily bribing Mexican officials. There are no southbound checks by the United States.

The relentlessness of this illegal influx heading north can be defeating for those who have dedicated years of their life to securing the border. Even young agents, who signed up for the excitement of being out in the field, get discouraged. Their frustration stems mostly from the persistent lack of political will to enforce the law. Morale was excellent when President Trump took office but the agents have not seen enough change. They know the steps that are needed to stop the influx, which are more extensive than simply erecting a wall, but for complex social and political reasons these steps have not been implemented. This has led to cynicism and contributed to attrition within the ranks. We were told that five hundred new agents are being hired each year but eight hundred are leaving.  …

… East of Nogales, we visited ranchers who deal with the fallout from the illegal influx every day. They explained that the situation is constantly changing and that things there are simply not normal. A theme of the discussion, which we have heard repeated elsewhere, is that the border region is a country unto itself with its own laws and customs. Illegality often goes unprosecuted and certain societal norms cannot be taken for granted. They gave us a string of anecdotes in support of this claim: vandalism and burglaries are common and there have even been murders; raw sewage flows from Mexico into the United States at several points along the border, a local hospital closed because it could not cover the costs of treating illegal crossers; a group of teenagers just got paralyzed by a batch of tainted cocaine; a group of men from India seeking asylum jumped on the top of one of their vehicles as they were driving down the road. One of the most poignant moments of our visit was when one of the ranchers asked rhetorically, "How do you raise a daughter in such lawlessness?"

The ranchers cited a study finding it costs 33 percent more to raise cattle on the border and another claiming it costs 75 percent more per animal.  … That rancher told us that the cartels cut right through the steel border wall. In the last three years, 54 trucks have driven right through his land, ripping up pastures and destroying fences.  …

… whether people can see it or not, failing to secure the border is not just a problem for overwhelmed federal agencies or migrant shelters or hospitals or schools or ranchers along the border. It is a moral, social, and political problem for the entire nation, one that threatens the very idea of nationhood.

 

-- A Growing Border Crisis; A report from Arizona, by John Wahala, Center for Immigration Studies,  May 24, 2019.   https://cis.org/Wahala/Growing-Border-Crisis

Trump moves to limit asylum; new rules challenged in court

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Friday to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally, tightening the border as caravans of Central Americans slowly approach the United States. The plan was immediately challenged in court.

Trump invoked the same powers he used last year to impose a travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court...

“We need people in our country, but they have to come in legally,” Trump said Friday as he departed for Paris.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups swiftly sued in federal court in Northern California to block the regulations, arguing the measures were illegal.

“The president is simply trying to run roughshod over Congress’s decision to provide asylum to those in danger regardless of the manner of one’s entry,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt.

The litigation also seeks to put the new rules on hold while the case progresses.

The regulations go into effect Saturday...

Trump’s announcement was the latest push to enforce a hard-line stance on immigration through regulatory changes and presidential orders, bypassing Congress, which has not passed any immigration law reform. But those efforts have been largely thwarted by legal challenges and, in the case of family separations this year, stymied by a global outcry that prompted Trump to retreat.

Officials said the asylum law changes are meant to funnel migrants through official border crossings for speedy rulings instead of having them try to circumvent such crossings on the nearly 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border...

But the busy ports of entry already have long lines and waits, forcing immigration officials to tell some migrants to turn around and come back to make their claims...

“The arrival of large numbers ... will contribute to the overloading of our immigration and asylum system and to the release of thousands ... into the interior of the United States,” Trump said in the proclamation, calling it a crisis.

Administration officials said those denied asylum under the proclamation may be eligible for similar forms of protection if they fear returning to their countries, though they would be subject to a tougher threshold. Those forms of protection include “withholding of removal” — which is similar to asylum, but doesn’t allow for green cards or bringing families — or protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

Homeland Security officials said they were adding staffing at the border crossings ...

The U.S. is also working with Mexico in an effort to send some migrants back across the border. Right now, laws allow only Mexican nationals to be swiftly returned and increasingly those claiming asylum are from Central America.

Trump pushed immigration issues hard in the days leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections, railing against the caravans that are still hundreds of miles from the border.

He has made little mention of the issue since the election, but has sent troops to the border in response. As of Thursday, there were more than 5,600 U.S. troops deployed to the border mission, with about 550 actually working on the border in Texas.

Trump also suggested he’d revoke the right to citizenship for babies born to non-U.S. citizens on American soil and erect massive “tent cities” to detain migrants. Those issues were not addressed by the regulations. But Trump insisted the citizenship issue would be pushed through.

“We’re signing it. We’re doing it,” he said.

The administration has long said immigration officials are drowning in asylum cases partly because people falsely claim asylum and then live in the U.S. with work permits. In 2017, the U.S. fielded more than 330,000 asylum claims, nearly double the number two years earlier and surpassing Germany as highest in the world.

Migrants who cross illegally are generally arrested and often seek asylum or some other form of protection ... Generally, only about 20 percent of applicants are approved.

It’s unclear how many people en route to the U.S. will even make it to the border. Roughly 5,000 migrants — more than 1,700 under the age of 18 — sheltered in a Mexico City sports complex decided to depart Friday for the northern city of Tijuana, opting for the longer but likely safer route to the U.S. border.

Similar caravans have gathered regularly over the years and have generally dwindled by the time they reach the southern border, particularly to Tijuana. Most have passed largely unnoticed.

___

Associated Press writers Elliot Spagat in San Diego, Nomaan Merchant in Houston and Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

 

Trump to Cap Refugees Allowed Into U.S. at 30,000, a Record Low

WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to cap the number of refugees that can be resettled in the United States next year at 30,000, his administration announced on Monday...

Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, announced the limit at the State Department, saying it reflected the “daunting operational reality” of addressing what he called a “humanitarian crisis” involving people claiming asylum in the United States.

The number represents the lowest ceiling a president has placed on the refugee program since its creation in 1980...

The move is the latest in a series of efforts the president has made to clamp down on immigration to the United States.

It is also the culmination of a quiet but successful effort by Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser, to severely restrict the number of refugees offered protection inside the country....

Others inside the administration, including in the Department of Defense and, initially, the State Department, had supported maintaining the 45,000-refugee ceiling.

Mr. Pompeo had privately advocated last month for keeping the number where it was. He was pivotal to the decision, and kept his final recommendation under wraps until Monday afternoon, when he announced it from the Treaty Room of the State Department.

In doing so, he adopted an argument made privately by Mr. Miller: that the United States needed to prioritize hundreds of thousands of people who have arrived at the United States border, claiming a credible fear of returning home, rather than refugees overseas who are by definition already in need of protection and resettlement in another country.

“Some will characterize the refugee ceiling as the full barometer of America’s commitment to vulnerable people around the world,” Mr. Pompeo said. “This would be wrong.”

“This year’s refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in our country, leading to a massive backlog of outstanding asylum cases and greater public expense,” he added.

Mr. Pompeo said refugees had to be weighed against a backlog of 800,000 asylum seekers — people in the United States who claim a “credible fear” of returning home — who are awaiting a decision by immigration authorities about whether they will be granted status to remain...

About 730,000 additional immigrants were waiting for their cases to be resolved by American courts, according to the Justice Department, including people who had asked for asylum after being apprehended. But that number also included people in deportation or other immigration proceedings.

Immigrant and advocates condemned the cuts to the refugee program, calling it a callous decision that would also undermine American national security and foreign policy priorities.

The cap does not require the Trump administration to resettle 30,000 refugees; in years past, governments have accepted far fewer than what is legally permitted.

During the administration of President George W. Bush, for example, the program’s ceiling accepted up to 70,000 refugees annually; it was raised to 80,000 during his final year in office. But the government only resettled about 27,000 refugees in 2002, immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and accepted 28,000 the following year.

Mr. Trump, who campaigned promising a “Muslim ban,” and argued for a halt to the admission of Syrian refugees because he argued that they could be a danger to the country, has targeted the refugee resettlement program for cuts since his first days in office.

His travel ban, imposed a week after he was sworn in, temporarily halted the program and limited the number of refugees that could be resettled in the United States to 50,000. That slashed the program from the 110,000 cap that President Barack Obama had put in place before he left office.

Last year, Mr. Miller led an effort, with the support of John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, to cut the program even more, to as low as 15,000.

But pushback from Defense and State Department officials, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of the United States mission to the United Nations, who advocated for maintaining the 50,000 level, resulted in a ceiling of 45,000...

Gardiner Harris contributed reporting.

 

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