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Entries in Immigration (62)

Wednesday
Apr242013

National Review - Boston and Immigration, Plus #DefenseWeek Continues

 

Good morning,

The editors of National Review look at the harsh realities of the Boston bombings and the impact on the Senate immigration bill. What should we really be focused on when it comes to immigration reform? Answer below, or click here.

Also today on NRO, Defense Week (#DefenseWeek) continues with Colonel Allen West (Ret.) on what history should teach us, is it time to throw out the QDR and start anew by Jim Lacey, and Pete Hegseth and James Rosen chime in on defense spending and the melding of missions between agencies. NRO Defense Week continues tomorrow with Cliff May and Peter Brookes.

ICYMI: In honor of the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Ed Gillespie reflects upon the man and his legacy.

Amy.

***** 

What Boston Means for Immigration Policy

The Editors

The Boston Marathon bombing has intensified objections to the Gang of Eight’s so-called comprehensive-immigration-reform bill, and rightly so: The terrorist attack in Boston underlines several failures in our immigration system — failures that the bill under consideration would do little or nothing to rectify and would in some cases make considerably worse.

From a domestic-policy point of view, the most critical of these failures is the failure to maintain an immigration system oriented toward assimilation — the unapologetic expectation that immigrants will be fully immersed in American life. Assimilation has important cultural and economic benefits. It also makes immigrants less likely to become Islamist terrorists. The case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev — a non-citizen, charged in 2009 with a violent crime, flagged by a foreign intelligence service as a likely Islamic radical and terror threat, who traveled abroad to jihadist hot spots before returning to the United States to carry out his attack — suggests very strongly that our screening-and-evaluations system is broken. The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suggests very strongly that our ability and willingness to fully assimilate immigrants is damaged, much as the London bombings pointed toward the United Kingdom’s inability or unwillingness to assimilate its immigrants.

Assimilation was never part of the agenda for the Tsarnaev family. The bombers’ parents claimed refugee status at a time when their place of residence was Kazakhstan, where there are many ethnic Chechens and little in the way of persecution that would justify refugee status. In fact, Tsarnaev père apparently had little reason to fear persecution in Russia, either: He returned there to live, and his son Tamerlan spent an extended period of time with him there, with side trips to the Islamist hot spot of Chechnya. Tamerlan never became a U.S. citizen (his flagging by the Russian intelligence service as a likely Islamic radical prevented that), his parents had returned to Russia, and he himself was in and out of the country a great deal: not exactly a candidate for what our forebears used to quaintly describe as our national melting pot.

The Gang of Eight bill would move us away from the traditional American ideal of assimilation rather than toward it. It would grant amnesty to many illegal immigrants with a tenuous connection to the United States, and to some who are not even currently living here. At the same time it would do a great deal to increase unskilled immigration, particularly by Hispanics. And it would create a new class of “temporary” workers and their families who would be expected to be in this country but not of it, until those standards are relaxed. Combine these features of the bill and what you have is not a recipe for welcoming new Americans but for encouraging cultural and linguistic separatism.

Most illegal immigrants come here for economic reasons, of course, and not out of any desire to join our country in any larger sense. Others cross the border illegally for entirely different reasons: Among those who took advantage of the 1986 amnesty was “agricultural worker” Mahmud Abouhalima, one of the terrorists who carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Terrorism aside, the main consequence of the 1986 amnesty was to encourage even more illegal immigration and, consequently, even less assimilation.

Rather than tighten refugee-status rules that the Tsarnaevs abused, the Gang of Eight bill would loosen them, for example by removing the one-year deadline for claiming refugee protection once on American soil and by abbreviating the review process for many such claims for protection.

Senator Lindsey Graham and other partisans of the Gang of Eight bill argue that its security provisions would help to ferret out threats. In practice, that is unlikely to be the case. Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s file should have had more red flags on it than a May Day parade, but that was not enough for the FBI to revisit his case or question his travel to Chechnya. As the 11 million illegals testify, our federal bureaucracy and law-enforcement agencies either cannot or will not enforce the immigration laws we already have on the books. The Gang of Eight bill would have them start enforcing our immigration laws — and administer a guest-worker program, and evaluate and process 11 million illegals, and improve the vetting of new immigrants. That is unlikely to prove successful. Senator Graham’s endless infomercial promises to the contrary are either cynical politics or sloppy thinking — both of which are in varying degree characteristic of the Gang of Eight’s overall approach. We would not be surprised if Senator Graham also promised that his bill would relieve lumbago and get rid of hard-to-clean grass stains.

Rather, there will be a great deal of political pressure to clear the “backlog” of legalization-seekers as quickly as possible. And though the possibility may not have occurred to Senator Graham, would-be terrorists are just as likely to take their chances staying illegal in a highly liberalized enforcement environment as to submit to federal background screening under the Gang of Eight bill.

While our piecemeal enforcement at the borders is a national scandal, those who enter the country illegally but overstay their visas account for some 40 percent of illegals. The Gang of Eight bill would require the executive to establish a system of visa controls to address this problem. The problem is this: Congress passed a law requiring that very thing 17 years ago, and has on multiple occasions restated its demand that the law be enforced. So far, nothing doing. That pattern is characteristic of our immigration system in toto: a very fine collection of laws enforced in the most desultory fashion by a government beholden to business interests and ethnic lobbies hostile to the law as written. A government that was serious about restoring its credibility on the issue would at the very least get control of the border and fulfill Congress’s 17-year-old visa-control mandate without attaching a destructive amnesty to the package. Likewise, Janet Napolitano’s proposal for using improved passport technology to track those who come and go across our borders is a very fine idea on its own, no amnesty necessary. But the amnesty is the centerpiece here: To the bill’s proponents, everything else is an afterthought.

The Boston attack is far from irrelevant to the immigration debate. From the failures of law enforcement to the failures of assimilation, the case of the Tsarnaev brothers points both to what is wrong with our existing immigration system and what is wrong with the Gang of Eight’s plan to reform it.

Monday
Apr222013

CEI Today: Earth Day, Internet tax bill, and Gang of 8 immigration bill 

EARTH DAY

Humans Make Earth Day Better

 

 

> View the YouTube video

> Interview an expert


INTERNET TAXES - JESSICA MELUGIN


Facts on the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 743, formerly S. 336)

 

The Senate is poised to vote on a bill - perhaps as early as today - that would give states power to collect sales taxes on Internet sales. CEI's Jessica Melugin explains why the Marketplace Fairness Act is anything but. The bill would undermine state sovereignty, threaten privacy, decimate healthy tax competition, and gut due process.  > Read more

> Interview Jessica Melugin

 

IMMIGRATION "GANG OF 8" PROPOSAL

Openmarket.org: Four Of The Worst Arguments Against The Immigration Bill

Since the Gang of 8 released their proposal, the desperation from those who want to see this bill die — and any hope of immigration reform die with it — can be heard throughout DC. Its opponents are spreading everything from the inaccurate to the absurd about the bill and its probable consequences. > Read more


> Interview David Bier

 

CEI ANNUAL DINNER & GALA

FEATURING

THE HONORABLE RAND PAUL


JUNE 20, 2013

 

cei.org/ceidinner

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Friday
Apr192013

CEI Today: Cybersecurity, Gang of 8 immigration bill, and wind energy subsidies

VOTE ON CYBERSECURITY BILL - RYAN RADIA

 
CISPA Is the Wrong Approach to Cybersecurity

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013 (CISPA). Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia opposes the bill because it would nullify existing contracts and eliminate the rule of law in certain areas.


> Read about CISPA


> Listen to the podcast

> Interview Ryan Radia


 

IMMIGRATION "GANG OF 8" PROPOSAL

Openmarket.org: Four Of The Worst Arguments Against The Immigration Bill

Since the Gang of 8 released their proposal, the desperation from those who want to see this bill die — and any hope of immigration reform die with it — can be heard throughout DC. Its opponents are spreading everything from the inaccurate to the absurd about the bill and its probable consequences. > Read more


> Interview David Bier

WIND ENERGY SUBSIDIES - MARLO LEWIS

Globalwarming.org: Can Wind ‘Compete’ without Subsidy?

 

The EU’s biggest joke of a climate policy—by far—has been the Emissions Trading Scheme, a cap-and-trade. It’s actually failed twice. During its first phase, the over allocation of carbon rationing coupons led to windfall profits for utilities, but no actual emissions reductions, as the carbon price plummeted. This week, during its phase three, the Emissions Trading Scheme collapsed again, and this time, it appears to be down for good.  > Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis

 

 

CEI ANNUAL DINNER & GALA

FEATURING

THE HONORABLE RAND PAUL


JUNE 20, 2013

 

cei.org/ceidinner

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Thursday
Apr182013

CEI Today: Cybersecurity vote, immigration bill, and EU's failed emissions trading scheme 

VOTE ON CYBERSECURITY BILL - RYAN RADIA

 
CISPA Voids Private Contracts, Undermines Rule of Law; Free Market Group Urges House to Reject Cybersecurity Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives will soon vote on final passage of H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013 (CISPA). The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, strongly urges Members of the House of Representatives to vote “Nay” on passage of CISPA.

We support voluntary information sharing about cyber threats and applaud lawmakers for rethinking outdated federal laws that inhibit Web firms’ ability to defend their networks. Yet CISPA goes far beyond untangling this web of legal barriers – it voids private contracts and undermines the rule of law. Although a bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Rep. Justin Amash, proposed an amendment to address these concerns, the House Rules Committee rejected this
crucial amendment.

> Read more

> Interview Ryan Radia

CEI Immigration Analyst: Gang of 8 Proposal 'A Good Starting Point'

Legislation Needs to Allow More Low-Skilled Work Visas, Fix E-Verify, Limit Job-Killing Regs

A bipartisan proposal to reform America’s immigration system provides “a good starting point” for discussion but could be improved in a variety of ways, said David Bier, a CEI immigration policy analyst.

The legislation,
introduced in the predawn hours of April 17, would attempt to secure America’s border, permit more legal immigration and legalize the statuses of millions of immigrants already in the country. But its limits on the number of visas for unskilled workers remains too low; its regulations will impose new costs on businesses; and E-Verify, a key component of reform, needs strict standards to limit errors for American workers and protect small businesses. > Read more


> Interview David Bier

GLOBAL WARMING TREATY - WILLIAM YEATMAN

Globalwarming.org: EU’s Empty Climate Policy Reflects the Impossibility of a Global Climate Treaty (which is great for humankind)

 

The EU’s biggest joke of a climate policy—by far—has been the Emissions Trading Scheme, a cap-and-trade. It’s actually failed twice. During its first phase, the over allocation of carbon rationing coupons led to windfall profits for utilities, but no actual emissions reductions, as the carbon price plummeted. This week, during its phase three, the Emissions Trading Scheme collapsed again, and this time, it appears to be down for good.  > Read more

> Interview William Yeatman

 

 

 

CEI ANNUAL DINNER & GALA

FEATURING

THE HONORABLE RAND PAUL


JUNE 20, 2013

 

cei.org/ceidinner

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Thursday
Apr182013

CEI Immigration Analyst: Gang of 8 Proposal 'A Good Starting Point' 

Legislation Needs to Allow More Low-Skilled Work Visas, Fix E-Verify, Limit Job-Killing Regs

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2013 – A bipartisan proposal to reform America’s immigration system provides “a good starting point” for discussion but could be improved in a variety of ways, said David Bier, an immigration policy analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The legislation, introduced in the predawn hours of April 17, would attempt to secure America’s border, permit more legal immigration and legalize the statuses of millions of immigrants already in the country. But its limits on the number of visas for unskilled workers remains too low; its regulations will impose new costs on businesses; and E-Verify, a key component of reform, needs strict standards to limit errors for American workers and protect small businesses, Bier said.

“This legislation will help keep American businesses competitive by giving them greater access to foreign labor and talent around the world,” said Bier. “It will help secure the border, protect families and end expensive, unnecessary deportations. And, to its credit, it will do so without making these immigrants eligible for Obamacare or other entitlements. But it still needs improvements to end illegal immigration and meet the needs of America’s economy.”

Among the needed improvements: more visas for unskilled and low-skilled workers, Bier said. The legislation calls for at most 200,000, but last year – a down year for illegal immigration because of our soft economy – more than 500,000 people crossed into the United States illegally. “This legislation will not end illegal immigration unless supply of work visas more closely meets demand,” Bier said. “Quotas for construction workers are extremely low.”

Bier said the legislation also includes a number of provisions that add fees and restrictive regulations on some businesses that use foreign workers. These include fees for H1-B visas for certain employers, unnecessarily high minimum wage rates for H1-B workers and mandated use of E-Verify, the electronic data base by which employers check new hires against government data bases.

E-Verify’s error rates, if applied to all workers, would force as many as 180,000 into a byzantine appeals system that can take up to two months to resolve. Employees can continue to work while appeals are resolved, but if they do not prevail on appeal, they must be fired – which means more costs to find, train and deploy new employees.

“If Congress wants E-Verify, it should require far lower error rates,” Bier said. “If it wants to end illegal immigration, it should increase the guest worker caps. If it wants to keep America competitive, it should find ways to expand immigration without imposing more regulations on businesses.

“But this legislation represents a good-faith effort to start the discussion. It recognizes immigrants are, on net, assets, not liabilities. More work is needed, but this is a good start toward the true reform package Americans demand.”


CEI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group that studies the intersection of regulation, risk, and markets. For more about CEI, visit www.cei.org/about-cei.