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Entries in Immigration (63)


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  


CEI Today: Ecuador/Chevron, principles for immigration reform, and the week in regulation 


American Spectator: Another Correa Problem, In Ecuador we have Big Green vs. Big Oil in a pitifully unfair fight

The Ecuadorian President is backed by an international green lobby, including a group of aggressive trial lawyers, determined to see Chevron pay. Now the plaintiffs’ lawyers are seeking a jurisdiction likely to rule in their favor — something which an arbitration panel in The Hague has deemed an unfair practice. But even if they succeed in their quest, their real trouble is the facts in front of them. > Read more

> Interview Iain Murray & Geoffrey McLatchey

IMMIGRATION REFORM - DAVID BIER Seven Principles Of Free Market Immigration Reform

  1. Immigration laws should value human beings.
  2. Immigration reform should reflect market realities.
  3. The rule of law should be upheld.
  4. Laws should be reformed to encourage legal immigration and discourage the illegal kind.
  5. Laws should not deputize citizens as enforcers.
  6. Laws should create sustainable systems, not just one time exceptions.
  7. Laws should respect families.
    [click to continue…]

> Interview David Bier


CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation

Highlights from final rules published last week:

 > Read more

> Interview Ryan Young







JUNE 20, 2013


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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


Heritage - Update on Obamacare Costs, Marriage Debate, & Immigration 

The Dangerous Allure of Medicaid Expansion
How will your state fare if your governor chooses to expand Medicare? A few states would save money when the federal government kicks in their share, but most would lose money. Regardless of whether the state or federal government pays, the massive increase in spending will ultimately be borne by you, the taxpayer. Read analyst Drew Gonshorowski's analysis of the impacts of expansion on your state in his blog post. And, check out how your own state will fare.


Obamacare Drives Up Health Care Prices
The first cost estimate of Obamacare came in at $898 billion, but after the law was passed the government revised the cost to a figure nearly double that, or $1.85 trillion. On the third anniversary of the passage of the health care law analyst Alyene Senger explains in her blog post the increasing costs and what we're likely to face in the future. Even thought the worst tax increases and mandates don't go into effect until next year, Heritage created a collection of infographics that depict the impacts Americans are already feeling because of this new law. 



Heritage's Marriage Expert Debates Piers Morgan 
Ryan Anderson, co-author of the book "What is Marriage," debated Piers Morgan and Suze Orman on CNN. Watch Anderson as he maintains his composure and sticks to the facts while facing a hostile host and studio audience. Learn his arguments by reading  "What You Need to Know About Marriage."


What is the Definition of Amnesty in the Immigration Debate?
Americans recognize the vital importance of lawful immigration in part because it brings important economic and cultural benefits to the country and to the immigrants. Congress should encourage lawful immigration and discourage amnesty, which discourages respect for the law, treats law-breakers better than law-followers, and encourages future unlawful immigration. Learn more about the history of amnesty programs and what immigration policies actually work by reading Heritage Senior Vice President David Addington's Backgrounder, Encouraging Lawful Immigration and Discouraging Unlawful Immigration.


Upcoming Events
Resource Bank Registration Deadline     April 1               Register Here
Resource Bank Meeting                          April 24-26

CEI Today: White House immigration bill, WSJ crony capitalist conference, and Windsorgate/carbon tax 

IMMIGRATION - DAVID BIER White House Immigration Bill Will Be A Disaster Without Accessible Work Visas


President Obama’s recently leaked immigration bill left off the most important component of an immigration bill: the immigration part. Given the fact that the Chamber of Commerce and the big unions — the AFL-CIO and the SEIU — were still locked in vain negotiations over a potential guest work program, the president clearly did not want to leak a version that would step on the toes of his two biggest backers. Unfortunately, without a robust work visa system, the White House bill will be a disaster. >Read more

> Interview David Bier

Wall Street Journal’s Crony Capitalist Conference Turns Sour

Times have changed since the Wall Street Journal held its first “ECO:nomics—Creating Environmental Capital” conference.  I was there in 2008 when several hundred investors and corporate CEOs listened to leading crony capitalists, including Jeff Immelt of GE, James Rogers of Duke Energy, Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical, and John Doerr of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers (where Al Gore was also a partner), smugly explain how they were going to strike it rich off the backs of consumers and taxpayers with green energy subsidies and mandates, federal loan guarantees, and the higher energy prices that would make renewable energy competitive with coal, oil, and natural gas once cap-and-trade was enacted. > Read more

> Interview Myron Ebell


The Daily Caller: Emails: Treasury Dept. showed interest in carbon tax data, legislation

The Obama administration has repeatedly said it has no plans to propose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, but emails from 2012 show that U.S. Treasury Department officials were very interested in learning more about such a tax.

But emails released as part of a lawsuit by the Competitive Enterprise Institute show that Treasury officials were interested in learning more about past iterations of such policies.  According to the emails, officials looked for data concerning carbon trading legislation in South Korea, the European emissions trading system, and 2009 cap-and-trade bill that failed to clear Congress. They were also attending conferences on carbon emissions.
> Read more

 > Interview Christopher Horner


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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


CEI Today: Cyprus & European woes, legal immigration, and Human Achievement Hour

What Cyprus (Initially) Got Right — Remembering The 2008 WaMu Capital “Run”

There is no shortage of criticisms that I could levy either on Cyprus and the EU’s slapdash approach, which now looks like it will be rejected by the Cyprus parliament. The biggest being that the failing financial institutions should have been put through a bankruptcy system rather propped up — whether through this levy or general taxation. Having said that, the initial Cyprus approach could have been much worse, and what comes next may be much more likely to spread contagion. > Read more

> Interview Iain Murray




March 20 Hill Briefing: Getting Legal Immigration Right

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Rayburn Office Building, Room 2456

The immigration debate in Washington needs to move past the current illegal immigration problem to the future. If Congress is to seriously consider comprehensive immigration reform, it must address America’s broken legal immigration system. The system is beset by arbitrary restrictions, time constraints, and quotas.





On Saturday, March 23 at 8:30pm (local time), some people, businesses and governments around the world will choose to sit in the dark for one hour as a symbolic gesture to take action against climate change. Celebrate  Human Achievement Hour, instead - lights ON!

RSVP on Facebook



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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!