comprehensive immigration reform
Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Page 4
See the summary for this topic on the main Comprehensive Immigration Reform page.
DHS official: DHS not ready for amnesty for "a few years": "Clearly to us the systems could not handle it now" - 03/25/10
The federal government is not equipped to process the flood of applications from a proposed immigration legalization bill and the agency that would oversee that program won't be ready for "a few years," the office of the Homeland Security Department's inspector general told Congress on Tuesday.
The warning, from Assistant Inspector General Frank Deffer, could severely complicate President Obama's new push to pass an immigration bill this year.
Mr. Deffer said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is in the midst of trying to move from being a paper-based system to having electronic records. He warned that adding millions of new applications, as the bill would do, would be a bad idea.
"Adding 12 million more people to the system would be the mother of all backlogs. Clearly to us the systems could not handle it now," Mr. Deffer told the House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee. "It's going to take a few years, so it's something for Congress to consider that, when they implement this, they don't have a date too soon."
On the other hand, Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the USCIS, said they were prepared: "We will be ready for comprehensive immigration reform when it is enacted." I lean towards Deffer being the more credible source.
Recall that back in 2006, a previous head of the USCIS said that the Senate's amnesty timeline wasn't practical. Around the same time, the GAO said the DHS wasn't prepared and didn't have a fraud management system in place.
And, from this:
A report released Dec. 20  by Homeland Security Inspector General Richard L. Skinner [note: he's still the IG] cited a long list of setbacks and concurred with internal USCIS reviews that the bureau "lacks the processing capacity, systems integration and project management resources needed to manage a potential increase in workloads."
Also see this from early 2008.
The "war" against amnesty has two fronts: its supporters, and its incompetent or corrupt opponents - 03/18/10
If you oppose comprehensive immigration reform - aka amnesty - you aren't just fighting against its overt, "usual suspect" supporters. Another group you need to deal with are those who might at first seem to be on your side but to some degree aren't:
[At a meeting on Monday], Obama and members of his Domestic Policy Council outlined ways to resuscitate the (comprehensive immigration reform aka amnesty) effort in a White House meeting with two senators -- Democrat (Charles Schumer) of New York and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina -- who have spent months trying to craft a bill.
According to a person familiar with the meeting, the White House may ask Schumer and Graham to at least produce a blueprint that could be turned into legislative language.
The basis of a bill would include a path toward citizenship for the 10.8 million people living in the U.S. illegally. Citizenship would not be granted lightly, the White House said. Undocumented workers would need to register, pay taxes and pay a penalty for violating the law. Failure to comply might result in deportation.
Nick Shapiro, a White House spokesman, said the president's support for an immigration bill, which would also include improved border security, was "unwavering."
Participants in the White House gathering also pointed to an immigration rally set for March 21 in Washington as a way to spotlight the issue and build needed momentum.
1. The "lightly" part is bogus; "register, pay taxes and pay a penalty for violating the law" is stock boilerplate and doesn't represent anything tougher than all the other bogus plans put forth in the past. Note also that those who didn't step easily through their big hoop "might" be deported. They might as well just come right out and say this is a sham that would encourage more illegal immigration and with little intent of enforcement.
2. This could be (and probably is) just an attempt by the Obama admin to placate Hispanic leaders.
3. Schumer says he has trouble finding Republicans to support him other than Graham; he met with Janet Napolitano yesterday to seek her help and afterwards in a statement said, "We just need a second Republican."
4. There are probably a good number more illegal aliens in the U.S. than the figure given as a fact by Nicholas.
5. The March 21 event will feature foreign citizens who are here illegally marching through our streets in a show of force, demanding that we change our laws to suit them. And, all those referenced above are supporting that.
"Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles": pro-amnesty, pro-guest worker fantasy from Robert George - 02/22/10
Robert George of Princeton University, former George W Bush official Alfonso Aguilar, and Alejandro Chafuen (see this) are the founders of the "Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles" (latino-partnership.org), an outgrowth of George's American Principles Project. See this for a recent WSJ article involving their efforts to promote comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty.
They say that their group "promotes conservative values and ideals within the Latino community and works to integrate Latinos into fuller and more active participation and leadership in the conservative movement" and George promotes the group on the video at peekURL.com/v4y7iz1 That was posted five days ago and it hasn't exactly set the world on fire: it has just 174 views.
Taking a look at their "Position on Immigration" (latino-partnership.org/Immigration_Position.php), they call for amnesty and guest workers:
1. Strengthen Border Security. We must continue to strengthen border security to combat drug trafficking and discourage immigrants from risking their lives to cross illegally into the country.
This is boilerplate; see secure the border.
2. Prioritize Internal Enforcement. Federal immigration enforcement resources and actions should focus on immigrants involved in criminal activity rather than workplace raids and "audits" that harm both workers and employers.
That is, of course, quite "business friendly". It's also not far from the actual position of the far-left, whether Luis Gutierrez or the American Civil Liberties Union even if some of them hype tough enforcement despite not supporting it. The amnesty that Robert George supports would serve as a huge magnet to encourage more people to try to come here illegally, and if he had his way corrupt businesses could hire them with little risk.
3. Legalize the Undocumented. The vast majority of undocumented immigrants are good, hard working people who are doing jobs Americans do not want or for which there are simply no Americans of working age available. We should establish a path for undocumented immigrants to earn legal status after paying a penalty for having entered the country illegally.
The jobs Americans wont do talking point is even more false and despicable now with massive unemployment. The last sentence would make a mockery of our immigration laws, establishing two channels for coming to the U.S.: the legal variety (for suckers who want to wait a decade or two to even set foot in the U.S.), and the Robert George variety where someone can come here illegally, wait a while (working at one of the companies the George won't raid), and then pay a fee.
4. Create a Guest Worker Program. Immigrants are not competing with Americans for jobs. They are doing jobs that are vital to our economy, but that Americans, for various reasons, are not doing. The economic growth and stability of the nation depends on the capacity of American business and industry to recruit foreign workers as needed. Current work visa quotas are too limited and have been set arbitrarily by Congress. We must create a Guest Worker Program that allows for the entry of foreign workers as the needs of our economy dictate.
The despicable lie in the last section is made more explicit with the lie in the first sentence of this section. About the only job category only done by immigrants is sheepherding; there are Americans working in a vast range of job categories and in every one they're competing against both other Americans and immigrants. Millions of Americans are unemployed, and Robert George would turn his back on them in order to help businesses seeking lower-priced or more malleable foreign labor.
5. Promote Patriotic Assimilation. Immigrants who remain in the U.S. as permanent residents as well as those who become citizens should learn English, learn and identify with the principles upon which our country was founded, and study the basics of U.S history. New Americans’ attachment to the nation and our institutions is essential for the preservation of the social cohesion of our political community.
The last sentence is correct, although that could be argued. What precedes it is could be how things are done now, although it's not clear what sort of testing would be involved (if any) and what he'd do about those who won't assimilate. And, of course, it doesn't answer any questions similar to those raised by Samuel Huntington. Having divided loyalties is an issue even among those in the political sphere such as Martin Sandoval, Juan Hernandez, and Fabian Nunez; they offer no clue about how they'd deal with the hundreds of thousands or millions of foreign citizens inside the U.S. who have little or no loyalty to this country. Confronting that issue would show that they're familiar with this topic and that they want what's best for the U.S. Clearly other things are more important to them.
McCain still supports amnesty, says probably won't pass; Western Growers wants subsidized labor - 01/22/10
John McCain spoke to Western Growers on the 14th, at a meeting that he initiated (link). He still (of course) supports comprehensive immigration reform but he says it's not likely in 2010 due to it being an election year. He also said that passing AgJOBS is impossible to pass in 2010 as a standalone bill but only as a part of a CIR bill. And:
(Tom Nassif) said the Western Growers provided McCain with policy papers on the group’s concerns, including health care costs for seasonal workers and undocumented workers. Western Growers would prefer that part-time seasonal workers be exempt from insurance requirements... Currently, a majority of farm workers are not covered, he said... "How do you impose those costs on companies where they don’t have the financial wherewithal to do so?" Nassif said.
Part-time seasonal farm workers don't have the wherewithal to pay for their own healthcare at anything approaching the market rate, which means that Western Growers in effect wants subsidized labor in which some state entity would pick up their healthcare costs (in addition, of course, to all the other costs such as education).
Earlier today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced H. Res. 1026, called the "Bipartisan Reform of Immigration through Defining Good Enforcement" or BRIDGE Resolution. It seeks to (press release here, no bill text yet):
* make E-Verify mandatory for all employers, and hold employees accountable as well;
* provide sufficient border infrastructure and manpower to secure and control our borders; and,
* reject amnesty and any legal status which pardons those here in violation of our laws
The red flag there is the last: no one wants "amnesty". What many political leaders want is comprehensive immigration reform, something that would be an amnesty no matter what name it's given. Both the resolution and Chaffetz are leaving the door open to "reform" rather than outright opposing it and simply demanding that our laws be enforced. That might be for political reasons with no intent of supporting "reform", or they might end up supporting a compromise of some sort. Here's what Chaffetz told a newspaper (link):
"no amnesty means to me that we're not simply going to excuse them and allow them to stay here in the country. Will we listen to discussion and proposals (about possibly imposing fines or work requirements to stay in country)? Of course. But no amnesty."
It boils down to whether he means "listen" in the normal sense or in the, for instance, Hollywood sense where, as they say, "maybe" is another word for "no".
Sandeep Gopalan of the National University of Ireland takes to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to promote a European Union-wide amnesty program in "Fixing Europe's Immigration Problem/ Without reforms across the European Union, the Italian race riots will prove only a hint of the darkness to come" (link).
UCLA CAP IPC deceptive study: immigration reform would increase GDP by $1.5 trillion over 10 years - 01/07/10
Earlier today, the Center for American Progress, the Immigration Policy Center, and professor Raul Hinojosa Ojeda of the University of California at Los Angeles released a study making the deceptive and fantastical claim that legalizing all illegal aliens would increase Gross Domestic Product by $1.5 trillion over 10
Dems will support healthcare bill without benefits for illegal aliens in exchange for promise of amnesty - 01/05/10
Lawmakers who want to extend health coverage to illegal immigrants will not block the passage of the final health care reform bill so long as the White House offers a substantive promise to start pushing comprehensive immigration legislation this year...
...A source familiar with the negotiations between Congress and the White House told TPMDC the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will demand an agreement from Obama that health care coverage for illegals who earn a path to citizenship will be addressed in an immigration bill.
Read about CIR ASAP: "Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009" (Luis Gutierrez) - 12/11/09
[A DISCUSSION OF SOME OF THE PROVISIONS IS HERE, AND MORE UPDATES ARE BELOW]
On Tuesday, December 15, 2009 Rep. Luis Gutierrez will introduce an amnesty bill called the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009". His announcement (luisgutierrez.house.gov/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1406) provides no details, however:
1. Details on the bill will be provided here when it becomes available; expect it to be a bit on the far-left side and expect it to not go very far, except perhaps if it's watered down. In the latter case it might present a problem.
2. The way to deal with things like this is outlined on this page. It's also necessary to deal with those on the conservative/Republican side who'd take a fall; that includes the tea parties or at least their leaders as well as some major bloggers and pundits.
3. Those involved are from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus and include: Nydia Velazquez, Yvette Clarke, Mike Honda, Lynn Woolsey, Judy Chu, Joseph Crowley, Pedro Pierluisi (Puerto Rico), Jared Polis, Jan Schakowsky, and Jose Serrano.
12/15/09 UPDATE: Per this, Gutierrez claims he has 80 co-sponsors, and his press conference including young people wearing t-shirts saying "Future Voter". Guess which party they'll be voting for. And:
One key Republican who said he was “disappointed” by Gutierrez’s bill is Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. Flake’s opposition is important because in past years he has worked with Gutierrez on immigration reform. But because this bill includes a lottery where 100,000 new workers could come in each year for three years, instead of a temporary worker program, Flake said he cannot support it... Flake said the bill “repeatres the mistakes of the ‘86 reform - massive legalzaiton without a temporary worker program to accomodate future labor demands.”
12/15/09 UPDATE 2: Per this:
The 700-page bill... will carry the name of Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, the longest-serving Latino currently in the House and selected by his peers to shepherd the legislation through Congress... The bill would create a Southern Border Security Task Force composed of federal, state and local law enforcement to crack down on crime, increase the number of inspectors at border land ports and provide more training and equipment for Border Patrol agents... It would include a worker verification program and visa reforms that promote family unity and expand those for agriculture-related work.
There's an audio report here; per another page on their site the fee to get on the "path to citizenship" is $500.
Among those cheering the bill are:
* UFW Foundation Director Diana Tellefson "said her group and agricultural employers backed the bill" (last link; that group is associated with the United Farmworkers of America).
* Rep. Sam Farr of California; he notes that the bill includes AgJOBS, the DREAM Act, and his "Proud to be an American Citizen Act" (link).
* Proud former MEChA member Rep. Raul Grijalva (link).
* The AFL CIO, which says that it includes the following from their "joint framework for immigration reform" (link):
- An inclusive and effective solution that allows a path for undocumented immigrants to come forward and regularize their status. Trumka says “this is fundamental to our ability to crack down on employers who are using unauthorized workers to drive down wages and other standards.”
- An independent commission to assess and manage future flow of immigrants, based on labor market shortages that are determined on the basis of actual need.
- Reform, not expansion of existing temporary worker programs immediately to stop the exploitation of workers and safeguard standards in impacted industries.
12/15/09 UPDATE 3: Per this:
A draft overview of the bill, circulated with the letter, ends some enforcement tools such as the 287(g) local police cooperation program, calls for an electronic verification system to replace the voluntary E-verify program, argues that there's no need for more U.S. Border Patrol agents or fencing, and establishes a long-term path to citizenship for illegal immigrants... That path would require illegal immigrants to pay a $500 fine, pass a background check and learn English and civics to gain legal status. After six years, they could apply for legal permanent residence, or a green card, which is the interim step to citizenship. There is no "touchback" provision requiring them to return to their home countries at some point in the process.
They also quote someone who I stumped four years ago:
"Of course [the high unemployment rate] complicates [the push for amnesty]. Of course the public's first reaction is understandable, it's why do we need more workers when upwards of 15 million Americans are out of work," said Tamar Jacoby, president and chief executive officer of ImmigrationWorks USA, a coalition of businesses pushing for immigration reform... But she said history has shown that there are some jobs that American workers won't take and immigrant workers will... She pointed to resort communities in Michigan that struggled to find workers this summer even though they were just a couple of counties away from Detroit, which has been devastated by layoffs... "Laid-off autoworkers in Detroit don't want to travel across the state, let alone across the country, to pick pears, pick apples," she said.
The example she provides is the same as that recently used by America's Voice.
12/15/09 UPDATE 4: I take a look at some of the provisions here; they're as bad as you'd expect.
The University of Denver has released a report entitled "Architecture for Immigration Reform"; you can download a copy here. They promote comprehensive immigration reform in a deceptive way that uses the same old arguments and talking points we've come to expect, although they aren't quite as bad as others.
"language that guarantees that no American citizen, no one born in the United States of America, will ever lose a job opportunity to someone who is foreign born."
1. This is "boob bait for Bubba", a showy trinket designed to distract Americans from his massive amnesty.
2. I believe this would violate the Constitution, in that native born citizens and naturalized citizens would be treated differently.
3. Even if it made it into the bill, and even if the bill passed with that provision in it, the American Civil Liberties Union would immediately seek to prevent the provision from being enforced, claiming that it's not possible for employers to tell the difference between someone born here and someone who wasn't.
Gutierrez' provision is as fake as the "touchback" scheme in his previous amnesty, the scheme that he laughed about on TV.
RNC considers loony Obama "socialist" resolution, including deceptive immigration position - 11/23/09
Back in May, conservatives on the RNC considered a resolution under which they'd call the Democratic Party the "Democrat Socialist Party". Now, some of the same brain surgeons are back with a resolution urging "Republican solidarity in opposition to Obama's socialist agenda" (link). While there's certainly the possibility that Obama has sympathies on that direction, and it's a fact that he has multiple associations with those on the hard left, he doesn't have a public "socialist agenda". The most that could be said is that it's trending in that direction more than to the center or right. Further, the idea that he's pulling the strings on everything the administration does is absurd.
The same RNC members also want to drive RINOs out of their party by requiring that the RNC can't fund those who disagree with more than two out of ten "key public policy positions". The immigration-related position is deceptive, and almost assuredly that was intentional:
We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants.
1. Almost all top Republicans - including amnesty supporters such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain could sign on to that, because they play word games in which they pretend that the comprehensive immigration reform ("CIR") they support isn't "amnesty". For example, here's video of McCain pretending he doesn't support "amnesty". By using "amnesty" instead of CIR, the resolution appears to be trying to fool people.
2. One way in which you'd supposedly be able to support legal immigration by opposing amnesty would be through CIR: supporters claim that CIR would reduce illegal immigration; see safe legal orderly for some examples. Whether they mean it in that way isn't clear, but it's likely.
3. That provision has no details, no indication of any limits on the amount of legal immigration, no requirements or goals on assimilation, and no indication of whether it would include guest workers and the like.
And, none of the other provisions even mention the sleazy ways - such as identity politics - that the Democrats are able to obtain power, much less suggest that the GOP counter-act those power grabs.
UPDATE: The draft RNC platform from August 2008 also included a sham anti-"amnesty" provision. In 2004, Tom Tancredo had problems getting immigration provisions in their platform and instead a muted version of George W Bush's position was adopted; see this and this. From the other side, a 2006 Democratic Party strategy document didn't mention immigration at all. Also, an earlier version of this post inadvertently made it appear that the proposal would require complete agreement with all ten provisions; to get funding, someone would only have to agree with eight of the provisions or more.
Janet Napolitano falsely says she needs immigration "reform" to do her job; says border more secure; sounds like Chertoff - 11/13/09
Speaking at the Center for American Progress earlier today (prepared remarks: www.dhs.gov/ynews/speeches/sp_1258123461050.shtm NYT article: link full video: americanprogress.org/events/2009/11/Napolitano.html), Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano said that she needs comprehensive immigration reform (downsides at the link) to do her job and that such "reform" (aka amnesty) is more attainable due both to supposed increased border security and due to fewer people trying to cross because of the economic downturn. In her speech, she sounded almost exactly like Michael Chertoff and used several of the stock talking points such as secure the border and living in the shadows. She also gave a shout-out to John Podesta of CAP and specifically mentioned the National Association of Evangelicals as one of the groups supporting "reform"; most of that group's member organizations are actually neutral or opposed to "reform".
It's extremely unfortunate that I was unable to get anyone else that I know of to help with my plan to ask her a question at today's event. People are willing to stand on street corners and wave loopy signs, but getting them to do things that could be devastatingly effective is incredibly difficult. Because of the flaws in her comments, someone who's familiar with this issue and who's familiar with "cross-examining" people could have undercut her argument and made her look very bad. That would help reduce the chances of "reform". If people aren't willing to confront politicians, they'll just keep on doing the bad things they're doing.
One of her remarks was this Chertoff-like bit:
When it comes to immigration, I took an oath as Secretary of Homeland Security to secure the nation by enforcing the law and managing legal flows across the border. Let me be clear: to do this job as effectively as possible, DHS needs immigration reform.
She is, of course, lying. Doing her job would involve enforcing the laws and trying to reduce the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. As a recent enforcement action shows, she is not interested in doing that. Every illegal alien who stays in the U.S. is a potential Democratic voter if she can get the amnesty that she and Obama want.
She said that "immigration reform will be a boon to American workers" which is completely false; see the immigration wage floor page.
She also supported chain migration, saying that "Community and faith leaders have also emphasized to me that we need reform because of how difficult the current laws can be on families, especially families of mixed legal status. Our immigration system is outdated where families are concerned, and we need to modernize and streamline the laws governing this process."
And, she supported increasing high-tech visa limits (aka the H1B program). That was after she "held a forum where [she] heard from technology executives in Silicon Valley". Obviously, Napolitano is great at only hearing one side of the story: she also referenced meetings she's held across the U.S. with "stakeholders", saying that "all [at the meetings] reach[ed] the same conclusion: we need reform". Napolitano, someone supposedly working for all of us, is ignoring the input of a majority of Americans and viewpoints that disagree with her.
Some of her remarks follow:
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is apparently like a talking doll you might find on that site, except in this case she says pro-business, pro-massive/illegal immigration talking points. Speaking at the border (link):
[She said] it is “simply not practical” to deport the estimated 12.5 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States. (note: see deportations false choice)
The candidate, 53, said the solution is to find a mechanism that allows them to live here legally. "Can we get a fair program where people stand at the back of the line (note: see immigration line), they pay a fine, they do some things that would ultimately allow a path to legalization?" she asked. (note: see comprehensive immigration reform for some of the many downsides)
Whitman also urged tougher measures against those who hire undocumented workers, and said that as governor "I would be an advocate . . . for the people of California to make sure we really do secure this border." (note: see secure the border)
Leith Anderson of NAE misled: NAE member Salvation Army is "neutral" on amnesty (update: even more don't sign on) - 10/19/09
[UPDATE BELOW] Last week, the National Association of Evangelicals passed a pro-comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty) resolution, and Leith Anderson from that group - in Congressional testimony - strongly implied that all NAE members supported the resolution. His testimony included this:
We actually had a vote today on this resolution with leaders in the National Association of Evangelicals and there was no dissent... On the board there are 75 (members) who represent the head of denominations.
Gutierrez unveils immigration "reform" bill principles at Washington DC rally (RI4A, CHC,NCIC,religious leaders) - 10/13/09
Earlier today, supporters of comprehensive immigration reform held a rally in Washington DC. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force) laid out outlines of a bill he'll supposedly be introducing later this year. The specifics aren't known but it will be very lax and probably won't include the "symbolic gestures" from the bill he co-authored with Jeff Flake. Others attending were Nydia Velazquez (Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus) and Mike Honda (Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus).
Tuesday’s event was sponsored by various immigrant advocacy groups, including the Reform Immigration For America campaign, the National Capital Immigration Coalition, and Families United/Familias Unidas. It attracted convoys of buses, vans and cars carrying more than 3,000 protesters from at least 17 states.
Napolitano of DHS: "al-Qaeda-type" terrorists inside U.S.; difficult to track visa exits; supposed border enforcement will lead to "reform" - 10/12/09
"It is fair to say there are individuals in the United States who ascribe to al-Qaeda-type beliefs... And so it makes information-sharing, it makes effective law enforcement and it makes the shared responsibility of law enforcement ever so important."
If she's telling the truth and has accurate information, very few of those she's discussing will probably be native-born Americans; most or all will have come here legally or illegally due in part to intentionally lax standards and enforcement.
*All* National Association of Evangelicals leaders support amnesty, massive immigration; how to take action; UPDATE: not all - 10/12/09
Leaders of most of the nation's evangelical Christians made a shocking endorsement of illegal-alien amnesty today [Oct. 8] in Senate testimony.
Their spokesman -- the head of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) -- said high immigration is increasing membership in evangelical churches and is good for the economy...
...Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the NAE, was invited by Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to testify in favor of the Senate immigration chairman's push to create amnesty legislation this fall.
Sen. Schumer asked Rev. Anderson if many of his colleagues agree with his support for legalizing 12-20 million illegal aliens and increasing the legal immigration far higher than the 1 million a year current level (the two key components of "comprehensive immigration reform").
Rev. Anderson answered that there was no dissent in adopting the pro-amnesty resolution on the 75-member NAE board of directors.
There's a list of the denominations and their contact information at the link above, and NumbersUSA also suggests sending a link to "Most National Christian Leaders Declare War on Unemployed in Their Pews -- and on the street" (link) to your pastors and other religious leaders.
10/19/09 UPDATE: See Leith Anderson of NAE misled: NAE member Salvation Army is "neutral" on amnesty.
10/21/09 UPDATE: Anderson was being even more misleading: only 11 out of the 40 NAE member denominations have signed on. See the update at the previous link.
Obama admin preparing USCIS for amnesty (millions of visas, comprehensive immigration reform) - 10/03/09
Currently, the citizenship agency can handle applications from about six million immigrants a year, (USCIS head Alejandro Mayorkas) said, including the time-consuming collection of fingerprints and other biometric identity information. Under some plans for legalization, the agency might receive that many applications in a few weeks.
An example of the planning, Mr. Mayorkas said, is an effort to improve the agency’s ability to receive applications via postal mail at secure reception points known as lockboxes. The agency currently receives about 65 percent of applications through lockboxes, which is more efficient than receiving them through local offices. The agency is trying to move quickly to receive all applications through lockboxes.
One idea calls for illegal immigrants to start the legalization process by verifying their presence in the United States through a simple registration form mailed to a lockbox, according to officials familiar with the planning.
Needless to say, the possibility of millions of applications in a few weeks would lead to massive fraud and possibly terrorists getting on the path to citizenship.
And, article author Julia Preston of the New York Times says that the preparations being made now "contrast" with those made by the Bush administration. I don't know what she's talking about, and she probably doesn't either. See 2006's "Bush Admin Hiring For Guest Workers Program as if Done Deal" for some of the preparations they were making, and see also Burdened DHS: 10s of thousands get green cards before background checks for a calculation that - if FBI background checks were done of each applicant - it would take five to ten years to process 10 million current illegal aliens. The questions Preston should be asking involve just what corners USCIS intends to cut, but obviously she's not too interested in pointing out what would go wrong.
See all the entries at the last link for more information on this topic.
CATO promotes financial gain from illegal alien amnesty, ignores massive non-financial costs (Peter Dixon, Maureen Rimmer) - 08/14/09
Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer of the CATO Institute have a study promoting the supposed economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform aka amnesty ("Restriction or Legalization? Measuring the Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform", freetrade.org/pubs/pas/tpa-040es.html). As with other "economic" studies, theirs isn't really based in economics in that they're ignoring all the costs of what they promote:
A policy that reduces the number of low-skilled immigrant workers by 28.6 percent compared to projected levels would reduce U.S. household welfare by about 0.5 percent, or $80 billion... In contrast... [t]he positive impact for U.S. households of legalization under an optimal visa tax would be 1.27 percent of GDP or $180 billion.
If we (incorrectly) assume that the costs and gains would be spread equally among the population and assuming there are 117 million U.S. households, the figures are about a $57/month loss versus about a $128/month gain. Can you see amnesty making you an extra $128 a month? Not to mention the fact that any gains wouldn't be spread equally. Those at the low end of the wage scale would see increased competition, and most of the gains would go to, for instance, those who own industries that employ large numbers of low-wage workers (and that might also donate to CATO).
And, of course, there are huge costs associated with amnesty that CATO isn't figuring in. Giving the Mexican government even more power inside the U.S. has a huge cost. Giving the far-left and racial power groups (like the National Council of La Raza) even more power has a huge cost. Increasing disrespect for our laws has a huge cost. Increasing the incentive to move here illegally has a huge cost.
And, Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer aren't including all those costs and more in their "economic" analysis.
Barack Obama is continuing a proud George W Bush tradition: holding a "North American Leaders Summit" with the leaders of Mexico and Canada as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP.gov) effort. In a Feb. 2008 editorial that apparently no one else read, Obama promised to continue that Bush effort.
And, in a move that his allies in far-left and racial power groups probably won't like (link):
President Obama said Monday that efforts to change the immigration system would be a major focus for his administration only next year, after other major priorities were accomplished, including passage of a new health care system.
It’s very important for us to sequence these big initiatives in a way where they don’t all just crash at the same time,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
Senate Democrats have found a Republican in Sen. Lindsey Graham to help them push for passage of a comprehensive immigration overhaul this year.
But the lag in getting prominent support from a Republican -- more than two months after Democrats first announced their push -- shows how complicated prospects for passage could be this year, as immigration remains a wedge inside an increasingly divided GOP.
Democrats and Republicans say Mr. Graham of South Carolina is working behind the scenes with Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) to gain support from other GOP members. Mr. Schumer is quarterbacking this year's campaign for an overhaul.
One complicating factor this time around is the recent ascendancy of the libertarian/strong fiscal conservative wing of the rightwing, exemplified by the tea parties and groups like FreedomWorks. Some of those in that wing will no doubt end up supporting amnesty; that might cause a schism, or those who are basically paid off by corrupt businesses may end up getting their way. It's also worth noting that the leaders of the supposed opposition to Obama are incredibly incompetent. All of that makes fighting against amnesty more difficult than it was before.
Obama reiterates magical, dishonest plan: illegal aliens won't get healthcare because illegal aliens will be legalized first - 07/30/09
As previously discussed, Barack Obama has a magical, deceptive plan to avoid giving healthcare to illegal aliens: give them legal status first. Someone could cross the border illegally one day, obtain easily faked documentation showing they'd been living in the U.S. for years the next, and then get on the path to citizenship - and eligible to receive Obama's largess - the day after that. Most forms of buying votes are more subtle; give Obama credit for boldness.
"As I said before, the best way to deal with undocumented immigrants is to make them documented... As I just said, when it comes to legal residents we want to find ways that they can access preventative services, enrollment services, regular treatments. So, I think there’s a difference between legal immigrants who work here - they should have access to medical services. Undocumented workers who are here illegally - we want to create comprehensive immigration reform so they can get on a path to citizenship. Until they do, we can’t reward them with some of the benefits which quite frankly cost us a lot of money. There will be a lot of resistance when people who are citizens and legal residents aren’t getting these services and we’re giving them to undocumented workers."
He's admitting that illegal aliens would be a strain on the system and that his system would have limited resources and thus illegal aliens would take healthcare benefits from citizens. His solution is completely dishonest and boils down to just waving a magic wand, changing the status of millions of people without dealing with any of the cost issues involved.
And, as with anyone else supporting comprehensive immigration reform, he's supporting a rolling amnesty: after those who are currently here illegally are made legal residents and a new population of illegal aliens builds up, the same forces that are now pushing for amnesty would push for a new one. And, they'd be able to do that with even greater political power than they have now.
Obama admin sends audit letters to possible illegal alien employers; Bush-style prelude to "reform" - 07/02/09
Remember how George W Bush "got tough" on illegal immigration in an attempt to push through comprehensive immigration reform? Welcome to the Obama administration's version (link, from Jeanne Meserve of CNN):
In a signal that the Obama administration is changing tactics in dealing with illegal immigration, hundreds of businesses were notified Wednesday that federal authorities will be taking a closer look at their employment records to determine if they are hiring illegal aliens.
Kelly Nantel, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said businesses in every state and industry are being audited, "from agriculture-related businesses, to service businesses, to high-tech industry and everything in between." The companies were selected based on leads from ICE offices around the country.
On Wednesday, 652 audit notices were issued. By comparison, only 503 such notices were issued in all of fiscal year 2008, according to an agency statement.
The goal for this is obvious and, while it's certainly welcome, no one should be fooled into complacency. Even CNN references the Bush administration in their article, although they don't mention why he did something similar. Meserve did ask about the status of immigration raids, with Nantel saying they hadn't been put on hold but unable to provide any current statistics.
Dena Bunis of the OC Register offers "Democrat talks tough on illegal immigration/Key senator in upcoming debate could help sway GOP votes" (link). The "key senator" is Charles Schumer, and part of his "tough talk" was discussed here. Bunis has some more quotes and she does at least consider whether what he's just playing or not. Here's the extended Schumer quote from :
"When we use phrases like 'undocumented workers,' we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose... ...People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens, and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the United States legally... ...Just as the American people are strongly against illegal immigration, they are also just as strongly against turning their country into a 'roundup republic,' - where they will be confronted by nightly news stories of sympathetic families being torn apart at gunpoint during harsh enforcement raids. The American people prefer a pragmatic solution that works to empty rhetoric, however satisfying, that fails."
That's the kind of "tough talk" that could convince the John McCain types that he's serious, but no one else should be fooled. The very hour after "reform" passes, the Democrats would begin working to undermine all of its tough provisions in order to gain even more power.
Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post discusses a press conference Senate Democrats held earlier today to discuss their plans for comprehensive immigration reform (link). As previously discussed, Charles Schumer supports a national ID:
"I'm sure the civil libertarians will object to some kind of biometric card -- although . . . there'll be all kinds of protections -- but we're going to have to do it. It's the only way," Schumer said. "The American people will never accept immigration reform unless they truly believe their government is committed to ending future illegal immigration."
It's quite difficult to believe the government is committed to following their own laws since most political leaders support or enable illegal activity, with some even outright promoting it such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Schumer said legislation should secure control of the nation's borders within a year and require that an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants register with the government and "submit to a rigorous process to convert to legal status" or face immediate deportation. Rejecting the euphemism "undocumented workers," he said: "Illegal immigration is wrong -- plain and simple."
See secure the border and amnesty require. And, if he wants to immediately deport those who won't take part in the program, why can't he do that now? Regarding the last sentence, that's just posturing. However, if you get a chance, it would be a good thing to bring up when discussing this issue with him or other leaders.