lamar smith

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Obama admin cooked the books: deportations are below 2008 and 2009 - 08/27/12

From their press release [1]:

The House Judiciary Committee has obtained internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents, which show that the Obama administration is cooking the books to achieve their so-called ‘record’ deportation numbers for illegal immigrants and that removals are actually significantly down – not up – from 2009.

Legal Workforce Act: too many concessions to US Chamber of Commerce? (eVerify, HR 2164) - 06/18/11

A group of House members [1] have introduce the "Legal Workforce Act" ("LFA"), which would require the use of eVerify by most workers nationwide. That would presumably make it difficult for companies to employ illegal aliens.

Lamar Smith might be weak on immigration (GOP DREAM Act?) - 12/24/10

Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico offers "Lamar Smith avoids hard line on immigration" [1]. Because we're dealing with definitions of those who aren't trustworthy (such as Brown), it's difficult to tell whether Smith will be weak on immigration matters or whether he just won't support nonsensical "boob bait for Bubba" policies.

Smith's first two hearings as head of the House Judiciary Committee will be about eVerify. However:

At the same time, he downplayed the key planks in the conservative immigration agenda... He won’t say when his committee plans to tackle birthright citizenship, the policy of granting citizenship to every child born in the country. He doesn’t want to talk about whether he will pursue reducing the level of legal immigration, family migration or work visas - all at the top of the wish list for anti-illegal-immigration advocates... “That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”

In the current environment, it isn't really possible to restrict birthright citizenship to those who have at least one citizen parent. Much groundwork would need to be done, specifically involving discrediting those groups that would oppose such a move. Few people with megaphones have shown any ability at discrediting groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. Further, restricting birthright citizenship, at least when proposed by those like Lindsey Graham, is just a political ploy.

Legal immigration is a different matter and is less prone to being emotionalized because those involved aren't physically present in the U.S. There is, however, a lot of money from those like Microsoft involved. It wouldn't be good for Smith to be weak on that, especially since the rationale the GOP appears to be using is to help with unemployment.

Quotes:
* Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies:

“If he is not willing to do it - there is a lot of public support for reducing legal immigration - he is going to find he will be pressured on that issue"... Camarota said he believes Smith is enough of a dealmaker that he might even consider a modified DREAM Act legalizing young immigrants, if it was coupled with a cut in legal immigration and stronger enforcement — although pro-immigrant advocates would be all but certain to dismiss it as a bad deal.

* Alfonso Aguilar

"People like to really vilify Lamar Smith, but he is not Tom Tancredo... He is someone who will not push legislation if he thinks it doesn’t have the wide support of the American people."

* Frank Sharry:

“He is a very disciplined politician, but he is also very ideological. He is very smart at having lots of smallish-looking measures that add up to a whole lot of harsh enforcement."

* Rep. Steve King:

"I read the Pledge to America. It wasn’t particularly moving... So, OK, they decided not to write the treatise that I would have on immigration. It wouldn’t be the first time that I worked on an agenda that wasn’t laid out for me. I can deal with that."

* Roy Beck of Numbers USA:

"We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together."

[1] politico.com/news/stories/1210/46774.html

National Association for College Admission Counseling promotes anti-American DREAM Act - 06/08/10

The National Association for College Admission Counseling [1] isn't doing college-level work, offering "Debunking Myths About the DREAM Act: A Response to Rep. Lamar Smith" [2]. That anti-American bill would let illegal aliens take college educations away from U.S. citizens, and they offer their support for that anti-American bill with an attempt to respond to the Smith article here. They say:

[The DREAM Act would not] result in the loss of "seats" at colleges and universities for other students. The capacity for the American higher education system to absorb additional enrollments is far from being exhausted. In fact, even in the realm of four-year colleges, space is plentiful. Each May, our association publishes a list of between 200 and 300 four-year colleges with space still available after most students have already made their decisions about where to go to college. While much of our nation’s popular focus on "college" is, in fact, on the most highly-selective four-year colleges, the truth of the matter is that there exists a full range of postsecondary institutions which, taken together, will continue to have space for students well into the future.

Perhaps someone would like to take a look at one of their lists and point out other problems, but for now let's play along. Assume there are two types of college educations: one at the first set of schools (the ones that are filled) which we'll call "Wanted", and the other at the second set of schools (the ones that still have room) which we'll called "NotWanted". The NACAC would open competition to all schools to illegal aliens, and if even just one illegal alien gets into a "Wanted" school, they will have either deprived a U.S. citizen of a college education entirely, or they will have forced that U.S. citizen to attend a school in the "NotWanted" set. Of course, it won't work that way: hundreds or thousands of illegal aliens will be admitted to "Wanted" schools, forcing hundreds or thousands of our fellow citizens into the "NotWanted" set. Add in affirmative action and it gets even worse: Hispanic illegal aliens might be favored over lower-income whites and Asians with similar academic qualifications.

The bottom line is that the DREAM Act is a test of loyalty. Who do you stand with, your fellow citizens, or with foreign citizens who are here illegally? The NACAC is on the wrong side.

[1] They're apparently a real organization, and they claim they "now represent[] more than 11,000 college counseling and admission professionals" (nacacnet.org/AboutNACAC/Pages/history.aspx)

[2]
nacacnet.org/PublicationsResources/Admitted/Lists/Posts/
Post.aspx?ID=151
"Submitted by Moses Palacios, Public Policy and Research Assistant, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and Heath Einstein, Government Relations Chair, Texas Association for College Admission Counseling"
Discussing how the rest of it is wrong is left as an exercise.

30 Members of Congress form the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus: free up jobs through immigration enforcement - 03/19/10

From Reps. Lamar Smith, Sue Myrick and Gary Miller comes this:

...By simply enforcing immigration laws already on the books, we could create job opportunities for American citizens and immigrants who played by the rules to enter the U.S. Instead, the Obama administration has all but abandoned worksite enforcement efforts. In the past year alone, administrative arrests fell by 68 percent; the number of criminal arrests fell by 60 percent; the number of criminal indictments fell by 58 percent; and the number of criminal convictions fell by 63 percent. This is unacceptable and is an insult to unemployed and underemployed American workers.

Recognizing the direct link between unemployment and illegal immigration, we have formed the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. Comprised of 30 members of Congress, we are dedicated to promoting policies that will help citizens and legal immigrants reclaim the eight million jobs held by illegal immigrants. Specifically, the Caucus seeks to expand use of the E-Verify system that allows employers to validate the eligibility of new hires, enforce workplace immigration laws, encourage attrition through enforcement, and oppose policies that encourage illegal immigration...

The best way to encourage immigration enforcement is to make it difficult for politicians to be on the other side, whether actively or passively. If most politicians realized that not supporting real enforcement would have an impact on their political careers the problem could be solved over time. And, the best way to get their attention is to ask politicians tough questions about immigration on video. Street protests are largely useless, even if they make some people feel better. Voting only goes so far. But, embarrassing a politician on a video that hundreds of thousands of people might see by exposing their lies or their flaws in their policies would be very effective and would send a message to the others. Please help promote the plan at the link.

DHS worksite enforcement against illegal aliens plummeted under Obama, Napolitano - 11/19/09

Per this:

Criminal arrests, administrative arrests, indictments and convictions of illegal immigrants at work sites all fell by more than 50 percent from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009... Fiscal 2008 ran from Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2008. Fiscal 2009 began Oct. 1, 2008, and ran through Sept. 30 of this year.

The exact figures are:

* Criminal arrests: down 60%
* Criminal indictments: down 58%
* Convictions: down 63%
* Administrative arrests: down 68%

The DHS is a bit defensive:

Illegal aliens can get healthcare benefits under House bill: Congressional Research Service (HR 3200) - 08/26/09

The Congressional Research Service - part of the Library of Congress - now confirms that illegal aliens will be able to access healthcare benefits under the House healthcare reform bill (HR 3200).

White House immigration meeting of amnesty all-stars: Obama, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, Gutierrez - 06/26/09

Yesterday, Barack Obama met with various members of Congress to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. His remarks are at [1], a list of attendees is at [2], and some quotes from attendees is at [3]. Nothing very important appears to have happened or been said.

Immigration strawman arguments about: civil rights abuses, 287g, family separation, "stateless" children, alternative detention, eVerify - 05/09/09

Rep. Lamar Smith offers "Amnesty Pushers Concoct Six Straw Men" (link), a collection of logical fallacies that illegal immigration supporters use. The points raised aren't of much use unless those supporters - such as nationally-known politicians - are confronted with them, and if you can do that on video that could have a serious impact on those supporters' careers.

It includes a section about family separation, specifically referencing Luis Gutierrez' "Family Unity Tour" and including this:

But he [the strawman] forgets that children can travel to their parents’ home countries with them. And the federal government may even cover the cost if the family cannot afford it... In most cases, the children will be welcomed abroad as citizens of their parents' home countries -- so they won't be "stateless" as Family Separation Straw Man suggests. In fact, the 10 countries that are estimated to have sent the most illegal immigrants to the U.S. are Brazil, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. In all of these countries except China, the country’s law is clear that children born in the U.S. who have at least one parent who was a citizen of their country (and born in the country) are either automatically citizens of the country or can easily seek citizenship. In China, the law is unclear, but the practice of the Chinese embassy is to allow children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant Chinese parents to return to China as Chinese nationals.

Seventy-five House members demand: no stimulus jobs for illegal aliens - 03/11/09

Yesterday, seventy-five House members - Dem and GOP - signed on to a letter to House leaders demanding that they block illegal aliens from taking stimulus plan jobs: link.

GAO report raises issues with 287g program (Joe Arpaio) - 03/04/09

Randal Archibold of the New York Times offers "Report Questions an Immigration Program That Uses the Local Police" (link):
A government report questions the effectiveness of a federal program, long criticized by immigrant advocacy groups, that deputizes police officers as immigration agents.

The report, to be released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says the government has failed to determine how many of the thousands of people deported under the program were the kind of violent felons it was devised to root out...
As he later says, who exactly they're supposed to go after isn't spelled out in the law, although the internal Department of Homeland Security policies are to go after smugglers, violent criminals, and so on. The GAO says the DHS didn't make that policy clear, and their report includes a reply from DHS saying that they're making changes. Archibold's report also references Joe Arpaio's efforts and the report from Justice Strategies; he calls the latter George Soros-linked group "a nonpartisan research foundation".

Rep. Bennie Thompson will be holding a hearing today. More as it becomes available.

UPDATE: The report is available here; if anyone reads it leave notes in comments. Stock comments from Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum and Angela Kelley of the Immigration Policy Center are at: lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2009/03/congressional-h.html