2007 May 31 Thursday
US Soldiers In Iraq See The War As Pointless

Soldier's in the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division think we should stop wasting time and lives and money in Iraq. (same article here and here)

BAGHDAD — Staff Sgt. David Safstrom does not regret his previous tours in Iraq, not even a difficult second stint when two comrades were killed while trying to capture insurgents.

“In Mosul, in 2003, it felt like we were making the city a better place,” he said. “There was no sectarian violence, Saddam was gone, we were tracking down the bad guys. It felt awesome.”

But now on his third deployment in Iraq, he is no longer a believer in the mission. The pivotal moment came, he says, this past February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber’s body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army.

“I thought, ‘What are we doing here? Why are we still here?’ ” said Sergeant Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. “We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us.”

Only the newest enlistees still believe in the war.

The American warriors want to leave Iraq.

"In 2003, 2004, 100 percent of the soldiers wanted to be here, to fight this war," said Sgt. 1st Class David Moore, a self-described "conservative Texas Republican" and platoon sergeant who strongly advocates an American withdrawal. "Now, 95 percent of my platoon agrees with me."

We should leave. We should let the Iraqis fight it out among themselves.

The Sunni Arabs are pushing the Kurds out of Mosul. (same article here and here)

While the American military is trying to tamp down the vicious fighting between rival Arab sects in Baghdad, conflict between Arabs and Kurds is intensifying here, adding another dimension to Iraq’s civil war. Sunni Arab militants, reinforced by insurgents fleeing the new security plan in Baghdad, are trying to rid Mosul of its Kurdish population through violence and intimidation, Kurdish officials said.

Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, with a population of 1.8 million, straddles the Tigris River on a grassy, windswept plain in the country’s north. It was recently estimated to be about a quarter Kurdish, but Sunni Arabs have already driven out at least 70,000 Kurds and virtually erased the Kurdish presence from the city’s western half, said Khasro Goran, the deputy governor of surrounding Nineveh Province and a Kurd.

The Kurds are pushing the Shia and Sunni Arabs out of the Kurdish zone and the Kurds are trying to build Kurdish majorities along border regions so that in plebiscites on whether to make border areas part of Kurdistan the majorities will vote for Kurdistan.

Remember those neoconservatives (really just liberals hawkish on foreign policy - especially regarding the Middle East) who were preaching that democracy is the cure for what ails the world? Never mind that democracy is more a result than a cause of what makes societies the way they are. The idealistic and unconservative neocons wanted us to believe that democracy always makes countries better. But democracy is a major contributing factor to the ethnic cleansing of Mosul and the civil war in Iraq.

Already embittered at the toppling of the Sunni Arab government of Saddam Hussein, insurgents here have been further enraged by their current political disenfranchisement, a result of their boycotting the 2005 elections. The main Kurdish coalition now holds 31 of 41 seats on the provincial council and all the top executive positions, even though Kurds make up only 35 percent of the province. Most Kurds are of the Sunni sect, but they have little in common with the Arabs.

Iraq is turning into a bunch of ethnically pure zones. Segregation with a vengeance. No wonder American soldiers in the 82nd Airborne fail to see the point of more American soldiers coming home in boxes or alive with pieces missing.

Meanwhile the Turks are thinking about invading Iraqi Kurdistan to chase down Kurdish separatists who carry out attacks in Turkey.

The Turkish army has deployed additional tanks and troops to the border area this week for "spring manoeuvres". But the military moves, although apparently limited so far, have been accompanied by a rising crescendo of public and political demands for action to curb PKK attacks. The government of the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is under pressure, following a suicide bombing, blamed on the PKK, which killed six people in an Ankara shopping mall last week. Officials said the bombing marked an escalation in the separatists' campaign. Mr Erdogan's comment, after the Ankara blast, that he saw "eye to eye" with the army over future military action has raised expectations that an operation is imminent.

The Kurds in Turkey do not want to be ruled by Turks just as the Kurds in Iraq do not want to be ruled by Arabs. The Iraqi Kurds are well on their way toward independence from the rest of Iraq and they have de facto independence already. If the civil war leads to a partitioning between the Sunni Arab and Shia Arab areas that will brighten the prospects for an independent Kurdistan. But the Turks do not want to see an independent Kurdistan in Iraq since such a country would embolden Turkish Kurds to seek independence as well.

The United States has massively screwed up in Iraq. The mistakes we've made in Iraq are huge and growing. Time to cut our losses.

Thanks to Lawrence Auster for a couple of the links.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 31 10:19 PM  Mideast Iraq Exit Debate
Entry Permalink | Comments(12)
2007 May 30 Wednesday
US Immigration Fees Going Up

A step in the right direction.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced its long-awaited, and much-dreaded, schedule of fee increases yesterday.

As of July 30, when the fee hikes go into effect, it will cost an individual $675 to file a citizenship application. The current fee is $400.

The increases are expected to raise an extra $1 billion for the Citizenship and Immigration Services Department, which processes 6 million to 8 million applications each year, including those from immigrants seeking citizenship, legal permanent residency, or green cards; work authorizations; asylum petitions; and US citizen petitions to bring fiancées or adopted children into the country.

The extra money will be used to cover existing costs, which outstrip revenues at the fee-based agency, and to improve services, spokesman Shawn Saucier said.

The US CIS should raise its fees higher still. The citizenship fee should rise the most so that the agency gets enough money to conduct a very thorough background check on each citizenship applicant.

The citizenship fee is lower than the green card fee.

Under the increases, which cover almost all immigration benefits, the cost of bringing a foreign fiance or fiancee will jump from $170 to $455. The price tag for a "green card," or a legal permanent resident visa, will rise from $325 to $930, and the cost of citizenship papers will increase from $330 to $595.

This seems backward to me. Citizenship is a much bigger benefit to gain. Plus, it is a greater risk and cost for the rest of us. Therefore the agency should charge more for citizenship applications and use the money to conduct extensive background checks. Those background checks should include checks into welfare programs. Did the applicant use government-funded medical care?

Higher fees could also get used to do DNA tests and checks against DNA samples from crime scenes.

Modest proposal: For all citizenship applications the public should be allowed to submit evidence that could show that an applicant is not worthy of citizenship. Any citizen who submits evidence that leads to a denial of citizenship would get a large reward for saving us from getting saddled with a bad future citizen.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 30 10:40 PM  Immigration Policy
Entry Permalink | Comments(1)
2007 May 29 Tuesday
Bush Lies On Immigration Amnesty

In yet another low of his presidency, George W. Bush attacks the conservative base that overwhelmingly opposes his immigration amnesty

GLYNCO, Ga., May 29 — President Bush took on parts of his conservative base on Tuesday by accusing opponents of his proposed immigration measure of fear-mongering to defeat its passage in Congress.

“If you want to scare the American people, what you say is the bill’s an amnesty bill,” Mr. Bush said at a training center for customs protection agents and other federal agents here in southeastern Georgia. “That’s empty political rhetoric trying to frighten our citizens.”

He is lying. Converting illegals into legals is amnesty.

an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole.

Then he had to go lie again:

“If you want to kill the bill,” he said, “if you don’t want to do what’s right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it. You can use it to frighten people.”

What is little about converting 12 million illegal aliens into legals and then allowing them to bring family members in as legals? That's huge.

Bush keeps widening the gap between what is good for the nation and what he tries to implement as policy.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 29 09:29 PM  Immigration Politics
Entry Permalink | Comments(17)
2007 May 28 Monday
Barack Obama Favors Chain Migration

Ziel at Lying Eyes provides evidence that Barack Obama favors an immigration policy that effectively puts extended family loyalty over what is best for America.

On the Senate floor yesterday, Obama condemned the one feature of the proposed immigration bill that actually makes sense: de-emphasizing family ties and using a point system based on skills in selecting who gets to immigrate. The "family reunification" policy is, of course, insane, as there is no benefit to America whatsoever of allowing someone to live in the country merely because a relative is already living here, and any immigration policy that is not based on what is good for America is insane.

Obama wants to place a high value on extended family ties.

"The point system does not reflect how much Americans value the family ties that bind people to their brothers and sisters or to their parents," he said. "How many of our forefathers would have measured up under this point system? How many would have been turned back at Ellis Island?"

Barack Obama has very curious family ties. His Kenyan father was a bigamist and when his father married his white Christian mother from Kansas Barack Sr. was already married to a woman in Kenya (and his father went on to do more bigamy). One wonders whether Senator Obama thinks that reunification should include members of of an extended family from Africa born to a succession of wives.

When Americans think of family they think of the nuclear family first and foremost. We are able to have government which is less corrupt and inefficient than those in places like Iraq and Kenya in large part because each civil servant does not feel obligated to get jobs for every brother and cousin they have.

Obligations to extended family (as seen with the practice of cousin marriage in Muslim countries) come at the expense of obligations to the larger society. Extended family loyalty is the enemy of a modern free society and should be recognized as such.

To appreciate how extended family immigration creates problems see my post Over Half Of Pakistanis In Britain Married To First Cousins Also see Christopher Caldwell's article in the New York Times Magazine entitled Where Every Generation Is First-Generation

Marriage is not just an aspect of the immigration problem in Germany; to a growing extent, it is the immigration problem.

...

This leaves open only one avenue for non-European men and women who want to enter Germany legally: marriage to someone with legal residency in the country. Fortunately for would-be immigrants, young ethnic Turks in Germany have a strong tendency to marry people from the home country. Exact statistics are hard to come by, but it is possible that as many as 50 percent of Turks (a word that in common parlance often includes even those with German citizenship) seek their spouses abroad, according to Schäuble, the interior minister. For most of the past decade, according to the ministry, between 21,000 and 27,000 people a year have successfully applied at German consulates in Turkey to form families in Germany. (Just under two-thirds of the newcomers are women.) That means roughly half a million spouses since the mid-1980s, which in turn means hundreds of thousands of new families in which the children’s first language is as likely to be Turkish as German.

Binational marriage alarms many Germans for two reasons. First, it allows the Turkish community to grow fast at a time when support for immigration is low. The Turkish population in Germany multiplies not once in a life cycle but twice — at childbirth and at marriage. Second, such marriages retard assimilation even for those Turks long established in Germany. You frequently hear stories from schoolteachers about a child of guest workers who was a star pupil three decades ago but whose own children, although born in Germany, struggle to learn German in grade school. After half a century of immigration, every new generation of Turks is still, to a large extent, a first generation.

Extended families and chain immigration of families create parallel societies in which family loyalties trump and replace loyalties to fellow citizens and in which women have little freedom.

Why does all this matter? The US Senate is debating a bill, S.1348, that will provide a legal amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens and also help some of their family members immigrate as well. It is time to speak up against their proposal and tell your elected representatives you oppose massive immigration. Make a call to tell them. Here is the US Senate contact list. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list. Also, check out this combined directory and Senate and House contact numbers that includes both district office numbers and Washington DC office numbers. You can also call the U.S. Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121. Plus, you can call the U.S. House switchboard: 202-225-3121.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 28 08:27 AM  Immigration Culture Clash
Entry Permalink | Comments(14)
Canadian Study: Immigrants Lower Wages

Businesses would have us believe that the law of supply and demand in economics fails to work in the labor market. But a new study in Canada finds that an increased supply of labor from immigrants lowers wages of the natives.

Immigrants to Canada are depressing domestic wages by increasing the pool of people competing for jobs, according to a study released yesterday.

The Statistics Canada study found that when an influx of migrants raises the labour supply by 10 per cent, wages fall by between 3 per cent and 4 per cent.

Abdurrahman Aydemir, co-author of the Statscan study, said that doesn't mean new immigrants are necessarily finding jobs in their chosen field. "Even if they are sending in their résumés and applying, that increases competition and in turn wages."

The natives are gullible enough to get fooled by propaganda and to let their government and businesses to conspire to lower their wages.

The disproportionately large numbers of highly-skilled immigrants coming to Canada has had the biggest impact on the earnings of highly educated workers, the study said. Canadians with postgraduate degrees saw their real weekly wages tumble 7 per cent between 1980 and 2000. During that time, immigration helped boost the number of Canadians with more than an undergraduate degree by 5.7 per cent to 38.2 per cent.

Plus, you get to pay more for housing and drive on more crowded highways and breathe more polluted air.

Canada gets more skilled immigrants.

In 2001, roughly four in 10 people who came to Canada had more than an undergraduate degree, compared with about one in five in the U.S.

This probably isn't just due to Canada's points system. Canada has the advantage of not having Mexico on its southern border.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 28 07:39 AM  Immigration Economics
Entry Permalink | Comments(1)
2007 May 27 Sunday
EU Looks To Cut Employer Demand For Illegal Immigrants

The European Union looks set to start taking a much tougher line against illegal aliens. The United States could benefit from following the EU's lead on immigration policy. The European Commission is developing a new law to cut back on illegal immigrants.

The European Commission has presented a new Directive to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. The proposal is part of a comprehensive European Migration policy supporting legal migration, fighting illegal migration and building cooperation with Third Countries. "It is vital to acknowledge that the near certainty of finding illegal work in EU Member States is the main driving force behind illegal immigration from third countries," said Vice-President Franco Frattini, EU Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security.

Harsher penalties on employers and more inspections will make European employers more reluctant to hire illegals.

Anyone caught employing illegal immigrants would be banned from taking part in national public procurement contracts or from receiving subsidies for up to five years. The measure would affect farms, for example, that benefit from generous EU or national agriculture subsidies and are caught employing illegal crop pickers.

Companies would also be fined and forced to pay the cost of repatriating illegal migrants to their countries of origin. For more serious abuses such as human trafficking or the repeated employment of illegal workers, EU states could impose jail sentences, though the proposal leaves the length of jail sentences to the discretion of national governments.

Frattini said the legislation would require countries to increase from 2 percent to 10 percent the number of companies they inspect each year for illegal employment.

The Europeans want to cut employer demand for illegal immigrant workers.

As it stands, 19 of the EU's 27 member states have criminal sanctions against those who employ illegal entrants. In the UK, bosses face fines, and a new law will introduce jail terms of up to two years. Commissioner Fratini, however, wants to ensure that errant employers face more consistent penalties, because legislation and enforcement rates vary widely.

Harmonised jail sentences, although being considered, were not touted at the Wednesday announcement.

Behind the proposal is a desire to reduce exploitation of undocumented immigrants and the "pull" factor that drives illegal entry. Mr Frattini also believes that the employment of illegal immigrants distorts competition.

We need more immigration law enforcement against US employers. Also, putting the cost of deportations on employers is an excellent idea. It contrasts with the practice of so many American businesses which increase private profits by socializing costs.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 27 09:22 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement
Entry Permalink | Comments(3)
France Pays Immigrants To Leave

The conservative government of newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy seeks to fulfill campaign promises to cut back on immigrants in France by paying them to leave. The new French government has created a new department to enforce immigration laws more aggressively. Also, the French government promises to initiate a vigorous program to pay legal immigrants to leave.

France is home to over 5 million immigrants -- and the new conservative-led government doesn't plan on making things any more comfortable for them. While the new regime in Paris is determined to curb illegal immigration, it is also looking to encourage legal migrants to reconsider their decision to stay in France -- by paying them to go back home.

New immigration minister, Brice Hortefeux, confirmed on Wednesday that the government is planning to offer incentives to more immigrants to return home voluntarily. "We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," Hortefeux said in an interview with RFI radio.

Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin. A similar scheme, which was introduced in 2005 and 2006, was taken up by around 3,000 families.

The French should levy big fines on the employers of illegals and use the money to fund the bribing of legals to leave. Also, they should follow the British approach (see further below) of increasing fees on applications for legal residency and use that money to deal with illegals. Why force the citizens to pay for the foreigners?

Hortefeux wants to increase the number of immigrants who take up the French government's offer to get paid to leave.

"We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," said Hortefeux, who last week was named in the rightwing government of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Hortefeux heads a newly-created ministry of immigration, integration, national identity and co-development that is expected toughen up immigration policy and tailor it to France's employment needs.

Hortefeux estimates that France has between 200,000 and 400,000 illegal immigrants. The United States should be so lucky.

Thanks to Dragon Horse for the tip.

Britain is taking a different approach: The cost of staying in Britain is going up.

The price tag for naturalization more than doubled in early April to £575, or $1,135, from £200, part of a wave of steep increases in fees to immigrants. The biggest rise was in the cost of the long-term residency permit, known here as indefinite leave to remain, which rose to £750 from £335. Same-day service for the permit costs £950, compared to £500 before the change.

Officials say the proceeds will help pay for a big new push to enforce immigration laws and crack down on illegal arrivals. The Home Office, the government department in charge of domestic security, said it wanted to hire more enforcement agents, build detention centers and increase its ability to process migrants efficiently without spending tax money.

Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said it was fair to require those who benefit economically from living in Britain to pay for the changes.

Note how some of the money will be spent on enforcement activities against illegal immigrants. We start fining employers of illegals and use the money to fund the capture and deportation of illegals.

Update: In 2005 Steve Sailer proposed buying out Muslim immigrants (who are France's biggest concern) in two articles here and here. One interesting thing to note about a buy-out: The more economically successful the immigrant the less enticing the buy-out. So we would tend to get rid of the poorest immigrants (those who pay the least in taxes and cost the most for medical and other welfare state services) if we paid legal immigrants a fixed amount to leave.

Contra the open borders libertarians I do not see the ability to immigrate as a basic right. Any supposed right which, if put into full practice, would destroy many other rights (e.g. by raising crime and taxes) does not strike me as a right. Also, I do not buy the argument that all people should get all the same rights. Rights have to flow from other attributes that people possess. We do not all equally possess the attributes needed to make a free society work. Therefore we should not all possess equal rights. The law already recognizes this, for example, vis a vis children. They are not considered to have the capacity for the exercise of full rights. Neither are retarded people. Similarly, we also shouldn't grant full rights to psychopaths since they lack sufficient motive to respect the rights of others.

Audacious Epigone points out that the welfare state benefits in France serve as a disincentive for legal immigrants in France to leave.

Critics will argue that $8,000 comes nowhere near making up for the entitlements to be accrued by a migrant who elects to remain in France. Stateside, low-skilled workers create an annual net taxpayer liability of over $22,000 per capita. While ascertaining demographic attributes in France is even more difficult than in the US, since the French government doesn't inquire about the race or ethnicity of its residents, in 2002 a private thinktank found that half of the foreign-born in France do menial jobs compared to the one-quarter of natives who do, are twice as likely to be unemployed as their native cohorts, and are three times as likely as natives to make only the minimum wage. The French entitlement structure is even more generous to the impoverished than the one in the US is. So it's safe to assume that for most of the migrants the new initiative will apply to, recouping the $8,000 given up will only take a matter of months.

The French government needs to start restricting welfare state benefits eligibility for legal immigrants and to stop letting in legal immigrants who can't earn more than the average French wage.

Update II: The French approach to immigration is especially heartening because they do not seek just to slow the growth of the problem or to stop its growth. The French approach potentially could reverse the growth of the problem. Since so many of the illegal immigrants to France are Muslims they have a special need to turn back the clock and undo some of the damage. But we too could benefit from this approach.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 27 11:47 AM  Immigration Law Enforcement
Entry Permalink | Comments(10)
2007 May 23 Wednesday
More Democrats Than Republicans Oppose Senate Illegal Amnesty

The masses are not keen on what our rulers want to do to us on immigration.

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey conducted Monday and Tuesday night shows that just 26% of American voters favor passage of the legislation. Forty-eight percent (48%) are opposed while 26% are not sure. The bi-partisan agreement among influential Senators and the White House has been met with bi-partisan opposition among the public. The measure is opposed by 47% of Republicans, 51% of Democrats, and 46% of those not affiliated with either major party.

The gap between elected Democrats and the Democratic Party masses highlights a gap between their respective interests. The elected Democrats want more poor people who will reliably vote for Democrats. The poor Democrats want less competition in the labor market and less crime in their neighborhoods and they understand that masses of Hispanic immigrants drive down their wages and raise crime rates and worsen the public schools their kids attend.

The masses want what the elites oppose: greater enforcement of immigration laws.

The enforcement side of the debate is clearly where the public passion lies on the issue. Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters say it is Very Important for “the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration.” That view is held by 89% of Republicans, 65% of Democrats, and 63% of unaffiliated voters.

We may yet win this thing.

Make your views known to your elected officials, preferably with phone calls. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list.. Also, check out this combined directory and Senate and House contact numbers that includes both district office numbers and Washington DC office numbers. You can also call the U.S. Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121. Plus, you can call the U.S. House switchboard: 202-225-3121.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 23 11:19 PM  Immigration Elites Versus Masses
Entry Permalink | Comments(8)
Why Should Illegals Desire For Legal Status Be Priority For Us?

Over at The Corner Andy McCarthy asks a basic question about the Bush Administration's position on immigration: why should we go out of our way to urgently help illegal aliens gain legal status?

And, not to beat a dead horse, but Mr. Thompson's response does not address my main point:  Why is the illegal status of people who've chosen that status by knowingly and wilfully violating U.S. law our problem?  I don't see how that, as opposed to enforcement, is a crisis.  It's understandably a matter of great importance to the illegal aliens, but why should the rest of us regard it as a problem, much less a priority?  And if it were, for argument's sake, a crisis, then the first question ought to be:  How and why did we let such a crisis happen?

Note to Andy: You let the crisis happen by letting some groups push government policies in directions against the national interest. These groups include corporate interests seeking cheap labor, Hispanic lobbyists, and Democrat operatives looking for votes

We can solve the illegal immigration crisis with real and sustained enforcement of US immigration laws. The Bush Administration's move toward greater enforcement has been slow and tentative. Bush clearly does not have his heart in greater enforcement. Well, that's what the American people want. Why should we cater to the elites and the illegals? Clearly the elites should cater to us and the illegals should leave. Stop breaking our laws. Get out of our country.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 23 11:11 PM  Immigration Politics
Entry Permalink | Comments(3)
2007 May 22 Tuesday
Bill Richardson Becomes Richardson Lopez

Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico, and open borders advocate, has decided to run for President and Richardson wants to make sure all Hispanics know the last name of his mother is Lopez.

"I am saying 'It's Bill Richardson Lopez and I am one of you and I would like you to consider me, not because I am Hispanic but because I have the best program for the country'," he told Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

He wants Hispanics to vote for him because he's Hispanic (or at least half Hispanic). But he doesn't want to admit this.

But he figures he has a good chance because he can do well the states with lots of Hispanics since Hispanics will prefer to vote for one of their own.

"If I am able to make a dent in states like California, Texas and Florida with large Latino populations, I am going to be a factor in this race," he said.

This is racial politics early in the 21st century. It is going to get a lot worse. The racial groups will vote for members of their tribes. They'll do this for two reasons. First, they'll feel more trust and affection toward members of their race. Second, members of their race will pursue policies that are more appealing to members of their race than to members of other races.

This is Balkanization. Some day will another country station peace keeping troops in America the same way the United States stations troops in the Balkans?

By Randall Parker 2007 May 22 11:00 PM  Immigration Politics
Entry Permalink | Comments(12)
2007 May 21 Monday
Immigration Makes Bush Defenders Into Enablers

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the Congressional rush to pass a massive immigration amnesty is George W. Bush's deal with Senate Democrats on immigration and on Bush's total and absolute willingness to shaft and defy the Republican base on this issue. Steve Sailer asks why is Bush so incredibly willing to just totally ignore the wishes of the Republicans who elected him?

Still, you would think that the fact that a few of the ideas of immigration skeptics like me made it into Kennedy-Bush bill (although I'm sure they were put in by Senate Republicans like Sen. Kyl, not the Administration) would have been used by the Bush Administration in an attempt to butter up the immigration skeptic wing to not be so immediately hostile to the bill. That's straight out of Lobbying 101 -- appeal to the ego of potential critics. Tell us we are helping make this a better country through some of our brilliant ideas.

I certainly am not surprised I didn't get a get a phone call from Karl Rove before last Thursday, trying to get me excited about bits of the upcoming package, but, what about, say, Hugh Hewitt or the National Review boys? They've been good soldiers in the Bush Army, except on immigration. So, why didn't they get a call? 

The simplest answer seems to be that the Bush Administration is deeply emotional about immigration, trumping even Iraq. On Invade the World, Invite the World, the latter comes first in George W. Bush's heart. They'll deal happily with Ted Kennedy, but if you don't toe the Bush line on the borders, you are a bad, bad person.

The immigration issue, even more than Iraq, demonstrates how deep down Bush is not a conservative. He's a radical liberal who wants to remake the world. There's nothing conservative about his support for a massive demographic remaking of America.

The National Review gang have to be feeling betrayed at this point. No, Bush is not one of them. No, he does not heed their advice on the issue that works up the Republican base more than just about any other issue. I have a question for the National Review folks: Can you bring your selves to break with Bush, to totally withdraw your support from Bush? Can you bring yourselves to denounce George W. Bush and admit that he's been a disaster for the Republican Party, a disaster that looks set to scale up the damage he's done even higher? Can you bring yourselves to admit that Bushie wants to make a move that will make the Republican Party a permanent minority party?

One of the polemically talented defenders of the Bush Administration has been columnist Mark Steyn. I wish I could weave prose half as good as he can. Now Steyn is shocked by Bush's immigration stand and seems to have undergone a Damascene conversion on immigration policy. This is the same Mark Steyn that not that long ago managed to see three options for reducing the threat of Muslim terrorism, none of which was an end to Muslim immigration. Mark, has reality finally slapped you upside the head hard enough? Have you waken from the dream into the reality of the nightmare? Pretty grim reality, eh?

I remember when commentators on the Right used to claim that Hillary Clinton was an enabler for Bill's philandering. Well, Bush defenders, you are Bush's enablers. How does it feel to be George's bitches?

If you aren't George's bitch then get the phone numbers for both your Senators from the US Senate contact list. Make a call to tell them you oppose immigration amnesty. Do it first thing in the morning. Put the needed phone numbers in your pocket now. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list.. Also, check out this combined directory and Senate and House contact numbers that includes both district office numbers and Washington DC office numbers. You can also call the U.S. Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121. Plus, you can call the U.S. House switchboard: 202-225-3121. Make the calls before work in the morning. Or take a break during the day and make some cell phone calls.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 21 10:31 PM  Immigration Politics
Entry Permalink | Comments(7)
Senate Votes To Limit Debate On Immigrant Amnesty Bill

The US Senate voted overwhelmingly to close debate on the illegal immigrant amnesty S.1348.

WASHINGTON: A comprehensive immigration bill cleared its first hurdle this afternoon as the Senate voted to start work on the legislation, which would offer legal status to most of the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants.

The vote to invoke cloture, meaning to move to consideration of the bill itself, carried by 69 to 23. Sixty "yes" votes were required. Nearly a score of Republicans voted "yes," while just a few Democrats voted "no."

The 69 Senators demonstrate how totally corrupt our ruling class has become. You need to stop being complacent about the United States government. It has become arrayed against the American people. We are in very bad shape.

Roy Beck of NumbersUSA says Senators are paying special attention to phone calls on this issue.

“Many Senators are telling staffers and other Senators that they are inclined to vote for the giant Kennedy/Bush amnesty bill (S. 1348) next week [i.e. the week of 5/21] because they say they have been surprised at how few phone calls of protest they’ve gotten during the last two months of highly-publicized negotiations to create the amnesty.

“They are concluding that the citizens of their states just aren’t all that worked up about granting an amnesty. And they’re interpreting that as a green light to give corporations the huge new supplies of legal foreign labor they desire.”

They haven't gotten that many phone calls because they conducted negotiations in secrecy. Time to wake up. Time to tell your friends about what is going on in Washington DC and how disastrous the outcome will be for current and future generations of Americans. You can get the phone numbers for both your Senators from the US Senate contact list. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list.. Also, check out this combined directory and Senate and House contact numbers that includes both district office numbers and Washington DC office numbers. You can also call the U.S. Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121. Plus, you can call the U.S. House switchboard: 202-225-3121. Make the calls before work in the morning. Or take a break during the day and make some cell phone calls.

A recent poll by the Center for Immigration Studies shows the American people want the opposite of what our elites want.

B. When Presented with the Facts, Voters Say they Want Less, Not More, Immigration.

When given details about the number of immigrants (both legal and illegal) already in America and the number entering each year, 68 percent of likely voters thought the number of immigrants (regardless of legal status) crossing our borders was "too high," while just 21 percent said it was "about right," and 2 percent believed it was "too low." It didn’t take fancy turns of phrase or inflated figures to lead them to this conclusion. This would seem to contradict those who argue that the only concern of voters with respect to immigration is illegality, rather than the sheer number of immigrants in the country.

The public doesn't want what is going on.

D. Very Little Support for Increasing Legal Immigration.

There appears to be minimal support for the kind of large increase in legal immigration found in the bill passed recently by the U.S. Senate (S2611). Across the political spectrum voters felt legal immigration levels were either too high or just right. When asked specifically about legal immigration, only 8 percent said it was too low.

In fact, 70 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported doubling legal immigration, compared to just 21 percent who said they would be more likely to vote for such a candidate (a warning to Senators who support S2611 which would just that). And the intensity of opposition was overwhelming, with 48 percent saying they would be much less likely to vote for a candidate that wants to double immigration, compared to only 7 percent who said they would be much more likely to vote for such a candidate.

Again, get the phone numbers for both your Senators from the US Senate contact list. Make a call first thing in the morning. Put the needed phone numbers in your pocket now. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list.. Also, check out this combined directory and Senate and House contact numbers that includes both district office numbers and Washington DC office numbers. You can also call the U.S. Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121. Plus, you can call the U.S. House switchboard: 202-225-3121. Make the calls before work in the morning. Or take a break during the day and make some cell phone calls.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 21 09:28 PM  Immigration Politics
Entry Permalink | Comments(3)
2007 May 20 Sunday
Corporations Want To Retain More Control Over Immigrants

Some of the big corporate employers of tech workers do not like certain provisions of the latest US Senate illegal immigrant amnesty bill. Why? The big businesses claim they are best equipped to decide which types of labor the US labor market needs.

Robert P. Hoffman, a vice president of Oracle, the business software company, endorsed that goal but said the bill would not achieve it.

“A merit-based system for allocating green cards may sound good for business,” said Mr. Hoffman, who is co-chairman of Compete America, a coalition of technology companies. “But after reviewing the proposal, we have concluded that it is the wrong approach and will not solve the talent crisis facing many U.S. businesses. In fact, in some ways, it could leave American employers in a worse position.

“Under the current system,” Mr. Hoffman said, “you need an employer to sponsor you for a green card. Under the point system, you would not need an employer as a sponsor. An individual would get points for special skills, but those skills may not match the demand. You can’t hire a chemical engineer to do the work of a software engineer.”

Sounds like a fair objection at first glance. But no. A dirty little secret of current work visas is that they lock Indian and other foreign programmers into single employers for years. No need for those employers to pay competitive wages when the indentured servants have to stay with their sponsoring company to wait for their green card application to reach a fairly advanced stage of approval.

If we are to bring in technical workers they should be the smartest ones we can find, not the ones that save corporations the most dollars. A points system should use IQ scores to set a minimum threshold. Also, corporations should compete for slots by either paying for the slots in an auction or by offering higher salaries for positions. If a foreign import is only worth, say, $40k then the corp offering to pay for that position doesn't need the foreign import all that badly.

The corporations tell lies about labor economics and do so without shame.

Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, explained the reason for employers’ keen interest in the issue: “We do not have enough workers to support a growing economy. We have members who pay good wages but face worker shortages every day.”

Good wages? How about paying wages at rates where the supply and demand of labor equal? There are no shortages of labor. There are only the prices at which demand drops and supply rises to the point where supply and demand equal. The US Secretary of Commerce repeats the same sorts of economic fallacies that the US Chamber of Commerce dishes out.

Carlos M. Gutierrez, the secretary of commerce, said immigration was essential to economic growth because “without it, we will have significant labor shortages in key occupations.”

I figure these men are smart enough to know what they are saying is dumb. So I figure they are lying as part of a general propaganda drive to fool American citizens. Our elites attempt to deceive us. Sometimes they succeed. Be aware: If high government officials and business interests are trying to convince you to support something that is in their interest at least part of what they are telling you is a lie. It is not like they have high moral scruples.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 20 09:51 PM  Immigration Elites Versus Masses
Entry Permalink | Comments(9)
US Senate Illegal Immigrant Amnesty Includes Tax Amnesty

Mark Steyn comments on how legal status for illegal immigrants comes with downsides such as the need to pay future taxes.

Mark, I always thought the requirement in last year's bill was pretty sweet: You had to pay two out of three years' back taxes. Most legal Americans would love that deal: Pay any two years of tax and we'll give you the third for free!

But the President obviously concluded that even this was insufficiently appealing. Which gets to the heart of the problem. Whenever folks use this "living in the shadows" line, they assume that these 12-20-30 million people all have a burning desire to move out of the shadows and live under the klieg lights of officialdom. But, in fact, if you wanted to construct the perfect arrangement for modern life, it would be to acquire:

a) just enough of an official identity to be able to function - open bank accounts, etc - and to access free education and health care; but

b) not enough of an official identity to attract the attentions of the IRS and the other less bountiful agencies of the state.

Jorge W. Bush insisted that the illegals who take up this amnesty offer will not have to pay back taxes owed the US government.

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration insisted on a little-noticed change in the bipartisan Senate immigration bill that would enable 12 million undocumented residents to avoid paying back taxes or associated fines to the Internal Revenue Service, officials said.

An independent analyst estimated the decision could cost the IRS tens of billions of dollars.

Now, you might think that the illegals will have to undergo background checks. Heck, I know a legal resident who is aiming for a green card who has been waiting for years to get the FBI to affirm that he is not a terrorist. But under the terms of this amnesty the government will have but 1 day to prove that someone is a security threat else they get a Z visa.

(1) IN GENERAL —An alien who files application for Z-nonimmigrant status shall, upon submission of any evidence required under paragraphs (f) and (g) and after the Secretary has conducted appropriate background checks, to include name and fingerprint checks, that have not by the end of the next business day produced information rendering the applicant ineligible

That thing which has taken over the trappings of what used to be the US government does not care about our safety. Profits for the transnational elites are more important than the will and well-being of American citizens.

Americans should very loudly reject what the US Imperial Senate is trying to get away with. Here is the US Senate contact list. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list. Start clicking, typing, and faxing.

Update: Wondering what is in the immigration amnesty bill? See here for a set of articles by Hugh Hewitt which describe what is in the bill.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 20 09:05 PM  Immigration Elites Versus Masses
Entry Permalink | Comments(3)
Time To Stop Senate Immigration Amnesty Bill

Have you ever sent a fax or email or made a phone call to your US Senators? Now's the time (and readers who are bloggers should write similar posts and tell still other bloggers to do the same!). Monday May 21, 2008 might be the date when a vote is held to decide the fate of the United States.

As of early Saturday morning, May 19, the public has not even been shown the text of the bill. The ultimately failed amnesty legislation the Senate passed last year was 118,277 words long. This may well be more complicated. A photo of the first draft shows it to be almost twice as thick as a Bible.

So reading the new bill carefully will likely take at least 10 uninterrupted hours, and quite possibly twice that, a span of time that few Senators have readily available. To truly understand how the legislation would work and what its long term implications are would take weeks of questioning and debate.

Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to have the entire bill passed by Memorial Day, a week from now.

Even more appallingly, Reid wants to hold the crucial "cloture" vote to shut off the possibility of a filibuster, the best chance to derail it, on Monday, May 21!

This bill will increase the population of the United States by tens of millions of low skilled and low educated people. This bill will force more Americans away from areas of the country they've lived in for generations. This bill will reduce the land available for wildlife and increase pollution. This bill will grow the welfare state and lead to more racial preferences and therefore more discrimination against white people.

Here is the US Senate contact list. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list. Start clicking, typing, and faxing.

Why the reason for the rush? The longer they delay the bigger the popular opposition will become. The US Senate is anti-democratic. The US Senate opposes the will of the people while at the same time claiming to derive its moral legitimacy from its elected nature. The US Senate seeks to act in a way that shows contempt for the citizens of the United States.

From a good government standpoint, what we are witnessing is perhaps the most irresponsible and shameless attempt to hustle a pig in a poke past the public in recent memory. Of course, that's the whole point of the exercise—to not let us simple citizens in on the process of deciding who our fellow citizens will be.

It's only a modest exaggeration to call this an attempted coup against the American people.

Steve calls for a massive public response.

Only a massive and absolutely immediate response from an outraged public will stop this week going down as one of the most shameful in American political history.

Even more important than shameful: damaging. The US Senate could do enormous damage to the United States of America if they manage to pass the vote of cloture and then the House of Representatives goes along. Now is the time to contact all your elected representatives in Washington DC. Give them a call. Send them a fax. Send them an email.

Here is the US Senate contact list. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list. Start clicking, typing, and faxing.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 20 04:02 PM  Immigration Elites Versus Masses
Entry Permalink | Comments(13)
2007 May 19 Saturday
Bush Shows Contempt On Immigration

An article in the National Review outlines the evidence that Bush is showing utter contempt for the desires of the Republican base.

Third, the Bush/Rove plan divides Republicans. Not just congressional Republicans like Tom Tancredo and Jim Sensenbrenner on one side and McCain and Specter along with the Bushies on the other. But real rank and file Republicans absolutely hate this bill’s amnesty provisions. By a margin of 58 to 10 percent, Republicans think that legal immigration should be reduced (never mind illegal immigration)! Furthermore, by an 87-1 percent (!) margin, Republicans said the federal government was “not doing enough” versus “doing too much” to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border. And those polls are backed up by real election results: Nearly 90 percent of ordinary Republicans voted for initiatives restricting illegal immigration in California and Arizona. Republicans were already vulnerable due to Iraq, Scooter Libby’s indictment, corruption, Jack Abramoff, high gas-prices, massive deficits, Homeland Security employees arrested on child porn charges, the loss of good jobs, and the generic Second Term Blues faced by most presidents. Did they really need to also fight amongst themselves with this? The more time conservatives spend fighting each other, the less chance they have to do damage to us. Can you say Speaker Pelosi for the next 20 years? Who said Rove wasn’t a genius!

Does this sound like good news to the Democrats among my readership? If you are an elected Democrat it might be good news. But if you are rank and file workers then how do you feel about immigrants who drive down your wages? How about immigrants who will support the welfare state because they need tax increases on you to pay for their needs? How about their additional demand for housing and how that will raise land prices? Want your kids to be able to afford to buy a house? Might want to start planning a move to North Dakota.

Americans should very loudly reject what the US Imperial Senate is trying to get away with. Here is the US Senate contact list. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list. Start clicking, typing, and faxing. Time is short. Hours count.

Patrick Cleburne points to an excellent post at Dow Blog on the economics of low priced but high cost immigrant labor.

The economics are relatively simple. Low-skilled immigrants are admitted in huge numbers driving down the wages of blue-collar workers. Certain groups of professionals (doctors, engineers, and computer programmers for example) will also see their wages decrease…Meanwhile, the social costs associated with education, health care and welfare expenditures will explode and be largely socialized.

The primary beneficiaries will be social, economic, and political elites who manage to reap the benefits of mass immigration while insulating themselves and their families from the consequences…(They) don’t have their livelihoods, not to mention their children’s education, threatened by mass immigration, but they will acquire the cheapest pool cleaners, house-keepers, and roofers in the Western world.

Socialize costs. Privatize profits. That's how our elites operate these days.

Americans should very loudly reject what the US Imperial Senate is trying to get away with. Here is the US Senate contact list. Here is the US House of Representatives contact list. Start clicking, typing, and faxing. Time is short. Hours count. If you are a blogger then write a blog post that calls on your readers do contact their Congress reps on immigration to make their views known.

Darrell at Dow Blog comments:

The moral of the story is that we no longer live in a country governed by its people. What the elites want, they will get. Open borders, "free trade," never ending war and interventionism, the melding of America into globalist political institutions and a "global economy" and the destruction of our laws, culture, and people.

That is what you will get, ladies and gentleman, by continuing to vote for men like McCain, Graham and Bush.

Democracy's been oversold in terms of its beneficial effects - both in the Middle East and the United States. Democracy is not a substitute for virtue.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 19 08:17 PM  Immigration Politics
Entry Permalink | Comments(1)
2007 May 17 Thursday
US Senate Proposal For Massive Illegal Alien Amnesty

The US Senate has reached a political deal with US Senate Democrats and some US Senate Republicans for a massive illegal alien amnesty encompassing 12 million or more illegal aliens and their families. Ted Kennedy led the Democrats in creating this potentially disastrous legislation.

The crux of the complex plan announced by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Democrats' chief negotiator on the deal, would give currently illegal immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship by allowing them to apply for permanent residence after working for eight years in the U.S. Applicants would have to pay penalties of $5,000 and would have limited ability to bring in family members. Kennedy, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, called the compromise "the best possible chance we will have in years to secure our borders and bring millions of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America."

For corporations which want to pay their engineers and software developers lower salaries the proposal would double to triple H1-B visas.

One positive aspect of the bill comes from restrictions on chain migration.

In perhaps the most hotly debated change, the proposed plan would shift from an immigration system primarily weighted toward family ties toward one with preferences for people with advanced degrees and sophisticated skills. Republicans have long sought such revisions, which they say are needed to end ``chain migration'' that harms the economy.

Family connections alone would no longer be enough to qualify for a green card - except for spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens. Strict new limits would apply to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.

Care for the parents typically gets dumped onto American taxpayers.

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation estimates this amnesty could cost American citizens $2.5 trillion.

Giving amnesty to illegal immigrants would increase the costs outlined in this testimony. Some 50 to 60 percent of illegal immigrants lack a high school degree. Granting amnesty or conditional amnesty to illegal immigrants would, overtime, increase their use of means-tested welfare, Social Security and Medicare. Fiscal costs would go up significantly in the short term but would go up dramatically after the amnesty recipient reached retirement. Based on my current research, I estimate that if all the current adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. were granted amnesty the net retirement costs to government (benefits minus taxes) could be over $2.5 trillion.

The $2.5 trillion cost estimate understates the cost for several reasons. First off, that does not include the cost to people who are victims of crime and the cost of avoiding crime victimhood. Second, it doesn't include costs from successive generations of low IQ descendants of the amnestied first generation of low IQ immigrants. Third, it doesn't include the higher cost of housing as higher population densities push up housing prices. Fourth, it doesn't include the health costs of pollution due to higher population densities. Fifth, it doesn't include the deadweight cost of higher taxes to subsidize the immigrants.

The higher taxes will slow economic growth as will other effects of having a lower IQ society. You might think only lower IQ people will receive lower salaries. But the slope of a curve of per capita income versus national average IQ is too steep for only low IQ people to pay a price for having lower IQs. Countries which have low average IQs pay less to higher IQ technical workers as compared to countries which have higher average IQs.

The US Senators are hopeless cases. Some represent capitalists who want cheap laborers. Others just want to pose as acting on noblesse oblige. Still others want to bring in more Democrats as voters. For a variety of reasons the best interests of the commonwealth are not their chief concern.

We have reached the time where we need to send letters, emails, faxes, and phone calls toward our Representatives in the House. The Senate slime are firmly in the devil's camp. Time to make massive efforts to persuade our House reps and the public at large that we need real border enforcement and a huge reduction in immigration.

Update: Lawrence Auster argues that liberals see nothing to protect in America as a group of citizens with a common culture or entity.

It’s not that the senators seek the destruction of America as a concrete historical entity. It’s that, as liberals, they have no concept of America as a concrete historical entity. And that is why there is no real deliberation. There can only be real deliberation and debate if there is something substantive to talk about. But for our leaders, there is no substantive thing called America that is at stake in this immigration bill. There is just a varied collection of special interests, human needs, and economic issues, all filtered through constituent pressures, and all overlaid by the Prime Directive to be tolerant and non-discriminatory.

Those who believe in a "proposition nation" think of America more as a secular religion which anyone can and even should join. I lack their secular faith and find it repellant.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 17 11:44 PM  Immigration Economics
Entry Permalink | Comments(13)
Chatham House Sees Iraq On Verge Of Collapse

A British foreign policy think tank has published a report arguing Iraq might break up.

Iraq is in danger of becoming a failed state and faces the possibility of collapse and fragmentation, a foreign affairs thinktank said today.

The bleak assessment, from Chatham House in London, said Iraq was suffering from not one but many civil wars and insurgencies involving numerous communities and organisations struggling for power.

With Iraq so polarised by years of conflict and violence, it was futile to rebuild the country as a unitary state with a strong and centralised government, argued the report, written by Gareth Stansfield, a Middle East expert at Exeter University.

But we had to rebuild Iraq as a single country because if we didn't that'd throw into question the wisdom of turning the United States into a Balkanized multi-racial society with no market dominant majority. We need to demonstrate that multiculturalism can work in foreign lands to prove that it can work here.

Iraq has many factions fighting each other.

There is not 'one' civil war, nor 'one' insurgency, but several civil wars and insurgencies between different communities in today's Iraq.  Within this warring society, the Iraqi government is only one among many 'state-like' actors, and is largely irrelevant in terms of ordering social, economic, and political life.  It is now possible to argue that Iraq is on the verge of being a failed state which faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation.  These are some of the key findings of Accepting Realities in Iraq a new Briefing Paper written by Dr Gareth Stansfield and published today by Chatham House.

The paper also assesses Al-Qaeda activity within Iraq, especially in the major cities in the centre and north of the country. Dr Stansfield argues that, although Al-Qaeda is challenged by local groups, there is momentum behind its activity. Iraq's neighbors too have a greater capacity to affect the situation on the ground than either the UK or the US. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all have different reasons for seeing the instability in Iraq continue, and each uses different methods to influence developments.

Dr Stansfield argues that with the myriad conflicts in Iraq following societal, religious and political divides and often involving state actors, the multinational forces are finding it exceptionally difficult to promote security normalization. The recent US 'surge' in Baghdad looks likely to have simply pushed insurgent activity to neighboring cities and cannot deliver the required political accommodation. A political solution will require Sunni Arab representatives’ participation in government, the recognition of Moqtada al-Sadr as a legitimate political partner, and a positive response to Kurdish concerns. Further, it would be a mistake to believe that the political forces in Iraq are weak and can be reorganized by the US or the international community, there must be ‘buy-in’ from the key Iraqi political actors.

Dr Stansfield says: ‘The coming year will be pivotal for Iraq. The internecine fighting and continual struggle for power threatens the nation’s very existence in its current form. An acceptance of the realities on the ground in Iraq and a fundamental rethinking of strategy by coalition powers are vital if there is to be any chance of future political stability in the country.

But US Marine Corps commandant General James Conway sees a positive trend in the Sunni Anbar province.

The commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General James Conway, says his forces in volatile al Anbar province are continuing to see a significant reduction in violence. He says local tribesmen are joining the Iraqi security forces in record numbers and are helping U.S. troops to defeat al-Qaida insurgents in the province. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from Washington.

General Conway told reporters at the Pentagon that it has taken four years since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq for the predominantly Sunni population of Anbar province to realize that al-Qaida in Iraq can only offer a future filled with fear and instability.

"What we are seeing transpire in Anbar province today is a clear, discernible wedge between the Sunni tribes and the al-Qaida in Iraq," said General Conway. "Some very brave people have stepped up to speak out against al-Qaida and encourage their fellow tribesmen to work together toward an Iraq that is stable and at peace with its neighbors."

The civil war has to be wearying. That weariness is perhaps the best hope for reaching a political settlement. But I suspect there are too many factions with too many incompatible expectations to make a deal possible. Some of the factions aren't going to abandon their ambitions unless they are utterly defeated.

The rate of attacks in Anbar has fallen almost an order of magnitude.

U.S. commanders think their squeeze on Sunni and Shiite extremists is having an impact. In al-Qaeda's stronghold of Anbar province, tribal leaders have begun allying with American forces against the Sunni terrorists. According to Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, who commands day-to-day military operations in Iraq, there were just 60 attacks in Anbar last week, compared with 480 per week a year ago. But al-Qaeda continues its deadly attacks, as in last Saturday's brutal ambush that killed four U.S. soldiers and left three missing.

But while the Sunnis of Anbar might have turned against the foreign Sunnis the Iraqi Sunnis still see the Shias as enemies in a civil war. Plus, the Shia factions are fighting each other even as the Kurds fight the Arab Iraqis in areas which the Kurds want to make part of an independent Kurdistan.

Check out this mention of a fight between Madhi Army militia and Iraqi police.

News agencies reported that at least three people were killed Thursday in fighting between Iraqi police and the Madhi Army, the militia of Moqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric. The incident took place in the city of Diwaniyah, about 110 miles south of Baghdad.

Was this a battle between central authority and a militia? Or a fight between two rival gangs for turf? Maybe both at the same time.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 17 10:59 PM  Mideast Iraq Decay
Entry Permalink | Comments(2)
2007 May 14 Monday
GOP Prez Candidates Shifting To Oppose Immigration Amnesty

While many US Senators work to get together an immigration amnesty those running for President as Republicans are backpedaling.

Senators from both parties and senior White House officials are hurrying to negotiate a deal that would give illegal immigrants a path to legal status after clearing criminal checks and paying fines. The plan would beef up border security and put new emphasis on enforcing workplace rules. Democratic leaders have given them until tomorrow to produce legislation before forcing another vote on the McCain-Kennedy bill that failed last year.

In the meantime, the leading Republican candidates for president are distancing themselves from the plan.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who just a year ago characterized the bipartisan efforts as "reasonable proposals," now derides the plans being negotiated in Congress as "amnesty" for illegal immigration.

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose record is filled with pro-immigrant speeches and actions, has been largely silent on the debate. And Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, another GOP contender, was a key McCain ally on immigration a year ago but recently renounced his support for the approach.

"When the public opinion matters most is during elections," said Steven Camarota, the research director for the Center for Immigration Studies, whose group advocates a harder line on illegal immigration. "That's why all the candidates tend to move toward enforcement and not talk so much about legalization."

Immigration is the issue where the masses and the elites disagree the most. Elite preferences got a big boost due to the Iraq war. The unpopularity of the Iraq war helped get more pro-immigration Democrats get elected. The Democrats see low performing immigrant groups as reliable Democratic Party voters. True enough. Poor people tend to want stuff from the government and vote for Robin Hood politicians to get it for them.

Republican elites see immigrants as cheap labor. Capital owners see larger supplies of unskilled labor in terms of lower labor costs. But their position can be summed up as the privatization of profits and the socialization of costs. Business owners can make profits from workers who earn little and who pay little in taxes. But then the rest of us pay more in taxes to support these poor folks and in crime, crowding, and higher housing costs.

The deal-makers in the US Senate basically have contempt for popular will. So does George W. Bush. Will the populace shout loud enough and become angry enough about the immigrant hordes to force the elected officials to bow to popular will? Or will we get a massive immigrant amnesty?

By Randall Parker 2007 May 14 11:31 PM  Immigration Politics
Entry Permalink | Comments(13)
2007 May 13 Sunday
US Troop Surge Failing To Quell Iraq Violence

Even in Baghdad the violence is rising.

The US military surge in Iraq, designed to turn around the course of the war, appears to be failing as senior US officers admit they need yet more troops and new figures show a sharp increase in the victims of death squads in Baghdad.

In the first 11 days of this month, there have already been 234 bodies - men murdered by death squads - dumped around the capital, a dramatic rise from the 137 found in the same period of April. Improving security in Baghdad and reducing death-squad activity was described as one of the key aims of the US surge of 25,000 additional troops, the final units of whom are due to arrive next month.

The US would need a few hundred thousand more troops to get a handle on Iraq. That's not going to happen.

The insurgents are raising havoc in northern Iraq and the US has too few troops to do anything about it.

The U.S. commander in northern Iraq says he does not have enough manpower to secure the increasingly violent Diyala province. Major General Benjamin Mixon made the remarks to reporters at the Pentagon by videoconference from Iraq.

...

"I do not have enough soldiers right now in Diyala province to get that security situation moving," he said. "We have plans to put additional forces in that area. I can't discuss the details of that. We have put additional forces in there over the last couple of months, but I am going to need additional forces in Diyala province to get that situation to a more acceptable level so the Iraqi security forces will be able in the future to handle that."

The general says he currently has about 3,500 U.S. troops in Diyala province, with about 10,000 Iraqi soldiers and several thousand Iraqi police.

General Mixon describes the Diyala province government as "nonfunctional".

The US military is much too small to get a handle on the insurgencies (yes, plural) in all parts of Iraq. The transfer of US soldiers into Baghdad depleted other regions and the insurgents demonstrate that when the cat's away the mice play.

One could ask a question like "whatever happened to the Iraqi government's military and US efforts to train it?". We all know that the Iraqi Army isn't about to become a serious fighting force. But our leaders would have us believe that the same sorts of nationalistic loyalties that motivate Americans also motivate consanguineously marrying, low IQ, Muslim Arabs in the Middle East. Our elites have failed us. Even the Democrats who want us to withdraw from Iraq are unwilling to state the reasons why the invasion of Iraq failed since to state those reasons would require an admission that basic tenets of the secular liberal faith are wrong.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 13 09:59 PM  MidEast Iraq Military Needs
Entry Permalink | Comments(15)
Government Funds Displace Private Funds For Medical Care

Some parents cease paying for private medical insurance once their kids become eligible for cheaper publically funded medical insurance.

The Congressional Budget Office report said that for every 100 children who enroll in SCHIP, there is a corresponding reduction in private coverage of between 25 and 50 children. That's a point the Bush administration has emphasized in recent weeks as it fights Democratic efforts to triple funding for the program over the next five years.

``The uninsured are swimming around in the same pool as the insured. It's very hard to sort of reach a little net into that pool and just pick out the uninsured,'' said Peter Orszag, director of the CBO. ``You're almost inevitably going to pick up part of each.''

The bigger the public subsidies for child medical insurance become the more parents will use the government money even though they can afford to buy medical insurance out of their own pockets. This increases the tax burden on middle and upper income workers. Also, it increases government involvement in the provision of medical care and makes the medical industry more regulated in ways that likely decrease the quality of care.

The growth in the Hispanic population due to immigration will further fuel the growth of publically funded medical care. The Hispanics earn less than whites not just with the first generation of immigrants but with later generations as well. These lower income Hispanics get medical insurance at much lower rates than whites and want more medical funding from governments. So immigration feeds the growth of the welfare state.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 13 09:35 PM  Economics Health
Entry Permalink | Comments(1)
Iraqi Insurgents Building Better Bombs

An AP article about whether the Stryker armored combat vehicle is too lightweight for Iraq makes an interesting point: The Iraqi insurgents can build bombs so powerful that they even knock out M1A1 Abrams tanks.

But Antonio said some insurgents had found "the right mix of explosives and IED positioning to inflict severe damage on the vehicle." He also noted that tanks had also proved vulnerable too.

The insurgents are also becoming better at hiding the devices — the IED that killed the six soldiers and the journalist was believed hidden in a sewer line. To add potency, insurgents surrounded the device with cement to channel the blast force up into the tank, according to soldiers familiar with the investigation.

Supporters of the Strykers say all that proves that it's the lethality of bombs in Iraq — not the Strykers themselves — that are the problem: The bombs are now so powerful that even Abrams main battle tanks are vulnerable to some of them.

The Strykers and even the Abrams are getting blown up by custom made bombs. The bomb developers do not have large staffs of engineers and scientists. They do not have the ability to call up lots of machine tool suppliers or electronic motherboard design firms. With tools which are relatively crude they are building and planting bombs that are knocking out multi-million dollar US military armored vehicles. They are also getting better at hiding bombs.

By contrast the US military is not developing more blast resistant vehicles at anywhere near the rate at which the bombers are developing better bombs.

The insurgents are very cheaply damaging and destroying very expensive pieces of equipment. The Stryker costs over $4 million per vehicle.

Estimated total costs for the Stryker vehicle program increased about 22 percent, from the original November 2000 estimate, in then-year dollars, of $7.1 billion to the December 2003 estimate of $8.7 billion. The average acquisition cost per vehicle increased from $3.34 million to $4.13 million during the same time period.

The M1A2 Abrams main battle tank costs about $5.6 million each. Even before the insurgents started building bombs that'll knock out the US Army's main battle tank the Iraq war was wearing out and damaging equipment faster than the US military could repair it. A news story from December 2006 reports that the Iraq war is inflicting $17 billion in equipment damage per year.

ANNISTON, Ala. - Field upon field of more than 1,000 battered M1 tanks, howitzers and other armored vehicles sit amid weeds here at the 15,000-acre Anniston Army Depot -- the idle, hulking formations symbolic of an Army that is wearing out faster than it is being rebuilt.

The Army and Marine Corps have sunk more than 40 percent of their ground combat equipment into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to government data. An estimated $17 billion-plus worth of military equipment is destroyed or worn out each year, blasted by bombs, ground down by desert sand and used up to nine times the rate in times of peace. The gear is piling up at depots such as Anniston, waiting to be repaired.

But since the troop surge the burn rate on equipment has probably risen.

The US military is ill-equipped to cost effectively engage an enemy that is practicing asymmetric warfare. We are wasting precious lives and treasure in a civil war between Sunnis and Shias and between various factions of each.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 13 09:26 PM  MidEast Iraq Military Needs
Entry Permalink | Comments(4)
Oklahoma Passes Law Against Illegal Aliens

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, a Democrat, very unenthusiastically signed into law legislation that makes Oklahoma's laws against illegal immigrants the toughest in the nation. Henry had no choice because the law passed by veto-proof margins.

State lawmakers praised Henry’s action. Supporters had urged Henry to sign the measure into law since it received final passage in a bipartisan 84-14 vote by the state House last week. The bill was approved 41-6 by the Senate last month.

“This important new immigration reform ensures we’re upholding the rule of law in Oklahoma. Our citizens deserve nothing less,” said House Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah.

The measure’s author, Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, credited public outcry at the federal government’s inability to address illegal immigration for his measure’s success.

“I’m glad the governor received the message,” Terrill said. “It puts Oklahoma effectively at the forefront in the state-level immigration reform movement.”

State and local governments, being closer to the people, continue to set examples to the federal government about how illegal immigration can be cut back via tough laws and enforcement of existing laws. The elites in Washington DC disagree with the masses and have sabotaged immigration law enforcement at the federal level for many years. Popular anger at federal immigration policy is finding an outlet through state and local level law and policy.

The immigration legislation passed in Oklahoma has 4 main parts:

According to Terrill, author of HB 1804, the bill focuses on four main points.

It contains provisions to ensure taxpayer-supported benefits are made available to American citizens and legal immigrants only.

It also restricts access by illegal aliens to driver’s licenses and ID cards and allows state and local law enforcement the power to enforce federal immigration law.

It also provides for severe penalties for employers who employ illegal immigrants.

A group called the League of United Latin American Citizens plan to file suit to stop the enforcement of this law. They do not think we the citizens have a right to stop people from entering the United States. Think about that.

In another example of popular will fighting against elite will the people of a town in Texas have enacted a regulation aimed against illegal aliens. Against opposition of mayor Bob Phelps, the voters of Farmers Branch Texas voted for a regulation that prevents illegal aliens from renting apartments.

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas -- Farmers Branch residents on Saturday became the first in the nation to pass a regulation aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from renting apartments.

Voters in the Dallas suburb approved the measure, which requires apartment managers to verify that potential renters are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants.

Meanwhile, in Washington DC the elites are negotiating with each other behind closed doors on how to enact legislation that will grant amnesty to all the illegal aliens.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 13 06:26 PM  Immigration Policy State Local
Entry Permalink | Comments(5)
2007 May 10 Thursday
Americans Driven Off Coasts By Immigrants

Michael Barone reports the facts. Why do this to ourselves?

Start with the Coastal Megalopolises: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago (on the coast of Lake Michigan), Miami, Washington and Boston. Here is a pattern you don't find in other big cities: Americans moving out and immigrants moving in, in very large numbers, with low overall population growth. Los Angeles, defined by the Census Bureau as Los Angeles and Orange Counties, had a domestic outflow of 6% of 2000 population in six years--balanced by an immigrant inflow of 6%. The numbers are the same for these eight metro areas as a whole.

There are some variations. New York had a domestic outflow of 8% and an immigrant inflow of 6%; San Francisco a whopping domestic outflow of 10% (the bursting of the tech bubble hurt) and an immigrant inflow of 7%. Miami and Washington had domestic outflows of only 2%, overshadowed by immigrant inflows of 8% and 5%, respectively.

This is something few would have predicted 20 years ago. Americans are now moving out of, not into, coastal California and South Florida, and in very large numbers they're moving out of our largest metro areas. They're fleeing hip Boston and San Francisco, and after eight decades of moving to Washington they're moving out. The domestic outflow from these metro areas is 3.9 million people, 650,000 a year. High housing costs, high taxes, a distaste in some cases for the burgeoning immigrant populations--these are driving many Americans elsewhere.

The desirable areas to live are full. Letting in more people will just drive up housing costs. We do not benefit from immigration. It is time to stop it entirely.

America's frontier closed late in the 19th century. It is about time we start thinking and acting like our country does not have an infinite amount of desirable land.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 10 11:07 PM  Immigration Demographics
Entry Permalink | Comments(12)
2007 May 08 Tuesday
Half Of Fort Dix Terrorist Plotters Were Illegal Aliens

None of the terrorists recently arrested for a plot to kill people at Fort Dix in New Jersey is from Iraq. The war in Iraq did not deter these Muslim immigrants from plotting to attack a US military facility. All the plotters were foreign-born and hence would not be in the United States if we didn't let them enter the United States in the first place.

The narrative of a foiled terror plot spelled out in the federal complaint issued yesterday by officials in New Jersey is full of tiny moments that are clearly chilling yet undeniably strange. Certainly, the 27-page document describing a plot to kill soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey stands out as one of the more detailed descriptions to emerge so early in a terrorism case during the last few years.

While the document paints a picture of a bloody-minded, though occasionally unsophisticated, plot, it is worth recalling that acts of terror — even deadly ones — have often included glaring strategic flaws in the past. One of the terrorists in the 1993 scheme to destroy the World Trade Center, in fact, returned to a rental office to claim his deposit for the truck that carried explosives into the complex’s garage.

The current case came to light in early 2006 when the suspects — four ethnic Albanians, three of them brothers; a Jordanian; and a Turk — asked their local video store to transfer their own improvised jihadist videotape to DVD and a representative of the store called the authorities. Within weeks, federal agents managed to infiltrate the group with an informer who recorded them with apparent ease — at home, in their cars and on the phone for more than a year.

If we didn't let them come here they wouldn't be here to shoot people or explode bombs.

Half of the suspects are illegal aliens and they are all foreign born.

Q: Who are the suspects?

A: They are men in their 20s. All are Muslims born outside the United States and four are ethnic Albanian. Five live in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia. One is a U.S. citizen, two are legal residents and three are in the country illegally. They have had jobs installing roofs, working as clerks at stores and driving taxis. Some of the men have wives and children.

Why weren't they satisfied to live in the land of opportunity and work at jobs?

The neoconservatives and assorted deluded liberals in the Clinton Administration believed that if we sided with the Muslim Albanians and against the Orthodox Christian Serbs over Kosovo that our doing so would make Muslims all over the world more favorably disposed toward the United States. So the US came down on the side of the Albanians and painted the Serbs as vicious killers. But pro-Muslim US policy in the Balkans did not sway these Albanian Muslims to love America.

Serdar Tatar got the idea of attacking Fort Dix by delivering pizza there.

Q: Why did they target Fort Dix?

A: One of the suspects, Serdar Tatar, had delivered pizza on the base and said he knew it like the back of his hand, Christie said.

The liberal universalists still think their Muslim appeasement strategy can work. The Democratic Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wants to make Kosovo into a state in order to make the Jihadists like the West.

At the hearing, titled The Outlook for the Independence of Kosova (the Islamic and dhimmi spelling of the province), Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee said the following:

"Just a reminder to the predominantly Muslim-led government[s] in this world that here is yet another example that the United States leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe. This should be noted by both responsible leaders of Islamic governments, such as Indonesia, and also for jihadists of all color and hue. The United States principles are universal, and in this instance, the United States stands foursquare for the creation of an overwhelmingly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe."

Liberal universalism leads liberals to support the creation of Muslim countries in Europe. That's universalism? I want no part of it.

Lawrence Auster responds to Lantos and the Fort Dix plotters.

Well, gosh all mighty, the jihadists of the world, especially the Albanian jihadists, sure are taking note of the great favor we've been doing for Albanian Muslims these last few years as we've pushed for the creation of an Albanian Muslim state in Kosovo. Of the six Muslim men arrested in the plot to attack the Fort Dix, New Jersey U.S. Army base and mass murder U.S. servicemen, four are ethnic Albanians.

Yep. Telling Muslims that we just love the spread of Muslim power and the establishment of Islamic states in the West sure is a smart way to make jihadists feel all warm and cuddly toward us and stop wanting to spread Muslim power and create Muslim states in the West!

Larry points to a post by Carol Iannone where Carol explains why liberal universalism and diversity are the enemy of our national identity and of respect for our history.

Believe it or not, it's really not surprising that a professor has got himself into trouble by emailing George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation to his college community.  Many, perhaps most, Americans do not realize how thoroughly our national identity has been reconstituted as DIVERSITY.  I don't mean that we are more diverse as a people, which is obvious, but that our very essence, our very raison d'etre, our very identity as a nation has become diversity.  This has arisen from the multiculturalism of the Left which seeks to destroy any idea of a common culture and favors our dissolution into subcultures, but also, ironically, gains support from the universalism of the Right. 

If as the Right holds, our American ideals are universal and require no cultural underpinnings or even any historical basis, but are applicable to all humanity everywhere right now, and it is racist and condescending even to think otherwise, it can be perceived as something of an insult to act or speak in any manner whatsover as if we might actually have a specific historic culture, or even that our ideals might have had some specific historical embodiment.  Such a position can imply that other histories and cultural formations might not as readily support the ideals of liberal self-government and this must be utterly forbidden.  Yes, those from militaristic, authoritarian, oligarchic, hierarchic, mandarin, feudal, and tribal cultures are entitled by our current fictions to believe that their historical backgrounds are equally conducive to the realization of democratic idealism, because of its absolute, apodictical universality.  Likewise, since the ideals are universal, no special homage is due to America or to our American heroes for realizing them in fact. 

Liberal universalism holds that Iraqis love freedom as much as we do. Liberal universalism holds that Muslims in the Balkans have a culture that is just as supportive of freedom of speech and religion as we do. This is madness.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 08 11:57 PM  Immigration Terrorism
Entry Permalink | Comments(7)
2007 May 06 Sunday
Warren Buffett Sees Desire For Power Behind Newspaper Bids

Warren Buffett thinks Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion News Corp bid for the Wall Street Journal is more about power than money.

Speaking after the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway investment vehicle, Mr Buffett said several investors were prepared to pay more than newspapers’ instrinsic worth because of the power and exposure they confer. “I think you will see newspapers drift to owners that are motivated in part by non-economic factors.” Mr Buffett is thought unlikely to counter bid but said others might enter the fray.

The declining newspapers are going to all become mouthpieces for rich people? If so, I'm expecting an increase in the variety of editorial slants as each billionaire expresses their particular views through their editorial and front pages. Or will the billionaires have such similar views that the newspapers will become more consistent with each other?

By Randall Parker 2007 May 06 09:45 PM  Media Critique
Entry Permalink | Comments(3)
Afghan Hostility Toward American Forces Rising

I hope you all weren't expecting a tribal society to improve and become all lovey dovey.

Most Afghans cheered the fall of the Taliban in 2001, and they appreciate the ways U.S. assistance has improved their lives since then: reopening schools, building roads and bridges, bringing electricity to remote villages. Yet they increasingly resent the unending war, especially its rising toll in civilian lives—and they don't hesitate to blame America and its multinational allies. Anti-U.S. rallies in the towns of Shindand and Jalalabad each drew more than a thousand protesters last week, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai once again declared that his government can no longer tolerate the deaths of so many innocent Afghans. "We are very sorry when the [U.S.-led] international Coalition Force and NATO soldiers lose their lives or are injured," he told a press conference. "It pains us. But Afghan [civilians] are human beings, too."

Hamid Karzai is that stylishly dressed guy we chose to make into the "democratically" elected President of Afghanistan (I originally typed "leader" but corrected myself). Karzai knows how to do Central Asian Muslim chic. Which is cool in some circles. But darn it, he rules over (sort of anyway) a bunch of consanguineously marrying, very high fertility, low IQ, Muslim fundamentalist tribes. Not exactly material to emulate an East Asian tiger success story.

Most of the Aghanis who are dying are getting killed by the Taliban. But they are going to hate us more the longer the war continues.

More than 900 of them died in 2006 alone. Roughly three quarters of that number died in Taliban attacks, nearly half of which "appear to have been intentionally launched" against civilian targets, according to a newly released report from Human Rights Watch. Even in attacks on legitimate military targets, the report found "little evidence to suggest that insurgent forces were in any way seeking to minimize [civilian] losses." Instead, the report said, the objective seemed to be "not merely to harm specific individuals but to generate broader fear among the civilian population." Roughly 230 civilians died in U.S. and Coalition attacks last year, but the report found no evidence that any of those killings were deliberate.

The outsiders who aren't part of local tribes (that would be soldiers from the US, Canada, and some European countres) are held to a higher standard.

Afghans expect the worst from the Taliban, but they hold America to a far higher standard. "The Taliban never claimed to support human rights," says Abdul Sattar Khowasi, a member of Parliament from Kapisa province, about 70 miles northeast of Kabul. "The U.S. came here in the name of human rights." Besides, people are increasingly afraid to criticize Mullah Mohammed Omar's Taliban forces in public.

An incident involving an attack on US Marines where the Marines killed a lot of civilians has made the Afghans especially sensitive. Those Marines were supposed to be the Marine version of some sort of special forces unit. The Marines got yanked out of Afghanistan due to that incident.

We don't want Afghanistan to become an Al Qaeda training base again. But hanging around will just make the locals hate us. Still, if we leave the central government (meaning: the government that rules Kabul) might fall and the Taliban might shoot its way back into power. What to do? Suggestions anyone?

By Randall Parker 2007 May 06 09:16 PM  MidEast Afghanistan
Entry Permalink | Comments(3)
Bush Makes Small Effort To Round Up Illegal Alien Absconders

The US government is making a larger but still small effort to round up illegal aliens who have been ordered to leave the United States.

At 2:10 a.m., a fleet of dark SUVs surged from the garage beneath a federal building onto the deserted streets of Fairfax County, carrying a raiding party of flak-jacketed immigration agents.

Their quarry: illegal immigrants who have ignored and evaded deportation orders. Called "fugitive aliens" or "alien absconders," they have nearly doubled in number since 2001, now totaling more than 636,000.

The Fairfax operation was part of a stepped-up national effort that has increased the number of fugitive arrests from 1,560 in 2003 to a projected 16,000 this year, U.S. immigration officials said.

This is part of Bush's program to appear to get tough on enforcing immigration laws because he thinks that acting tough will help him get an immigration amnesty through Congress. But at the rate of 16,000 per year captured it will take 40 years to capture the illegal alien absconders who are already here. There's an easier solution for future potential absconders: Once someone gets a deportation order do not let them walk out the court room the way they got in. Put them in detention and ship them out under law enforcement supervision.

Steven Camarota says the 600,000 absconders show how the US government neglects immigration law enforcement.

The failure to remove "low-hanging fruit" such as fugitives "may reflect the fact that there's a complete neglect for enforcement, or that even in egregious cases, they just can't get their act together," said Steven A. Camarota, spokesman for the Center on Immigration Studies, a group that advocates less immigration.

We should reduce immigration by at least 99%. The country has enough people. The most desirable places to live are becoming really expensive. We have enough people. We do not need any more.

An advocate for amnesty for millions of illegal aliens cites the US government's failure to round up absconders as an argument against enforcement as a solution to the American immigration problem.

"The absconder population is exhibit number one," said Victor X. Cerda, former chief of staff and general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "We haven't been able to handle the 600,000-plus who went through the legal system. What's going to lead us to believe we're going to handle the 12 million?"

Victor X. Cerda gets this exactly backward. The 600,000 who went through the legal system are exhibit number one that a foreign worker permit program would fail abysmally. If the ICE can't round up absconders now then the US government obviously lacks the capacity to manage and enforce Bush's guest worker program. The presence of 600,000 absconders is proof that the US government lacks the capacity to enforce the law in a foreign guest worker program.

The US government could find many of these hundreds of thousands of illegals if they put up pictures of them on a web site with a financial reward for finding each one. But to implement such an incentive program would require that the US government get seriously motivated to stop immigration law violation.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 06 04:58 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement
Entry Permalink | Comments(4)
2007 May 04 Friday
Canadian Spouse Immigrants Go On Welfare

The Candian government has started going after people who do not pay for welfare costs of foreigners they bring into Canada.

Nedzad Dzihic, a 37-year-old Bosnian immigrant, did not marry Edina Zurko. Instead, according to court documents, she used him as a ticket to Canada and then dumped him almost as soon as she arrived, on Feb. 25, 2003.

An embarrassed Mr. Dzihic promptly informed Citizenship and Immigration Canada, according to the documents filed Friday in Ontario Superior Court of Justice. He says he never saw her again and assumed the government had deported Ms. Zurko.

Instead, Mr. Dzihic was shocked last year to get a bill from the Ontario government to repay thousands of dollars his former girlfriend has been collecting since she went on welfare in June of 2006.

Mr. Dzihic is suing the national and provincial governments to halt their attempts to collect money from him. Gotta say, I'm ambivalent about this one. On the one hand, I think people who bring others into a country should be financially responsible for them. On the other hand, if the original reason for bringing a person (e.g. a marriage that never happens) ceases to exist then why does the government allow the would-be immigrant to remain in the country and collect welfare?

The Canadian government has a serious flaw in its immigration policy. The Canadian government should not allow people to come into Canada based on a reason they can abandon shortly after they arrive. Marriages to foreigners ought to have some sort of vesting period before a spouse gains permanent residency rights. But people who bring in foreigners should be on the hook for some of the costs. They should put up a bond which they lose if the person they bring in becomes a criminal or needs expensive medical care or creates other costs for society.

This idea of placing more costs on those who bring in foreigners should get extended into the realm of the labor market. In the United States employers who bring in visa workers should be required to buy medical insurance and to put up bonds that they lose if a worker they bring in commits criminal acts or damages the property of others.

In the United States some immigrants bring their parents over and then dump the care of their parents onto the welfare system. Some who do this are quite affluent and successful Asians. Such people should be required to prepay years of future medical insurance and the government should bill the children for any welfare services the parents used.

People and companies who dump costs on taxpayers are part of general growing problem where profits get privatized and costs get socialized. We need to stop treating legal residency and citizenship as prizes we give to lucky foreign winners.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 04 08:28 PM  Immigration Economics
Entry Permalink | Comments(4)
Greg Cochran Examines Neocon Twilight Zone

Gregory Cochran examines the Bush Administration's weak grasp on history and offers a novel explanation.

You see, the president and his associates keep referring to historical events that never happened, at least not as they did in the fields we know. And they keep referring to the same ahistorical events. Over and over, the secretary of state and the (now former) secretary of defense have referred to guerrilla warfare in Germany after the Nazi surrender. But there just wasn’t any. You can’t find it in the history books or in the memories of people who were there at the time. My uncle was in Bavaria in the summer of 1945: no trouble. Secretary Rumsfeld repeatedly talked about the similarities between today’s Iraq and America after the Revolutionary War, but again, I’m pretty sure that there aren’t any. I don’t believe we found tortured corpses in the streets of Philadelphia every morning back in 1784. And why does President Bush keep saying that Saddam refused to admit those UN arms inspectors back in 2002 and early 2003? Why did Condoleezza Rice, in 2000, say that Iran was probably backing the Taliban, when in fact the two had almost gone to war in 1998?

Now some might say that these statements were just talking points—that is, lies—but I sure wouldn’t want to accuse anyone of lying. More to the point, there have been many ahistorical statements that are just strange and don’t seem to advance any particular political agenda. For example, when President Bush said that the Japanese lost two carriers sunk and one damaged at the Battle of Midway (instead of losing all four, which is what actually happened), who gained? When POTUS said that Sweden has no army (it does), what political argument was advanced?

Read the full article for Greg's entertaining theory on why the neoconservatives and Bushies make so many ridiculous and obviously false claims. It is well worth your time.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 04 06:34 PM  Elites Neoconservative Menace
Entry Permalink | Comments(4)
2007 May 03 Thursday
Flawed View Of Human Nature Behind Iraq Debacle

Steve Sailer suggests why Condi Rice, George W, Bush, and the neocons failed to anticipate the post-invasion violence in Iraq.

As usual, I see an aversion to politically incorrect generalizing about ethnicities as a source of ignorance among decision-makers. One of the basic generalizations that anybody who looks around at the real world with open eyes quickly comes up with is the reverse correlation between organized violence and disorganized violence. Groups that are competent at organized violence in wartime, such as the Germans and Japanese, tend to be orderly during peacetime. And groups that tend to be anarchic during peacetime also tend to be incompetent at organized violence during wartime, with the Iraqis being perhaps the most notorious example of this.

There are many exceptions to this, but it's still one of the most obvious patterns in 20th Century history. However, if you are morally opposed to noticing patterns, as so many people are today, you'll be a sucker for idiocy.

The pretty lies about human nature (e.g. everyone loves freedom) which our intellectual elites have enshrined as virtues come at big costs. The Iraq Debacle is one of those costs. Our immigration policy is another of those costs. The lies have gotten too costly. We should abandon the lies and the damaging policies they are used to justify.

My own curiosity about the world and my desire to understand it overwhelms any impulse I have to go along with the mythologies promoted by our intellectuals. I refuse to believe the nonsense that passes as conventional wisdom among the talking heads. Plus, I do not have sufficient intellectual resources to make sense of the world if I also have to reconcile what I see with what I'm supposed to believe. Some smart people find the time, motivation, and mental energy to rationalize some sort of consistency between their beliefs and the conflicting evidence of their senses. But I prefer to ditch the false beliefs in order to free up mental resources and apply those resources to better puzzle out what really is true.

Back in the year 2000 if you would have asked me where the neocons fit on the political spectrum I would not have placed the neoconservatives on the Left. After all, they placed themselves on the Right and they drew parallels between themselves and right-wingers who are big on a strong military. In the run-up to the Iraq invasion I figured that surely the neocon rhetoric about democracy in Iraq was just marketing gibber to sell the war. I figured the neocons were sufficiently realistic to have some secret plan about how to keep some Baathists in the Iraqi military and wouldn't base real policy on the idea that Jeffersonian Democracy has a place in Iraq. But I greatly overestimated both the intellectual abilities of the neocons and their grasp on reality.

Today my take on the neocons has changed. I see them as leftists because they share left-wing assumptions about human nature even as they make conservative arguments when those arguments help them advance their goals. Yet as Lawrence Auster points out, the neocons continue to flatter themselves that they are fighting against unrealistic views of human nature and defending society against the Left.

Neoconservatives, as I have observed a thousand times, refuse to respond to arguments from their right. Their self-concept is that they are in a heroic war against the left. Since the left sees them as extreme right-wingers and excludes them, as PBS excluded Gaffney's movie, the neocons see themselves as being as far-right as any reasonable person can possibly be, and thus they cannot conceive that their own position is actually a liberal position open to legitimate criticism from conservatives. Therefore they automatically and rudely dismiss any criticism from their right as crackpottery, as Gaffney dismissed mine.

And that, as I said, is the landscape of mainstream American politics when it comes to Islam: on one side, the anti-American, pro-jihadist left, and on the other side, the deluded, neocon "right," which imagines that it is defending America from its jihadist enemies, but in reality is legitimizing and empowering jihad by telling people that the vast majority of Muslims are moderates whom we should welcome into our country.

I think Muslim immigration is a great litmus test for whether someone really is willing to put defense of our society ahead of promotion of a foolish Panglossian view of human nature. On immigration in general and on Muslim immigration in particular the neocons show their true stripes. They are liberal universalists who really believe that all the peoples of the world can get converted into liberal democrats.

Neocons defend the war in Iraq as a necessary battlefield in their Global War On Terror (GWOT). Never mind that a war against a tactic makes no sense. Never mind that the Muslims are not militarily formidable. The neocons present only 3 choices as tactics against the Muslims: 1) Kill the Muslims, 2) Capitulate to the Muslims; and 3) Reform the Muslims. They pose as humane by choosing option 3 over option 2 and they pose as tough guys by choosing option 3 over option 2. But in doing so they willfully ignore another option altogether: 4) Demographic Containment. In a nutshell, keep the bulk of Muslims out of non-Muslim countries.

Larry Auster labels containment as separationism. By whatever name, the idea is simple enough: The Muslims can only come to Western nations if we let them. But the neocons want us to believe that only a small extremist element in Islam is a problem for the rest of us. To believe otherwise would require an admission that liberalism does not hold universal strong appeal to all the peoples of the world. The unconservative neocons do not want us to entertain that idea and therefore won't even mention policy proposals based on that idea. Their failure to do so tells us they really want us to believe a ridiculous faith in human nature.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 03 09:38 PM  Mideast Iraq Ethnic Conflict
Entry Permalink | Comments(7)
2007 May 02 Wednesday
British Muslims Demonstrate For Terrorists And Sharia Law

Here's another example of why the West should halt all Muslim immigration and deport the non-citizen Muslims already here.

Islamic supporters of six Muslims arrested in London earlier this week today staged a rowdy demonstration outside the top security police station where they are being held.

Dozens of angry demonstrators branded Tony Blair a "terrorist" while carrying banners stating "Sharia Law - the future, free our Muslim brothers" and "Crusade against Islam"

More than 100 Muslim men, women and children gathered outside Paddington Green Police Station in west London where the six suspected Islamic extremists - including firebrand Abu Izzadeen - are beiMuslims Stage Demo Outside Police Stationng detained on suspicion of inciting terrorism and raising funds for terrorism.

Muslim fundamentalists want Sharia law for all because that's what the base texts of their religion tell them to demand.

Mr Islam said: "We definitely want to see Sharia law in place here. We want to see it implemented for everyone. Only then will there be harmony and there will be peace and justice amongst mankind."

The Muslim fundamentalists are not extremists within Islam. They are the orthodox. They follow the base texts and teachings of their religion. The so-called moderate Muslims are really Muslims who believe a watered down version of Islam or who don't want to personally be troubled to follow all the instructions of Islam.

If the Europeans do not want to live in increasingly Islamicized societies they could pay their legally present Muslims to leave and deport their illegal Muslims.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 02 11:29 PM  Immigration Culture Clash
Entry Permalink | Comments(3)
Border Enforcement Cuts Into Drug Flows

Increased border enforcement along the US-Mexico border is creating difficulties for drug smugglers.

U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials told The Associated Press drug traffickers, in response to a U.S. border crackdown, have seized control of the routes they once shared with human smugglers and in the process are transforming themselves into more diversified crime syndicates.

The drug gangs get protection money from the migrants and then effectively use them to clear the trail for the flow of drugs.

The illegal aliens won't serve as useful tools of the drug smugglers once we have border-length walls and fences that made illegal crossings too difficult for the vast bulk of the illegal crossers.

The gangs use undocumented aliens “to maneuver where they want us or don’t want us to be,” said Alonzo Pena, chief of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona.

Note the way the Associated Press uses Orwellian Speak to refer to illegal aliens as undocumented. Our elites so want to brainwash us.

The article reports that border fences and more personnel to patrol the border have forced the drug smugglers to share crossings with people trying to cross over to live in the US illegally. This is a sign that increased border enforcement works. Contrary to the claims of the open borders advocates we can get control of the border. The drug smugglers are losing more of their contraband.

The Mexican border is providing a less reliable profit stream for drug smugglers, analysts and law enforcement officials say. The United States seized 20 percent more cocaine and 28 percent more marijuana along the border in the past six months, compared with the same period a year ago.

We should construct a border barrier layer made of multiple layers of walls and fences. The barrier should extend along the entire US-Mexico border. Such a barrier would stop almost all people smuggling and drug smuggling across the border. The drug smugglers will then make more attempts at tunneling. But people emerging from tunnels will become detectable with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which transmit images to computers which run image processing algorithms to detect human movements.

By Randall Parker 2007 May 02 10:09 PM  Immigration Border Control
Entry Permalink | Comments(4)
Advertise here. Contact randall dot parker at ymail dot com
 
Web parapundit.com
Site Traffic Info